School and Ranking Information
Students seeking an accounting education in Nashville, TN, can choose from among seven schools in the city. Based on graduation rates, rankings and number of degrees awarded, the following schools are considered the top three for accounting studies in Nashville:
- Winner: Vanderbilt University's high national ranking, as well as its business and finance program rankings, place it first among the three schools. It also has the highest graduation rate. Students can choose between two master's degree programs in accounting.
- Runner Up #1: Its high regional ranking and graduation rate earn Belmont University the first runner up spot. Accounting can be studied at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels.
- Runner Up #2: Lipscomb University is the third best option, because it has the lowest graduation rate and is ranked lower than Belmont University among regional schools. It does, however, award the highest number of combined undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees among the school and boasted a perfect job placement rate in recent years.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Vanderbilt University||Belmont University||Lipscomb University|
|Rankings||#17 for national universities in 2014*
#30 among graduate business schools in 2013 (national)*
#30 among graduate finance schools in 2013 (national)*
|#194 among undergraduate business programs in 2013 (national)*
#7 among southern regional universities in 2014*
|#20 among southern regional universities in 2014*|
|Location||Nashville, TN||Nashville, TN||Nashville, TN|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $42,118 (undergraduate);
|Accounting Degree Levels Offered||Master's degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**|
|Accounting Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012||27**||63**||72**|
|Most Popular Accounting Program in 2011-2012||Master's in accounting (27 awarded)**||Master's in accounting (39 awarded)**||Bachelor's and master's in accounting (36 awarded at each level)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class||92%**||67%**||56%**|
|Noteworthy||All students in the Master of Accountancy in Valuation program receive an internship offer***||Approximately one third of graduates receive job offers from major accounting firms****||100% job placement rate for accounting graduates*****|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Vanderbilt University, ****Belmont University, *****Lipscomb University.
Winner: Vanderbilt University
- #11 among best value schools for 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report
- #12 on U.S. News & World Report High School Counselor Rankings list for 2013
- Students at the university's Owen School of Management have access to four research and learning centers
- 8:1 student-faculty ratio, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Through the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University, graduate students can pursue a Master of Accountancy or a Master of Accountancy in Valuation. Both programs include a CPA (certified public accountant) exam review course.
The Master of Accountancy program requires 30 credits of coursework and allows for an optional auditing internship. Course topics include studies in accounting information systems, business ethics, taxation and strategic management.
Requirements for the 30-credit accountancy in valuation program include courses in financial economics, models and reporting, advanced cost accounting and corporate value management. Students can also participate in an optional internship or take six credits of electives.
Runner-Up #1: Belmont University
- #2 among up-and-coming schools in the South for 2013, according to U.S. News & World Report
- Included in Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 list of best undergraduate schools, as noted on the school website
- Undergraduate accounting majors can earn four graduate credit hours during their final semester
- 10-week Summer Accounting Institute for students entering a Master of Accountancy program
The College of Business at Belmont University offers a 128-credit-hour Bachelor of Business Administration, as well as a Master of Accountancy. In addition to 40 credits of business courses, undergraduates can complete a 21-credit concentration in accounting that includes topics in cost and intermediate accounting, auditing and business data management. Unique to the curriculum is a study of federal income taxes.
At the graduate level, the university offers a 30-credit, non-thesis Master of Accountancy program that satisfies the state's educational requirements for the CPA exam. All students must take courses in entrepreneurship, leadership and international business. Additional requirements include 14-16-credit hours in accounting, an internship and electives chosen from the Master of Business Administration program. In addition to learning about the procedures associated with government, healthcare and nonprofit accounting, graduate students can pursue topics in computer security and external auditing.
Runner-Up #2: Lipscomb University
- University's College of Business is approved by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Adult degree program allows undergraduates to pursue a major or minor in accounting, either in the evening or online
- 100% of first-time, full-time students received financial aid during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the NCES
At Lipscomb University, students can pursue an undergraduate program in business with a 21-credit concentration in accounting. An accounting specialization is also available through the Master of Business program, and requirements include topics in current accounting practices, corporate administration and financial statement analysis. Similar coursework can be found in the 30-credit Master of Accountancy program. Depending on the degree plan, students may also conduct independent research or participate in an internship.
Additional programs include an 18-credit accounting minor and a 150-credit, combined Bachelor of Business Administration/Master of Accountancy program. Non-accounting majors with a degree or 60 credits of college coursework may also want to look into the university's 90-day certificate program, which can help to prepare them for the CPA exam.