Accounting Schools in Missouri
There are many schools in Missouri offering a variety of accounting-focused programs. Below you will find a guide to the master’s in accounting programs in Missouri, including details about all of the graduate-level accounting programs from not-for-profit schools as well as profiles of select traditional and online programs. You will also find information on the process for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure, Missouri accountant and auditor employment and salary information, and some links to accounting associations in the state. Keep reading to find out more about accounting education opportunities in Missouri, including traditional, on-campus programs as well as hybrid and online programs.
- There are 45 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Missouri.1
- 22 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 2 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 2021.5
- 7 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 10 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- 5 schools are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
- 2 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 Missouri
- Missouri CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Missouri
- Missouri Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Missouri with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Missouri
The Missouri Board of Public Accountancy (the Board) regulates the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Missouri.
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Complete the professional ethic course and exam.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
Missouri CPA candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college-level education that includes a bachelor’s degree or higher and an accounting concentration, which the Board considers to include at least 60 semester hours of accounting and related courses. Students must take 33 semester hours of specific accounting courses, of which at least one must be in auditing and 18 must be upper-division. The remaining 27 additional semester hours must be in accounting or other areas of business. Prospective CPAs may sit for the Uniform CPA Exam if they expect to satisfy the education requirements within 60 days following the exam by providing a certificate of enrollment with their exam application. Neither credit for the exam, nor licensure, shall be issued until the completion of the 150 hours.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Candidates for CPA licensure in Missouri must complete 2,000 hours of accounting experience through employment in industry, government, academia, or public practice. The experience must be earned over no less than one year and no more than three years and verified by a currently licensed CPA. CPAs responsible for supervising services must complete 2,000 hours of experience in academia, government, industry, or public practice over one to three years. CPAs supervising attest services must have 2,000 hours of experience in public accounting or auditing.
3. Complete the professional ethics course and exam.
An exam in professional ethics is a requirement for CPA licensure in Missouri. The Missouri Board of Accountancy has approved the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics for CPAs course and exam for this requirement, which must be passed with a score of at least 90%. The exam may be ordered directly through the AICPA website.
4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Missouri uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to administer the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam application and testing process. Candidates who are ready to take the exam should apply through the NASBA website. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period with a score of 75 or higher to qualify for a license. If five or more years have passed since an applicant has passed the Uniform CPA exam, the applicant must complete at least 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), at least two hours of which must be in ethics. Exam grades will be forwarded to the Board by NASBA.
5. Apply for a license.
Candidates who meet all of the requirements may apply to the Board for licensure. Applicants for licensure must complete the Application for Initial License to Practice Public Accounting form available on the Board’s website. They will also submit their experience information as well as the Endorser’s Attestation from the licensed CPA who has verified the experience, included in the application packet.
6. Receive a license.
Once an application has been submitted it will be processed and then sent to the Executive Director of the Board for final approval. The approval process usually takes one to two weeks. Once approved the applicant will receive an email notification with their license number, and a paper license and letter of approval will be mailed to the applicant. Upon receiving a license number, the applicant may begin practice as a CPA. Decorative wall certificates may be purchased from the Board’s website.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
CPA licenses in Missouri renew biennially every other October 1. Notification of renewal will be mailed 60 days prior to the expiration date. Missouri CPAs must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each calendar year. A minimum of two hours of CPE must be in the area of ethics. Licensees in good standing who fail to meet the CPE requirements by January 1 will be granted a grace period until March 1. However, the use of the grace period will only be granted upon a written request from the CPA. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.
Missouri CPA Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there are about 26,530 accountants and auditors working in Missouri, earning an average salary of $69,160 per year.10 The St. Louis area has more accountants and auditors than anywhere else in the state, with 13,600 accounting professionals earning an average annual salary of $76,390.10 The Jefferson City metro area has the fourth-highest concentration of accountants in the country, with over 13 out of every 1,000 jobs in the accounting field located there.11 Projections Central expects the employment of accountants and auditors in Missouri to grow by 4.9% by 2028, a rate slightly slower than the national average of 6.4%.12
Missouri CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||11,790||$70,880|
|St. Joseph, MO-KS||400||$63,910|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Missouri
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Washington University in St. Louis (#29)
- University of Missouri (#53)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019
- University of Missouri (#11)
Missouri Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Missouri 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 Rate13||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Tuition per Credit|
|Lincoln University of Missouri||ACBSP||N.Av.||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||27%||Yes||$327|
|Lindenwood University||ACBSP||40.0%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc);|
|Maryville University of Saint Louis||ACBSP||61.5%||MS-Accounting;|
|Missouri Baptist University||—||12.5%||MBA-Accountancy||N.Av.||45%||Yes||$663|
|Missouri Western State University||AACSB||N.Av.||MBA-Forensic Accounting||N.Av.||38%||Yes||$363|
|Missouri Southern State University||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||32%||Yes||$350|
|Missouri State University-Springfield||—||40.0%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||90.1%||56%||—||$358|
|Park University||ACBSP||N.Av.||MBA-Management Accounting;|
|Saint Louis University||AACSB||68.3%||Master of Accounting (MAcc);|
|Southeast Missouri State University||AACSB||35.2%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||50%||Yes||$298|
|Truman State University||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Accountancy (MAc)||N.Av.||75%||—||$338|
|University of Central Missouri||AACSB||47.4%||MA-Accountancy||N.Av.||51%||—||$487|
|University of Missouri-Columbia||AACSB||69.9%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||64.1%||71%||Yes||$671|
|University of Missouri-Kansas City||AACSB||69.0%||MS-Accounting (MSA)||N.Av.||50%||—||$407|
|University of Missouri-St. Louis||AACSB||75.0%||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||52%||—||$512|
|Washington University in St. Louis||AACSB||70.7%||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||95%||—||$2,545|
|Webster University||—||8.7%||MS-Forensic Accounting||N.Av.||58%||—||$750|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Missouri with Master’s in Accounting Programs
The Eckelkamp College of Global Business and Professional Studies at Fontbonne University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program that is designed to prepare students for careers as private or certified public accountants. The MS in Accounting is a 36-credit hour program with classes held primarily in the evenings and can be completed in as little as one year. Students graduating from the program generally meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Core classes include Accounting and Business Strategy, Auditing, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Accounting Information Systems. The program is available to students both with and without an undergraduate degree in accounting. All applicants are required to complete prerequisite coursework before entering the program. Admission into the MS in Accounting program requires a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA and a GMAT score of 475 or higher. Retention in the program requires all classes to be completed with a “C-” grade or higher, and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
St. Louis University’s (SLU) Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business offers a 30-credit hour Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree that can be completed in one year. Professional, ethical, and technical skills are learned throughout the curriculum, during which students study concepts and practical tools for accounting, taxation, and auditing. Three concentrations are offered within the degree in Audit, Taxation, or Financial Reporting. The program requires 12 credits of required courses, nine credits hours in a concentration, and nine credit hours of electives. Required courses for all concentrations include Auditing, Financial Reporting, Federal Income Tax, and Legal Environment of Business. Elective coursework includes internship and study abroad opportunities in addition to more focussed accounting courses. Applicants to the program are not required to take the GMAT or earn a specific undergraduate GPA. Applicants must have completed all prerequisites prior to beginning the program coursework. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required of all graduate students at SLU.
Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) offers a one-year Master’s of Accountancy (MAcc) program that prepares future accounting professionals for careers in accounting, auditing, and tax. The 30-credit hour program consists of a six-credit hour accountancy core combined with 15 credit hours of accounting electives and nine credit hours of business electives. Additional emphases can be earned by taking the requisite business course electives in management, marketing, or finance. Typical courses taken to earn the degree include Auditing Theory and Practice; Accounting and Business Strategic Analysis; and Governmental Accounting and Budgeting. Applicants to the program must have at least a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or better, have taken the necessary prerequisite coursework, and have taken the GMAT or GRE. The testing requirement may be waived under certain circumstances. Mizzou students have access to the university’s Business Career Center, which offers career services such as networking events, mock interviews, and one-on-one career coaching.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Lindenwood University offers a 24-month online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) through its Plaster School of Business that will prepare students for the Uniform CPA Exam and help them fulfill the 150-semester hour requirement for Missouri licensure. Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting will take 30 credit hours, including five required courses including Ethics in Accounting; Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting; International Accounting; and Professional Accounting Research. The rest of the coursework includes one course in accounting and 12 credit hours of electives. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting will take an expanded course of study to cover foundational business and accounting coursework. Admission into the program requires an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA. The GMAT is not required, though GMAT or GRE scores may be submitted in lieu of the 3.0 GPA requirement. Students wishing for a more business-oriented education may be interested in Lindenwood’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Accounting focus.
Maryville University of St. Louis offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting degree that is available entirely online and can be completed in as little as 10 months. The MS in Accounting is built around the Becker CPA preparation courses to prepare students for the Uniform CPA Exam and eventual licensure. The curriculum is delivered asynchronously to allow for greater flexibility. Students may enroll in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The program consists of 30 credit hours for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting, including core courses in Tax Planning and Decision Making; Financial Statement Analysis; Data Analytics; Accounting Research & Communication; and the four Becker CPA preparation courses. Students without the necessary undergraduate coursework can enroll in Maryville’s Bridge Program to cover necessary undergraduate-level coursework. Applicants for the MS in Accounting program are required to have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The Harrison College of Business and Computing at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Accounting that can be completed entirely online. The 33-credit hour program emphasizes accounting on both domestic and international scales and will help students meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure. The MBA in Accounting includes 21 credit hours of required business coursework such as Strategic Decision Making; Organization Behavior in Practice; The Financial Environment; and 12 credit hours of accounting coursework, including Taxation of Business Entities as well as Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting. Students will also have the ability to pursue an applied research project in accounting for credit. Students without a business or accounting undergraduate degree may be required to complete additional foundation classes before enrollment in the MBA in Accounting program. Admission requires an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or a combined GPA/GMAT score of at least 1000 (calculated by multiplying the GPA by 200 and adding the GMAT score). Graduates from SEMO’s MBA in Accounting program have become employed with companies such as AT&T, Citigroup, Proctor and Gamble, and the Federal Reserve.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Missouri
- RubinBrown LLP: A national firm with an office in Kansas City that provides a wide range of professional consulting and accounting services including, tax, assurance, and advisory services.
- Williams-Keepers LLC: The largest business consulting firm in central Missouri, offering accounting and financial services to individuals and businesses across a variety of industries.
- Brown Smith Wallace LLP: One of the largest accountancy firms in the state, offering a full suite of accounting services in three offices in St. Louis and southern Illinois.
Missouri Accounting Associations
- Missouri Society of Accountants (MSA): A member-guided organization that works to promote education and high standards for accountants while protecting the best interests of both accountants and tax practitioners.
- Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA): Representing more than 9,000 CPAs in Missouri, MOCPA offers continuing education services, advocacy, and networking and advancement opportunities to its members.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a CPA in Missouri?
To become a CPA in Missouri, you must complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework with a concentration in accounting. You must complete 2,000 hours of verified work experience in accounting as well as complete the AICPA Professional Ethics for CPAs course and exam with a score of 90% or higher. Once the education and experience requirements are met, you must apply for and pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam, available through NASBA, with a score of at least 75 during a rolling 18-month period. Upon completion of these requirements, you must apply to the Board for licensure.
How much does a CPA make in Missouri?
According to the BLS, the average salary for accounting or audit professionals in Missouri is $69,160 annually.10 This number is higher in the St. Louis metropolitan area where accountants and auditors earn an average yearly salary of $76,390.10
Can you take the Uniform CPA Exam before finishing your coursework?
In Missouri, you may sit for the CPA Exam before you have finished the required coursework provided that you intend to finish the 150-semester hour requirement within 60 days of finishing the exam. To apply under this condition, you must submit a certificate of enrollment with your application proving you are enrolled in the required courses. If you do not finish the 150 semester hours, you will not receive credit for the exam.
1001 Rogers St
Columbia, MO 65201
Student Review: “I absolutely loved attending Columbia College for my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting. The classes were very small, with an average of probably about fifteen students per classroom (in the upper-level classes there were typically fewer). I feel like my education was much more ‘one-on-one’ than other schools. Columbia College also allowed for me to work full time and attend school full time on my own time through providing courses online. Class schedules were very flexible and were chosen (not given) which sets Columbia College apart from other Universities and four-year colleges.” -Heather H., student at Columbia College
University of Central Missouri
108 W South St
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Student Review: “I would have to say that the University of Central Missouri is a great university to get an accounting degree. The biggest pro would have to be the teachers there. Unlike other universities, teachers actually get to know you and build a bond with you at this university. They get to know you by your name and allow you to set up meetings if you don’t understand what category goes with what or anything you need help with. Something that I really do not enjoy is the size of the classroom. They do have big classrooms but none that are used for accounting. The students in accounting there are in a basic classroom that is the size of a high school. I like having more room, but that’s okay. Central Missouri is worth a shot!” -Jesse J., student at University of Central Missouri
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, Missouri: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.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 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools