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Accounting Schools in Oregon

Accounting schools in Oregon provide a variety of options for obtaining an education in accounting, with programs in general accounting, taxation, accounting technology, and other in-demand topics available to students. This page about accounting schools in Oregon will assist you in navigating the facts so that you can make an informed decision. As an alternative to conventional on-campus accounting degree programs, you may also find that online or distance education degree programs in accounting are a good fit.

Quick Facts

  • There are 29 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Oregon.1
  • 7 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: University of Portland, 78%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Southern Oregon University, 46%1
  • Highest net price per year*: University of Portland, $31,8801
  • Lowest net price per year*: Portland State University, $13,4761
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for accounting programs in Oregon: $17,604-$35,7402
  • 1 school in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Oregon (98)
  • 1 school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 200): University of Oregon (115)
  • 2 schools ranked in Forbes Top Colleges List (top 100): Reed College (68), Willamette University (90)

*For 4-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Continue reading to learn more about your options for accounting schools in Oregon, including profiles of select schools and programs and information about potential career tracks for accounting graduates.

Schools with the Highest 2013 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. Portland State University 79.0%
  2. University of Oregon
  3. Willamette University 61.5%

There were three schools in Oregon with first-time candidates for the CPA exam (with an advanced degree). The pass rate ranged from 61.5% to 79.0% for these schools, higher than the national pass rate of 54.6% in 2013 for all candidates (with a bachelor’s or advanced degree). When researching schools, first-time pass rate can help you compare options although schools with a small number of candidates may have a misleading percentage. For a full breakdown of CPA exam pass rates see the 2014 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Oregon

George Fox University (Newburg, OR)

George Fox University prepares students to sit for the Uniform CPA exam with academically challenging and competitive master’s programs in business administration focused on accounting. 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. Students enrolled in any of the available program formats complete the curriculum in cohorts, which encourages teamwork and professional networking. The 42 credit hour programs teach accounting knowledge through courses such as Accounting and Financial Reporting, Managerial Finance, and Business Decision Analysis. The George Fox School of Business emphasizes leadership skills and ability in all of its programs, preparing graduates to be ethical, responsive, and engaged leaders in business. US News ranks George Fox University #24 in Regional Universities (West). Its small class sizes and focus on academic achievement allow the school to ensure that each student reaches their full potential.

Southern Oregon University (Ashland, OR)

Southern Oregon University offers a Master in Business Administration with options for concentrating in accounting through electives to help prepare students for careers as accountants. The 45 credit hour, cohort-based program may be pursued on a full-time or a part-time basis; full-time students take courses in the evenings, while part-time students enter a Saturday cohort. The cohort approach can provide networking and other advantages for graduates’ professional careers. Courses in the curriculum that focus on accounting include Managerial Accounting for Decision Making, Economic Analysis, Financial Management Practices, and Information Systems. A graduate capstone course on an applied project with a regional focus may also cement accounting knowledge with content learned across the program in functional areas such as management, ethics, and leadership. US News ranks Southern Oregon University as a Tier 2 school in Regional Universities (West). In addition to assisting students with financial aid packages, this university also offers discounted tuition to residents of 14 western states.

University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)

University of Oregon offers a rigorous Master of Accounting Program for aspiring CPAs to meet the education requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. The program encourages students to learn and discover new ideas and methods in accounting and related fields for an interdisciplinary understanding of the principles of business. 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. An optional Accounting Abroad study tour can help students understand how the practice of accounting varies regionally and internationally, as can electives in global business, financial management, and accounting. Throughout the program students are encouraged and given opportunities to interact closely with peers and faculty, building an atmosphere of mutual support for learning and professional development. The Lundquist College of Business and Department of Accounting at the University of Oregon are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. US News ranks University of Oregon #109 in National Universities.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Oregon

AKT CPAs and Business Consultants is a regional firm that ranks within the top 100 accounting firms in the US, offering its clients a full suite of business and accounting services. The firm focuses on attracting talent on a continual basis, and offers career advancement opportunities. Isler CPA is a unique accounting firm, which focuses not only on business practices but on environmental sustainability. This growth-focused firm is hiring to expand its team. Alten Sakai & Company LLP is one of the top 25 accounting firms in the busy Portland metro area, and prides itself on being large enough to provide its employees with opportunity, but small enough to offer work/life balance.

How to Become a CPA in Oregon

The Oregon 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 CPA license in Oregon.

  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 Oregon Board of Accountancy follows the 150-hour rule for prospective CPAs, meaning that candidates must complete 150 semester hours of a college education program in order to qualify for a license. In Oregon, the 150 semester hours must include 24 semester hours in accounting as well as an additional 24 semester hours in accounting or accounting related business subjects.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

CPAs in Oregon are required to accumulate 12 months of experience (2,080 hours) to qualify for licensure. Qualifying experience must be earned in at least 20 hours per week and be under the direct supervision of a qualified public accountant or CPA licensee supervisor. The applicant’s work must consist of activities generally performed by CPAs in attest or assurance, public accounting, auditing, consulting services, personal financial planning, and/or tax practice.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Oregon Board of Accountancy has adopted the AICPA self-study course to fulfill its pre-licensure ethics course requirement. The course and exam are taken at home and can be ordered directly though AICPA.

4. Apply to and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Candidates who are ready and qualified for the Uniform CPA Exam should apply using the CPA Exam Application, which is submitted to the Oregon Board of Accountancy. Along with this form, candidates should submit the Authorization to Release Information form. After being approved to test, candidates will receive an Authorization to Test as well as further instructions for submitting the exam fees to the test administrator, NASBA. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period to receive credit for a passing score on the exam.

5. Apply for a license.

Candidates who have met the education and experience requirements are ready to submit the Application for Issuance of a CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice. The form must be accompanied by a completed Consent to Use Social Security Number form.

Once licensed, Oregon CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education during each two year renewal period. At least 24 hours must be completed each calendar year. You can find additional information at the Oregon Board of Accountancy website.
(Source: Oregon Board of Accountancy)

Oregon Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

21.7%

Accountants and Auditors in Oregon from 2010-20203

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for accountants in Oregon are higher than in many other areas of the country, typically ranging between $61,320 and $64,260 per year. The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area is where the greatest number of accountants in Oregon work, followed closely by business centers in Salem and Eugene. The demand for business services like accounting in the Portland area is particularly strong, growing by 6% in the last three years alone.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=OR&major=finance-accounting&sort=best
3. Oregon Labor Department: http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/Pages/index.aspx