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Intellect

Accounting students land BYU another No. 1 ranking

School of Accountancy students are tops in CPA exam pass rate

Hand holding a large trophy

BYU’s accounting graduates have earned another No. 1 national ranking for the university.

New data from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy show the School of Accountancy within the Marriott School of Business is the top large program in the country for first-time pass rates of the Certified Public Accountant exam.

The large program category includes 249 institutions throughout the US with more than 60 candidates. BYU’s pass rate of 89.2 percent beat out other top-5 finishers Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida and Boston College. Wake Forest, Gonzaga, Texas, James Madison and Notre Dame rounded out the top 10.

“We are very proud of our students and we are invested in their success,” said professor Doug Prawitt, Director of BYU’s School of Accountancy. “We are especially proud of this student accomplishment because, unlike some programs, we don’t ‘teach to the exam’ in the SOA. We teach our students underlying principles and how to analyze and think professionally in terms of accounting and financial concepts, and they are able to use those skills and abilities to excel in a variety of ways, including being the best in the country in terms of CPA exam pass rates.”

BYU also ranked No. 1 among Utah institutions in overall pass rate, with just under 85 percent of BYU’s 297 candidates passing. Utah State came in at No. 2, Dixie State at No. 3, Weber State at No. 4 and the University of Utah at No. 5.

The CPA exam is the test administered to people who wish to become Certified Public Accountants in the United States. There is also the CMA exam, which is for graduates who wish to become Certified Management Accountants. BYU learned this week that the highest student score from the latest CMA exams belongs to School of Accountancy student Joshua Mortensen. It’s the second year in a row a BYU student has earned the highest student score in the world on the CMA exam.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has been gathering data on CPA exams since the early 80s and publishes a report annually. According to NASBA data, the state of Utah has the highest pass rate in the country (66 percent) and the highest average score (76.5).

The School of Accountancy has one of the top programs in the country. Read more about the BYU SOA or look into applying here: https://marriottschool.byu.edu/acc/

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