Help drive future business decisions by preparing and interpreting financial information

All business decisions impact and are impacted by "the numbers." Accountants work with individuals, small businesses, large corporations and everything in between–including government agencies and non-profits–to keep their finances in check. UNI's accounting program is dedicated to your success beyond your college years, which is why it's been recognized as one of the best programs in the country.


CPA or Non-CPA Track

While junior-level accountants might handle the more general accounting tasks, senior-level Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are typically more involved in guiding big picture financial decision making for their entire company. The benefits that come with being a CPA include increased trust, opportunity and financial reward–some of which are not standard with a general accounting degree.

Non-CPA track accounting majors can work in several different positions in a variety of companies without CPA certification. As an accountant, you can work for big and small businesses, school districts and various non-profit and government organizations. There are many executives, vice presidents and CFOs in Fortune 500 companies who are not CPAs.


UNI CPA Pass Rate

The CPA exam consists of four parts. A student must pass all four parts to become a CPA. Before the digital age, students were required to take all parts of the exam over two days, which provided clear pass/fail statistics. Today, the test is given online with flexibility on when students sit for each part. Each part is scored separately, but students still must pass all four parts to be licensed.

Due to the exam's flexibility, many students who start the CPA exam never finish it, delaying their CPA licensing progress. CPA review courses that are taken the final semester at UNI lead to the majority of our students completing and passing the CPA exam before their first day of employment.


According to Accounting Today, the CPA Success Index ranks the University of Northern Iowa as one of the best schools in the nation for students who want to pass the CPA exam.


business student in meeting

business students collaborating

uni dance marathon students


Careers for CPA and non-CPA track accounting graduates include:

  • Corporate Accountant
  • IRS Accountant
  • Non-Profit Accountant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Auditor
  • Government Accountant
  • Controller/Comptroller
  • Budget Analyst
  • FBI Agent
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Entertainment Accountant
  • Sports Accountant


UNI is nationally known as a top institution for CPA professionals because we tie professional-level exam preparation into the curriculum. If you plan to practice as a CPA you'll be responsible for completing a predetermined amount of semester hours. Iowa and most states require 150 credit hours to become a CPA. Typical CPA career track courses include:

  • Principles of Financial Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting I
  • Intermediate Accounting II
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Income Tax
  • Auditing
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Legal Concepts for Accountants
  • Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting
  • Advanced Income Tax
  • CPA Review courses

As a Non-CPA track accounting major, you are required to take a minimum of 57 semester hours in accounting and business, although many students elect to take more than the minimum. Students in this track are encouraged to consider the CMA certification. Typical Non-CPA career track courses include:

  • Principles of Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Managerial Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting I
  • Cost Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting II
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Income Tax
  • Auditing
  • Operations Management
  • Business Policy and Strategy

Our accounting program will challenge you to become a leader in the accounting profession. UNI business college's education and practical experience, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will prepare you for employment in public or corporate accounting.

View Accounting Courses


Shape your leadership skills and have some fun by joining the Accounting Club

Accounting Club members speak with a CPA firm representative at the 2017 CPA Firm Forum

Two Accounting Club Members enjoy some burgers at the 2017 KPMG Kick-Off Bash

The University of Northern Iowa Accounting Club is the premier student organization for accounting students and is well-respected by business professionals across the Midwest. As a UNI Accounting Club member, you’ll have access to the latest career information, attend networking events with potential employers or recruiters and increase your social interaction with other students who are majoring in accounting. 


Learn more

Complete the form below to receive more information on how you can succeed with a degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa business college.

Accounting RFI

Latest News & Views

Foster family
Foster family sets up fellowship for Junior Accounting Faculty

The University of Northern Iowa holds a special place in the hearts’ of Rod and Heidi Foster. Rod started his long career in accounting because of his education at the College of Business. UNI is also where he met his wife, Heidi, a graduate of the chemistry program. They now have two grown sons—one of which is also a UNI graduate. Because of their UNI experience, Rod and Heidi both feel the need to give back to the university and repay it for giving them the tools and experiences to be successful in business and life.

1 month 1 week ago
UNI Campanile
Accounting professor doubles as an established painter

Tim Lindquist began painting when he was just a teenager. A friend invited him over to learn how to create a dog on canvas, and Lindquist was hooked. He asked for paints that Christmas and considered majoring in art at college. But he chose accounting instead, becoming an educator and professor at the College of Business.

1 month 4 weeks ago
UNI business students at career fair
The complete guide to choosing a college major

College is an exciting time in your life, but don’t spend all four years merely enjoying it – you should take advantage of this time to determine exactly what you want to do with your life. This article will help you decide how to choose your college major that fits your long-term goals.

9 months 3 weeks ago
Northern Iowa accounting students help prepare tax returns for VITA program
UNI named Top 3 program for CPAs

The University of Northern Iowa’s accounting department ranked third in the nation in preparing students to become certified public accountants, according to a new analytic by Baylor University and UNI professors.

The newly created CPA Success Index estimates students’ progress toward completing all four parts of the CPA exam. The metric found UNI students had an 89% success rate on the notoriously difficult test, just below Texas A&M University (90%) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (95%).

10 months 2 weeks ago
Charlie the dog. I can't adult.
Five iOS Apps for people learning to 'adult'

The anxiety young people have about maturing in their twenties has lead to the word "adulting" becoming quite popular. It's a useful, albeit somewhat glib, catch-all term for taking care of yourself. Doing your laundry? Adulting. Scrambling an egg? Adulting. In truth, the real sign of adulthood is living a life that's within your control, and for that, there are several iOS apps to help. With these five apps, anyone can "adult" -- or at least fake it when they need to. 


11 months 6 days ago