Accounting Schools in Maryland
The following overview of accounting schools in Maryland provides you with comprehensive information on the not-for-profit accounting schools and programs in the state. The universities and colleges in Maryland offer a variety of accounting programs to suit the needs and interests of students from diverse backgrounds through in-person, online, and hybrid formats. We have also included information on the process of how to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state, and information on employment levels and salaries for accountants in the state.
- There are 31 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Maryland.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 1 school was 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
- 1 school was ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021.5
- No schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 5 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 Maryland
- Maryland CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Maryland
- Maryland Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Maryland with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Maryland
The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy (the Board) licenses and regulates CPAs in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Maryland.
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Complete the professional ethics course and exam.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
CPA candidates in Maryland must complete 150 semester hours of college education including a bachelor’s degree to qualify for a license, although candidates may sit for the Uniform CPA Exam once 120 undergraduate semester hours and the award of a bachelor’s degree have been completed. The required accounting courses within the 150 semester hours must include three semester hours in ethics courses, 30 undergraduate-level semester hours in accounting (Group I) subjects. Group I coursework must include three semester hours in auditing, cost or managerial accounting, and US federal income tax and ethics; and at least nine semester hours each in financial accounting and accounting electives. In addition, students must complete at least 21 semester hours in undergraduate business (Group II) subjects which must include at least five of the following areas:
- Corporation or Business Finance
- US Business Law
- Business Communication
- Quantitative Methods
- Computer Science/Information Systems
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Maryland CPA applicants must earn at least one year (2,000 hours) of professional accounting experience in government, industry, academia, or public practice in order to qualify for a license. The experience must utilize practical skills in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting. The experience must be obtained in not less than one year and not more than three years and must be supervised by a licensed CPA. Once the experience is attained, the supervising CPA must submit the completed Report of Professional Experience to the Board. This will serve as the application for licensure.
3. Complete the professional ethics course and exam.
Maryland requires prospective CPAs to earn a passing score of 90% on the Professional Ethics: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Comprehensive Course self-study course and exam. Candidates can order the course directly from the AICPA website. Once passed, the documentation must be physically emailed to the Board.
4. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Candidates who have completed at least120 hours of education and a bachelor’s degree may apply to take the AICPA Uniform CPA Exam. The Board uses an online portal for all CPA exam and license applications, which is accessible through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (MDLLR) web portal. Once the application has been reviewed, candidates will receive a Notice to Schedule that allows the applicant to schedule and sit for the Uniform CPA Exam through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). All four sections of the exam must be passed with a score of 75 or better within a rolling 18-month period.
5. Apply for a License.
Once the above qualifications have been met and the documentation has been submitted to the Board, the Report of Practical Experience document acts as the license application. If a candidate applied for the Uniform CPA Exam before completing the 150-semester hour requirement, the remaining hours must be submitted through the Board’s web portal.
6. Receive a License.
Once documentation has been submitted to the Board, the licensing process will usually take about 30 days to complete. Upon approval, the applicant will receive an email with a license number and information on paying the license fee. Once the license number is received and the fee is paid, the applicant may practice as a CPA in Maryland. An email will be sent to the CPA with a downloadable wallet card. The CPA will receive a decorative wall certificate from the Board within 30 to 45 days.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
A Maryland CPA license requires renewal every two years. CPAs must complete at least 80 hours of continuing education (CE) in any of 23 areas listed on the Board’s website during each two-year renewal period. At least four of these hours must be in professional ethics. Up to 80 hours of CE may be carried forward into the next renewal period. Ethics education may only carry over as regular CE. CPAs who perform audit or compilation services must undergo a process of peer review every three years.
Maryland CPA Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 24,540 accountants and auditors are currently practicing in Maryland, with an average annual salary of $81,920.10 The Washington DC and California-Lexington Park metropolitan areas report the highest average annual salaries for accountants in the state, with the third- and sixth-highest salaries in the nation, respectively.11 Projections Central predicts a 9.5% increase in employment for accountants and auditors in Maryland by 2028, a growth rate substantially higher than the national average of 6.4%.12
Maryland CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed10||Average Annual Salary10|
|Maryland nonmetropolitan area||460||$62,490|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Maryland
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- University of Maryland (#47)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021
- Loyola University Maryland (#25 tie)
Maryland Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Maryland 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|
|Loyola University Maryland||AACSB||N.Av.||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||83%||—||$1,070|
|Morgan State University||AACSB||N.Av.||MS-Accounting (MSA);|
|Towson University||AACSB||N.Av.||MS-Accounting and Business Advisory Services||N.Av.||71%||—||$585|
|University of Baltimore||AACSB||N.Av.||MS-Accounting and Business Advisory Services;|
|University of Maryland-College Park||AACSB||39.0%||MBA-Accounting||38.3%||87%||Yes||$1,725|
|University of Maryland-Global Campus||IACBE||20.0%||MS-Accounting and Financial Management;|
MS-Accounting and Information Systems;
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Maryland with Master’s in Accounting Programs
The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business at Hood College offers a 36-credit hour Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus area in Accounting that can be completed in two to three years. The MBA program focuses on a broad range of business topics and utilizes interactive coursework focused on real organizations. All MBA students must take 30 credit hours of core classes such as Managerial Economics; Financial and Managerial Accounting; Information Management and Technology. Students seeking a focus area in Accounting will also need to take six credit hours (or two courses) of accounting classes, choosing from Accounting Information Systems, Strategic Cost Management, and Financial Statement Analysis. The MBA culminates with Strategy & Competitive Advantage, a capstone course focusing on the functional disciplines of business and competitive advantage on a strategic level. Enrollment in the program requires students to have either an undergraduate degree in business or an undergraduate degree in another subject along with six foundational courses.
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University Maryland offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree to equip students for careers as CPAs through its Sellinger School of Business. The full-time 30-credit hour program is designed to be completed within 10 months, with students pursuing the lock-step curriculum in cohorts. In addition to helping students meet the standard 150-credit hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam, this MAcc program develops technical accounting, decision-making, and communication skills. The program is offered in a hybrid format, with some courses offered entirely online. Students will take seven core courses and three courses in a chosen track: General MAcc, Tax, or Data Analytics. Core courses include Advanced Financial Accounting, Ethics for Professional Accounting, and Advanced Finance. Loyola prefers students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting, although students who have the necessary prerequisites may still apply. Applicants are required to submit GMAT or GRE scores, though some applicants may qualify for a waiver. Current students in the undergraduate accounting program at Loyola or one of its partner universities may qualify for fast-track admission during their Junior or Senior years.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting degree designed specifically for accounting professionals. The MS in Accounting program consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed in two to three semesters. The MS Accounting may help students meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA licensure. Based on their individual career goals, students have the opportunity to focus on specialized tracks in Tax Analytics, Public Accounting, and Audit Analytics. The core curriculum includes Business Communications for Accountants and Auditors; Advanced Managerial Accounting and Control Systems; Essentials of Negotiation; and Forensic Auditing/Accounting. Admission requires at least a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate accounting coursework or submission of GMAT/GRE scores. Students of the Smith School of Business have access to the Office of Career Services (OCS), which offers individualized coaching, salary negotiation coaching, and networking events. Graduates of the MS in Accounting program have been hired by companies such as Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Morgan State University
The Earl Graves School of Business & Management at Morgan State University (MSU) offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Accounting Concentration available entirely online. The 36-credit hour program can be completed in two years and emphasizes building leadership and expanding student understanding of how organizations work. The program consists of nine core courses and three electives. The core courses cover topics such as corporate finance, international business, and information technology. To declare a concentration in Accounting, students must choose three electives from accounting course options such as Financial Statement Analysis, Advanced Auditing, and Business Taxation. Enrollment in the MBA program requires an undergraduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and the GMAT or GRE. Applicants without the required prerequisite courses in business may have to take up to eight foundation courses before enrolling in the program. MSU graduate students have numerous opportunities to offset the cost of enrollment, such as teaching assistantships, fellowships, and research assistantships.
University of Baltimore
The University of Baltimore’s (UB) Merrick School of Business offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and Business Advisory that requires at least 30 credit hours to complete. The program is structured around the skills that the AICPA has identified as essential for entry-level CPAs and preparing students for the Uniform CPA Exam. The program requires 18 credit hours of core classes in accounting, finance, and taxation followed by 12 credit hours of electives such as Sustainability Accounting, Advanced Financial Analysis, Risk Management, and Business Valuation. Students without an accounting background may be required to take up to 12 credit hours of foundational coursework to prepare them for the program. Admission in the program requires a bachelor’s degree. There is no GPA or GMAT requirement, but students who submit a GMAT score of 600 or higher and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above will receive priority on scholarship applications. Graduates of the MS in Accounting and Business Advisory program have entered careers as CPAs, budget analysts, and forensic accountants. Students with an accounting background may also be interested in UB’s MS in Taxation offer through the Merrick School and the School of Law.
University of Maryland-Global Campus
The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and Financial Management that helps students stand out in the accounting field by developing the skills needed to assume responsibility and leadership positions in the business world. The 36-credit hour program includes 15 credit hours of accounting coursework and 18 credit hours of financial management coursework. The MS curriculum encompasses courses such as Strategic Financial Management, Behavioral Finance, Federal Income Taxation, and Financial Decision Making for Managers. Graduates who hold an undergraduate degree in accounting or business typically meet the 150-credit hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Students without an undergraduate degree in business or accounting will need to complete 15 credit hours of accounting coursework with a “C” or better or hold a CPA license before enrolling. In addition to CPA licensure, the program can help students prepare for certifications in Fraud Examination (CFE), Internal Auditing (CIA), and Financial Analysis (CFA).
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Maryland
- Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly): A nationwide firm with offices in Baltimore, Baker Tilly offers advisory, tax, and assurance services across a variety of industries.
- The Reznick Group: With five major divisions of practice, the Reznick Group is a nationwide advisory, assurance, and tax firm headquartered in Bethesda.
- FORVIS: Over 2,000 professionals work for FORVIS, which maintains offices across the country, including in Baltimore and Gaithersburg.
Maryland Accounting Associations
- Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA): Offers support to Maryland accountants in the form of CPE opportunities, public advocacy, and networking opportunities.
- Maryland Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals (MSATP): Offers benefits to firms and accountants through CE, online resources, community events, and business discounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you become a CPA in Maryland?
To become licensed as a CPA in Maryland, you must complete 150 semester hours of college-level education, including a bachelor’s degree and 30 semester hours of accounting coursework, 21 semester hours of business coursework, and three hours of ethics coursework. You must also complete one year of work experience in accounting under the supervision of a currently-licensed CPA. The AICPA Professional Ethics course and exam must be completed with a score of at least 90% as well as the Uniform CPA Exam with a score of 75 or greater. Once your Record of Professional Experience has been received as your formal application, the Board will review and approve all requirements and, if approved, you will receive a license number after about 30 days. Once you pay the license fee, you will be able to practice as a CPA.
What happens if you don’t renew your license?
CPAs may renew their licenses up to 60 days before the expiration date. The Board will send notifications to licensees with renewal information. If a CPA fails to renew or fails to complete their CE by the expiration date, they will no longer be able to practice as a CPA. A CPA may apply for renewal and pay a late fee, but the license and CE will only be valid for the remainder of the current license term.
How much does a CPA make in Maryland?
The BLS reports that the average annual salary for accountants and auditors in Maryland is $81,920, with accountants in the California-Lexington park earning the sixth-highest wage in the country at $91,630.10,11
1101 Camden Ave
Salisbury, MD 21801
Student Review: “The accounting department was exceptionally helpful with assisting me in my degree. Shortly after entering the university I had decided to double major in both accounting and marketing. Both of these majors were in the same school within the university with many of the professors teaching courses for both majors. This assisted greatly in building a professional and lasting relationship throughout my college career. With them being so knowledgeable about the subjects, as well as being made available outside of normal office hours, the ability to earn my degree was made only possible by the great staff. I would highly recommend anyone seeking an accounting or marketing degree to apply to the university.” – Kevin D., student at Salisbury 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/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, Maryland: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.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