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Accounting Schools in Delaware

Delaware offers several options for students pursuing a graduate degree in accounting. This overview of Delaware accounting programs provides information on schools in the state, available master’s-level accounting programs, and profiles of select in-person and online programs. Because the state only has a few options for graduate accounting programs, prospective students in Delaware may be interested in attending an online program from around the country or a program in nearby states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia. You will also find information on the accounting profession, including a breakdown of the process for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure in Delaware as well as data on employment and salary levels.

Quick Facts

  • There are 10 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Delaware.1
  • 4 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • No schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
  • No schools were 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
  • No schools were ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2020.5
  • No schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
  • 2 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 Delaware
Delaware CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Delaware Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Select Schools in Delaware with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Steps to Become a CPA in Delaware

The Delaware Board of Accountancy (the Board) oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a Delaware CPA license.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education including a concentration 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 Permit to Practice.
  6. Receive a Permit to Practice.

1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education including a concentration in accounting.

CPA candidates in Delaware must have completed 150 semester hours of college education including at least a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting, which must consist of at least 24 total semester hours in the following subjects:

  • Accounting information systems
  • Accounting principles
  • Advanced accounting
  • Auditing
  • Cost accounting
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Law
  • Tax

The Board does not recognize courses in banking, computer science, economics, finance, insurance, management, or marketing as part of an accounting concentration, though these courses may be counted towards the total 150-semester hour requirement.

2. Earn the required hours of experience.

All CPA candidates must complete at least one year of qualifying experience using skills in accounting, attest, compilation, consulting, financial advisory, management advisory, or tax, following the completion of the education requirement. One year of experience equals 2,000 hours of full- or part-time employment. Candidates must complete this requirement within a period of three calendar years. 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.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

A Delaware CPA candidate may apply to sit for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Uniform CPA exam once the candidate has completed 120 semester hours of education, including a bachelor’s degree and a concentration in accounting. The test is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and CPA Candidates in Delaware should apply for the exam through the NASBA website. All four sections of the exam must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within an 18-month rolling period.

4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The AICPA ethics self-study course and exam, Professional Ethics, must be passed before applying for a Delaware CPA license. The course may be ordered through the AICPA’s website. CPA candidates must score at least 90% on the exam to pass the course. Once completed, candidates should request that AICPA send the exam score to the Board.

5. Apply for a Permit to Practice.

Practicing CPAs in Delaware must hold a Permit to Practice. Candidates who have met the above requirements can apply for the Permit to Practice through the Board’s online licensure system Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services (DELPROS). Any documents that require a physical signature or notarization must be mailed to the Board unless otherwise indicated.

6. Receive a Permit to Practice.

Once submitted, the Board will review applications in the order received. If the application is in order, the Board will email the applicant a notification of approval and a license number. Once the license number is assigned, the applicant may begin practice as a CPA.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

In Delaware, CPA permits to practice are renewed on a biennial basis, with renewals due by June 30 of each odd-numbered year. Within that period, CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE). The CPE must include at least eight hours in accounting or auditing, eight hours in taxation, and four hours in Delaware-specific ethics. CPAs must also complete 20 additional hours in accounting, auditing, or taxation. In any given year, CPAs must complete at least 20 hours of CPE. CPE can be reported on the Board’s website through DELPROS.

Delaware CPA Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are 4,950 accounting professionals currently practicing in Delaware.10 Annual salaries for Delaware accountants and auditors average $80,010 per year, which is higher than the national average of $79,520.10,11 The average annual salary in the Wilmington area is even higher, at $84,520 per year.10 Delaware also has the fifth-highest concentration of accountant and auditor jobs in the nation.11 Projections Central reports that accountant and auditor positions in Delaware should grow by around 5% through 2028, slower than the national average of 6.4%.12

Delaware CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Dover530$64,700
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD29,810$84,590
Salisbury980$65,940

Delaware Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Delaware 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 NameAccreditationCPA Exam Pass Rate6Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate13Grad Rate1Online Options?Tuition per Credit
Delware State UniversityAACSBN.Av.MBA-CPA ConcentrationN.Av.42%Yes$430
Goldey-Beacom CollegeACBSP16.7%MS-Taxation;
MBA-Taxation
N.Av.58%$1,117
University of DelawareAACSB45.0%MS-Accounting;
MS-Accounting Practice;
MBA-Accounting
55.2%81%Yes$850
Wilmington UniversityIACSB37.5%MS-Accounting;
MBA-Accounting
N.Av.21%Yes$488

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Select Schools in Delaware with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

Goldey-Beacom College

Goldey-Beacom College offers a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) that provides a solid background in taxation to students and professionals seeking entry into the field. Graduates of the program will be able to demonstrate leadership, ethics, and proficiency in tax positions. The 36-credit hour curriculum covers subjects such as Multi-State Taxation, Taxation of Corporations, and Taxation of Property-Real Estate/Like Kind Exchanges. The MST begins with six credits of foundation courses, which may be waived in favor of elective courses for students with proven proficiency in the topics covered. Enrollment is entirely part-time. Classes are held once a week, with new classes beginning every eight weeks. This schedule will allow MST students to graduate within two years. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree. GBC students and alumni have access to the Career Services Center, with services such as mock interviews, resume assistance, and networking events. For those seeking a more business-focused education, GBC offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with both a major and a focus in taxation.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware’s (UD) Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program meant to prepare students for leadership roles in accounting careers or further study towards a PhD. MSA students can enroll full-time or part-time and graduate in as little as one year if enrolled full-time with an undergraduate degree in accounting. The program offers concentrations in Analytics, Controllership, Financial Management, or Management Information Systems, or students may develop a self-styled concentration out of the available electives. Required courses in the 30-credit hour program include Advanced Federal Taxation, Financial Statement Analysis, and Fundamentals of Analytics. The MSA program requires applicants to have an undergraduate degree from a four-year university and a GMAT score of 550 or greater. Students without an accounting or business degree must complete required prerequisite coursework in accounting, business law, economics, and the AACSB recognized skill areas. UD undergraduate accounting majors may enroll in the accelerated program and receive a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting that will develop skills in leadership as well as accounting. Based on helping students understand the complex relationship between various aspects of business, the 36-credit hour program consists of 12 courses: seven core courses and five courses towards the Accounting concentration. Core courses cover subjects such as data analytics, ethical leadership, and information technology. The accounting concentration offers courses such as Advanced Managerial Accounting; Federal Taxation Policy and Research; and International Accounting and Taxation. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as one year. Admission into the MBA in Accounting program requires prerequisite coursework in accounting, economics, finance, and math. Specially designed graduate and undergraduate courses are available to fulfill prerequisite requirements but do not count towards the MBA and must be finished by the time four courses in the program have been completed. Students interested in more in-depth accounting study may be interested in Wilmington’s Master of Science in Accounting.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Delaware State University

Delaware State University hosts a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a CPA concentration that can help students meet CPA licensure requirements in Delaware. The MBA in CPA is offered through a hybrid format, with courses taken online or through the [email protected]lmington location. Core MBA courses such as Marketing Management, Operations Analysis Management, and Economics for Managerial Decision Making concentrate on building knowledge of specific industries, with three accounting electives completing the CPA concentration. The full curriculum requires 30 credits to complete, and full-time students can graduate in as little as 12 months. Admission into the MBA is offered on a rolling basis and requires a bachelor’s degree and a combined GMAT/GPA of at least 975. This score is calculated by multiplying the undergraduate GPA by 200 and adding the GMAT score. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree in business or the equivalent must complete required foundation courses upon admittance into the program. The foundation requirement may be waived based on work experience, the achievement of an advanced degree, or professional certification.

University of Delaware

In addition to the MSA program, the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware (UD) offers students seeking online education the Master of Science in Accounting Practice (MAP) program to help students meet the qualifications to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Designed for aspiring accountants and practicing professionals, the MAP can be completed in as little as a year. The 11-class curriculum is offered through a flexible schedule to accommodate students’ availability. Students take eight required courses, including Auditing, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility; Federal Taxation of Income and Property Transactions; and Database Design and Implementation; and three electives. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting will need to complete a pair of prerequisite courses online before starting the core curriculum. Entry into the MAP program requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum GPA, and minimum GRE or GMAT scores. Online students have access to a personal career coach and other UD student services.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University also offers students a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting, which can be completed entirely online. Graduates of the program will develop a foundation in accounting that can help them towards certifications as CPAs, Certified Management Accountants (CMAs), Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs), or other credentialed positions. Core courses such as Issues in Auditing and Assurance Services; Fraud Prevention and Forensic Accounting; and Financial Management make up 24 credits of the 30-credit curriculum, with six elective credits completing the degree. A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into the program. Students without previous accounting coursework must complete the required prerequisites with a “C” or better by the time they have completed four courses in the MS in Accounting curriculum. All accounting courses have either an undergraduate or graduate prerequisite. While completing these prerequisites, students may take the required ethics course. Graduation from the MS in Accounting program requires a GPA of 3.0 or better. Online students may also be interested in Wilmington’s MBA in Accounting, which is also available online.

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Delaware

  • Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A.: One of the largest accounting firms in Delaware and a member of the PrimeGlobal association of independent accounting firms, Belfint, Lyons & Shuman offers accounting services to both individuals and firms from their Wilmington office.
  • Cover and Rossiter: Based in Wilmington, Cover and Rossiter provides a full range of business services to clients such as nonprofits, small families, and businesses.
  • BDO USA: BDO is a national firm with a presence in Delaware, offering accounting, advisory, digital, and tax services out of their offices in Wilmington.

Delaware Accounting Associations

  • Delaware Society of CPAs: Offering members CPE opportunities, professional insurance, and career development, the Delaware Society of CPAs also offers the general public tools to find CPAs to suit their specific needs
  • The Delaware Board of Accountancy (the Board): The Board oversees the licensing and permitting of Certified Public Accountants and Public Accountants in Delaware.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a CPA in Delaware?

The first step in becoming a CPA in Delaware is completing 150 semester hours of postsecondary education with a concentration in accounting and a bachelor’s degree. After completing the education requirement, you must obtain one year of professional accounting experience and pass the Uniform CPA Exam and AICPA ethics exam. Once you have completed these requirements, you must apply to the Board for a permit to practice. You will receive an email with a license number from the Board upon approval.

How do I keep my CPA license active?

To maintain your status as a CPA, you must renew your licenses by June 30 of every odd-numbered year. Renewal requires 80 hours of CPE, including eight hours of study in accounting, eight hours in taxation, and four hours in ethics.

How much do CPAs make in Delaware?

According to the BLS, Delaware accountants and auditors make an average salary of $80,010 per year.10 Salaries are highest in the Philadelphia metro area, which includes the northern part of the state and the city of Wilmington, where accountants average $84,590 annually.10

References:
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, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.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.org/Projections/LongTerm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools