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Accounting Schools in Delaware

Those interested in pursuing accounting careers can choose from various accounting schools in Delaware to fulfill their educational needs. The following overview of Delaware accounting programs will provide comparable information on schools in the state so that students considering higher education can make an informed decision. For some students, a distance education program in accounting may be the most suitable choice, which may be discovered by comparing the different accounting programs available.

Quick Facts

  • There are 10 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Delaware.
  • 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Widener University-Delaware Campus 82%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Goldey-Beacom College 14%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Strayer University-Delaware $29,5101
  • Lowest net price per year*: Delaware State University $12,7721
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for accounting programs in Delaware*: $9,470-$25,9402
  • 1 School in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2013: University of Delaware (76)
  • 1 School in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Delaware (29)
  • 1 School ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): University of Delaware (75)

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

Continue browsing this page to learn more about the educational and career opportunities available for accountants in Delaware.

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

  1. University of Delaware 64.0%
  2. Wilmington University
  3. Goldey-Beacom College 33.3%

The range for CPA exam first-time pass rates with an advanced degree was 33.3% to 64.0% out of the three schools that sent candidates in Delaware. This compares to the national first-time pass rate of 54.6%. The first-time CPA exam pass rate is a metric that suggests the quality of instruction although the number may be skewed if the number of candidates is small at a given school. You can find extensive statistics for all schools on the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Masters in Accounting Programs in Delaware

Goldey Beacom College (Wilmington)

Goldey-Beacom College, a private business school located in Wilmington, Delaware, offers two graduate programs of particular interest to accounting professionals: The Master of Science in Taxation and the Master of Science in Finance. Students may also be interested in the school’s Master of Business Administration programs, which offer concentrations in Financial Management and Taxation. Most accounting related master’s programs offered at Goldey-Beacom College require thirty credit hours to complete and include computer-based mathematical modeling tools for building a technical understanding of finance and accounting applications. Graduate electives include courses such as Tax Research and Communications, Quantitative Foundations and Business Applications, Contemporary Management Theory, and Service Firm Management. Nearly all classes have fewer than 50 students. Business Administration and Management are the most popular programs of study, accounting for 74% of declared majors; a further 25% of declared majors enrolled at Goldey-Beacom are in accounting.

University of Delaware (Newark)

University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Department of Accounting and Information Systems has a prestigious Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program for the advanced study of accounting. Students who complete the program graduate with an understanding of each major field area of accounting, including finance, management, information systems, auditing, and taxation. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in the field of accounting or to pursue the study of accounting at the doctoral level. The MSA program can be completed on either a part-time or a full-time basis and can be completed in as little as one calendar year with full-time study. Courses in the 30 credit hour program include Theory of External Reporting, Business Process Modeling, and Current Issues in Management Information Systems. US News ranks University of Delaware #75 in National Universities. A selective school, 56.5% of applicants are accepted, and those attending can take advantage of a student-faculty ratio of 15:1 from a school that has a 92% freshman retention rate.

Wesley College (Dover)

Wesley College offers a Master of Business Administration program that can be tailored for a core focus on accounting that can help prepare aspiring accountants for leadership roles. Courses in the MBA program are taken by cohort in sequence with one class at a time; due to the curriculum structure, continuous enrollment is expected of all graduate students. Three concentrations are offered, in Executive Leadership, Management, or Environmental Sustainability. Core courses for all concentrations include Business Statistics, Advanced Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, and Advanced Financial Management. Throughout the curriculum, case studies and quantitative analysis are emphasized. Wesley is ranked #38 in Regional Colleges (North) by US News, showing the competitiveness of the school despite its relatively small size. 77.7% of classes have fewer than 20 students here, where business and commerce majors account for 38% of degrees awarded at graduation.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Delaware

Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. (BLS) is one of the largest accounting firms in Delaware, and recently re-designed its logo and services package to reflect its individualized approach to the accounting and consulting practices. BLS actively recruits college graduates through internships and further career opportunities. Cover and Rossiter is one of the best-established accounting firms in Delaware; located in Wilmington, the firm continues to innovate to meet client needs and is constantly hiring for top candidates in accounting, auditing, and support positions. BDO USA is a national firm and the largest accounting firm with a presence in Delaware, operating offices in Wilmington, Rehoboth Beach, and Newark.

How to Become a CPA in Delaware

The Delaware Board of Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a Delaware CPA license.

  1. Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
  2. Earn the required hours 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 educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.

CPA candidates in Delaware must have completed at least 150 semester hours of college education and hold a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree with a concentration in accounting, consisting of at least 24 semester hours in subjects such as:

  • Financial accounting and reporting for business organizations
  • Financial accounting and reporting for government and not-for-profit entities
  • Auditing and attestation services
  • Managerial or cost accounting
  • Taxation
  • Fraud examination
  • Internal controls and risk assessment
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Accounting research and analysis
  • Tax research and analysis
  • Accounting information systems
  • Ethics (accounting course)
  • Business law

The accounting concentration must include courses in financial accounting and reporting, auditing and attestation, and taxation. The Delaware Board of Accountancy does not recognize courses in banking, computer science, economics, finance, insurance, management or marketing as meeting the 24 semester hour accounting requirement, though these courses may be counted towards the 150 semester hour total requirement.

2. Earn the required hours of experience.

All CPA candidates must complete at least one year of qualifying experience prior to licensure. This experience may be gained working in government, industry, academia, or public practice, but in all cases must be supervised and verified by a currently licensed CPA. The experience must be completed within the ten years previous to applying for a CPA license.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

Prospective CPAs in all 50 states must pass the Uniform CPA Exam to achieve licensure. Candidates in Delaware apply for the exam through NASBA. Delaware candidates may choose to use the pre-evaluation service to determine candidacy based on academics prior to applying for the exam.

4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The AICPA ethics self-study course and exam must be passed prior to applying for a CPA license in Delaware. The course may be ordered through AICPA; once complete, candidates should request that AICPA send the exam score to the Delaware Board of Accountancy.

5. Apply for a license.

Practicing CPAs in Delaware must hold a CPA Certificate and a Permit to Practice. Both credentials can be applied for at the same time using the Combined Application for CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice available through the Delaware Board of Accountancy website.

CPAs in Delaware must complete 80 clock hours of continuing education for each biennial renewal and reporting period. Sixteen hours each in accounting/auditing and taxation are required, as well as at least four hours in ethics courses specific to Delaware.

You can find additional information at the Delaware Board of Accountancy website.
(Source: Delaware Administrative Code, Delaware Board of Accountancy)

Delaware Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

8.4%

Accountants and Auditors in Delaware from 2010-20203

Although a small state, Delaware has a high concentration of accountants, with 4,520 such professionals currently practicing in the state. The average salary for Delaware accountants is $66,100. The Dover metro area has a steady demand for financial and business professionals and is a good place to begin a search for accountancy positions within Delaware.

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=DE&major=finance-accounting&sort=best
3. State of Delaware Department of Labor, Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information Projections: https://lmi.delawareworks.com/Content/Information/Projections.php