Cornell Accounting Association

Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853

© 2019 by CAA. Proudly created with

  • Facebook Social Icon

Accounting at Cornell FAQs

Is accounting offered at Cornell?

Yes it is!  Although there is no accounting "major" at Cornell, you can concentrate in accounting as an Applied Economics and Management (AEM) major in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.  You can also take most of the accounting courses at Cornell as any major, provided you've fulfilled the prerequisites.

What kinds of accounting-related events are held at Cornell?

The CAA holds general body meetings as well as accounting-related events throughout the school year.  Here's some examples of events we've held in the past:

  • "So you want to be a CPA?" workshop presented by Jack Little, CPA

  • Personal tax filing workshop presented by Angus McKenzie, MPS-Accounting '19

  • Information and networking sessions with EY and PwC

  • IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) case competitions

What accounting courses are offered at Cornell?

Is it possible to fulfill my CPA course requirements as an undergrad at Cornell?

Definitely!  However, most students who fulfill their CPA requirements as an undergrad either have AP credits or take courses over the summer to help them reach 150 credits by the end of 4 years.  It is also possible to become a teaching assistant for an accounting course in Dyson, which can give you up to 6 credit hours that count toward your accounting course requirements.

Is there a specific major I need to be in order to fulfill my CPA requirements?

Nope!  You can fulfill your CPA requirements as any major at Cornell.  However, most of our CPA candidates are Dyson majors just because the course requirements for the AEM major overlaps a lot with CPA course requirements.  We have had successful CPA candidates in other Cornell colleges as well.

There may be students who require a fifth year of education to meet the CPA requirements.  This fifth year is in grad school; the Johnson School offers a MPS (Master's of Professional Studies) in Accounting, which is similar to a MAcc (Master's of Accounting) offered at other schools.

What are the requirements I need in order to be certified as a CPA in New York State?

There are three basic requirements:

  • Be of good moral character

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Meet education, experience, and examination requirements

1) Education

A bachelor's or higher degree and 150 semester hours in the following content areas, which include but are not limited to:

  • 33 semester hours in accounting, with courses in financial accounting theory and principles (including advanced financial accounting), managerial accounting, US federal tax accounting, auditing and computer auditing;

  • 36 semester hours in general business electives including business statistics, commercial law, computer science, economics, and finance;

  • The curriculum must also include the study of business/accounting communications, ethics/professional responsibility, and accounting research.

2) Experience

Under the revised "150 Credit Hour" rules implemented in 2009, candidates need 1 year of experience in the profession to met the experience requirement for licensing in NYS.  This work in accounting must be completed under the direct supervision of another CPA.  This work must focus on the "skills and competencies of the profession" to qualify.  The supervising CPA must complete an attestation of your experience for your licensing application.

3) Examination

You must pass (score 75 or higher on) the Uniform CPA Examination.

This examination is a computerized test consisting of four parts taken separately:

  • ​Auditing & Attestation

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting

  • Regulation

  • Business Environment and Concepts

You must pass all parts of the exam within 18 months.  Although you need 150 credits to be licensed, in NYS, you only need 120 credits to sit for the exam (this rule varies by state). 

Many of these rules are the same across states, but some differ slightly (credit hours needed in certain areas, how many credits you need to sit for the exam, etc.), so if you aren't looking to get certified in NYS, check with your state first.

Do I have to take all of my accounting courses at Cornell?

Nope!  You can take them at any accredited institution.  Summer classes, transfer credits from another school, classes taken during the school year at another school, online courses - they all can count.

What accounting firms recruit at Cornell?

Of the Big 4 Accounting Firms, EY and PwC recruit for their assurance (audit) and tax divisions through on-campus recruiting.  EY, PwC, and Deloitte recruit for advisory (consulting) positions.  Traditional internship recruiting occurs during junior fall for an internship between junior and senior year, but there are also specialized programs for freshmen and sophomores to introduce them to the firm and the field of accounting.

Of the mid-size firms, Citrin Cooperman, BDO, and Grant Thornton have taken Cornell students.

Local accounting firms in the Ithaca/Syracuse area include Ciaschi, Dietershagen, Little & Mickleson (CDLM); Scriarabba, Walker, and Co; and Testone, Marshall, and Discenza (TMD).  CDLM is local to Ithaca and have hired several summer interns.  SW & Co. usually offers part-time work to Cornell students during tax season.  TMD is Syracuse-based and has hired several Cornell students.

Have any more questions about accounting at Cornell?

Feel free to reach out to any of the CAA e-board members!