Accounting Schools in Mississippi
This guide to accounting schools in Mississippi contains key information about accounting schools and master’s-level accounting programs to help you make an informed decision on where to pursue an accounting degree. There are many universities and colleges in Mississippi offering programs at the master’s level in a traditional, on-campus format. You may also be interested in learning about online degree options, which some individuals find are an appropriate and flexible alternative to on-campus programs. While few Mississippi schools offer online master’s in accounting programs, you can check for online options in other states that may fulfill Mississippi’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure requirements. Continue reading this page to find more information about how to become a CPA in Mississippi as well as accounting schools with master’s programs, including profiles of select programs.
- There are 22 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Mississippi.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- No schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 1 school was 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
- 2 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
- 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 Mississippi
- Mississippi CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Mississippi
- Mississippi Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Mississippi with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a CPA in Mississippi
The Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy (the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a Mississippi CPA license.
- Complete 150 hours of college-level education in accounting.
- Establish Mississippi residency.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
- Complete a background check
- Receive a CPA license from the Board.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
To qualify for licensure, prospective Mississippi CPA licensees must complete 150 semester hours of college education that includes a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited school with an accounting concentration deemed appropriate by the Board A minimum of 48 semester hours of upper-division or graduate-level accounting and business related courses must be included in the 150 hours, with a minimum of 24 of the 48 hours focused on accounting. As a component of these hours, candidates must complete at least three semester hours in each of the following:
- Financial accounting
- Government/not-for-profit accounting
- Management/cost accounting
2. Establish Mississippi residency.
Mississippi statute includes a residency requirement for prospective CPAs in the state. Factors considered in determining residency include voter registration, vehicle registration, state income tax filings, real estate taxes, and/or graduation from a college or university in Mississippi. Applicants who do not meet the residency requirements may be eligible for a license by reciprocity after earning a CPA license in another state with equivalent licensure requirements.
3. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
CPA candidates must earn a minimum of one year of experience in accounting through full-time employment that is supervised and directed by a licensed CPA. The tasks the applicant completes must include meaningful practical experience in preparation for the practice of public accounting. Work may include accounting and auditing; management advisory; financial advisory; and preparation of tax returns or tax advice. Experience must be verified by the Board.
4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam is required in all 50 states to become a licensed CPA. Mississippi candidates should apply to the Board for permission to test using the online application form. CPA candidates in Mississippi are eligible to take the exam after 120 of the 150 qualifying hours of college-level education, including the required accounting concentration or its equivalent, have been completed. Once a candidate is determined eligible to test, he or she will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and will schedule and take the exam at one of Mississippi’s Prometric testing centers. All four exam sections must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within a rolling 18-month period.
5. Apply for a license.
The final step to becoming a Mississippi CPA is to apply for a license. Applicants must apply within three years of passing the exam. Mississippi is a one-tier state, meaning that candidates only need to have a CPA license to practice public accounting. The online application is available on the Board’s website.
6. Complete a background check.
Mississippi applicants for CPA licensing or reciprocal licensing must pass a background check. By signing the online CPA license application, applicants agree to a background check, which will be sent to them to complete upon the Board’s receipt of the license application and fee.
7. Receive a CPA license.
Once all the above steps have been verified by the Board, applicants will be approved for licensure and be able to practice as CPAs.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
To maintain a license in good standing, CPAs must register online and pay an annual registration fee before January of each calendar year. Mississippi CPAs must also complete at least 40 continuing professional education (CPE) hours in each one-year period ending in June. Four hours in Board-approved ethics courses must be taken every three years, one of which must be in Mississippi Public Accountancy Law and Regulations. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.
Mississippi CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Accountants in Mississippi earn an average salary of $65,420 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).10 In total, 5,780 accountants and auditors work in the state, and most accountants in Mississippi are employed in Jackson and in the greater Memphis metropolitan area.10 Demand for financial services professionals in Mississippi is expected to grow by 2.5% through 2028, which is significantly slower than the national average growth expected for this occupation, of 6.4%.11
Mississippi CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||1,280||$70,800|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Mississippi
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors* 2020
- University of Mississippi
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019
- University of Mississippi (#15)
Mississippi Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Mississippi 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 Name||Accreditation||CPA Exam Pass Rate6||Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate12||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Tuition per Credit|
|Delta State University||ACBSP||N.Av.||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAC)||N.Av.||39%||—||$442|
|Jackson State University||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA)||N.Av.||38%||—||$547|
|Millsaps College||AACSB||62.5%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||72%||—||$982|
|Mississippi College||AACSB||33.3%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc);|
MBA in Accounting
|Mississippi State University||AACSB||44.4%||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA);|
Master of Taxation (MTX)
|University of Mississippi||AACSB||74.1%||Master of Accountancy (MACCY);|
Master of Taxation (MTAX);
Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics (MADA);
Master of Taxation and Data Analytics (MTDA);
Juris Doctor (JD)/MTAX*;
Juris Doctor (JD)/MACCY*
|University of Southern Mississippi||AACSB||50.0%||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA)||86.7%||49%||—||$488|
- * indicates combined degree.
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Master’s in Accounting Programs in Mississippi
At Jackson State University’s Department of Accounting, Finance, and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, students can earn a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) that gives them a broad education in government, industry, and public accounting offered in the evening. Jackson State’s MPA emphasizes advanced course offerings in accounting and provides 30 hours of curriculum that help to satisfy licensing requirements in Mississippi and many other states. All of the faculty are CPAs and most hold terminal degrees. At Jackson, classes are limited to 30 students per course, and the program boasts a very active Accounting Society Organization that provides professional opportunities for their student members. Also offered are internships, co-ops, and permanent placements for all MPA students. In addition to the MPA, Jackson State also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business with a concentration in Accounting that prepares graduates for academic careers.
Mississippi State University’s Adkerson School of Accountancy at the College of Business offers an AACSB-accredited Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) degree that can qualify and prepare students for the Uniform CPA Exam and a career in accountancy. To complete the 30-credit hour degree, students take 15 credit hours from the core curriculum, six hours of accounting electives, and nine hours of non-accounting business courses. Available courses include Municipal and Governmental Accounting; Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders; Advanced Individual Tax & Wealth Management; and Fraud Examination and Data Analysis. Students may elect to pursue a concentration in Systems with nine focused elective hours. In addition to scholarships available through Mississippi State’s College of Business, the Adkerson School of Accountancy offers various scholarships to assist with the cost of tuition for accounting majors. Aspiring accounting professionals may also wish to consider the school’s Master of Taxation (MTX) program. Applicants to both programs need a bachelor’s degree, an acceptable GMAT score, a minimum GPA of 2.75, and letters of recommendation.
The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers four master’s degree programs including a Master of Accountancy (MAcc), a Master of Taxation (MTax), a Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics (MADA), and a Master of Taxation and Data Analytics (MTDA) for aspiring CPAs through its Patterson School of Accountancy, a dedicated college within the university system. All programs are comprised of 30 semester hours and are eligible to help candidates fulfill the requirements for becoming a CPA in Mississippi. All four programs include a CPA Exam Review course during the last semester, which allows students to study for the exam in a structured environment; students sit for the exam during the same semester. A GPA of 3.0 and a GMAT score of 450 or higher are required for admission; undergraduate degrees in accounting are preferred but students of all backgrounds may apply and take prerequisites before entering the program. Ole Miss also offers two joint programs in conjunction with the School of Law and the Graduate School, a Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Accountancy (MACCY) degree and a Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Taxation (MTAX) degree, for students who aspire to work in accounting or taxation and law or public service.
Delta State University’s College of Business offers an in-depthMaster of Professional Accountancy (MPAC) program that prepares students to work as CPAs in government, business, and private industry. Students take 21 hours of core accounting classes, as well as nine elective hours in either accounting, finance, or management. Required core classes include Advanced Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Auditing, and Commercial Law. After completing the 30-hour course load, graduating students are eligible to sit for the CPA licensing exam. Scholarships, financial assistance, and a limited number of graduate assistantships are all available to students completing coursework. Prospective students must be accepted to both the university and the graduate program. In addition, entrance to Delta’s MPAC program requires that the prospective student has earned a fully accredited baccalaureate degree in accounting. Other requirements include a 3.0 GPA in all upper-level classes; no grades lower than a “C” in any of the following courses: Accounting Systems, Finance, Management Principles, Strategic Management, and Marketing Principles, as well as Intermediate Accounting, Tax Accounting, Cost Accounting, Auditing, Advanced Accounting, and Fund Accounting; a recoded GMAT score of at least 380; and a score of at least 3.5 on the GMAT Analytical Writing component or 3.0 on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) Writing Essay Test.
Millsaps College’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree program is designed for students who are looking for a deep understanding of the field of accounting. MAcc students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours in advanced course work to earn their graduate degree. For students who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than accounting, 15 hours of prerequisites are required, including Intermediate Financial Accounting I&II; Auditing; Federal Taxation of Income; and Advanced Financial Accounting. Students with an AACSB-accredited undergraduate degree in accounting can usually waive these courses. Millsap’s graduate Accountancy department also has a thriving international component available for participating students. Students may be interested in either a European Study program (three-six week summer course) in Paris, Munich, Florence, or Londen, or the opportunity to study at Millsap’s mini-college in the Yucatán during the Spring. Millsaps also encourages students to develop cooperative internships via the Else School of Management and their field advisor. Internships require that students work for at least 140 hours during a semester for three hours of credit.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Mississippi College is the only college in Mississippi to offer online accounting programs. Its Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Accounting Concentration can be completed in as little as two years and taken completely online or in a hybrid or traditional format, depending on the student’s needs. Mississippi College also offers a completely online Master of Accounting (MAcc) as well as a 30-credit hour on-campus Accounting Certificate with courses offered in the evening, which is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in subjects other than accounting who may be looking to change careers. All three degrees are specifically structured to prepare students for the CPA designation, with courses in common such as Financial Management, Federal Tax Accounting, Fraud Accounting, and Advanced Accounting. To be considered for admission to the MBA in Accounting or MAcc program, applicants need a regionally-accredited bachelor’s degree as well as either a 3.0 GPA or a combination of a 2.25 GPA plus a GMAT score or three to five years of professional experience. The faculty of the Mississippi College School of Business are experienced professionals, many of whom hold terminal degrees in their field.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Mississippi
- May & Company: A full-service accounting firm based in Vicksburg with offices in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.
- GranthamPoole PLLC: One of the largest accounting firms in Mississippi and the southeast region, with offices in Jackson and Oxford.
Mississippi Accounting Associations
- Mississippi Association of Public Accountants (MAPA): Focuses on serving professional accountants in Mississippi by advocating in state government, offering continuing education, and providing access to accounting resources.
- Mississippi Society of CPAs (MSCPA): At over 2,700 members, MSCPA is the largest professional organization in the state serving the needs of CPAs and aspiring CPAs.
- Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy(MSBPA): Sets the licensing standards for future and current CPAs of Mississippi.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a CPA in Mississippi?
To become a CPA in Mississippi, you’ll need at least 150 semester hours of education with coursework requirements in accounting and business. You’ll also need to pass a background check, complete a year of supervised work experience, and pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Finally, you’ll need to apply for your license within three years of passing the CPA exam.
How much does a CPA make in Mississippi?
Accountants in Mississippi earn an average salary of $65,420 according to the BLS.10 This is significantly lower than the national average salary for accountants, which is $79,520.13 The accountants and auditors in the state with the highest average salaries are in the Memphis, TN-MS-AR metropolitan area.10
Is becoming a CPA in Mississippi valuable?
Becoming a CPA tends to be worth the investment for those who are planning careers in accounting and can also be valuable for those who have aspirations in finance. The CPA designation sets you apart from others in the field and usually inspires trust from potential clients because of the rigorous CPA licensing process.
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, Mississippi: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ms.htm
11. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
12. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools