Accounting Schools in Louisiana
There are various master’s in accounting programs offered by not-for-profit colleges and universities in Louisiana. On this page, you will find a table including all graduate-level accounting programs in the state along with detailed profiles of select programs. Some students find that an online accounting degree program is a convenient and flexible alternative so we have included profiles of select online any hybrid graduate programs in accounting as well. You will also find information about the process of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Louisiana as well as salary and employment information.
- There are 30 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Louisiana.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 1 school was ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- No schools were ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
- No schools were 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 2021.5
- 6 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 7 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- No schools are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
- No schools are 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 Louisiana
- Louisiana CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Louisiana
- Louisiana Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Louisiana with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a CPA in Louisiana
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Louisiana must be licensed by the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana (the Board). There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in the state.
- Complete 150-semester hours of college-level education in accounting and business.
- Establish residency in Louisiana.
- Have good moral character.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting and business.
To qualify for CPA licensure in Louisiana, candidates must complete 150 semester hours of education that includes a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must also complete specific accounting and business courses at the undergraduate level, graduate level, or a combination of both.
The required courses for CPA licensure in Louisiana are specific. They include 24 hours of undergraduate-level accounting courses or 21 hours of graduate-level accounting courses or a combination of the two. The required coursework must be comprised of:
Undergraduate Semester Hours (24)
- Intermediate accounting (six hours)
- Cost accounting (three hours)
- Income tax (three hours)
- Auditing related to external reporting (three hours)
- Accounting electives (nine hours)
Graduate Semester Hours (21)
- Intermediate accounting (three hours)
- Cost accounting (three hours)
- Income tax (three hours)
- Auditing (three hours)
- Accounting electives (nine hours)
In addition, candidates must complete:
- Advanced financial accounting, not-for-profit or government accounting/auditing, or accounting theory (three hours)
- Accounting above the introductory/principles level (six hours)
- Business courses not including accounting courses, to include at least three hours in commercial law for CPAs (24 hours)
2. Establish residency in Louisiana.
Louisiana has a residency requirement for candidates taking the Uniform CPA Exam for Louisiana licensure that requires residence in the state for at least 120 days out of the one year preceding the initial examination date. Those who establish temporary residency outside of the state may still qualify provided they maintain permanent legal residence in Louisiana.
3. Have good moral character.
Candidates for CPA licensure in Louisiana must prove that they have good moral character. As proof of this, the Board requires candidates to obtain three letters of reference attesting to a candidate’s character. The letters must be from CPAs or business professionals. The references may not come from any of the following:
- More than one member of a household
- Relatives of the applicant
- University or college instructors, unless that person has had significant contact with the candidate outside of the classroom
- Individuals with a financial or business investment with the candidate
4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
A candidate who has completed a bachelor’s degree, all of the specified accounting and business coursework, and established residency is qualified to sit for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam. Like most other states, the Board uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to handle applications for and administer the Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates should apply to the exam directly through the NASBA website. Pre-evaluation of transcripts to establish education qualifications prior to applying to the exam is also offered through NASBA. All four sections of the exam must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within an 18-month rolling period.
5. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
All candidates must complete at least one year (2,000 hours over at least 12 months) of accounting experience before applying for a CPA license. The experience must utilize skills in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting, and be verified by a licensed CPA. The experience may be gained in public practice, government, private industry, non-profit, or government accounting.
6. Apply for a license.
Once all requirements have been met, candidates will complete the Application for a Certificate as a Certified Public Accountant and submit it to the Board.
7. Receive a license.
Once the Board has approved the application, they will send the applicant notification by mail and a copy of the state oath that must be signed by the applicant and returned to the Board. Once the signed oath is received, the CPA may begin practice. The CPA will receive a hand-lettered wall certificate through the mail.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
CPA licenses in Louisiana are renewed annually. For each renewal period, CPAs must complete 20 hours of continuing education, including a Board-sponsored ethics course. In addition to the annual requirement of 20 hours, for each two-year rolling period, CPAs must complete 80 hours of CPE to include no more than 20 hours of personal development courses within a given year.
Louisiana CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Louisiana accountants make an average annual salary of $66,230 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).10 An estimated 11,980 accountants and auditors work in the state.10 The roughly 3,430 accountants in Lake Charles have the highest average annual salaries in the state, at $82,110.10 The New Orleans-Metairie metropolitan area has the most accounting professionals in the state at 3,860.10 Available positions for accountants and auditors in Louisiana are projected to grow by 3.1% through 2028, about half as fast as the national average projected growth.11
Louisiana CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Louisiana
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Tulane University (#59)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Louisiana Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
|School Name||Accreditation||CPA Exam Pass Rate6||Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate12||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Tuition per Credit|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||AACSB||61.8%||Master of Accounancy (MAcc)||68.6%||68%||—||$486|
|Louisiana State University-Shreveport||AACSB||81.8%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||31%||Yes||$416|
|Louisiana Tech University||AACSB||70.3%||Master of Accountancy||91.7%||60%||—||$243|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||AACSB||41.7%||Executive MBA-Accounting and Finance||N.Av.||39%||—||$627|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||AACSB||69.4%||Master of Accounting (MACCT)||66.7%||86%||—||$1,941|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||AACSB||57.1%||MS-Accounting||N.Av.||51%||Yes||$480|
|University of New Orleans||AACSB||57.9%||MS-Accounting;|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Master’s in Accounting Programs in Louisiana
Louisiana State University’s (LSU) E.J. Ourso College of Business offers a competitive 30-credit hour Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that can help students meet the 150-credit hour requirement to become a CPA in Louisiana and most other states. In addition to the core focus on accounting, students may add specializations in Internal Audit; Financial Reporting and Assurance Services; or Taxation Services. The program can be completed in one year or less of full-time study. Core coursework varies between specializations but all MAcc students must take classes such as Advanced Accounting, Advanced Theory of Accounts, Commercial Transactions for Accountants, and Advanced Statistical Analysis for Research. Admission into the program requires an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.2, a minimum of 3.0 in accounting courses, and a GPA/GMAT composite of at least 1,150. The composite score is found by multiplying an undergraduate GPA by 200 and adding the GMAT score. Qualified students seeking help with tuition may be eligible for graduate assistantships and internships with LSU.
Louisiana Tech University is home to a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program emphasizing accounting and business that meets the educational requirements for CPA licensure in Louisiana. The program’s 30 credit hours include 15 credit hours of required coursework and 15 hours of elective coursework. The required coursework covers topics such as accounting theory, managerial accounting, auditing, and business law. The program is available for students with or without an undergraduate degree in accounting, though foundational classes may be required for students without the necessary prerequisite coursework. Admission to the MAcc program is available to those with an undergraduate degree and a composite GPA/GMAT score of 1,100, a minimum GPA of 2.75, and a minimum GMAT score of 450. Louisiana Tech undergraduate accounting students may seek concurrent enrollment and begin MAcc coursework prior to finishing their bachelor’s degree. Graduates of the MACC program have entered careers with government agencies, the “big four” accounting firms, and private practice.
The Freeman School of Business at Tulane University awards a Master of Accounting (MACCT) degree. The rigorous 30-credit hour program prepares students for the challenges of a career in accounting through its 18-credit hour course core and 12 credit hours of electives. With full-time study, students may earn their master’s degree in as little as 10 months. The curriculum includes classes like Auditing, Advanced Managerial Accounting, and Business Law. MACCT students who wish to focus their studies may choose between one of the program’s seven specializations, including Energy, Risk Management, Structured Finance, and Taxation. Students specializing in Taxation may declare a major in Taxation by adding just one more course. Entry into the program requires an undergraduate degree and a GMAT score. Students without prior coursework in accounting or business will need to complete prerequisite coursework. Graduates of the MACCT program have begun careers with Walt Disney, Deloitte, IBM, and Pfizer.
The University of New Orleans (UNO) is home to a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting that can be completed in as little as nine months. Students in the 30-credit hour program will become proficient in accounting theory and managerial accounting while developing business planning acumen as well as accounting research and writing skills. The program consists of nine credits of required courses and 21 credits of electives and offers optional concentrations in Accounting Information Systems, Auditing, and Finance. The required courses are Studies in Accounting Theory, Studies in Managerial Accounting, and Strategic Business Planning. Enrollment in the program requires an undergraduate degree with a GPA at or above 2.8 and a GMAT score. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting must complete a series of foundational courses with a “C” or better; most of these foundational courses should be taken prior to admission. Students seeking a career in taxation may be interested in pursuing UNO’s MS in Tax Accounting.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Louisiana State University (LSU) Shreveport offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with both a specialization and a concentration offered in Accounting that can be completed entirely online. The 30-credit hour program can be completed in under a year and will help satisfy the 150-hour rule for CPA licensure. The MBA program’s core coursework requires 21 credit hours of business courses. The Accounting specialization requires two electives in accounting and one general elective beyond the core classes, while the Accounting concentration requires three electives from the accounting coursework. Accounting courses include International Accounting, Intermediate Financial Accounting, and Fraud Detection Through Data Analytics. Admission into the MBA in Accounting program requires either a graduate degree; a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA overall and in the last 60 credits of study; a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA including at least a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of study as well as a satisfactory GMAT score; or a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA including at least a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of study as well as three years of professional experience. LSU Shreveport MBA students may also be interested in some of the other concentrations available such as Finance, Data Analytics, or Nonprofit Administration.
The B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana (UL) offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting that can be completed 100% online. The program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed full-time in as little as a year. The program focuses on the theoretical and technical knowledge of accounting and can help students with the proper undergraduate coursework meet CPA licensure requirements. MS in Accounting students will take six required courses and four electives. The required classes include Managerial Cost Accounting, Theory of Accounting, and Corporate Taxation. Direct admission into the program requires an undergraduate degree in accounting, a 2.75 or higher undergraduate GPA, and a GMAT score (though the GMAT may be waived for students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher). Students without a bachelor’s degree in accounting may be accepted into the program after completing prerequisite coursework. Students in the online MS in Accounting program will have access to UL’s Office of Career Services, which offers resume workshops, recruitment, and networking opportunities, and career development workshops.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Louisiana
- Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N): One of the largest accounting and business advisory firms based in Louisiana, serving the needs of individuals and clients throughout the US.
- Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors (CRI): With an office in New Orleans, CRI provides accounting, financial, and advisory services to individuals and businesses of all sizes.
- Horne: Provides industry specialized teams of CPAs to clients across private, public, and government firms.
Louisiana Accounting Associations
- Louisiana Society of Independent Accountants (LSIA): A member of the National Society of Accountants (NSA), LSIA offers members CPE and networking opportunities.
- Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA): The LCPA supports CPAs in Louisiana with a wide range of CPE options, legislative advocacy, and networking opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a CPA make in Louisiana?
According to the BLS the average salary for the 11,980 accountants and auditors in Louisiana is $66,230.10 The highest average salaries for accountants in the state are found in the Lake Charles metropolitan area, with an average yearly salary of $82,110.10
How do I take the CPA exam in Louisiana?
To take AICPA’s Uniform CPA Exam in Louisiana, you must first complete at least a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting and have taken 24 hours of specified undergraduate accounting coursework or 21 hours of specified graduate-level accounting coursework plus 24 hours of the specified business coursework. You do not need to have completed the 150-semester hour requirement for licensure in order to take the exam. You must also have maintained continuous Louisiana residency for at least 120 days in the year preceding the exam application date. You must also provide three letters of reference attesting to your good moral character. Once these requirements have been met, you can apply to NASBA to sit for the test.
How much CPE does a CPA need in Louisiana?
CPAs in Louisiana must complete 20 hours of CPE per year. The 20 hours must include a Board-approved ethics course and no more than 20 hours of personal development courses. For any two-year period, a CPA must complete 80 hours of CPE.
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/documents/par-grad-2019.pdf
5. US News & World Report Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021: 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/
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, Louisiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_la.htm
11. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
12. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools