Accounting Schools in Massachusetts
Accounting schools in Massachusetts are known for having quality programs in accounting, including general accounting as well as more specialized areas of study and practice such as auditing, finance, and forensic accounting. The depth and breadth of programs offered by accounting schools in Massachusetts make it likely that you can find the right program for your educational needs and goals. You might also find that an online degree program is a good fit for your skills and career aspirations.
- There are 49 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Massachusetts.
- 18 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
- Highest graduation rate*: Babson College and Boston College, 92%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: American International College, 47%1
- Highest net price per year*: Bentley University, $36,6131
- Lowest net price per year*: University of Massachusetts-Boston, $10,9911
- 8 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Boston College (3), Bentley University (10), Northeastern University (22), Boston University (29), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (33), Stonehill College (73), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (94), Hult International Business School (114)
- 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: University of Massachusetts-Amherst (#57 in-state, #44 out-of-state)
- 10 schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Harvard University (2), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (3), Tufts University (27), Brandeis University (35), Boston College (38 tie), Boston University (42 tie), Northeastern University (44 tie), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (59 tie), Clark University (66 tie), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (70 tie)
*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Continue reading to discover profiles of accounting schools in Massachusetts with further information on popular programs of study and career tracks for accounting graduates.
Schools with Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- Boston College (82.4%)
- Boston University (74.1%)
- University of Massachusetts-Boston (66.7%)
- Bentley University (65.3%)
- Bridgewater State University (57.9%)
- Clark University (57.7%)
- Western New England University (57.6%)
There were 17 schools with first-time CPA exam candidates in Massachusetts (with an advanced degree) in 2015. Of these schools, the first-time pass rate ranged from 0.0% to 82.4%. This compares to the 48.4% national pass rate for all candidates (bachelor’s and advanced degree). The first-time CPA exam pass rate can help you evaluate accounting program options although the percentage may be skewed with smaller programs. For a full breakdown of the statistics, check out the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Massachusetts
Clark University (Worcester, MA)
Clark University’s Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program builds on the precept that accounting is the language of business to prepare students for professional careers as accountants and business leaders. Students learn the skills needed to become public accountants and financial managers through courses such as Tax Strategies and Management Decision, Financial Modeling, Knowledge Management in Organizations, and Financial and Operational Auditing. Students may pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis with a flexible schedule of day, evening, weekend, and accelerated courses. Those with at least three years of related work experience may be eligible to have the GMAT or GRE waived prior to admission. Courses are taught by experienced faculty who are specialists in their fields and active in research. Clark University is ranked #66 (tie) in National Universities by US News for its active student life as well as its competitive academic programs.
Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
Northeastern University offers a competitive Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program through its D’Amore-McKim School of Business that allows students to earn the MS degree in as little as two terms of full-time study, under a Summer-Summer or Summer-Fall semester schedule. The advanced 30-credit hour schedule includes study in Contemporary and Emerging Issues in Financial Reporting, Accounting for Foreign Currency Transactions, Managerial Communication, and Management Control Systems. Students typically attend classes three days per week. Students can choose to add a specialty in Audit or Tax to their degree. Program applicants are required to hold an undergraduate degree in accounting; after completing the master’s curriculum, graduates of the program are equipped with the advanced knowledge necessary to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. US News ranks this well-known school #44 (tie) in National Universities for its outstanding academic programs and commitment to student success. With its location in Boston, many students complete work experience while attending college through the university’s work-study programs.
University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA)
University of Massachusetts-Boston’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is a challenging program that equips students to take the Uniform CPA Exam. Depending on their undergraduate background, students take between 10 and 15 courses across the fields of accounting, business, and electives to satisfy the degree requirements. These courses include Legal Environment of Business, Financial and Managerial Auditing, Management Accounting and Control, and Accounting Fraud Examination. All students take an Accounting Capstone course in Financial Accounting Theory and Analysis. Throughout the curriculum, instructors emphasize functional and technical knowledge and problem-solving through the framework of integrity and ethics. The flexible program allows full or part-time study with courses held during the day, evenings, weekends, and online. The College of Management, through which the MSA is offered, has been recognized as a top business school by publications such as the Princeton Review and TopMBA. University of Massachusetts-Boston is ranked #191 in National Universities by US News, with a selective admissions rate and comparatively small class sizes.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Massachusetts
Wolf & Company P.C. was recently named one of the top 10 largest accounting firms in Massachusetts, which the firm attributes to its continuing organic growth and stable outlook. With mentoring programs for career professionals and clients in all industries, Wolf & Company is a great place to start a career. The Reznick Group is a national firm with offices in Springfield that provides accounting, tax, and business advisory services. It hires college students and recent graduates for internships and entry level positions.
How to Become a CPA in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are four main steps to complete in order to earn a Massachusetts CPA license.
- Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Apply for a license.
1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
Candidates for a CPA license in Massachusetts must earn 150 semester hours of college credit, typically including 30 semester hours of accounting at the undergraduate level or 18 semester hours of accounting at the graduate level, to qualify for a CPA license. Candidates may sit for the Uniform CPA Exam after the completion of 120 semester hours (which must include 21 semester hours of accounting and nine semester hours of business) and a bachelor’s degree. If candidates choose to sit for the exam with 120 semester hours, the remaining 30 semester hours must be completed within three years of passing all parts of the Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates should review the qualifying education requirements from the Board of Registration in Public Accountancy.
2. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Applications for the Uniform CPA Exam in Massachusetts should be completed through the NASBA website. Transcript pre-evaluation is also available through NASBA as an optional service. Once candidates are approved, they will receive a Notice to Schedule to schedule and sit for the exam. All four parts of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period.
3. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
To achieve full privileges as a Massachusetts CPA, including issuing reports on financial statements, candidates for licensure must complete at least one full year of employment in public accounting or three years of experience at a non-public firm under the supervision of a licensed CPA (no less than 2,000 hours for either). Not more than 300 experience hours may consist of full disclosure compilations. Experience must be verified by the public accounting firm(s) at which the experience was obtained.
4. Apply for a license.
Once a candidate has received notification of a passing score on all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam and has completed the education and experience requirements, he or she may apply for a CPA license. Candidates can visit the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy website for the CPA license application. The instructions should be read carefully to note all supporting documentation required.
Once licensed, CPAs in Massachusetts must complete 80 hours of continuing education during each two-year renewal period to maintain good standing. The continuing education hours must include at least four hours in ethics. You can find additional information at the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy website.
Massachusetts Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in Massachusetts from 2016-20262
Massachusetts is a top state for accountants, as the average salary for these professionals here is $80,280 per year.3 The Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro corridor is one of the strongest areas to seek employment as an accountant as it has one of the highest concentrations of accountancy jobs in the US; an estimated 24,040 accountants and auditors are currently working in this area, with an average annual salary of $82,410.3 This puts Massachusetts at the top of many graduates’ lists as a state in which to start a career as an accountant.
Massachusetts Accounting Program Student Reviews
1 Silber Way
Boston, MA 02215
Student Review: “Boston University’s School of Management has an excellent accounting program. I am a second-year student so the core classes required for my major, such as statistics and freshman writing, were offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, which allowed me to experience different aspects of the school and make friends who are pursuing different majors. My own college, stated above, shares a floor with the office of the president and many others in his department. I enjoyed talking to them and am confident that they will help me establish a reliable network for my future career. I am currently looking into obtaining an internship opportunity at an investment firm for next summer.” – Aleriza B., student at Boston University
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