Top University Degree in Accounting - Madison, WI

Madison, WI, has seven schools with degree programs in accounting. Find the best program for you by reading about the schools' rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

While accounting studies can be found at several schools in the Madison area, only three nonprofit or public institutions are located directly in the city that provide these types of programs. Based on graduation rates, number of accounting degrees granted and rankings, the following schools are considered the top three in Madison for accounting programs:

  • Winner: Securing the top spot is the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), since it awards the most degrees in the field of study, has the highest graduation rate and is the only one among the schools awarding a doctorate in accounting. Its accounting programs are nationally ranked. Bachelor's and master's degree programs are also available.
  • Runner Up #1: Based on its overall national ranking and graduation rate, Edgewood College emerges as the first runner up. The school also offers the greatest range of studies: certificates as well as bachelor's and master's degree programs in accounting.
  • Runner Up #2: Madison Area Technical College takes the third spot due to its lower levels of study offered and because it is not ranked. It does, however, grant the second-most awards in accounting among the three schools. Students can pursue a diploma or associate's degree in this subject.

School Comparison Chart

Category UW-Madison Edgewood College Madison Area Technical College
Rankings 15th best undergraduate accounting program nationally in 2013*
29th best graduate accounting program nationally in 2013*
Named the nation's 41st best national university in 2014*
Ranked #190 among national universities in 2014* N/A
Location Madison, WI Madison, WI Madison, WI
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $10,378 (in-state, undergraduate),
$26,628 (out-of-state, undergraduate);
$11,833 (in-state, graduate),
$25,159 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$23,740 (undergraduate);
$13,968 (graduate)**
$3,815 (in-state, undergraduate),
$5,405 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**
Accounting Program Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees; graduate and post-bacc certificates Associate degree and technical diploma
Accounting Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012) 253** 16** 97**
Most Popular Accounting Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's degree (150 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (9 awarded)** Associate degree (78 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2006 Entering Class 82%** 53%** 22%**
Noteworthy Students are encouraged to study abroad, and scholarships are available through the International Programs in the Wisconsin School of Business Master's programs in accounting are all offered online or in the classroom Both the accounting and accounting assistant programs are offered at five campuses within MATC's system

Sources: * U.S. News and World Report; **National Center for Education Statistics.

Winner: University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • The majority of the faculty for the school's master's programs in accountancy have graduate-level degrees, and several have Ph.D.s
  • The undergraduate business programs ranked 18th in the nation, and the graduate business school ranked 34th in the nation in 2013, according to U.S. News and World Report
  • The school offers both integrated and graduate Master of Accountancy degree programs, along with bachelor's-level and Ph.D. degrees

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers several degree programs in accounting at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The bachelor's program in accounting prepares students for advanced degree coursework, which is necessary to complete the 150 credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exam in the state of Wisconsin. Accounting majors can enter the Integrated Master of Accountancy program, a one-year series serving as the fifth year of the integrated accounting curriculum that is intended to fulfill the educational requirements for CPA licensure.

Students with bachelor's degrees in areas other than accounting can opt for the two-year Graduate Master of Accountancy program, which accomplishes the same goal of preparing students to sit for the CPA exam. UW-Madison's other accounting degree offering is a Ph.D. in Accounting and Information Systems. Graduates of this program, which includes three years of study and a dissertation, are prepared for accounting careers at various research universities and institutes.

Runner-Up #1: Edgewood College

  • Accounting minor, Bachelor of Business Administration and post-baccalaureate certificate programs are all offered in the school's Adult Accelerated program
  • The school has several business partnerships related to the accounting discipline
  • Student-faculty ratio of 11:1 in 2012, according to the NCES

The various programs available at Edgewood College allow students to study accounting at many different levels. The school offers traditional major and minor programs (120 and 18 credits, respectively), as well as multiple certificate and master's degree programs for more advanced study of the discipline. There's also a Bachelor of Business Administration with an accounting concentration for working adults within the school's Adult Accelerated program. For students who hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline, Edgewood gives the following graduate-level options: an MS in Accountancy, an MBA with an accounting concentration, a dual degree (MBA and MS in Accountancy), a graduate certificate in accounting and a post-baccalaureate certificate in the fundamentals of accounting. The school's partnerships provide discounts for material purchases and review programs in preparation for the CPA exam.

Runner-Up #2: Madison Area Technical College

  • Portions of both the accounting associate degree and technical diploma programs are offered online
  • The accounting program is offered in either two- or three-year rotations depending on the MATC campus
  • Student-faculty ratio was 9:1 in 2012, according to the NCES

The four-term associate degree program in accounting at MATC provides students with the tools for obtaining entry-level accounting positions in places such as private firms, government agencies and public accounting firms. The accounting assistant program, a one-year program that confers a technical diploma, is designed to prepare students for basic accounting and bookkeeping work for local firms. Both programs feature coursework in accounting principles, Excel, communication and mathematics. The associate program adds classes such as psychology, economics, ethics, speech and auditing. Neither program requires test scores for admission.

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