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Accounting Schools in Connecticut

There are many high-quality accounting schools in Connecticut which can provide a generalized or a specialized education in accounting to prepare students for rewarding careers. In addition to high-profile national schools, Connecticut is also home to private, public, and state schools that offer programs in accounting. This guide will provide the information that you need to make the right choice of accounting schools in Connecticut while providing further information about other options such as online or distance education in accounting that may be appropriate choices for your skills, career goals, and interests.

Quick facts:

  • There are 27 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Connecticut.
  • 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Fairfield University 82%, University of Connecticut 82%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: University of New Haven 38%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Sacred Heart University $36,0241
  • Lowest net price per year*: Central Connecticut State University $14,1651
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for accounting programs in Connecticut: $18,679-$39,9902
  • 3 Schools in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2013: University of Connecticut (54), Quinnipiac University (61), Fairfield University (83)
  • 1 School in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Connecticut (25)
  • 2 Schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): Yale University (3), University of Connecticut (63)

*For 4-year colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Keep reading to find in-depth profiles and further information on accounting schools in Connecticut as well as potential career paths for Connecticut accounting graduates.

Schools with Highest 2013 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. University of Connecticut 84.0%
  2. University of Hartford
  3. Quinnipiac University

The range for CPA exam pass rates at schools ranged from 10.0% to 84.0% for first-time CPA exam candidates with an advanced degree (out of 4 schools in Connecticut that sent candidates). This compares to a 54.6% pass rate for all first-time candidates nationally. When evaluating accounting programs at schools, the first-time CPA exam pass rate can be a good proxy for the quality of training although the number can be skewed if there were a small number of candidates. To find extensive statistics on each school, see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Connecticut

Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT)

Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut offers a full year Master of Science in Accounting program that begins in the summer semester and ends the following May. This master’s program covers ethics, legal, and regulatory issues as well as technology in the accounting field while meeting the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam for most states. The thirty credit hour program consists of seven required courses and three electives in topics such as International Accounting, Issues in Internal Audit, Tax Practice and Procedure, and Computer Auditing and Contemporary Audit Issues. Students also take a designated research course in either accounting or tax. The formal admission process requires students to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or have completed equivalent coursework. US News ranks Fairfield University #3 in Regional Universities (North), a prestigious standing fitting the academic focus at this college.

Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)

Sacred Heart University awards a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) to students who complete its rigorous 30 credit hour master’s program in accounting. Entering students choose a specialization in forensic accounting or in international accounting. In either specialization the program can be completed in as little as one year (four trimesters) if a bachelor’s degree in accounting has been earned; those without an undergraduate background in accounting may take prerequisite courses to meet the application requirements. Courses are delivered in a hybrid format with online discussions during the week supplemented by a traditional classroom seminar one Saturday each month. The Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. US News ranks Sacred Heart #38 in Regional Universities (North) based in part on its selectivity and 14:1 student-faculty ratio.

University of Connecticut (Storrs-Mansfield, CT)

University of Connecticut offers a highly regarded Master of Science in Accounting program designed for students who do not hold an undergraduate degree in accounting. This online program stresses student-centered learning and information literacy and can be completed in as few as 8 months with a full-time course load or 16 months with a part-time course load. Students must take only two core courses, with the remaining 8 courses required to earn the 30 credit hours for graduation consisting of electives. Available courses include Contemporary Managerial Accounting Issues, Global Financial Reporting and Analysis, and Accounting and Auditing for Governmental Entities. This MSA program is particularly recognized in the northeast for its high standards and is the first master’s program offered by the University of Connecticut online. US News ranks the University of Connecticut #63 in National Universities as a more selective school with a 17:1 student-faculty ratio and a large percentage of courses taught with small class sizes.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Connecticut

The offices of BlumShapiro are a top draw for recent graduates in Connecticut and the northeast region, as BlumShapiro is the largest regional accounting and consulting firm in New England. Every year, BlumShapiro recruits recent college graduates for employment. O’Connor Davies, formerly Marien + Company CPAs, is growing after a merger. Counted as the Second Fastest Growing Accounting Firm in the Country by Accounting Today, O’Connor Davies is focused on the personal touch and recruitment of the most promising professionals. Beers, Hamerman & Company, P.C. is one of the oldest and largest accounting firms based in New Haven, with clients in almost every industry and a growing need for certified professionals.

How to Become a CPA in Connecticut

The Connecticut State Board of Accountancy oversees the licensing process for Certified Public Accountants in the state. There are five core steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Connecticut.

  1. Complete a 150 semester hour program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
  2. Accumulate at least two years of experience.
  3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
  5. Apply for a license.

1. Complete a 150 semester hour program of acceptable coursework in accounting.

Although candidates may apply for and take the Uniform CPA Exam after completing 120 credit hours or a bachelor’s degree in accounting, candidates must complete a total of 150 semester hours to qualify for a license. If located in the US the college or university attended must be regionally accredited, and the coursework must include 36 semester hours in accounting plus 30 semester hours in economics and business administration.

2. Accumulate at least two years of experience.

The Connecticut State Board of Accountancy requires candidates for licensure to have earned at least two years of qualifying experience in accounting. The experience must be earned under the supervision of a CPA who has held his or her license for at least three years prior to verification of the candidate’s experience. For experience to qualify, it must total at least 20 hours per week for each week calculated as part of the experience.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Prospective CPAs should apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy once the education requirements for taking the exam have been met. The Uniform CPA Exam is a standardized test in four parts and is required by all 50 states for CPA licensure. An authorization to schedule and take the exam will be provided once the candidate’s qualifications are verified. All four sections of the exam must be passed in an 18-month rolling period.

4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

After passing the Uniform CPA exam, candidates should take the AICPA Ethics self-study course and prepare to pass the AICPA Ethics exam, which is required for all prospective CPAs. The course and exam can be ordered through the Connecticut Society of CPAs. Candidates are not required to be members of the Connecticut Society of CPAs to purchase and take the exam.

5. Apply for a license.

Candidates for CPA licensure in Connecticut should only apply for the license once all licensing requirements have been met. The certificate registration form is available on the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy website.

Licensed CPAs in Connecticut are required to complete continuing education in each fiscal year, which runs from July 1st through June 30th. The continuing education must comprise a minimum of forty clock hours, to include at least four hours of ethics. You can find additional information on the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy website.
(Source: Connecticut State Board of Accountancy, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy)

Connecticut Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

10.2%

Accountants and Auditors in Connecticut from 2010-20203

Between 11,940 and 18,630 accountants and auditors are currently practicing in Connecticut, with an average salary between $72,300 and $86,030 per year. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor is not only the area of highest demand for accountants in Connecticut but also one of the areas of highest concentration for accounting jobs nationwide. Even through the recession demand for financial professionals in all Connecticut metro areas remained stable, indicating the strength of the job market for accountants in this state.

Connecticut Accounting Program Student Reviews

Fairfield University:

“Looking back at my time at Fairfield University, I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to go to such a wonderful school. Completing both my undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees at Fairfield University, I can honestly say Fairfield University did an excellent job preparing me for my career. The courses were relevant to my future and were crucial to my successful passing of the CPA exam (all four parts my first try). The faculty and staff were always there for me when I needed them and did an excellent job ensuring that I mastered the information necessary to succeed. The department was also very instrumental in helping me achieve my career goals, including being offered a full-time position at a big four public accounting firm, where I am currently a manager. Without my five years at Fairfield, I do not believe I would have been as successful as I am today. Fairfield not only provided me with the knowledge I needed for my career but also prepared me for the challenges I would face in the workplace.” – student at Fairfield University
stars-5

University of Phoenix:

“University of Phoenix, the notorious online college provided a challenge. The material was on-par with what I was learning. The atmosphere of online schooling provided the most challenge. It required focus, dedication, self-teaching and persistence, and later required heavy team work. The biggest challenge was not the material or the assignments, but rather the focus and dedication being put into those assignments. It is quite easy to sit there and avoid the assignment altogether and drift away into the land of doing something else. Overall, the experience was good. I learned quite a bit of different skills and built upon a knowledge I had the most interest in. Compared to roughly five years ago when I started, I now have the know-how to successfully compete in the marketplace, with invaluable skills that are proving to be successful in my career journey.” – student at University of Phoenix
stars-4

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=CT&major=finance-accounting&sort=best
3. State of Connecticut: http://www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/jcc/profile.asp?sstrOccupationCode=193021&strMethod=keyword