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 provides information on schools in the state so that students considering higher education can compare programs and make an informed decision. For some students, a distance education program in accounting may be the most suitable choice, which may be evaluated by comparing the different accounting programs available.
- There are 6 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Delaware.
- 4 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
- Highest graduation rate*: University of Delaware, 82%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Wesley College, 75%1
- Highest net price per year*: Wesley College, $23,8231
- Lowest net price per year*: Delaware State University, $12,7361
- No schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017.
- 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: University of Delaware (#38 in-state, #43 out-of-state)
- 1 school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): University of Delaware (89)
*For four-year not-for-profit 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 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- University of Delaware (60.6%)
- Wilmington University (52.4%)
In 2015, the range for CPA exam first-time pass rates with an advanced degree was 52.4% to 60.6% out of the two schools that sent candidates in Delaware. This can be compared to the national pass rate of 48.4% for all candidates in 2015. 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 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
Top Master’s 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 (MS) in Taxation and the Master of Science (MS) in Finance. Students may also be interested in the school’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, which offer concentrations in Financial Management and Taxation. Most accounting-related master’s programs offered at Goldey-Beacom College require 30 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.
University of Delaware (Newark)
The 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 #89 (tie) in National Universities. A selective school, 60% of applicants are accepted, and those attending can take advantage of a student-faculty ratio of 13:1 from a school that has a 92% freshman retention rate.
Wesley College (Dover)
Wesley College offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that can be tailored for a core focus on accounting to 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 Entrepreneurship, 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 #36-#47 in Regional Colleges (North) by US News, showing the competitiveness of the school despite its relatively small size.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Delaware
Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. (BLS) is one of the largest accounting firms in Delaware and focuses on an individualized approach to 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 with a presence in Delaware, operating offices in Wilmington.
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.
- Complete a 150-semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Earn the required hours of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
- 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
- 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 licensed CPA. The experience must be completed within the 10 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. 16 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.
Delaware Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in Delaware from 2016-20262
Although a small state, Delaware has a high concentration of accountants, with 5,660 such professionals currently practicing in the state.3 The average salary for Delaware accountants is $79,250.3 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.3 Accounting and auditor positions within the state are projected to grow by 13.6% through 2026.2
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 13-2011 Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm