Accounting Schools in Washington DC
|1 – Comparison of Schools and Programs|
|2 – Top-Ranked Schools in Washington DC|
|3 – Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rates|
|4 – School Profiles|
|5 – Washington DC CPA Requirements|
|6 – Career Opportunities for Graduates|
This page is a comprehensive guide to accounting schools in Washington DC. With the information below, you can compare options to ensure you find the program that best fits your career and educational goals, whether you’re a new student or an experienced professional. Several programs also offer online classes, allowing for more flexibility than traditional on-campus programs. Washington DC offers a wealth of opportunities from prestigious universities, internships with major accounting firms, and options to start a career with federal agencies and non-profit organizations.
- 8 not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Washington DC.1
- 2 schools offer a certificate in accounting.1
- 1 school offers an associate’s degree in accounting.1
- 8 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1
- 3 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.1
- 4 schools ranked in College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023.2
- 1 school ranked in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges for Accounting Majors 2023.3
- 1 program 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
- 2 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
- 2 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 Washington DC Accounting Schools and Programs
The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Washington DC to help you compare your options. Programs that appear in bold text offer hybrid or online options.
|School||Accreditation||Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate10||Grad Rate1||Avg Net Price1||Median Debt*10||Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry10|
BS-Accounting: Information Systems & Technology;
BS-Accounting: International Business;
Accelerated BS to MS-Accounting;
Accelerated BS-Accounting to MS-Taxation;
MS-Accounting: Accounting Analytics;
MS-Accounting: Financial Reporting and Assurance;
MS-Accounting: Forensic Accounting;
Grad Cert-Forensic Accounting;
|George Washington University||AACSB||BS-Accy;|
5-Year BS to MAccy;
BBA-Accounting: Information Systems;
|The Catholic University of America||—||BS-Accounting;|
|Trinity Washington University||—||BA-Business Administration: Finance & Accounting||97.3%||38%||$13,586||$28,250||$46,296|
|University of the District of Columbia||ACBSP||AAS-Computer Accounting Technology;|
*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 Washington DC
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
- Georgetown University (#8)
- George Washington University (#18)
- American University (#52)
- Catholic University of America (#165)2
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2023
- Georgetown University (#8)3
US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2023
- Georgetown University (#39)4
US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023
- Georgetown University (#38 tie)
- George Washington University (#60 tie)6
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 Washington DC 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 Washington DC being 60.8%:
- Georgetown University 90.0%
- George Washington University 67.2%
- American University 64.2%
- The Catholic University of America 63.4%
- Howard University 40.0%
*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 Washington DC with Accounting Degrees
To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in Washington DC, 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
Georgetown University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This program fosters strategic thinking, teamwork, and effective communication while also teaching essential technical skills required for a successful business career. A strong liberal arts core provides students with critical thinking and reasoning skills in addition to business courses and advanced accounting coursework. Accounting electives include Financial Statement Analysis; Governmental and International Accounting; and Mergers, Acquisitions, and Complex Financial Structures. Students from Georgetown are prepared for entry-level accounting and business opportunities, as well as graduate-level coursework in accounting, economics, and law.
Trinity Washington University
Trinity Washington University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Administration with a Finance and Accounting Concentration designed to prepare students for entry-level work in accounting and business or pursue a graduate degree. Trinity’s BBA curriculum emphasizes leadership in business organizations, sustainability, and the role of consumerism in the economy. Along with business coursework, students in this program will study topics related to management, data analytics, organizational behavior, ethics, and economics. Required accounting courses including Financial and Managerial Accounting help students gain proficiency in technical accounting skills such as preparing, analyzing, and presenting financial statements. Students also learn to make managerial decisions while analyzing complex business and accounting problems. The program at Trinity Washington emphasizes real-world experience through a required internship, followed by a capstone experience during the students’ final year.
University of the District of Columbia
Students at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. This 126-credit program prepares students for financial and accounting work with courses such as Accounting Information Systems; Business Policy and Strategy; and Cost Accounting. Students can add a Logistics and International Trade (LIT) concentration. Technical skills are emphasized through hands-on experience with the latest accounting software. Students also may participate in an IRS-authorized tax clinic to gain real-world experience. Student organizations such as the UDC Accounting Club and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) provide networking opportunities. UDC also offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Accounting Technology through its Community College. Courses include Principles of Accounting and Legal Environment of Business. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as technicians or accounting clerks, or they may choose to continue their education in a bachelor’s degree program.
Graduate Accounting Programs
George Washington University
George Washington University (GW) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAccy) designed to prepare students for CPA licensure. This 30-credit program can be completed in as little as nine months on a full-time basis or between 21 to 60 months on a part-time basis. Students interested in traditional accounting may choose the General Accounting Track, while those interested in combining accounting and business analytics can pursue the Accounting Analytics Track. Technical and critical thinking skills are emphasized through case studies to teach students problem-solving and decision-making capabilities. Students take courses designed to prepare them for the Uniform CPA Exam, including Advanced Strategic Cost Management, Accounting for Internal Decision Making, and Contemporary Auditing Theory. They also have the opportunity to intern with a wide variety of business and accounting firms, including the Big Four accounting firms, the IRS, the FBI, and the World Bank. Undergraduate accounting students at GW can pursue the 4+1 Program that allows them to complete a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BS-Accy) and MAccy in five years.
Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs
The Kogod School of Business at American University (AU) offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting in on-campus and online formats that can be completed in 12 to 24 months on a full- or part-time basis. MS in Accounting students can select electives to complete a specialization in Accounting Analytics; Financial Reporting and Assurance; Forensic Accounting; or Taxation. This program is designed to prepare students for CPA licensure and covers topics related to tax planning, business law, auditing, and other core accounting concepts. Students must take required classes such as Cost Accounting for Strategic Management and Contemporary Assurance and Audit Services as well as complete a capstone accounting seminar. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting must complete prerequisite coursework in addition to the other degree requirements. Graduates from this program are prepared for careers in positions such as corporate controllers, internal auditors, and tax accountants. Undergraduate accounting students at AU have the option to pursue Kogod’s combined bachelor’s/master’s program that allows them to earn both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and MS in Accounting in five years.
Howard University’s (HU) School of Business offers an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) designed to provide students with the skills necessary for a successful career in professional accounting. In this one-year, 30-credit program, students are prepared to pursue accounting in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Courses cover topics on the Uniform CPA Exam, including challenging courses like Corporate Financial Reporting; Entity Taxation; and Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting. Students work with accomplished faculty members, many of whom hold a terminal degree and CPA licensure. GMAT scores are required to apply, as well as an undergraduate degree in accounting.
Washington DC CPA Requirements
To become a Certified Public Accountant in Washington DC, the DC Board of Accountancy (the Board) requires applicants to complete 120 semester hours and hold a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. 24 credit hours must be accounting coursework and 3 hours must be in commercial or business law. A total of 150 semester hours are required to qualify for licensure. Applicants are also required to have one year of accounting experience under a licensed CPA. Once a CPA license has been issued, it must be maintained by completing continuing professional education (CPE).
Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Washington DC
Recent accounting graduates in Washington DC have a wide variety of career options in the governmental, non-profit, or private sectors. Federal bodies such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security offer numerous opportunities for those interested in federal accountancy and auditing. Graduates interested in careers in non-profit accountancy may find positions with the high concentration of large non-profit groups in Washington DC, including the headquarters of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The “Big Four” international accounting firms also all house large offices within the District and employ a number of CPAs and auditors.
Washington DC Accounting Salary and Jobs
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed12||Average Annual Salary12|
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, Washington DC: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_dc.htm