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Recognitions Highlight Program Quality

Excellence in teaching demands relevant and innovative programs, useful learning materials, and effective instructional systems. As indicated by several measures, the NIU Department of Accountancy successfully fulfills this mission.

Superb CPA Pass Rates - NIU's 2015 CPA exam pass rate for graduate students taking the exam for the first time was 69.4%, well above the national average.  Our bachelor’s students pass rate was also above the national and state averages.

CPA Exam Pass Rates*
(*first-time takers, per National Associate of State Boards of Accountancy)

National 55.0%
State (IL) 55.6%
NIU-Bachelor's degree 57.7%
NIU-Advanced degree 69.4%

Accountancy ranks among Nation's Finest - TaxTalent 2014 Educational Survey. Based on feedback from 143 executives of corporate in-house tax departments, NIU's accountancy program was ranked nationally as:

    • 11th best undergraduate accountancy program
    • 9th best master of science in taxation program
    • 9th best master of accounting science program

Accountancy ranks among Top 25 Best Nationally - Public Accounting Report.
NIU's undergraduate and graduate accountancy programs ranked among the Top 25 best in the nation according to the 2015 Annual Professors Survey conducted by Public Accounting Report (PAR). PAR's ranking places NIU’s undergraduate accounting program 19th best nationally and NIU’s master level accounting program 25th best nationally. Continuing a strong trend for more than two decades, NIU's accountancy program has ranked continuously among the very best programs in the country.

Excellence in Teaching,
Scholarship, and Service

Our faculty has been recognized for their excellence in teaching with numerous teaching and research awards:

  • Dr. Meghann Cefaratti, George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award
  • Dr. Douglas Clinton, IMA Faculty Leadership/Distinguished Service Award
  • Dr. Linda Matuszewski, Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award and George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award and American Accounting Association Management Accounting Section Lybrand Award
  • Dr. Mark Riley, Federation of Schools of Accountancy Innovation in Graduate Education Award
  • Dr. Rebecca Shortridge, Federation of Schools of Accountancy Innovation in Graduate Education Award 2009 and 2013.
  • Dr. John Simon, University Presidential Teaching Professor
  • Dr. David Sinason, University Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Dr. Pamela Smith, University Presidential Teaching Professor, Board of Trustees Professor, American Accounting Association Innovation in Accounting Education Award, and Illinois CPA Society Outstanding Educator Award
  • Dr. Donald Tidrick, American Institute of CPAs Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award and Illinois CPA Society Outstanding Educator Award
  • Dr. Jim Young, University Presidential Teaching Professor, Illinois CPA Society Outstanding Educator Award, American Accounting Association/Accounting Program Leadership Group Service Award
  • Dr. Aleksandra Zimmerman, American Accounting Association Outstanding Dissertation Award (view press release)


These financially supported professorships indicate external recognition of excellence:

  • Dr. Natalie Churyk, William Doyle Endowed Professorship
  • Dr. Douglas Clinton, Alta Via Consulting Professorship
  • Dr. Chih-Chen Lee, William and Dian Taylor Professorship
  • Dr. Katrina Mantzke, Donna Kieso Professorship
  • Dr. Rebecca Shortridge, Donald E. Kieso Endowed Chair of Accountancy
  • Dr. David Sinason, PricewaterhouseCoopers Professorship
  • Dr. Pamela Smith, KPMG Endowed Professorship,
  • Dr. Donald Tidrick, Deloitte Professorship
  • Dr. Jim Young, Crowe Horwath Professorship
  • Dr. Carol Yu, Speiser Faculty Fellow