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Accounting Schools in Florida

    Those considering higher education with an accounting focus have numerous schools in Florida from which to choose. The accounting programs available from Florida universities and colleges teach general accounting skills and knowledge as well as more specialized areas of practice like taxation and corporate accounting. This overview of accounting programs in Florida will provide you with the information you need to compare schools and make the right choice for your career, including information on in-person programs as well as online and distance education options.

    Quick Facts

    For not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

    Table of Contents
    Steps to Become a CPA in Florida
    Florida CPA Salary and Job Outlook
    Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Florida
    Florida Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
    Select Schools in Florida with Master’s in Accounting Programs
    Additional Resources
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Student Reviews


    Steps to Become a CPA in Florida

    The Florida Division of Certified Public Accounting (the DBPR) oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to become a CPA.

    1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
    2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
    3. Apply for and take the Uniform CPA Examination.
    4. Apply for a license.
    5. Receive a CPA license.

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

    The first step towards becoming a CPA in Florida is to complete at least 150 semester hours of college-level education resulting in a baccalaureate degree or higher. Included in the 150 hours of education should be at least 30 semester hours of upper-division accounting coursework in auditing and cost accounting; three semester hours of financial accounting; and three semester hours of taxation. The coursework must also include 36 semester hours (54 quarter hours) of general business coursework, including three semester hours of business law.

    2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

    To qualify for a CPA Licence at least 2,000 hours of work experience, completed over one year of full-time work experience (at least 40 hours per week) or two years of part-time work experience (at least 20 hours per week), must be accumulated and verified by a currently licensed CPA or approved chartered accountant. The hours of experience may begin after the applicant has completed 120 semester hours of coursework concentrating on accounting and business from an accredited school. The experience may include public, private, or government practice, or may be in academia.

    3. Apply for and take the Uniform CPA Examination.

    The accounting boards of all 50 states require that prospective CPAs take the Uniform CPA Exam developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to earn certification and to practice as a CPA. In Florida, once the required education has been completed, CPA candidates must apply to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Division of Certified Public Accounting for authorization to take the Uniform CPA Exam. Once authorization has been granted, candidates may apply online with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to schedule and take the exam. All four parts of the exam must be passed within a rolling 18-month period.

    4. Apply for a license.

    Applicants must create an account with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to apply for a license. They must provide evidence that they have met all education and work requirements for licensure, pay an application fee, and submit their exam results and completed license application to the DBPR. The license must be applied for within three years after passing the exam. Applicants may apply through the online portal or the printable application form.

    5. Receive a CPA License.

    After applying to the DBPR, applicants will receive an email verifying the receipt of their application. Upon approval of the license, applicants will be able to sign on to their DBPR account to print their license. Within three to six weeks of approval, applicants should receive a wall certificate.

    CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

    For CPA license renewals, the DBPR requires all CPAs to complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every two years, with at least eight of these hours in accounting and auditing and four hours in an ethics course approved by the Board. The four main categories for Florida CPE include:

    • Eight hours minimum in accounting and auditing
    • Technical business
    • Behavioral coursework (no more than 20 hours)
    • Four hours minimum in ethics

    You can find additional information on the DBPR website.

    Florida CPA Salary and Job Outlook

    Florida is one of the top states for accountants to find employment, with 71,520 accountants currently practicing within the state’s borders.10 The average annual salary for accountants in Florida is $72,630, though this average may be higher or lower according to the area of practice.10 Florida has the fourth-highest number of accountants and auditors in the United States, after California, Texas, and New York, respectively.11 Projections Central projects demand for accountants and auditors to grow 13.9% over the 10-year period between 2018 and 2028, over twice as fast as the national projection for this occupation (6.4%).12

    Florida CPA Salary by Metro Area

    Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
    Cape Coral-Ft. Myers1,650$63,890
    Jacksonville5,270$66,160
    Lakeland-Winter Haven1,380$75,410
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach26,340$78,420
    North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton2,030$67,450
    Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford9,640$71,360
    Tallahassee2,260$54,080
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater12,210$72,540

    Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Florida

    Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019

    • University of Miami (#55)

    *With master’s in accounting programs.

    Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019

    • University of Florida (#7)
    • Florida State University (#40)
    • University of South Florida (#43)
    • Florida International University (#45)

    US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021

    • University of Florida (#20 tie)

    Florida Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

    Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Florida 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 NameAccreditation7-9CPA Exam Pass Rate6Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate13Grad Rate1Online Options?Tuition per Credit
    Barry UniversityAACSBN.Av.MS-Accounting (MSA);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av35%$990
    Florida A&M UniversityACBSPN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av53%Yes$841
    Florida Atlantic UniversityAACSB63.6%Master of Accounting (MAC);
    MBA-Accounting;
    Master of Taxation (MTX)
    N.Av50%Yes$372
    Florida Gulf Coast UniversityAACSB83.7%MS-Accounting and Taxation;
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av50%$373
    Florida Institute of Technology-OnlineIACBE33.3%MBA-AccountingN.AvN.Av.Yes$896
    Florida International UniversityAACSB61.9%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)54.4%63%Yes$1,200
    Florida Southern CollegeAACSB30.8%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)100%68%Yes$800
    Florida State UniversityAACSB75.9%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)73.7%83%$479
    Hodges UniversityIACBEN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MACCN.Av26%Yes$750
    Jacksonville UniversityAACSB28.6%MBA-Accounting and FinanceN.Av52%Yes$800
    Nova Southeastern UniversityIACBE36.1%Masters of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av58%Yes$967
    Palm Beach Atlantic UniversityIACBEN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av57%$655
    Saint Leo UniversityACBSP37.5%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av49%Yes$570
    St. Thomas University0.0%Master of Accounting (MAC);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av43%Yes$782
    Stetson UniversityAASCB77.3%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av65%Yes$1,000
    University of Central FloridaAACSB79.6%MS-Accountancy (MSA)45.5%72%$370
    University of FloridaAACSB93.0%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)17.3%88%$531
    University of MiamiAACSB77.0%MS-Accountancy (MSA);
    Master of Professional Accounting (MPrA);
    MBA-Accounting
    51.1%83%Yes$2,170
    University of North FloridaAACSB60.0%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av67%$494
    University of South FloridaAACSB74.3%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)40.2%75%$467
    University of South Florida-St. PetersburgAACSB68.2%Master of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av44%$462
    University of TampaAACSB56.9%MS-Accounting36%58%$655
    University of West FloridaAACSB75.0%Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
    MBA-Accounting
    N.Av46%Yes$378
    Warner UniversityN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av46%$585
    Webber International UniversityN.Av.MBA-AccountingN.Av38%$689

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

    Select Schools in Florida with Master’s in Accounting Programs

    Traditional Programs

    Florida Atlantic University

    Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) College of Business offers a Master of Accounting (MAC) degree that prepares students for the Uniform CPA exam and accounting careers. The program is designed for students interested in public accounting roles in industry and government, with a focus on building teamwork and leadership skills as well as cultural diversity. Classes are typically held on weekday evenings and many of the program courses can be completed online, allowing students additional flexibility for degree completion. Admission is open to students who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting or business, though these students may need to complete foundation courses in these subjects in addition to the 30 credit hours ordinarily required for this degree. A Master of Accounting with Accounting Information Sciences Concentration (MAC-AIS) and a Master of Accounting with Tax Concentration (MAC-TAX). FAU also offers Executive Master of Accounting programs in Business Valuation, Forensic Accounting, Digital Accounting Forensics and Data Analysis, and Professional Accounting, as well as an MBA with Accounting Specialization.

    Florida Gulf Coast University

    Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) offers an academically rigorous Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and Taxation program that prepares students for careers as CPAs through advanced technical study, development of communication skills, and an emphasis on professional integrity. The focus of the program is on building advanced technical competence and the effective use of accounting technologies in research and practice. Students enrolled in the program can select an optional concentration in Analytics. All students complete core courses in Accounting Theory; Advanced Accounting; Advanced Accounting Information Systems; Independent Audit; Law and Business; and Tax Research and Planning. Students also complete nine credit hours of business electives to complete their accounting education. The 30-credit hour program may be pursued through full- or part-time study, with a seven-year period from the time of admission granted for completion of all degree requirements.

    Florida State University

    Florida State University’s (FSU) College of Business offers a 30-credit hour Master of Accounting (MAcc) program that is designed to build advanced understanding in accounting through quantitative, analytical, and research skills. The challenging curriculum emphasizes rigorous instruction and exposure to advanced accounting theories and topics. MAcc students choose from one of three majors in Assurance and Advisory Services, Generalist, or Taxation. They are also put in one of two tracks, depending on whether or not they have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Ten courses are required for the degree, including Emerging Technologies in Accounting and Auditing, Challenges in Professional Accounting, Business Conditions Analysis, and Financial Statement Analysis. For students with an undergraduate degree in accounting or business, the program typically completes the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Florida. Program graduates have a historically high pass rate on the exam.

    Online and Hybrid Programs

    Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University’s online Master of Accounting (MAcc) provides students with an in-depth understanding of accounting designed to meet the growing needs of corporations, not-for-profits, and government agencies. The MAcc program is designed to help students meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam and the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) exam, and to receive licensure in the state of Florida. Prospective students may become CPAs, CMAs, or Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE). The MAcc program consists of 30 hours of coursework split between 10 classes. Prerequisite courses in accounting, auditing, income taxes, and business are required for acceptance into the program. Students without a bachelor’s degree in accounting may be required to take other prerequisite courses. The MAcc coursework requires 30 credit hours to complete. Students of the MAcc program must maintain a 3.0 GPA with no more than two Cs. Graduates may find jobs as auditors, consultants, IRS investigators, controllers, bookkeepers, or tax accountants.

    University of Miami

    The University of Miami offers several online accounting programs offering students the flexibility to tailor their study to a variety of interests and career goals. Online master’s in accounting options include the Master of Professional Accounting (MPrA) which comprises 32 credits, the Master of Professional Accounting-CPA which comprises 40 credits, and the MBA with a Focus Area in Accounting comprising 51 credits. Not only can students prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam, but they can also prepare for other accounting credentials such as the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Informations Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certifications. The program includes tracks for students with or without professional accounting experience. All tracks are designed to be completed in 16 to 20 months. Subjects of study include auditing and assurance, taxation, financial analysis and valuation, fraud and forensic accounting, and, for those pursuing the MBA track, business and economics. The GMAT is not required for admission.

    University of West Florida

    The University of West Florida (UWF) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that can be completed entirely online. UWF’s MAcc offers a focus in either Professional Accountancy or Professional Taxation and is designed to prepare students to take the Uniform CPA Exam, and enter careers in accounting, finance, and business. Coursework will provide students with advanced learning in accounting and finance and cover such topics as taxation, auditing, financial management, and contemporary professional issues in the field. The UWF program requires 30 credit hours and around 24 months to complete. Coursework includes 18 required credit hours of classes in accounting and business law, as well as 12 credit hours of electives toward the selected area of focus. Qualified applicants for UWF’s MAcc must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university, a GRE verbal score of 140, a GRE quantitative score of 150, and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

    Additional Resources

    Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Florida

    • Kaufman, Rossin & Company: One of the largest accounting firms in Florida with a unique approach to business that puts the focus on employee satisfaction in order to provide the best possible service to clients. The firm has been named among the best accounting firm to work for by Accounting Today.
    • BDO USA : Regularly ranked as a top firm by publications such as Accounting Today and the South Florida Business Journal.
    • Binder Dijker Otte (BDO): Consistently counted among the Top 100 Accounting Firms for accounting and business consulting services; though headquartered in Pennsylvania, the firm maintains offices in West Palm Beach, Miami, Jacksonville, Orland, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale.

    Florida Accounting Associations

    • Florida Board of Accountancy (BOA): Manages the requirements for certification and licensure of CPAs. The BOA fields inquiries regarding licensure and certification for CPAs and firms in the state of Florida.
    • Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA): Exists to connect and lead all Florida CPAs and other finance professionals. Provides educational, networking, and advocacy resources for the accounting and finance sector within the state.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I become a CPA in Florida?

    Becoming a CPA in Florida requires a total of 150 semester hours of college-level coursework including subjects including accounting, taxation, auditing, and business with the award of at least a bachelor’s degree. You will also need at least one year of full-time work experience with a licensed CPA. You will then need to take the Uniform CPA Exam administered by NASBA. Upon completion of the education and work requirements, and a passing grade on the Uniform CPA Exam, you will have three years to apply to the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for your license.

    How much does a CPA make in Florida?

    According to the BLS, the average salary for accountants and auditors in Florida is $72,630.10 The median hourly wage for accountants and auditors in Florida is $30.37.10

    How many CPAs are there in Florida?

    As of May 2019, the BLS reported that Florida has 71,520 people employed in the field of accounting and auditing.11 Florida currently ranks fourth in employment for accountants in the US, with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach ranking 10th out of US metro areas.11

    Student Reviews

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Daytona State College
    1200 W International Speedway Blvd
    Daytona Beach, FL 32114
    (386) 506-3000
    https://www.daytonastate.edu/

    Student Review: “In my personal experience, I thought the accounting program at Daytona State was above average. The professors I had all would help you out if you just put in the effort. They really expect a lot out of you though. You must be able to work outside of class and do things on your own in order to succeed. There are a lot of resources though if you need them. Office hours are very flexible with most professors and people in your class are definitely open to helping you. Also, there is a wide selection of tutors for you to choose from. In conclusion, the classes are tough but if you put in work outside of class and search for help when you need it, it is possible to succeed.” – Student at Daytona State College
    stars-3

    Flagler College
    74 King St
    St Augustine, FL 32084
    (904) 829-6481
    https://www.flagler.edu/

    Student Review: “The accounting program at Flagler College is one of the best such programs in the state of Florida. There are only a few teachers in the department but the ones that are there are very knowledgeable and willing to help. I learned a good amount about a vast array of accounting topics while at Flagler College. I have good knowledge of the basics of the profession and have a more advanced knowledge of certain accounting topics such as cost accounting. I very much liked the personal attention I received while at Flagler College. The one thing this program did not do very well was to prepare me for was how to translate my skills from in the classroom to the job site. Overall my experience with the Flagler College accounting department was a positive one.” -Tyler V., Student at Flagler College
    stars-4

    Florida Atlantic University
    777 Glades Rd
    Boca Raton, FL 33431
    (561) 297-3000
    https://www.fau.edu/

    Student Review: “Florida Atlantic University has one of the best accounting programs in the country. The professors are exceptionally accommodating. If you need help, they truly make an effort to be available even if that means meeting you outside of their office hours. Most of the courses required were relevant to becoming an accountant. However, some of the courses were just to get to the 120 credits needed which I found to be quite annoying. In addition to this, the school offers some help in preparing for the CPA exam which was quite useful because you need 120 credit hours to sit for the exam. Overall, I would rate my experience with this program at Florida Atlantic University as highly positive. The campus is beautiful, the South Florida weather is the best in the world and the accounting program is nearly the best in the country.” – Student at Florida Atlantic University
    stars-4

    Student Review: “The accounting program at Florida Atlantic University is a great way to launch your career. FAU has one of the best accounting programs in the country and they have plenty of resources to help graduating students start their career. The program itself will give students the proper foundation they need to excel in their chosen career path. The school constantly brings alumni speakers in that discuss their experiences during and after their schooling. That helps current students make decisions about their career. FAU also has several career fairs throughout the academic year, and all of the top accounting firms participate in the career fair and actively recruit students. It is fairly common for an FAU student studying in the accounting program to have an entry-level position ready with one of the main accounting firms upon their graduation. The only thing I would change about the program if I could would be the number of students in some of the entry-level accounting courses. Some classes have as many as 300 students so face time with a professor was next to impossible. Overall the accounting program at FAU does a great job in preparing the students for their career.” – Student at Florida Atlantic University
    stars-5

    Florida Institute of Technology
    150 W University Blvd
    Melbourne, FL 32901
    (321) 674-8000
    https://www.fit.edu/

    Student Review: “Florida Institute of Technology was challenging. I had one great professor who constantly challenged us to excel. We would get one problem done that we had sweated out and then he would say, ‘Yes, but what if we change the assumptions to this?’ and off we would go again to find the answer. It was tough. The majority of the tests were multiple-choice. The problem was there were never any clear answers. Many of the answers were not specifically covered in the text or in the lectures. The differences in the answers provided made finding the right answers hit or miss. The school put a great deal of emphasis on teams. Most teams I was a part of were AWOL. On the majority of the teams, I ended up doing all the work. Some of the team members would hand in unprofessional work in the name of the team and my overall grade would suffer because I could not be in control of what was turned in. The classes without teams were challenging and great learning experiences. If I could do the program completely without teamwork, it would have been a perfect school.” -David M., student at Florida Institute of Technology

    University of Miami
    1320 S Dixie Hwy
    Coral Gables, FL 33146
    (305) 284-2211
    https://welcome.miami.edu/

    Student Review: “The accounting program as I experienced it, aside from having all the great learning benefits that most schools enjoy also stood out with some unique advantages. For example, the classrooms were state of the art, with all the latest projection, acoustics and on-site IT support one would need. They also averaged between 25 to 30 students, which enables the professor to zoom into the details most relevant to that specific set of students. The professors themselves were always more than available for walk-in office hours, and all of them had at least 2-3 pre-announced, specific times per week when they would always be in their office. Their Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Society is also very active and schedules monthly meet and greets with high networking targets. Most if not all professors are also past or even current industry experienced workers, coming from companies like Deloitte and KPMG to name a few.” – Maria F., student at University of Miami
    stars-4

    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/documents/par-grad-2019.pdf
    5. US News & World Report Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021: 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/
    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, Florida: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_fl.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 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools