Top 5 Graduate Accounting Programs in North Carolina

For students who have an undergraduate accounting degree, the next logical step would be to seek a CPA certification. A graduate accounting degree will meet requirements to sit for the CPA but will also help attain their specific professional career goals. The return on investment for a Master of Accounting degree will help start their career growth. They will have a salary boost, job security, and job satisfaction. An advance degree in accounting is not only for those with an accounting background but it is open to all students who wish to study accounting and boost their career. Most programs are one to two years long and many of them have flexible programs.

To create our ranking of the best graduate accounting programs in North Carolina, we gathered information from Public Accounting Report, Tax Talent and U.S. News and World Report. All the schools listed are accredited by the prestigious AACSB. We have included in state tuition rates, but this only an estimate. Please contact the school for more information about their rates and program details.

The University of North Carolina was founded in 1789 but didn't open their doors until 1795. They are the country's first public university. Today they offer 78 bachelor's, 112 master's, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs. Their campus is located in downtown Chapel Hill and encompasses the Morehead Planetarium. Students have a choice of over 500 student organizations to choose from. They also have a student run newspaper called the Daily Tar Heel. They have a student radio station that was the first internet radio broadcast.

The Kenan-Flagler Business School is ranked among the top business schools in world consistently. Their MBA program was ranked 16th by U.S. News and World Report. Their Master of Accounting program is designed so students can choose the on-campus or online degree program. Students will receive the same curriculum and peer to peer interaction. Both programs can be finished in one year. The on-campus program is designed for students with no accounting background. The program will give students the technical skills and soft skills needed to succeed in their accounting career. Along with the knowledge and skills needed in accounting, students will have access to a network of UNC alumni. Kenyan-Flagler is accredited by the AACSB.

Tuition: $43,227

North Carolina State University is a land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant university. They are a public research institution founded in 1887. North Carolina State is located in Raleigh, NC, and forms one of the corners of the research triangle. The other two schools are Duke in Durham and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. They are the largest university in the Carolina's with 34,000 students enrolled. They are ranked #38 for public universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Pool College of Management has been ranked in the top 40 by Bloomberg Businessweek for their undergraduate and master of accounting programs. Students in their business programs will graduate with confidence, ready to build successful careers.

Their Master of Accounting program gives students real world teaching and development of soft skills needed in professional environments. The program offers three concentrations to choose from; Enterprise Management Risk, Information Technology, and Tax Strategy. This 31 credit hour program can be finished in two semesters but students who are going through recruiting are required to take summer courses. Students can also choose the part-time option and finish in two years. Their program also gives students an opportunity to study abroad during the summer. The Poole College of Management is accredited by the AACSB, the world's leading accrediting agency for business schools.

Tuition: $33,951

The University of North Carolina,Wilmington was founded in 1947 as Wilmington College. They started out as a junior college and became a four-year university in 1963. Then in 1969 they officially became the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Today they offer four doctoral degrees, 29 master's degrees, and 54 bachelor's degrees. They are ranked 6th best public university in the South by U.S. News and World Report.

The Cameron School of Business is accredited by the AACSB. Their Master of Science in Accounting is one of the most affordable programs in North Carolina. Students who wish to receive a quality education without the expensive price tag will find this school to be right up their alley. They offer extensive placement activities and hand on learning. Their program has a 95% placement rate at graduation. Their MSA program has two tracks, the Audit/Tax or Audit/Information Systems. Students who finish this program will meet the CPA exam requirements, but they should check with their state.

Tuition: $14,707


Wake Forest University is a private research university located in Salem, North Carolina. Founded in 1834 after the Baptist Convention bought a 600 acre plantation. They wanted to teach both ministers and laymen. They were ranked #27 by U.S. News and World Report for national universities. Students will receive the attention of a small liberal art college with the wide range and international relevancy of a leading research university.

The School of Business at Wake Forest University offers a Master of Science in Accounting program. Their 30 credit hour program can be finished in two semesters. Students also have the optional third semester where they will participate in a paid internship. The paid internship will be during the tax season and it will give students real world experience. Their program has a high CPA pass rate and has constantly reached 100% employment at graduation. Their program is open to all majors, although students without an accounting undergraduate degree will need to take prerequisite courses. Their business school is accredited by the AACSB, the premier accrediting agency for business schools.

Tuition: $49,746

Western Carolina University is a public university founded in 1889. They are located in Cullowhee, North Carolina and is a part of the University of North Carolina system. Their campus is located between the blue ridge mountains and Great Smoky Mountains, in the valley of the Tuckasegee River. Their school offers over 115 undergraduate majors and concentrations and over 60 graduate programs. U.S. News and World Report has ranked #37 best regional universities in the south.

Western Carolina University's College of Business was ranked in the Princeton Review for “296 Best” in 2015. They are accredited by the AACSB, the leading business school accreditation. Their Master of Accounting program is designed to fulfill the AICPA and state board requirements for the CPA exam. Students will build a solid foundation in accounting theories and skills so they can pursue a successful career in government, industry, and public accounting. The program is 30 credit hours and can be completed in 12-18 months if they are full-time students. The program also has a tax concentration for those students who wish to pursue a career in tax. Students without an accounting undergraduate will need prerequisite courses before they start the program.

Tuition: $11,115