Accounting Schools in Nebraska
The following guide to accounting schools in Nebraska will provide you with key information as well as in-depth profiles of the accounting programs available in the state. Accounting schools in Nebraska offer a selection of degree programs in general accounting as well as specialty areas of accounting such as taxation and forensics. The colleges and universities in Nebraska may include programs, including online accounting degrees, that provide a match to your educational and career goals.
- There are 15 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Nebraska.1
- 4 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- Highest graduation rate*: Creighton University, 81%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Bellevue University, 67%1
- Highest net price per year*: Doane University-Arts & Sciences, $24,4451
- Lowest net price per year*: Bellevue University, $11,3591
- No schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017.
- 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (#83 in-state, #80 out-of-state)
- No schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100).
*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
For more information about accounting schools in Nebraska, continue reading to find profiles of top schools, accounting career tracks, and more.
Schools with the Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln (75.3%)
- University of Nebraska-Omaha (72.6%)
- Bellevue University (21.1%)
Three schools had first-time CPA exam candidates with an advanced degree in Nebraska in 2015, and the pass rate at these schools ranged from 21.1% to 75.3%. For the US on average, in comparison, the pass rate for all candidates (with bachelor’s and advanced degrees) was 48.4% in 2015. First-time pass rates can serve as a good indication of the level of preparation provided by a program, although the percentage may be skewed if the program has a small number of candidates. For a comprehensive breakdown of statistics see the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Nebraska
Chadron State College (Chadron, NE)
Chadron State College offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that can be completed entirely online to prepare students to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any academic field may apply for admission to the 36-credit hour program. Electives of interest offered to future accounting professionals include Government Not-for-Profit Accounting, Advanced Cost Management Accounting, Finance for Managers, and Advanced Financial Accounting. After completing 18 graduate-level credit hours, students may also elect to take an internship in business for course credit. An exit exam is required as a final prerequisite for graduation. Graduate assistantships that include tuition waivers and part-time work stipends, as well as traditional financial assistance, are available to qualified students. With online courses delivered in an eight-week format, this master’s degree can be completed quickly and remotely. Students with graduate-level academic credit from an accredited institution may be able to transfer up to nine credit hours to their MBA program.
Midland University (Fremont, NE)
Midland University, also known as Midland Lutheran College, has a Master of Business Administration (MBA)-Accounting Concentration program to enhance students’ education and job prospects. The program covers study in corporate finance, managerial economics, planning, and ethics, with graduate classes typically scheduled outside of traditional work hours. The hybrid online/traditional schedule combines in-class study every third Friday and Saturday with online learning, during which live attendance is optional. To earn the Accounting Concentration, students take 12 credit hours of accounting courses such as Forensic Accounting, Advanced Cost Accounting, Project Accounting, and Governmental Accounting. Students may additionally earn an Entrepreneurial Leadership Certificate or take a second concentration in Banking. Students with previous academic exposure to fundamental topics in business and accounting may be able to complete supplemental credits in combination with course transfers to achieve a lighter overall course load. US News ranks Midland University #56 in Regional Colleges (Midwest).
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a comprehensive Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) through its well-regarded School of Accountancy. The program focuses on developing and using analytical skills within the framework of an understanding of accounting theory. To earn the degree students complete 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s level in courses such as Federal Tax Accounting, Seminar in Accounting Theory, Tax Research and Planning, and Advanced Managerial Accounting. The degree may be pursued on a thesis track or a non-thesis track. All full-time graduate students are eligible for scholarships through the School of Accountancy. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also offers a dual MPA-JD degree program for future accountants with an interest in the legal aspects of finance and accounting, which typically takes less time to complete than earning the degrees separately. The experienced faculty of the School of Accountancy have diverse research interests across all areas of accounting and finance. US News ranks University of Nebraska-Lincoln #129 (tie) in National Universities.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Nebraska
Lutz & Company, PC is the largest locally-owned CPA firm within the state of Nebraska. Lutz & Company is committed to the success of its employees and welcomes recent graduates to apply for a position with the company. Bland & Associates has been named the Top Accounting Firm in Omaha by B2B Magazine and has been recognized as one of the top 300 firms nationwide by Inside Public Accounting. Its aggressive recruiting strategy sets the firm apart from other, more traditional firms, and recent graduates are invited to apply. BKD CPAs & Advisor is a national firm with locations in Omaha and Lincoln, and is usually hiring for top talent.
How to Become a CPA in Nebraska
The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Nebraska.
- Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Establish Nebraska residency.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- Apply for a certificate to practice.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Apply for a license.
1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
Nebraska CPA candidates must complete a 150-semester hour education program that includes the award of a bachelor’s degree. Nebraska’s guidelines for the courses to be taken towards this requirement are specific and should be reviewed carefully. The 150 hours must include 30 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate and/or graduate accounting courses beyond principles covering the following subjects:
- Financial accounting theory and problems
- Cost and managerial accounting
- Tax preparation and planning
- Accounting information systems
- Governmental and not-for-profit accounting
Candidates must also take 36 semester hours in general business courses covering the following topics:
- Business law
- Business communication
- Business ethics
- Quantitative applications in business
- Principles of accounting
In addition, 60 hours of general education must be completed covering at a minimum the subjects of oral and written communication skills; mathematics; arts, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities; and statistics.
2. Establish Nebraska residency.
Nebraska requires that candidates pursuing first-time licensure as a CPA in Nebraska be residents of the state. For the purposes of CPA licensure, residency can be established by being an individual resident of Nebraska, having a place of business in Nebraska, or being regularly employed in Nebraska. Candidates who do not meet the residency requirement may be able to earn a license through reciprocity after first being licensed in another state.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy uses NASBA to administer the Uniform CPA Exam testing process. Candidates may apply to the exam through the NASBA website. Once an application is approved, the candidate will receive a Notice to Schedule to schedule and take the exam.
4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
Prospective Nebraska CPAs must successfully pass the AICPA Ethics Examination prior to applying for a certificate to practice. The materials for this examination and self-study course can be ordered directly through AICPA.
5. Apply for a certificate to practice.
After receiving notification of a passing score on the Uniform CPA Exam, the next step is to apply to the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy for a permit to practice. The permit to practice is needed in order to complete the required experience hours for a full license. Candidates can access the Application for CPA Certificate Issuance on the Board of Public Accountancy website.
6. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Candidates for a Nebraska CPA license must acquire 4,000 hours of experience in public accounting across at least two years to qualify for a license. Experience must be earned under the direct supervision of an actively licensed CPA while the candidate is employed within a licensed and registered CPA firm. Experience hours earned with the Auditor of Public Accounts, Department of Revenue, or Internal Revenue Service may also qualify, but cannot be mixed with or added to hours working with a CPA firm for the purposes of the experience requirement. Candidates earning experience in business, government, or academia must complete three years of experience.
7. Apply for a license.
Once all other requirements have been met, prospective CPAs must complete an Initial Permit to Practice. According to the Nebraska Board, candidates must contact the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy to request this form.
Licensed CPAs in Nebraska must complete 80 hours of continuing education during each two-year renewal period, with the reporting period ending on January 31. Four of these hours must be in ethics. You can find additional information at the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy website.
Nebraska Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in Nebraska from 2016-20262
Nebraska is one of the top states in the Midwest to begin a career as an accountant thanks to relatively high demand and competitive salaries. Accountants in Nebraska make an average annual salary of $66,140, though the average is higher in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, where accountants make an average salary of $68,160.3 A total of 8,340 accountants and auditors work in Nebraska, and demand for financial services professionals is growing steadily in the state, with a projected 13.7% growth rate for accounting and auditor positions through 2026.2,3
1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005
Student Review: “Attending Bellevue University was one of the best choices that I have made in my life. Bellevue University’s accounting program is very well established with professors who truly care about the success of their students. If at any time I was struggling with learning the material, the professors were willing to spend additional one-on-one time with me in order to ensure that I understood the material. Not only did I gain a great amount of knowledge from the classes, but I also established a network of people, including my professors and other accounting professionals and companies that my professors introduced me to. My only recommendation would be to pull in companies for students to network with who were not local to the area, as Bellevue currently only works with local companies.” -student at Bellevue University
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): https://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