Accounting Schools in Oregon
Accounting schools in Oregon provide a variety of options for obtaining an education in accounting, with programs in general accounting as well as other related business degrees with accounting concentrations. This will assist you in navigating the facts about these programs so that you can make an informed decision. As an alternative to conventional on-campus accounting degree programs, you may also find that Oregon’s online and hybrid accounting degree programs in accounting are a good fit. Below you will find a comparison of available master’s-level accounting programs, information on the process for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure in Oregon, profiles of select programs, and statistics about employment levels and salaries throughout the state.
- There are 31 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Oregon.1
- 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 1 school was ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- No schools were ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
- 1 school was 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
- 4 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- 1 school is 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 Oregon
- Oregon CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Oregon
- Oregon Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Oregon with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a CPA in Oregon
The Oregon Board of Accountancy (the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Oregon.
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Complete a Board-approved ethics course and exam.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
The Board follows the 150-hour rule for prospective CPAs, meaning that candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college-level education including an accredited bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for a license. In Oregon, the 150 semester hours must include 24 semester hours in upper-level accounting and 24 semester hours in accounting or accounting-related business subjects. All 150 semester hours must be completed before a candidate may apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
CPA candidates in Oregon must accumulate 12 months of professional experience (2,000 hours) to qualify for licensure. Qualifying experience may be accumulated through part-time or full-time work. Part-time employment must include at least 20 hours per week. All work must be earned under the direct supervision of a qualified Public Accountant (PA) or licensed CPA. The applicant’s work must consist of activities generally performed by CPAs in attest or assurance, public accounting, auditing, consulting services, personal financial planning, or tax practice. Any work done in attest services must be supervised by a CPA; supervisors designated as PAs may not verify attest work. Attest or tax experience must be gained through a public accounting firm. The Board has identified seven core competencies that must be demonstrated and certified by a supervising PA or CPA. Those skills are:
- Professional ethics
- Assessing the achievement of an entity’s objectives
- Experience in preparing working papers that include support for analysis and conclusions
- Understanding the transaction streams and information systems
- Risk assessment and verification skills
- Decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking in the context of analysis
- Quality of communication expressing scope of work, findings, and conclusions
3. Complete a Board-approved ethics course and exam.
The Board requires CPA candidates to complete a written exam on the Code of Professional Ethics for accountants. The Board has adopted two exams that meet this requirement: the American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) Comprehensive Course and exam and the Oregon Society of CPAs (ORCPA) Ethics Exam. Both courses are self-study and must be completed within eight years before the candidate’s application is received by the Board.
4. Apply to and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Candidates who have met the education requirements for a license qualify to take the AICPA’s Uniform CPA Exam and should apply by submitting the CPA Exam Application to the Board. Within 90 days of applying to take the exam, candidates must submit the Candidate Information Release form and proof of eligibility. After being approved to test, candidates will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) as well as further instructions for submitting the exam fees to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), who administers the exam in Oregon. All four sections of the exam must be passed with a score of 75 or better within an 18-month rolling period to receive credit on the exam.
5. Apply for a license.
Candidates who have passed the CPA exam, met the education and experience requirements, and demonstrated the necessary competencies are ready to submit the CPA Initial License Application and Oregon Board of Accountancy Employment form. The form must be accompanied by the Consent to Use Social Security Number form and a written narrative explaining each competency verified by the supervising accountant.
6. Receive a license.
Once the Board has received the necessary documentation, it typically takes two to three weeks to process the request. Once approved the Board will send a notification by email with an invoice for the initial license fee. Once the applicant has paid the fee and registered with the Board, their name will appear on the Board’s licensee search, and they may begin practice. The Board will mail new licensees a wall certificate, a wallet license card, and a letter of congratulations with a license number, CPE information, and license renewal due dates.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Once licensed CPAs in Oregon must renew their license every other year. Oregon CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each two-year renewal period. Four of these hours must be in the subjects of professional conduct and ethics, taken from Board-approved sponsors. No more than 16 hours of non-technical study may be reported. At least 24 hours must be completed during each calendar year. A maximum of 20 hours in excess of the total CPE requirement may be carried forward to the next reporting period. You can find additional information on the Board website.
Oregon CPA Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for accountants in Oregon is $73,180 per year.10 An estimated 12,420 accountants and auditors are employed in the state.10 The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area has the highest employment of accountants and the highest average salary for accountants in the state, with 9,460 professionals earning an average of $75,410 annually.10 Employment for accountants and auditors in Oregon is expected to grow by 12.6% by 2028, almost twice the projected national average rate.11
Oregon CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Oregon
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Willamette University (#57)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019
- University of Oregon (#35 tie)
Oregon Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Oregon 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|
|Portland State University||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Taxation;|
|Southern Oregon University||ACBSP||N.Av.||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||46%||Yes||$491|
|University of Oregon||AACSB||61.1%||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||73.9%||74%||—||$505|
|University of Portland||AACSB||N.Av.||BBA-Accounting/MBA*;|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Oregon with Master’s in Accounting Programs
George Fox University prepares students to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam with its academically challenging and competitive Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The George Fox School of Business emphasizes leadership skills and ability in all of its programs, preparing graduates to be ethical, responsive, and engaged business leaders. The full-time MBA program can be completed in 11 months while the part-time program, which is offered in evening and weekend formats, can be completed in 24 months. Part-time MBA students can choose from concentrations in Finance; Strategic Management, Strategic Human Resource Management; or Management and Leadership. Students enrolled in any of the available program formats complete the curriculum in cohorts, which encourages teamwork and professional networking. The 42-credit hour program teaches accounting knowledge through courses such as Accounting and Financial Reporting in Business, Managerial Finance, and Global Environment. The program features a Business Seminar, a course that takes students to area businesses to study and report on how they operate. Applicants to the program must have completed a bachelor’s degree in the last five years with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a B- or better on all prerequisite courses. No GMAT is required for admission.
The Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program for aspiring CPAs to meet the education requirements to apply for CPA licensure. The program encourages students to learn and discover new ideas and methods in accounting and related fields for an interdisciplinary understanding of business principles. The required curriculum includes intensive study in such areas as Taxes and Business Strategy; Accounting Measurement and Disclosure; Financial Statement Analysis; and Strategic Cost Management. Business electives cover subjects such as global business, financial management, and investments. Students wishing to enroll in the MAcc program must have an undergraduate degree in accounting or equivalent coursework, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a GMAT score that is less than five years old. The University of Oregon also offers undergraduate students interested in accounting the option of the 3+1 program to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a MAcc in only four years.
The Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland offers prospective accountants a five-year program that can fulfill CPA licensure requirements in Oregon. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Accounting can be paired with the Pamplin’s MBA program to meet the 150-credit hour requirement. The BBA program requires 120 credit hours and includes upper-level accounting courses such as Cost Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Business Taxation. The MBA program requires 36 credit hours and offers a broad core curriculum with optional concentrations in fields such as Finance; Marketing; Operations and Technology Marketing; and Sustainability. Core MBA courses include Economic Analysis, Principles of Accounting, and Corporate Finance. The MBA program culminates in a capstone course that integrates problem-solving strategies learned through the program. Admission into the MBA program requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, a GMAT with a score of at least 550 or an equivalent GRE score. The testing requirement may be waived if applicants have a 3.0 or better GPA in an AACSB-accredited business program, a master’s degree in business, a professional business certification, or two to three years of professional experience. BBA students may also pursue Pamplin’s Master of Science (MS) in Finance or MS in Operations and Technology Management to fulfill the 150-semester hour requirement.
Willamette University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting that is designed to be completed in 21 months. The program will help students work towards professional certifications such as CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA). The program is divided into 11 required courses and eight electives. Required courses include Accounting for Managers; Operations and Systems Management; Strategic Management; and the PACE course, a six-month hands-on consulting project working with non-profit clients. The Accounting concentration requires students to choose three accounting electives focusing on areas such as financial statement analysis, decision making, and grant administration. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree and a GMAT or GRE score. Willamette MBA students have access to career services such as career fairs, mock interviews, and site visits to companies in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. Within three months of graduation, over 80% of past graduates have received a job offer.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Portland State University (PSU) is home to a Master of Taxation (MT) that can be completed online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. The MT program is offered both full time and part time and can be completed full time in as little as 12 months. The 45-credit hour program was developed with the help of practicing accountants and tax professionals to support long-term professional success. The core curriculum consists of 33 credit hours, with course offerings such as Tax Research and Writing; Taxation of Property Transactions; Corporate Taxation; and a Tax Case Capstone that concludes the program. The rest of the coursework is made up of 12 credit hours of electives, which can include approved business courses of internships. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting and either employment in a tax-related field, a CPA license, and Enrolled Agent license; a 3.0 undergraduate or higher GPA and the completion of prerequisite coursework; or for current undergraduates, a 3.0 GPA or better in upper-division accounting coursework. Graduates of the MT program seeking jobs have had a 94% placement rate within six months of graduation.
Southern Oregon University (SOU) offers an online Master in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting that will help prepare students for a career in accounting. The 45-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 16 months. The curriculum consists of 33 credit hours of core coursework and three hours of accounting electives. Students in the MBA in Accounting program will learn to interpret financial statements, evaluate financial strengths and weaknesses, and analyze and evaluate financial reports. Courses in the curriculum that focus on accounting include electives such as Accounting Information Systems; Financial Statement Analysis; and Business Valuation and Financial Statements. A graduate capstone course integrates the program coursework using analysis of business cases. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above and three years of professional experience. The program has multiple start dates throughout the year to accommodate working professionals. Graduates of SOU’s MBA program have gone on to careers in business/data analysis, business strategy, and accounting.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Oregon
- Aldrich Advisors: With locations in Portland and Salem, Aldrich is a regional firm offering its clients a full suite of business and accounting services.
- Isler CPA: An accounting firm that focuses not only on business practices but on environmental sustainability, Isler is a member of the RSM US Alliance of independent accounting firms.
- Alten Sakai & Company LLP: Based in Portland, Alten Sakai provides financial services and planning with a focus on smaller businesses and individuals.
Oregon Accounting Associations
- Oregon Association of Independent Accountants (OAIA): A professional organization that offers accountants and tax professionals in Oregon CPE options, networking opportunities, access to government agencies, and marketing opportunities.
- Oregon Society of CPAs (ORCPA): Offering Oregon accountants legislative advocacy, CPE opportunities, and networking, ORCPA works to uphold professional standards and promote the accounting profession.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a CPA make in Oregon?
According to the BLS, accountants and auditors in Oregon make an average salary of $73,180 per year, a wage slightly lower than the national average of $79,520.10,13 The highest salaries in the state are found in the Portland metropolitan area, where accountants average $75,410 annually.10
How do I get my CPA in Oregon?
To become a CPA in Oregon, you need to complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting including a bachelor’s degree. You must also accumulate one year of professional accounting experience under the supervision of a PA or CPA. You must pass both the AICPA ethics course and exam and the Uniform CPA Exam. Once you have met all of these requirements, you may apply to the board to become a licensed CPA.
What is the difference between a PA and a CPA?
Oregon registers both Public Accountants (PA) and Certified Public Accountants (CPA). PAs may not perform auditing or attest services and may not supervise the performance of these services. In the licensing process, PAs do not need to pass the auditing sections of the Uniform CPA Exam. PAs may also qualify for the Uniform CPA Exam by receiving a high school diploma and completing two years of full-time accounting experience under a CPA, PA, or Chartered Accountant (CA) as opposed to meeting the 150-semester hour/bachelor’s degree requirement for CPAs. The experience used to qualify for the exam may not be used to qualify for licensure, however.
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, Oregon: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_or.htm
11. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
12. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools
13. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm