College of Business

Ballentine Hall, 7 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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Accounting Program and Profession

Learn more here about the URI accounting program, the accounting profession, and CPA requirements.

Accounting Program Vision 

As the only separately accredited program within the premier Rhode Island business school, the Accounting area in the College of Business Administration is the preeminent voice for accounting excellence in the State. By thinking big, we recognize our obligation to promote sound accounting, tax and auditing practices for businesses, state and local government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations in Rhode Island and beyond. We are committed to collaborative student-centered learning and research, and service to our constituents, to prepare students to excel in these practices and become leaders in their chosen careers.

Accounting Program Mission

The mission is to foster excellence in accounting practice by providing accredited degree programs, conducting research, and engaging in service activities.

We strive to make our program an inclusive destination of choice for a diverse group of students through our small class size, collaborative learning environment and utilization of technology. The programs produce graduates with the skills necessary to meet the professional requirements of chosen career paths, particularly competencies desired by the public and private sectors of the accounting profession.

As a service to the University, the area provides accounting education to undergraduate and graduate students in other majors in which such knowledge adds value to students’ educational experience.

We conduct research to contribute new knowledge to the field of accounting including basic, applied, and educational scholarship.

We provide service to the College; the University; local, state, and regional communities; and to national and global professional organizations through our active participation on committees to meet the responsibilities of a state land grant university.

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA): What are the 150 Hour Rules?

“The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential is a license issued by one of the 55 states or territories of the United States that authorizes the holder to practice as a certified public accountant in that jurisdiction. Licensing of CPAs helps to protect the public interest because only those individuals who have met prescribed requirements are permitted to identify themselves to the public as certified public accountants. One component of the licensing requirement designed to ensure only qualified individuals become licensed as CPAs is the Uniform CPA Examination.” (From The Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Bulletin, July 2013 at

To take the CPA examination, you must meet the requirements in one of the jurisdictions. Candidates typically follow the requirements for the state where they will be working. The guidelines are determined by each jurisdiction’s Board of Accountancy. To find out the requirements for a jurisdiction, go to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website at:

For example, in Rhode Island, at the present time, you are eligible to take the examination with 120 hours of education (undergraduate baccalaureate degree) that includes 24 semester hours in accounting, and 24 semester hours in business courses (other than accounting). To be licensed as a CPA, you must have 150 semester hours of education, and earned at least a baccalaureate degree at a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board of Accountancy. The University of Rhode Island meets these accrediting requirements. In addition, certification also requires actual work experience, usually in a public accounting firm. Massachusetts and Connecticut have similar, though not exactly the same, requirements for certification.

Each jurisdiction often requires that specify courses are taken, and these courses are listed in the information. You must verify the requirements for each jurisdiction. YOU MUST BE CAREFUL TO CHECK THE REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY, AS EACH JURISDICATION IS DIFFERENT. REQUIREMENTS ALSO PERIODICALLY CHANGE.

The first step is to check the NASBA website. You may speak to our advising staff and our accounting professors about the process. However, our staff and professors do not know the requirements for each jurisdiction. Read the information. In unusual circumstances, you may have to follow through by calling the Board of Accountancy where you desire to work.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): The AICPA is the largest national, professional organization for CPAs. The AICPA determines the content of the CPA examination, prepares the examination questions, determines the method of scoring and prepares advisory scores. For information and sample questions, see:



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