Auditing Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Accounting programs at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels usually have auditing courses. Although programs that concentrate exclusively on auditing are less common, many business and accounting schools design options for aspiring auditors. Programs can be found at community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities.

Students with an aptitude for business management and economics, or accountants and other professionals who want to learn more about auditing, can choose from a variety of auditing programs. The majority of programs focus on internal auditing, but external auditing courses are available as well.

Schools with Accounting Programs

The following are among the top-ranked schools for their undergraduate accounting programs as of 2016, per U.S. News & World Report.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Doctorate $9,806 (in-state)
$34,676 (out-of-state)
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $15,054 (in-state)
$30,214 (out-of-state)
Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's , Masters $5,150
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's , Masters $47,929
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Doctorate $49,536
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $50,277
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $10,388 (in-state)
$33,741 (out-of-state)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $13,856 (in-state)
$43,476 (out-of-state)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Doctorate $47,470
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $6,381 (in-state)
$28,659 (out-of-state)

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in auditing programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Programs designed for those who already have a degree in a related field may cover subjects included in the certified internal auditor (CIA) qualifying exam or take a more comprehensive approach towards auditing practices.
  • Undergraduate and graduate accounting programs that offer minors or specialties in auditing typically prepare students to take the CIA exam, and may include on-site internships at accounting firms or auditing agencies.
  • If you're already working in a business-related field, you may want to check to see if there is an auditing certificate program available specifically suited to your needs.
  • Investigate if there are online programs available; certificate programs in particular can be found in an online format.

Associate's Degree in Accounting

Students can prepare for an auditing career by selecting relevant classes within a traditional accounting program. Students supplement accounting classes with general education courses in communication, humanities, and science.

Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

A lengthier bachelor's degree program in accounting may include more courses specific to auditing, such as corporate finance, advanced federal tax theory, and fraud investigation. Bachelor's degree seekers also examine topics applicable to any business, such as ethics, leadership, and organizational psychology. Programs generally last four years and may include an internship or project consultation.

Certificate in Auditing

The certificate is a popular option for students already working in business-related fields. After the completion of some certificate programs, students may qualify to become certified internal auditors. Programs may focus their classes on the sections of the CIA exam, including risk and control, business analysis and information technology, and the internal audit's role in governance.

Master's Degree in Accounting with Auditing Specialization

A student working toward a master's degree in accounting and business often studies advanced topics in auditing. Auditing tracks or specializations may require internships and prepare students for the CIA exam. Degree candidates have usually earned a bachelor's degree in a related topic and want to advance to a supervisory role in business and auditing.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 500 public and private, not-for-profit schools that offer accounting and auditing degrees. Certificates through master's degrees are available in this field, and tuition and fees can vary greatly according to institution type and school location.


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