Accounting Schools in Nebraska
The following guide to graduate-level accounting schools in Nebraska will provide you with key information about the steps to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the job outlook for aspiring accountants, as well as in-depth profiles of the graduate accounting programs available in the state. Aspiring CPAs in Nebraska must meet education and experience requirements and pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam as well as the AICPA Professional Ethics exam. Accounting schools in Nebraska offer master’s in accounting degrees and business degrees with concentrations in accounting that include coursework in advanced accounting skills and specialty areas, such as taxation or forensics. Programs are offered through traditional on-campus teaching methods, blended formats, or fully-online, which may appeal to working professionals and busy students who are not able to attend classes regularly.
- There are 16 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Nebraska.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- No 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
- No schools were 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
- 3 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 4 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- No 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 Nebraska
- Nebraska CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Nebraska Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Nebraska with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Nebraska
The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy (NBPA or the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. The state has a two-tiered system that requires aspiring CPAs to first earn a Certificate to Practice followed by a Permit to Practice. There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a full CPA license in Nebraska.
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Pass the NBPA ethics exam and the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- Apply for a CPA Certificate.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Apply for an Initial Permit to Practice.
- Receive your Active Permit to Practice.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
Nebraska CPA candidates must complete 150 semester hours of postsecondary education that includes the award of a bachelor’s degree. The 150 hours must include 30 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate and/or graduate accounting courses beyond accounting principles covering the following subjects:
- Accounting information systems
- Cost and managerial accounting
- Financial accounting theory and problems
- Governmental and not-for-profit accounting
- Tax preparation and planning
Candidates must also take 30 semester hours in general business courses covering at least the following topics:
- Business ethics
- Business law
- Principles of accounting
The remaining 90 semester credits may be taken from a range of subjects or general business topics and must include at a minimum:
- Oral and written communication skills
- Arts, natural sciences, social sciences or humanities
2. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to administer the Uniform CPA Exam testing process. All educational requirements must be completed prior to taking the exam. 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.
3. Pass the NBPA ethics exam and the AICPA ethics course and exam.
Prospective Nebraska CPAs must successfully pass the NBPA ethics exam administered by the Board. This open-book exam tests applicants’ knowledge of state rules and regulations related to accountancy. Applicants must also pass the AICPA ethics examination. The materials for this examination and self-study course can be ordered directly through AICPA.
4. Apply for a CPA Certificate.
After completing the educational requirements and ethics exams and receiving notification of a passing score on the Uniform CPA Exam, the next step is to apply to the Board for a certificate to practice. The certificate 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’s website.
5. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Candidates for a Nebraska CPA license must acquire at least 4,000 hours of experience in public accounting across at least two years to qualify for a license. Experience must be earned within the past 10 years under the direct supervision of an active CPA licensed in any state. Experience hours can be earned with a public accounting firm, with the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts or Department of Revenue, or in private, governmental, or academic institutions. However, candidates submitting hours from a mix of institutional types must complete at least 6,000 hours in at least three years before applying for an Initial Permit to Practice. Candidates earning experience solely in business, government, or academia must also complete 6,000 hours in at least three years to meet the experience requirements.
6. Apply for an Initial Permit to Practice.
Once the experience requirements have been met, prospective CPAs must complete an Initial Permit to Practice application and supporting documentation of their experience. The forms to document experience are available on the Board’s website and candidates must contact the Board to request the application form.
7. Receive your Active Permit to Practice.
It can take up to six weeks for the Board to review a completed application. When the application has been approved, an Active Permit to Practice will be mailed. Once received, the permit must be displayed in a prominent location where the individual practices. An applicant may not use the CPA designation until the permit is received.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Active Permits to Practice expire biennially on June 30. Licensed CPAs in Nebraska must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), including four hours of ethics training, during each two-year renewal period ending December 31. Initial permits issued after July 1 only require 40 CPE hours to renew in the first year. CPE hours must be reported by January 31 of the following year. All training should be completed through a CPE organization approved by the Board; otherwise, pre-approval may be required. The Board recommends that any CPA who performs audits, reviews, or compilations complete at least 40% of the required CPE hours in Accounting and Auditing coursework, although this is not a requirement. Additional information about CPE requirements is available on the Board’s website.
Nebraska CPA Salary and Job Outlook
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. There are 8,250 accountants and auditors working in Nebraska and these professionals earn an average annual salary of $70,420.10 The average is higher in the Grand Island and Omaha-Council Bluffs metro areas, where accountants earn an average annual salary of $84,420 and $72,930, respectively.10 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for accounting professionals is growing steadily in the state, with a projected 7.9% growth rate through 2028, which is above the national average of 6.4%.11
Nevada CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|South Nebraska nonmetropolitan area||880||$63,080|
Nebraska Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Nebraska 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|
|Creighton University||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Accounting (MAC);|
|University of Nebraska at Kearney||AACSB||65.2%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||56%||Yes||$315|
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||AACSB||65.2%||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||50%||—||$393|
|University of Nebraska-Lincoln||AACSB||69.4%||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA)||N.Av.||66%||—||$422|
|Wayne State College||IACBE||N.Av.||MBA-Public Accounting||N.Av.||51%||Yes||$380|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Nebraska with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Bellevue University offers a 36-credit Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) with optional concentrations in Finance or Tax. The degree can be completed at the Bellevue campus or online as both formats of this IACBE-accredited program have the same curriculum. The program is designed to prepare students for real-world accounting scenarios and coursework in the MSA program can be applied towards the Uniform CPA Exam education requirements. Graduates may find employment as accountants, controllers, or auditors in public, private, or nonprofit institutions. All students complete 27 credits in accounting, such as Advanced Cost Accounting, Taxation of Business Entities, and Advanced Auditing, as well as nine credits from the MBA curriculum including Business Analysis for Decision-Making and Financial Management & Strategy. Undergraduate students at Bellevue have the option of completing some of the required coursework during their final year of study. A 36-credit Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting is also offered online or on-campus.
The Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is offered with concentrations in Financial Reporting and Auditing; Information Analysis; and Strategic Management Accounting or as a Generalist degree. This program aims to prepare graduates for advanced careers in accounting in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. The degree is accredited by the AACSB and comprises 30 credits including 15 credits of accounting, six credits of contemporary business topics, and nine credits of electives, which may be chosen from an optional minor area. Sample courses in the MAcc program include Analytics for Accounting; Governmental/Nonprofit Accounting and Auditing; and Financial Accounting Theory. Seminar courses and an independent research course are also offered and allow students to pursue an area of personal interest within accounting. Applications are accepted from students with an undergraduate degree in any subject but those without a degree in accounting are required to complete a preparatory program prior to enrolling in the MAcc degree. New applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a comprehensive Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) through the School of Accountancy. The program focuses on developing analytical skills, technical competencies, and a strong understanding of accounting theory. To earn the degree, students complete 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s level in courses such as Advanced Accounting; Business Valuation and Financial Statement Analysis; and Corporate Tax Accounting. A graduate thesis may be completed by students interested in accounting research. Internships for course credit are also available with accounting organizations across the country and provide students with hands-on accounting experience. New students are admitted to the MPA program ong the fall, spring, and summer terms. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also offers a dual MPA-Juris Doctor (JD) degree program for aspiring accountants with an interest in the legal aspects of finance and accounting and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business with a Specialization in Accounting for students interested in research and teaching careers.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Midland University offers a hybrid Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting that can be completed in as little as 16 months with start dates offered in January and August. The hybrid format requires students to meet at the Omaha campus approximately once per month and complete online coursework throughout the term. On-campus classes are held on Fridays and Saturdays but online classes can be viewed at any time to accommodate the schedules of working students. The degree requires 42 credits including a foundational core, advanced business core, senior capstone, and electives. To earn the Accounting Concentration, students must take 12 credit hours of accounting, such as Forensic Accounting, Advanced Cost Accounting, Project Accounting, and Auditing. The Consulting Capstone requires students to apply their knowledge to a real-world business problem for a host company. Faculty advisors assist students with developing analysis and reports to present to their hosts. Students in the MBA program can also complete the requirements for a Certificate in Project Management concurrently.
At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, aspiring CPAs can complete an AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting through a hybrid of online and on-campus classes. The degree comprises 33 credits including 18 credits of business core courses and 15 credits of electives. While many core courses are available online, accounting concentration students must take at least one elective on-campus to meet the degree requirements. Classes are held synchronously requiring students to attend at specific times either on-campus or through web conferencing technology. Examples of accounting electives include Tax Accounting, Government/Nonprofit Accounting, and Advanced Auditing. The program seeks to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as prepare graduates for rapid changes in the US and global business economies. Applications are accepted from students with a bachelor’s degree in any subject although prerequisites may be required for applicants with a non-business bachelor’s degree.
Wayne State College (WSC) is home to an IACBE-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Public Accounting that is 100% online. Online courses have an asynchronous format that does not require students to attend virtual classes at a specific time. In this program, students gain a well-rounded understanding of key business functions, such as finance, marketing, and leadership. The concentration in Public Accounting provides additional experience in core accounting skills, such as taxation and statement analysis. To graduate from the program, students must complete 36 credits including 24 credits of core coursework, such as Financial Administration and Administrative Policy, as well as 12 credits in public accounting, including Taxation for Decision Making, Advanced Assurance Services, and Accounting Analytics. Applicants must have completed coursework at the undergraduate level in business to meet WSC’s Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) requirements or else prerequisite coursework may be required prior to beginning the MBA program.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Nebraska
- Lutz & Company, PC: A locally-owned CPA firm with four offices across Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, and Hastings
- Bland & Associates P.C.: An award-winning full-service accounting and business firm based in Omaha.
- BKD CPAs & Advisors: A national accounting firm with expertise in related fields, such as risk management and valuation services.
Nebraska Accounting Associations
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants (NESCPA): A professional association that provides networking and professional development opportunities to all CPAs in the state.
- Nebraska Board of Professional Accounting (NBPA): The governmental body responsible for establishing and enforcing the requirements to become a CPA in Nebraska.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a CPA earn in Nevada?
The average annual salary for accountants and auditors in Nevada is $70,420.10 Prospective CPAs should keep in mind that annual salaries vary depending on the region. CPAs in Grand Island and Omaha-Council Bluffs earn higher average salaries ($84,420 and $72,930 respectively), while CPAs in Lincoln and Sioux City earn slightly lower average annual salaries at $67,610 and $64,590.10
How many CPAs are in Nebraska?
According to the BLS, there are 8,250 accountants and auditors working in Nebraska.10 Over half of all Nebraska accountants and auditors work in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area (4,880) with an additional 1,370 working in the Lincoln area.10 A smaller number of accountants and auditors work in the Sioux City (490) and Grand Island (280) areas and the rural areas of the state.10
How do I take the CPA exam in Nebraska?
The Board requires aspiring CPAs to pass the AICPA Uniform CPA Exam to be eligible for a certificate to practice. Exam applicants must apply to take the exam through NASBA, which administers the exam on the Board’s behalf and reports the results back to the Board. Further information is available on the NASBA website.
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. 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/
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, Nevada: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ne.htm
11. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
12. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools