Accounting Schools in Connecticut
There are many high-quality accounting schools in Connecticut that can provide a generalized or specialized education in accounting to prepare students for rewarding careers. This guide to master’s-level accounting programs in Connecticut offers useful information on available programs in the state, including descriptions of selected traditional and online programs. You will also find information on the process for obtaining Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification, registration, and licensure in the state, as well as data on employment level and annual salaries for accountants and auditors.
- There are 25 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Connecticut.1
- 12 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 1 school was ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 1 school was ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
- No schools were ranked in Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019.4
- 1 school was ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2020.5
- 4 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 7 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- 1 school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
- 1 school is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9
For not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Table of Contents
- Steps to Become a CPA in Connecticut
- Connecticut CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Connecticut
- Connecticut Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Connecticut with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Board of Accountancy (the Board) oversees the licensing process for CPAs in the state. There are six core steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Connecticut:
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate at least two years of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- Apply for certification and either registration or a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
Candidates for CPA licensure in Connecticut must complete 150 semester hours of education including a bachelor’s degree and a concentration in accounting or the equivalent. A concentration in accounting must include at least 36 semester hours in accounting plus 30 semester hours in economics and business administration. The 150 semester hours must include 60 semester hours in general education. The remaining 24 semester hours may be in any subject. Candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree and at least 36 semester hours of accounting or business education, of which at least 24 semester hours are in accounting to qualify to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
2. Accumulate at least two years of experience.
The Board requires candidates for licensure to have earned at least two years (104 weeks) of qualifying full-time (35 hours per week) experience in accounting. Part-time experience will be counted, provided the candidate completes at least 20 hours in a week. The experience must involve generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards and employment in either government, industry, or public 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.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Once the necessary education has been completed, prospective CPAs should apply to take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). 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 with a score of 75 or better 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 Professional Ethics: an AICPA Comprehensive Course self-study course and prepare to pass the course and exam with a score of at least 90%. The course and exam can be ordered either through AICPA or 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 certification and either registration or a license.
Connecticut has two two-tier options for CPA credentials: certification and registration or certification and license. While both options have the same educational, experience, and testing requirements, registered CPAs are more limited than licensed CPAs. Candidates who are looking for a less costly option and who do not need full use of the CPA title may choose to register their certificates (as registered CPAs); they may use the CPA credential on correspondence and business cards but may not represent themselves or sign documents as CPAs. The CPA certification and license route is more expensive, but licensed CPAs have unlimited use of the CPA title, can open a public accounting firm, and can sign audit reports and tax returns using the CPA title. Keep in mind that candidates can always step up or down between these two options as career needs change.
Whichever option they choose, all candidates must apply for initial CPA certification, while the second tier (registration or licensure) is chosen based on each candidate’s needs. Candidates use the same form to apply for CPA certification, registration, and licensure; both tiers may be applied for at the same time using the Initial and Reciprocal CPA Certification/Registration/License form, which is available on the Board’s website and must be mailed to the Board. Candidates must submit verification of education, experience, and proof of completion of the AICPA ethics course. Scores from the Uniform CPA Exam will be forwarded to the Board by NASBA.
6. Receive a license.
Once the Board has received all the necessary documentation it will take three to six weeks for the application to process. Once approved, applicants will receive an email with the CPA certificate, followed by a second email with the CPA license. Once the second email is received a CPA may begin practice. No other documentation will be provided by the Board, but CPAs may purchase a wall certificate from NASBA.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Licensed CPAs in Connecticut are required to renew their license annually by December 31. CPAs must also complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. Every three years, a licensed CPA must complete at least four hours of CE in ethics. For every fiscal year, up to 20 hours of CE taken in excess of the required 40 hours may be passed forward towards the following year. Registered CPAs do not need to complete CPE. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.
Connecticut CPA Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 15,450 accountants and auditors are currently practicing in Connecticut, with an average salary of $83,680 per year.10 The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area has the highest average annual salary for accountants in the state and the fifth-highest in the country at $92,770.11 The Hartford Metropolitan area has the most accounting professionals in Connecticut with 5,920 accountants and auditors.10 The number of accountant and auditor positions in Connecticut is projected to grow by 6.3% through 2028, which is on par with the national average projected growth of 6.4%.12
Connecticut CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||5,920||$78,420|
|Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI||630||$75,120|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Connecticut
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Yale University (#11)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors* 2020
- Fairfield University
*With master’s in accounting programs.
US News & World Report’s Best MBA in Accounting Programs 2020
- Fairfield University (#20 tie)
Connecticut Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Connecticut colleges and universities offering a master’s degree in accounting. The graduation rate is for first-time undergraduates seeking a bachelor’s degree, but since it is widely considered to be an indicator of a school’s overall success, we have included it for comparison. Also please note that tuition per credit is based on in-state, on-campus tuition; per-credit rates may vary for out-of-state and online students.
|School Name||Accreditation||CPA Exam Pass Rate6||Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate13||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Tuition per Credit|
|Albert Manus College||IACBE||N.Av.||MS-Accounting;|
|Central Connecticut State University||AACSB||N.Av.||MS-Accounting;|
|Eastern Connecticut State University||—||N.Av.||MS-Accounting||N.Av.||57%.||Yes||$1,151|
|Sacred Heart University||AACSB||37.5%||MS-Accounting;|
|Southern Connecticut State University||—||33.3%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||52%||Yes||$509|
|University of Bridgeport||ACBSP||33.3%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||45%||—||$870|
|University of Connecticut||AACSB||75.5%||MS-Accounting||50.7%||84%||Yes||$875|
|University of Hartford||AACSB||64.7%||MS-Accounting and Taxation;|
|University of New Haven||AACSB||26.7%||MS-Accounting;|
|Western Connecticut State University||—||N.Av.||Master of Business Administration (MBA)||N.Av.||52%||—||$736|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Connecticut with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Fairfield University’s Charles F. Dolan School of Business offers a full-year Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program that begins in the summer semester and ends the following May. MSA students have the option of either the Assurance or the Taxation track, both of which can help students meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in most states. The 30-credit hour program consists of seven required courses split between four foundation courses, one international course, and one designated research course. Foundation courses include Issues in Accounting Ethics, Financial Statement Analysis, and Entity Taxation. The remaining three courses are electives and can be used to pursue specializations in Assurance, Business Analytics, or Taxation. All students also take a designated research course in either accounting or tax. The MSA curriculum also includes time off to take the Uniform CPA Exam and pursue internship opportunities. The formal admission process requires students to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or have completed equivalent coursework.
Quinnipiac University’s Master of Science (MS) in Accounting provides the necessary coursework to meet the education requirements for CPA licensure as well as preparation for success on the CPA exam by presenting a mixture of accounting theory and skill development. The 30-credit hour curriculum consists of six required core courses and four electives. The required courses cover topics such as business law and ethics; accounting information systems; and federal income taxation. Students can choose from elective courses like Financial Statement Analysis, Predictive Modeling, and Managerial Economics. Admission into the MS in Accounting program requires an undergraduate degree and either GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants who do not have a bachelor’s in accounting may need to complete the prerequisite coursework before entering the program. For Quinnipiac undergraduate accounting students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, the MS in Accounting may be taken as either a 4+1 program or an accelerated 3+1 program, earning students both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
The University of New Haven’s (UNH) Pompea’s College of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting that focuses on accounting principles and skills and applying those skills to the various sub-disciplines within the field. The program offers four different tracks: Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Analytics (STEM); Corporate Track; Forensic Track; and Taxation Track. All concentrations consist of 24 credit hours of MS in Accounting required courses (including Advanced Accounting Theory, Advanced Financial Accounting, and Independent Study) as well as 12 to 15 concentration track credit hours. Two of the required courses, Financial Accounting for Managers and Managerial Accounting, are prerequisites that may be waived with department approval. Admission to the MS in Accounting program requires a bachelor’s degree and GMAT or GRE scores. Waivers for the GMAT or GRE may be granted to applicants with an advanced degree, an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3, or five years of professional business experience. The AI/Analytics and Forensic Accounting concentrations are also available as online programs. UNH also offers an Accounting Certificate that is specially designed for CPAs who need continuing professional education credits.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Sacred Heart University (SHU) awards a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) through its Jack Welch College of Business and Technology to students who complete the 30-credit hour curriculum. Entering students choose a specialization in Forensic Accounting or International Accounting, either of which can be completed in as little as one year for full-time students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Those without an undergraduate degree in accounting may take prerequisite courses to meet the application requirements. The curriculum offers required courses such as Financial Accounting Theory and Practice; Contemporary Issues in Auditing; and Federal Taxation, as well as providing the Becker CPA Exam review courses to help students prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam. Courses are delivered in a hybrid format with online discussions during the week supplemented by a traditional classroom seminar one Saturday each month. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher but does not require a GMAT score. SHU undergraduate accounting students may apply for the MSA as a fifth-year program and complete both bachelor’s and master’s degrees as part of a single 150-credit hour course of study.
The University of Connecticut (UConn) offers an online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program for students seeking CPA licensure or further advancement in an accounting career. This online program offers asynchronous courses for maximum flexibility as well as a curriculum that can be tailored to meet students’ personal career goals and can help them meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure. UConn’s MSA can be completed in as few as eight months with a full-time course load of five courses per semester. For part-time students who are working full-time, two courses per semester is the recommended course load. The MSA curriculum requires two core courses and eight courses of electives to earn the 30 credit hours comprising the degree. Available courses include Contemporary Managerial Accounting Issues; Global Financial Reporting and Analysis; and Accounting and Auditing for Governmental Entities. Applicants to the MSA program should have an undergraduate degree and submit GMAT scores. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in accounting may be admitted but must complete the prerequisite coursework before beginning the program. All necessary prerequisites can be completed in UConn’s Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals curriculum.
The Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford (UHart) offers a Master of Science In Accounting and Taxation (MSAT) delivered entirely online. The MSAT can be taken full-time or part-time, with full-time students completing the 30-credit hour curriculum in as little as seven months. MSAT students may select from two tracks, Financial and Assurance Services or Taxation. Both tracks can help meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure depending on undergraduate coursework. The curriculum consists of three core courses, three electives from either the business or accounting curriculum, and four courses unique to the chosen tracks. Required courses for both tracks include Taxation of Business Organizations, Ethics for Accounting Professionals, and Business Law. Applicants to the MSAT program must have an undergraduate degree and a GMAT score. Applicants must have completed all necessary prerequisite courses to enroll in the program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. An undergraduate degree in accounting from an accredited program should include the prerequisite coursework. MSAT students must complete all coursework with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and no more than one grade below a “B” to graduate from the program.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Connecticut
- BlumShapiro: With locations in three states and Washington, DC, including three in Connecticut, BlumShapiro is the largest regional accounting, tax, and business advisory firm in New England.
- PKF O’Connor Davies: Offering accounting, financial, and consulting services to clients in Connecticut and four other states, PKF O’Connor Davies is known for both its service to clients and its involvement in the community and philanthropy.
- Beers, Hamerman & Company, P.C. (BHC&B): A full-service accounting and consulting firm with locations in New Haven and Fairfield, BHC&B offers services to private, non-profit, and industry clients.
Connecticut Accounting Associations
- Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA): With membership available for CPAs, non-CPAs in the accounting field, and students, the CTCPA offers CPE opportunities, networking opportunities, and advocacy for the accounting industry.
- Connecticut Society of Governmental Accountants (CSGA): The CSGA is a member-supported organization that seeks to unite and support accountants and auditors in Connecticut and offers members programs and seminars on the current state of governmental accounting.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a CPA in Connecticut?
To become a CPA in Connecticut you must first complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework including the completion of at least a bachelor’s degree and specified required coursework in accounting and business. You must also complete two years of professional experience under a currently-licensed CPA. Then you must pass both the Uniform CPA Exam and the AICPA ethics course and exam. Finally, you must submit an application and all necessary paperwork to the Board. Once the Board has reviewed and approved your application, you may begin practicing as a CPA.
What is the difference between CPA registration and a CPA license?
Connecticut offers two options of certification for accountants: registration and license. Both registered and licensed CPAs must also be certified. A candidate who has completed all of the requirements must apply for CPA certification and may, at that time, either register their certificate or apply for full licensure. Registered CPAs can make limited use of the CPA title, but they may not sign off on any financial documents. Registration is also cheaper than licensure and does not require annual CPE. A license allows CPAs to perform the full range of CPA services.
How much do CPAs make in Connecticut?
The BLS reports that accountants and auditors in the state make an average annual salary of $83,680, higher than the national average of $79,520.10,11 The average salary for the 5,610 accountants and auditors in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area is the fifth-highest in the nation at $92,770.11
1073 N Benson Rd
Fairfield, CT 06824
Student Review: “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
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Forbes Best Business Schools 2019: https://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/2/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. Public Accounting Report 2019 Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/sites/default/files/par-grad-2019.pdf
5. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
6. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam: Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, 2018 Edition. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc., 2019.
7. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International: https://www.aacsb.edu/about
8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): https://acbsp.org/
9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE): https://iacbe.org/
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Connecticut: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ct.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
12. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools