Accounting Schools in Georgia
This overview of accounting schools in Georgia will provide interested students with key statistics and information on accounting schools and programs within the state. Here you will also find information on online schools as well as accounting career information specific to Georgia. By comparing traditional, on-campus programs with online and distance education options for accounting, you can make a well-informed choice that can provide direction for your future career based on your skills, interests, and desired career track.
- There are 54 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Georgia.
- 12 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
- Highest graduation rate*: Emory University, 91%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Brewton-Parker College, 53%1
- Highest net price per year*: Emory University, $26,8671
- Lowest net price per year*: Dalton State College, $5,7681
- 3 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Emory University (15), Georgia Institute of Technology (39), University of Georgia (67)
- 4 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: Georgia Institute of Technology (#17 in-state, #20 out-of-state), Georgia State University (#90 in-state, #89 out-of-state), University of Georgia (#12 in-state, #11 out-of-state), University of North Georgia (#94 in-state, #95 out-of-state)
- 3 schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Emory University (21), Georgia Institute of Technology (35), University of Georgia (46)
*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Read on to find more information on popular accounting programs, schools, and careers in Georgia.
Schools with Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- University of Georgia (94.9%)
- Brenau University (72.7%)
- Emory University (62.5%)
- Valdosta State University (61.1%)
- Georgia Southern University (59.4%)
- Georgia State University (56.2%)
- Southern Polytechnic State University (53.9%)
The range for first-time CPA exam pass rate with an advanced degree was 22.6% to 94.9% for schools in Georgia (out of 12 schools that sent candidates). The national pass rate for all candidates was 48.4% in 2015. When evaluating options for accounting programs, the first-time CPA exam pass rate can be a helpful metric for measuring the quality of a program, although the percentage can be skewed for schools with a small number of candidates. For full statistics on all schools, see the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Georgia
Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA)
Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Accounting program that supplements a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting with an advanced education focused on the principles of accounting. Courses in the degree program include Current Accounting Theory and Practice, Cost Management Systems, Advanced Accounting Information Systems, and Fund Accounting. In addition to core courses, students are encouraged to take electives in complementary fields such as business, management, and computer information systems. With full-time study, the program can be completed in as few as two semesters. Students who successfully complete the program typically meet the 150-credit hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. Located in bustling Atlanta, Georgia, Clark Atlanta has a diverse student population supported by a comprehensive Career Planning and Placement Center; most classes have fewer than 50 students.
Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Emory University is a nationally-recognized academic research institution that offers an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree that can be completed on a full-time or part-time evening or weekend basis. Students may focus on accounting during the program, which can prepare students to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. In addition to a weekend EMBA program, Emory offers a modular EMBA program with a lock-step curriculum that takes place over the course of 20 months. Full-day class sessions during quarterly “residencies” give students applied, focused learning opportunities that can be paired with co-curriculars in subjects such as Executive Insights and Global Business Practices. A modular MBA elective in Emerging Topics in Finance is offered, and students may additionally complete an independent study in other topics in accounting to fulfill electives. US News ranks Emory #21 in National Universities for its outstanding academic programs, supported by 62% of classes here taking place with fewer than 20 students.
University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
University of Georgia’s J.M. Tull School of Accounting confers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that can help students meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in the state of Georgia. This MAcc program is consistently ranked among the top master’s in accounting programs in the US and teaches students hard accounting skills for career advancement. Students may choose to pursue a specialization in Audit or Taxation. Typical courses for the degree include Legal and Regulatory Environment and Business; Auditing, Risk Assessment, and Control; Management Information Systems; and Statistical Analysis for Business. The program’s goal of excellence in education is supported by experienced faculty who have been recognized for research and professional productivity. The University of Georgia is ranked #46 in National Universities by US News, and was the first public, state-supported college in the nation.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Georgia
Aprio, formerly Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP, is the largest independent certified public accounting firm in Georgia and is also one of the top 50 accounting firms in the US. Aprio is committed to the personal and professional development of its staff and is an active recruiter of college graduates. Robinson, Grimes & Company, P.C. is also one of the largest accounting firms in Georgia, with a regional focus on clients in real estate, distribution, government, non-profit, construction, and health care. Due to its strong growth, Robinson, Grimes & Company is continually looking for outstanding college graduates to join its team. Frazier & Deeter CPAs & Advisors is another top draw for recent Georgia graduates; established in 1981, the firm employs over 200 professionals engaged in providing a full range of accounting and business services.
How to Become a CPA in Georgia
The Georgia Board of Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are four main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Georgia.
- Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
1. Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
The Georgia Board of Accountancy has adopted the 150-hour rule, meaning that all candidates for CPA licensure must have completed at least 150 semester hours of college education with a concentration in accounting and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The education must include at least 30 semester hours in accounting above the elementary level and at least 24 semester hours in general business courses.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
To qualify for a CPA license in Georgia, candidates must accumulate at least one year or 2,000 hours of experience in accounting. Qualifying work may occur in business, industry, government, or academia. All work except for government or college teaching must be supervised by a currently licensed CPA. Additionally, all work must consist of tasks and services meaningfully related to accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting to qualify the candidate for practice.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Prospective CPAs must register with NASBA to take the Uniform CPA Exam. After the application has been reviewed, candidates will receive a Notice to Schedule for the examination. All four sections of the exam must be passed within a rolling 18-month period.
4. Apply for a license.
The Georgia Board of Accountancy uses NASBA to process all applications for CPA certificates. Applicants must include verification of work experience and have official transcripts for all college work completed sent to NASBA.
Once licensed, CPAs in Georgia must complete 60 hours of continuing education during each two-year renewal period. 16 of these hours must be in accounting and auditing.
You can find additional information at the Georgia State Board of Accountancy website.
Georgia Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in Georgia from 2016-20262
Georgia is one of the best states to look for positions as an accountant or auditor, as more professionals find work in this field here than in most other areas of the country. An estimated 37,830 accountants and auditors work in the state, and the average salary for an accountant in Georgia is $74,950 per year.3 In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell corridor of Georgia alone, 28,690 accountants and auditors are currently practicing with an annual average salary of $77,370, making this metro area one of the best places in Georgia to look for employment as an accountant.4
Georgia College & State University
231 W Hancock St
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Student Review: “My college experience was overall positive. I started off as an accounting major. I breezed through the Intro to Accounting classes, but the major classes gave me some grief. I made the mistake of taking Intermediate I, Tax, Cost, and AIS at the same time and was overwhelmed with work. However, I ended up graduating with a double major and a 3.57 GPA. I felt like my professors were knowledgeable, but not the best around. Because of that, I regret not going to Georgia Tech or the University of Georgia. I could have, but I was afraid of being too far from home.” -Student at Georgia College & State University
Georgia State University
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30302
Student Review: “I have attended GSU for my bachelor’s in accounting and I am currently working on my MBA. I had one job and because of my educational background and experience, I was offered another job in March 2012. I enjoyed the campus life and the flexibility of the large number of classes that GSU has. Attending GSU has opened so many doors for me. This has been an awesome experience for me and can’t wait to see what other opportunities will come available once I complete my MBA.” – Timothy P., student at Georgia State University
Middle Georgia State College
100 University Pkwy
Macon, GA 31206
Student Review: “Studying accounting seem daunting and difficult for a lot of people, but the faculty at Middle Georgia State College work hard to make the material and themselves accessible. The teachers all provide material that supports and reinforces the book. In particular, the intermediate professors get all of their students working problems out of a CPA exam guide along with the text. The professors are all more than willing to stay after class or meet during office hours to discuss content or simply to provide career guidance. While the accounting program at MGSC does not offer many internships and there is no co-op program, there are “Meet the Firm” events that allow students to network with local firms. There are also guest speakers that discuss career paths. Many of my classmates got work experience through contacts they made at these events. The program was certainly challenging, but I am a lot less worried about finding work than my psych major friends.” – Nicholas P., student at Middle Georgia State College
4760 Forsyth Rd
Macon, GA 31210
Student Review: “I received a great education from Wesleyan College. Their standards are high. I had always been at the top of my class in community college and another private university I had attended before. At Wesleyan, I was among my peers educationally and sometimes felt that I was trying to keep up. My biggest complaint was their office procedures. I received financial aid, and many times was asked to resubmit something that they had lost. I also was not able to attend graduation being out of state and although I had gone over this with the graduating office staff months before and been given the okay, I was threatened a few days before graduation with not receiving a diploma. I contacted the dean, and she was rather rude, but I got my diploma sent to me. Adult working students are not properly accommodated. I had to leave work mid-morning for one class in particular several days a week that was not offered in evening/weekends. ” -Student at Wesleyan College
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): https://projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 13-2011 Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_12060.htm