School and Ranking Information
Students searching for programs related to accounting and finance have limited options. Of the schools in the area, only one is ranked nationally. However, other unranked schools do offer a variety of programs. Based on rankings, graduation rates, and available programs, the following schools are the top choices in the area for accounting and finance:
- Winner: The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a 4-year public school. It has a nationally ranked undergraduate business program. The school offers a bachelor's, a master's, and a doctoral degree related to accounting and finance. UCF is also the only Orlando school that offers 4-year and graduate accounting degrees that, along with passing a 4-part CPA exam and completing one year of work experience, help meet Florida's licensure requirements to become a Certified Public Accountant
- Runner Up #1: Valencia College is also a 4-year public school. Valencia College offers a lower tuition than UCF, and it is a well-funded and recognized community college. The school offers an associate degree related to accounting and finance and a number of technical certificates.
- Runner Up #2: Seminole State College of Florida is a 4-year public college mainly offering associate degrees related to accounting and finance. It has the lowest graduation rate of the three, but it also has more flexible class schedules. The school also offers professional certificate programs.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Central Florida||Valencia College||Seminole State College of Florida|
|Ranking||#141 Best Undergraduate Business Programs (2012)*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Orlando, FL||Orlando, FL||Sanford, FL (17 miles from Orlando)|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, primarily associate's, public||4-year, primarily associate's, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-13)||$6,247 (in-state), $22,345 (out-of-state)**||$2,378 (in-state), $9,005 (out-of-state)**||$3,131 (in-state), $11,456 (out-of-state)**|
|Accounting and Finance Programs Offered||Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees||Certificates; associate's degree||Certificates; associate's degree|
|Accounting and Finance Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-12||842**||70**||122**|
|Most Popular Accounting and Finance Program (2011-12)||BSBA in Finance (442 awarded)**||Associate degree in accounting (37 awarded)**||Accounting technology certificates (81 awarded)**|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2005 Entering Class||63%**||38%**||32%**|
|Noteworthy||Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business||Winner of the 2011 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence||Distance education programs in accounting|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: University of Central Florida
- Ranked #5 in Up-and-Coming Schools and #174 in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012
- Only Orlando business school with AACSB accounting accreditation
- Certificate programs for finance majors allow for a specialization in banking, corporate finance, or investments
The Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting at the University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an accounting major, as well as Master of Science in Accounting, M.S. in Taxation and a Ph.D. in Accounting. The master's degree programs fulfill Florida's educational requirements for CPA licensure. Graduates of the BSBA in Accounting program may sit for the Florida CPA exam but must take 30 additional hours of upper-division accounting coursework before they are eligible for a CPA license.
Runner-Up #1: Valencia College
- A.A. degree guarantees acceptance into the Florida state university system
- 90% job placement rate for A.S. graduates (all fields), according to Valencia College
- Largest community college endowment in the U.S. funds scholarships and facilities
Valencia College's Associate in Arts in Accounting program is designed to transfer general education and prerequisite coursework into a 4-year accounting degree program, while the Associate in Science in Accounting Technology is for students wishing to become accounts payable and accounts receivable coordinators, payroll clerks, auditor assistants or accounting paraprofessionals immediately upon earning their 2-year degree. Technical certificate programs for accounting operations, accounting applications and accounting specialist take 1-2 semesters and teach basic accounting principles and software for entry-level accountancy jobs.
Runner-Up #2: Seminole State College of Florida
- Direct Connect to UCF 2+2 program facilitates transfer to University of Central Florida as a junior after completing an associate's degree
- Distance education options for technical certificates and A.A. in Accounting
Seminole State College of Florida, located about 17 miles north of Orlando in Sanford, FL, offers accounting and finance degrees for direct entry into the workforce or transfer to a bachelor's degree program. The A.A. transfer degrees in finance and accounting comprise the coursework of the first two years of a bachelor's degree in those fields. The A.S. in Accounting Technology program helps graduates qualify for accounting and business careers as tax professionals, accounting system technicians and payroll accountants, among other options. It can also be a stepping-stone to a Bachelor of Applied Science program at UCF or other state universities. Three professional certificate programs for accounting specialists, operations and applications are also available.