University of Tennessee

UT Accounting Students Ranked 4th in the Nation on CPA Exam Pass Rates

March 28, 2016

KNOXVILLE—Accounting graduates from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business were ranked fourth nationally among public universities for Certified Public Accountant exam pass rates in 2015.

“This success is a testament to the collective efforts of the outstanding faculty and students within the accounting program at the Haslam College of Business,” said Joe Carcello, EY Business Alumni Professor and head of the accounting department.

The overall pass rate for UT graduates was 85 percent according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, which recently released the findings. For UT graduates completing both a bachelor’s degree in business and a Master’s of Accountancy, the pass rate was approximately 90 percent.

This figure puts the Haslam College of Business’ accounting students in the 98th percentile nationwide and gives the college the second highest pass rate in the state of Tennessee. UT has the largest accounting program in Tennessee, with nearly six times the number of candidates taking the CPA exam as the university with the highest ranked pass rate. Over the last ten years, UT’s accounting program has demonstrated tremendous improvement, rising nearly 20 spots in the rankings since 2006.

The CPA exam is a professional licensing test that accountants must take before beginning their practice. Pass rates are a key factor in determining a student’s educational preparation.


Katie Bahr (865-974-3589,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,


Joe Carcello, EY Business Alumni Professor and head of the accounting department in UT’s Haslam College of Business.