Learning the technical skills of accounting is vital to passing the Certified Public Accountant exam. From your very first semester on campus, you’ll learn those abilities from scholars and professors who have extensive experience in the field, in one of only 36 programs in the U.S. endorsed by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Drake’s program focuses on current accounting practices in United States, while also teaching the international standards that U.S. businesses may be required to adopt in the future. This will provide you with the flexibility you’ll need to excel in your field well past graduation.

In the College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA), you’ll also develop skills that will help set you apart from the competition. Drake’s business majors emphasize communication, writing and presentation skills—things that are key to succeeding in the business world. 

Students in the accounting program often choose to double major in finance, management, marketing or international business. Many take advantage of study abroad opportunities throughout the world and some even complete accounting internships in places like the United Kingdom.

Careers and Internships

Among students who graduated from Drake with a BSBA in accounting in 2017, 100 percent had at least one internship or practical experience before graduation, and 100 percent held a full-time job in their field or were enrolled in graduate school within six months.

Students in the CBPA are encouraged to hold internships and participate in networking events throughout their college career. Drake offers many tools to students to help them find — and obtain — internships and jobs, including a dedicated career counselor within CBPA that can help with resumes building and interviewing skills. Each year, the CBPA hosts an annual Accounting and Finance Career Fair, which brings major employers to Drake’s campus to meet with students.

The School of Accounting provides an education in accounting and business law that prepares graduates to assume entry-level positions in public, private, governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Drake students have held internships at places such as:

  • KPMG
  • Deloitte
  • PwC
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Principal Financial Group
  • Wells Fargo
  • John Deere

Student Organizations

All students of the College of Business and Public Administration may join one of the two professional fraternities: Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi. Accounting students may also join the Drake Accounting Honorary Society.

Course Requirements

The School of Accounting awards both graduate and undergraduate degrees in accounting. The undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), requires 124 semester hours and is typically completed in four years on a full-time basis. A student may choose to pursue the full accounting major, which requires 27 hours of accounting beyond Introduction to Financial Accounting and Introduction to Managerial Accounting, or to pursue a joint major in accounting and another discipline in the College of Business and Public Administration.

Almost all of the 54 jurisdictions in the United States that confer the CPA certificate require 150 hours of collegiate study. Drake’s Master of Accounting degree provides the additional study in accounting, business law, and related subjects necessary to earn the C.P.A. designation in the jurisdictions that require 150 hours of study.

The Master of Accounting degree requires an additional 30 hours of graduate study beyond the undergraduate program and is typically completed in one year. However, with careful planning, both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be completed in as little as four and one-half years. A student may choose to earn the BSBA degree or both the BSBA and Master of Accounting degrees depending upon his/her career interests.


Drake University is a member of AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.  

In 2018, Drake University’s undergraduate accounting program earned endorsement by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), one of the world’s largest associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession.

Drake is the only university in Iowa and one of only 36 schools in the United States to receive this endorsement, which recognizes programs that meet high educational standards in preparing students to pursue the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential.