Accounting Schools in Ohio

The accounting schools in Ohio provide a wide array of accounting programs for students interested in furthering their careers in accounting. This overview of accounting schools in Ohio will provide you with factual information so that you can make the right choice for your educational and career needs. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, you may wish to consider online accounting programs, which some individuals find are a better fit.

Quick Facts

  • There are 89 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Ohio.
  • 18 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Case Western Reserve University and Ohio State University-Main Campus, 83%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Central State University, 55%1
  • Highest net price per year*: University of Dayton, $35,0771
  • Lowest net price per year*: Youngstown State University, $10,6371
  • 10 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Ohio State University (14), John Carroll University (30), Ohio University (38), Ohio Northern University (45), Case Western Reserve University (60), Bowling Green State University (71), University of Cincinnati (84), University of Toledo (96), University of Akron (98), Kent State University (111)
  • 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: Miami University-Ohio (#50 in-state, #36 out-of-state), Ohio State University (#25 in-state, #24 out-of-state)
  • 3 schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Case Western Reserve University (42), Ohio State University-Columbus (56), Miami University-Oxford (96)

*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Read more below about your options in accounting schools in Ohio with overviews of popular schools and programs as well as information about career outlooks for accounting graduates.

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

  1. Wright State University (81.4%)
  2. Ashland University (78.6%)
  3. Miami University (76.2%)
  4. Kent State University (75.9%)
  5. Case Western Reserve University (74.6%)
  6. John Carroll University (72.7%)
  7. Ohio State University (68.3%)

There were 20 schools in Ohio with first-time candidates for the CPA exam (with an advanced degree). The pass rate at these schools ranged widely from 14.3% to 81.4%. For comparison, the pass rate for all candidates in the nation in 2015 was 48.4% (for candidates with a bachelor’s or advanced degree). When selecting an accounting program, the first-time pass rate can help compare schools although the percentage may be skewed for schools with a small pool of candidates. You can find a full breakdown of CPA statistics by school at the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Ohio

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Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH)

Cleveland State University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that aims to prepare students for careers as accountants in any sector while assuming increasing levels of responsibility across their careers. Students admitted to the program may study on one of two specialist tracks in either Auditing or Taxation. Both programs require 30 credit hours to complete. Advanced accounting courses offered include Federal Income Taxation; Tax Research and Planning; Accounting Policy; and Attest Function. Course scheduling is flexible, with many required courses held during the evening hours. Cooperative education and internships are also available. Traditional financial aid, graduate assistantships, and tuition grants are offered to students who qualify. The program is one of a select number of accounting programs in the world accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. US News ranks Cleveland State University as a Tier 2 college in National Universities.

Kent State University (Kent, OH)

Kent State University’s College of Business Administration offers a Master’s of Science (MS) in Accounting program that is academically challenging with a focus on leadership and real-world skills. Students are prepared to enter professional roles in public, corporate, not-for-profit, and government accounting upon graduation. All students complete an accounting core that includes courses such as Advanced Accounting Systems, Corporate Accounting, Income Taxation, and Professional Issues and Ethics in Accounting. Students choose a concentration in either Assurance Services or Taxation, earned through the completion of nine focused elective credit hours. Students also have the option to take an internship as part of the program; eligible students may earn academic credit for internships completed while pursuing their graduate degree. The College of Business Administration at Kent State University is recognized for graduating students equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen career paths. Kent State University is ranked #191 in National Universities by US News.

Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree that helps students develop the analysis, teamwork, leadership, and communications skills needed to succeed in an accountancy career. The degree is founded on 10 core credit hours and 21 credit hours of electives, for a total of 31 credit hours to earn the MAcc. Example courses include Tax Research; Financial Modeling; and Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions. Students may concentrate their electives in areas of interest for further specialization and career preparation. Additional learning outside the classroom is made possible through the school’s multiple research and business partnership centers, which connect students and faculty with the business community. The Fisher College of Business additionally offers a Specialized Master’s in Finance. Ohio State University is ranked #56 (tie) in National Universities by US News, making it one of the top schools in the US. Its focus on student success sets this university apart.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Ohio

BDO USA is a leading accounting and advisory firm with offices in Cinncinatti and Columbus. Bober Markey Fedorovich is a large independent CPA firm with offices in Akron and Cleveland serving privately held and public clients. Bober Markey offers competitive benefits, a clear career track, and varied work. Jones, Cochenour & Co. bills itself as Columbus’ leading accounting firm, and offers its clients a full range of accounting and consulting services.

How to Become a CPA in Ohio

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

  1. Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Complete an approved course in professional standards and responsibilities.
  4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  5. Complete the criminal background check.
  6. Apply for a license.

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

To qualify for a CPA license in Ohio, candidates must complete a 150-hour program of education that includes the award of at least a bachelor’s degree. The education program must include either 30 semester hours in accounting total or 24 semester hours in accounting above the introductory level. Courses within this concentration must include:

  • Auditing, not including internal auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Management/cost accounting
  • Professional ethics for CPAs
  • Taxation

Candidates must also complete 24 semester hours in business subjects such as business law, economics, finance, management, and marketing. Candidates with a minimum score of 620 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in accounting and have completed 30 semester hours of accounting courses may not be required to complete 150 semester hours of education but will need to complete additional experience.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Ohio CPA candidates must earn at least one year of experience working in accounting in a public accounting firm, government, business, or academia. Experience requirements may vary according to a candidate’s education level; candidates should carefully review board rules and contact the Accountancy Board of Ohio with questions about the requirements. All experience earned must be verified by a currently licensed CPA familiar with the candidate’s experience.

3. Complete an approved course in professional standards and responsibilities.

The Accountancy Board of Ohio requires prospective licensees to take a course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR) that emphasizes Ohio law and accounting board rules. A list of approved sponsors for PSR courses can be accessed through the Accountancy Board of Ohio.

4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The Accountancy Board of Ohio uses NASBA to administer the application and testing process for the Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates may apply to the exam through the NASBA website. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period.

5. Complete the criminal background check.

A criminal records check is required to obtain a CPA license in Ohio. The records check is fingerprint-based. Fingerprints must be submitted electronically through an approved “WebCheck” vendor. A list of vendors is available through the Ohio Attorney General’s website. Note that a vendor who reports to both the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) using the National WebCheck must be used.

6. Apply for a license.

The final step to obtaining a CPA license in Ohio is completing the Application for Original Ohio Certificate of Certified Public Accountant. Candidates must include the appropriate verification of experience forms with the application.

Once licensed, Ohio CPAs must complete 120 continuing education hours for each three-year license renewal period. Continuing education subject areas are contingent on licensees’ area(s) of professional competence. You can find additional information at the Accountancy Board of Ohio website.

Ohio Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth


Accountants and Auditors in Ohio from 2016-20262

Based on the number of accountants employed and their average annual salary, Ohio is one of the best states for beginning CPAs to start a career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 44,500 accountants and auditors are currently employed in Ohio, at an average annual salary of $72,350.3 In the state capital of Columbus metro area, the average is even higher at $74,630.4 Accounting and auditor positions are projected to grow by 5.3% in the state through 2026, which means that firms in Ohio will be adding new positions.2

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000

Student Review: “I enjoyed the accounting program due to the quality of the professors, the structure of courses, and the helpful advisors. I feel that I gained a thorough education in accounting once I completed the program. I loved my advisor who took me in as a freshman and helped me plan out my four years of undergrad by creating a semester-by-semester plan of what courses to take. The program also helped me with job searches after I completed the program.” -Pengweidong S., student at Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-2000

Student Review: “My experience at Cleveland State University was wonderful. The program offers classes from all different aspects of accounting that really left with me with such a strong understanding of the field, such as tax, auditing, financial, managerial, and international. The one downside I thought the program was teaching the necessary software. A lot of tools used in the applications were not used or taught in class. So, most of what is taught within the classroom setting are theory and applying that theory to practical situations was a bit impractical. Overall, though, I was very satisfied with my experience and the education I received.” -student at Cleveland State University

Ohio State University
281 W Lane Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446

Student Review: “The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business is one of the top-ranked business schools in the country. It is no surprise that with such high prestige comes a rigorous but fair course load. I had to commute to the school during my first two years, which somewhat hindered my performance. Fortunately, study groups were very easy to come by. Finally, I ended up working in a top 4 firm & am on my way to a very nice fast track. I owe a lot of my professional growth to my school.” -student at Ohio State 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
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Columbus, OH: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_18140.htm