The tax industry rapidly changes. With today's focus on tax reform, tax enforcement, and auditing, those with a solid taxation background become more valuable in the workplace. As an accounting professional, the value of receiving a specialized Master's Degrees in Taxation. An MS in Taxation increases their earning potential and gives students the specific knowledge they need to navigate today's complex tax laws and regulations. As a busy professional, a flexible way to complete their graduate degree. Students can consider one of these 15 Best Online Master's Degrees in Taxation. There are several different Masters of Taxation Degrees offered:
– Masters in Taxation
– Masters in Accounting with a Taxation emphasis
– Master of Laws with a Taxation emphasis
Most of the Master's Degrees in Taxation programs offer the educational component required to sit for the Certified Public Accountant or Certified Financial Planner exams. The online Masters in Taxation programs usually combine theoretical studies with tax research and application in real-world tax settings. Student coursework usually includes Individual Taxation, Tax Research and Writing, Federal Taxation, and Taxation Accounting. Most students specialize with their course electives. Those can include Corporate Taxation, State and Local Taxes, Real Estate Taxation, Mergers and Acquisitions.
Why Become a Taxation Specialist?
With a firm foundation in taxation, tax professionals are able to research tax policy and respond quickly to changes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports how technical careers in accounting, such as Financial Managers, will grow by 19 percent by 2026. One of the most popular careers, for someone with a Masters in Taxation, is a Tax Manager. According to PayScale, the average salary is $95,949. Tax Managers must be familiar with the IRS tax codes. They will need to have expertise in researching and reviewing tax laws. PayScale indicates that most tax managers must have CPA certification along with specialized taxation knowledge.
Completing a Masters in Taxation increases median pay. According to PayScale, that median pay is $87,000. Median pay can range from $100,000 for a tax manager up to $146,000 for a tax director. A partner in a tax accounting firm can expect to command even higher salaries—more than $168,000.
Most business programs in our list are accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. These schools offer innovative business programs and an extensive member network.
Most students enrolled in a Master's of Taxation Degree go on to receive a Certified Public Accountant license after completing the master's degree. Most of the MS in Taxation programs satisfy the education hours required to sit for the CPA exam. Students can find out more about CPA licensure online with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Students might also choose to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst certification through the CFA Institute. CFAs must have a qualifying degree, four years of work experience, and pass three exams.
Professionals organizations can help students navigate their education and taxation career. Some of the most popular organizations for taxation experts include:
- National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
- The Society of Financial Service Professionals
- National Association for Tax Professionals
- National Association of Enrolled Agents
There are a variety of industries hiring taxation specialists. After obtaining a Master's of Taxation Degree, students might find employment in accounting firms, at tax departments in various businesses, banks, brokerage firms, government agencies, and non-profit corporations. According to PayScale, the top employers for those with an MTax degree include PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG LLP, and Grant Thornton LLP.
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The University of Cincinnati, established in 1819, is a public research university. Today, there are more than 44,000 students. UC provides a variety of options for completing graduate school online. The Carl H. Lindner College of Business offers an online Master’s of Science in Taxation. Students can use classes in the UC Taxation program as coursework required to sit for the CPA exam. The program ranked at No. 4 for graduate online public tax programs by U.S. News & World Report. Faculty in the UC Taxation program are experts working in taxation, including CPAs, tax lawyers, and accountants.
If students want to begin UC’s online Master’s of Taxation and do not have an accounting or business background, students will need to complete Business Basic Knowledge courses. There are eight semester hours in accounting, finance, business analytics, economics, and management. Once students have the necessary background for the MS in Taxation, students can begin work on the 30-credit program. The MS in Taxation is available as a 12-month accelerated program or a 24-month program. Students complete seven-week courses in Individual Tax, Corporate Tax, and Federal Tax Research. Electives include International Taxation, IRS Practice, and Accounting for Income Taxes. Students will complete various research papers on current tax topics. A final Research Capstone project gives students a chance to show their mastery to the tax knowledge you’ve learned in the program.
Boston-based Northeastern University, established more than a century ago, offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business provides an entirely online Master’s of Taxation. The AACSB-accredited school has faculty members who are industry experts in taxation. Students study the Internal Revenue Code and tax legislation. Northeastern’s MS in Taxation ranks as one of the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
Students can complete Northeastern’s 30-credit MS in Taxation program in 16 months. Students choose from either a Taxation of Entities or a Taxation of Individuals track. Admission into the online program requires at least two years of work experience. Students must have completed at least one taxation course before admission. While students need GMAT scores for admission, students may bypass the exam for tax experience and a JD, CPA, or CFP.
Florida Atlantic University, founded in 1964, offers degrees through ten colleges. Students can attend class at one of seven Florida campuses or online. FAU offers an Executive Master of Taxation degree. The online degree is available through the School of Accounting Executive Programs. SOAEP is a department within the AACSB-accredited College of Business. This flexible program is ideal for busy accounting professionals. Most students complete the MTX degree in seven semesters over two years. There are no courses during the busy tax season. Faculty in the MTX program includes scholars and tax practitioners. They focus on real-life practices to help students develop tax careers.
Students attend the MTX program via web-based distance learning. Students can stream lectures live or watch them on their own schedule. If studentswant to connect with other students, there are optional live lectures on the Fort Lauderdale campus each Saturday. FAU welcomes all majors to the MTX program. If students don’t already have their business and accounting background, students can complete foundation courses. During their taxation degree, students study Federal Income Tax, Tax Research, and Corporate Taxation. Students can apply for either September or January admission. The Executive Master of Taxation helps students meet the education necessary to sit for the CPA exam.
The University of Akron is a public research institute in Ohio. Founded as Buchtel College in 1870, it now offers degree programs for more than 20,000 students. UA programs focus on real life, giving students a blend of academic research and real-world experiences. The George W. Daverio School of Accountancy offers a Master of Taxation online. The MTax Direct, taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, helps students begin a taxation career. The program is for accountants and attorneys. Students without an accounting degree or JD must take foundation courses before admission. Those two foundation courses take place each summer.
Students can complete the MTax Direct program in 15 months. The degree is flexible, designed for working adults. Courses take place during five 10-week terms, except for tax season. Students may attend live classes in Akron one night per week, or via web live-streaming. For those who must miss a class for work obligations, they can view the recording. Students will complete 24 credits in taxation and another six credits in electives. Required courses include Tax Research, Corporate Taxation, Tax Policy, and Tax Accounting. Electives include Tax Crimes and Forensics, Estate Planning, or Mergers and Acquisitions.
The University of Southern California is a private research institute in Los Angeles. Founded in 1880, USC offers on-campus and online degrees. The USC Marshall School of Business offers a Masters of Business Taxation for Working Professionals. The MBT.WP has classes available on campus and online, ideal for working adults. USC is a top-three graduate program for taxation. The online program enables students from around the world to study in this prestigious program. To apply for the MBT.WP program, students must have one year of full-time work in a tax-related position. USC can waive GMAT scores for students who have passed the CPA exam. Students must have prerequisite courses in economics and accounting.
USC’s MBT.WP program requires ten courses. Students can complete the program in five semesters over 20 months. The online format gives students the flexibility to take longer if necessary. Online classes meet one night each week. During that time, students can discuss concepts and topics with their instructor and other students. Students then complete work and assignments during the next week. Courses include Tax Research, Tax Theory, and Taxation of Corporations. The program starts in Fall or Summer, with courses offered Fall, Spring, and Summer.
The University of Alabama, founded in Tuscaloosa in 1831, was the state’s first public college. Ranked one of the country’s top 60 public universities, UA also offers online programs. The Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law awards an online Juris Master in Taxation. The JM is a 30-credit, two-year program. It gives non-attorney professionals a chance to earn an advanced tax degree without a JD. The program, which qualifies students to sit for the CPA exam, is ideal for working accountants and CPAs. The online cohort program begins each August. Students take an online orientation program before classes begin. UA also offers an online LL.M. in Taxation for those pursuing an advanced tax law degree. Lawyers receive the LL.M. after completion of 24 credit hours.
UA’s JM degree is a practical online solution for advanced tax law training without a law degree. Required courses in the JM program include Capital Transactions, Partnership Tax, Corporate Tax, and Tax Research. Tax electives include Tax Accounting, International Tax, Estate Planning, and Ethics. Business Law electives include Securities Regulation, Intellectual Property, Mergers and acquisitions, and Business Bankruptcy. Students must pass comprehensive exams for all first-year required courses. While the degree is available online, students must complete the exams in person at the Law School.
Villanova University, a Catholic school outside Philadelphia, is a top 50 university according to U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1842 as a liberal arts school, the university now offers many degrees. The Charles Widger School of Law provides an entirely online Masters of Taxation. Offered in cooperation with the Villanova School of Business, the MT combines taxation studies with hands-on learning. There is also an LL.M. in Taxation for those with a JD degree who want a tax law career. Both the MT and LL.M. courses use the same tax faculty that teaches in the on-campus programs.
Students can complete the 30-credit MT in two years of full-time study. Students complete six required courses, including Survey of Tax, Taxation, and Professional Responsibilities. Students select six electives. Those electives might include Tax Procedure, International Tax, or Estate Planning. The online program gives students a deep understanding of tax law. It also offers the opportunity for students to get practical tax law experience with hands-on learning.
The University of Denver, established in 1864, is a top-100 university. Colorado’s DU awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in 10 schools and colleges. DU offers an online Master of Taxation degree through Sturm College of Law. The 45-quarter-credit-hour interdisciplinary program introduces accounting students to tax law. The Graduate Tax Program, created in 1975, trains students to become tax specialists. DU also offers an online Tax LL.M. for lawyers.
Students can complete the MT online. Students can view all their courses when live-streamed or review them online later. The exceptional quality helps students feel as if they’re experiencing the classroom. DU creates all materials for the tax program. It offers a comprehensive look at today’s taxation industry. Students complete six courses in Civil & Criminal Tax Procedure, Corporate Taxation, and Tax Accounting. Students will also complete two courses in Tax Principles, Research & Writing. Remaining electives might include Employment Tax, Ethics, or International Tax. Students can select an Estate Planning or Corporate Taxation Track. DU encourages MT students to complete an externship to gain real-world experience in taxation. Students may also create a specialized field of study with an independent study course.
Nova Southeastern University, founded in 1964, has a campus in Fort Lauderdale, FL. NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship offers a Master of Taxation. The online MT helps students understand U.S. tax codes and regulations. Students can complete the 36-credit hour program in 21 months. It gives working adults a chance to continue work while completing the degree. There are start dates in August, January, and May. All students take a one-week, non-credit Internet Technology course before beginning the program. This introduces students to online research skills. There are no prerequisites for the Master of Taxation degree.
As a student in NSU’s Master of Taxation, their courses help prepare students for a career as a tax advisor or accountant. Taxation courses include IRS Practice and Procedure, Tax Planning, and Corporate Taxation. Student electives might include Tax Policy, Real Estate Taxation, or State and Local Taxation. NSU also offers a Master of Accounting with a concentration in Taxation. The MAcc program trains accountants for tax careers. It includes core courses in accounting, taxation courses, and electives. The MAcc with Taxation program takes at least 12 months and begins in August and May each year. If students don’t already hold an accounting degree, students can complete foundation courses in accounting.
St. John’s University, located in Queens, NY, is a private Catholic university. Established in 1870, the university now has more than 20,000 students. St. John’s offers online courses taught by the same faculty as on campus. Online students have full access to advisors, career services, and library databases. The AACSB-accredited Peter J. Tobin College of Business offers an online Master of Science in Taxation. Students can complete the MST program in 12 to 24 months. The MST builds on existing knowledge of accounting and taxation. The 31-credit program focuses on technical issues of taxation, tax research, IRS codes, and tax regulations. Many faculty members in the MST program are CPAs with JD or LL.M. degrees in taxation. It ranked #45 Best Online Graduate Business Program by U.S. News & World Report.
Students must hold an undergraduate degree to begin the online MST at St. John’s. If students have passed the CPA or CFA exam, St. John’s can waive the GMAT entrance exam requirement. The MST requires core courses in Tax Research and Corporate Taxation. Students will complete a three-credit research project during their last 12 credits. The project results in a taxation article of publishable quality. Students also complete 21 credit hours in taxation electives. Those courses might include International Taxation, Real Estate, or Tax Accounting. Students can take a three-credit internship during the program. During the internship, students will work outside the classroom. Students will also complete a research paper and keep a journal of accomplishments.
Bentley University, founded in Boston in 1917, is a renowned business school. The university, nine miles outside Boston, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The AACSB-accredited Bentley University Graduate School of Business offers an online Masters in Taxation. The MST ranks one of the Best Online Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report. It ranks one of the Best Masters in Taxation Degrees by College Choice. The program blends practical skills with a global perspective. The university embraces social responsibility and helps students adapt ethical taxation practices. The program meets the 150-hour education requirement for CPA licensure.
Bentley’s MST program is the largest in New England. The flexible schedules are a practical solution for working adults. Most students are working professionals, with more than five years’ accounting experience. Classes are a hybrid of an on-campus and online format. Both class formats take place at the same time. This lets students interact with other MST students. The 30-credit program requires ten courses. Five core courses include Professional Tax Practice, Federal Taxation, and Multi-Jurisdictional Taxation. Five electives might include Mergers and Acquisitions, Intellectual Properties, and Practices in Taxation. As a Bentley MST student, students may also elect to take part in the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. This practicum gives students an opportunity to deliver taxpayer workshops and help with tax issues. Students will also need to complete a tax research paper with the practicum.
Golden Gate University, founded in 1901, is a private, non-profit university. There are now locations in San Francisco, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. Students can also take online courses. GGU offers a Master of Science in Taxation, taught by practicing professionals. The program focuses on practical knowledge for working tax professionals, with an average student age of 34. Students examine current tax trends, regulations, and practices. The cornerstone of GGU’s curriculum is the IRS Code, tax regulations, tax treaties, and court cases. TaxTalent.com ranks the MST as one of the country’s top-ranked graduate tax programs.
The online MS Tax program is self-paced, so students can choose to study, either, full-time or part-time. Students may complete their 30-credit-hour MST degree in two to four years. The university offers webinars to answer their questions about the MST degree program. As an MST student, students complete seven core courses. Those core courses include Tax Research, Federal Income Taxation, and Federal Tax Procedure. Students will need three electives. Those might include Mergers and Acquisitions, Derivative Markets, or Venture Capital. GGU recommends that students take Choice of Entity. Students may also take up to six units of course credit through an internship. Many MST graduates go on to work for the Big Four firms, as well as tax companies and government agencies.
Affordability: Not Reported to NCES
Chicago-based DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the country. DePaul offers more than 175 graduate programs. Since instruction began in 1898, DePaul prides itself on small classes and innovative education. The university makes degree programs accessible through online learning. Students find unique online curriculum, advanced technology, and one-on-one interaction with professors. The Driehaus College of Business is AACSB-accredited. It offers a 100 percent online Master of Science in Taxation. The MSTAX, designed for working professionals, explores complex tax statues and IRS code. Students can select to take one or two classes each quarter, which enables them to complete the degree in two to three years. They can also choose a full-time online option, which lets them complete the MSTAX in one year. Students have the option of taking a quarter off if necessary during the winter tax season.
Students need an undergraduate degree for admission to the MSTAX program. Students will not need GMAT or GRE scores for this program. Students may enroll in any quarter. Students must complete 45 quarter credits to graduate. Before beginning the program, students must have Principles of Accounting and one introductory tax course. There are eight required core courses. Those include Tax Research, Taxation of Corporations, Federal Income Tax Procedures, and a course in international taxation. Students will also finish four electives. Those might include Federal Tax Valuation, Accounting for Income Taxes, or Advanced Concepts in International Taxation. Students have six years to complete the degree.
Based in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California State University, Northridge has nine colleges. Established in 1958, it offers 60 undergraduate, 41 master’s, and 28 professional credentials. The Tseng College offers graduate degrees and certificate programs for mid-career adults. The AACSB-accredited David Nazarian College of Business and Economics ranked as one of the Best Business Schools by Princeton Review. The business college offers a Master of Science in Taxation. It ranked #17 of Top 25 Master of Science in Taxation Degree Programs by Best Accounting Schools. Students in the taxation program choose in-person or virtual learning. Local students have the option of selecting between on-campus and online each week.
Students must complete courses in Federal Income Taxation and Financial Accounting before beginning the MST. Once enrolled, students finish their MST with a cohort of fellow learners. This gives studentsan opportunity to work with a team. Students execute assignments on their own time but have a network of other taxation students. Every students’ first course is Tax Ethics, Research, and Communication. Students take five courses that present core taxation knowledge. Core courses include Income Tax Concepts, Accounting Methods, and Federal Tax Procedure. Students need another three courses in their specialization. Those courses might include Real Estate Taxation or Corporate Taxation. All students complete a two-credit Tax Planning Seminar. Students have the option of working with the Tax Challenge Project, Bookstein Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, CSUN VITA Clinic, Tax Development Journal, or Bookstein Community Outreach Tax Clinic.