Top 5 Graduate Accounting Programs in Pennsylvania

For students who have an undergraduate accounting degree, the next logical step is to pursue a master's degree. Especially for those who want to pursue a CPA certification. An advance degree in accounting is open to anyone who wants to understand financial statements, rules and regulations for businesses, tax and much more. They do not need an undergraduate degree in accounting. Those without an accounting background will take longer to finish the program.

An advanced accounting degree will help meet CPA exam requirements, but also help achieve professional career goals. The return on investment for a Master of Accounting degree is high. Those who graduate with an MAcc degree will have better career growth potential, salary boost, job security, and job satisfaction. Most programs are one to two years long.

To create the top 5 graduate accounting programs in Pennsylvania, we gathered information from Public Accounting Report, Tax Talent and U.S. News and World Report. All the schools listed are accredited by the prestigious AACSB. We have included in state tuition rates, but this only an estimate. Please contact the school for more information about their rates and program details. 

The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740 and is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. They are a private research university and an Ivy League school. UPenn is located in Philadelphia with Benjamin Franklin as their founder. Their academic college has four undergraduate schools and 12 graduate and professional schools. U.S. News and World Report has ranked them #8 among national universities in 2017.

The Wharton School of Business was founded in 1881 and is the first collegiate business school in the world. They offer a MBA with 19 majors to choose from. Their MBA has a flexible core curriculum in general business education with a deeper knowledge in the major they choose. Students will take six required core courses along with flexible core choices. This flexible structure allows students to take more electives during their first year.  The accounting major must take specific courses designed by the department. Students who wish to sit for the CPA exam should take ACCT 743 which covers 20% of the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the exam. This is a two year program with options during the summer of doing an internship, global impact consultants, do a career trek or work for a non-profit. Students can do a combination of these things during the summer to gain experience.

Tuition: $136,420

A private research university located in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900. They have seven colleges and independent schools and is the home to the first degree granting robotics and drama programs. They are ranked #24 among national research universities by U.S. News and World Report. In 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked their MBA program #15.

The Tepper School of Business offers an MBA program with an accounting concentration. All MBA students will need to choose at least one concentration but most students choose 3-4 concentrations. Their accounting concentration is designed to give students a foundation in technology, analytical decision-making, high ethical standards, and strategy.

Pepper offers a full-time MBA program, a part-time online hybrid program and a part-time on campus program. The full-time program is 21 month long where was the part-time program will take 32 months. All three program start in September. Depending on your personal situation, students have options in which program will work best for them.Tepper is accredited by the AACSB, the leading accrediting agency for business schools.

Tuition: $128,000

Villanova University is a private research institution located in Radnor Township, a northwest suburb of Philadelphia. They were founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. They were ranked #50 for best national universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2017. They are organized into six schools and colleges which offer over 50 majors.

The School of Business at Villanova offers a Master of Accountancy and a Master of Taxation program. The MAC program will give students a strong foundation in accounting and also meet the CPA exam requirements. Students will receive a curriculum that studies a wide array of accounting topics and business knowledge. The program is 30 credit hours and will take one year to complete. Their Master of Taxation program is conducted together by the School of Law and the School of Business. The program is designed for business, legal and accounting professionals. Their School of Business is accredited by the AACSB.

Tuition: $38,850

Pennsylvania State University is a land-grant, public research university. Founded in 1855, they currently have 24 campuses throughout Pennsylvania. They have a mission of teaching, research and public service. Their Smeal College of Business was ranked #36 for best graduate schools and their accounting program was ranked #34  by U.S. News and World Report. They have the largest alumni network in the nation.

The Smeal College of Business offers an one year Master of Accounting program. The program is open to a wide array of academic backgrounds but those without an accounting bachelor's will need to take prerequisite courses before starting the program. The prerequisite courses can be taken during the summer at Penn State. The program is designed with the short term goal of passing the CPA exam and the long term goal of pursuing a successful accounting career. The one year program can only be complete on a full time basis. They are accredited by the AACSB, the world premier business school accreditation agency.

Tuition: $33,600

Founded in 1884, Temple University is a public doctoral university. Their main campus is located in Philadelphia, but they also have six other campuses in Pennsylvania and international campuses in London, Spain, Rome and Tokyo. Their 17 colleges and schools offer over 400 degree programs. In 2017, they were ranked #56 for public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Fox School of Business is the largest comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region. Their graduate accounting program was ranked #40 by Public Accounting Report in 2016. Fox offers a full time Master of Accounting program. Their MAcc is ranked #1 in the Philadelphia area. Students will receive an strong academic foundation in accounting and will be prepared to successfully pass the CPA exam. Their program schedule has a built in Becker CPA review course. Students will have access to job placement resources. Fox School of Business has partnerships with national and regional firms of the Big Four. Students will be able to achieve their career goals through this program. Fox School of Business has been accredited by the AACSB since 1934.

Tuition: $34,310