Accounting Schools in New Jersey
This overview of accounting schools in New Jersey provides information on a variety of factors that you can use to choose the accounting school that is the right fit for you. The accounting programs offered by colleges and universities in New Jersey can provide an education in many areas of accounting, including specialty topics like accounting technology and forensic accounting. Online accounting schools are an alternative that can offer similar educational benefits and may be a better fit for some individuals.
- There are 38 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in New Jersey.1
- 13 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- Highest graduation rate*: The College of New Jersey, 87%1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: New Jersey City University, 43%1
- Highest net price per year*: Monmouth University, $31,3001
- Lowest net price per year*: Rutgers University-Newark, $12,0201
- 4 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: College of New Jersey (35), Seton Hall University (65), Rutgers University-Newark (97), Rowan University (112)
- 3 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: College of New Jersey (#37 in-state, #21 out-of-state), Ramapo College of New Jersey (#72 in-state, #51 out-of-state), Rutgers University-New Brunswick (#34 in-state, #31 out-of-state)
- 3 schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Princeton University (1), Rutgers University-New Brunswick (56), Stevens Institute of Technology (70)
*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Read on for more in-depth information about accounting schools in New Jersey and career possibilities for accounting graduates.
Schools with the Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree
- Rutgers State University-Camden (76.9%)
- Seton Hall University (69.5%)
- Monmouth University (61.3%)
- Rutgers State University-New Brunswick (55.6%)
- Rider University (54.1%)
- Fairleigh Dickinson University (52.5%)
There were 14 schools with first-time candidates for the CPA exam in New Jersey (with an advanced degree). Of these schools, the first-time pass rate was between 0% and 76.9%. As a reference point, the national pass rate was 48.4% for all candidates in 2015 (bachelor’s and advanced degree). The first-time pass rate serves as a helpful metric for comparing accounting programs, although the percentage may be skewed for smaller programs. For a full breakdown of CPA exam pass rates see 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 New Jersey
Kean University (Union, NJ)
Kean University offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) designed to prepare students for professional careers after an undergraduate education in business. However, students with an undergraduate education in other subjects may be able to enroll in the program and qualify for the Uniform CPA Exam in New Jersey pending the completion of supplemental courses. Depending on the degree candidate’s academic background, the MSA typically requires 30 to 36 credit hours to complete, of which at least 21 credit hours are in the core curriculum and nine credit hours are in electives. Core courses include Financial Accounting for Corporations; Law, Ethics, and Professional Accounting Practice; Auditing Information Systems; and Research Seminar in Public Accounting and Auditing Practice. Students are supported throughout their studies by the school’s Center for Academic Success. Kean University is ranked #139 in Regional Universities (North) by US News for its affordable tuition, small class sizes, and academic focus.
Rutgers Business School (Newark, NJ)
Rutgers Business School is one of the most respected business schools in the US and it offers several distinct master’s programs of study for aspiring accountants, including the Master’s of Accountancy in Financial Accounting; the Master’s of Accountancy in Government Accounting; the Master’s of Accountancy in Taxation; the Master of Quantitative Finance; and the Master of Financial Analysis. The school’s master’s programs are built on the cornerstones of excellence, diversity, and access. All students are encouraged to take part in the opportunities that these degree programs offer for hands-on experience and interaction with experienced business executives. Courses that students may take while pursuing a master’s degree in accountancy at Rutgers include Concepts in Auditing, Advanced Accounting Research, and Law and Legal Reasoning. Any of the graduate degrees offered by Rutgers Business School can give aspiring accountants an edge in the career market, especially since executives and top publications regularly rank the school and its graduates as among the best. US News ranks Rutgers #56 (tie) in National Universities.
Seton Hall University (Orange, NJ)
Seton Hall University, through its Stillman School of Business, offers two master’s programs in accounting for aspiring professionals. The Master of Science (MS) in Accounting is designed for students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting but are looking to meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in New Jersey. The Master of Science (MS) in Professional Accounting is designed for students who completed an undergraduate accounting major. Both programs require a minimum of 30 credit hours to complete and include coursework in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management. Full-time students can complete the degree within one year, while part-time students typically complete all degree requirements within two years. The school also offers a Certificate in Graduate Taxation. The Stillman School of Business offers the only accounting programs in northern New Jersey accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). US News ranks Seton Hall University #119 (tie) in National Universities.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in New Jersey
WithumSmith + Brown is widely regarded as one of the top firms in New England and has offices in East Brunswick, Paramus, Princeton, Red Bank, and Whippany. Its consistent growth means there are often opportunities to join this firm’s team. RotenbergMeril is one of the largest CPA firms in New Jersey, and is ranked within the Top 100 SEC Audit Firms in the US. Career accountants are encouraged by RotenbergMeril to explore opportunities and develop their talents while working for the firm. EisnerAmper LLP is one of the largest accounting firms in the US, with New Jersey offices in Iselin and Princeton. EisnerAmper seeks out candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit, including recent graduates.
How to Become a CPA in New Jersey
The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy administers the process for becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in the state. There are four main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in New Jersey.
- Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
1. Complete a 150-semester hour or 225-quarter hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
CPA candidates in New Jersey must complete a 150-semester hour program of education that includes the award of at least a bachelor’s degree. Candidates can qualify for licensure by completing the required hours with a concentration in accounting at either the graduate or undergraduate level at an appropriately accredited school. At a minimum, candidates should be able to demonstrate the completion of 24 semester hours in accounting as well as 24 semester hours in business courses other than accounting within the 150-hour requirement.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
Candidates for a New Jersey CPA license must complete at least one year (1,750 hours) of experience involving skills in auditing and/or accounting. There is no time limit for completing this experience based on completion of school or passage of the Uniform CPA exam, but experience must be verified by the candidate’s supervisor(s) on the license application.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy uses NASBA to oversee and administer the Uniform CPA Exam application and testing process. Candidates who are ready to take the exam, which is a requirement for licensure in all 50 states, should apply through the NASBA web portal. Approved applicants will receive a Notice to Schedule to take the exam.
4. Apply for a license.
Candidates who sit for the Uniform CPA Exam will automatically be mailed an application for licensure containing all required forms once NASBA has notified the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy of the candidate’s passing score on the exam. Candidates may also access the application on the Board website. Note that a Statement of Experience completed by the candidate’s previous employer(s) for accounting experience is included in and required as part of the application. Candidates must also complete the included Request for Criminal History Record Information form for a background check. Within six months of licensure, candidates must pass an approved four-credit course in New Jersey law and ethics.
CPA licenses in New Jersey are renewed on a triennial basis. Renewal requires the completion of 120 hours of continuing professional education, at least 24 hours of which must be in accounting or auditing. You can find additional information at the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy website.
New Jersey Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Accountants and Auditors in New Jersey from 2016-20263
New Jersey has one of the highest concentrations of accountants of any state; the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 37,110 accountants and auditors are currently employed in the state.3 New Jersey is the third highest-paying state in the nation for accountants, with average annual salaries of $91,400.3 In metro areas this can be even higher; for example, accountants in Newark earn an average of $93,750 a year.4 This indicates that New Jersey’s demand for accounts is high, and since the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that demand to rise as growth in the field continues, New Jersey is a great state to begin an accounting career.
Montclair State University
1 Normal Ave
Montclair, NJ 07043
Student Review: “The accounting program at Montclair State University was very challenging, to say the least but provided great knowledge that was necessary to pass the CPA test. Along with that, Montclair has an ample amount of connections that pertain to each major which is extremely helpful when it is time to find a job. I certainly liked my Auditing Theory Class and both levels of Intermediate Accounting because it was interesting and I wanted to learn. Other classes like Taxation were very dull and boring which made it more difficult because it was hard to grasp the material. Overall, I think Montclair has done a great job at helping mold students into full-time workers.” -Michael W., student at Montclair State University
7 College Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Student Review: “Rutgers New Brunswick was definitely an enriching experience. Literally, all of the teachers I had here were certified CPAs, with a decade of experience. They always taught the material well and generally told lots of real-world stories, but I thought that it was one of the weaker programs in the school. When I took stats and economics classes, I thought the professors were generally better, maybe because they had more practice teaching. Most accounting professors seemed to stick to the textbook material pretty verbatim. I felt like the classes were a bit large, most with 35 or more students, although my income tax accounting class was fairly small.” -Duanis G., student at Rutgers University
Student Review: “Overall, my experience the School of Accounting at Rutgers was a positive one. It is an environment that promotes learning and growth. Most of my professors seemed to have my best interest in mind. In my more difficult courses, such as cost accounting and tax accounting, there were tutoring courses available, which I needed. Rutgers offered several different clubs and organizations for students in my major that allowed us to socialize with each other, as well as gain support we needed for our studies. One of the clubs provided us with real-life scenarios that we would encounter on the job, where we could apply concepts and skills that we learned in the classroom. I feel that the education I received at Rutgers adequately prepared me for my career. I received an internship with a firm my junior year, which the school helped me get. Upon graduation, the firm hired me full time at a salary of $50,000. I attribute my success to the education and support I received from Rutgers. I would highly recommend the Rutgers accounting program to anyone interested in creating a great future for themselves.” -student at Rutgers 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
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes_35084.htm