Top Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

Compiled and Written By Accounting-Degree.org Staff


With a master's in accounting, students can prepare for licensure as a certified public accountant (CPA), a career that remains in demand as globalized business increases and tax law grows increasingly complicated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants earned an annual median wage of $71,550 nationwide as of 2019.

In a rapidly evolving field greatly affected by changes in law and technology, it is essential for students to choose a strong accounting program with an up-to-date curriculum. A current ranking of accounting programs can help prospective students' research. Updated every year, this list includes the most up-to-date information on top accounting programs for 2020.

Here is Our List of the Top 10 Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs:

Rank School Location
1 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
3 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
4 Regis University Denver, CO
5 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
6 University of Connecticut Hays, KS
7 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
8 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
9 Maryville University St. Louis, MO
10 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ

What Is a Master's Degree in Accounting?

A master's degree in accounting prepares graduates for top accounting positions. For example, to earn certified public accountant (CPA) credentials, candidates need at least 150 college credits, which they can obtain with a 120-credit bachelor's degree and a 30-credit master's degree.

Colleges and universities offer various types of accounting master's programs, such as a master of business administration in accounting, a master of science in accounting, and a master's in forensic accounting. Students should look for programs aligned with their interests and career goals.

The Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs for 2020

When considering potential schools, prospective students should weigh factors such as location, cost, prestige, and student learning outcomes. To help learners find the right master's in accounting program for their needs, we ranked the best online master's in accounting programs in the nation.

Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA

Online Master of Science in Finance

Founded in 1851, SJU is a private Jesuit Catholic institution located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. SJU offers an online MS in finance through the Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The program features tracks in financial analysis, financial planning, or real estate planning. Students can complete the program in 30-42 credits, including 11 foundational credits, nine core credits, and 21 elective credits.

Full-time enrollees typically complete the program in 12-18 months, while part-time students take about two years. Core program courses include managerial economics, shareholder value management, estate planning, risk management, and mergers and acquisitions. Online courses run in eight-week sessions, with most requiring weekly real-time attendance. This program prepares students for CFP credentials, offering approved preparatory coursework. Once completed, students may sit for the CFP exam.

Each applicant must submit a personal essay along with GMAT or GRE scores. Those with professional experience, demonstrated academic excellence, terminal degrees, or professional credentials may qualify for standardized test waivers. SJU charges the same per-credit tuition to all MBA students, regardless of state residency status.

In a 2019 survey, 87% of SJU business graduates reported improved salaries and professional recognition after graduation.

SJU holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The MS in finance holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $35,344
Program Website

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC

Online Master of Accounting

UNC-Chapel Hill opened its doors in 1795 as the country's first public university. Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the school offers an online master of accounting degree through its Kenan-Flagler Business School. Students can arrange their electives to concentrate in areas like taxation, auditing, or financial analysis and reporting. The program requires 36-48 credits for graduation, depending on the candidate's prior academic experience.

Core course requirements include financial reporting, introductory finance, managerial and cost accounting, auditing and assurance services, and federal income tax. The curriculum focuses on knowledge essential to the uniform CPA exam.

Students can complete the program in as little as 12 months. Online courses meet for weekly two-hour synchronous sessions, which always take place in the evening. UNC-Chapel Hill requires one three-day leadership immersion event on campus before the start of the program.

Each applicant must submit a statement of purpose and resume, along with GMAT or GRE scores. Those holding UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate degrees with a minimum 3.4 GPA, an undergraduate degree elsewhere with a minimum 3.0 GPA, five or more years of work experience, or CPA credentials may qualify for a standardized test waiver. UNC-Chapel Hill also requires an interview before admission. Out-of-state students pay a higher rate of tuition than North Carolina residents.

UNC-Chapel Hill holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Kenan-Flagler Business School holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $11,649
Program Website

University of Scranton Scranton, PA

Online Master of Accountancy

This Catholic Jesuit institution in Pennsylvania achieved university status in 1938. Through the Kania School of Management, Scranton offers a 30-credit online master of accountancy, which students can complete in 10 months of full-time study or 20 months of part-time study. Concentration options include forensic accounting and accounting analytics. The program requires no on-campus attendance.

Program course options include contemporary managerial accounting topics, effective accounting communication, managerial economics, data mining, and business simulation. All students complete a three-credit capstone in applied accounting research. Courses break down into four core courses, five electives, and a capstone. Scranton offers bridge courses for degree-seekers who enter without an undergraduate degree in accounting. An enrollee seeking CPA credentials can take a review course as a part of their program curriculum.

Terms at Scranton run in eight-week sessions. Courses run asynchronously, and some courses require group projects.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Scranton does not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission to the online master of accountancy. Scranton charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students.

Scranton holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Kania School of Management holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

Average Net Price: $36,725
Program Website

Regis University Denver, CO

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis opened its doors in 1877 as a Jesuit Catholic institution. The Anderson College of Business offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting. Students can select a specialization in financial accounting, fraud/forensic accounting, IT accounting, or managerial accounting. Those without a background in accounting may take additional coursework through the undergraduate school. The program runs both online and in person through all evening classes.

Courses at Regis include interpreting accounting information, financial communication, accounting ethics, international accounting, forensic and fraud audit, and case studies in management accounting. The program requires nine core credits and 21 elective credits. Online courses at Regis run asynchronously in five- or eight-week sessions. Students can complete the program in about 20 months. Courses help prepare enrollees to sit for the CPA examination.

Regis considers all applications from a holistic viewpoint, taking into account undergraduate record, resume, and admission essay. The program requires prerequisite courses in business foundations, though some candidates may receive conditional admission. In some cases, applicants may need to supply GRE or GMAT scores. Regis charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students.

According to the university's annual alumni survey, 89% of graduates obtain employment as of six months after completing their programs.

Regis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Average Net Price: $26,273
Program Website

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL

Online Master of Science in Accountancy

U of I opened its doors in 1867 as a public research institution. The Gies College of Business offers a 32-credit fully online master's program in accounting. Students can complete the program in 18-36 months. Enrollees can pursue specializations in financial reporting, U.S. federal tax, and data analytics. U of I also offers a performance-based admission track as a pathway to the accounting degree for degree-seekers who do not meet the minimum requirements to qualify for the master of science.

The university's core curriculum includes courses in accounting for analysis, managerial accounting, auditing, and federal taxation. Elective offerings include advanced financial reporting, taxation of business entities, professional responsibility and ethics for accountants, and data preparation for accounting. Courses run through a combination of live classrooms and asynchronously assigned coursework. Designed to help ready students to sit for the CPA examination, the program also offers non-degree courses for those seeking extra preparation.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree, with a recommended minimum GPA of 3.0. U of I requires GMAT or GRE scores. Candidates with three or more years of work experience, or graduate-level academic history, may qualify for standardized test waivers. U of I charges the same tuition to all online MBA students, though some per-credit rates vary depending on which electives the student chooses.

U of I holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Average Net Price: $15,829
Program Website

University of Connecticut Storrs, CT

Online Master of Science in Accounting

A nationally recognized public research institution founded in 1881, UConn's school of business now offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting. Full-time students can complete the program by spreading the ten required courses across 2-3 semesters, while part-time students can take advantage of more flexible options.

This program requires all students to take courses such as understanding the responsibilities of an accounting professional, after which they may choose between contemporary issues in financial reporting and analysis, contemporary managerial accounting issues, and taxation of business ethics. The rest of the curriculum consists of customizable electives such as advanced accounting information systems, advanced assurance services, and taxes and business strategy.

Most courses run asynchronously. The program provides 30 credits toward CPA licensure, with a focus on preparing for the examination.

Each applicant must submit transcripts, a resume, and four short-answer essays, plus GMAT scores. Those without an undergraduate degree in accounting must complete prerequisite courses in introductory financial accounting, introductory managerial accounting, two intermediate financial accounting courses, cost accounting, U.S. federal income tax, and auditing. UConn charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students.

UConn holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. The online master of science in accounting holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $19,650
Program Website

Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY

Online Master of Business Administration in Finance

Founded in 1955, Molloy is a Catholic institution in Rockville Centre, New York. Molloy offers a 33-credit online MBA in finance, with concentrations in accounting theory, corporate financial management, advanced topics in finance, investment management, and project management and leadership. Students can complete the program in as little as one year or as long as five years.

Core courses include marketing management, perspectives on strategy, organizational behavior, financial statement analysis, business ethics and professional responsibility, and quantitative analysis supporting managerial decisions. Elective options include computing auditing, healthcare finance, investment management, and financial markets and institutions. All students participate in a capstone course focused on problem-solving through the creation of a business idea, process, or product.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Those who do not meet the GPA requirements must submit GMAT scores. The application requires an essay, resume, and interview with the graduate associate dean. Those who apply without an undergraduate degree in business must complete additional prerequisite business courses.

Molloy charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students, regardless of state residency. Students may transfer up to six credits into the program. Molloy holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Average Net Price: $29,189
Program Website

Syracuse University Syracuse, NY

Online Master of Science in Professional Accounting

This private research institution, founded in 1870, offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting through the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Students with an academic foundation in accounting can complete the program in 12 months on the accelerated track, or 15 months on the more flexible professional track. Those with unrelated undergraduate majors can complete the 33-48 required credits in about two years.

Core courses include financial statement analysis, advanced topics in auditing, international accounting and reporting, and taxes and business strategy. Online courses meet weekly in real time, and terms run for 11-12 weeks. The program prepares participants for the CPA exam. Students can concurrently pursue a second master's degree in business analytics, business administration, or entrepreneurship.

Each applicant must submit transcripts, a resume, and a personal essay, plus GRE or GMAT scores. Standardized test waivers may apply to those who hold an undergraduate accounting degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA, an undergraduate business degree with a 3.2 minimum GPA, any undergraduate degree with a 3.4 minimum GPA and one year of work experience, a master's degree in any field, or five or more years of professional work experience. Syracuse may also require an admission interview.

Syracuse charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students, regardless of state residency. Syracuse holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Martin J. Whitman School of Management holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $39,005
Program Website

Maryville University Saint Louis, MO

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Founded in 1872 in St. Louis, Missouri, as a school for young women, Maryville now offers a CPA-focused online master's program in accounting through its John E. Simon School of Business. A student with a bachelor's degree in accounting can complete the 30-credit program in as few as 10 months. Those with no background in accounting must complete a 60-credit version of the degree.

Maryville's accounting program runs fully online with no on-campus requirements. Core accounting courses include tax planning and decision-making, accounting for governmental and nonprofit entities, financial statement analysis, and data analytics. The bridge program for students who majored in other subjects includes foundational courses in financial accounting, managerial law, auditing, principles of finance, and survey of business.

Both programs also feature Becker CPA-informed courses to prepare students for the CPA exam. These classes include advanced auditing, advanced financial accounting and reporting, advanced business environment and concepts, and advanced accounting regulation.

Each applicant must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal statement. Maryville does not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission. Maryville charges all online MBA students the same tuition, regardless of state residency. The Becker CPA-informed courses carry additional fees.

Maryville holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online master of science in accounting holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Average Net Price: $26,540
Program Website

Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ

Online Master of Science in Accounting

This private Catholic institution opened its doors in 1856 and makes its home in South Orange, New Jersey. Its Stillman School of Business offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting. The program requires a 21-credit core and nine credits of accounting or taxation electives. The curriculum focuses on preparing students for accounting credentials.

Required courses include financial reporting, cost accounting, essentials of federal taxation, and auditing standards and problems. Students can choose elective options in international accounting, tax research, financial statement analysis, and governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Candidates without prior business experience take an accounting pre-qualifier course and a legal studies pre-qualifier course.

Seton Hall's program takes place entirely online, with no on-campus requirements. Online courses run asynchronously.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The application requires a statement of purpose, a resume, and GRE or GMAT scores. A candidate who holds a minimum 3.4 GPA, a graduate degree, professional credentials, at least five years of experience, or a recent Stillman Business School certificate may qualify to have test scores waived. Seton Hall charges all online MBA students the same per-credit tuition, regardless of state residency.

Seton Hall holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The master of science in accounting holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $29,974
Program Website

George Mason University Fairfax, VA

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, Mason is widely known as the state's largest public research university. Its school of business offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting, composed of 15 core requirements and 15 electives. The curriculum focuses on preparing students to take the uniform CPA exam. Part-time students can complete the program in two years.

The program's core requirements include advanced issues in financial reporting, fraud examination, advanced issues in taxation, professional accounting colloquium, and global accounting environment. Students may select electives such as advanced issues in managerial accounting, estate planning, fraud and the law, and information technology auditing. Courses run in eight-week modules in a cohort model.

Each applicant must hold an accredited undergraduate degree in accounting with a minimum 3.0 GPA, or a minimum of 27 credits in accounting courses. Those with a non-accounting business degree may merit conditional admission with the following prerequisites: foundations of financial reporting I and II; foundations of taxation of business entities; and foundations of assurance services. Mason offers these prerequisites on campus only. Candidates must provide GRE or GMAT scores.

Out-of-state students at Mason pay a higher rate of tuition than residents of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Sixty-four percent of Mason students report securing jobs before graduating from the accounting program.

