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Colleges with Project Accounting Courses and Programs: How to Choose

While there is no recognized degree program for project accounting, there are a number of accredited programs that will prepare a professional cost accountant for a successful career in the field. Programs are offered by 4-year colleges and universities.

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Project accountants are occasionally referred to as cost accountants and combine the skills of the accountant and the project manager. There are a variety of degree programs that can fulfill the educational needs of students who are aspiring to be project accountants.

Top 10 Accounting Schools

The following is a list of 10 schools that offer accounting programs. Tuition is based upon the 2015-2016 school year:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition*
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $9,806 in-state
$34,676 out-of-state
Graduate: $10,934 in-state
$20,762 out-of-state
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $15,054 in-state
$30,214 out-of-state
Graduate: $15,023 in-state
$28,213 out-of-state
Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate; $5,150
Graduate: $6,500
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate: $47,929
Graduate: $47,300
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $49,536
Graduate: $31,068
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $50,277
Graduate: $39,984
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $10,388, in-state
$33,741, out-of-state
Graduate: $8,442, in-state
$26,812, out-of-state
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate: $13,856, in-state
$43,476, out-of-state
Graduate: $20,638, in-state
$41,688, out-of-state
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $47,750
Graduate: $38,592
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $6,381, in-state
$28,659, out-of-state
Graduate: $10,770, in-state
$27,335, out-of-state

School Selection Criteria

Usually assigned to manage the accounting needs of a specific long-term project, project accountants are responsible for the financial analysis, budgeting, asset management, financial reporting and performance evaluation of the project. To select the program that will best equip them for future careers, may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Students should consider programs that include coursework on the current trends in information technology in accounting. Combined with economics, finance and accounting, this will better their chances at future employment.
  • Programs that offer internship and networking opportunities will provide students an advantage in gaining employment before graduation.
  • Students should consider schools that prepare them specifically for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, as it's typically a condition of employment for project accountants.
  • While a bachelor's degree is enough for employment as a project accountants, those wishing to advance into management positions should consider pursuing a master's or doctorate degree in business administration or accounting.

Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

A bachelor's degree in accounting provides its graduates the basic foundation of accounting and finance in a 4-year baccalaureate program. Programs like these heavily emphasize mathematics, economics and business administration.

Bachelor's Degree in Business

A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an emphasis in either accounting or project management could fit the bill for a hopeful project accountant. These degree programs, also four years in length, require upperclassmen to choose elective courses to satisfy the requirement for their emphasis in study and qualifies graduates to sit for the CPA exam.

Master's Degree in Accounting

The Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree is a 2-year program designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a closely related field. Most schools that offer MAcc programs target students who expect to earn the CPA designation and enter the field of public accounting.

Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a 2-year programs that's available with both accounting and project management emphases. An accounting or finance degree is not required for entrance into an MBA program, though an MBA candidate who wishes to specialize will need numerous prerequisites in these areas without such an undergraduate degree.

There are a number of schools across the nation that offer business and accounting degrees. Tuition costs vary, and students also would do well to consider programs that offer valuable internship opportunities as well as a chance to work towards their CPA designation.

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