Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

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Updated June 15, 2023

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Maryland hosts multiple accounting programs and firms. Learn about the best accounting programs in Maryland, along with career opportunities and information on CPAs.

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Maryland has some of the oldest learning institutions in the country. St. John's College was founded in 1696, and the state has since grown to offer an assortment of programs for students.

Learners can consider accounting degrees at every level to capitalize on ongoing industry growth in the state. Specialized accounting professionals can pursue jobs such as cost estimators, tax preparers, and financial analysts.

Maryland has 171,000 businesses and nearly two million workers, with the country's second-highest percentage of professional and technical workers. Explore an outline of career opportunities and accounting degrees in Maryland with this in-depth guide.

Maryland at a Glance

Maryland at a Glance
Population 6,165,129
Climate

Average Annual Temperature: 54.2 ℉

Annual Precipitation: 44.5

Major Sports Teams Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Maryland Terrapins, Towson Tigers, Bowie Baysox
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 49
Per Capita Income $45,920
Fortune 500 Companies 6
Accountants in Maryland 25,770
Sources: U.S. Census, Current Results, NCES, Statista, BLS

Why Go to College for Accounting in MD?

Maryland attempted to establish a free school system in the 17th century, as only wealthy individuals could afford education in the state's founding period. Since then, its education system has expanded to include private and public institutions with some of the best accounting schools in Maryland.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 348,054 students sought postsecondary degrees in Maryland in 2020. Maryland conferred 75,873 degrees among all institutional levels from 2019-2020, according to the NCES.

Maryland created a new state plan for higher education in 2022 with three key goals: ensure fair access to postsecondary education, encourage policies to help students succeed, and promote innovation. Students can find state-sponsored scholarships from Maryland — many apply need-based or career criteria to ensure fair access to education.

Individuals who want to study and work in Maryland may find networking helpful in landing local careers. Programs with internships can help students network and find job opportunities while still in school.

Education Statistics for Maryland

Maryland has fewer colleges than the national average, possibly due to its size. The state has a higher proportion of adults with bachelor's or graduate degrees than the national average. On average, students in Maryland are less likely to pursue distance learning, however.

Maryland Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Maryland Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 33 2,520
Two-Year Colleges 17 1,216
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 56.6% 72.8%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student $9,050 $9,327
Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education $16,851 $15,959
Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree 6.8% 8.6%
Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree 21.8% 20.2%
Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher 19.1% 12.7%
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census ACS

Accreditation for Maryland Schools

Accredited institutions meet a certain standard of education set by accrediting agencies. These independent organizations may provide accreditation at the institutional or programmatic level. Institutionally accredited schools indicate that the entire school received the status, while programmatic accreditation applies to departments or programs within institutions.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the primary institutional accreditor for Maryland, obtained recognition from both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.

Top Online Programs

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Delivery Formats for Accounting Programs in Maryland

Prospective students should consider many variables when researching programs. Maryland students can attend courses in person, online, or through hybrid learning. The state offers plenty of online choices, and a higher percentage of students in Maryland are exclusively enrolled in online programs than the national average.

On-Campus Programs

On-campus programs deliver in-person lectures and exams. Individuals who prefer a structured schedule and face-to-face interactions with other learners may prefer this method. Areas in Maryland, such as Baltimore, have numerous institutions and offer a college-town experience with nightlife and diverse dining options.

Online Programs

Online learners can complete lectures and exams from a distance. Students may have the option of finding synchronous or asynchronous classes. Working students may find an asynchronous schedule advantageous for their added flexibility in scheduling and completing assignments. Distance learners must have strong self-motivation to attend class and study on their own time.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs feature a combination of on-campus and online learning. As hybrid students must occasionally attend real-life lectures, they should live near their campuses. Hybrid enrollees may have a more structured schedule than fully online students.

Paying for Your Accounting Degree

Students have multiple financing options for their accounting MD degrees. The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offers multiple state financial assistance programs. MHEC offers need-based scholarships, career-centric scholarships, and tuition waivers for certain groups.

