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Top University for a Degree in Accounting - Bakersfield, CA

Students interested in studying accounting in the Bakersfield, CA, area have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

The Bakersfield area has few schools with degrees in accounting. The following schools are considered the top three within a 100-mile radius based on program offerings, rankings and location:

  • Winner: Pepperdine University, located in Malibu, secured the top spot due to its national rankings given by U.S. News & World Report, total number of accounting degrees awarded and high undergraduate graduation rate.
  • Runner Up #1: California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo comes in second place for its regional rankings in the West, including #1 public school, from U.S. News & World Report in 2014 and its vast number of degrees awarded in accounting.
  • Runner Up #2: California State University, located in Bakersfield, is the second runner up due to its location, low tuition rate and multiple levels of accounting degrees offered.

School Comparison Chart

Category Pepperdine University California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo California State University - Bakersfield
Ranking 57th national university in 2014,
58th best undergraduate business program in the U.S. in 2013,
96th best graduate business school in the U.S. in 2013*
9th among regional universities in the West in 2014,
#1 top public school in the West in 2014,
119th best undergraduate business program in the U.S. in 2013*
90th among regional universities in the West in 2014,
37th among top public schools in the West in 2014,
306th best undergraduate business program in the U.S. in 2013*
Location Malibu, CA (96 miles from Bakersfield) San Luis Obispo, CA (93 miles from Bakersfield) Bakersfield, CA
School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, public
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $42,772 (undergraduate),
$32,172 (graduate)**
$8,043 (in-state, undergraduate),
$19,701 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$9,773 (in-state, graduate),
$19,319 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$6,709 (in-state, undergraduate),
$18,367 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$7,948 (in-state, graduate),
$17,494 (out-of-state, graduate)**
Accounting Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Accounting Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 632 (including undergraduate accounting and graduate business administration degrees)** 432 (including undergraduate business administration and graduate accounting degrees)** 351 (including all business administration degrees)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 81%** 72% (6% transfer-out rate)** 39% (4% transfer-out rate)**
Noteworthy Pepperdine Accounting Society holds career and social events Students can gain experience through participation in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Three scholarships available specifically for junior or senior accounting students

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

Winner: Pepperdine University

  • Undergraduate accounting students participate in a service leadership project
  • Accounting students are required to have a Windows-based laptop
  • Affiliated with the Churches of Christ

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Pepperdine University includes courses in financial accounting, cost analysis, income tax accounting, auditing, financial management and organizational behavior. Students with a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field can complete the Master of Science in Accounting, which is a 30-unit program that can be completed in 9-12 months. Students in this program take courses in accounting ethics, advanced taxation, advanced auditing, accounting theory and financial statement analysis to prepare for the CPA exam. Another option for accounting students at Pepperdine is to complete the 5-year combined BS/MBA program in accounting. Students in this program complete two internships.

Runner-Up #1: California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

  • Cal Poly Accounting Club hosts social and academic activities throughout the year
  • Scholarships are available for junior and senior accounting students

Students at California Polytechnic State University can pursue a business administration bachelor's degree with an accounting concentration through the Orfalea College of Business. This degree program includes courses in accounting information systems, income taxation, intermediate accounting, ethics and auditing. A senior project is also part of the curriculum. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Accounting degree program have the option of choosing between specializations in financial accounting or tax. Both programs are 45 credits; however, students in the tax specialization are required to participate in an internship. The master's program meets the education requirements for the CPA exam.

Runner-Up #2: California State University - Bakersfield

  • Tutoring available for accounting students
  • MBA program is offered at the main Bakersfield campus and the Lancaster campus

The School of Business and Public Administration at CSU - Bakersfield offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. This program requires core business courses in management, economics and financial accounting. Students concentrating in accounting take a minimum of 20 quarter units in accounting electives. The Master of Business Administration in Accounting is designed to prepare students to become CPAs. Accounting students can complete one year of the MBA program, also called the 'fifth year', to satisfy education requirements to take the CPA exam; after the fifth year, students can choose to complete the additional courses needed to earn an MBA.


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