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New York Accounting Schools

New York is known for being home to numerous high-quality universities and colleges, many of which maintain programs that can prepare those interested in accounting to become accountants, auditors, analysts, controllers, and more. This overview of accounting schools in New York provides key information that will help you make the right decision for your interests and career goals. Online accounting schools can also be a flexible and convenient option for some students.

Quick School Facts:

  • 60 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in New York.
  • 91 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in New York.
  • 40 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 68 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 78 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Six schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: Cornell University (3), New York University (14), Fordham University (40), Binghamton University (57), Syracuse University (72), Rochester Institute of Technology (93).
  • 12 schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): Columbia University (8), New York University (10), Cornell University (16), University of Rochester (37), CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College (75), University at Buffalo (75), Binghamton University (79), Fordham University (79), Syracuse University (79), University at Albany (86), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (96), Clarkson University (101).

Read on to continue learning about accounting schools in New York, popular programs in the state, and more.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in New York

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a globally recognized organization that provides accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. Only 180 accounting programs are currently accredited and have been found to meet the rigorous standards established by the AACSB. The following accounting programs in New York have been accredited by the AACSB:

Baruch College-The City University of New York (The Zicklin School of Business)
Hofstra University (Frank G. Zarb School of Business)
St. John’s University (The Peter J. Tobin College of Business)
University at Albany, State University of New York (School of Business)
University at Buffalo, State University of New York (School of Management)

Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree

The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in New York in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. Cornell University 79.0%
  2. Canisius College
  3. SUNY Buffalo
  4. Excelsior College
  5. St. John Fisher College
  6. New York University
  7. Touro College
  8. SUNY Binghamton
  9. Ithica College
  10. SUNY College Geneseo

This list includes the top schools in New York with at least 20 candidates. There were 72 schools in New York that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 4.2% to 79.0% (including schools with fewer than 20 candidates) according to the 2013 NASBA report. For data on all schools, see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

New York Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

Columbia University

The prestigious Columbia University business school has a highly sought-after accounting graduate program. Professors at the school consistently earn top ratings among educators and graduates usually find placement in their field soon after, and sometimes before, graduation. Columbia also offers a PhD in Accounting to qualified candidates, giving them a unique opportunity to augment and broaden their expertise. Many students transfer from Columbia’s undergraduate Business programs.

Cornell University

Johnson Business School at Cornell University also has a renowned accounting graduate program. It has consistently placed among the Top Ten Accounting Programs in the country and its participants enjoy high job placement rates upon graduation. Local firms are always eager to grant internships to students of Cornell’s programs as well. There is also an Accounting PhD program available to graduate students who satisfactorily completed their Master’s courses.

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New York Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

State University of New York

State University of New York at Albany offers an Accounting undergraduate degree through its business school. Over the course of the program, students will earn 120 credits. Many Bachelor of Accounting graduates choose to continue their education at SUNY and earn their master’s degree from the school. The 30 credits awarded during the graduate program will complete the 150 credits required to sit for the state CPA exam. Job placement prospects for SUNY graduates is consistently high.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University provides a broad curriculum for accounting undergraduates in hopes of preparing them for whatever their goals are in terms of education and career. This includes a specialized CPA preparation track. Students who plan to become certified often choose to enter the school’s graduate degree program. Syracuse Accounting graduates are frequently given long-term positions with large national firms in New York and elsewhere.

Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in New York

Following are some of the best-rated accounting schools in the state of New York.

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs
New York University #9 (2012)
Cornell University #26

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs
New York University (Stern) #8 (2012)
University of Rochester (Simon) #20
Cornell University (Johnson) #24
Columbia University #27

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs
Cornell (Dyson) #6 (2012)
New York University (Stern) #8
Binghamton University #37
Fordham University (Gabelli) #50
Syracuse University (Whitman) #70
University at Buffalo #85
Rochester Institute of Technology (Saunders) #96
Hofstra University (Zarb) #115
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Lally) #117

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in New York

New York is filled with career opportunities for those in the accounting profession. Home to the nation’s financial district, New York graduates have access to numerous accounting positions. Many of the country’s top accounting firms are headquartered in New York, and there’s never a shortage in demand for accounting professionals. Many graduates find success becoming certified and starting their own firm in the area.

CPA Requirements in New York

While it is not necessary to have a CPA to find employment in the accounting world, many people opt to augment their education and expand their opportunities this way. In order to sit for the exam in New York, 120 hours of applicable course work must be completed. In addition, applicants must also have completed a minimum of two years experience in accounting. The only way to get around the educational requirements is to have 15 years of field experience, in which case a person will be allowed to take the exam. If any portion is failed, testers have up to 18 months to retake and pass that section.

New York Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy 4,100 $71,730
Buffalo-Niagara Falls 4,730 $67,350
Ithaca 190 $62,630
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island 94,990 $87,980
Rochester 4,690 $73,920
Syracuse 2,220 $66,310

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.

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Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in New York

Alfred State College
10 Upper College Dr
Alfred, NY 14802
(607) 587-4111
www.alfredstate.edu

Student Review: “My experience with accounting at Alfred State College was very good. The teachers here are always on time, care about the students, highly motivated, ready to teach, and are always there for me when I need extra help. Many professors even record the lectures so we could review them later on if we missed something, or wanted to review any of the content we went over in class. I found this to be a very helpful tool to better understand the material. Alfred State College has an all-around great learning environment and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to attend college for accounting.” -William E., student at Alfred State College
stars-5

Columbia University
Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1754
www.columbia.edu/

Student Review: “Columbia University offered a top tier business program allowing students to focus on a number of applicable business areas including accounting. What separated this program from others was that it took students beyond financial statement analysis (which is important) to true understanding of earnings quality, valuing businesses using financial data, and understanding footnotes to financial statements. The outcome from this level of detail was a true mastery allowing students to become subject matter experts rather than simply understanding basic material. The professors were best in class, well respected in both academia and the business world. Class sizes were always kept manageable, typically capped at 60 students (for the most popular) but often less. Professors were always available during regularly scheduled office hours for additional assistance if needed. The program certainly exceeded my expectations and is consistent with Columbia’s brand recognition as a top business school.” -Jason S., student at Columbia University
stars-5

Student Review: “Columbia’s accounting program was a great experience for me that enabled me to find a great job and learn many new things. The one thing I enjoyed the most while at Columbia was the sheer opportunity around me. Being in the city of New York, I could work with accounting firms in the city to gain experience and a foot in the door in the field. With accounting, internships and work experience is crucial to finding a job in today’s economy. At Columbia, I was able to get the experience needed to get ahead. Moreover, Columbia’s professors and staff are top-notch. I got a quality education and an Ivy League degree that makes me competitive for any accounting job out there. I would recommend this place to anyone.” -Carol Y., student at Columbia University
stars-4

Corning Community College
1 Academic Dr
Corning, NY 14830
(607) 962-9222
www.corning-cc.edu/

Student Review: “Corning Community College is not only a place I go to learn, but somewhere that I actually feel at home at. Initially I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in college, but after consulting the Student Services Center, I was guided to an accounting professor, and I was convinced. I currently take online as well as on-campus classes, which is very convenient. While online classes are harder, especially since you’re not getting direct help from teachers, I find that they are easier when taking other things into consideration, such as work and family time. If you are a person that is always on the go, I could not recommend their online accounting program enough. It is challenging, interesting, and convenient.” -Student at Corning Community College
stars-5

Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)
3399 N Rd
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 575-3000
www.marist.edu

Student Review: “Marist College is a small school located on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY. It has a beautiful campus and the school attends to the students’ needs quite well. The curriculum is challenging, but overall very informative. The professors are all extremely knowledgeable and are very enthusiastic about teaching. All of them want to see you succeed and will go to great lengths to help you. I have learned countless ways to make my accounting career successful and intend to do just that. Not to mention the internship program was phenomenal. The faculty goes above and beyond to help you find the internship you want and it is truly a great experience.” -Christopher C., student at Marist College
stars-5

Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY)
1000 E Henrietta Rd
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 292-2000
http://www.monroecc.edu/

Student Review: “The accounting program at Monroe Community College was fun, but challenging. I had previously taken no accounting courses in high school so all the material was fresh and I knew nothing going in. The professors I had were very strict but very fair, as you would expect an accountant to be. They all had previous real life accounting experiences and were more than happy to share some of the stories and things that they had done. This made the class very interesting and more fun to participate in. I felt like I had more of a connection with these professors because they were willing to do that. They taught the course so that we learned how things should be done, but then were not hesitant to tell us how things would be in real life situations which I enjoyed a lot.” -Student at Monroe Community College
stars-4

New York University
70 Washington Square S
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-1212
http://www.nyu.edu/

Student Review: “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience getting a bachelor’s degree in accounting in NYU’s Accounting program in the Stern School of Business. I had taken an introductory accounting class in high school, but overall, I was a newbie to the accounting field and curriculum. Once I began my NYU curriculum, however, I realized that I had made the right choice because I learned so much in my accounting courses just my first year. Over the four year program, your courses range from financial accounting to managerial accounting to auditing to international reporting; the curriculum is extremely thorough. The quality of the professors are also top-notch. They really know what they’re doing as they have lived and worked in one of the world’s foremost financial markets. Some of the professors are a bit hard to get a hold of one on one, but if you go that extra mile, you can absolutely make it work. NYU Stern really prepares your for the ‘real world’ and a successful career in the accounting field.” -Student at New York University
stars-4

Niagara County Community College
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd
Sanborn, NY 14132
(716)-614-6222
http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/

Student Review: “In spite of NCCC being the only 2 year accounting program in Western NY state, it is a good program and was a good experience for me. The instructors are generally dedicated, experienced in the fields they teach, and fairly lenient graders. As with any educational program, you get out of it what you put into it. Online classes are available, but potential students should be aware that the online classes are typically more work and more time-consuming than traditional classes. It’s entirely possible to fit all your classes into a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule to save gas and commuting time. The only negative aspect of the program itself is that the business courses (including the accounting courses) are only offered in the morning or at night – not in the afternoon, and the physical education courses (a requirement of the program) are only offered in the morning. If at all possible, take your general education classes in the afternoon to leave mornings free for your core business, accounting, and physical education classes.” -Student at Niagara County Community College
stars-4

Student Review: “NCCC’s accounting degrees (AS or AAS) are the only 2 year accounting programs in the Buffalo region. The accounting faculty at NCCC are held in high esteem by the educators in accounting departments at the local 4 year schools (as I learned while interviewing at multiple schools after graduation from NCCC), and any serious student attending NCCC will find the curriculum well-taught and easy to understand, with plenty of extra help available if needed. The teachers have real-world experience in accounting, and are excellent at imparting their knowledge. They boasted, during my time there, that NCCC students who go on to 4 year accounting programs are able to keep up with their counterparts who did their first 2 years at the 4 year school, and as a transferee to a 4 year program, I can confirm this. I have just completed my first semester with a 3.88 GPA, so obviously there’s not anything missing from my fundamental education in accounting.” Student at Niagara County Community College
stars-4

Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367
(718) 997-5000
www.qc.cuny.edu/

Student Review: “The accounting program at Queens College was very challenging. I did come across a lot of professors that were willing to take the extra time to thoroughly go over and review contents that were not easily grasped. However, there were a few professors that were completely opposite, who showed no concern for students understanding the material. It was pretty much “either you get it or you don’t.” None the less, good grades were attainable. A lot of investment in studying was applied to maintain a good standing in my classes. Queens College did offer a lot of tutoring for various accounting classes, which was very helpful.” -Student at Queens College
stars-3

State University of New York at Brockport
350 New Campus Dr
Brockport, NY 14420
(585) 395-2211
www.brockport.edu/

Student Review: “I felt that the accounting program at Brockport was phenomenal. The teachers were great, aside from a few duds, and I was generally pleased with the process of receiving an undergrad degree in this program. It was quite rigorous at times, but I learned to balance my time between work and play. While I was here I was also treasurer for an organization on campus, so this helped develop my skills even further. I truly feel like I gained the knowledge to be successful in the career field of accounting, and that is what I expected coming into college.” -Student at State University of New York at Brockport
stars-4

State University of New York at Fredonia
280 Central Ave
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3111
http://www.fredonia.edu

Student Review: “I really liked my accounting program at college. It was a small enough school where you felt comfortable among familiar faces and weren’t afraid of asking questions with the professors. It was a small enough school, and yet still big enough where you didn’t feel bored or trapped by it. The program for the most part had great professors who knew what they were teaching and were fairly willing to help out if you needed it. The college also offered tutoring, which was really helpful for the challenging courses that I just needed a little extra help with. The tutors were students who either took the classes or were taking them at the time, and were at the top of their classes. For the most part, I don’t think there was anything I really disliked about the program/college.” -Student at SUNY Fredonia
stars-5

University of Buffalo
12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY
(716) 645-6900
www.buffalo.edu

Student Review: “The University at Buffalo school of accounting is not that great compared to others. The lower level courses are semi challenging and they weed out the weak links, the exact purpose. Once accepted into the school, the beginning of your junior year, you immediately dive into core courses. The upper level courses are much more challenging. The school of accounting has a very poor advisory staff. They put every student in the same direction and give ultimatums almost every time. But, with a degree from the University at Buffalo in accounting the possibilities are limitless.” -Student at University of Buffalo
stars-4

Student Review: “I enjoyed my university experience quite a bit. It can really help prepare you for what is to come. They are here to help which is what a lot of students do not understand. Every person employed by the school wants to see you achieve and just talking to someone can help you get a new outlook on a problem. The accounting department was amazing and they really want you to utilize everything the school can offer you. It was a great experience and has helped me to get my current position.” -Student at University of Buffalo
stars-4

Student Review: “I just recently graduated from the School of Management at the University at Buffalo with a B.A in accounting. My experience here was extremely memorable and has given me many tools to be successful in my career ahead. The classes were challenging, but also very rewarding. The program gives you a well-rounded view from audit to tax, etc. Graduates are frequently targeted by Big 4 firms, and I had several offers before graduating. There is a career resource center in the school specifically for business majors, which helps immensely in finding internships and ways to get involved. UB is consistently ranked in the top 75 business schools in the nation, and it has given me a world-class education.” -Student at University at Buffalo
stars-5

Wagner College (State Island, NY)
631 Howard Ave
State Island, NY 10301
(718) 390-3100
www.wagner.edu/

Student Review: “When I first arrived at college I was a little nervous and did not know what to do. I was confused and felt like I was in a different world. One thing that really helped me out was the size of my college. The college only has about 2,500 students so the campus is small. I got to know where every building was and how to get to it. I knew I wanted to do business before I got to college but the business program helped me out a lot. The teachers are very personable and the classrooms are small so asking for extra help is not a problem.” -Carmine C., student at Wagner College
stars-4


References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Businessweek Top Business School Rankings Undergraduate Business School Programs: http://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/graphics/2013-bs-undergrad-rankings/rankings2.html
3. US News & World Report Best Graduate Business Schools: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings/