Accounting Schools in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island’s colleges and universities offer a variety of accounting programs, from undergraduate degrees to advanced graduate degrees. Schools in the state offer programs for part-time and full-time schedules as well as traditional, hybrid, and online options. 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 state programs, professional designations offered, and career outlooks for accounting in the state.

    Quick Facts

    Comparison of Rhode Island Accounting Schools and Programs

    The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in Rhode Island to help you compare your options. Programs that appear in bold text offer hybrid or online options. For further school statistics, including median SAT, ACT, and GMAT scores, see our Rhode Island business schools page.

    SchoolAccreditationAccounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate10Grad Rate1Avg Net Price1Median Debt*10Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry10
    Bryant UniversityBSBA-Accounting;
    BSBA-Managerial Accounting and Finance;
    Accelerated BSBA to MSA;
    4-Year BS to MBA;
    Community College of Rhode IslandACBSPAS-Business Administration: Accounting;
    UG Cert-Business Administration: Accounting;
    UG Cert-Business Administration: Basic Accounting Skills
    Johnson & Wales University-OnlineBS-Accounting;
    Johnson & Wales University-ProvidenceBS-Accounting;
    BS-Accounting: Early Enrollment;
    Accelerated BS to MBA-Accounting;
    Providence CollegeBS-Accountancy;
    5-Year BS to MBA;
    MBA-Accounting Cohort
    Rhode Island CollegeIACBEBS-Accounting;
    MPAc-Financial Accounting;
    MPAc-Financial Planning
    Roger Williams UniversityBS-Accounting;
    5-Year BS to MBA
    Salve Regina UniversityIACBEBS-Accounting;
    5-Year BS to MBA
    University of Rhode IslandAACSBBSBA-Accounting;
    Grad Cert-Data Analytics for Accounting and Auditing

    Table Notes:
    *Median Debt: The median debt is the cumulative federal loan debt, excluding PLUS loans, at the time of graduation for students who completed an undergraduate program (certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree) as reported by College Scorecard for academic year 2020-2021 based on ​​National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) data.
    **Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry: Median earnings are the middle value of earnings, at which half earned more and half earned less, measured 10 years (2020-2021) after the first year of study (2010-2011) for all students, institution-wide, who received federal loans and who are employed but not enrolled in school. Note that this value includes those who completed their program of study as well as those who discontinued study without receiving an award.

    Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in Rhode Island

    College rankings can be a useful tool to measure the overall reputation of a school or program. Weighing multiple rankings when evaluating your college choices can be helpful because different publishers may use different ranking factors in their methodologies. While the best program for your goals may rely on a combination of factors not typically considered in overall rankings, such as location or funding, seeing a program ranked on multiple lists can be a strong indication of reputation and academic quality.

    College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023

    • Bryant University (#84)
    • Providence College (#89)2

    Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2023

    • Bryant University3

    US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023

    • Johnson & Wales University (#112 tie)5

    US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023

    • Bryant University (#60 tie)6

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

    The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases reports including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.11 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Rhode Island in 2019 (the most recent report available*) for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall pass rate for first-time test-takers in Rhode Island being 50.6%:

    1. Bryant University 68.8%
    2. Providence College 61.4%
    3. University of Rhode Island 46.8%
    4. Johnson & Wales University 37.9%

    *As NASBA makes significant changes to the CPA Exam as part of the CPA Evolution initiative, new candidate score reports by state are not anticipated until at least mid-2024.

    Schools in Rhode Island with Accounting Degrees

    To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in Rhode Island, we have profiled select programs below. Be sure to visit the websites of programs of interest for more detailed information on courses, admissions requirements and deadlines, and faculty.

    Undergraduate Accounting Programs

    Providence College

    At the School of Business at Providence College (PC), students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accountancy. 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 about taxation, financial reporting, audit, and assurance. Courses also teach interpersonal skills in communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. Many students complete an internship in a local business, accounting firm, or consulting group to gain experience on their resume before graduating. PC also offers many co-curricular and experiential activities through student groups and organizations. Graduates are prepared to pursue advanced accounting degrees and professional designations like CPA. Students interested in graduate study can pursue PC’s 4+1 BS/Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that allows them to complete an undergraduate degree and an MBA in five years.

    Rhode Island College

    At Rhode Island College’s (RIC) School of Business, 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. 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 the 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. For students interested in pursuing a graduate degree, RIC also offers a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree with concentrations in Financial Accounting and Financial Planning.

    Roger Williams University

    Roger Williams University’s (RWU) Mario J. Gabelli School of Business (GSB) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. RWU’s BS in Accounting curriculum begins with a strong business core and teaches foundational courses in accounting, computer information systems, and economics as well as more specialized accounting topics. Students complete required classes such as Accounting Information Systems, Cost Accounting, and Auditing. All GSB students must also complete a data analytics course and an international dimension course that focuses on the global business environment. RWU’s accounting program emphasizes experiential learning through volunteer opportunities with the Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA), internships, and conducting mock audits using industry-standard software and analytics programs. Graduates of this program are prepared for professional certification and careers in public accounting, business, government, or the private sector. Students interested in graduate study can pursue RWU’s 4+1 Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that allows them to complete an undergraduate degree and MBA in just five years.

    Graduate Accounting Programs

    Bryant University

    Bryant University offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree with the choice of a General MSA or with a Tax or Analytics concentration. This full-time, in-person program can be completed in as few as two terms. The curriculum has been developed with the input of professionals in the accounting industry to include relevant, cutting-edge knowledge and skills. Depending on the concentration, coursework may include classes such as Accounting Analytics; Data Mining and Predictive Analysis; or Individual Income Taxation. 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. Graduates of this program meet the educational requirements for CPA licensure. Top undergraduate accounting students at Bryant can begin taking MSA classes during their senior year, allowing them to complete both degrees in as few as four and a half years.

    University of Rhode Island

    The University of Rhode Island’s (URI) College of Business offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree that can be completed in one to two years on a full- or part-time basis. The MSA program has three start dates throughout the year and offers daytime, evening, and weekend class options. Students learn advanced accounting skills preparing them to adapt to future tax structures and a changing regulatory environment. 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. URI also offers a Data Analytics for Accounting and Auditing Graduate Certificate program.

    Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs

    Johnson & Wales University Online

    Through Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Online, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting that can be completed in as little as two years. The curriculum emphasizes a mix of theory and practice in accounting, business, and general interdisciplinary studies. Accounting majors take courses such as Accounting Theory and Practice; Auditing; and Accounting Information Systems 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. JWU also offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting. This flexible program offers several start dates throughout the year and is designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Required courses include Accounting Theory, Advanced Auditing, and Law for Accountants. JWU’s MBA in Accounting takes approximately two years to complete and graduates of this program satisfy the educational requirement for CPA certification.

    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. The MBA program also emphasizes interpersonal skills in team building, communication, and management. 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. Many graduates go on to pursue leadership positions in public, private, and governmental organizations. Undergraduate accounting students at Salve Regina can pursue the five-year pathway, which allows them to complete an MBA with just one additional year of study.

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    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 (the Board) requires that candidates have 150 hours of academic semester hours, with a minimum of 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 hours in business courses, 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, or 1,820 hours, of accounting-related work experience in public practice, government, industry, or education at the collegiate level that is verified by a licensed CPA. After meeting all of these requirements, candidates can apply for licensure that must be maintained through the completion of continued professional education (CPE) hours.

    Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates 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 include Textron, 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 often in need of qualified financial and tax experts.

    Rhode Island Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

    Metro AreaAccountants & Auditors Employed12Average Annual Salary12
    Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI650$82,690
    Providence-Warwick, RI-MA6,650$93,390

    Rhode Island Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Community College of Rhode Island
    400 East Ave
    Warwick, RI 02886
    (401) 437-5224

    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

    Popular Accounting Degree State Pages:

    1. National Center for Education Statistics:
    2. College Factual Best Accounting Schools 2023:
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2023 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2022.
    4. US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs:
    5. US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023:
    6. US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs:
    7. Association to Advance College Schools of Business, Accredited Universities and Schools, Business & Accounting:
    8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Accredited Schools, Separate Accounting:
    9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Members:
    10. Department of Education College Scorecard:
    11. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2019 University Edition:
    12. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Rhode Island: