Accounting Schools in North Dakota

There are several accounting schools in North Dakota that can provide you with a quality education in accounting to support your career goals, skills, and interests. The accounting degree programs available in North Dakota include programs in auditing and assurance, accounting management, and other in-demand specialty areas. You may also find that online programs are a good fit for your educational and career goals.

Quick Facts

  • There are 10 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in North Dakota.1
  • 2 not-for-profit school offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 58%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Dickinson State University, 36%1
  • Highest net price per year*: University of Jamestown, $18,4711
  • Lowest net price per year*: Minot State University, $10,2521
  • 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.

Continue browsing this page to find out more about accounting schools in North Dakota through profiles of popular programs, career outlooks for graduates, and other information about opportunities for accounting majors in the state.

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

  1. North Dakota State University (75.0%)

One school in North Dakota had first-time candidates for the CPA exam who also had an advanced degree in 2015. The national pass rate for all candidates was 48.4% in 2015 (for candidates with a bachelor’s or advanced degree). You may consider the first-time CPA exam pass rate as a helpful metric for comparing the quality of accounting programs in your area. 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 North Dakota

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North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND)

North Dakota State University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program best suited to students with undergraduate degrees in accounting, although students who majored in other subjects may be able to enter the program and supplement their education with additional courses within the master’s program. The non-thesis program is meant to provide students with the skills and knowledge base needed to advance their careers in public, corporate, or government accounting and achieve certification by passing the Uniform CPA Exam. An emphasis on interactivity between peers, faculty, and accounting leaders provides learning and networking opportunities. Electives in the 30-credit hour program include Fraud Examination, Management Control Systems, Financial Statement Analysis, and International Management. Graduate assistantships are available on a limited basis to qualified students. The accounting program at North Dakota State is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). US News ranks North Dakota State University #215 (tie) in National Universities.

The University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)

The University of North Dakota runs a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that prepares future accountants for positions in leadership and management. Strategic thinking and planning and core management responsibilities are focuses of the curriculum, which also highlights one-on-one interaction between students and faculty. The degree requires 33 credit hours and can be completed under a thesis or a non-thesis option. Program courses include Quantitative Methods for Managers, Accounting Information for Decision and Control, Advanced Strategic Management, and Managerial Finance. Students may also elect to take a concentration in International Business. The MBA Student Association offers networking, learning, and socializing opportunities to graduate students. The MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The University of North Dakota is ranked #205 (tie) in National Universities by US News for its affordable tuition, active student life, and highly ranked specialty programs.

University of Mary (Bismarck, ND)

University of Mary offers an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), a degree that equips aspiring accountants with the skills not only to succeed in accounting careers but to succeed as leaders in their fields. Students can take the program on-site, online, or as a blend of both; each of the three options is accelerated so that the degree can be completed in as few as 18 months. On-site classes meet no more than once per week. The seminar-style instruction on which all classes are based offers opportunities for active participation and interaction with faculty and peers. Courses in the degree program include Managerial Finance, Executive Economic Analysis, Strategic Decision Making, and Operations Management. The Gary Tharaldson School of Business, through which the MBA program is offered, holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. US News ranks University of Mary #111 (tie) in Regional Universities (Midwest).

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in North Dakota

EideBailly is one of the largest accounting firms in the US, and has an office in Bismarck to serve clients from across the northern Midwest. With offices in Bismarck and Fargo, EideBailly looks for recent graduates to join its team. Brady, Martz & Associates offers a range of services with offices across North Dakota and Minnesota. Krumm & Associates works with clients in various industries, and selectively adds to its team as needed.

How to Become a CPA in North Dakota

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

  1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
  4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  5. Apply for a license.

1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.

The first step to earning a CPA license in North Dakota is completing a 150-hour education program that includes a concentration in accounting and at a minimum, the award of a bachelor’s degree. Courses that count towards an accounting concentration in North Dakota are typically those that have an accounting or tax rubric or include the words accounting or tax in the course title. In addition to a 24-hour accounting concentration, candidates must also complete at least 24 semester hours in related general business subjects.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Candidates for a North Dakota CPA license must earn at least 2,000 hours of experience gained in not less than one calendar year and not more than four calendar years. The majority of the experience must involve the use of skills in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting. Experience may be earned in public accounting, industry, government, or academia.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The North Dakota State Board of Accountancy requires candidates for licensure to take the AICPA self-study course and exam in professional ethics. The course materials can be ordered directly from AICPA.

4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The North Dakota State Board of Accountancy provides the CPA Exam Application for candidates who are ready to take the Uniform CPA Exam, which is a CPA license requirement in all 50 states. Candidates will receive notice of an approval decision within 10 days of the board’s receipt of the application. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period.

5. Apply for a license.

Candidates who have met the education, experience, and exam requirements are ready to apply for a North Dakota CPA license. Candidates must contact the North Dakota State Board of Accountancy to request an Initial CPA Certificate application. The application must include a Certificate of Experience to verify qualifying work experience.

Licensed North Dakota CPAs must earn 120 hours of continuing education for each three-year renewal period, with no fewer than 20 hours occurring per year. Six of these hours must be in professional ethics. You can find additional information at the North Dakota State Board of Accountancy website.

North Dakota Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth


Accountants and Auditors in North Dakota from 2016-20262

Accountants in North Dakota make an average annual salary of $60,550.3 This is higher in metro areas like Bismarck, where annual salaries for accountants fall closer to $65,650, on average.3 Across North Dakota, demand for financial professionals is projected to grow by 16.4% through 2026, meaning that recent graduates may be able to start a successful career here in an in-demand field.2

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