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Accounting Schools in Michigan

This guide to accounting schools in Michigan contains essential information about your options for pursuing a graduate accounting degree so that you can decide on the accounting program that is right for you. The universities and colleges in Michigan offer a wide array of programs in various areas of accounting that may fit your skills and preferred career track. You will also find information about the accounting profession and how to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Michigan. Continue reading to find out more about accounting schools in Michigan and your options for a career in accounting.

Quick Facts

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

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

Steps to Become a CPA in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Michigan Accountancy Board (the Board) administer the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Michigan.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  4. Apply for a license.
  5. Receive a license.

1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.

Candidates for CPA licensure in Michigan must have completed 150 semester hours of college education that includes the award of a bachelor’s degree or higher with a concentration in accounting. The academic program must include 30 semester hours of accounting, with no more than six of those semester hours in taxation. In addition, candidates must complete 39 semester hours divided between at least five of the following areas, with at least three, but not more than 12, semester hours completed in each area counting towards the total number of hours:

  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Taxation
  • Statistics
  • Business policy

A master’s of business administration (MBA) degree with an accounting concentration will qualify if it includes at least 12 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses, not including taxation or information systems courses.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

LARA requires CPA candidates to earn at least 2,000 hours of qualifying accounting experience verified by a licensed CPA. The experience must be earned over the course of one to five years and may be earned in government, industry, academia, or public practice. Candidates obtaining their experience in academic instruction will meet the work experience requirement after teaching four semesters of not less than six credit hours per semester.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Candidates who have accumulated at least a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting and 120 semester hours of education may apply to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The Uniform CPA Exam is developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Applicants must apply to take the exam on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. The Uniform CPA Exam is a requirement in all 50 states consisting of four sections which may be taken in any order. Candidates must pass all four sections with a score of 75 or higher within an 18-month rolling period to qualify for a license.

4. Apply for a license.

Applicants who have met the criteria for licensure may complete the application for a license and pay any necessary fees on the LARA website. Applicants must include a copy of their academic transcripts to verify that they have met the educational requirements and have their work experience verified by their supervising CPA. Applicants who took the Uniform CPA Exam outside of Michigan must attach an Official Certification of Exam document.

5. Receive a license.

The processing time for applications can vary from two to six weeks. Applicants who have submitted online may track their application as each requirement is verified through their account on the LARA website. Once the status of the application is updated to “complete” on the website, the applicant is considered to be licensed and may begin practice. A confirmation letter with an official license and wallet card will be sent by mail. If there are any problems with the application, applicants will be notified by email and will have one year from the date of application to correct the discrepancy before restarting the application process.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Licensed Michigan CPAs must complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) during each reporting year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. At least eight of the qualifying hours must be in auditing and accounting and at least two of the qualifying hours must be in ethics. In any two-year period at least one hour of ethics CE must cover the Michigan laws and rules that apply to public accountancy. You can find additional information on the LARA website.

Michigan CPA Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that over 35,180 accountants and auditors are currently working in the state, with the largest concentrations of these professionals in the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing metro areas.10 The Midland metropolitan area has the seventh-highest average salary in the nation at $90,880.11 The average salary for accountants and auditors in Michigan is $75,170 per year.10 Positions in accounting and auditing are projected to grow by only 0.7% through 2028 in Michigan, a rate much slower than the national average (6.4%).12

Michigan CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Ann Arbor1,580$73,530
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn18,650$80,550
Flint870$58,080
Grand Rapids-Wyoming4,050$68,560
Kalamazoo-Portage1,040$70,530
Lansing-East Lansing2,470$70,840
Midland260$90,880

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

Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019

  • University of Michigan (#10)
  • Michigan State University (#27)

*With master’s in accounting programs.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors* 2020

  • Calvin University
  • University of Michigan

*With master’s in accounting programs.

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

  • University of Michigan (#6)
  • Michigan State University (#18)

US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021

  • University of Michigan (#6)
  • Michigan State University (#32 tie)

Michigan Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Michigan 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
Adrian CollegeN.Av.MS-AccountancyN.Av.50%Yes$620
Andrews UniversityIACBEN.Av.MBA-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.59%Yes$1,164
Baker CollegeIACBE27.3%MBA-AccountingN.Av.18%Yes$695
Calvin UniversityN.Av.Master of Accounting (MAcc)N.Av.76%$834
Central Michigan UniversityAACSBN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av.61%Yes$637
Concordia University-Ann ArborN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av.39%Yes$760
Davenport UniversityIACBE50.0%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
MBA-Professional Accounting
N.Av.49%Yes$872
Eastern Michigan UniversityAACSB44.4%MS-Accounting (MAC);
MS-Taxation
N.Av.46%$842
Grand Valley State UniversityAACSB58.3%MS-Accounting (MSA)N.Av.67%$755
Madonna UniversityACBSPN.Av.MS-AccountancyN.Av.60%Yes$900
Michigan State UniversityAACSB72.2%MS-Accounting (MSA)58.7%81%$1,776
Michigan Technological University37.5%MS-Accounting24.3%70%$1,131
Oakland UniversityAACSB56.3%Master of Accounting (MAcc);
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.57%Yes$771
Siena Heights UniversityN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av.47%Yes$735
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAACSB80.0%Master of Accounting (MAcc)30.9%93%$1,633
University of Michican-DearbornAACSB70.0%MS-Accounting;
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.56%Yes$645
University of Michigan-FlintAACSB38.5%MS-Accounting (MSA);
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.40%Yes$659
Walsh CollegeACBSP46.5%MS-Accountancy (MAC);
MS-Taxation
N.Av.N.Av.Yes$850
Wayne State UniversityAACSB50.0%MS-Accounting;
MBA-Accounting Systems;
MBA-Financial Accounting
N.Av.48%$788
Western Michigan UniversityAACSB54.1%MS-Accountancy (MSA)N.Av.57%$682

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

Select Schools in Michigan with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) College of Business confers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree that is earned through a comprehensive program that prepares students to pursue expanded professional opportunities after graduation. Upon admission into the program, students will develop their own plan of study with the approval of a faculty advisor. Students learn practical and theoretical accounting through courses such as Corporate Financial Reporting; Professional Auditing; Federal Income Taxation; and Accounting, Information Technology, and Research. Available specialization tracks include Accounting Information Systems; Internal Auditing; Tax and Financial Planning; and Financial Services and CPA. With the appropriate electives, students can qualify to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in Michigan. In addition to the MSA, EMU’s College of Business also offers an MS in Taxation and a dual degree track combining a bachelor’s degree in accounting or accounting information systems along with the MS in Accounting or the MS in Taxation.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (Michigan) offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program that prepares students for careers as accountants and auditors by pairing the accounting department’s classes with courses from the prestigious Ross MBA Program. The 30-credit hour program is scheduled to be completed over eight months. The 30-credit curriculum gives students an understanding of today’s global business environment and prepares them to face changing technology and growing demand for multi-faceted business professionals. The core curriculum includes courses such as Corporate Financial Research and Reporting; Accounting Information System Design; Financial Instruments and Structured Finance; and Advanced Financial Accounting. The program kicks off with the Ernst & Young (EY) Accounting and Public Policy Symposium core course. Students will also take electives from the MBA curriculum to complete the graduate accounting program. Students have access to the Ross Career Development Office, which provides workshops, coaching, and career-oriented student organizations to develop student career skills and networks. Graduates from the MAcc program enjoy a 95% placement rate within three months of graduation.

Walsh College

Walsh College offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MAC) program designed to help students gain a mastery of accounting and financial analysis while developing analytical thinking and communication skills. Two tracks for the master’s degree are offered, one for students with an undergraduate degree in a non-accounting field that requires at least 48 semester hours and another 30-semester hour track for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting. Students with an accounting undergraduate degree can choose from concentrations in Data Analytics, Finance, or Taxation. Courses offered include Accounting Communications; Industry Accounting and Auditing; Executive Compensation; and Business Ethics for Accountants. Walsh alumni have access to lifelong career services and have held positions in Fortune 500 companies all over Michigan. Students interested in the MAC program may also be interested in the school’s Master of Science in Taxation (MST) or Master of Science in Finance (MSF) programs.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Adrian College

Adrian College has a fully-online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program for students who have already developed a solid foundation in accounting through their undergraduate studies. The curriculum prepares students for the Uniform CPA Exam and allows students to take the exam while still enrolled. The program offers two tracks, Public Accounting and Managerial Accounting. The Public Accounting track focuses on developing the skills necessary to pass the CPA Exam and pursue a career in public accounting, while the Managerial Accounting track will prepare students to take the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Exam. Both tracks consist of 30 credit hours that can be completed in as little as nine months. Required courses include Controllership and Internal Auditing; Corporate Taxation; and Evolution of Modern Accounting. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate and must retake any class with a grade of 2.0 or below. Current Adrian undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program or the equivalent from another school may enroll in the 3+2 program and begin taking graduate classes in the fall of their senior year.

Davenport University

Davenport University’s Donald W. Maine College of Business offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree through its online Global Campus. The MAcc degree focuses on preparing students for professional certifications across the accounting field. The program consists of 30 credit hours and offers specializations in Financial Management, Managerial Accounting, or Professional Accounting. The core curriculum is taken over three semesters of core classes (such as Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Auditing and Reporting, and Strategic Cost Management), followed by two semesters of specialization and exam preparation. Students with a Managerial Accounting specialization take courses to prepare them for the CMA, while students in the Professional Accounting specialization prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam and Financial Management students take classes aimed towards careers in business. In addition to the MAcc program, Davenport also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with either a Finance or Managerial Accounting concentration.

University of Michigan-Flint

The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) that can be taken entirely online or as a hybrid program through the University’s Net+ structure, which features a weekend, on-campus seminar twice per semester. The MSA program is open to applicants from all undergraduate degrees, but students without an undergraduate degree in accounting may be required to take two foundation courses. The program fully prepares students for the Uniform CPA Exam as well as other certification exams in the field. The program consists of 36 credit hours for students with previous accounting experience, including two foundational courses, seven core courses, and three electives. Core courses cover topics such as auditing and assurance, federal income taxation, and financial reporting. Elective courses must be taken from both the MSA program coursework and the MBA program coursework. Students seeking a dual MSA/MBA degree may count up to 15 credits from the MSA program towards an MBA.

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Michigan

  • Doeren Mayhew: Specializes in serving the middle market with accounting services from its headquarters in Troy, Michigan.
  • Yeo & Yeo: With more than 200 employees throughout Michigan, firm provides consulting across a variety of business fields and has been named as one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work For by Accounting Today.
  • Plante & Moran: Named a Best Accounting Firm for Women by the American Society of Women Accountants and the American Women’s Society of Certified Public Accountants, Plante and Moran has offices throughout Michigan where it consistently looks for new talent.

Michigan Accounting Associations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a licensed CPA and a registered CPA?

A licensed CPA in Michigan may use the title of Certified Public Accountant and practice as a public accountant. A registered CPA may use the title Certified Public Accountant but may not engage in public accounting work without licensure.

How much does a CPA make in Michigan?

According to the BLS, the average yearly salary for accountants and auditors in Michigan is $75,170 per year.10 The Midland metropolitan area reports the highest average salary in the state at $90,880.10

How often do you have to renew your CPA License?

Your CPA license must be renewed every two years by July 31. The renewal notification will be sent out approximately 60 days prior to the renewal date. Your license must be renewed online by the renewal date, along with the renewal fee and proof that you have completed all the required continuing education. If you fail to renew on time or to meet all the renewal requirements you will no longer be allowed to practice as a CPA.

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Northwood University
4000 Whiting Dr
Midland, MI 48640
(800) 622-9000
https://www.northwood.edu/

Student Review: “The accounting program at Northwood University was educational but could stand to be more connected. I attended the accounting program from 2003 to 2007 on the Michigan campus. Overall, I felt that I had been taught a great deal about a wide variety of accounting topics but often I would feel like I was left to make the connections between the different courses I took. Also, because of the way the school was set up in trimesters instead of semesters, it was a very grueling program. If I recall correctly, I had three accounting courses the very first trimester and that was a little daunting. But, ultimately, I would take the program again if I had the opportunity.” -Heather R., student at Northwood University
stars-4

Schoolcraft College
18600 Haggerty Rd
Livonia, MI 48152
(734) 462-4400
https://www.schoolcraft.edu/

Student Review: “Completing Schoolcraft College’s accounting program was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The professors were very helpful and personable. Every one of my professors made me feel like they really cared about my educational advancement instead of treating me like just another student. Some of the more advanced courses were a bit tough, but I found that with the resources available at Schoolcraft college I didn’t struggle to get a decent grade. One of the few things that I think could have been improved upon in the accounting program is the lack of online courses available. I am a stay-at-home father and most of my classes I tend to try to take online. Schoolcraft’s accounting program does not contain but a few of their classes online. All in all, though, I’m now very confident that I’ll be able to utilize everything I’ve learned in the program throughout my accounting career. ” -student at Schoolcraft College
stars-4

University of Michigan
500 S State St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 764-1817
https://umich.edu/

Student Review: “The Stephen M Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan was hands down the best decision that I have ever made. It has changed the course of my life and opened many doors and opportunities for me. My chosen area of study at the business school is accounting. I picked accounting because of the job flexibility and potential for high pay. The accounting professors were all very knowledgeable and helpful, as many of them had experience working in the accounting industry and could draw on specific work experiences to help explain points and concepts. In addition, they held many office hours and really invested time and effort in helping students get the maximum benefit out of the course. I highly recommend anyone who is looking into a career in accounting to take a look at the Stephen M Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.” -student at the University of Michigan
stars-5

Student Review: “My experience in the University of Michigan accounting program was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I look forward to seeing what I can do with the degree in the future. My professors were all either internationally renowned scholars in their fields or they were extremely qualified to teach accounting. My favorite part of the experience was the access to resources that we had at the University of Michigan. If I ever had questions about a project or topic, I could use the immense library or the accounting center to find answers to my questions. The only thing that could have made the experience better was smaller class sizes, but other than that, I couldn’t have asked for a better program. ” -student at the University of Michigan
stars-4

Student Review: “I absolutely loved my experience at the University of Michigan. The social experience was the best part of my college experience. Some of the material was very difficult but I never felt that it was impossible because I always had very helpful professors and staff members there to help me with any questions I may have. Although it was kind of unfortunate that I had to deal with too many students in every one of my classes, the professors were so good that my experience at the University of Michigan was worth it and I don’t think I could have asked for a better experience.” -student at the University of Michigan
stars-4

University of Michigan-Dearborn:
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
(313) 593-5000
https://umdearborn.edu/

Student Review: “The University of Michigan-Dearborn has an excellent accounting program. Most of the professors are full-time faculty and the ones that are not are highly qualified to teach their specific accounting courses. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in career improvement activities, such as an active Beta Alpha Psi chapter, great speakers, and a very helpful internship office. The Big Four actively recruit and offer employment and good internships to U of M-Dearborn students, providing a good chance at employment upon graduation. The classes are not easy and prepare well for the CPA exam. Professors are well-connected in the business community and offer plenty of help in preparing students for careers in accounting. The university does not offer many online courses for accounting, but in my experience accounting is best learned in a classroom.” -David F., student at University of Michigan-Dearborn
stars-5

Walsh College
3838 Livernois Rd
Troy, MI 48083
(248) 689-8282
https://www.walshcollege.edu/

Student Review: “Walsh was a wonderful school to attend for accounting. You are not required to take classes that will not apply to your major. That means no foreign language classes or gym class for those working on some type of business degree. The class sizes were small, around 35 students, so I received individual professor attention as needed. And the majority of the teachers were previously in the business world, so they had some actual experience to share with their students. The coursework was relevant to my field of study. I feel that Walsh prepared me for any job in the accounting field and I was ready as soon as I received my degree. Walsh also offers some career placement assistance. They have an internal job posting site for students/alumni and wonderful counselors that will help you perfect your resume and prepare you for the job interview.” -student at Walsh College
stars-5

Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 387-1000
https://wmich.edu/

Student Review: “My experience in the accounting program at Western Michigan University has been truly eye-opening. Although I find the curriculum to be slightly challenging and a bit of a heavy load, there are always opportunities to meet with my professors or graduate assistants when I needed a longer explanation or a bit of extra help. I am currently double majoring and because of that reason, I find it difficult to manage my workload sometimes, however, I am still excelling in both areas and am loving the experience. The campus is absolutely beautiful in all seasons and has a friendly and welcoming vibe to it which I thoroughly enjoy. I have always felt safe here and have met some really great friends within my program and my dormitory experiences.” -Nicole L., student at Western Michigan University
stars-4

Student Review: “The accounting major program is one of the best programs at Western Michigan University. The course requirements aim to place accounting within the wider scope of the business environment. The curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking and communication skills while providing an excellent foundation for careers in government, law, and education. I have learned to both utilize and apply these skills at previous internships and now it’s helping me excel in my career. I personally loved the accounting teaching staff and how they helped me connect with future employers and provided content that was of value to both professional career and personal life finances. The size of each class was very suitable for students to have a direct connection with staff and have an actual student-teacher experience. Overall I recommend this program to anyone looking to get into the field of accounting or looking to learn more about accounting and financial practices.” -student at Western Michigan University
stars-5

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 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, Michigan: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mi.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.com/projections/longterm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools