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Massachusetts Accounting Schools

The following outline of accounting schools in Massachusetts provides information on schools in the state that you can use to compare schools and make an informed decision. The many public and private institutions of higher education in Massachusetts offer a wide variety of accounting programs in subjects like audit services, forensic accounting, and financial planning. For those who are concerned about commute times to courses in traditional accounting programs, online accounting schools are an alternative to consider.

Quick School Facts

  • 22 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Massachusetts.
  • 25 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Massachusetts.
  • 19 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 16 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 23 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 8 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: Boston College (6), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (19), Bentley University (20), Boston University (23), Northeastern University (25), Babson College (36), University of Massachusetts (45), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (51).
  • 8 schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): Harvard University (1), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4), Boston College (40), Boston University (40), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (51), Babson College (56), Northeastern University (61), Bentley University (84).

Read on to find out more about accounting schools in Massachusetts and career projections for accountants in the state.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • Bentley University
  • Suffolk University (Sawyer Business School)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (Isenberg 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 Massachusetts in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. College of the Holy Cross 77.2%
  2. Boston College
  3. University of Massachusetts Lowell
  4. Babson College
  5. Bentley University
  6. Boston University

This list includes the top schools in Massachusetts with at least 20 candidates. There were 26 schools in Massachusetts that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 20.0% to 83.3% (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.

Massachusetts Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

Northwestern University

Northeastern University offers a dual MS in Accounting/ MBA program that allows students to complete both degrees in only 15 months. The program is structured to accommodate liberal arts and non-accounting majors from a variety of backgrounds. Northeastern University’s graduate program uniquely enables students to gain hands-on experience at various accounting firms by including a three-month paid residency as a central component of the curriculum. The academics and internship experience prepares students to take the CPA examination upon graduation and helps applicants stand out in competitive hiring environments.

Bentley University

The MS in Accountancy program offered by Bentley University is renowned for its longstanding recruitment and placement relationships with the Big Four CPA firms, state, local and federal government agencies and regional and national CPA firms. The curriculum combines a foundation of accounting basics with active research in the business field, providing students with a well-rounded introduction to the industry. Flexible scheduling and online classes are also offered to accommodate working and part-time students.

Massachusetts Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management offers a customizable and broad-based undergraduate Accounting and Information Systems major. The major requires two years of general education requirements followed by two years of business specialization covering accounting, law, and computing. The structure of the degree includes a number of elective courses, which allow students to individually tailor their program to suit their specific interests and academic goals.

Suffolk University

The Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School undergraduate Accounting Program is accredited by AACSB International and provides students a thorough foundation in taxation, auditing, financial management, and fiscal accounting. Additionally, the program develops important workplace skills such as oral and written communication, analytical reasoning and problem solving encompassed in a comprehensive understanding of business ethics.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Massachusetts

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • Bentley University #21 (2012)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology #26

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) #14 (2012)
  • Harvard University #16

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • Boston College (Carroll) #5 (2012)
  • Babson College #20
  • Northeastern University #46
  • Boston University #58
  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst (Isenberg) #59
  • Bentley University #60

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Massachusetts

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce reported a 12.2% growth rate in the field of accounting and auditors, which is projected to undergo further growth due to expansion of corporate demand.1 The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants reports that 2012 hiring trends are expected to remain steady with notable opportunities for candidates with bachelor’s degrees with 150 hours or a Master’s in Accountancy or Taxation, and a smaller pool of opportunities for MBAs with a focus in accounting or taxation. Service areas of assurance/audit as well as taxation are expected to undergo the largest growth. International firms within the Greater Boston Area include Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, smaller firms include BDO USA (formerly Feeley & Driscoll, P.C.) and Wolf & Company P.C. Though competition in major firms is expected to persist, the overall industry expansion and increase in corporate demand may be favorable for those wishing to start their own accounting practice. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, 9% of Massachusetts accountants are self-employed, 6% are employed by the government and 20% are in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services as of 2009.1

Massachusetts Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy 28,530 $77,780
New Bedford 360 $69,390
Pittsfield 240 $68,880
Providence-Fall River-Warwick 3,860 $68,950
Springfield 1,970 $66,420
Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard nonmetropolitan area 90 $70,480

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

Massachusetts Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2000
http://www.northeastern.edu/

Student Review: “My masters of accounting program was geared toward liberal arts majors with no accounting background, basically starting from scratch with debits and credits. However, there were a few students who had taken several accounting courses or even majored in accounting, which put them at a serious advantage compared to the rest of the students in the program. My experience is slightly clouded by how things have turned out for me, as I have discovered that I am not that interested in the accounting profession, yet have no choice but to continue in the field due to the large amount of student loans I took on to pay for my degree. Looking back, it was a very large commitment to a career that I knew little about, which was a very poor decision on my part. The program itself was good, and I was definitely prepared through the financial preparation and taxation courses, as well as an internship at a large regional accounting firm during busy season. But if I could go back in time, I would have done something differently.” -student at Northeastern University
stars-3

Northwestern University
633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 492-3741
http://www.northwestern.edu/

Bentley University
175 Forest St
Waltham, MA 02452
(781) 891-2000
http://www.bentley.edu/

University of Massachusetts
181 Presidents Dr
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111
http://www.umass.edu/

University of Massachusetts Lowell
1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854
(978) 934-4000
https://www.uml.edu/

Student Review: “This was a good program in a nationally ranked business school. The accounting department is under the Isenberg School of Management and all of my accounting classes were located in the Isenberg building right in the middle of campus. The classes were challenging but not too hard for me. I know other students who couldn’t handle the material but I don’t mind math like they did. Managerial accounting was probably the hardest course I took. The class was basically a summary of material from three previous classes I took squeezed into one class. One aspect of the accounting department I hated was the size of the classes. Every class was overcrowded and finding a seat was nearly impossible. Also enrolling in classes was frustrating because they would fill up very quickly.” -Jordan S., student at University of Massachusetts Lowell
stars-3

Student Review: “I recently completed a degree in Accounting from UMass Lowell. I was generally satisfied, but I think that there could be more resources available for students. I liked that the school’s curriculum provided broad and diverse classes. I took a number of business and general education classes, some of which were not related to my field. This gave me a wider perspective and helped me develop additional skills, which can differentiate me from other job candidates. For example, a database class I took senior year taught me some basic SQL and Access skills. The classes were challenging, but manageable. The most difficult class, Accounting Information Systems, is easily graduate-level work, and I believe it is required for master’s candidates with a bachelor’s in something other than accounting. A change I think could be made would be to add work-study summer classes that could also count for credits. I did work-study for two years and only had one assignment that really demonstrated my relevant abilities. Overall, I think it was a good experience. I did not take advantage of all my opportunities, but someone dedicated to actively working their hardest will find this program to be a great value.” -Zach C., student at University of Massachusetts Lowell
stars-4

Suffolk University
73 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02108
http://www.suffolk.edu/

References:
1. Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/executive-office-of-labor-and-workforce-development
2. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
3. Businessweek Top Business School Rankings Undergraduate Business School Programs: https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/graphics/2013-bs-undergrad-rankings/rankings2.html
4. US News & World Report Best Graduate Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings/