Accounting Schools in Iowa

    This page provides information about undergraduate and graduate accounting programs at colleges and universities in Iowa. Some accounting programs have a broad, general curriculum, while others offer students the opportunity to specialize through electives or concentrations. Graduates from schools in Iowa can go on to pursue further education, professional certification, or jobs in the accounting industry. Read on below to find out more about the types of programs and career outlooks for accountants in Iowa.

    Quick Facts

    Comparison of Iowa Accounting Schools and Programs

    The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Iowa 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 Iowa business schools page, which break out information at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    SchoolAccreditationAccounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate10Grad Rate1Avg Net Price1Median Debt*10Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry**10
    Briar Cliff UniversityBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    N.Av.43%$21,620$23,250$49,246
    Buena Vista UniversityBBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    Dual Business/Accounting Degree
    66.0%58%$19,204$25,000$47,076
    Central CollegeBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    74.5%71%$23,303$26,984$53,417
    Clarke UniversityBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    88.8%58%$27,275$26,717$50,541
    Coe CollegeBA-Managerial Accounting;
    BA-Public Accounting
    72.7%65%$21,237$27,000$54,115
    Des Moines Area Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Specialist;
    Diploma-Accounting & Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting for Entrepreneurs;
    UG Cert-Accounting Payroll
    N.Av.34%$9,292$11,000$40,506
    Dordt UniversityAABA-Accounting;
    BA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    73.2%67%$27,375$21,500$52,342
    Drake UniversityBSBA-Accounting;
    Joint BSBA Accounting/Finance;
    Minor-Accounting;
    MAcc
    69.1%76%$30,333$23,000$73,451
    Eastern Iowa Community College DistrictAAS-Accounting Management;
    Diploma-Accounting Management
    N.Av.39%$7,584$12,739$35,322
    Ellsworth Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting Practitioner
    N.Av.29%$10,207$10,000$39,760
    Graceland University-LamoniBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Data Analytics for Accounting
    66.6%48%$16,627$21,212$45,600
    Grand View UniversityBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    99.6%52%$20,236$22,500$53,256
    Hawkeye Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting Technician;
    UG Cert-Office Bookkeeper
    N.Av.33%$10,149$12,000$42,970
    Indian Hills Community CollegeAA-Accounting;
    AAS-Accounting Specialist;
    Diploma-Accounting Assistant
    N.Av.36%$7,142$10,500$38,458
    Iowa Central Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Associate;
    Diploma-Accounting Assistant;
    N.Av.37%$7,984$11,000$42,595
    Iowa Lakes Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Specialist;
    Diploma-Accounting
    N.Av.37%$11,789$12,000$40,421
    Iowa State UniversityAACSBBS-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    4+1 BSA/Macc;
    MAcc;
    MAcc-Financial Reporting and Assurance;
    MAcc-Information Systems and Analytics;
    MAcc-Managerial Decision Making;
    MAcc-Tax;
    MBA-Accounting
    91.1%74%$15,310$22,869$60,973
    Iowa Western Community CollegeAAS-Para-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting Technician
    N.Av.36%$11,569$11,033$40,470
    Kirkwood Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Technical Accounting
    N.Av.36%$8,413$12,000$41,021
    Loras CollegeBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    72.0%68%$21,886$26,000$54,020
    Luther CollegeBA-Accounting76.1%74%$25,734$27,000$55,451
    Maharishi International UniversityIACBEMBA-Accounting94.8%50%$16,979$24,781$28,625
    Marshalltown Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting Practitioner
    N.Av.35%$7,522$9,500$37,129
    Morningside UniversityBS-Managerial Accounting;
    BS-Public Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    73.8%56%$23,947$26,028$54,118
    Mount Mercy UniversityBBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    81.0%57%$24,078$23,699$54,291
    North Iowa Area Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    N.Av.55%$6,327$9,500$39,771
    Northeast Iowa Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Specialist;
    Diploma-Accounting Clerk
    N.Av.49%$7,097$12,000$40,403
    Northwest Iowa Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Diploma-Clerical Accounting
    N.Av.64%$12,334$9,500$50,140
    Northwestern CollegeIACBEBS-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    83.0%63%$25,198$23,249$49,445
    Saint Ambrose UniversityACBSPBBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Advanced Accounting;
    MAcc
    72.4%64%$23,359$25,000$57,818
    Simpson CollegeBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    90.8%67%$23,185$26,000$52,638
    Southeastern Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    Diploma-Accounting Assistant;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    N.Av.39%$9,935$12,000$35,384
    Southwestern Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    AAS-Accounting & Info Tech;
    UG Cert-Small Business Accounting
    N.Av.52%$9,973$10,975$39,180
    University of DubuqueBBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    76.4%39%$22,879$25,750$49,057
    University of IowaAACSBBBA-Accounting;
    MAcc;
    PhD-Accounting
    86.2%74%$19,587$22,500$62,670
    University of Northern IowaBA-Accounting;
    MAcc;
    MAcc-Auditing/Consulting;
    MAcc-Tax
    85.8%64%$15,782$19,691$51,651
    Upper Iowa UniversityBS-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    MBA-Accounting;
    MBA-Accounting: General Management;
    Grad Cert-Accounting;
    Grad Cert-Corporate Financial Management
    64.9%42%$24,563$25,000$51,790
    Wartburg CollegeBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    82.8%67%$23,683$27,000$55,659
    Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Specialist;
    Diploma-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Cost Accounting;
    UG Cert-Payroll Clerk;
    UG Cert-Tax Preparer
    N.Av.42%$7,458$11,000$38,267
    William Penn UniversityBA-General Accounting;
    BA-Public Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    57.7%30%$20,922$22,415$45,073

    Table Notes:
    *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 ‚Äč‚ÄčNational 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 Iowa

    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

    • Drake University (#48)
    • Iowa State University (#55)
    • University of Iowa (#78)
    • University of Northern Iowa (#106)
    • Luther College (#181)
    • Saint Ambrose University (#204)
    • Simpson College (#227)2

    Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2023

    • Iowa State University3

    US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2023

    • University of Iowa (#44 tie)4

    US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023

    • Buena Vista University (#170-214)
    • Graceland University (#170-214)
    • Upper Iowa University (#170-214)5

    US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023

    • University of Iowa (#35 tie)6

    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 Iowa 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 Iowa being 66.9%:

    1. Morningside University 94.4%
    2. University of Iowa 78.7%
    3. Drake University 71.4%
    4. University of Northern Iowa 67.2%
    5. Dordt University 66.7%

    Schools in Iowa with Accounting Degrees

    To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in Iowa, 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

    Northwestern College

    At Northwestern College (NWC), students can earn an IACBE-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This program is designed for those interested in pursuing an advanced degree or a career in public, private, or governmental accounting. Through courses such as Cost Accounting; Individual Income Tax; Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting; and Entity Tax and Law, students gain foundational accounting knowledge that can be used in many fields. NWC emphasizes the practical, real-world application of accounting fundamentals, and students also learn professional communication and management strategies. The college offers credited internship opportunities as well as support for networking and professional development. Many graduates go on to complete a graduate degree elsewhere and earn the CPA designation.

    University of Iowa

    Students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting through the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa (UI). The core curriculum starts with business classes and also incorporates specialized accounting courses like Auditing, Operations Management, Introduction to Taxation, and Valuation of Financial Claims. Coursework centers on teaching students accounting fundamentals, tax law, and business principles. Networking and career opportunities are available through various on-campus programs, including the Beta Alpha Psi fraternity, undergraduate research opportunities, and numerous study abroad options. Students looking for graduate education may also be interested in the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. For post-graduation opportunities, the Career Center offers support by way of internships, networking opportunities, and professional development.

    Wartburg College

    At Wartburg College, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting. Like most undergraduate programs, Wartburg’s BA alone does not fulfill the educational requirements needed for CPA licensure; however, many Wartburg students complete the 150 semester hours needed for licensure in four years by taking summer classes and additional half-credit (two-hour) courses during the school year. The core curriculum includes courses such as Auditing, Business Law, Cost Accounting, Income Tax Accounting, and a Professional Business Career Preparation class. After these required classes, students can choose from numerous elective classes to focus on their career interests or pursue an additional major or minor. The program at Wartburg emphasizes leadership and management skills through hands-on projects and industry-relevant coursework. Most undergraduate students complete an internship or field experience.

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    Graduate Accounting Programs

    Iowa State University

    At the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University (ISU), students can earn a Master of Accounting (MAcc). The graduate program emphasizes advanced technical and theoretical knowledge in accounting as well as applicable business skills. The curriculum teaches students how to analyze, understand, and communicate financial information for management decision-making. Students also learn applicable skills in public accounting, budgeting, forecasting, auditing, and consulting. CPA examination review courses are part of the curriculum, and graduates will meet the educational requirements for licensure. ISU also offers a variety of specializations depending on the certification students wish to receive. Those pursuing CPA certification may specialize in Financial Reporting and Assurance, Information Systems and Analytics, or Tax. For those interested in the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) certification, specializations in Information Systems and Analytics as well as Managerial Decision Making are available. ISU also encourages graduate students to seek out internship opportunities and build their professional network. Undergraduate accounting students already at the Ivy College of Business can choose concurrent enrollment and finish both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in five years.

    University of Northern Iowa

    The College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MAcc) degree. Graduates will be prepared to take the CPA exam and will meet the 150-semester hour requirement for licensure. Most students in this program attend on a full-time basis, and the curriculum is designed for those who want to work as accountants in public firms, business, or government. The core curriculum covers advanced accounting research, communication, and critical thinking skills, in addition to electives such as Fraud Examination, Advanced Auditing, Investments, and International Economics. UNI also offers two recommended specialty tracks, Auditing/Consulting and Tax. Each of these tracks requires 18 credits (four classes) of specialization-specific coursework. The graduate coursework emphasizes collaboration, and students work in teams to make presentations, perform research, and analyze financial information. Students must also complete an experiential learning opportunity through internships or volunteer opportunities during tax season.

    Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs

    Grand View University

    Grand View (GV) University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting. This program can be completed through day classes, in a weekend-evening format, or online. Core courses include Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Income Tax, Auditing Theory, and Operations Management and emphasize fundamental accounting knowledge, practical skills, and technical skills used in the industry. GV supports undergraduate internship placement through connections in Des Moines and the surrounding region, and the career center offers support in resume-building and networking opportunities. Many graduates go on to pursue an advanced degree in accounting at another school or start their careers in entry-level positions in auditing, accounting, financial advising, or business information analysis.

    Upper Iowa University

    At the School of Business and Professional Studies at Upper Iowa University (UIU), students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting entirely online or at any of the UIU campuses. UIU also offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Accounting as well as post-graduate certificates in both Accounting and Corporate Financial Management. Undergraduate students follow a curriculum that includes courses such as Financial Accounting, Federal Taxation, Auditing, and Forensic Accounting. Students learn how to prepare and analyze financial statements, understand taxation requirements, and make decisions based on accounting information. Undergraduate students are also prepared to pursue further advanced degrees and CPA licensure. The MBA in Accounting is also available both online and at all UIU locations. This program can be completed in one to two years, utilizing flexible eight-week class sessions and accelerated summer classes. A General Management specialization is offered for those looking to further specialize their degree. Graduates from this online program go on to work in public and corporate accounting, auditing, taxation, and financial analysis.

    Iowa CPA Requirements

    The Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau (Iowa PLB) requires that CPA candidates in Iowa hold at last a bachelor’s degree with at least 24 semester hours of specific accounting coursework and at least 24 semester hours of specific business-related courses. While 150 semester hours of college courses from an accredited university are required for licensure, candidates can take the exam with 120 credit hours. Applicants must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination within 18 months, as well as a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics test. Next, CPA candidates must complete one year, or at least 2,000 hours, of accounting work that is verified by a licensed CPA. Finally, after becoming a licensed CPA, individuals must continue to log Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours through educational courses and sessions to maintain their licensure.

    Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Iowa

    Accounting grads in Iowa can find rewarding career opportunities working for entities ranging from small firms to larger accounting groups in public, private, or government practice. Well-known public accounting firm RSM US was founded in Iowa and today has multiple office locations within the state. Honkamp, P.C. is the largest non-public accounting firm in Iowa and frequently offers positions for recent accounting grads. The state government of Iowa, through the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS), hires accountants and auditors to work for agencies and special projects across the state. Graduates with accounting degrees may also find opportunities to work with local or statewide businesses or open their own firms in Iowa.

    Iowa Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

    Metro AreaAccountants & Auditors Employed12Average Annual Salary12
    Cedar Rapids1,170$74,960
    Des Moines-West Des Moines4,180$76,350
    Iowa City700$69,140
    Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA4,840$76,530
    Sioux City IA-NE-SD560$73,690

    Iowa Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA 52242
    319-335-3500
    https://uiowa.edu/

    Student Review: “I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012, double majoring in accounting and finance. My experience at Iowa was tremendous. The Tippie College of Business at Iowa is one of the highest regarded schools in the country. Majoring in accounting is quite a challenging but a rewarding experience. Without the challenges I faced at Iowa, I would not have been prepared for life after graduation. The University of Iowa gave me the skills and tools to be successful in life. During college, I was surrounded with resources at my disposal. I had professors who wanted to see me succeed, classmates to work with (some who would become friends for life), advisers to help me select courses, and courses using real life practices. The course selection is diverse, allowing students to study accounting from every aspect. I was lucky enough to find some courses that satisfied both majors, saving both time and money. My experience at the University of Iowa, majoring in accounting is one I wouldn’t trade for the world.” -student at The University of Iowa

    Related Accounting Degree State Pages:

    References:
    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, Iowa: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ia.htm