Accounting Schools in Alaska
|1 – Comparison of Schools and Programs|
|2 – Top-Ranked Schools in Alaska|
|3 – Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rates|
|4 – School Profiles|
|5 – Alaska CPA Requirements|
|6 – Career Opportunities for Graduates|
This comprehensive guide provides important information on accounting programs in the state of Alaska. There are several public and private colleges and universities that offer undergraduate degrees in accounting, and while currently no schools in the state offer graduate degrees in accounting, some schools offer MBAs. This guide will provide the information necessary to find the program that fits your education and career goals. As an alternative to traditional on-campus programs, some students may seek out online accounting programs, which can offer greater flexibility for other commitments.
- 5 not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Alaska.1
- 3 schools offer a certificate in accounting.1
- 3 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.1
- 3 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1
- No schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.1
- No schools ranked in College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023.2
- No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges for Accounting Majors 2023.3
- No programs ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2023.4
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023.5
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023.6
- 1 school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in Business and Accounting.7
- No schools have accounting programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
- No schools have accounting programs accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9
Comparison of Alaska Accounting Schools and Programs
The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Alaska to help you compare your options. Programs that appear in bold text offer hybrid or online options. For further school statistics, including median SAT, ACT, and GMAT scores, see our Alaska business schools page.
|School||Accreditation||Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate10||Grad Rate1||Avg Net Price1||Median Debt*10||Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry10|
|Alaska Pacific University||—||Minor-Accounting Finance;|
UG Cert-Accounting Technician I;
UG Cert-Accounting Technician II
|University of Alaska Anchorage||—||AAS-Accounting;|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||AACSB||AA-Applied Accounting;|
UG Cert-Bookkeeping Technician;
|University of Alaska Southeast||—||BBA-Accounting;|
UG Cert-Accounting Technician
*Median Debt: The median debt is the cumulative federal loan debt, excluding PLUS loans, at the time of graduation for students who completed an undergraduate program (certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree) as reported by College Scorecard for academic year 2020-2021 based on National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) data.
**Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry: Median earnings are the middle value of earnings, at which half earned more and half earned less, measured 10 years (2020-2021) after the first year of study (2010-2011) for all students, institution-wide, who received federal loans and who are employed but not enrolled in school. Note that this value includes those who completed their program of study as well as those who discontinued study without receiving an award.
Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in Alaska
College rankings can be a useful tool to measure the overall reputation of a school or program. Weighing multiple rankings when evaluating your college choices can be helpful because different publishers may use different ranking factors in their methodologies. While the best program for your goals may rely on a combination of factors not typically considered in overall rankings, such as location or funding, seeing a program ranked on multiple lists can be a strong indication of reputation and academic quality.
US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023
- University of Alaska-Fairbanks (#66 tie)5
Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.11 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Alaska in 2019 (the most recent report available*) for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall pass rate for first-time test-takers in Alaska being 53.4%:
- University of Alaska-Southeast 70.0%
- University of Alaska-Anchorage 49.3%
- University of Alaska-Fairbanks 40.0%
Schools in Alaska with Accounting Degrees
To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in Alaska, we have profiled select programs below. Be sure to visit the websites of programs of interest for more detailed information on courses, admissions requirements and deadlines, and faculty.
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
University of Alaska Anchorage
Students at the University of Alaska’s Anchorage (UAA) location can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. The BBA in Accounting teaches real-world skills like analyzing financial information, preparing budget reports and forecasts, and providing internal and external auditing services. Graduates are prepared for accounting careers in public or private accounting, government, and not-for-profits. Additionally, this degree prepares students interested in CPA licensure to pursue an advanced degree. Required courses such as Cost Accounting, Principles of Marketing, and Corporate Finance allow students to explore a wide range of accounting principles, while electives like Fraud Examination, Governmental/Non-Profit Accounting, and Individual Income Tax provide opportunities for them to personalize their degrees.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) offers an AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. This 120-credit program develops analytical skills to prepare students for a variety of business-related careers and builds a strong foundation for those seeking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. The program teaches a business core and emphasizes written and oral communication skills so graduates can properly advise businesses on important financial decisions. Students learn to investigate and quickly detect fraud to safeguard businesses against suspicious activity. Required coursework includes Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting; Internal and Government Auditing; and Advanced Cost Accounting and Controllership.
Ilisagvik College in Barrow offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Accounting, as well as two Accounting Technician Undergraduate Certificates. The AAS in Accounting degree is designed to prepare students for supervisory accounting roles in accounting and financial offices. Graduates will be able to analyze accounting information, apply accounting principles to financial data and statements, and understand the importance of ethical behavior in business. The program satisfies the majority of the lower-level course requirements for those interested in pursuing their bachelor’s degree. While Ilisagvik College does not offer a bachelor’s-level accounting degree, the school does have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program.
Graduate Accounting Programs
While Alaska does not currently have any graduate level accounting programs, several universities offer a Master in Business Administration (MBA) that, when properly planned, can provide the necessary credits for CPA licensure or prepare graduates for managerial-level careers in accounting.
Alaska Pacific University
Alaska Pacific University (APU) offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) that focuses on business concepts to prepare students for a variety of leadership roles in industry. The degree teaches students how to develop high-performing organizations (organizational development) and prepares them to lead a team through e-business solutions. Students develop strategic thinking skills while learning how to access qualitative and quantitative data to make confident business decisions. Concentrations in Finance and Health Services Administration are available for those who wish to pursue these specialties. The Finance concentration emphasizes portfolio and investment theory, raising capital, and valuations. The Health Administration concentration focuses on policy, finance, and ethics.
University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) that prepares students for leadership roles. This 30-credit business degree emphasizes hands-on learning and collaboration to build skills that graduates will utilize in a complex business world. By focusing on management skills, students learn how to quickly analyze and adapt to changing situations while managing a team. Most classes are held on evenings or Saturdays to accommodate working professionals. Students may choose to add a six-credit area of emphasis in Business Intelligence and Business Analytics; Leadership; Public Sector and Non-Profit Management; Health Administration; Project Management; and Global Supply Chain Management. They can also choose electives to focus on a specific area of business.
Online Accounting Programs
University of Alaska Southeast
Students at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. This program can be completed either at the Southeast campus or entirely online. Students in this program learn general accounting concepts and more in-depth subjects like auditing, managerial accounting, taxation, and governmental accounting. Multiple professional development courses are also required to ensure that graduates are prepared to enter a competitive workforce. Graduates of this program will be prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA exam, but will need an additional 30 semester hours to qualify for CPA licensure.
Alaska CPA Requirements
To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Alaska, applicants are required to complete a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in in Accounting and a total of 150 hours of study. Applicants can take the CPA exam before they complete the 150 hours of study if they have completed at least 15 hours of accounting subjects or with one year of public accounting experience under the direct supervision of a CPA. Candidates can also qualify to take the exam if they are within 18 semester hours of completing their bachelor’s degree, so long as they have completed at least 15 hours of accounting courses. After passing all four parts of the Uniform CPA exam with at least a 75, applicants must complete the remaining semester hours for a total of 150 credits. They must also complete two years of work experience under a licensed CPA and pass the AICPA ethics exam with a 90% or higher. Once licensed, CPAs must renew their license every other year and complete at least 80 hours of continuing education during each renewal period.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Alaska
Accounting graduates can seek employment with one of the major accounting firms in Alaska, which include Alaska Accounting Solutions, KPMG, and Deloitte. Tourism and Seafood are the largest industries in the state of Alaska, with major employers including Alaska Airlines and Trident Seafoods. Graduates may also choose to work for local or state governments or go into private practice.
Alaska Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed12||Average Annual Salary12|
Related Accounting Degree State Pages:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. College Factual Best Accounting Schools 2023: https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/business-management-marketing-sales/accounting/rankings/top-ranked/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2023 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2022.
4. US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
5. US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/online-bachelors-business-rankings
6. US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-accounting
7. Association to Advance College Schools of Business, Accredited Universities and Schools, Business & Accounting: https://www.aacsb.edu/accredited
8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Accredited Schools, Separate Accounting: https://acbspsearch.org/
9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Members: https://iacbe.org/accreditation/member-status-information/results/
10. Department of Education College Scorecard: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
11. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2019 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
12. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alaska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm