Accounting Schools in Kansas

This guide to accounting schools in Kansas will supply you with detailed information on 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. The many accounting schools in Kansas offer educational opportunities from the associate’s to the postgraduate level and can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your accounting career. You may also find that online programs are a good match for your college expectations and future career.

Quick Facts

  • There are 36 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Kansas.
  • 7 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Benedictine College, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, 63%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Kansas Wesleyan University, 55%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Kansas Wesleyan University, $25,6311
  • Lowest net price per year*: Central Christian College of Kansas, $8,9861
  • 1 school ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Kansas State University (82)
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.
  • No schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100).

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

Read more below about accounting schools in Kansas and how an accounting degree can help you succeed in your professional career.

Schools with Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. Washburn University (75.0%)
  2. University of Kansas (69.7%)
  3. Kansas State University (66.7%)
  4. Emporia State University (53.9%)
  5. Wichita State University (47.1%)
  6. Pittsburg State University (42.9%)

The first-time CPA exam pass rate ranged from 42.9% to 75.0% for schools in Kansas in 2015 (for candidates with an advanced degree). There were six schools in the state that sent candidates. As a reference point, the national pass rate for all CPA exam candidates was 48.4% in 2015. The first-time CPA exam pass rate is a helpful metric to consider when selecting an accounting program, although the percentage may be skewed for schools with a small number of students. For comprehensive CPA exam statistics, check out the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Kansas

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Benedictine College (Atchison, KS)

Benedictine College offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that can help prepare aspiring accountants for roles in leadership and management while preparing and qualifying for the Uniform CPA Exam. The program can be pursued on a full- or part-time basis with up to six years from the date of admission allowed to complete all program requirements. Admission is on a rolling basis and open to students of all undergraduate academic backgrounds. Core courses include Accounting Information for Management, Business Practice and Corporate Social Responsibility, Financial Management, and Business Law and Ethical Decision Making. Benedictine College also offers an Executive MBA program with a strong emphasis on executive leadership and ethics. Before applying, students should be aware that although Executive MBA students may transfer to the traditional MBA program, once admitted to the traditional MBA program transfer to the Executive program is not permitted. Benedictine College is ranked #13 (tie) by US News in Regional Colleges (Midwest).

Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)

Kansas State University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that can be completed in as few as three semesters. The 30-credit hour program emphasizes the skills and knowledge needed to solve real-world problems while developing a foundation for continued learning. Required courses such as Advanced Financial Reporting and Seminars in Professional Accounting prepare students for career success, while 12 credit hours of accounting electives offer opportunities for degree specialization. Students may also be interested in the school’s Graduate Certificate in Business Administration or Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership, each of which requires five courses or 15 credit hours to earn. The College of Business Administration at Kansas State University, through which the Master of Accountancy is conferred, is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). US News ranks Kansas State #147 (tie) in National Universities for its comprehensive academic schedule and active student involvement.

University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)

The University of Kansas School of Business has a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program that provides academic challenge and real-world experience to prospective CPAs. The goal of the program is to graduate students who are ready to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam and succeed in the accounting profession. Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting can typically complete the MAcc 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. Outside of the classroom, students are encouraged to participate in programs for community service and professional development, as well as social activities and the MAcc Student Ambassador program. The University of Kansas MAcc program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The University of Kansas is ranked #129 (tie) in National Universities by US News due to its high quality academics, top-ranked programs, and student involvement.

Washburn University (Topeka, KS)

Washburn University’s School of Business offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree with two main paths that prepare students to take the CPA exam. The 3+2 program allows students to earn their undergraduate and graduate degree simultaneously in five years of study. The Flexible Program allows working professionals to pursue a MAcc degree in as little as 12 months or up to 60 months. On either track, the MAcc program helps students to meet the 150-hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The academically intense curriculum includes core courses in Advanced Financial Accounting; Accounting Theory and Ethics; and Advanced Accounting Information Systems. Washburn University’s business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and provide opportunities for students to complete internships as part of their graduate education. US News ranks Washburn University #106 (tie) in Regional Universities (Midwest) based in part on its 14:1 student-faculty ratio and small average class sizes.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Kansas

Emerick & Company is one of the largest CPA firms in the Kansas City metro corridor, providing auditing and accounting services to clients from diverse industries. Howe & Company is regularly ranked by the Kansas City Business Journal as a top CPA firm, due in part to its focus on accountability and credibility. With flexible schedules and a friendly work environment, Howe & Company is a great place to start a career. K-Coe Isom is one of the largest CPA firms in the US and has five locations throughout Kansas. The firm encourages outstanding students and recent grads to begin their careers at K-Coe.

How to Become a CPA in Kansas

The Kansas Board of Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Kansas.

  1. Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework 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.

1. Complete a 150-semester hour program of acceptable coursework in accounting.

CPA applicants in Kansas must complete a 150-semester hour program of education to qualify for a license. Applicants must have completed the education requirement prior to sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam. The 150 semester hours 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:

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

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

  • Financial accounting
  • Managerial accounting beyond the introductory level
  • Auditing
  • Income tax
  • Accounting information systems beyond and introductory level

2. Establish residency in Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Accountancy requires that those applying to the 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. Those who do not meet the residency requirement may potentially qualify for licensure by reciprocity after earning a CPA license in a state with equivalent standards.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Kansas Board of Accountancy has chosen to use the AICPA ethics course and exam to fulfill the ethics requirement for prospective CPAs in the state. The AICPA ethics course and the take-home exam can be ordered directly through AICPA.

4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The Kansas Board of Accountancy uses NASBA to process applications for and administer the Uniform CPA Exam. Once candidates have met the education requirements, the application for the exam can be completed through the NASBA website.

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 should complete the Application for Certificate by Passing Examination in Kansas to request a CPA certificate.

6. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

One year of accounting experience is required to qualify for a CPA license in Kansas. The experience may be gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice. The experience should utilize accounting skills in attest or non-attest accounting and must be verified by a CPA who holds an active license to practice using the Certificate of Experience Form.

7. Apply for a license.

The final step to becoming a CPA in Kansas is to complete an Initial Permit Application for a permit to practice as a CPA in the state.

Once a license is issued, CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing education every two years, which must include two hours of ethics specific to CPA practice. You can find additional information at the Kansas Board of Accountancy website.

Kansas Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth


Accountants and Auditors in Kansas from 2016-20262

Accountants in Kansas make an average salary of $65,090 per year, and around 12,390 accountants and auditors work in the state.3 Salaries for accountants in Kansas tend to be higher in metropolitan areas such as Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita.3 According to Projections Central, job growth for accountants and auditors in the state will reach 11.9% through 2026, indicating that demand for accountants in the state is strong.2

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