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Accounting Programs at Stony Brook: A Pathway to the CPA


Accounting is often ranked as one of the most desirable professions available—including being ranked as one of the top 50 jobs in 2020 by  U.S. News & World Report.   And in an August 2018, article "These College Majors Are the Most Likely to Lead to Jobs," accounting was one of the ten jobs included, stating, "More than 90 percent of accounting majors are employed and the field is expected to grow by 10 percent over the next eight years."  

In New York and nearly every state, you must have 150 credit hours of study for CPA eligibility, 30 credits more than the typical undergraduate degree, making graduate education a necessity.  And your 150 credits cannot just be any credits – they need to include 36 credits of business and 33 credits of accounting.

Stony Brook has two pathways for students to attain the additional 30 credits to meet the 150 credit hour requirement, as well as be prepared to sit for the CPA exam: The MBA in Accounting and the MS in Accounting.  Stony Brook has the highest CPA pass rate (63.2%) on Long Island, and one of the highest in New York State. * According to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.   The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam: Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, 2018 Edition

Students coming into Stony Brook Graduate Programs in Accounting must meet pre-requisite requirements.  Students who have completed the Stony Brook Accounting Minor  are eligible as are students from other university's undergraduate accounting programs.  We recommend you discuss your undergraduate transcripts with a College of Business Graduate Advisor prior to applying.

Accounting Prerequisites

Stony Brook University's College of Business accounting programs require specific prerequisite courses. Complete this form so that our admissions team can assess what classes you may need to take prior to applying and/or starting a graduate program in accounting at Stony Brook.

  • The MBA in Accounting requirements:  Minimum of 18 accounting credits to include: Financial Accounting, Managerial or Cost Accounting, Auditing, US Federal Income Taxation, and 3 general business credits. Applicants who have not completed US Federal Income Taxation should contact for options to meet this requirement.  
  • MS in Accounting: Minimum requirements:12 credits in accounting to include Financial Accounting, Managerial or Cost Accounting, Auditing, US Federal Income Taxation plus 30 credits in general business courses. Applicants who have not completed US Federal Income Taxation should contact for options to meet this requirement.    

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting

Students who graduate with the MBA in Accounting degree from Stony Brook University will be well suited for careers in public accounting, private industry, government and not-for-profit accounting. National and local firms are invited to campus each semester to recruit and network with students and faculty. Our annual Student/Firm Accounting Networking Breakfast, which takes place every Fall, is an opportunity for students and firms to meet to discuss internships, mentoring, and full-time opportunities.

  • Requires a minimum of 18 accounting credits at the undergraduate level and another 15 at the graduate level.
  • The graduate level MBA program curriculum for accounting also includes 21-33 additional credits in various areas of business, including finance, economics, marketing, operations, and more. 
  • This program features a rigorous accounting and management curriculum, designed to be both prepared for a career in accounting and a pathway to eligibility to sit for the New York State CPA examination.
  • Students may come into the program having already fulfilled the 24 credit Stony Brook University Accounting Minor (or equivalent at another university), which will help to count towards the 150 required credit hours for NYS CPA eligibility.
  • If candidates do not have the prerequisite credits in accounting, they may be able to take these classes as a non-matriculated student before starting the MBA in Accounting program.
  • Students are placed into a 48 credit track unless they have an undergraduate degree in business, in which case they are placed into a 36 credit track.  
  • All students must meet the accounting prerequisites.

Master of Science (MS) in Accounting

  • The MS in Accounting is a program suited for accounting professionals who seek to advance their accounting skills, as well as students with a background in business management and accounting, such as the Stony Brook College of Business Accounting Minor, or students who are majoring in accounting at another institution. 
  • Students in this program would strengthen their accounting education and through the additional credits, achieve eligibility to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State. 
  • For students who are majoring in accounting at another university, this program will provide the additional credits necessary to reach the 150 hours as well as the additional accounting credits to reach the 33 credit requirement. 
  • Qualified students will take a prescribed 30 credits (10 classes) in the accounting area (as well as classes in ethics and communications), all taught by leading College of Business accounting and management faculty. 
  • The program includes a capstone experience class which requires students to complete an accounting industry based class that focuses on contemporary issues in financial accounting, auditing and regulation.  The class is team-taught by three accounting professors. 
  • The program can be completed full time in two semesters or part-time over the course of several semesters, and it can be started in the Fall or Spring semester. Domestic students may begin in the Summer I term.  

Minor in Accounting

The Accounting minor provides students with a strong academic foundation in the field of accounting which will serve as a basis for further advanced study in accounting at the graduate level. It is anticipated that students who declare the accounting minor will continue their accounting education by enrolling in the MBA or MS in Accounting program in order to prepare themselves for the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy exam and a career in public accounting.

Students may apply to the accounting minor at any time during their academic career provided that their cumulative grade point average is 3.20 or higher. Business and non-business majors may complete the accounting minor.

If you would like to speak with an advisor about accounting programs, please email or call 631-632-7171.

Stony Brook University Accounting Society/Recruitment on Campus

The SBU Accounting Society is a student organization that meets weekly under the guidance of Professor Christie Comunale, and hosts accounting firm talks, career readiness programs and networking events.  Since 2013, the College of Business has hosted an Accounting Career & Internship Fair in the Fall semester, giving students and firms the opportunity to discuss internships and full time jobs.  Many students have received positions in the big four, as well as other sized firms, based on the events taking place on campus.  “We want to provide our students with the best possible academic experience, and this includes much more than sitting in the classroom,” states Dr. Comunale.  She continues, “The attention that we are getting from the accounting profession speaks volumes to the excellence of student we are turning out.  Our graduates come equipped with the knowledge and the professionalism that is essential to succeed in this field.” 

The SBU Career Center has partnered with the College of Business on the Fall Accounting Fair since its inception, as well as dozens of other events and programs to prepare students.  This section of the Career Center's website offers excellent accounting resources for students interested in the field.