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Accounting Schools in Nevada

This guide to accounting schools in Nevada provides important information about public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities offering accounting degrees and programs in Nevada. You can find information about all of the master’s in accounting programs available in the state as well as profiles of select programs. Since there are only a few master’s-level accounting programs in the state, you may be interested in programs in neighboring states such as California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, as well as online programs that can be taken from any location. You will also find a description of the process for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure in Nevada and data on employment and salary for accountants in the state. Keep reading to find out more about master’s in accounting programs in Nevada.

Quick Facts

  • There are 6 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Nevada.1
  • 2 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
  • 1 school had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
  • 2 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
  • No 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 Nevada
Nevada CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Nevada Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Select Schools in Nevada with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Steps to Become a CPA in Nevada

The Nevada State Board of Accountancy (the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Nevada.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education 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. Pass a background check.
  6. Apply for a license.
  7. Receive a license.

1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.

Nevada CPA candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college education in accounting to qualify for a license, including the award of a bachelor’s degree as well as 30 semester hours in the following accounting and business courses:

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

The 150 semester hours must also include 24 semester hours of business courses in topics not listed above. The subjects that will qualify for this requirement are:

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

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Candidates must accumulate at least two years of experience in public accounting to qualify for a Nevada CPA license. Experience earned must be verified by a licensed CPA in a position to verify the applicant’s work. Candidates may also qualify by completing four years of experience in industry or government accounting that is deemed substantially equivalent to a position in public accounting. Candidates may gain experience in a combination of public accounting and industry/governmental accounting; the industry or government experience will be counted at half the rate of public accounting. If industry or government accounting experience qualifies but was not performed under a licensed CPA, candidates may request an individual evaluation of experience by the Board. For more information on the experience requirement, see the Board’s website.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Board has adopted the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics self-study course and exam to meet its Rules of Professional Conduct requirement. Candidates can order the course through the AICPA website. The course and exam must be passed with a score of 90% or higher.

4. Apply for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree and all required accounting coursework may apply to take AICPA’s Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates may apply to the Board using its online examination portal or the paper application form. After the application is reviewed and approved, candidates must pay the testing fees to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), who administers the exam. At that point, candidates will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) with instructions on how to sit for the exam. Candidates must pass all four sections of the exam with a score of 75 or better within an 18-month rolling period.

5. Pass a background check.

The Board 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) or using LiveScan electronic fingerprinting. The completed cards or LiveScan receipt should be included with the candidate’s submitted license application. You can find more information on the Board’s website.

6. Apply for a license.

After all of the above requirements have been met, candidates may submit the application and all necessary documents to the Board. The Application for CPA Certification Nevada Examinee form is provided for applicants who took the Uniform CPA Exam in Nevada.

7. Receive a license.

Once the application is submitted and approved, the Board will send an approval letter by mail containing the license number. Once the license number has been received, the applicant may begin practicing as a CPA. CPAs may order wallet cards or wall certificates through NASBA.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

Once licensed, CPAs in Nevada must renew their license annually by December 31. Nevada CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) over a rolling two-year period, reported annually. Four of these hours must be in professional ethics. For any single-year period, a minimum of 20 hours is required. CPAs who have participated in audit, compilation, or attestation in the past 12 months must complete eight hours of CPE that focuses on accounting and auditing. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.

Nevada CPA Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 8,140 accountants and auditors in Nevada, making an average salary of $68,030 per year.10 The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro area employs the most accounting professionals in Nevada..10 The Reno metro area has the highest average annual salary in the state, with accountants and auditors earning $69,680, which is still significantly lower than the national average of $79,520.10,11 However, on the bright side, Projections Central forecasts a 17.1% growth for accounting and auditing positions in Nevada by 2028, a rate of growth nearly three times the national average.12

Nevada CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Carson City190$68,460
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise5,960$67,480
Reno1,550$69,680
Nevada nonmetropolitan area440$69,530

Nevada Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Nevada 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 NameAccreditationCPA Exam Pass Rate6Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate13Grad Rate1Online Options?Tuition per Credit
University of Nevada-Las VegasAACSB56.5%MS-Accounting (MSA)N.Av.45%$297
University of Nevada-RenoAACSBN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.61%Yes$397

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Select Schools in Nevada with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

University of Nevada Las Vegas

The Lee School of Business at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree that allows full-time students with a bachelor’s in accounting to complete the degree in as little as one year. The 30-credit hour program may be completed with full-time or part-time study, and admission is open to students of any undergraduate background. The curriculum requires students to complete five accounting courses, four electives, and a final capstone course in Federal Tax Topics; Auditing Theory and Applications; or Advancement Management Accounting. Completion of the program should qualify students with an undergraduate accounting degree to meet the 150-semester hour CPA requirement in most states. Students without a bachelor’s degree in accounting may be required to complete a series of foundational courses as a condition of admission into the MSA program. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GMAT score of 550 with placement in the 25th percentile or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections. The GMAT may be waived for students with a 3.25 GPA or higher in undergraduate accounting courses.

University of Nevada Reno

The University of Nevada Reno (UNR) hosts a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Emphasis in Accounting that can be completed in less than two years for students with an undergraduate degree in business. The MBA program can require 30-51 credit hours to complete, depending on undergraduate coursework, with a minimum requirement of 30 credit hours taken at UNR. The MBA Accounting Emphasis curriculum includes seven core courses that may be waived through prior coursework, six breadth courses, three courses towards the emphasis, and an integration course. The program offers the option of two different Accounting emphases, a Finance emphasis or a Tax emphasis. Courses available for MBA Accounting students include Financial Reporting, Federal Taxation, and Taxation of Flow Through-Entities. Admission into the MBA program requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, a GMAT or GRE score of at least 500 or 150 respectively, and at least two years of professional work experience. The exam requirement may be waived for students with an accredited master’s degree; a professional degree; or an active CPA, CFP, CMA, or PE license.

Online and Hybrid Programs

University of Nevada Reno

The University of Nevada Reno (UNR) offers an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) through its Department of Accounting at its College of Business that can help students meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure. UNR’s MAcc program is structured to reinforce students’ understanding of generally accepted accounting principles while developing problem-solving, and communication skills. MAcc students with an undergraduate degree in accounting and those with substantial accounting experience may enter the program via the 30-credit hour Core Track, while those with an undergraduate degree in another subject must first complete some prerequisites in the 18-credit hour Background Track, depending on background and experience. Core accounting courses include Advanced and International Accounting; Taxation of Corporations; Financial Reporting Theory; and Accounting Research. Admission into the online MAcc program requires a bachelor’s degree with a B or better in prerequisite accounting coursework. Applicants with a degree in accounting from an AACSB-accredited school must have at least a 2.75 GPA, while applicants with an accounting degree from any other school must have at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants with other degrees typically need to complete prerequisite courses and a GMAT score is required for entry. For students seeking an in-person degree, the MAcc is also offered in a traditional on-campus format.

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Nevada

  • Swarts & Swarts: One of the top CPA firms in Las Vegas, with a range of financial, litigation, and advisory tailored to the needs of clients across Southern Nevada, the US, and foreign jurisdictions.
  • CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA): CLA has offices in Las Vegas, Reno, and nationwide, and focuses on offering wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax, and consulting services to private businesses.
  • EideBailly: One of the largest CPA firms in Nevada, Eide Bailey offers a full suite of accounting, tax, and consulting services to clients in a wide swath of industries.
  • Nevada Accounting Associations

    • Nevada Society of CPAs (NVCPA): Formed in 1947, the NVCPA works to support and unite Nevada CPAs by offering CPE and networking opportunities, public advocacy, and career resources to its members.
    • The Association of Government Accountants (AGA)-Northern Nevada Chapter: The AGA works to promote government transparency and accountability by supporting members with leadership and networking opportunities; professional development resources; and scholarships. The Northern Nevada Chapter serves members throughout the state.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much does a CPA make in Las Vegas?

    The BLS reports that the average salary for accountants and auditors in Las Vegas is $67,480 per year.10 This is slightly below the average salary for accounting professionals in Nevada of $68,030 and significantly lower than the national average of $79,520.10,11

    How do I become a CPA in Nevada?

    To become a licensed CPA in Nevada, you will need to meet the 150-hour rule, which means you will need at least 150 hours of postsecondary education. In Nevada, this postsecondary education must include an award of a bachelor’s degree and particular accounting and business coursework. In addition to education, you must accumulate at least two years of professional experience, pass the AICPA ethics course, pass the Uniform CPA Exam, and undergo a background investigation. Once these requirements have been met, you can apply for a CPA license from the Board.

    How many CPAs are there in Nevada?

    According to the BLS, there are 8,140 accountants and auditors working in Nevada.10 The largest concentration of accountants work in the Las Vegas area, where there are approximately 5,960 accounting professionals.10 The number of accountants and auditors in the state is expected to grow by 17.1% by 2028.12

    References:
    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/about
    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_nv.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.com/projections/longterm
    13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools