Rhode Island Accounting Schools
Rhode Island’s colleges and universities offer a variety of accounting programs, from undergraduate degrees to advanced graduate degrees. Some schools offer part-time and full-time schedules, while others may have complete online programs. Students can choose between different curricula, areas of specialization, and internships for credit. The following outline of accounting schools in Rhode Island provides information about different programs, professional designations, and career outlooks for accounting in Rhode Island.
- 3 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Rhode Island.1
- 5 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Rhode Island.1
- 2 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 1 school offers an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 7 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 4 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
- No programs ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
- No programs ranked in US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018.3
- 1 school ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
- 2 schools ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.5
*Public or private not-for-profit colleges and universities only.
Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in Rhode Island
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- Bryant University
Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016
- Bryant University (College of Business) #44
- Providence College (School of Business) #61
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Rhode Island
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) is a globally-recognized organization that provides accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. While over 800 business schools have been accredited by the AACSB, only 186 institutions hold AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs, having been found to meet the rigorous standards established by the AACSB.6 The following accounting programs in Rhode Island have been accredited by the AACSB:
- University of Rhode Island (College of Business Administration)
Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree
Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.7 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Rhode Island in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Rhode Island being 51.6%:
- University of Rhode Island 63%
- Bryant University 62.1%
- Providence College 46.2%
- Johnson & Wales University 30.0%
Schools in Rhode Island with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Bryant University’s College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. Students follow an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines broad general business knowledge with specialized accounting subjects. Students learn innovative thinking strategies, problem-solving skills, and oral and written communication. Bryant helps students search for real-world learning opportunities like internships at corporations and accounting firms. Accounting undergraduates can also join student clubs and organizations for networking and professional development activities. Many students go on to pursue professional designations. Undergraduates already at Bryant University can apply for the Master of Public Accountancy (MPAc) program and complete the educational requirements for the CPA examination in less than five years.
At the School of Business at Providence College, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accountancy. This degree covers many different subject areas in the accounting industry, and students are prepared to pursue advanced accounting degrees and professional designations like CPA. The curriculum focuses on teaching technical accounting skills and how financial information can affect business decisions. Through labs and assignments, team projects, and case analyses, students learn knowledge and skills in taxation, financial reporting, audit, and assurance. Courses also teach interpersonal skills in communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. Many students complete an internship in local businesses, accounting firms, or consulting groups to gain experience on their resume before graduating. Providence College also offers many co-curricular and experiential activities through student groups and organizations.
Rhode Island College
At Rhode Island College’s Accounting and Computer Information Systems Department, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting degree. This degree is ideal for those interested in careers in accounting, management, or business in general. The curriculum includes required courses such as Accounting Systems and Concepts, Cost Management, Federal Income Taxation, and Auditing. Through these classes, students learn a combination of theoretical and applicable accounting knowledge. Coursework also emphasizes skills needed to be successful in the accounting field, such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and written and oral communication strategies. Many graduates pursue an advanced degree and the CPA designation, and others may search for entry-level positions in public, private, or governmental accounting. Rhode Island College also offers a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) degree.
Graduate Accounting Programs
University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island’s College of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting degree. Students learn advanced accounting knowledge that will prepare them to adapt to a changing industry and future tax structures or regulatory environments. The curriculum covers specialized subjects in financial reporting, auditing, and tax law. Students also gain a foundation in oral and written communication skills and team building strategies. Courses include real case studies and industry-relevant material that gives students a global perspective on today’s international business and accounting field. Many graduates go on to work in management or leadership roles in public accounting firms, industry, and government organizations. Those without an undergraduate background in accounting may need to complete additional prerequisite courses before beginning the graduate program.
Bryant University offers a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree. This full-time program can be completed in as few as two terms. Classes are delivered simultaneously live in the classroom and broadcast online, allowing graduate students a flexible schedule. The curriculum has been developed with the input of professionals in the accounting industry to include relevant, cutting-edge knowledge and skills. Students can earn a concentration in Tax through specialized electives such as Project Management for Accounting Leadership, Corporate Governance in the 21st Century, and Advanced Assurance and Professional Oversight. Bryant assists students with post-graduation career opportunities through access to alumni and industry networks and professional development support. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in accounting or business can apply to the program but may need to complete some prerequisite courses.
Online Accounting Programs
Johnson & Wales University
Through Johnson & Wales, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. The curriculum emphasizes a mix of theory and practice in accounting, business, and general interdisciplinary studies. Accounting majors take courses such as Accounting Software, Internal Auditing, and Fraud Examination in an online format at their own pace. Students also learn foundational skills and technical competencies in financial accounting, managerial accounting, and auditing. Coursework focuses on experiential learning through real-world examples and projects as well as critical thinking skills and communication strategies. Some graduates go on to work in entry-level positions in the accounting industry, and others pursue graduate studies and professional licensure before working as cost accountants, tax accountants, business consultants, and auditors.
Salve Regina University
Salve Regina University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program that can be completed entirely online. Students follow an interdisciplinary curriculum that covers major business subjects, such as accounting, economics, financial management, and quantitative analysis. Students complete accounting courses such as Managerial Accounting and Financial Management in addition to broad business classes like Business Law and Managing Business Operations. In addition, graduate students can choose from a number of different elective courses depending on their area of interest for their career. The MBA program also emphasizes interpersonal skills in team building, communication, and management. Many graduates go on to pursue leadership positions in public, private, and governmental organizations.
CPA Requirements in Rhode Island
Many students and graduates choose to seek the CPA designation in order to further their potential to advance their careers in the industry. The Rhode Island Board of Accountancy requires that candidates have 150 hours of academic semester hours and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for CPA testing. After the educational requirements have been met, students may sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. Then, CPA candidates must complete at least a year of public accounting work experience that is verified by a licensed CPA. After meeting all of these requirements, candidates can apply for licensure. The CPA designation must be maintained through the completion of Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Rhode Island
Graduates with accounting degrees may find many different opportunities to work in Rhode Island’s accounting field. The state is home to several large corporations that employ many accounting degree graduates in the state. Citizens Financial Group and Providence Equity Partners both have their headquarters in Rhode Island, providing many possible finance and accounting jobs each year. Other large employers in the state including CVS Caremark, Amica Mutual Insurance, and the Hasbro toy company. Many of the state’s publicly certified accountants hold integral positions in top firms. Others find success in running their own independent accounting firms or tax centers. Rhode Island also has many government outfits, which are always in need of qualified financial and tax experts.
Rhode Island Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
Rhode Island Schools with Accounting Degree Programs
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Ave
Warwick, RI 02886
Student Review: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at CCRI. I’m in my last semester there right now and couldn’t be happier with my chosen major (Accounting) and university. I’ve found most of my professors to be extremely helpful, as I’m a slow learner. They always slow down if I ask them to. The coursework is tough and fast paced, so it demands hard work and diligence. However, the professors are usually there during their office hours to help students out. However, there is a negative to CCRI (this is rampant in Accounting/Business courses) which is buying ‘necessary textbooks’ for class and then never using them. All in all, it is a good school and I would recommend it.” -Student at Community College of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island
35 Campus Ave
Kingston, RI 02881
Rhode Island College
600 Mt Pleasant Ave
Providence, RI 02908
University of Providence
1 Prospect St
Providence, RI 02912
Roger Williams University
1 Old Ferry Rd
Bristol, RI 02809
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-accounting
3. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
4. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2018 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2017.
5. Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
6. AACSB-Accredited Universities and Schools, Accounting: https://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-members
7. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2015 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Rhode Island: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ri.htm