Accounting Schools in Montana

    Montana colleges and universities offer many different programs for those interested in an accounting degree. Undergraduate and graduate applicants can choose from part-time, full-time, traditional, and online degree options with various accounting specializations like strategic finance and accounting technology. After graduation, those with accounting degrees may find opportunities to work in Montana’s accounting industry. Read on below to find out more information about individual programs and career outlooks in accounting in Montana.

    Quick Facts

    • 13 not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Montana.1
    • 6 schools offer a certificate in accounting.1
    • 6 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.1
    • 6 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1
    • 4 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
    • No 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
    • No schools have accounting programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
    • 2 schools have accounting programs accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9

    Comparison of Montana Accounting Schools and Programs

    The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Montana 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 Montana business schools page.

    SchoolAccreditationAccounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate10Grad Rate1Avg Net Price1Median Debt*10Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry10
    Blackfeet Community CollegeAS-AccountingN.Av.1%$5,447N.Av.$20,648
    Carroll CollegeIACBEBA-Business: Accounting and Strategic Finance;
    Minor-Accounting;
    4-Year BA to MAcc;
    MAcc
    83.9%70%$23,916$25,757$58,012
    Flathead Valley Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Technology;
    AS-Accounting Technology;
    UG Cert-Accounting Technology
    N.Av.32%$11,144$10,500$35,715
    Fort Peck Community CollegeUG Cert-Accounting TechnicianN.Av.14%$7,079N.Av.N.Av.
    Great Falls College Montana State UniversityAAS-AccountingN.Av.36%$9,166N.Av.$36,220
    Helena College University of MontanaAAS-Accounting Technology;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    N.Av.32%$11,214$14,580$38,842
    Miles Community CollegeAAS-Accounting Technology;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    N.Av.51%$8,059$11,500$40,010
    Montana State UniversityBS-Business: Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting;
    Accelerated BS to MPAc;
    MPAc
    73.0%57%$17,250$22,500$51,532
    Montana State University BillingsAAS-Accounting Technology;
    AS-Accounting;
    BSBA-Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    N.Av.29%$12,487$18,209$41,907
    Montana Technological UniversityIACBEBAS-Business: Accounting;
    BS-Business and Infomation Technology: Accounting;
    Minor-Accounting
    89.8%57%$16,045$18,750$51,910
    Rocky Mountain CollegeBSBA-Accounting;
    5-Year BSBA to MAcc;
    MAcc
    80.7%46%$19,353$26,000$50,117
    Stone Child CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.15%$8,076N.Av.$19,470
    University of MontanaAACSBBS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Information Systems;
    MAcct
    82.1%46%$16,361$22,400$43,967

    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.

    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 accredited business schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Montana 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 Montana being 52.7%:

    1. Montana State University 72.4%
    2. University of Montana Missoula 60.8%
    3. Montana Technological University 57.1%%
    4. Carroll College 55.6%
    5. Montana State University Billings 46.7%

    *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 Montana with Accounting Degrees

    Undergraduate Accounting Programs

    Carroll College

    Carroll College offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business with a Concentration in Accounting and Strategic Finance. The curriculum begins with a 27-credit business core before progressing to concentration-specific coursework that teaches a mix of accounting theory and practice. Classes such as Principles of Financial Accounting, Auditing, Federal Taxation, and Investment Planning teach applicable skills in financial reporting, auditing, taxation, financial analysis, and financial planning. Other coursework focuses on communication skills and critical thinking tools. Students hone their ability to analyze and research information about businesses, non-profits, and governmental entities. Many students choose to pursue an internship with a regional accounting firm or area not-for-profit or business. These internships provide real-world experience and useful connections for post-graduation career opportunities. Many graduates from Carroll go on to advanced graduate study before taking the CPA examination. Carroll also offers an accelerated 3+1 program that allows students to complete an undergraduate degree and a Masters of Accountancy (MAcc) degree in four years.

    Montana Technological University

    At Montana Technological University, students can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Business with an Accounting Track. This degree is designed for students who have already completed an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and wish to continue their undergraduate education. Montana Tech also offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business and Information Technology with an Accounting Option. In addition to subjects related to business and accounting, this program incorporates coursework in information technology and its uses in finding solutions to business-related problems. Both the BAS and BS programs prepare students for professional designation and graduate study in addition to careers in public accounting, government, and the private sector. Montana Tech accounting students must complete required classes including Accounting Information Systems, Federal Income Taxation, and Auditing as well as participate in experiential learning opportunities such as internships, case studies, and business simulations. Students can achieve the 150-credit educational requirement for CPA licensure by taking additional accounting electives.

    Graduate Accounting Programs

    Montana State University

    At Montana State University (MSU), students can complete a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree. This graduate program is ideal for those interested in fulfilling the educational requirements for sitting for the CPA examination and qualifying for licensure. Through courses such as Advanced Taxation, Advanced Auditing, and Professional Accounting Issues, students learn about financial accounting, auditing, taxation, law, and other business and professional areas. Courses focus on the technology and quantitative skills needed in the industry as well as the practical application of conceptual accounting knowledge. MPAc students can gain real-world experience by volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assitance (VITA) program and network through student organizations such as the Accounting Club and the accounting fraternity Beta Alpha Psi (BAP). MSU hosts an annual Meet the Accounting Recruiters event to help students find career opportunities for internships and post-graduation placement. Many graduates work in public accounting firms, corporations, and federal and state government entities.

    Rocky Mountain College

    Rocky Mountain College (RMC) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree program that is designed to prepare students for the CPA examination and for careers in public and not-for-profit accounting, government, and business. This 30-credit program meets the educational requirements for CPA licensure and is designed to build on undergraduate coursework. Courses include Cost Accounting; Taxation of Estates and Trusts; Auditing; and Advanced Managerial Accounting. Other coursework focuses on building the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the accounting field, including topics related to financial management, accounting information systems, financial reporting, and attestation. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting may need to complete prerequisites prior to admission to the MAcc program. Undergraduate accounting students at RMC can pursue the 3:2 Business Management and Accountancy program that allows them to complete an undergraduate business degree and a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) in five years.

    Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs

    Montana State University Billings

    Through the College of Business at Montana State University Billings (MSUB), students can complete an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting Technology or an Associate of Science (AS) in Accounting entirely online. The AAS in Accounting Technology prepares students for entry-level positions such as accounting clerks, payroll clerks, bookkeepers, or accounting technicians, while the AS in Accounting is designed to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Required classes for both programs include Principles of Financial Accounting, Accounting Procedures, and MS Excel. MSUB also offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This degree starts with a general education core before moving on to a business curriculum that includes classes like Business Finance and Operations Management. Accounting majors then take specialized courses such as Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, and Federal Income Taxation. These classes give students a broad background in general business and accounting subjects. Students learn computerized accounting software and other technology commonly used to record and process financial information in the accounting industry. Coursework also includes lessons in business communication, management strategy, and critical thinking.

    University of Montana

    The College of Business at the University of Montana (UM) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcct) degree that is offered on campus, via synchronous online classes, or a hybrid of the two. Students learn advanced accounting knowledge and critical thinking and management skills. Graduate students can choose electives based on their area of interest. Half of the program credits are required courses and the other half are electives students can choose such as Fraud and Forensics; Tax and Business Strategy; CPA Review, and Sustainability Reporting. In many classes, students are required to work together on projects and cases, encouraging the development of teamwork and communication skills. Undergraduate accounting students at UM may be able to finish the MAcct degree on an accelerated timeline. Those without an academic accounting background may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.

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    Montana CPA Requirements

    The Montana Board of Public Accountants (the Board) requires that CPA candidates complete at least 150 semester hours at an accredited institution, with 24 semester hours in upper-level accounting courses and 24 semester hours in business courses. Graduates who meet these educational requirements can sit for the Uniform CPA examination. After passing the examination, candidates should complete at least a year, or 2,000 hours, of accounting experience that is verified by a licensed CPA. Individuals can then get their Montana CPA certification, which must be maintained through annual continued professional education (CPE) hours in professional and industry-related development.

    Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Montana

    The state of Montana has many different career opportunities for accounting graduates. The tourism and hospitality industry, which thrives given the state’s popular national parks, employs many accounting experts. Montana is also home to several large financial institutions, insurance agencies, and other businesses. For example, the accounting firm KPMG and the operations center for Avitus Payroll, a major employer of tax experts and accountants, have locations in Billings. There are many government agencies – both state and federal – that regularly hire accounting grads for long-term positions. Graduates can also consider starting their own CPA firms or working in small and local businesses.

    Montana Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

    Metro AreaAccountants & Auditors Employed12Average Annual Salary12
    Billings650$78,010
    Great Falls250$72,990
    Missoula520$74,090

    Popular 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, Montana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mt.htm