Accounting Schools in New Hampshire

This guide to graduate-level accounting schools in New Hampshire contains information on school profiles and top programs in the state. New Hampshire is home to several colleges and universities with online accounting degree options for students who prefer virtual study. Since there are only a few schools that offer master’s in accounting programs in the state, students may wish to look at online programs from around the country as well as programs in neighboring states like Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. Keep reading to learn more about these accounting schools, how to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New Hampshire, and salary and employment information for accountants in the state.

Quick Facts

  • There are 15 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in New Hampshire.1
  • 5 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
  • 1 school had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
  • 1 university and business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
  • 2 schools are 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 New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy (the Board) regulates licensed accountants and oversees the process for becoming a CPA in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a first-time CPA license in New Hampshire.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Pass 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 Board requires that candidates for licensure have completed 150 semester hours of college education in order to qualify for a license. The hours must include 30 semester hours of accounting subjects that cover financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, and taxation as well as an additional 24 semester hours in business subjects.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

New Hampshire requires that CPA candidates earn one year of experience in accounting. Candidates can meet the experience requirement through 12 calendar months of full-time work including at least 1,500 hours dedicated to the use of accounting or auditing skills or 2,080 hours of part-time work in accounting practice. Acceptable experience may be gained through public practice, industry, or government work, and must be verified by a licensed CPA. Applicants who obtain experience outside of the United States must verify their experience through the NASBA Experience Verification Service. For further information on the experience requirements, candidates should review the Board’s rules and regulations on their website.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam is a requirement for CPA licensure in all 50 states and is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Candidates may apply to take the exam through the NASBA website upon completing 120 semester hours that include the award of a bachelor’s degree and 30 semester hours of accounting courses. Once the Notice To Sit (NTS) is received, candidates have six months from the date of issuance to sit for the exam. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period, although once all four sections have been passed within this period, the earned grades do not expire in New Hampshire.

4. Apply for a license.

The Board also uses NASBA to process applications for new CPA licenses. Once all education and experience requirements have been met, the CPA exam has been passed, and fees have been paid, candidates for licensure may apply through the CPA Licensing Online Application System maintained by NASBA. Note that verification of experience and supervisor verification will be required as supporting documentation.

5. Receive a CPA license.

Once the application has been submitted, candidates will receive confirmation of receipt via email. Applications take approximately two weeks to be processed and candidates can check their application status on the NASBA website.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

After achieving licensure, New Hampshire CPAs must renew their licenses every three years. Renewal requires candidates to complete at least 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during the three-year period prior to renewal, with at least 20 hours occurring per year. Four of these hours must be in professional ethics. Additional information can be found on the Board’s website.

New Hampshire CPA Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that accountants in New Hampshire earn an average salary of $72,750 annually.10 The southern New Hampshire area near Nashua has the highest average salary for accountants in the state, $85,310, which is also higher than the national average of $79,520.10,11 Furthermore, the Boston metropolitan area that includes parts of New Jersey has one of the highest employment levels of accountants in the entire country, with an estimated 29,820 accountants employed.10,11 Growth for accountants and auditors is particularly strong in New Hampshire, with projected growth of 8.1% through 2028, compared to the national average of 6.4%.12

New Hampshire CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH29,820$85,310
Dover-Durham, NH-ME400$70,900
Portsmouth, NH-ME750$74,290
Northern New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area180$61,330
Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area830$65,330
West Central-Southwest New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area800$72,560

New Hampshire Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit New Hampshire 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
Franklin Pierce UniversityIACBEN.Av.Accounting (MS);
New England College6.3%Accounting (MS);
Forensic Accounting (MS)
Plymouth State UniversityACBSPN.Av.Accounting (MS)N.Av.54%Yes$550
Southern New Hampshire UniversityACBSP44.3%Accounting (MS);
Accounting Finance (MS);
Plus One in Professional Accountancy (MS)*
University of New HampshireAACSB90.0%Accounting (MS)85.1%76%$785

  • * indicates combined program.
  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Select Schools in New Hampshire with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) AACSB-accredited Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics offers a 30-credit Master of Science (MS) in Accounting Program that boasts excellent job placement rates at graduation. This rigorous program emphasizes technical accounting knowledge and the development of analytical and communication skills and helps students meet the 150-hour education requirement for the CPA exam. The full-time program takes place on an accelerated nine-month track, so students with an undergraduate degree in accounting can earn their master’s degree in less time than most other graduate programs. A two-year track is available for students with undergraduate degrees in non-business majors and includes prerequisite foundational courses. Students can choose from one of three tracks to pursue: auditing and assurance, tax, or integrated audit and tax. The curriculum focuses on relevance in accounting skills and knowledge and includes courses such as Corporate Taxation, Advanced Business Law, Governmental Accounting, and Accounting Theory and Research.

Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University’s (FPU) IACBE-accredited College of Business offers an MBA with a concentration in Accounting for students seeking practical accounting skills that will prepare them for successful careers. The 13-course program explores a wide range of business topics and required courses include Financial Management, Accounting Information Systems (AIS), and Advanced Financial Statement Analysis. FPU also offers an MS in Accounting for students with a background in accounting. Students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting must demonstrate mastery of the prerequisite skills before beginning upper-level courses. The program emphasizes technical skills suitable for students seeking careers in business, healthcare, government, and public accounting. The 10-course program includes courses like Business Taxation; Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting; and Managerial Accounting. Both programs can be completed in as little as a year or extended for students who require a part-time school schedule and both can be completed 100% online or in hybrid form. Applicants to both programs must have earned a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 and must submit several documents detailing their professional aspirations and major accomplishments.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) Plus One Professional Accountancy Graduate program is intended for undergraduate students who wish to finish their bachelor’s degree in three years and earn their master’s in their fourth year. The 36-credit program is designed to prepare students for the CPA exam and excludes students from taking the GMAT or GRE. Courses may include Advanced Auditing; Cost Accounting; and Federal Income Tax of Corporations and Partnerships. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled in the BS in Accounting program at SNHU. SNHU also offers several online options for students, including an online MBA with a concentration in Accounting. This program can be completed in 15 months and students can take courses such as Financial Accounting and Tax Factors in Business Decisions. The 36-credit hour online Master’s of Science in Accounting (MS) is designed for students with a background in accounting. Students can choose from four elective concentrations: Auditing, Forensic Accounting, Management Accounting, or Taxation. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting or business can take foundational core courses to prepare them for the program. SNHU also offers an online MS in Accounting Finance that can be completed in as little as 15 months. Courses offered include Cost Accounting, Auditing, Business Law, and Corporate Financial Management.

Online and Hybrid Programs

New England College

New England College (NEC) offers an online Master of Science (MS) degree programs for accounting majors. The MS in Accounting is a 40-credit hour program for students seeking careers in risk management, auditing, corporate accounting, and governmental and nonprofit organizations. The program satisfies the 150-hour education requirement for the CPA exam. Twenty-four credits of core courses are required and include Federal Taxation; Accounting for Mergers and Acquisitions; Government and Nonprofit Reporting; and International Accounting. An additional 16 credits in accounting courses are required. The MS in Forensic Accounting is designed for students interested in fraud prevention or criminal investigation and prepares them for the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation. The program emphasizes skills in auditing and investigator tactics. In addition to required core courses, students must complete 16 hours in forensic accounting courses, including Litigation Services, the Role of the Accountant as an Expert; Internal Audit & Risk Management; and Business Crime and Ethical Behavior.

Plymouth State University

Plymouth State University’s (PSU) MS in Accounting is an online program designed for students with a background in accounting who wish to achieve CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) licensure. The 30-credit hour program requires at least a 3.0 in undergraduate coursework and three reference letters. Eight core courses are required, including Financial Analysis, Business Law for Accountants, Economic Analysis, and Federal Taxes and Business Decisions. Students can choose an additional two elective accounting courses. Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and do not seek to earn a graduate degree may opt for the 12-credit hour Accounting Graduate Certificate. Admission to PSU is accepted on a rolling year-round basis so students may apply and begin classes in any semester. A limited number of merit-based scholarships and graduate assistant positions are available for high achieving graduate students. PSU is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in New Hampshire

  • Nathan Wechsler & Co., P.A.: One of the largest accounting firms in New Hampshire, this firm focuses on servicing nonprofit organizations.
  • Bigelow & Company: With offices in Manchester and Portsmouth, Bigelow & Company serves small and large businesses with tax planning, accounting, management consulting, and financial strategy services.
  • BerryDunn: One of the most well-known accounting firms in New England, BerryDunn operates an office in Manchester, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Accounting Associations

  • New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants (NHSCPA): This organization has created a strategic plan aimed at meeting the goals of its members, which include community advocacy, networking opportunities, and continuing education. It supports CPAs statewide in public, governmental, and private practice.
  • New Hampshire Tax and Accounting Professionals (NHTAP): Serving CPAs who live and work in New Hampshire and the surrounding states, NHTAP offers low cost professional education to its members. Its diverse members are professionals in bookkeeping, auditing, accounting, tax preparation, and financial planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do licensed accountants make in New Hampshire?

According to the BLS, accountants in New Hampshire earn an average annual salary of $72,690.10

Do I need to have a master’s degree to sit for the CPA exam?

No. In the state of New Hampshire, applicants for the CPA examination must have completed at least 120 hours of college education including the award of a bachelor’s degree. At least 30 of these hours must be in accounting courses and 24 hours must be in other business courses. To become licensed as a CPA, at least 150 hours of postsecondary education are needed.

When can I take the CPA exam?

The computerized exam is open in January and February; April and May; July and August; and October and November. The exam is closed in March, June, September, and December for scoring.

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.

Southern New Hampshire University
2500 N River Rd
Hooksett, NH 03106
(800) 668-1249

Student Review: “Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has been a really great experience for me. I just recently switched from the Accounting Bachelor’s Program into the Accounting Bachelor’s Accelerated Track program. This enables me to be better prepared for taking my CPA exam once I graduate, and allows me to take some graduate-level classes at the undergraduate price. I do not attend the campus because I take online classes and so far it has been really great. There are times that think that my course is easy, but other times I definitely feel challenged. The accounting courses have been very detailed and all of my past professor’s have greatly influenced my learning. My advisor is always available for answering questions and frequently checks up, at least once per term, to see how everything is going. Online classes are not for everyone, but if you’re up for a challenge and can be easily self-motivated, then it’s worth a try. I personally would not have it any other way.” -Tristyn H., student at Southern New Hampshire 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 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, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.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 (2016-2026): https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools