2020 Best Master's in Accounting Online Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/9/2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Accounting Badge

This list highlights the 25 best value colleges offering online master's programs in accounting. Villanova University Online Graduate Programs is the #1 school, with an average alumni salary of $177,200 and an annual tuition rate of $22,875 for their Master of Taxation program. Second-ranked University of Southern California offers a Master of Business Taxation program for $29,700 per year. Graduates of the school's accounting program earn a median salary of $155,400.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 Villanova University Online Graduate Programs $22,875 $177,200
# 2 #2 University of Southern California $29,700 $155,400
# 3 #3 Seton Hall University $19,575 $148,300
# 4 #4 DePaul University $15,065 $135,200
# 5 #5 Southern Utah University $7,097 $131,700
# 6 #6 California State University-Sacramento $14,800 $131,800
# 7 #7 University of Missouri $10,026 $125,600
# 8 #8 Auburn University $18,000 $128,400
# 9 #9 Golden Gate University $16,350 $126,500
# 10 #10 University of Hartford $11,910 $124,400
# 11 #11 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign $13,600 $125,000
# 12 #12 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $26,034 $129,300
# 13 #13 Rutgers University $20,340 $125,600
# 14 #14 Long Island University $18,735 $116,300
# 15 #15 SUNY Polytechnic Institute $13,570 $107,800
# 16 #16 The University of Texas at Dallas $36,450 $116,800
# 17 #17 Northeastern University $10,890 $102,700
# 18 #18 Suffolk University $36,301 $112,500
# 19 #19 University of Connecticut $17,500 $100,000
# 20 #20 University of Alabama at Birmingham $16,320 $96,100
# 21 #21 University of Akron $20,000 $97,300
# 22 #22 University of Cincinnati $27,082 $98,000
# 23 #23 University of Maryland Global Campus $11,862 $91,900
# 24 #24 The University of West Florida $13,853 $89,500
# 25 #25 Nova Southeastern University $14,185 $87,400
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Accounting Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 Villanova University Online Graduate Programs

  • Annual Tuition: $22,875
  • Median Salary: $177,200
  • Locations: Online
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Villanova University offers a fully-online Master of Taxation and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Taxation. The master's program in taxation requires 30 credit hours in professional practice and tax procedure and taxation of corporations and shareholders. The LLM is restricted to students with a JD and offers a concentration in Taxation and Accounting that covers international taxation, litigation in state and local taxation, and law and compliance of public charities. Both degrees can be completed in one and a half to two years, but students may take up to five years to earn their degrees.

Online graduate programs at Villanova are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. However, students located near the university have the option to complete some of their coursework on campus. Synchronous classes include live-streamed lectures that typically take place in the evening to accommodate students with professional responsibilities. Online learners can communicate with their professors through email and virtual office hours.

Prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in a related field (and a JD for the LLM), and submit an essay, letter of recommendation, resume, and all transcripts along with a completed program application. GRE/GMAT scores may be required. Accepted students have access to financial aid opportunities, library resources, and academic coaching.

#2 University of Southern California

  • Annual Tuition: $29,700
  • Median Salary: $155,400
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Master of Business Taxation at the University of Southern California prepares students to begin or advance their careers as tax professionals. Depending on the student's previous college coursework, the program can be completed in 30 to 48 credits within 9 to 12 months. The curriculum includes coursework in tax theory and ethics, corporate taxation, and estate and gift tax. Students are required to complete a week-long, on-campus requirement at the beginning of the program. Students can take elective classes to support their career goals and interests and have the option to pursue a spring internship at a firm of their choosing to gain real-world experience.

Online classes are available through the Canvas learning management system and may include scheduled meetings using Zoom. Students work both individually and in teams throughout the program. The only on-campus requirement is a week-long intensive at the beginning of the program. Instructors hold office hours virtually to accommodate distance learners.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with prerequisite coursework in statistics, accounting, and economics. Applicants must submit an online application, transcripts, resume, GRE/GMAT scores, and personal essay. USC online students have access to career services, academic advising, and IT support.

#3 Seton Hall University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,575
  • Median Salary: $148,300
  • Locations: South Orange (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Seton Hall University offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting. The MS in accounting is designed for students who do not hold a bachelor's degree in the field. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes cost accounting, financial reporting, and commercial law. Graduates are eligible to sit for CPA, CMA, or CIA certification exams. The MBA program requires that students attend campus for a two-day orientation. The 40-credit curriculum provides a general overview of business and accounting, including financial reporting and federal taxation.

Classes are asynchronous and delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. This format allows students to complete their coursework on their own schedules while also adhering to set due dates. Readings, written assignments, and interactive multimedia experiences are included in the curriculum.

Admission requirements for both programs include a statement of purpose, a resume, GMAT/GRE scores, a letter of recommendation, and previous academic transcripts. Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA. Online learners have access to support services for technology, career development, and academics.

#4 DePaul University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,065
  • Median Salary: $135,200
  • Locations: Chicago (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

DePaul University offers several online graduate degrees in accounting, including a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and an MS in Taxation. The 12-course MS in accounting degree provides instruction in financial accounting, auditing, and business law for accountants. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The 48-credit MS in taxation degree covers federal income tax procedures and tax research.

Both degrees are hosted on the Desire2Learn course management system and incorporate synchronous and asynchronous learning formats.

Prospective students must have an undergraduate degree and submit a formal application, transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement to be considered for admission. A letter of recommendation is optional. DePaul University is a test-optional institution; GRE/GMAT scores are not required but may be submitted. Online learners have access to resources such as the writing center, university library, technical support, and academic advising.

#5 Southern Utah University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,097
  • Median Salary: $131,700
  • Locations: Cedar City (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Southern Utah University (SUU) offers an online Master of Accountancy degree with several concentrations, including Managerial Accounting, Taxation, Business Analytics, and Public Accounting. The 30-credit program has courses in tax procedure, auditing, forensic accounting, data analytics, investments, marketing, and valuation. Graduates are eligible to sit for Utah's Certified Public Accounting exam.

Online classes are hosted on the Canvas learning management platform, which allows students to access course materials 24/7. Most of the coursework is asynchronous. However, students may be required to attend scheduled meetings held on Zoom or other video-conferencing software. SUU is committed to upholding its nearly 100% placement rate, and most graduates in this program find employment in taxation, controllership, or auditing in accounting firms or government agencies.

Students must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA to apply. Applicants must submit an online application, undergraduate transcripts, resume, letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and official GMAT/GRE scores. Students should also provide documentation of prerequisite coursework in foundations of business, accounting, finance, and economics. Resources for distance learners include disability support tools, career services, access to online journals and eBooks through the school’s library, and tutoring.

#6 California State University-Sacramento

  • Annual Tuition: $14,800
  • Median Salary: $131,800
  • Locations: Sacramento (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The online Master of Science in Accountancy at California State University-Sacramento provides students with a comprehensive education in management, auditing, international accounting, and accounting information systems. The curriculum explores subjects such as financial reporting, non-profit accounting, and taxation procedures and processes for both businesses and individuals. The 30-credit program covers all areas of the CPA exam and can be completed in 18 months.

The fully-online program is delivered through a combination of course materials, video streaming, and instant messaging. Each online course is six weeks, and classes meet online once a week.

Those applying to the MS degree should have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. GRE/GMAT scores are required but can be waived under certain circumstances. Applicants should be proficient in math (including calculus), statistics, and computer usage. Student support services include academic support; career counseling; reading, writing, and math assistance; and technical support. Students may qualify for supplemental instruction, tutoring, individualized counseling, course selection assistance, financial advising, and other services.

#7 University of Missouri

  • Annual Tuition: $10,026
  • Median Salary: $125,600
  • Locations: Columbia (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Master of Accountancy offered at the University of Missouri is available both fully online and on campus. The curriculum prepares students to sit for the CPA exam and covers taxation, fraud examination, forensic accounting, ethics, and auditing. The program was ranked in the national Top 5 for CPA exam pass rates in 2017. Students working full time can complete the degree in one to three years. A total of 30 credit hours of coursework is required to graduate.

Online coursework is asynchronous and includes weekly assignments and interactions with classmates and faculty. Students can access course materials and upload completed assignments through the online learning platform.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and complete specific foundational courses before being admitted. Along with the application, they should submit official transcripts, GMAT scores from a test taken no more than five years before applying, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and proof of English proficiency (for those whose native language is not English). Online students have access to academic advising, counseling, writing assistance, library resources, tutoring, and technical support.

#8 Auburn University

  • Annual Tuition: $18,000
  • Median Salary: $128,400
  • Locations: Auburn (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Accountancy at Auburn University is designed to accommodate working professionals and features the same assignments, exams, and instruction as its on-campus counterpart. The curriculum covers federal tax research and integrated accounting applications. Part-time students can complete the degree in as little as two years, while full-time students can earn their degree in one year. Online students are required to be on campus for a three-day residency during the final spring semester to participate in business seminars, leadership workshops, and various social events.

Online coursework is delivered on the Canvas learning platform, where students can access streamed and recorded on-campus lectures. Students can also use Canvas to collaborate with their peers and have discussions with faculty.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution and have U.S. citizenship or a green card. GMAT scores are required but can be waived under certain circumstances. Auburn University’s admission process is holistic, taking into account academic background, GPA, letters of recommendation, and work experience. Distance learners have access to academic advisors, career preparation services, student organizations, technical support, and more.

#9 Golden Gate University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,350
  • Median Salary: $126,500
  • Locations: San Francisco (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Golden Gate University (GGU) offers several online degrees in the accountancy discipline, including a Master of Science in Accounting Data and Analytics with concentrations in Advanced Analytics for Accountants, CPA Applied Accounting, Essentials of Leadership, and Taxation. Students may select up to two concentrations in the 30-credit program. GGU also offers an MS in Taxation taught by faculty who are experts in the field and an MS in Advanced Financial Planning with a concentration in Taxation. The MS in Taxation program can be taken on a part- or full-time basis and the completion time is between two and four years.

Online coursework at GGU is delivered via the Moodle online learning management system. Moodle gives students access to syllabi, forums, discussions, assignments, course schedules, quizzes and exams, Word and PowerPoint files, email, grades, 24/7 technical assistance, and more.

Applicants to graduate programs at GGU should have a bachelor’s degree. Each program has its own admissions criteria, so prospective students should check with the university regarding their particular program of interest. Distance learners at GGU have access to advising and career development and placement support.

#10 University of Hartford

  • Annual Tuition: $11,910
  • Median Salary: $124,400
  • Locations: West Hartford (CT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation program at the University of Hartford is available with two tracks: Financial and Assurance Services and Taxation. Full-time students can earn their degrees in as few as seven months. The 30-credit program features seven-week courses, and semesters start in the spring, summer, and fall. Students explore areas such as financial reporting and analysis, advanced auditing, managerial accounting control systems, and business law during the course of study.

Online coursework is delivered via the Blackboard learning management platform. Classes follow an asynchronous format and do not have set log-in times.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed accounting core courses with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. They should submit official transcripts, GMAT scores, a personal statement, a current resume, and two references. The GMAT requirement can be waived for those meeting specific educational or professional criteria. Student support services at UH include faculty and peer tutoring, writing assistance, technical support, and English-language support for international students.

#11 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign

  • Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Median Salary: $125,000
  • Locations: Champaign (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Illinois – Champaign, in partnership with Coursera, offers an online Master of Science in Accountancy degree. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to sit for the CPA exam and covers managerial accounting, auditing, and federal taxation. Students can choose from several electives that examine various aspects of accounting, including ethics, data preparation, machine learning, infonomics, and fraud analytics. A total of 32 credits is required to complete the degree, which can take between four and eight semesters. Students are not able to transfer credits from any prior coursework.

Online coursework for this cohort-based program is delivered through the Coursera MOOC learning management system. Instructors host weekly live classes on the platform and provide feedback on assignments, projects, and exams. Students can interact directly with peers and faculty and have access to on-demand videos, course materials, and quizzes. In addition to attending the live classes, students must also complete independent components.

Those applying should have a bachelor’s degree and completed courses in business management and accounting principles. GMAT/GRE scores are not required but can be submitted for consideration. Official transcripts from prior post-secondary education should be submitted. Distance learners at U of I have access to library services, career services, veteran services, technical support, and more.

#12 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Annual Tuition: $26,034
  • Median Salary: $129,300
  • Locations: Chapel Hill (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Accounting program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers concentrations in Tax, Audit, and Financial Analysis and Reporting. The program is designed to accommodate students with or without a background in accounting. A reduced curriculum is available to those who have already completed undergraduate coursework in the field. Students will study auditing principles, federal income tax, managerial accounting, and financial reporting. A total of 36-48 credits is required to complete the degree. Students can typically graduate in 12-24 months but have 36 months to finish the program.

Online coursework is delivered via the Canvas learning management platform. Online learners have access to a social media community and various other tools to interact with classmates and instructors.

Applicants should provide transcripts of all undergraduate coursework, two recommendations, a statement of purpose, a current resume or link to a professional online profile, and GMAT/GRE scores; waivers for these scores are available for those who qualify. Distance learners have access to library services, technical support, academic coaching, peer tutoring, test prep, workshops, groups, and more.

#13 Rutgers University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,340
  • Median Salary: $125,600
  • Locations: New Brunswick (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The fully online Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting at Rutgers University offers both full- and part-time study options. The program's 30-credit curriculum is a blend of both theory and practice, training students for careers specifically in governmental accounting and auditing. Coursework includes the design and development of information systems, ethics, government budgeting systems, auditing in the public sector, and accountancy in nonprofit organizations.

Coursework is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system, where students receive and submit assignments, access syllabi, share content, participate in discussion boards, view courses and grades, and more. Some features of Canvas are accessible on mobile devices.

Applicants must submit transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a 250-500-word essay. GMAT/GRE scores are not required. Student support services at Rutgers University include academic advising, writing assistance, career counseling, financial aid, technical support, and more.

#14 Long Island University

  • Annual Tuition: $18,735
  • Median Salary: $116,300
  • Locations: Brookville (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Taught by tax and accounting professionals who are experts in their fields, the Master of Science in Accountancy at LIU Post is available with two concentrations in Professional Accounting or Taxation. Students study subjects such as computer auditing; fraud examination; taxation of estates, trusts, and gifts; corporate taxes and consolidation; tax-exempt organizations; and estate planning. A total of 30 credits is required to complete the degree. Students who complete this program are qualified to sit for CPA license examination in the state of New York.

Approximately 75 percent of the program can be completed online. Coursework incorporates both asynchronous and synchronous learning components with online and face-to-face requirements.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. GMA, GRET, or LSAT scores must also be submitted along with two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume, and proof of English proficiency. Students at LIU Post have access to academic and career planning, learning support, counseling, and technical assistance.

#15 SUNY Polytechnic Institute

  • Annual Tuition: $13,570
  • Median Salary: $107,800
  • Locations: Utica (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The online Master of Science in Accountancy at SUNY Polytechnic Institute is designed for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and want to advance their careers. The 11-course program examines income tax research, auditing theory, the economics of technology, business analysis, and management of information systems. A total of 33 credits is required to complete the degree, including 15 in the accounting core and 15 in the business core. Students who complete this program will be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, having satisfied the 150-hour requirement for CPA licensure in New York State.

Online coursework is delivered via the Blackboard learning management system. Students can access courses on the course start date and up to 21 days after the course concludes.

Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in accounting and submit transcripts from previous college coursework. Students who don't have a bachelor’s degree in accounting can speak with the program coordinator about taking the necessary prerequisite coursework to be eligible to apply. Applicants must also submit GMAT scores, references, and resumes. SUNY Poly provides many support services to distance learners, including career services, counseling services, a learning center, technical orientation and support, and more.

#16 The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Annual Tuition: $36,450
  • Median Salary: $116,800
  • Locations: Richardson (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Texas at Dallas offers several online graduate accounting degrees, including a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting, an MS in Management Science - Accounting, and a Professional Master of Business Administration - Accounting. All of the programs require 36 credits to graduate and can be completed in 18-24 months. The MS in accounting offers tracks in advanced professional accounting, professional accounting, taxation, risk assurance/internal auditing, accounting analytics, and research foundations. Nine credits (three courses) make up the core requirements, and the remaining 27 credits are earned in the specialization.

The online Master of Science in Accounting is available in either a flex or cohort program format. The flex program allows students to progress at their own pace, while the cohort program allows students to progress through their degrees with the same group of classmates.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a grade of B or higher in upper-division courses. Unofficial transcripts of previous post-secondary coursework should be submitted. Students applying to the MS in management sciences degree must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed an undergraduate course in calculus. Students at UT Dallas can receive assistance with courses as well as writing assistance and technical support.

#17 Northeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,890
  • Median Salary: $102,700
  • Locations: Burlington (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Science in Taxation at Northeastern University offers tracks in Taxation of Entities or Individuals. The accelerated, 30-credit program can be completed in 16 months with part-time study. Students learn from instructors with decades of experience and study complex tax statutes and regulations, as well as tax cases and rulings. The curriculum includes in-class case studies and covers estate and gift taxation, international taxation, retirement plans, and financial planning.

Online coursework at Northeastern University is asynchronous, and students receive coursework via the Blackboard learning management system. Instructors communicate with students through email, instant messenger, and discussion forums.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, along with an undergraduate or graduate course in taxation with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, students must have at least two years of work experience in the tax field or specific tax credentials. Prospective students should submit all transcripts from college-level coursework, a current resume, and two professional letters of recommendation along with the application. Online learners have access to counseling services, NU's network of alumni and employer partners, tutoring services, and technical support.

#18 Suffolk University

  • Annual Tuition: $36,301
  • Median Salary: $112,500
  • Locations: Boston (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Suffolk University offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting available with three concentrations: Business Intelligence, Corporate Finance and Accounting, and Forensic Accounting. Coursework covers areas such as auditing, international accounting, fraud examination, forensic and investigative accounting, nonprofit accounting, property transactions, corporate tax, mergers, and more. The program, designed for students who want to continue to work while studying, is available fully online and consists of seven-week courses. The degree can be completed in 24 months. Suffolk University also offers an online MS in Business Analytics with a concentration in Accounting. Students get hands-on experience and study the latest in technology and financial analysis techniques and methods. This degree also features courses in a seven-week format and can be completed in 20 months.

Online courses at Suffolk University include assignments, lectures, and classroom interactions with peers and instructors. Students in the MS in business analytics program use tools and programs such as Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, SAS, SAP, SQL, and other programming languages.

Applicants to these programs must submit transcripts from post-secondary coursework, a goal statement or writing sample, a resume, and two recommendation letters. An admission interview may be required. Those whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. GRE/GMAT scores are not required. Distance learners have access to advising services, financial aid counseling, career development, learning support, and more.

#19 University of Connecticut

  • Annual Tuition: $17,500
  • Median Salary: $100,000
  • Locations: Storrs (CT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting at the University of Connecticut is available with a wide selection of electives, allowing students to customize the program to their interests and career plans. Eight of the ten courses that comprise the program are chosen from a list of 17 electives. The 30-credit program meets the 150-hour requirement in most states for eligibility to sit for the CPA exam. Full-time students can take up to five courses in a semester and complete the degree in eight months, or they can spread coursework over three semesters. Part-time students can take one or two courses per semester and take more time to complete the degree.

Online learning is mostly asynchronous, and coursework is delivered via the Blackboard learning management system.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in accounting must submit four essays, a current resume, GMAT scores, and transcripts from all previous college coursework. Students who have no background in accounting can take the online 12-credit Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals to be eligible for the MS program; two of the courses earned in this certificate program transfer to the MS degree requirements. Distance learners have access to academic support, writing assistance, technical support, peer tutoring, and more.

#20 University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Annual Tuition: $16,320
  • Median Salary: $96,100
  • Locations: Birmingham (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Accounting degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham can be completed fully online. The program is designed to prepare students to sit for the CPA exam and other certification exams such as the CMA, CIA, and CFE. A total of 30 credits is required for the degree, which can be completed in five semesters. Students study business law, accounting for nonprofit organizations, advanced auditing, and tax entities.

Online learning is asynchronous and coursework is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system, where students can access course materials 24/7.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in accounting or completion of the 24-credit bridge program, official transcripts from all previous post-secondary coursework, current resume, three reference letters, and GMAT/GRE scores. Student services at UAB include career services, resume and interview assistance, and 24/7 technical support.

#21 University of Akron

  • Annual Tuition: $20,000
  • Median Salary: $97,300
  • Locations: Akron (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Master of Taxation degree offered at the University of Akron provides students with a broad education in tax structure and tax law. The curriculum covers tax concepts, tax research, communication skills, and tax planning and provides students with an in-depth understanding of federal and state tax structures and procedures. A total of 30 credits are needed to complete the degree

The interactive program is live and can be delivered to a computer or mobile device; recorded sessions can be viewed on-demand. The live sessions are grouped into five 10-week terms, and each class meets one evening per week. The curriculum covers tax policy and ethics, corporate taxation, and taxation as it relates to partnerships.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a Juris Doctor. Students who have neither can take two foundation courses to qualify for admittance. Unless a student is a CPA or attorney, a GMAT/GRE/LSAT score is required. Student support services at Akron University include academic support, career counseling, tutoring, technical support, and more.

#22 University of Cincinnati

  • Annual Tuition: $27,082
  • Median Salary: $98,000
  • Locations: Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Master of Science in Taxation at the University of Cincinnati (UC) combines practical and interactive coursework to give students a comprehensive understanding of tax structures and complex tax law. The curriculum covers corporate and federal tax, partnerships, IRS procedure, international taxation, estate and gift taxation, and more. The 30-credit degree can be completed in one year. UC also offers a 48-credit Master of Business Administration with a concentration in individual taxation or corporate taxation. Students can waive ten credits of foundational courses for previously completed undergraduate coursework and/or professional experience. All of UC's master's degree programs can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

Online coursework is hosted on the Canvas learning platform and is asynchronous, so students do not have to log in at certain times. Students access Canvas to view class announcements, track grades, and communicate directly with classmates and faculty. Instructors offer online office hours to respond to questions.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and submit an application, transcripts, a 500-word goal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume. GRE/GMAT scores are not required. Distance learners at UC have access to academic advising, tutoring, mentorship, technical support, and more.

#23 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $91,900
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is suited for professionals seeking advancement in their careers at the executive level. Students learn how to manage costs and risks, analyze financial reports, and assess investments using the newest programs and software. A total of 36 credits is needed to complete the degree. UMGC also offers an online MS in Accounting and Information Systems. This interdisciplinary 30-credit program trains students in areas such as cyber accounting, data analytics, forensic accounting, and information technology auditing. Additionally, UMGC offers an online MS in Management degree with a specialization in Accounting. Coursework covers subjects in federal income taxation, auditing, fraud examination, and ethics in accounting. Students must complete 36 credits.

Online classes are hosted on the LEO learning platform, where students can participate in discussions, collaborate with peers, and interact with faculty. Online coursework is asynchronous with weekly or biweekly due dates for assignments. Students in the MS in Accounting and Information Systems degree gain experience using industry-standard software such as Tableau and Power B1.

Each UMGC graduate program requires that applicants have 15 credits of undergraduate coursework in accounting with a grade of C or better. Those without 15 credits can be admitted but must complete these credits before enrolling in the first graduate-level accounting course. Distance learners have access to academic advising, tutorial assistance, career services, technical support, veteran resources, library resources, and electronic textbooks.

#24 The University of West Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $13,853
  • Median Salary: $89,500
  • Locations: Pensacola (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of West Florida (UWF) offers an online Master of Accountancy degree with concentrations in Professional Accountancy and Professional Taxation. The program focuses on both managerial and financial accounting, and the curriculum covers auditing, commercial law, tax databases, research, and procedure. This program is designed for students who are preparing to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and those working as tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents who want to advance their careers. The 10-course program requires 30 credits to complete; up to six credits can be transferred from previous coursework. Course length is from eight to 16 weeks, and the degree can be completed in 24 months.

UWF online programs are flexible, and the curriculum emphasizes team-based learning and real-world projects.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. They should submit official transcripts from all prior post-secondary education, a letter of intent, two recommendation forms, and a current resume. The requirement for a GRE/GMAT score is waived through the summer 2021 term. Distance learners at UWF have access to academic support, library services, career services, and technical support.

#25 Nova Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,185
  • Median Salary: $87,400
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Accounting at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is available with concentrations in Managerial Accounting, Public Accounting, and Taxation. The core curriculum covers auditing, accounting theory, analysis of accounting statements, accounting analytics, and taxation. A total of 33-51 credits are needed to complete the degree. Students with previous undergraduate accounting coursework can finish the program in two years, while those with no background in the field can graduate in three years.

Online learning at NSU is generally asynchronous. Distance learners receive coursework via the Canvas online learning management system, where they can access lecture videos, assignments, email, chats, class discussions, and more.

For admission to a master’s program at NSU, students must have a bachelor’s degree and submit transcripts from all post-secondary coursework. Distance learners are provided academic support and technical assistance and may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships.

Overview of an Online Master's in Accounting

Online master’s programs in accounting cover topics in theory, managerial principles, critical thinking, and analysis. These programs typically take between one and two years, and are geared towards students seeking to expand their accounting skill set, prepare for licensing exams, or make a pivot in their career.

Can a Non-Accounting Graduate Earn a Master's in Accounting?

Most Master of Accounting programs do not require applicants to have a bachelor’s in accounting, however many programs require foundational classes in accounting, business, and management. Some programs are specifically tailored for students with no prior accounting experience, and include all introductory coursework in the program’s curriculum. Beyond these prerequisites, typical programs require an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT or GRE scores.

What Type of Classes Will I Take?

The accounting master’s curriculum revolves around advanced accounting concepts, specialized accounting topics, and business coursework. In advanced accounting classes, students learn how to manage accounts in a variety of settings. Management accounting classes discuss corporate mergers, contracts, and other business accounting topics, while classes in financial accounting cover financial statement preparation and analysis. Other courses discuss information systems in accounting, strategic management, business law, and taxation.

What Is the Difference Between a Master of Accounting and an MBA in Accounting?

An MBA in Accounting offers a more general business curriculum with a partial focus in accounting, whereas a Master of Accounting program will focus heavily on advanced accounting principles. Due to their in-depth nature, Master of Accounting programs are often designed to prepare students to sit for licensing exams such as the Certified Public Accountant exam. Students in a Master of Accounting program can also often focus their studies on a specific topic such as internal auditing or taxation. Students seeking a broader variety of career options might prefer an MBA with a concentration in accounting.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Accounting?

For most graduates, the master’s degree in accounting is used to enter a more competitive position as a professional accountant. Students who have completed 150 credit hours of post-secondary education are eligible to sit for the CPA exam. The CPA credential is highly valued in the field and can be useful for finding a job. Master’s-level accountants may work in a variety of settings, including private accounting services, finance and insurance, state and local government, and manufacturing.

References

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