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Students in Delaware can choose from five schools that offer post-baccalaureate coursework to meet the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) requirements in the state. Most schools in the state that offer bachelor's degrees also offer a Master of Science or Master of Business Administration in Accounting. Most master's degrees in the field may be completed in one to two years. Study abroad or internship opportunities are offered by some schools.
Delaware State University
Located in the state's capital city of Dover, Delaware State University (DSU) offers over 82 undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can prepare to become CPAs by completing a dual 150-credit-hour Bachelor of Science/Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in accounting. Topics covered include cost accounting, government accounting, financial management, individual taxation and operational analysis. Students can complete the MBA portion of the program on a full-time accelerated schedule in 12 months, on a regular full-time schedule in 18 months, or on a part-time basis in 24 months.
Founded in 1886, this private school is located in the Pike Creek Valley area of Wilmington. Students interested in meeting the requirements for CPA certification can complete the bachelor's degree program in accounting followed by a master's program in a relevant field, such as finance or taxation. Individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field can pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting that qualifies them to sit for the CPA exam.
The bachelor's degree program consists of 134-137 credit hours. Courses offered include advanced accounting, cost accounting, auditing, accounting information systems and federal taxes. For the graduate degree, students have the option of earning an MBA or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance or Taxation. Both the MBA and the M.S. options require completion of 36 course credits. Some of the topics covered in these programs include fixed income securities, financial statement analysis, managerial accounting and taxation of corporations.
University of Delaware (UD)
Commonly known as UD, this research university has its main campus in Newark and several other affiliate campuses in cities such as Dover, Georgetown, Lewes and Milford. UD offers a combined degree program to prepare students for the CPA exam, and it also has individual bachelor's and master's programs in accounting.
To earn both the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Accounting in five years, students can work with their advisor to customize a degree plan. For the undergraduate degree, students begin taking accounting classes in their junior year. Undergraduates also have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field by participating in internships or study abroad experiences. Students pursuing the accounting master's degree can complete the program on a full-time or part-time schedule; part-time students may earn the degree in 2-5 years.
Wesley College has its main campus in the city of Dover and a secondary campus in New Castle, DE. The college's MBNA School of Business and Accounting offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting that consists of 124 credit hours, including 30 credits of major accounting classes. Students take courses in areas such as accounting principles, intermediate accounting, cost accounting and federal taxation. The department also hosts a chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) where students can engage in networking activities. A post-baccalaureate certificate is also offered at Wesley College for students who have a bachelor's degree in another field and want to pursue CPA licensure. The program requires completion of 36 credit hours and includes courses similar to those found in the bachelor's program.
Wilmington University has a broad presence throughout the state with its main campus in New Castle and several regional campuses, including Brandywine, Dover, Dover Air Force Base, Georgetown and Rehoboth Beach. Students at this university can train to become CPAs by completing a bachelor's and master's program in accounting. The bachelor's degree program consists of 120 credit hours and includes training in auditing, cost accounting, accounting information systems and tax accounting.
To earn further credits to meet the state's 150-credit-hour requirement, students can complete an MBA program in accounting at the Wilson Graduate Center in New Castle. The MBA program consists of 36 credit hours, which includes 18 credits of core accounting classes. Students may also elect to complete the 30-credit Master of Science in Accounting program, which requires seven core classes in subjects like auditing, international taxation, forensic accounting and financial analysis; electives fulfill the remaining requirements.
CPA licensure is regulated by the state's Board of Accountancy, which is part of the Division of Professional Regulation. To practice accountancy in Delaware, applicants must complete at least 150 credit hours of related coursework and have a CPA Permit to Practice. Most accounting bachelor's degree programs consist of 120 credits, so aspiring CPAs would need to complete either a post-baccalaureate certificate or master's degree program to meet the additional 30-credit requirement. To apply for the CPA Permit to Practice, students must also pass the national CPA exam and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) ethics exam. The five Delaware programs that help fulfill the education and credit requirements for becoming a CPA are summarized below.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Accounting Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Delaware State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Accounting/Master of Business Administration|| Undergraduate: $7,531 in-state, $16,138 out-of-state
Graduate: $5,510 in-state, $11,606 out-of-state*
|Goldey-Beacom College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting,
Master of Science in Finance or Taxation,
Master of Business Administration in Finance or Taxation
| Undergraduate: $22,950
|University of Delaware||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting,
Master of Science (M.S.) in Accounting,
Combined BS/MS in Accounting
| Undergraduate: $12,520 in-state, $31,420 out-of-state
|Wesley College||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting
| Undergraduate: $25,020
|Wilmington University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Accounting,
Master of Business Administration in Accounting,
Master of Science in Accounting
| Undergraduate: $10,430
Source: *NCES College Navigator