Campus Life

University of West Florida top ranked in nation and Florida for CPA exam pass rates

The University of West Florida is ranked No. 5 in the U.S. for first-time pass rates by small accounting programs on the CPA exam, according to recent results released by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). UWF was competing against 266 institutions classified as small programs with 10 to 20 reported candidates.

“I am pleased but not surprised at this great performance,” said Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “UWF’s accountancy program has long been a jewel in the academic crown. I applaud the fine faculty in our College of Business for preparing our students so very well.”

In the State of Florida, the university ranked No. 2 out of the Top 10 institutions for first-time pass rates. It was the highest ranking public university for the category. The university was also ranked No. 3 for highest average scores on the exam, making it the second highest ranking public university behind the University of Florida.

“The outstanding performance of UWF’s College of Business students on the CPA exam only confirms what we have known for years.  The UWF accounting program is one of the best accounting programs in Florida and among the top programs nationally,” said Ed Ranelli, Dean of the UWF’s College of Business.

“The CPA exam is the most prestigious designation that an accounting professional can have. It’s something we strongly encourage all of our graduates to pursue,” said Dr. Doug Waggle, Chairman and Professor of the UWF Department of Accounting and Finance. “The high pass rate of our students shows that we have outstanding faculty members and that our graduates can compete with anyone.”

NASBA publishes annual rankings for CPA exam scores, utilizing information provided by individual candidates, state boards of accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

For additional information about the UWF Department of Accounting and Finance, visit