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Accounting Schools in West Virginia

This overview of accounting schools in West Virginia will help you make a decision on where to pursue an accounting degree to support your future career. The colleges and universities in West Virginia offer a variety of accounting programs to meet the diverse educational needs and interests of students like you. Online accounting degrees may also be a match for your career goals.

Quick Facts

  • There are 20 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in West Virginia.1
  • 4 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: Wheeling Jesuit University, 64%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 43%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Bethany College, $18,7831
  • Lowest net price per year*: West Virginia University Institute of Technology, $8,4471
  • 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.

Read on to learn more about your options for accounting schools in West Virginia, including information about potential career tracks and job outlooks for accounting graduates.

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

  1. West Virginia University (62.5%)

There was only one school in West Virginia with first-time CPA exam candidates with an advanced degree in 2015. The 62.5% pass rate was higher than the national pass rate of 48.4% for all candidates in the nation (with a bachelor’s or advanced degree). The first-time exam pass rate can provide a helpful metric for comparing the success of graduates from different programs although a small number of candidates at a school may create a misleading percentage. For a full statistical breakdown 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 West Virginia

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Marshall University (Huntington, WV)

Marshall University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accountancy that helps students meet the education requirements to become a CPA, with a strong emphasis on electronic and computer auditing. The 30-credit hour curriculum typically takes three to four semesters to complete. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers in public accounting, with courses in Audit Theory and Practice; Accounting Research; Advanced Controllership; and Government and Business Relationships. Admission is open to students from all undergraduate fields of study, though some students may need to complete a foundational core before beginning graduate study. The College of Business at Marshall University is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and offers various merit-based and need-based scholarship and graduate assistantship programs to graduate students. Marshall University is ranked #42 (tie) in Regional Universities (South) by US News for its affordable tuition, small class sizes, and diverse education programs.

West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

West Virginia University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree through its College of Business and Economics that promises to prepare students for the challenges found in any career in accounting. Courses in the degree program include Financial Accounting Theory and Practice, Mergers and Acquisitions, Accounting and Business Consulting, and Fraud Detection and Deterrence. Graduates are prepared to take the Uniform CPA Exam and achieve full certification as public accountants. The program faculty are active in accounting research and advancement, with a particular record of contributions in the field of forensic accounting. This program holds its own separate accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and has a competitive placement record for its graduates. The College of Business and Economics additionally offers a Master of Science (MS) in Finance program as well as a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination for accounting professionals. US News ranks West Virginia University #205 (tie) in National Universities.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in West Virginia

Decker & Company PLLC is one of the leading firms in West Virginia, which it attributes to its focus on quality, professionalism, and responsiveness. Suttle & Stalnaker PLLC has grown since its founding in 1973, and now handles the accounting and consulting needs of clients of all sizes. From its offices in Charleston and Parkersburg, Suttle & Stalnaker is a reputable firm to work for and promises to provide top-line service while holding to the highest ethical standards in the industry. Arnett Carbis Toothman is one of the largest CPA firms in West Virginia, but it prides itself on remaining accessible to clients. With locations throughout West Virginia, Toothman Rice is a comfortable place for recent graduates to begin a career.

How to Become a CPA in West Virginia

The West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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.

Candidates for West Virginia CPA licensure must complete a 150-semester hour program of education that includes the award of a bachelor’s degree or higher. The program must include an accounting concentration or the equivalent. The West Virginia Board of Accountancy requires that the 150 semester hours include specific courses in accounting, consisting of:

  • Six semester hours of financial or intermediate accounting
  • Six semester hours of auditing or three semester hours of auditing plus three semester hours of accounting information systems
  • Three semester hours of taxation
  • Three semester hours of cost, managerial, governmental, or not-for-profit accounting
  • Nine semester hours of accounting electives

In addition, candidates must take specific business related courses as part of the 150-semester hour program, to include:

  • Six semester hours of business law
  • Three semester hours of economics
  • Three semester hours of finance
  • Three semester hours of marketing
  • Three semester hours of statistics
  • Three semester hours of management
  • 12 semester hours of business-related electives
  • Three semester hours in ethics (which may be an accounting or business elective)

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

West Virginia CPA candidates must earn at least one year of experience to qualify for licensure. The experience must use skills in accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, and/or consulting. Practice in public or private accounting, government, industry, not-for-profits, or academia may qualify. All experience must be verified by an actively licensed CPA.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The West Virginia Board of Accountancy has adopted the AICPA professional ethics self-study course and exam to satisfy the ethics requirement for CPA licensure. Candidates can order the required materials through the AICPA website. The final exam score must be forwarded to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy.

4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The Uniform CPA Exam is a requirement for CPA licensure in all 50 states. Applicants who intend to sit for the exam in West Virginia should complete the Application for Certified Public Accountant Examination and submit the completed form to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy. Once approved, candidates may complete the four sections of the exam in any order, though all four sections must be passed within an 18-month rolling period. For each individual section, candidates must submit the Intent to Sit for the CPA Examination form.

5. Apply for a license.

The last step to achieving CPA licensure in West Virginia is applying for a license. This application will need to include a Criminal History Record Check. The West Virginia Board of Accountancy uses an online application for Initial Certificate/License requests.

West Virginia CPAs must complete 120 hours of continuing education for each three-year period after licensure, and four of these hours must be in ethics. You can find additional information at the West Virginia Board of Accountancy website.

West Virginia Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

6.4%

Accountants and Auditors in West Virginia from 2016-20262

Although fewer accountants and auditors work in West Virginia than in surrounding states, the job market is still competitive, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reporting that the average annual salary for accountants in the state is $67,510.3 The demand for accountants is expected to grow in West Virginia and nationwide. Currently, around 3,760 accountants and auditors work in the state, and those positions are projected to grow by 6.4% through 2026.2,3

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.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