Mason holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its master of science in accounting holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $19,064
Program Website

St. Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME

Online Master of Accountancy

Founded in 1912, SJC is a Roman Catholic institution located in Standish, Maine, with a college-wide focus on green initiatives and sustainability. The college offers an online master's program in accounting that students can complete with 30-36 credits. Full-time students with backgrounds in accounting can complete the program in one year, while part-time participants can finish in two years.

Core program requirements include legal environment/business law (ethics), research for accounting professionals, accounting information systems, taxation (business), audit (risk management and assurance services), leadership and relationship management, (applied) corporate financial management, advanced topics in disclosure and financial reporting, and international accounting.

The curriculum focuses on preparing students to take the CPA exam. The program also offers some academic credit for students with significant professional experience. Online courses at SJC run asynchronously in five 10-week terms per year.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Prerequisite requirements include economics, financial accounting, managerial accounting, business finance, federal tax, and intermediate accounting I and II. Students who enter without an academic background in accounting may take these courses online through SJC. In some cases, work history may qualify students for prerequisite waivers. SJC charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students, regardless of state residency.

SJC holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Average Net Price: $27,221
Program Website

University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, MA

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Founded in 1863, UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Management offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting. Students can complete the program in as little as two semesters. The program offers focus areas in forensic accounting or taxation accounting.

UMass Amherst's program emphasizes CPA preparation. Core course requirements include ethics and professional responsibility for accountants, exploring data analytics for accounting professionals, financial statement analysis, advanced audit, and taxes and business decisions. Students focusing on forensic accounting take electives such as fraud investigation and white-collar investigation. Those who choose taxation accounting take courses that include taxation of partnership and limited liability companies, and tax research.

The program takes place entirely online, unless students elect to take some courses on campus. Online courses run asynchronously. Students may select 1-2 MBA courses as electives at a higher tuition.

Each applicant must submit a personal statement and resume. UMass Amherst prefers GMAT scores but will accept GRE scores in most cases. Candidates with undergraduate GPAs of 3.0, CPA licensure, or graduate degrees may qualify for standardized test waivers. UMass Amherst charges the same per-credit tuition to all online MBA students, regardless of state residency.

UMass Amherst holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. The master of science in accounting holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $21,740
Program Website

University of Missouri Columbia, MO

Online Master of Accountancy

Founded in 1839, Mizzou is a public institution located in Columbia, Missouri. Its Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business offers a 30-credit online master's program in accounting. Students can complete the program in one year through fully online or in-person courses. Mizzou boasts a 70.1% CPA exam pass rate among its graduates.

The program consists of required courses in auditing theory and practice, and accounting and strategic business analysis. After that, students may choose accounting electives such as taxation of corporations and shareholders, accounting ethics, strategic cost management, internal auditing, and forensic accounting. Participants may also select business school electives like operations management or human resource management, which may carry additional per-credit charges. Courses in Mizzou's online program run asynchronously and take place entirely online.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Mizzou requires essay responses and GMAT or GRE scores. Candidates with significant academic or work experience may contact the program to discuss the possibility of a standardized test waiver. Program prerequisites include accounting I and II, intermediate financial accounting I and II, accounting information systems, cost and managerial accounting, and introduction to taxation. Out-of-state students pay higher tuition rates than Missouri residents.

Mizzou holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its school of business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $17,833
Program Website

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, NY

online Master of Science in Accountancy

Founded in 1966, SUNY Poly is a public institution located in Utica, New York. The school offers a 33-credit online master of science in accountancy for graduates planning to take the uniform CPA exam. Students studying full time can complete the program in 18 months. The curriculum consists of 15 credits in accounting, 15 credits of business core, and three credits of an elective.

Accounting requirements include financial statement analysis and reporting, advanced income tax research, fund accounting, and advanced auditing theory. The business core requires financial management problems, seminars in accounting and finance, and management information systems. Students can satisfy the elective requirement with any courses in the business school.

SUNY Poly also offers a concentration in forensic accounting and valuation, which students earn by taking courses such as introduction to forensic accounting and fraud examination, financial statement investigations, and forensic accounting valuation.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit a resume, along with GMAT scores. Some candidates may qualify for GMAT waivers, depending on academic history, professional credentials, or relevant experience. Out-of-state students pay higher tuition rates than New York residents.

Required accounting prerequisites include introductory financial accounting, intermediate accounting I and II, managerial accounting, advanced auditing. Required business prerequisites include commercial business law, business statistics, computer science, economics, and two non-accounting business courses. Students may complete the prerequisite courses through SUNY Poly.

SUNY Poly holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The master of science in accountancy holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $12,784
Program Website

Rutgers University-Newark Newark, NJ

Online Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting

Founded in 1766, Rutgers University-Newark is a public institution located in Newark, New Jersey. The Rutgers Business School offers a 30-credit online master of accountancy in governmental accounting, which consists of 10 courses. Students can complete the program in as little as one year of full-time study. The program also offers part-time options. Courses in the fully online program prepare participants to earn CPA credentials.

Required accounting courses include advanced topics in governmental accounting, design and development of information systems, ethical issues in public financial management, and public sector auditing. Elective options include public sector forensic accounting, management control in nonprofit organizations, and applied public finance. Students who enter without undergraduate degrees in accounting must also take accounting for managers and concepts in auditing. Online courses run asynchronously.

Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree, with accounting or business majors preferred. The application requires transcripts, an essay, and a resume. Candidates do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Rutgers University-Newark charges in-state tuition to all online students, regardless of residency status. Part-time students pay per-credit tuition, while full-time students pay by the semester.

Graduates report an 85% job placement rate six months after completing the program.

Rutgers University-Newark holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online master of accountancy holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $11,301
Program Website

DePaul University Chicago, IL

Online Master of Science in Accountancy

DePaul, the largest Catholic institution in the country, is located in Chicago, Illinois. The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers a 48-credit online master of science in accountancy. The program requires 12 accounting courses and four business courses. Though designed for completion within two years, DePaul offers accelerated options for students who wish to take more than two courses at once. DePaul welcomes students without academic accounting experience.

The program requires courses in financial accounting, principles of accounting information systems, financial accounting theory and practice, cost and managerial accounting, advanced topics in accounting theory, tax treatment of individuals and property transactions, and business law for accountants. Depending on the student's academic background, the program may also require courses in selected topics in macroeconomics, principles of financial management, and fundamental operations management.

DePaul's program runs entirely online. The curriculum prepares participants to earn CPA credentials. Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit a resume, along with a personal statement. The application does not require GMAT or GRE scores. DePaul charges a per-credit tuition to all online MBA students, regardless of state residency.

DePaul holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online master of science holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $30,584
Program Website

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell, MA

Online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting

UMass Lowell is a public research-oriented institution. Its Manning School of Business offers an online MBA with a concentration in accounting. Students without business backgrounds can complete the program in 42 credits. Those who majored in a related field can complete the program in 30 credits. The program takes about 2.5 years to complete.

Core business administration requirements include corporate information, customers and markets, management information systems, and operations management. The accounting concentration requires courses such as advanced cost management, tax factors in business decisions, contemporary accounting issues, fraud examination and forensic accounting, and taxation of business entities.

Students without backgrounds in business must take foundational courses in financial accounting, business financial analysis, marketing fundamentals, and organizational behavior. UMass Lowell's program takes place entirely online, and all courses run asynchronously. Each course incorporates an optional weekly chat hour, during which students can interact with professors and peers in real time.

Each applicant must submit transcripts, an essay, and a resume, plus GMAT scores. Students may qualify for standardized test waivers, depending on academic background, professional experience, or professional credentials. UMass Lowell charges in-state tuition to all online students, regardless of residency status.

UMass Lowell holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. The online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $18,257
Program Website

University of Oklahoma Norman, OK

Online Master of Accountancy

OU opened its doors in 1890 as a public, research-oriented institution. Today, OU offers a 33-credit online master of accountancy through its Price College of Business. Students can complete the program in two years, with accelerated options also available. The curriculum focuses on preparing students for the uniform CPA examination. Participants can receive academic credit for completing Becker CPA exam review courses. OU students can also take advantage of discounted Becker course admission.

Required courses include advanced accounting, contemporary auditing, business ethics/legal, negotiations, investments, operations management, and management information systems. The university's online courses run asynchronously in a cohort-based format.

Each applicant must submit transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement, plus GMAT or GRE scores. Some candidates may qualify for standardized test waivers. Prerequisite courses are required in intermediate accounting I and II, cost accounting, accounting information systems, income tax accounting I, and auditing. Applicants must complete prerequisite courses at schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

OU charges the same tuition for all students, regardless of state residency. Those who accelerate the program or participate in study abroad may incur additional charges.

OU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online master in accountancy holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $21,158
Program Website

Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ

Online Master of Accounting

Founded as a business college in 1865, Rider is a private institution located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Its Norm Brodsky College of Business offers a 30-credit online master of accountancy. Students can select a concentration in business analytics, finance, forensic accounting, or generalist accounting. Rider's curriculum prepares enrollees for the CPA exam.

Required courses include seminar in federal taxes, analysis of accounting data, issues in financial reporting, auditing practice, issues in managerial accounting, and business intelligence tech-data mining. Degree-seekers round out their coursework by taking nine credits of electives in the concentration of their choice. The program takes place entirely online. Participants can finish the program in as little as 21 months.

Learners must complete accounting and business prerequisites before entering the program. Business requirements include fundamentals of accounting, economic analysis, and basic financial principles. Accounting requirements include cost management, accounting theory and concepts I and II, principles of auditing, accounting problems and practice, and federal taxation.

Each applicant must submit a resume, statement of aims and objectives, and transcripts, plus GMAT or GRE scores. Some candidates may qualify for standardized test waivers based on academic history, professional credentials, and other potential factors. Rider charges the same tuition for all students, regardless of state residency. Online fees are slightly reduced when compared to on-campus charges.

Rider holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online master of accountancy holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $29,284
Program Website

University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND

Online Master of Accountancy

Founded in 1883, UND is a public institution that makes its home in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Its Nistler College of Business and Public Administration offers a 30-credit fully online master of accountancy. The program offers a fundamentals track for students without academic backgrounds in accounting, plus a practitioner track for those who majored in accounting. Enrollees can complete the program in as little as 20 months.

Required core courses include accounting information for decision and control, advanced financial accounting, business law for accountants, seminar in accounting issues, and taxation of businesses. The fundamentals track requires courses such as accounting systems, audit and assurance services, and financial accounting. The practitioner track includes courses like accounting ethics and leadership, business intelligence, and IT governance.

Each applicant to the fundamentals track must hold an accredited bachelor's degree in any area of study. A candidate for the practitioner track must hold an accredited bachelor's degree in accounting, or with coursework in intermediate accounting, audit, cost/managerial accounting, and taxation. All applicants must hold minimum GPAs of 2.75 and submit GMAT scores with a 500 minimum. Some candidates may qualify for GMAT waivers. UND charges the same tuition for all students, regardless of state residency.

UND holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online master of accountancy holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $15,374
Program Website

Auburn University Auburn, AL

Online Master of Accountancy

Auburn opened its doors as a public institution in 1859. Its Raymond J. Harbert College of Business offers a 30-credit online master of accountancy. Students can complete the program in as little as one year or two years if they work full time. Auburn's program records on-campus lectures and makes them available to online students, who can watch in real time or asynchronously. The curriculum prepares students for the CPA exam.

Required courses include advanced auditing and assurance services, research in accounting, federal tax research, and integrated accounting applications. Students may choose 18 credits in electives such as income tax II, governmental and not-for-profit accounting, corporation and partnership taxation, and advanced real estate finance. The program requires all students to attend one three-day residency during their last spring semester for a leadership summit.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit GMAT scores. Some students may qualify for standardized test waivers. The program requires business prerequisites, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, business law, principles of marketing, and principles of finance. Required accounting prerequisites include intermediate accounting I and II, cost accounting, accounting information systems, auditing, income tax I, and accounting analytics.

Auburn charges the same tuition for all online accounting students, regardless of state residency.

Auburn holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its online master of accounting holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Average Net Price: $23,205
Program Website

Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon, WI

Online Master of Business Administration in Accounting

This private Lutheran institution, founded in 1881 in Mequon, Wisconsin, offers a 36-credit online MBA in accounting through its Batterman School of Business. The curriculum prepares students for the CPA exam. Online courses at CUW run asynchronously. All students at CUW work with an online student success advisor, who helps guide them through requirements and connect with program faculty.

Core business requirements include managerial economics, ethics and organizational leadership, applied statistics, corporate finance, management science and analytics, and issues in human resource management. The business core requires a three-credit capstone in strategic management.

Accounting course requirements include advanced auditing, global production systems, fraud management, database management, governmental accounting, statutory accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and systems analysis and design. Students also participate in a 120-credit internship, which takes place in a business environment. Program faculty must approve internship sites.

Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The application requires an essay and resume. CUW does not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission. CUW charges all online MBA students the same tuition, regardless of state residency.

CUW holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Batterman School of Business holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

Average Net Price: $24,803
Program Website

Albertus Magnus College New Haven, CT

Online Master of Science in Accounting

This private Catholic institution, founded in 1925, makes its home in New Haven, Connecticut. Its Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership offers a 30-credit online master of science in accounting. Students with a professional background in accounting may elect to concentrate their studies through six elective credits in personal financial planning. Otherwise, the program's core prepares students for the CPA exam. Students can complete the program in one year.

Albertus Magnus College's accounting curriculum consists of courses in organizational behavior, survey of operations management, principles of project management, governmental and nonprofit accounting, fraud investigation, and taxation of business entities. Students can participate in the fully online program, or choose on-campus or blended options. Online courses run in accelerated eight-week sessions.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Albertus Magnus College requires each participant to have completed at least 24 undergraduate credits in accounting and 22 credits in business. The school charges all online MBA students the same tuition, regardless of state residency.

According to recent surveys, graduate school alumni from Albertus Magnus College report a 92% job placement rate after graduation.

Albertus Magnus College holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. The online master of accounting holds programmatic accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Average Net Price: $24,652
Program Website

Edgewood College Madison, WI

Online Master of Science in Accountancy

Founded in 1927 in Madison, Wisconsin, as a liberal arts college for women, Edgewood College now offers a 30-credit online master of science in accountancy. Full-time students can complete the program in one year, while part-time students can finish in 2-3 years. Edgewood College's curriculum focuses on preparing students for the CPA exam and offers discounts on Becker CPA review materials.

Required accounting courses include advanced cost management and control, advanced accounting I, governmental and not-for-profit accounting, fraud and forensic accounting, and strategic management accounting. Students without undergraduate experience in accounting may need to complete alternative courses. Required business courses include executive communication, business ethics or professional ethics, and business law II.

Each applicant must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and submit an essay and resume. Those who do not meet the GPA minimum must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Prerequisite requirements include microeconomics or macroeconomics, statistics, finite math, finance, financial, accounting, intermediate accounting I and II, cost accounting, business law, and tax I. Edgewood College offers some prerequisite courses after admission to the program.

Edgewood College charges the same tuition for all online MBA students, regardless of state residency.

Edgewood College holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Average Net Price: $26,398
Program Website

Why Earn a Master's Degree in Accounting Online?

Choosing to study online or in person is a major decision that students pursuing a master's in accounting must face. Both options lead to an accredited master's degree in accounting, but they present very different experiences.

Future Accounting Education

Most states require 150 college credits to sit for the CPA exam, and earning a master's in accounting online helps most students with a 120-credit bachelor's degree meet these credit requirements.

After earning a master's in accounting online, graduates can pursue additional certifications or continue on to a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. in accounting, which qualifies them for postsecondary teaching roles.

Master's in Accounting Careers

Graduate-level education often leads to new, higher-paying careers. The following list outlines potential careers for master's in accounting graduates.

Accountant and Auditor

Accountants and auditors examine financial statements, compute and prepare taxes, and seek ways to reduce costs and improve financial health. These professionals typically work for accounting firms, though many find positions with the government, insurance agencies, large corporations, or even self-started firms.

Annual Median Salary: $71,550

Financial Manager

Among the fastest-growing careers for accounting graduates, the BLS projects a 16% job growth rate for financial managers from 2018-2028. These in-demand professionals earn excellent salaries preparing financial statements, analyzing trends, supervising employees, and helping management make important financial decisions.

Annual Median Salary: $129,890

Financial Controller

Also known as comptrollers, financial controllers work at the head of a company's financial department. Financial controllers create financial reports, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements. Most financial controllers have a background in accounting and CPA credentials.

Annual Median Salary: $129,890

Top Executive

Top executives serve as the leaders of an organization, creating strategies and policies to meet company-wide goals. Most top executives with a background in accounting work as chief financial officers, who lead the financial department of an organization. Salaries for top executives vary widely, with the top 10% of earners making more than $208,000 per year.

Annual Median Salary: $104,690


How Much Do Accounting Majors Make?

Salaries vary by education, experience, and role, but the following table outlines annual median salaries for several popular careers for graduates with a master's degree in accounting.

Master's Degree in Accounting Careers: Median Salaries by Experience
Career Annual Median Salary Projected Growth Rate Degree Required CPA Certification Required? (Y/N)
Accountant and Auditor $71,550 6% Bachelor's Y
Financial Manager $129,890 16% Master's Y
Financial Controller $129,890 16% Master's Y
Top Executive $104,690 6% Bachelor's N
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Master's in Accounting Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary by school, but online master's in accounting applicants typically need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, preferably in accounting or a related field. Some programs also require applicants to meet minimum GPA requirements.

Most online master's in accounting programs require GMAT scores over GRE scores, though some programs don't require any standardized test scores. Applicants must also typically submit a personal essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume. Foreign students may need to take the TOEFL exam before applying.

Typical Master's in Accounting Online Courses

An online master's in accounting program typically requires around 45 credits and takes 12-18 months to complete. Specific course requirements vary, though many programs offer some version of the following courses.

  • Corporate Financial Reporting

    Corporate financial reporting covers topics including footnote disclosures, accounting for risk, bank financial statements, and minimally informative accounting reporting. This course prepares students to read and analyze financial statements.

  • Financial Statement Analysis

    This course introduces financial statement analysis with the goal of valuing firms. Building off of previous finance and accounting courses, the class teaches students how to understand and apply P/E and M/B ratios.

  • Forensic Accounting for Enterprise

    Offered as a foundation course for those without forensic accounting experience, forensic accounting for enterprise classes teach students how to gather information and evidence from financial statements and documents. This material can lead to a career in law enforcement.

  • Advanced Financial Accounting

    A continuation of material covered in a bachelor's program, advanced financial accounting courses examine the concepts and practices behind investments, foreign currency transactions, and how non-controlling interests appear in accounting reports.

  • Law for Accounting Professionals

    Many accountants work closely with legal standards, and law for accounting professionals teaches students to remain legally compliant when working for a large corporation, firm, or government agency.


How to Choose a Master's in Accounting Online Program

Prospective students should consider a variety of factors as they search for the right accounting program, such as institutional and programmatic accreditation, location, cost, flexibility, and thesis or internship requirements.

Schools with regional accreditation meet high academic standards with respect to factors like faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Additionally, students seeking a master's in accounting should look for programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Specializing in business and accounting, the AACSB validates a program's quality and reviews continued progress every five years.

Some schools may require students to complete a thesis, capstone, and/or internship before graduating. Prospective students should consider whether such requirements match their current professional commitments and career goals. Students without a background in accounting, for example, may seek out the experience of an internship.

Students may also wish to consider the school's location, particularly if the program includes in-person requirements.

While not the only factor in the search for a school, affordability matters to many prospective students. Some schools offer special rates to online students, such as the ability to pay in-state tuition, while others make no differentiation between in-person and online students.


Professional Organizations in Accounting

Master's in accounting students and graduates can take advantage of professional organizations. These organizations often offer benefits such as networking opportunities in the form of conferences, online forums, and local chapters. Such associations also provide continuing education opportunities, industry news, and online job boards. Additionally, professional organizations can connect members with internships, and some even provide mentorship opportunities.

American Institute of CPAs

Responsible for the development and grading of the CPA exam, AICPA sets standards across the profession regarding audit guidelines and ethical practice. The institute offers continuing education opportunities, career guidance, and advocacy.

American Accounting Association

Focused on research, teaching, and networking, the AAA serves accounting academics through regional chapters and interest sections. Members can access online career services, a digital library, and many events throughout the year.

Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business

Focused on management accounting, IMA offers several certification opportunities. Members gain access to webinars, local chapters. and an online career center.

National Association of Professional Accountants

Focused on setting standards for professional bookkeepers, NAPA certifies bookkeepers and accountants in a variety of specialties. Members can take advantage of training videos, continuing education opportunities, and other professional resources.

American Association of Finance and Accounting

Specializing in recruitment and career advancement, AAFA matches accounting professionals with job placements. The website also offers a job board.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a master's in accounting online?
Yes, many colleges and universities offer accredited master's in accounting degrees entirely online.
How much does an accounting degree cost?
The cost of a master's in accounting varies by school, but students should prepare to pay roughly $25,000 in tuition.
Is an accounting master's worth it?
A master's in accounting leads to high-paying, in-demand careers, making it a worthwhile investment for many students.
What can I do with a master's in accounting?
A master's in accounting prepares students to sit for the CPA exam and other certification exams, leading to leadership roles in the field. A master's also prepares students to pursue doctoral study.
Is a CPA equivalent to a master's degree?
While the CPA exam does not require a master's degree, a bachelor's degree combined with a master's degree typically satisfies the 150-credit requirement to sit for the CPA exam.
How long does a master's in accounting take?
A master's in accounting typically takes 1-1.5 years of full-time study to complete.