Graduates with an online Master’s of Accounting can pursue profitable career opportunities in a diverse range of sectors, including government agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, and big corporations.
Accountants can also start their own accounting firm and serve different clients from a variety of companies. Most companies and employers often hire CPAs for management and leadership positions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an accountants’ latest median salary was $71,550 per year. Depending on their industry, accountants can earn as low as $44,480 or as high as $124,450. The highest paying industry for these professionals is the finance and insurance sectors, followed by management enterprises and companies.
Because an undergraduate program only fulfills 120 credits, many students enroll in an online Master’s of Accounting program to achieve the required number of credits to qualify to sit in licensure exams, such as the Certificate Public Accountant examination. The majority of states require accountants to accomplish a minimum of 150 post-secondary credits and pass the CPA examination.
In this guide, we highlight all the essential information you need to know regarding the trends in accounting and its latest developments. To help you get started, we also list the ten best online masters of accounting graduate schools for pursuing your post-baccalaureate studies in accounting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best online Master’s for Accountants program?
There are three types of Master’s in Accounting programs:
- Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)
- Master of Business Administration-Accounting concentration (MBA)
- Master of Accounting (MAcc)
The MBA-Accounting program is the best option for jumpstarting a top-level corporate career, while the MSA and MAcc programs help you become better prepared for the Certified Public Accountant examination.
What’s the cost of enrolling in an online Master’s in Accounting program?
The cost involved in pursuing an online Master’s in Accounting depends on many factors. Are you an out-of-state or in-state student? Do you attend a public or a private school? Is the school well-reputed? Is the Master’s in Accounting online program well-regarded in the industry?
All things considered, a one-year online Master’s in Accounting tuition is approximately $30,000. You have different ways to defray the cost of obtaining your graduate degree, such as getting financial aid offered by your preferred graduate school. You can also look for scholarship opportunities for Accounting programs.
Is it worth investing in an online Master’s in Accounting?
Pursuing an online Master’s in Accounting is worth your time, effort, and financial resources! However, it ultimately depends on your short and long-term professional aspirations. If you’ve already completed an undergraduate degree in Accounting, you can most likely work as an accountant in a firm and, simultaneously, pursue a career in the finance industry, or start your own accounting firm.
With an online Master’s in Accounting, you can fulfill the additional credits required for qualifying for the CPA examination. Employers or companies hiring accounting professionals often employ applicants with CPA credentials. As a result, you gain access to better and lucrative careers.
What will I study in an online Master’s in Accounting program?
Go beyond the fundamentals of the discipline with a Master’s in Accounting degree! The coursework encompasses the more complex subjects of financial instruments, federal taxation, and advanced financial accounting. As you become qualified to sit in the CPA exam and ace it, you can explore top-level careers in Management Accounting, Government Accounting, and Forensic Accounting.
Is a Bachelor’s in Accounting required for enrolling into a master’s program?
An undergraduate degree in Accounting gives you that advantage as you pursue its graduate equivalent BUT it isn’t strictly required. Most online Accounting master’s program accepts students with any four-year bachelor’s degree, such as the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT). Ultimately, however, you need to ask your preferred graduate school regarding their prerequisite courses and requirements before finalizing your application.
More and more schools have already included an online Master’s of Accounting degree as part of their program listings. It is challenging to find the Accounting graduate school that best suits your needs, so we did the work for you!
The graduate schools on this list were indexed based on their capacity to provide online Master’s in Accounting students with experiential learning opportunities in the field for professional enrichment or career advancement:
- Offered 100% online or hybrid, depending on the Master of Accounting program and concentrations,
- Top-quality, rigorous coursework encompassing foundational coursework and specialized subjects completed partially or fully online,
- Outstanding retention, graduation, and job placement rates that indicate academic excellence,
- Superb online faculty members holding terminal degrees in their fields who may or may not be Master’s in Accounting program instructors on-campus,
- Available academic and career resources,
- Financial aid programs for qualified graduate students,
- Fast-track Master’s of Accounting completion options, if any,
- Full accreditation,
- Notability among academic organizations, ranking databases, statistical reports, and journalistic resources,
- Stellar student reviews.
10 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF ACCOUNTING GRADUATE SCHOOLS IN 2021
: 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60604
Founded by the Congregation of the Mission religious society in 1898, DePaul University is the country’s biggest Catholic university. It consists of ten schools and colleges, including the Driehaus College of Business & Kellstadt Graduate School of Business that offers DePaul’s Online Master of Science in Accountancy.
- DePaul University has garnered accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International, and the Higher Learning Commission.
- Forty-eight program credits must be completed.
- Graduates must accomplish 12 accounting classes and three business courses.
- Depending on the students’ background, the business core courses can be waived.
- DePaul University accepts both accountancy and non-accountancy undergraduate students for enrollment into the graduate program.
- The program helps students receive the expertise and hands-on skills they require to qualify for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure exam.
Standout Features of DePaul University’s Online Master of Science in Accountancy:
DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business is one of the first business schools around the U.S., delivering a continued legacy of business excellence until now. Considered the oldest business school in the country, DePaul University is a frontrunner in delivering top-quality accountancy-related programs.
The university remains a consistent listing of the U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best schools.
George Mason University
: 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 MSN 6A7
George Mason University is a Virginia-based public research university home to more than 40,000 students across eight areas of the discipline. Mason Online is the university’s online learning equivalent, allowing distance learners to complete their programs regardless if they’re in the U.S. or outside the country.
- Students can complete the online MSA program within 11 months of full-time study or two years for part-time learning.
- The program’s curriculum has a module format where distance learners can enroll in one or two classes every eight weeks.
- The online MSA program requires 30 credits for completion of the program.
- Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
- Mason Online’s MSA program requires official GRE/GMAT scores as part of the application requirements.
Standout Features of George Mason University’s Online Master of Science in Accounting:
George Mason University was named one of America’s top research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The online MSA program of George Mason University offers a 7-day global residency or international study tour organized by an MSA instructor. Pursue an online Master of Accounting degree while immersing yourself in a different culture!
Approximately 64% of Mason’s accounting graduates immediately secure jobs after graduation.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
: One West University Blvd., Brownsville, Texas 78520
Recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was founded in 2013 by the Texas Legislature. UTRGV became the 1st major public university of the 21st century in Texas. The university has several off-campus research and teaching facilities and campuses across the Rio Grande Valley.
- The online MACC program fulfills the 150-credit requirement of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Application requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, updated CV, letter of intent, two letters of recommendation, and GMAT score.
- Students can choose one out of two concentrations – Taxation or Auditing.
- A 3-credit hour Accounting Research and Communication capstone must be completed before graduation.
- To graduate, students must have 30 credit hours of coursework completion and a capstone project.
Standout Features of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Online Master of Accountancy:
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is part of the prestigious U.T. System aiming to redefine students’ experiences and perceptions of misconduct and sexual assault. With UT’s Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments study, UTRGV is one of the schools that is proactive in cultivating safe learning environments for its student communities.
The UT System is well-known for its world-class healthcare facilities, such as the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Colorado State University
: 585 Salida Way, Aurora, CO 80011
: (800) 462-7845
Colorado State University currently holds an accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission and is a frontrunner in distance learning around Colorado. The university launched CSU Global in 2007 to cater to non-traditional learners and has a current population of almost 20,000 distance learners. It is the U.S.’s 1st statutorily-defined, not-for-profit online state university.
- CSU Global’s online MSA program is a 30-credit hour program consisting of 24 credits of core required courses and six credits of concentration courses.
- The five areas of emphasis include Auditing and Assurance, Data Analytics, Fraud Investigations & Forensic Accounting, Professional Accounting, and Taxation.
- The Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs accredits CSU Global’s M.S. in Accounting program.
- To enroll, students are required to have a bachelor’s degree with a concentration or major in accounting.
- CSU’s program helps prepare students for the Certified Public Accountant examination while also improving their communication, planning, collaboration, and leadership skills.
Standout Features of Colorado State University’s Online Master’s Degree in Professional Accounting:
According to the university’s alumni salary data, CSU Global consistently produces graduates earning above-average salaries compared to other graduates’ average income from other institutions. Aside from that, 95% of employers reported that they’re satisfied and impressed with CSU Global’s alumni employees in their companies.
As part of students’ preparation for the CPA exam, CSU provides special discounts to access the Wiley CPAexcel’s Video Gold Medal Course to help them save money. CSU remains committed to preparing students for success in their professional endeavors.
: 320 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle, Delaware 19720
: (877) 967-5464
Headquartered in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University is one of the most affordable private, not-for-profit institutions in the state. It is an open-access accredited school serving adult learners’ diverse needs as they pursue career advancement through higher studies. Wilmington University holds numerous accreditations from different agencies, including the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ABA, CACREP, and CCNE.
- This Online Accounting Master’s program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
- Graduates must accomplish 30 credit hours to receive their M.S. in Accounting degree.
- A total of 10 courses—comprising eight core required courses and two elective courses—should be completed.
- Aspiring accountants can choose one out of two electives – Ethical Issues in Management or Organizational Behavior and Ethical Leadership.
- Admission requirements include a non-refundable $35 application fee, official transcripts, and program planning conference. To start, the online MSA program requires the registration of MAC 7100 or Financial Accounting Theory, Policy, and Research as the first course.
Standout Features of Wilmington University’s Online Master of Science in Accounting:
Wilmington University has numerous ties with reputable local accounting firms around the country. That said, graduate students can create a professional network that is beneficial for their career advancement and internships. Designed for adult learners, the university advocates work-life balance for staff and learners.
Featuring numerous learning formats in flexible schedules, WilmU allows students to enroll in a 15-week semester, 7-week block, modular, online, hybrid, fusion, or FLEX depending on students’ needs.
Nova Southeastern University
: 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796
: 800 541 6682
Nova Southeastern University is one of the top 5 universities in the U.S. with the largest population of minority graduate degree recipients. Florida’s biggest private research institution has eight campuses around the state and one in Puerto Rico. Currently, 20,435 students are enrolled at NSU, with 6,500 degrees granted every year.
- NSU’s Master of Accounting program is offered in three concentrations: Taxation, Public Accounting, and Managerial Accounting.
- Start dates for the M.Acc. programs are August, January, and May every year.
- Depending on the students’ undergraduate coursework, the curriculum requires 30 to 51 credits.
- Students can earn their accounting graduate degree within 18 months.
- The Internet Technology or ACTP 5711 course is mandatory for all students regardless of the concentration. It should be completed during the first semester; otherwise, the student will be dropped from all courses in the curriculum.
Standout Features of Nova Southeastern University’s Online Master of Accounting:
NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship is one of the very few schools around the U.S. with “entrepreneurship” in its name. With 145 corporate partnerships, students at NSU can easily build professional networks. Employers are also actively seeking graduates from the Huizenga College of Business.
Employees of companies under NSU’s partnerships can enjoy a 20% discount on tuition rates for graduate programs and deferred payment plans.
: 1000 Galvin Road South, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
: 402 293 2000 | 1 800 756 7920
Bellevue University has more than 80 degrees in different areas of specialty and numerous certificate programs for career progression. It is home to four major colleges, such as the College of Continuing and Professional Education, the College of Science and Technology, the College of Business, and the College of Arts and Sciences.
- No GMAT/GRE is required for application.
- Students must complete 36 credit hours for completion; however, they will take additional nine credit hours to pursue either a Tax Concentration or Finance Concentration.
- All courses fulfill the 150-credit hour requirement for the Certified Public Accountant examination.
- Bellevue University’s online Master of Accounting program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
- A Student Coach is available for distance learners, providing them the support they need until they graduate.
Standout Features of Bellevue University’s Online Master of Science in Accounting:
Bellevue University is a renowned national leader in providing more affordable and accessible education, preparing students for their future success. With Bellevue’s Real Mastery® approach, distance learners study and master the capabilities and knowledge that companies or employers expect. The university has three specialized divisions for learning innovation, including the Human Capital Lab, the Center for Project Management, and the Center for Cybersecurity Education.
Bellevue University maintains a partnership with the Guangzhou College of Commerce in China, providing students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in different academic and cultural experiences.
Southern New Hampshire University
: 2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106
: 800 668 1249
Considered one of the fastest-growing institutions in the U.S., Southern New Hampshire University has more than 135,000 distance learners and 3000+ campus students. Founded in 1932, SNHU has transformed from an accounting and secretarial science school to a higher learning institution offering 200+ degree programs.
- The online MSA program at SNHU aligns with the Content and Skill Specification Outlines standards administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- Students can transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits upon enrollment.
- SNHU’s MSA program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
- Aspiring graduates have the option to choose one of four concentration options, namely Taxation, Management Accounting, Forensic Accounting, and Auditing.
- To complete their MSA degree, students must have 36 credit hours of coursework completion.
Standout Features of Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Master of Science in Accounting:
Southern New Hampshire University has been recognized as part of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities and the 2020 Most Innovative University in the North. With SNHU’s recognition for digital learning, students have the assurance that their online program is aligned with the highest standards of quality.
SNHU is a recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association for the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
: McColl Building, Campus Box 3490, 300 Kenan Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first public university to award degrees in the 18th century, has nearly 20,000 undergraduate students and 10,000+ graduate students. The U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance are some of the organizations that consistently award the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Students with accounting and non-accounting undergraduate majors and professional backgrounds can enroll in UNC’s Master of Accounting program.
- The curriculum comprises three major components, such as Core Courses, Concentrations, and Electives.
- Although GRE/GMAT is mandatory, qualified applicants can apply for exemptions or waivers.
- UNC’s online MSA program starts in January, March, June, and September annually.
- A total of 36 to 48 credit hours is required for graduation; however, students with previous accounting courses or MBA can be eligible for course waivers.
Standout Features of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Online Master of Accounting:
UNC’s Kenan-Flagler provides online students pursuing accounting graduate degrees with the opportunity to travel the world through its Global Immersions. With Kenan-Flagler’s Global Immersions, Master of Accounting and MBA students at UNC participate in the “Doing Business In” courses at overseas partner schools.
Through its Immersions program, graduate students interact with and learn from prominent business executives from some of the world’s most influential organizations in London, Istanbul, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, and Shanghai.
The University of Scranton
: 820 Mulberry Street, Scranton, PA 18510
: 1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7400
Headquartered in Northeast Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton is a Jesuit and Catholic institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. To supplement its recognition from several private organizations, the University of Scranton has numerous accreditations from 16 accrediting organizations in the areas of counseling, chemistry, computer science, physical and occupational therapy, and business and management.
- No prior professional experience is required.
- For non-accounting undergraduate degree holders, the university recommends the Master of Accountancy Bridge program.
- Students have the option to integrate a Forensic Accounting or Accounting Analytics concentration into the program. However, they can also customize their General program by choosing five electives.
- The AACSB-accredited online MSA program only requires 30 credit hours of coursework completion.
- On average, students can graduate from the Master of Accountancy program within 1.5 years of full-time learning.
Standout Features of The University of Scranton’s Online Master of Accountancy:
The University of Scranton is one of America’s very few schools that offer special discounts for aspiring accountants purchasing the Wiley CPAexcel exam preparation tool. Aside from that, the Accounting Department Professional Alumni Council of the university’s Kania School of Business consistently updates its M.Acc. program. That said, students have the assurance that they are pursuing a reputable accounting degree at Scranton.
The University of Scranton’s innovative and high-quality programs make it a consistent top ranker in the business school listings of the Online MBA Report, the U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, and the Entrepreneur Magazine.
Additional Information: 100 FREE ONLINE RESOURCES FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS