Accounting Schools in Nevada

This guide to accounting schools in Nevada provides important information about colleges and universities offering accounting degrees and programs in Nevada. A wide range of accounting programs is available in Nevada to fit your skills, interests, and desired career track. Online accounting programs like the Master of Science in Accounting from New England College can also be a suitable alternative to on-campus degree programs for some individuals.

Quick Facts

  • There are 7 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Nevada.1
  • 2 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: University of Nevada-Reno, 55%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: N/A1
  • Highest net price per year*: University of Nevada-Reno, $11,5821
  • Lowest net price per year*: University of Nevada-Las Vegas, $11,5821
  • No schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017.
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.
  • 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.

Read on to find out more about what accounting schools in Nevada have to offer and further information about careers for accounting graduates.

Schools with the Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. University of Nevada-Las Vegas (59.1%)
  2. University of Nevada-Reno (41.2%)

There were two schools in Nevada that had first-time CPA exam candidates with advanced degrees in 2015. The first-time CPA exam pass rate at these schools ranged from 41.2% to 59.1%. The pass rate for all candidates in the United States in 2015 was 48.4%. The first-time pass rate can help you compare accounting programs at schools, although the percentages may be artificially high or low at schools with a small number of candidates. For a full breakdown of CPA exam 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 Nevada

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University of Nevada-Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)

University of Nevada-Las Vegas offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree that allows students to study taxation, public accounting, corporate accounting, and government accounting. The 30-credit hour program may be completed under full- or part-time study and admission is open to students of any undergraduate background. The program curriculum emphasizes global accounting principles, current information technology, ethical practice, and business strategy to prepare well-rounded accounting professionals for leadership roles. Courses offered include Federal Tax Topics, Auditing Theory and Applications, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Auditing in the Gaming Industry. Students may supplement their accounting study with approved electives from other fields including marketing, economics, and management. The program prepares students to meet the 150-semester hour CPA requirement in most states. The Lee Business School, through which the MSA is offered, is also home to the Center for Business and Economic Research. University of Nevada-Las Vegas is ranked #230-301 in National Universities by US News.

University of Nevada-Reno (Reno, NV)

University of Nevada-Reno offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) through its Department of Accounting at its College of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Master of Accountancy at the University of Nevada-Reno focuses on technical and professional accounting skills at the advanced level to prepare students for careers as professional accountants. Students also learn technologically advanced tools and techniques in accounting and related fields. The curriculum incorporates advanced study in business to provide future accounting professionals with a well-rounded education. Example courses in the accounting core include Advanced and International Accounting, Taxation of Flow-Through Entities, and Accounting Research. Admission is open to students whose undergraduate degree is in a field other than business, though these students must take the GMAT exam for admission consideration and may need to take additional courses. The College of Business and Department of Accounting and Information Systems maintain strong ties with alumni and professional partners, providing additional opportunities to students. US News ranks University of Nevada-Reno #201 (tie) in National Universities.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Nevada

Swarts & Swarts Certified Public Accountants is one of the top CPA firms in Las Vegas, with a range of services that can be tailored to the needs of almost any business. CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) has offices in Las Vegas, Reno, and nationwide and actively seeks recent graduates to join its team. EideBailly is one of the largest CPA firms in Nevada. Its offices are regularly looking for talent, including those just beginning careers as accountants.

How to Become a CPA in Nevada

The Nevada State Board of Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Nevada.

  1. Complete a 150-semester hour education program in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
  4. Apply for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  5. Request and complete an Investigation of Criminal History.
  6. Apply for a license.

1. Complete a 150-semester hour education program in accounting.

Nevada CPA candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college education in accounting to qualify for a license. The 150 semester hours must include the award of a bachelor’s degree as well as the following credit hours in specific accounting and business topics:

  • Financial accounting (nine semester hours)
  • Cost accounting (three semester hours)
  • Auditing (three semester hours)
  • Federal income tax (three semester hours)
  • Accounting electives (12 semester hours)
  • Business law (three semester hours)

Candidates must complete an additional 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in business. Example business courses that can apply towards this requirement include:

  • Behavior of organizations
  • Business finance
  • Business law
  • Computers
  • Data processing
  • Economics
  • Ethics in business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Oral communication
  • Quantitative applications in business
  • Statistics
  • Communication
  • Legal and social environment

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

At least two years of experience in public accounting are required for a Nevada CPA license. Qualifying experience is constituted as work during which the candidate used skills in accounting or auditing, finance, advising or consulting on management related matters, and/or the preparation of tax returns or providing advice on tax-related matters. Experience earned must be verified by licensed CPAs in a position to verify the applicant’s work. In lieu of two years of public accounting experience, candidates may also qualify by completing four years of experience in internal audit or governmental accounting. Work experience earned in the categories of public accounting and internal audit/governmental accounting can be combined as qualifying experience. However, government and internal audit accounting experience is required to be earned in double increments of any qualifying public experience.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Nevada State Board of Accountancy has adopted the AICPA self-study course and exam to meet its Rules of Professional Conduct requirement. Candidates can order the course through the AICPA website.

4. Apply for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Candidates who are ready to take the Uniform CPA Exam may apply to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy using its online examination portal or the paper application form. After the application is reviewed and approved, candidates will receive further information on scheduling the exam. Candidates must pass all four sections of the exam within an 18-month rolling period.

5. Request and complete an Investigation of Criminal History.

The Nevada State Board of Accountancy requires that all prospective CPAs undergo a fingerprint-based background check. This background check must be completed either on light blue civil applicant cards (requested directly from the Board of Accountancy) or using LiveScan fingerprinting. The completed cards or LiveScan receipt should be included with the candidate’s submitted license application. You can find more information at the Nevada State Board of Accountancy website.

6. Apply for a license.

Applying for a license is the final step to earning CPA licensure in Nevada. The Application for CPA Certification Nevada Examinee form is provided for applicants who took the Uniform CPA Exam in the state.

Once licensed, Nevada CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing education over each two-year period, reported annually, and four of these hours must be in professional ethics. You can find additional information at the Nevada State Board of Accountancy website.

Nevada Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth


Accountants and Auditors in Nevada from 2016-20262

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants in Nevada make an average salary of $65,580 per year.3 The Las Vegas metro area is where most of the accountants in Nevada find work, although the average salary of $63,840 within the metro falls below the state average.3 The Reno metro area is where the highest salaries are found; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries here average $70,500 per year, indicating the high demand for licensed professionals.3

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