Top School for a Degree in Accounting - Fort Lauderdale, FL

School and Ranking Information

Students seeking an accounting program in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area can choose from roughly 12 schools, including public, private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions, within a 20-mile radius of the downtown area. The following nonprofit schools are considered the top three based on such considerations as ranking, accounting program levels offered and accounting degrees awarded:

  • Winner: Florida Atlantic University, located in Boca Raton, is in first place due to its multiple national rankings from U.S. News & World Report in 2013, tuition rates and substantial number of degrees awarded in accounting.
  • Runner Up #1: St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens secured the first runner up spot for its top-70 ranking for universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report in 2014 and its variety of accounting degree levels.
  • Runner Up #2: Nova Southeastern University, located in Fort Lauderdale, took third place for its location, small class sizes and for the number of accounting degrees awarded.

School Comparison Chart

Category Florida Atlantic University St. Thomas University Nova Southeastern University
Ranking(s) 188th among graduate part-time MBA programs (2013)*, 114th among graduate online business programs* 62nd for regional universities (South) in 2014* N/A
Location Boca Raton, FL (18 miles from Fort Lauderdale) Miami Gardens, FL (16 miles from Fort Lauderdale) Fort Lauderdale, FL
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $4,789 (in-state, undergraduate), $17,234 (out-of-state, undergraduate); $6,657 (in-state, graduate), $17,885 (out-of-state, graduate)** $25,110 (undergraduate), $15,066 (graduate)** $24,414 (undergraduate), $15,070 (graduate)**
Accounting Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's (online) degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's and master's (online) degrees**
Accounting Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 532** 26** 142**
Most Popular Accounting Program in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (375 awarded)** Master's degree (14 awarded)** Master's degree (128 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 41% (11% transfer-out rate)** 32% (2% transfer-out rate)** 42% (42% transfer-out rate)**
Noteworthy Most diverse institution in state university system Florida's only Catholic Archdiocesan-sponsored university Almost 75% of classes have less than 20 students

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: Florida Atlantic University

  • Accounting faculty has 90 full-time faculty members
  • FAU designated a 2010 'High Research Activity' university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Business school offers field experience, accelerated, semester, and one-year study abroad programs

FAU's school of business offers through its school of accounting an undergraduate major and minor, a scholars program, and a minor in business law. The school's graduate selection of programs includes master's programs in accounting, with concentrations related to taxation or information systems. The school further has an MBA programs with a choice of concentrations, including accounting. Executive graduate programs in accounting are available with allowance for students to choose curriculum in taxation, business valuation or forensic accounting.

The Ph.D. offering in accounting is a four-year and full-time program. Students proceed with completion of the program required curriculum, research completed on their own, and their dissertation. The program curriculum typically takes over two years to complete, and its emphasis on research requires students to attend research workshops. Graduates are prepared for opportunities at educational institutions and positions in private firms or government agencies.

Runner-Up #1: St. Thomas University

  • Scholarships are available for accounting majors
  • The overall student-faculty ratio is 14:1, according to NCES
  • NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 100% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, which is the highest of the three profiled schools

STU's school of business offers a number of undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. All program offerings seek to enable its graduates to sit for the state CPA exam, although bachelor's students will need graduate study after completing their degrees to sit for the exam. A Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting degree program prepares students with a wide array of accounting knowledge. Graduates can seek employment opportunities or pursue graduate accounting degrees.

The MBA program has specialization in accounting, with 15 credits comprised form courses like forensic accounting, auditing, taxation, and fraud examination. The graduate accounting program offers further concentration in forensic accounting or taxation.

Runner-Up #2: Nova Southeastern University

  • Among the 26,808 student body in 2012, 78%, or 21,069, were graduate students, according to the NCES
  • NSU offers more than 50 undergraduate academic programs and 60 graduate programs
  • NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 96% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid

NSU, through its H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, has available a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting, Master of Accounting or Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) with specialty in accounting. The 120-credit B.S. program requires completion of general education, business, and accounting major coursework. Graduates of this program need an additional 30 credits to satisfy the 150-hour state requirement to qualify for the CPA exam. A dual B.S. and master's accounting program is available for qualified students.

The graduate accounting program offering includes state CPA exam preparation and review courses, and flexible scheduling to accommodate its students. Besides an 18-month full-time option, there are online and weekend programs. Accounting core subjects include analysis, auditing, business law, and liquidation. Students may further specialize in areas like e-commerce, international accounting, research, and taxation.

The 40-year-old, 68-credit doctoral program teaches students various subjects, including human resources, operations, and decision making. Students then complete two specialty areas, including accounting and another area of interest such as finance, management, or marketing.

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