When researching financial aid opportunities, prioritize scholarships and grants, which do not require repayment. Most students will need interest-based loans, however, though they can often delay payments until after graduation. Private loans typically carry higher interest rates than federal loans.

Check out the following links for more information on financial aid.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

When researching available programs, learners will likely encounter in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. In-state students and the accompanying rates at public schools usually have residency requirements, allowing local learners to pay a reduced rate due to tax subsidies.

Maryland, as a participant of the Academic Common Market, allows students to attend out-of-state programs in designated states without paying out-of-state tuition. Learners must pursue degrees that are not available at public institutions in their state to qualify for the discounted tuition rate.

Cost of Living in Maryland

Students must budget for tuition, board, food, and other necessities when attending accounting programs in Maryland. These costs of living vary among states.

With a baseline figure of 100 for the average across all jurisdictions, Maryland received a cost of living index score of 124 from World Population Review, indicating that necessities in Maryland are 24% more expensive than the U.S. average. Students looking to pursue degrees in Maryland should budget for these additional costs.

Careers for Accounting Graduates in Maryland

U.S. accountant roles are expected to grow by 6.9% from 2020-2030, and Maryland has an even higher projected growth rate for accountants. Maryland's economy features real estate, finance, and manufacturing among its top 10 industries.

Accounting professionals handle complex financial rules in a diverse economy. Some Maryland-based accounting careers, such as budget analysts, receive an average salary among the highest in the United States for the profession. Accountants can search for various accounting jobs in Maryland, including at the Big Four firms. These employers maintain locations in Maryland, including offices in Baltimore.

Accountants can also branch out into multiple career paths. The sections below introduce some of the most common and popular accounting career choices in Maryland.

Popular Accounting Careers in Maryland

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers track funds and financial transactions for organizations with software and spreadsheets. Bookkeepers organize financial data rather than analyze it. Some employers prefer bookkeepers with undergraduate degrees, but it is not always a prerequisite for the role.

Job Outlook in Maryland (2020-30): +1%

Accountant

Accountant is a general term for employees that create, modify, and work with financial statements. These professionals can work in specialized roles across sectors. Prospective accountants generally must possess bachelor's degrees. Employees can increase their earning potential by pursuing certified public accountant (CPA) licensure.

Job Outlook in Maryland (2020-30): +9%

Financial Manager

A financial manager usually holds a bachelor's degree and a minimum of five years of work experience. Their work experience typically covers business or finance. Employers expect financial managers to be able to create financial reports, analyze company finances, and develop future strategies.

Job Outlook in Maryland (2020-30): +22%

Maryland Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Job Availability Maryland National
2020 Employment 29,690 1,392,500
2030 Projected Employment 32,340 1,488,200
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30 +8.9% +6.9%
Source: Projections Central
Accounting Salaries by Career — Associate Degree Recommended
Career Maryland Employment Maryland Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks 19,640 $50,620 $47,440
Credit Counselors 420 $56,780 $51,650
Payroll Clerks 2,640 $56,130 $52,300
Source: BLS OEWS
Accounting Salaries by Career — Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Career Maryland Employment Maryland Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary
Compliance Officers 8,140 $83,320 $76,980
Cost Estimators 4,210 $82,320 $76,740
Property Appraisers and Assessors 920 $79,320 $80,460
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 9,130 $75,620 $100,740
Tax Examiners and Collectors 630 $60,830 $64,410
Tax Preparers 1,580 $54,110 $55,840
Source: BLS OEWS
Accounting Salaries by Career — Master's Degree Recommended
Career Maryland Employment Maryland Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary
Accountants and Auditors 25,770 $88,440 $86,740
Budget Analysts 2,190 $106,720 $87,680
Financial Analysts 4,220 $110,840 $108,790
Financial Managers 15,410 $160,590 $166,050
Personal Financial Advisors 4,980 $150,010 $137,740
Source: BLS OEWS

Maryland accounting salaries can be lower or higher than the national average, depending on the role. The state's high cost of living may contribute to higher salaries.

Individuals looking to start accounting careers in the state can pursue high-paying roles as budget analysts, personal financial advisors, and cost estimators. Interested students should consider degrees such as economics, finance, or actuarial science.

Maryland Requirements for Certified Public Accountants

CPAs across the country must pass the Uniform CPA Examination, but requirements for examination and licensure vary among states. The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy requires prospective CPAs to fulfill the following requirements to obtain CPA designation:

Personal requirements include:

  • Being 18 years old
  • State residency
  • A Social Security number

Sitting for the exam requires:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • 120 semester hours of coursework
  • 30 semester hours in accounting and ethics
    • Including 3 semester hours in auditing, cost accounting or managerial accounting, U.S. federal income tax, and ethics
    • 9 semester hours in financial accounting
    • 9 semester hours in elective accounting courses

Obtaining licensure requires:

  • Passing the Uniform CPA Exam
  • Passing the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam
  • 150 semester hours of classes
  • One year of work experience

Best Accounting Colleges in Maryland

Students interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees in accounting have many options in Maryland. Five colleges, including a small liberal arts school and a large public institution, made our list of the best accounting schools in Maryland.

Curious about how we rank colleges and universities? Click through for our methodology below.

Learn about our ranking methodology

#1 Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

Salisbury University

  • Salisbury, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Maryland's Salisbury University (SU) enrolls 8,700 students with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The university offers 64 academic programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. 

Accounting Major 

Salisbury University's bachelor of science in accounting is a rigorous program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International. Accounting students take courses in auditing, fraud detection, business law, and taxation, among other subjects. Enrollees in other majors can opt for accounting minors. 

Throughout their undergraduate coursework, accounting students gain real-world experience. The university's Applied Business Learning Experience program allows enrollees to participate in paid internships at public accounting firms, companies, or government agencies. 

Applying to SU

First-year students applying to SU can submit through Common App or the Salisbury-specific application. 

The university is test-optional, allowing students to provide ACT or SAT scores if they choose, regardless of high school GPA. New college students do not need a minimum GPA for acceptance, but transfer students should have at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $10,638/year (in state); $21,332/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus; hybrid (asynchronous and synchronous)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,264
Out-of-state
$17,330
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,769
Out-of-state
$13,599
Retention Rate
78%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
8,124
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

Frostburg State University

  • Frostburg, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Frostburg State University enrolls about 5,000 students at its home campus, satellite locations, and online. Founded in 1898, the institution offers 47 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs. 

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

Frostburg State University's (FSU) program in accounting offers several pathways for enrollees. For instance, students can earn a BS/BA in accounting, with accounting as either their major or their minor. 

Learners can also complete a five-year BS in accounting/MBA program. This combined bachelor's and master's degree program affords students the 150 credit hours necessary for the CPA licensure requirement in Maryland. Students can complete their MBAs entirely online. 

FSU accounting students enroll in the FSU College of Business, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International. 

Applying to FSU

Each candidate must submit a Common App or the FSU-specific application. They must also submit high school and college transcripts. 

FSU reviews applications holistically, so applicants do not need a specific GPA for admission. ACT or SAT scores are also optional. Students can decide if they want to submit personal essays and/or recommendations.  

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $7,110/year (in state); $16,446/year (regional); $22,294/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 4 years 
  • Delivery Format: On campus; online (MBA)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,700
Out-of-state
$20,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,866
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
4,857
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

University of Maryland

  • College Park, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Maryland (UMD) is the flagship university of the state system and is a top public research institution in the United States. The university annually enrolls more than 40,000 students and employs over 14,000 faculty members. 

Accounting Major 

Undergraduate accounting students study at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. The university reports that graduates of the Smith School of Business hold more public accounting firm managing director and CEO posts than graduates of any other college or university. 

Courses include accounting systems, audition, financial reporting, and taxation. Accounting students can also enroll in the Plus 1 program, which lets them earn master's degrees in one year after completing their bachelor's degrees. Maryland requires 150 credit hours for certified public accountant (CPA) licensure, making this an ideal option for prospective CPAs. 

Applying to UMD

You can apply to UMD using the Common App or the StandOut Admissions Network. The application fee for both platforms is $75. 

SAT or ACT scores are optional, and the university does not have a minimum GPA requirement. Instead, UMD uses a holistic admissions review process that considers 26 unique applicant features. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $9,889/year (in state); $38,690/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus, online (asynchronous)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,824
Out-of-state
$34,936
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,158
Out-of-state
$29,250
Retention Rate
95%
Acceptance Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
40,709
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

Stevenson University

  • Stevenson, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Stevenson University is a small private university with campuses in Stevenson, Owings Mill, and online. The university enrolls around 2,700 on-campus undergraduates, along with 900 online learners across bachelor's and master's programs.  

Bachelor of Science in Accounting 

The bachelor of science in accounting program at Stevenson University prepares enrollees to pursue certified public accountant (CPA) credentials after graduation. Recent students have secured internships at Biegel Waller Investment Advisory Services and the Department of Defense. Learners can also pursue accounting minors. 

Post-graduation, students have secured employment at the Maryland Department of Environment and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Others enroll in graduate school in Maryland or out of state. 

Some enrollees also pursue Stevenson's bachelor's-to-master's option, where they can earn master's degrees in forensic accounting or other topics in around a year beyond the bachelor's degree. 

Applying to Stevenson 

Stevenson accepts students on a rolling basis throughout the year. To apply, submit the Common App (accepted only in the fall) or the Stevenson-specific application (accepted in fall and spring semesters). You must also submit your high school transcript and a short essay. 

Stevenson does not have minimum GPA or test score requirements, favoring a holistic candidate review. You may also add ACT or SAT scores, recommendations, a resume, and an interview to support your required materials.  

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $36,940/year
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$35,204
Out-of-state
$35,204
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,340
Out-of-state
$8,340
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
3,492
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Best Accounting Schools in Maryland

McDaniel College

  • Westminster, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

McDaniel College is a small liberal arts school founded in 1867 as the first co-ed college in the South. The student body is split fairly evenly between undergraduate and graduate students, with around 80% of enrollees living on campus. 

Accounting Program

McDaniel College's accounting program includes a capstone project and a thesis, requiring each enrollee to also complete "two meaningful experiential learning opportunities," like internships or studying abroad. 

Learners can earn majors or minors in accounting. Some also complete double majors in accounting and a complementary program in business administration or economics. 

The college also has partnerships with two business schools. The 4+1 Joint Degree program with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School allows students to earn combined bachelor's and master's degrees from both schools. Its Preferred Admission program with Duquesne's Palumbo-Donahue School of Business applies to McDaniel students or alumni. 

Applying to McDaniel

To apply to McDaniel College, submit the Common App or the McDaniel application, along with your high school transcript, personal essay, and recommendations. Test scores are optional. McDaniel does not have a minimum high school GPA requirement, but the average GPA of the class of 2026 was 3.74. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private 
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $48,672/year 
  • Required Credits: 128 
  • Program Length: 4 years 
  • Delivery Format: On campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$45,876
Out-of-state
$45,876
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,468
Out-of-state
$9,468
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
2,931
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Questions About Accounting Degrees in Maryland

Is accounting a good career in Maryland?

Maryland has large accounting firms and opportunities for related careers in the state. Accountant employment projections indicate growth, with many state salaries higher than the national average.

How much do accountants earn in Maryland?

Accountants and auditors earn an annual average of $88,440 in Maryland. Other accounting roles, such as financial managers, have the potential to earn over $160,000 annually.

What accounting jobs are there in Maryland?

Maryland's employers offer many accounting jobs, including bookkeeper, cost estimator, and financial analyst. Some professions received projected growth rates of over 20% from 2020-2030.

Can I get an accounting degree in Maryland?

Yes — students interested in the field can pursue some of the best accounting colleges in Maryland. Prospective enrollees also can pursue state-specific and national financial aid programs.

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