Accounting Schools in Utah
This overview of accounting schools in Utah contains information about master’s-level accounting programs so that you can make an informed choice about where to pursue an accounting degree. The options for earning an accounting degree in Utah include general accounting degrees as well as more specialized programs like master’s in taxation degrees. Utah schools offer both in-person and online degree options to accommodate differing student demands. Continue reading to learn more about schools and the process to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Utah as well as salary and employment statistics for accounting professionals in the state.
- There are 18 and universities with accounting degree programs in Utah.1
- 9 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 2 schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 1 school was ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
- 3 schools were ranked in Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019.4
- 1 school was ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2020.5
- 8 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 6 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- 3 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 Utah
- Utah CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Utah
- Utah Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Utah with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Utah
The Utah Board of Accountancy (The Board), a department of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL), 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 Utah:
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- Pass the Utah CPA Law and Rules Examination.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
The Board follows the 150-hour rule for prospective CPAs in the state, meaning that all applicants must complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework to qualify for a license. In Utah, the 150 hours must include the award of at least a bachelor’s degree and a concentration in accounting, auditing, or business.
Applicants with a graduate degree in accounting or taxation from an AACSB- or ACBSP-accredited business education program will meet the education requirement for licensure in Utah. Applicants with an AACSB- or ACBSP-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree must have at least 24 semester hours of upper-division or graduate-level accounting courses covering financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting and 15 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses in the same subjects, or an equivalent combination of both graduate and upper-division accounting courses covering these subjects.
Applicants with an AACSB- or ACBSP-accredited bachelor’s degree in business or accounting must have at least 24 semester hours of upper-division or graduate-level accounting courses covering at least one course in each of the following subjects: financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting; and 30 additional hours of graduate or upper-division accounting and business courses.
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree not accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP must complete:
At least 24 hours of non-accounting business or related courses with a minimum of two semester hours in each of the following subjects:
- Business law
- Business ethics
- Business statistics and quantitative methods
- Written and oral business communications
- Business administration (such as marketing, production, management, policy, or organizational behavior)
They also must complete at least 24 semester hours in upper-division or graduate-level accounting courses with a minimum of two semester hours in each of the following subjects:
- Managerial or cost accounting
- 30 additional hours in graduate- or upper-division accounting and business courses
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
CPA candidates in Utah must complete at least one year of experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. One year of experience is considered to be at least 2,000 work hours. The work performed must use generally accepted skills in auditing and accounting commensurate with the education requirements and expected practice for Utah licensed CPAs.
3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
The Board requires CPA candidates to take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics for CPAs self-study course and exam to fulfill the state ethics requirement for licensure. Candidates may order the exam and course materials from the AICPA website.
4. Pass the Utah CPA Law and Rules Examination.
In addition to the AICPA ethics exam, candidates must complete the Utah CPA Law and Rules Examination with a score of 75% or greater. This exam is open book and is administered through PSI Exams. Candidates may register for the exam online and schedule to take it at the PSI testing center of their choice.
5. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree, 120 semester hours of education, and all required accounting and business coursework may apply to sit for the AICPA Uniform CPA Exam in Utah. Candidates should apply through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. The Uniform CPA Exam is a license requirement in all 50 states, and all four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period with a score of at least 75. Candidates who are not sure if their education qualifies them to sit for the exam may request an optional pre-evaluation of transcripts through NASBA.
6. Apply for a license.
Once all of the above criteria have been met, a candidate may submit the CPA license application. Applications can be filed electronically through the DOPL website once candidates have received notification of a passing score on the Uniform CPA Exam and completed all other requirements. Candidates must be sure to include all requested supporting documentation, including supervisor verification of work experience, to avoid delays in application processing.
7. Receive a license.
Once the application is filed, approved applicants will be notified by email within a day or two. The approval email will include a license number, wallet cards, and a certificate of licensure. At this point, the applicant may begin practicing as a CPA.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
CPAs licensed in Utah must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), including at least three hours of ethics, and one hour on the subject of Utah regulations on accounting, for each two-year renewal period. Renewal periods begin on January 1 of odd-numbered years and end on December 31 of even-numbered years, but no CPE hours are required at the first renewal after initial licensure. CPAs must maintain current knowledge, skills, and abilities and may be required to complete additional CE to maintain such standards. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.
Utah CPA Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 10,250 accountants are currently working in the state of Utah.10 That number is expected to grow by 31.1% by 2028, a rate almost five times faster than the national average.11 The mean salary for accountants and auditors working in the state is $68,560, with the highest salaries in the Ogden-Clearfield area at an average of $70,150 annually.10 Employment for accounting professionals is highest in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, with nearly 6,000 accountants and auditors working there.10
Utah CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|Salt Lake City||5,830||$69,910|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Utah
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Brigham Young (#24)
- University of Utah (#36)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors* 2020
- Brigham Young University
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019
- Brigham Young University (#2)
- University of Utah (#33)
- Utah State University (#47)
US News & World Report’s Best MBA in Accounting Programs 2020
- Brigham Young University (#4 tie)
Utah Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Utah 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|
|Brigham Young University-Provo||AACSB||89.8%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||59.2%||78%||—||$498|
|Utah Tech University||ACBSP||N.Av.||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||36%||—||$420|
|Southern Utah University||AACSB||56.2%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||79.4%||50%||Yes||$423|
|University of Utah||AACSB||64.2%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||70%||—||$970|
|Utah State University||AACSB||74.6%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||46.4%||54%||—||$297|
|Utah Valley University||AACSB||57.9%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc);|
|Weber State University||AACSB||70.1%||Master of Accounting (MAcc);|
Master of Taxation (MTax)
|Western Governors University||ACBSP||59.8%||MS-Accounting||N.Av.||21%||Yes||$523|
|Westminster College||ACBSP||60.0%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||58%||—||$1,045|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Master’s in Accounting Programs in Utah
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Marriott School of Management offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that is designed to be taken either as a five-year program for undergraduate accounting students at BYU or exclusively as a master’s program for students with an accounting degree from another school. The full curriculum consists of 36 credit hours and can be completed in under two years. Two stems (tracks) are offered, the Professional Accountancy Stem, for students who wish to provide professional services such as advisory and assurance, and the Tax Stem, for students pursuing a career in corporate and individual taxation. In both stems, students may use their elective coursework to pursue additional emphases in topics such as Data Analytics, Healthcare Industry, and International Accounting. Students may add a Certificate in Accounting Information Systems or prepare for further study in the PhD program. Core courses offered in the Professional Accountancy Stem include Strategic Management and Business Finance, while core courses in the Tax Stem include Tax Research Methodology and Special Problems in Federal Taxation. Admission into the program requires a minimum GPA of 3.0.
University of Utah
The University of Utah offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program through its David Eccles School of Business that helps students prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam. This advanced program offers multiple emphasis areas for degree customization, including Audit, Tax, and Information Systems. Those who do not have the undergraduate prerequisites in accounting and business may enroll in either the MAcc Intensive program or the online Pre-MAcc program, which allows students to complete all program prerequisites before beginning the MAcc. In the MAcc Intensive program, students take the prerequisites during one summer, while in the Pre-MAcc program, students can take the prerequisites over a period of time in a more flexible format. The 30-credit hour MAcc degree can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with the full-time option taking just two semesters to complete. The curriculum includes such courses as Cases in Auditing and Systems; Reading and Interpreting Financial Statements; Business Valuation and Analysis; and Business and Tax Strategies. Applicants to the MAcc program must have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year program and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants who have yet to complete their undergraduate degree may apply for conditional admission. University of Utah MAcc graduates have gone on to employment with companies like Ernst & Young, Adobe, and Deloitte.
Westminster College’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program is intended to be a fifth-year program to help undergraduate accounting students meet the requirements for CPA licensure; students with bachelor’s degrees in other subjects may enroll after taking a series of prerequisite courses. Students who complete the one-year program will gain mastery over core accounting principles and be prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. Westminster’s MAcc curriculum consists of 22 credit hours of required courses and eight credit hours of coursework towards a required concentration in either Tax or Financial Accounting/Audit. Courses in the 30-credit hour program include Taxation of Corporations; Financial Accounting and Reporting; Corporate Governance; and Managerial Accounting. Students are typically expected to take a full-time course load during the fall and spring semesters and a part-time course load in the summer. Enrollment requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Classes are in the evening to encourage students to continue working. Westminster also offers career support to place students with local CPA firms.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Southern Utah University
The Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business at Southern Utah University (SUU) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree with an online option. The 30-credit hour MAcc degree can be completed in one academic year for full-time students with an accounting background, with 15 credits taken each semester. The curriculum is structured to help students with an undergraduate degree in accounting or equivalent to meet the 150-semester hour rule for CPA licensure. For students seeking a higher degree of specialization, the MAcc program offers emphases in Business Analytics, Managerial Accounting, Public Accounting, and Taxation, as well as a possible dual-degree option with SUU’s MBA program. The MAcc curriculum requires all students to complete four core courses and six electives. The core courses include Taxes for Pass Through Entities; Practice and Theory Seminar; and Accounting Ethics Seminar. Admission into the program requires either a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree in another subject and the completion of 42 credit hours of foundation courses in business and accounting. MAcc students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, with no single course grade lower than a “C”. Students may only repeat any given course once.
Weber State University
Weber State University’s (WSU) Goddard School of Business and Economics offers a Master of Taxation (MTax) that can be completed either in-person or online. The MTax program will help students with an accounting background respond to the increasing complexity of tax regulation for both individuals and businesses. Students can finish the 30-credit hour program in as little as two semesters. Each class meets once per week for traditional students, and online students can watch the recorded in-person lecture from each week. The curriculum consists of 15 credit hours of required courses and 15 credit hours of electives. The required courses cover topics such as tax research, individual taxation, and corporate taxation. Applicants to the MTax must have a bachelor’s degree with either a major in accounting or comparable coursework; a GMAT score; and an acceptable GPA in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work and in accounting coursework overall. Weber students have access to the Goddard School Career Services department, which uses the Handshake platform to connect students to internship and job opportunities.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University (WGU) hosts a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting that focuses on three areas of study: Accounting, Finance, and Strategy. The MS in Accounting degree prepares students for professional certifications such as CPA, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). The program requires students to complete 10 courses to graduate. Courses are taken one at a time, with each course requiring a competency assessment to complete. Students may take as many classes as they can finish in a term. The standard degree path for students is three courses per term for three terms with a single class in the final term. Each student develops an individualized degree program with a program mentor. Classes offered include Advanced Managerial Accounting, Financial Management, and Management Communication. Admission into the program requires either a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a CPA license. Graduates of the WGU MS in Accounting have gone on to careers as accounting managers, internal audit managers, and senior accountants.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Utah
- HintonBurdick: One of the largest accounting firms in Utah, with offices across the state, Hinton Burdick offers tax, assurance, payroll, and bookkeeping services to a variety of industries including nonprofits, tribal governments, and hospitality.
- Tanner: One of the premier independent CPA firms in Utah offering accounting services to local, national, and international clients. Tanner hosts a series of meetups and conferences to connect business owners, investors, and clients.
- Karren, Hendrix, Stagg, Allen & Company (KHSA): A member of AICPA and UACPA, KHSA provides accounting, tax, and consulting services in Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada.
Utah Accounting Associations
- Utah Association of CPAs (UACPA): The UACPA seeks to promote professional standards amongst CPAs through legislative advocacy, up-to-date CPE offerings, and networking opportunities both within and outside of the accounting industry.
- Association of Government Accountants (AGA), Northern Utah Chapter: Offers accountants in state, county, and local governments training opportunities covering topics such as financial management, budgeting, accounting, ethics, and related legislation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to have your master’s to get your CPA in Utah?
You do not have to get a master’s degree to become a CPA in Utah as long as you complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting, with required accounting and business coursework based on your degree type. However, applicants with a master’s degree in accounting from a program accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP will meet the qualifications for licensure without any additional coursework requirements.
How much do CPAs make in Utah?
The BLS reports that the average annual salary for accountants and auditors in Utah is $68,560.10 Accountants in the Ogden area earn the highest average salary in the state at $70,150.10
How do I transfer my CPA license to Utah?
To be able to transfer a CPA license to Utah you must have practiced as a fully-licensed CPA in your home state for a full year. You must complete an application for licensure and submit official verification of your license. If you are moving from a state that has an approved ethics requirement, you must complete the Utah Law and Rule Exam with a score of 75% or greater. If you are coming from a state that does not have an approved ethics exam requirement, you must also complete the AICPA ethics course and exam with a score of at least 90%.
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
Student Review: “I attended the Master’s of Accountancy program at BYU and completed my degree with an emphasis in tax. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the program at BYU. It was an extremely difficult, time-consuming program – especially during my junior year – but it was worth it. The professors are all extremely knowledgeable and teach you how to think through principles instead of just preparing generic work. This kind of teaching has greatly benefited me compared to my peers in the workforce. Before I left BYU I was highly recruited and received multiple job offers. I would recommend the accounting program at BYU to anyone.” -Student at Brigham Young University
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/documents/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, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.htm
11. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
12. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools