Gonzaga CPA Exam Pass Rate 10th in Nation among Large Programs

An aerial view of Gonzaga's campus. (GU photo)
An aerial view of campus

December 04, 2020
Gonzaga News Service

Best on West Coast

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University ranked 10th best in the nation among large programs for its first-time pass rate on the 2019 Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, according to the results recently released by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Gonzaga also ranks No. 1 among schools in states on the West Coast. This marks the second consecutive year that Gonzaga has ranked in the nation’s top 10.

With a pass rate of 82.4% across all sections of the exam, Gonzaga remains far above the national average of 58.6% for the first-time CPA pass rate, according to statistics published by the NASBA. Gonzaga is ranked 17th best overall among all accounting programs. To be considered a large program, 60 or more candidates must sit for the CPA exam.

The rankings are based on aggregated data from all four testing windows of the 2019 Uniform CPA Examination. To pass the rigorous professional certification, test-takers must score a minimum of 75 percent on each of the four sections.

“Once again, our students have shown that we have one of the top accounting programs in the country. Our students, faculty, and staff continue to do outstanding work,” said Ken Anderson, dean of the Gonzaga School of Business Administration. “These results, along with our recent successes in competitions and our high rankings in U.S. News and World Report, demonstrate the incredible value of a Gonzaga accounting education.”

Among those passing the exam was Chase Ronderos, who earned a Master’s of Science in Taxation (MS.Tax) degree from Gonzaga in 2019 and a bachelor’s in accounting in 2018, and is among 137 winners of the prestigious 2019 Elijah Watt Sells Award from the American Institute of CPAs honoring the nation’s top performers on the exam.

The students taking the exam were from Gonzaga’s undergraduate accounting, master of accountancy (M.Acc), and master of science in taxation (MS.Tax) programs. Gonzaga takes a personalized approach to help students develop into technical and ethical professionals recognizing that each student has a unique situation.

To sit for the CPA examination, Washington state requires candidates to obtain 150 semester credit hours of acceptable educational preparation. Some GU undergraduate accounting students take additional credits to become eligible for the CPA exam without completing a full master’s degree. However, Gonzaga offers both the M.Acc and MS.Tax degrees tailored for students who wish to satisfy the 150-hour requirement and earn a graduate degree to enhance their knowledge base and career opportunities. Both the M.Acc and MS.Tax curricula integrate material covered on the CPA examination, further preparing students for success. Gonzaga undergraduates can begin their graduate studies during their senior year while saving nearly one-third of their graduate tuition through the Accelerated M.Acc or MS.Tax program.

For more information, please contact Gonzaga University’s Graduate School of Business Administration at (509) 313-7044 or via email at macc@gonzaga.edu or mstax@gonzaga.edu.