Accounting Schools in Missouri
There are many accounting schools in Missouri offering a variety of accounting-focused programs. The accounting programs available in Missouri include programs in general accounting as well as programs focusing on more specialized areas of practice, which may match your interests and help you reach your career goals. As an alternative to on-campus programs, you may also find that online accounting programs are a good fit.
- There are 44 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Missouri.
- 15 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
- Highest graduation rate*: Washington University in St. Louis, 94%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Lincoln University, 49%1
- Highest net price per year*: Saint Louis University, $31,7181
- Lowest net price per year*: Missouri Southern State University, $9,0181
- 3 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Washington University in St. Louis (25), University of Missouri (76), St. Louis University (102)
- 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: Truman State University (#19 in-state, #8 out-of-state), University of Missouri (#74 in-state, #69 out-of-state)
- 2 schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Washington University in St. Louis (19), St. Louis University (106)
*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Continue learning about the options for accounting schools in Missouri and potential career tracks for accounting graduates by reading further on this page.
Schools with the Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- University of Missouri-Columbia (84.9%)
- Washington University in St. Louis (84.7%)
- Southeast Missouri State University (81.8%)
- University of Missouri-St. Louis (79.8%)
- University of Central Missouri (66.7%)
- Saint Louis University (62.7%)
- University of Missouri-Kansas City (59.3%)
There are 13 schools in Missouri that had first-time CPA candidates (with an advanced degree)in 2015. The pass rate at these schools ranged from 0.0% to 84.9%. This compares to the national pass rate of 48.4% (bachelor’s and advanced degrees). When evaluating options for an accounting program, the first-time CPA exam pass rate can be a helpful metric to consider, although the percentage may be skewed for schools with a small number of candidates. For a complete breakdown of statistics see the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Missouri
Fontbonne University (Clayton, MO)
Fontbonne University, through its Eckelkamp College of Global Business and Professional Studies, offers a distinct graduate degree of interest to accounting professionals. The Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program is a 36-credit hour program with classes primarily held in the evenings that is designed to prepare students for careers as private or certified public accountants. Core classes include subjects such as Accounting and Business Strategy, Auditing, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Accounting Information Systems. Students graduating from the program generally meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Fontbonne University is ranked #72 in Regional Universities (Midwest) by US News. This small private college is more selective, which allows it to maintain competitively small class sizes. Its master’s program in accounting is well-regarded and has options for individuals whose undergraduate education did not focus on accounting.
St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO)
St. Louis University offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree through its John Cook School of Business that prepares future accountants for rewarding careers through focused graduate education. Professional, ethical, and technical skills are learned throughout the curriculum, during which students study concepts and practical tools for accounting, taxation, and auditing. Three emphasis areas are offered within the degree in Audit, Taxation, or Financial Reporting. To earn an emphasis, students must take at least three elective courses from the emphasis area. Sample courses for all areas of emphasis include Managerial Accounting, Quantitative Methods and Statistics, Accounting Information Systems, and Legal Environment of Business. The faculty who teach the MAcc program courses are experienced in the profession and are also active in research and publication. The success of the St. Louis University MAcc program is measured by its graduates’ historically high pass rate on the Uniform CPA Exam. US News ranks St. Louis University #106 (tie) in National Universities.
University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)
The University of Missouri Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business offers a competitive online Master’s of Accountancy program to prepare 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. University of Missouri is ranked #129 (tie) in National Universities by US News for its academic standards, active student life, and highly regarded graduate programs. The University of Missouri School of Accountancy has also been recognized by Brigham Young University for research productivity and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy for its graduates’ Uniform CPA Exam pass rates.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Missouri
RubinBrown LLP is a national firm with an office in Kansas City that has been named to Inside Public Accounting’s list of Top 100 Firms. They provide a wide range of professional consulting and accounting services and hire recent graduates in entry-level positions. The firm has been recognized by CPA Digest as one of the top small- to medium-sized CPA firms in the US, making it an excellent place to begin an accounting career. Williams-Keepers LLC is the largest business consulting firm in central Missouri. It seeks recent graduates to fulfill its goal of providing superior services to clients of all sizes. Brown Smith Wallace LLP is one of the largest accountancy firms in Missouri and offers recent graduates career opportunities through its competitive recruiting efforts.
How to Become a CPA in Missouri
The Missouri Board of Public Accountancy regulates the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Missouri.
- Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
Missouri CPA candidates must complete a 150-semester hour program of education that includes an accounting concentration. The Missouri Board of Accountancy considers a concentration to be 60 semester hours of accounting and related courses. Students must take 33 semester hours of accounting courses, at least 18 of which are upper division, as well as 27 additional semester hours in accounting and other areas of business. Prospective CPAs may qualify to 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, though a license will not be issued until all requirements are met.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Candidates for CPA licensure in Missouri must complete 2,000 experience hours in accounting through employment in industry, government, academia, and/or public practice. The experience must extend across at least one year and must be completed in no more than three years to qualify. Licensees responsible for supervising attest services must complete an additional year (2,000 hours) of experience in public accounting or practice as an auditor.
3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
An exam in professional ethics is a requirement for Missouri CPA licensure. The Missouri Board of Accountancy has approved the AICPA self-study ethics course and exam for this requirement, which may be ordered directly through AICPA.
4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Missouri uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) for the 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 to qualify for a license. First-time applicants may use the optional pre-evaluation service to determine whether their academic work qualifies for examination in Missouri.
5. Apply for a license.
The Missouri Board of Accountancy provides the Application for Initial License to Practice Public Accounting form for initial license requests. Candidates should meet all license requirements, including completing an academic program in accounting and passing the Uniform CPA and AICPA Ethics exams, prior to submitting an application.
Missouri CPAs must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education during each three-year renewal period. 40 of these hours should be completed during the 12 months prior to submitting the renewal application, and a minimum of 20 hours must be completed each year. At least six of these hours must be in professional ethics. You can find additional information at the Missouri Board of Accountancy website.
Missouri Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in Missouri from 2016-20262
More accountants are employed in Missouri than in any other surrounding state except Illinois, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are over 25,130 accountants and auditors working in Missouri.3 Salaries in Missouri are competitive, with an average salary of $70,180 per year.3 Salaries for Missouri accountants are higher in the St. Louis, where the average accountant salary is $76,860 per year.3 The demand for accountants in this area is only expected to grow through 2026, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a projected growth rate of 5.9% for accountant and auditor positions in the state.2
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. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.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