Accounting degree programs can lead to a variety of careers and may eventually help graduates pursue the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Students in North Carolina can choose to attend 2-year colleges or 4-year universities in pursuit of associate's, bachelor's, or master's degrees in accounting. Diploma and certificate programs also exist. Some accounting and business administration in accounting programs may include concentrations and flexible scheduling as well as thesis options and capstone projects.
Aspiring CPAs in North Carolina must complete 150 credit hours of coursework and pass the Uniform CPA Examination. To earn 150 credit hours, students must complete additional coursework beyond a bachelor's degree, either through a certificate program or master's degree program, and the undergrad program must have a concentration in accounting. Below are overviews of the 10 largest schools that offer accounting programs; some of the programs profiled can prepare students to pursue the CPA designation.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, located in Boone, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting. The undergraduate program requires students to complete 122 semester hours, which includes 27 semester hours of accounting courses. Course options may include financial statement preparation, cost accounting, auditing and individual income tax. The master's degree program in accounting provides students with the additional 30 credits beyond the bachelor's degree needed to meet the 150-credit requirement for a CPA license in North Carolina. Students may select from general or taxation concentrations, and the program features thesis and non-thesis options.
Central Piedmont Community College
Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte offers an associate's degree program in accounting that requires students to complete 67 credits. The program qualifies students for entry-level positions related to accounting at locations such as banks, financial firms, schools and small businesses. In addition to core accounting and math courses, students may take electives like payroll accounting, personal finance or investment analysis. The school also offers an accounting diploma and two accounting certificates.
East Carolina University
East Carolina University is found in Greenville and offers accounting programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The 123-semester hour bachelor's degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in accounting. Students can expect to complete 36 credits of core business courses, such as financial management and marketing management, in addition to 24 credits of core accounting courses. The master's degree program is designed to prepare graduates to sit for the CPA examination. Graduate students who don't have an undergraduate degree in accounting may need to complete additional courses beyond the required 30 credit hours.
Guilford Technical Community College
Students may pursue an associate's degree in accounting at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown. The two-year degree program requires students to complete 66-67 credit hours of courses, which cover topics like managerial accounting, accounting spreadsheets, payroll accounting, income taxes and business finance. Students may have some flexibility when choosing their courses since the school offers many of the required ones in online, hybrid and traditional formats. The school also has accounting certificate and diploma programs.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in accounting. The bachelor's degree program offers concentrations in financial analysis, internal audit, information systems or managerial accounting. In addition to standard accounting courses in auditing, financial reporting and income tax, an accounting internship may be available to students. The master's degree program features concentration options in tax strategy, information technology and enterprise risk management. Students can pursue a full-time program plan that can be completed in one year or a part-time program that takes two years to finish.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can pursue a Master of Accounting. This master's program allows students with undergraduate degrees in other areas to enter the program and complete courses during the summer months. Students with an undergraduate degree in business may have certain courses waived and enter the program at the end of the summer. The program consists of at least 32 credits of coursework and offers audit and tax concentration options.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Students may complete a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The bachelor's degree program requires students to complete a minimum of 120 hours in courses like financial accounting, financial management, accounting information systems, auditing, income tax, management and organizational behavior. The Master of Accountancy program allows students to select a track in financial accounting/auditing, professional accounting or tax. Students must complete the professional accounting or financial accounting/auditing track if they wish to meet the requirements for the CPA examination.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The University of North Carolina campus in Greensboro features bachelor's and master's degree programs in accounting. The bachelor's degree program requires students to complete 122 semester hours, which includes a series of core business and accounting courses. The Master of Science in Accounting program consists of 30 semester hours and is designed to help students qualify for the CPA exam. This program is designed to be flexible and offers full- and part-time options. Students can also begin the program in the fall, spring or summer semesters.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
The Wilmington campus of the University of North Carolina has undergraduate and graduate accounting degree programs. The bachelor's program includes courses in financial reporting, auditing and managerial accounting. The school's master's degree program provides the additional semester hours required to pursue the CPA designation. Students can select from audit/tax or audit/information systems track options, which each require three unique courses in addition to a capstone project.
Wake Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College, which is located in Raleigh, provides an associate's degree program that requires students to complete 66 semester hours. Courses in the program include managerial accounting, income taxes, payroll accounting, business income taxes, auditing, accounting software and accounting ethics. Students can also select a co-op work experience through their elective options. The school offers an accounting diploma and three accounting certificates as well.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Accounting Degree Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Appalachian State University||Four-year; public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting,
Master of Science in Accounting
|$7,364 in-state; $22,171 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Central Piedmont Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Accounting||$2,795 in-state; $8,936 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|East Carolina University||Four-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting,
Master of Science in Accounting
|$7,188 in-state; $23,465 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Guilford Technical Community College||Two-year; public; midsize suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Accounting||$2,319 in-state; $7,695 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||Four-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Master of Accounting
|$9,101 in-state; $28,444 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Four-year; public; small city||Master of Accounting||$12,212 in-state; $29,423 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Four-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Master of Accountancy
|$6,853 in-state; $20,287 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Master of Science in Accounting
|$7,331 in-state; $22,490 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Accountancy,
Master of Science in Accountancy
|$7,091 in-state; $21,156 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Wake Technical Community College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Accounting||$2,768 in-state; $8,912 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.