Accounting Schools in Arkansas
|1 – Comparison of Schools and Programs|
|2 – Top-Ranked Schools in Arkansas|
|3 – Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rates|
|4 – School Profiles|
|5 – Arkansas CPA Requirements|
|6 – Career Opportunities for Graduates|
This page about accounting schools in Arkansas provides information about different types of degrees and program formats for accounting studies in the state. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting that help students advance their careers or pursue professional designations. Colleges across Arkansas offer full-time, part-time, and fully online accounting degrees. For more information about accounting program rankings, career outlooks, and professional certifications in Arkansas, read on below.
- 29 not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Arkansas.1
- 13 schools offer a certificate in accounting.1
- 8 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.1
- 19 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1
- 8 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.1
- 2 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
- 6 schools 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
- 9 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 Arkansas Accounting Schools and Programs
The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Arkansas 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 the tables on our Alabama business schools page, which break out information at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
|School||Accreditation||Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate10||Grad Rate1||Avg Net Price1||Median Debt*10||Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry**10|
|Arkansas Baptist College||—||BBA-Accounting||N.Av.||8%||$13,309||$25,375||$27,908|
|Arkansas State University||—||AS-Accounting;|
Accelerated BS to MAcc;
MAcc-Accounting with Data Analytics
|Arkansas State University Mid-South||—||UG Cert of Proficiency-Accounting||N.Av.||43%||$8,483||N.Av.||$27,245|
|Arkansas State University Three Rivers||—||AAS-Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting
|Arkansas Tech University||—||BSBA-Accounting;|
|Black River Technical College||—||AAS-Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting;
UG Cert of Proficiency-Accounting Technology
|Central Baptist College||—||BBA-Accounting;|
|Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas||ACBSP||AAS-Accounting;|
AAS-General Business: Accounting;
UG Technical Cert-Accounting;
UG Cert of Proficiency-Accounting Technology
Accelerated BBA/MS-Information Systems
|Henderson State University||—||BBA-Accounting;|
5-Year BA to MA-Accounting;
|John Brown University||ACBSP||BBA-Accounting;|
Accelerated BBA to MBA-Accounting;
|National Park College||ACBSP||AAS-Business Management: Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting Technician
|North Arkansas College||ACBSP||AAS-Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting
|NorthWest Arkansas Community College||ACBSP||AAS-Business Management: Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting Technology
|Ouachita Baptist University||—||BA-Accounting||73.8%||65%||$21,677||$21,050||$46,670|
|Philander Smith College||ACBSP||BA-Business Administration: Accounting||N.Av.||30%||$15,634||$24,736||$35,537|
|Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas||ACBSP||UG Cert of Proficiency-Accounting||N.Av.||46%||$3,680||N.Av.||$27,526|
|South Arkansas Community College||—||UG Technical Cert-Accounting||N.Av.||28%||$5,651||$11,153||$33,232|
|Southern Arkansas University Main Campus||—||BBA-Accounting;|
5-Year BBA to MBA
|University of Arkansas||AACSB||BSBA-Accounting;|
5-Year Integrated BSBA/MAcc or MPAcc;
MPA-Assurance and Analytics;
PhD-Business Administration: Accounting
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock||—||BBA-Accounting;|
MBA-Financial Accounting Analysis;
Grad Cert-Financial Accounting Analysis
|University of Arkansas at Monticello||—||BBA-Accounting;|
|University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||ACBSP||BS-Accounting;|
|University of Arkansas-Fort Smith||—||UG Cert-Accounting Fundamentals;|
BBA: Core Accounting Concepts;
BBA: Professional Accounting Concepts;
BBA: Public Accounting Concepts
UG Cert of Proficiency: Accounting Fundamentals
|University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College||—||AAS-Business: Accounting;|
UG Technical Cert-Accounting;
UG Cert of Proficiency-Accounting Technology
|University of Central Arkansas||—||BBA-Accounting;|
MAcc + Grad Cert-Data Analytics;
Grad Cert-Data Analytics
|University of the Ozarks||—||BS-Accounting||55.4%||41%||$16,319||$20,875||$40,448|
*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 Arkansas
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.
College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023
- University of Arkansas (#94)
- Harding University (#173)2
US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023
- University of Arkansas (#12 tie)
- University of Arkansas-Little Rock (#32 tie)
- University of Central Arkansas (#66 tie)
- Arkansas State University (#79 tie)
- Arkansas Tech University (#98 tie)
- Southern Arkansas University (#141 tie)5
Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases reports including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.11 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Arkansas 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 Arkansas being 56.1%:
- Hendrix College 66.7%
- Arkansas Tech University 62.5%
- John Brown University 61.1%
- Southern Arkansas University 53.3%
- Henderson State University 52.9%
- University of Arkansas-Main Campus 49.7%
*As NASBA makes significant changes to the CPA Exam as part of the CPA Evolution initiative, new candidate score reports by state are not anticipated until at least mid-2024.
Schools in Arkansas with Accounting Degrees
To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in Arkansas, 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
The Carter College of Business Administration at Harding University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. Students first complete a business administration core curriculum that includes interdisciplinary classes in management, finance, economics, and other related business topics. Accounting students then take specialized courses such as Auditing and Systems; Federal Tax; and Intermediate Accounting. Students also learn written and oral communication and technical skills relevant to the field. Coursework emphasizes team projects, real-life case studies, and presentations. For post-graduation career opportunities, students can join university business clubs, attend seminars and career fairs, and participate in international trips. Students interested in CPA certification can pursue Harding’s accelerated BBA/Master of Business Administration (MBA) or accelerated BBA/Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) programs.
John Brown University
At John Brown University (JBU), students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. JBU’s BBA in Accounting emphasizes accounting skills and business fundamentals, including courses such as Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting; Cost Accounting, Auditing and Attestation Services; and Federal Income Taxation. Students learn how to understand financial information and communicate trends and business decisions that impact the success of an organization. Coursework focuses on analytical and problem-solving skills as well as real-life application of accounting concepts. Undergraduate students can choose to apply for JBU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting program and complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. Graduates go on to work in the accounting field and pursue professional designations such as CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
University of Arkansas Fort Smith
At the University of Arkansas Fort Smith (UAFS), students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with the choice of two concentrations including Core Accounting Concepts, Professional Accounting Concepts, and Public Accounting Concepts. These concentrations are ideal for those interested in careers in public accountancy, financial analysis, tax, auditing, or business. Students learn technical accounting skills such as preparing tax forms, financial reports, and contracts as well as how to analyze and understand accounting information to make financial decisions. The coursework emphasizes data analysis and accounting information systems, along with interpersonal and business communication skills. Those interested in pursuing the CPA designation can consider a double major within another discipline at the College of Business to meet the 150-semester hour educational requirement for professional licensure.
Graduate Accounting Programs
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University’s (ASU) Neil Griffin College of Business offers a Master of Accountancy with Data Analytics (MAcc) degree program. Graduate students can study advanced accounting topics through courses such as Strategic Accounting Technologies; Data Mining; and Advanced Accounting and International Issues before choosing electives that match their career interests. The MAcc program focuses on students’ career development, offering networking opportunities, connections with alumni and recruiters, and support in professional development skills. Students in this program can obtain the additional 30 semester hours and preparation necessary to sit for professional examinations such as CPA, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Applicants without an undergraduate degree in accounting normally take an additional 12 hours of foundation courses. ASU undergraduate accounting students can apply to begin taking MAcc courses during their junior year, allowing them to complete the degree at an accelerated rate.
University of Arkansas
At the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas (U of A), students can earn a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) or a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA). Both 30-semester hour programs help students fulfill the education requirement for the CPA examination, and students review and practice for the exam throughout their graduate studies. The MAcc and MPA curricula include a broad advanced accounting education including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and professional communication skills. MPA students can choose from concentrations in Taxation; Assurance and Analytics; or Corporate Accounting. Students with an undergraduate accounting background may complete either program in as little as one year, and many undergraduate accounting students at U of A choose this five-year path. Applicants for the MAcc program must have an undergraduate background that includes coursework in statistics, mathematics, information systems, accounting, and business that was completed within five years of beginning the program. MPA applicants are expected to have completed undergraduate coursework in accounting and business within five years prior to entry.
Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs
University of Arkansas Little Rock
Through the University of Arkansas Little Rock’s (UA Little Rock) College of Business, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting entirely online. The online program uses the same curriculum as the on-campus option, with students taking general education requirements, a business core, and then accounting classes. Required accounting courses include Intermediate Financial Accounting; Intermediate Cost and Managerial Accounting; Federal Taxation; and Auditing Theory and Practice. Students learn technical accounting knowledge as well as professional skills and analytical thinking. UA Little Rock offers online courses, day classes, and evening classes. Students can join university clubs or seek internships in the region. Graduates can go on to work in public accounting, finance, business, and government.
University of Central Arkansas
The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting that can be completed mostly online. This 120-credit program consists of a UCA core, 36 credits of business coursework, and 36 credits of accounting classes such as Cost and Advanced Accounting; Accounting Information Systems; and Auditing. All required accounting courses are offered online at least once a year in addition to being available in on-campus and hybrid formats. Some business and UCA core classes may need to be completed in person. UCA also offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that can be completed partially online. Five of the required classes are taught in a hybrid format, meeting one night a week in person and one night a week online. The rest of the coursework and assignments can be completed online, and some electives are available fully online. The curriculum teaches students conceptual and technical accounting knowledge used in the field. The coursework also emphasizes communication and leadership skills necessary to adapt to a changing business world. Students may choose to add the Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics by choosing certain electives as part of their MAcc curriculum. Many graduates choose to sit for the CPA examination before pursuing careers in accounting, business, and leadership. Those without an undergraduate accounting background may need to complete prerequisite courses before beginning the program.
Arkansas CPA Requirements
The Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy (the Board) requires CPA exam applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree including 30 hours of business coursework and 30 hours of accounting coursework. To be eligible for licensure, applicants must have completed at least 150 hours of education within three years of the exam pass date. Applicants must complete one year, or 2,000 hours, of work experience in the accounting field that is verified by a supervising CPA. Candidates can then obtain their CPA license in Arkansas, although they must regularly complete continued professional education (CPE) hours to maintain their professional designation.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Arkansas
Many accounting graduates are able to find work in the accounting industry in Arkansas. Some individuals choose to work for themselves by opening up their own accounting, income tax, or consulting businesses. Major accounting firms are also a main source of employment. Local Arkansas firms include Jones & Co.; Erwin & Company; and Bell Foster Johnson & Watkins. Top employers of accounting and finance positions in the state include Bank OZK, Acxiom Corporation, and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Accounting graduates may also find opportunities within state or local government accounting positions.
Arkansas Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed12||Average Annual Salary12|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||530||$64,270|
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway||2,630||$71,850|
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, Arkansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ar.htm