Looking into accredited accounting degree programs in Washington is a great way to find out what you need to do before launching your professional career.

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If you want to work as a certified public accountant, you’ll need to take the Washington state CPA exam, and other professions associated with accounting require that you take similar tests too. Though many people think that accountants just prepare taxes and file paperwork, these professionals can work for nonprofit organizations, for major companies and for independent firms too. Take a look at some of the state’s top schools to see which ones offer programs right for you.

Central Washington University

College of Business

Established in 1891, Central Washington University opened as the Washington State Normal School and offered preparatory programs for teachers. One of the oldest buildings on campus dates back to those early days and now sits on the National Register of Historic Places. The school slowly introduced new programs in science, technology and the liberal arts, which led to the state designating the school as a college and then later a university. More than 11,000 students, including nearly 500 grad students, now take classes on the CWU campus, which is around two hours away from Seattle.

Master of Professional Accountancy

The College of Business at Central Washington University is the department that operates its Master of Professional Accountancy or MPA program. Only two states in the country allow accountants to work in CPA positions without first taking the CPA test. Washington and most other states require that professionals sit for that exam after taking a minimum of five years of full time college courses. This program allows students to gain the classroom experience necessary to take that exam. Some of the courses that you’ll take even help you better prepare for the exam and will go over some of the questions found on the test. CWU also has a program designed for undergraduate students that helps them earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting in around five years of full time study. As of 2016, Central Washington no longer offers its MPA program, but the university recommends that students check back as it may come back in the future.


  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 963-1111


Seattle University

Albers School of Business and Economics

Seattle University is a private college in Washington that has an affiliation with the Jesuit Society of the Catholic Church. Established in 1891 as a high school, it only offered high school classes for around seven years before adding college courses to its curriculum. The two schools later split, and the college portion moved to a new spot within the city and established its own campus. Female students gained the right to enroll in the 1930s but could only take classes at night. Seattle University now accepts students of both sexes and announced plans to introduce new scholarships for incoming students.

Master of Professional Accounting

Though Seattle University only offers a small number of graduate programs, it’s home to one of the top accredited accounting degree programs in Washington. Its Master of Professional Accounting program requires that students spend time working in classrooms on campus and gaining some practical experience too. The university encourages students to take part in clubs and activities on campus and to do internships working for companies and accounting firms in the Seattle area. Though the program includes 27 credits of business foundation courses, the university will waive some of those courses for students who earned a B grade or higher in undergraduate business classes. Required business courses include statistical applications, domestic economics, managerial finance and the legal environment. Students must also take 15 credits of key accounting classes like auditing and intermediate accounting. You’ll also take classes on investments, strategic accounting, financial analysis, internal auditing and 15 credits of electives.


  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


901 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 296-5700

Washington State University

Carson College of Business

Just a few months after Washington became a state, legislature called for the addition of a state funded college. The college now called Washington State University opened in the early 1890s and saw its first class graduate before the turn of the century. Though it initially focused on agricultural and technical classes, WSU now has a strong reputation because of its science and research programs. Several leading publications recognized the university as one of the top schools for research studies. According to reports issued by publications and organizations like U.S. News 7 World Report and Forbes, WSU ranks on a national level.

Master of Accounting

One of the accredited accounting degree programs in Washington is the Master of Accounting program offered by WSU. The university designed the program to help students learn how to respond to ethical situations, how to pass the CPA exam, how to present themselves in a business setting and how to do independent research in their future careers. Though this program consists of 32 credits of courses, you’ll find that those courses fall into different categories like business foundations and accounting taxation. Accounting theory, advanced taxation, managerial accounting and business law are some of the courses you must take. Washington State University also requires that graduate accounting students take one last final exam. You’ll take this course at the end of your studies to show some of the knowledge and skills that you gained. All students must pass this test before leaving WSU with a Master of Accounting degree.


  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-6424


Those who have an interest in math and a head for numbers may do well in the accounting field. Though you may find a respectable job with just an undergraduate degree, most of the advanced positions in this field require that you have a graduate degree, which you can earn through one of the accredited accounting degree programs in Washington.