Accounting students rank among nation’s best for first-time CPA exam pass rates

September 12, 2018

Detroit Mercy grad Holly Hedemark.For the second year in a row, the first-time pass rate of Detroit Mercy accounting students who took the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam ranks among the nation’s best.

According to data released this month by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Detroit Mercy students and alumni achieved a 63 percent pass rate and an average test score of 77.1 on the 2017 CPA exam.

In achieving this accomplishment, Detroit Mercy students outperformed candidates from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School, among many others. Across all first-time test-takers, covering more than 1,000 institutions of all sizes nationwide, the average pass rate was 52.9 percent, and the average test score was 71.3. Detroit Mercy also had higher first-time pass rates than Harvard University and the University of Chicago on the 2016 exam.

“By consistently outperforming their counterparts from the most prominent institutions in the country, our graduates have demonstrated that they are among the very best accountants anywhere,” said Dr. Joseph Eisenhauer, dean of the Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration. “Our faculty provide excellent teaching, and our students gain practical experience through service-learning — both of which are hallmarks of our Jesuit and Mercy traditions,” he added.

Holly Hedemark, who earned her bachelor of science degree in 2017 and her MBA in 2018 through Detroit Mercy’s accelerated 5-year BS/MBA program, said that thanks to the small class sizes and exceptional professors at Detroit Mercy, “I was able to complete all four sections of the CPA exam in just 10 months. Completing the exam and obtaining the 150 credit-hour education requirement before beginning my career with Plante Moran was a great feeling. I highly recommend the 5-Year MBA program at Detroit Mercy for all students interested in obtaining their CPA license.”

To learn more about Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration, please visit