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Accounting Schools in Kansas

This guide to accounting schools in Kansas will supply you with detailed information on master’s in accounting schools and programs in the state so that you can choose the school that is the best match for your interests and career goals. In addition to profiles of select master’s in accounting programs, you will also find information about how to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state, as well as salary and employment information.

Quick Facts

  • There are 36 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Kansas.1
  • 8 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • No schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
  • No schools were ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
  • 1 school was ranked in Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019.4
  • No schools were ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2020.5
  • 5 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
  • 6 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
  • 1 school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
  • 1 school is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9

For not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Table of Contents
Steps to Become a CPA in Kansas
Kansas CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Kansas
Kansas Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Select Schools in Kansas with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Steps to Become a CPA in Kansas

The Kansas Board of Accountancy (the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are eight main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Kansas.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework with a concentration in accounting.
  2. Establish residency in Kansas.
  3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
  4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  5. Apply for a CPA certificate.
  6. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  7. Apply for a license.
  8. Receive a license.

1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework with a concentration in accounting.

CPA candidates in Kansas must complete a 150 semester hours of education to qualify for a license. The 150 semester hours must include a bachelor’s degree or higher and a concentration in accounting. A concentration in accounting must include at least 11 credit hours in written and oral communication, as well as 42 semester hours in business and general education courses as follows:

  • Business law (at least two courses)
  • College algebra or higher level mathematics
  • Computer systems and applications
  • Finance
  • Macro- and microeconomics, plus one upper-division economics course
  • Management and administration
  • Marketing
  • Production, operations research, or applications of quantitative techniques to business problems
  • Statistics and probability theory

Additionally, applicants must have completed at least 30 credit hours in accounting theory and practice, to include:

  • Accounting systems beyond an introductory computer course
  • Auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Income tax
  • Managerial accounting beyond the introductory level

Candidates may earn up to six credits towards the concentration in accounting through any of the following: advanced placement classes, credit by examination, credit for military education, credit through experience, and pass-fail courses, provided that these credits focus on the subjects required for the concentration in accounting. Internships may be counted towards the 150-hour requirement but not towards the accounting concentration.

2. Establish residency in Kansas.

The Board requires that those applying to take the Uniform CPA Exam in Kansas be residents of the state, have a place of business as a public accountant in Kansas, or be permanently employed by a public accounting firm in Kansas. The Board may require proof of residency before allowing candidates to take the exam.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Board requires candidates to complete the Professional Ethics exam from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to obtain a CPA certificate. Candidates must pass the self-study course and exam with a score of 90% or better to qualify for certification. The AICPA ethics course and the take-home exam can be ordered through AICPA’s website.

4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Like many states, the Board uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to process applications for and administer the AICPA Uniform CPA Exam. Once candidates have met the education requirements and established residency, the application for the exam can be completed through the NASBA website. The exam consists of four sections, all of which must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within a rolling 18-month period.

5. Apply for a CPA certificate.

Kansas is a two-tier state, which means that CPA candidates must apply for a CPA certificate in order to earn the required hours of experience; once the required hours of experience are earned, the candidate is eligible to apply for a license and permit to practice. Candidates who have passed the Uniform CPA Exam and AICPA ethics exam should complete the Application for Certificate by Passing Examination in Kansas form to request a CPA certificate. Certificate holders are not allowed to claim the title of CPA.

6. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Candidates for CPA licensure in Kansas must complete 2,000 hours of professional accounting experience over the course of at least one year. The experience may be gained either full time or part time, but must be completed within three years. Employment in academia, government, industry, or private practice may be counted towards the requirement, provided that the duties performed utilize skills in attest or non-attest accounting. To qualify for licensure, all experience must be verified by a CPA who holds an active license to practice in Kansas. Candidates must submit a record of their experience using the Certificate of Experience Form, available from the Board’s website.

7. Apply for a permit to practice.

Certificate holders who have completed the experience requirement must then apply for a permit to practice (license) to become a licensed CPA. The Initial Permit Application form is available on the Board’s website.

8. Receive a license.

Once the application and all necessary documentation are submitted, the Board will review the application; approved applicants will be issued a permit card and may begin practicing as a CPA.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

CPA licenses renew on a biennial basis in Kansas, with half of the state’s licenses renewing each year. CPAs whose certificate ends in an odd number must renew by July 1 of each odd-numbered year. CPAs whose certificate ends in an even number must renew by July 1 of each even-numbered year. All CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing education (CE) for each biennial renewal. The CE must include two hours of ethics education.

Kansas CPA Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 12,680 accountants and auditors in Kansas make an average salary of $68,780 per year.10 The Kansas City metropolitan area has the highest employment of accounting professionals in the state at 11,790.10 Kansas has the highest employment of accountants and auditors in nonmetropolitan areas of any state in the nation with 2,610 accountants and auditors working outside of the state’s metropolitan areas.11 Projections Central forecasts a 7.5% rate of growth for accountant and auditor positions in Kansas through 2028, a rate slightly higher than the national average of 6.4%.12

Kansas CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Kansas City11,790$70,880
Lawrence260$64,770
Manhattan380$55,470
Topeka1,210$62,220
Wichita2,710$67,420
Nonmetropolitan area2,610$63,500

Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Kansas

Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019

  • University of Kansas (#46)

Kansas Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Massachusetts colleges and universities offering a master’s degree in accounting. The graduation rate is for first-time undergraduates seeking a bachelor’s degree, but since it is widely considered to be an indicator of a school’s overall success, we have included it for comparison. Also please note that tuition per credit is based on in-state, on-campus tuition; per-credit rates may vary for out-of-state and online students.

School NameAccreditationCPA Exam Pass Rate6Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate13Grad Rate1Online Options?Tuition per Credit
Emporia State UniversityAACSB50.0%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.50%Yes$350
Kansas State UniversityAACSB75.7%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
MBA-Accounting
80%65%Yes$491
Ottawa University-Kansas CityACBSPN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.N.Av.Yes$1,249
Pittsburg State UniversityAACSB57.1%Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc);
MBA-Accounting
94.3%52%Yes$141
University of KansasAACSB63.1%Master of Accounting (MAcc)73.4%67%$425
University of Saint MaryIACBEN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av.N.Av.$595
Washburn UniversityAACSB100%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av.46%$318
Wichita State UniversityAACSB62.5%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av.50%$308

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Select Schools in Kansas with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

Kansas State University

Kansas State University (KSU) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that can be completed in as few as three semesters. The 30-credit hour program works to prepare students for careers in accounting across a variety of industries. The MAcc program offers students seven specialization tracks such as Controllership-Taxation, Public Accounting-Assurance Services, Applied Data Analytics, and a dual MAcc/Economics degree. There are two required courses for the MAcc program, Advanced Financial Reporting and Corporate Taxation. The rest of the coursework consists of electives determined by the specialization track. Admission into the program is available to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field, though applicants without a degree in business or accounting may be required to complete certain foundation classes. Foundation courses can be taken after admission into the MAcc program but may be prerequisites for certain courses in the curriculum. Undergraduate accounting students at KSU may also be interested in the dual BSBA in Accounting/MAcc program, which allows undergraduate students in the BSBA program early admission into the MAcc program and to count nine graduate credits towards their undergraduate degree.

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas (KU) School of Business has a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program that helps students fulfill the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure. The MAcc program emphasizes preparing students to take the Uniform CPA Exam, offering exam prep courses and a 10-week spring semester to allow students to focus on studying for and taking the exam. Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting can typically complete the 30-credit MAcc curriculum in one year; students whose bachelor’s degree is in another subject area can complete the program in one and a half to two years. Students may pursue their degree through one of four tracks in Assurance, Advisory/Consulting Services, Corporate, or Tax. Each track has specific curriculum requirements, with only Advanced Auditing and Accounting Theory being required courses in all four tracks. Other courses offered include Multijurisdictional Tax, Accounting Analytics, and Business Consulting. Outside of the classroom, KU offers students internship opportunities, study abroad opportunities, and the Xplore program, which gives students the chance to travel to major markets to explore career opportunities. Admission into the MAcc program requires a bachelor’s degree.

Washburn University

The School of Business at Washburn University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that will help prepare students to take the exams for professional certifications such as CPA, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). The MAcc degree is offered in both a full-time and flexible format. The full-time program can be completed in as little as 12 months, while the flexible program format allows working professionals to complete the requirements in two to three years. The 30 credit-hour curriculum consists of seven required courses and three electives. Required courses include Advanced Accounting, Taxation of Business Entities, and Managerial Economics. For current KU undergraduate accounting students, the 3+2 program offers the chance to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously in five years of study. The KU School of Business also provides MAcc students the opportunity to earn a dual degree, adding either a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) to their MAcc degree.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Emporia State University

Emporia State University (ESU) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that can be completed entirely online. The program is designed to help students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting meet the 150-semester hour requirement for the Uniform CPA Exam. The MAcc curriculum consists of 30 credit hours, with 15 hours of required courses and 15 hours of electives, and can be completed in as little as 12 months. Required courses include Advanced Management Accounting, Advanced Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Theory, and Advanced Management Accounting. Admission into the MAcc online program requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree in business with required accounting courses, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.65, and a combined GMAT/GPA of 1,050 (the combined score is equal to 200 x undergraduate GPA + GMAT score). A GMAT waiver is available for students with three or more years of management experience, an undergraduate degree in business with a 3.5 GPA or higher, or a master’s degree.

Ottawa University

Ottawa University (OU) offers an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that is designed to prepare students for careers in professional accounting across a variety of industries. The curriculum will help students meet the 150-semester hour requirement for the Uniform CPA Exam. The 30-hour MAcc curriculum includes five core accounting courses, two accounting electives, and three business electives. Courses cover topics such as financial accounting and reporting, applied accounting, professional ethics, and forensic accounting. The program culminates with a seminar called Applied Accounting, a capstone course in which students will use accounting case studies to apply MAcc coursework and critical thinking skills. An undergraduate degree in accounting is not necessary for entry into the programs, but applicants without previous accounting coursework will have to complete the prerequisite coursework before beginning the program. Students applying for undergraduate study can apply for the combined BA Accounting/ MAcc program and complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree within five years.

Pittsburg State University

The Kelce School of Business at Pittsburg State University offers a 30-credit hour Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting that can be completed online in as little as 12 months. The MBA in Accounting is built for working professionals seeking to expand their accounting knowledge and take on financial leadership roles. Multiple start dates are offered throughout the year to accommodate the professional needs of incoming students. MBA in Accounting students must take seven business courses and three accounting concentration courses: Quality: Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Statement Auditing/Seminar in Auditing, and Tax Research/Seminar in Tax. Students who take these courses and have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with at least 124 credit hours should meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. Entry into the MBA in Accounting program requires an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 2.7 and three years of managerial experience. Students must complete their first two online classes with at least an A or a B to remain in the program.

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Kansas

  • Allen, Gibbs, and Houlik, L.C. (AGH): A Wichita-based independent financial firm, AGH offers a wide variety of financial and assurance services to clients around the world.
  • BKD CPAs & Advisors: With locations in Wichita and Kansas City, BKD is a national firm that serves corporate, non-profit, government, and individual clients with a variety of accounting, financial, and investment services.
  • K-Coe Isom: A leading consulting and accounting firm for the food and agriculture industry, K-Coe Isom has five locations throughout Kansas.

Kansas Accounting Associations

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a CPA in Kansas?

Before applying for CPA licensure in Kansas you must obtain a CPA certificate from the Board. To meet the requirements for the certificate, you must complete 150 semester hours of college education with a concentration in accounting, become a resident of Kansas, and pass the AICPA ethics exam and the Uniform CPA Exam. Once you have applied to the Board and been approved for your CPA certificate, you will need to complete one year of professional accounting experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Upon completion of the experience requirement, you can apply to the Board for a permit to practice as a fully-licensed CPA.

What is the difference between a CPA certificate and a CPA license?

Kansas is a two-tier state for accounting licensure. After completing the education and residency requirements for a license, you must first apply for a CPA certificate. This only allows you to perform accounting services with the supervision of a licensed CPA, but you may not use the CPA title nor practice unsupervised. Once you have accumulated one year of experience with the certificate, you may apply for a permit to practice. This permit is the license that allows you to practice as a CPA.

How much do CPAs make in Kansas?

According to the BLS, the average salary for accountants and auditors in Kansas is $68,780 per year.10 The Kansas City metro area has the highest average annual salaries for accounting professionals in the state at $70,880.10

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Forbes Best Business Schools 2019: https://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/2/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. Public Accounting Report 2019 Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/sites/default/files/par-grad-2019.pdf
5. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
6. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam: Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, 2018 Edition. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc., 2019.
7. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International: https://www.aacsb.edu/about
8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): https://acbsp.org/
9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE): https://iacbe.org/
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
12. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools