A-Z Index


Why Major in Accounting?

Accounting majors at Northwest have the choice of two accounting tracks, one for students who wish to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and the other for students wishing to work in managerial accounting. The courses offer the highest quality education to prepare students for employment in public accounting, managerial accounting, financial services and corporate finance.

Also available: Online B.S. in Accounting: Managerial Accounting and Online B.S. in Accounting: Public Accounting

Depending on the state in which students reside, legislation has made it mandatory for students to complete a minimum of 150 credit hours prior to taking the CPA exam. Most states, including Missouri, have passed this legislation, known as the 150-hour requirement. At Northwest, however, students are not required to complete 150 credit hours to obtain an accounting degree.

Northwest recognizes that public accounting isn’t for all students and therefore you may tailor classes toward your own interests through the private industry track as an alternative. Many accountants have chosen careers outside public accounting (income tax, auditing and management services), which prove to be extremely successful, rewarding and satisfying. However, students interested in public accounting, you are encouraged to fulfill the 150-hour requirement.

Northwest's Managerial Accounting major is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Career Ready. Day one.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities. Read Claire's story »

claire is Career ready. Day One.

Points of Pride

National pass rate of the CPA is 50%; Northwest student pass rate is 70%.

Career Opportunities

placement rate

100% of the accounting graduates have either found employment or continued their education within six months of graduation. Below is a list of job titles:

  • Tax Accountant
  • Accounting/Pricing Specialist
  • Risk Assurance Associate
  • Accountant
  • Publisher
  • Assistant Auditor
  • Staff Accountant
  • Loan Processor
  • Staff Accountant
  • Tax & Audit Associate
  • Account Liaison
  • Accountants Payable Clerk
  • Auditor
  • Office Claims Adjuster
  • Mutual Fund Specialist
  • Procurement
  • Payroll
  • Consultant

*Based on self-reported data in recent years.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

New Venture Pitch Competition

New Venture Pitch Competition is designed for ambitious students and aspiring entrepreneurs to present ideas to business professionals, small business owners and potential investors. Students present their ideas to judges who in the future could represent their boss or client.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members supervise short-term study abroad programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available – faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions. Students from the business school have recently traveled and studied in China, Africa and Eastern Europe including Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

Student Organizations

Accounting Society hosts a conversation between company representatives in both public and managerial accounting. We educate accounting and finance majors about the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. As well as provide an opportunity for members to network with professionals in the industry as well as peers. The Accounting Society’s activities include guest speakers and field trips.

Financial Management Association (FMA) is a student organization at Northwest Missouri State University. The purpose of the organization shall be to: (1) Assist in the professional, educational, and social development of college students interested in finance, banking, and investments. (2) Provide an association for college students actively interested in these fields. (3) Encourage interaction between business executives, faculty, and students of business and finance.

For a full list of student organizations with in the School of Business »


Although internships are not required in the accounting major, they are highly encouraged to gain real-world experiences.

QuoteDannen MerrillThis photo was taken on top of The Gavilon Group's Phelps City, Mo. elevator near Rock Port, Mo. During my summer internship, I had the opportunity to go on a facility visit. I was fortunate to be able to see one of the newest, state-of-the-art grain elevators in the region. For the rest of the summer, I worked as an accounting intern in Gavilon's Kansas City office. Gavilon is an industry leading Grain Company with 144 locations nationally and internationally.Quote

Dannen Merrill

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

Textbooks and Laptops Included

Save more than $7,200 over four years through our textbooks and laptop program.

Laptop Program Information
$22 Million money for you

Nearly $22 Million in scholarships and grants awarded annually.

Scholarship Information
Career Ready. Day One.

Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.

Read student stories
Graduation Rate: 90th percentile

Graduation Rate: 90th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.