If you have a head for numbers and organization, you may find yourself to be a natural fit for a master’s degree in accounting. Often referred to as the “language of business,” accounting’s applicability to any and all industries ensures that accountants will always be in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects accounting jobs to grow more through 2018 than all other professions, with the best job opportunities available to those with advanced degrees. Earning a master’s in accounting online provides students with the path to CPA certification, which is the industry standard for accounting.
Due to its range of business applications, accounting students can pursue several career trajectories. Public accountants help businesses and individuals prepare financial reports and taxes, making theirs one of the most common positions in the field. In more specific areas, management accountants focus on financial leadership and operations, while financial accounts track and analyze fiscal standings for businesses. Other fields including auditing, which ensures compliance with financial regulations, and forensic accounting, which tracks illegal financial operations.
The broad need for CPAs has led a large number schools to offer the master’s in accounting online. The colleges ranked below represent some of the top online master’s degrees in accounting across the country. Weighing factors such as student-to-faculty ratios, school graduation rates, and financial aid offerings, our ranking includes programs that offer not just affordability, but academic excellence. These online master’s in accounting programs can be completed with ease and convenience, minimizing the time students need to spend in school and allowing them to advance quickly in their careers.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
|Value Score 8.59|| |
Located in Standish, ME, Saint Joseph’s was founded by the regional chapter of the Sisters of Mercy in 1912 and prides itself as a liberal college that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth for all students regardless of age or religious beliefs. Saint Joseph’s offers a wide variety of remote graduate programs, including a master’s degree in accounting online, facilitated through the Brightspace learning portal.
Courses in this 36-credit program are 10 weeks long and offered five times a year, offering flexibility during the application and schooling process. A Fast-Track option is also available, allowing students to use their undergraduate courses to fulfill graduate work, therefore condensing the program into one year. With an emphasis on tangible workplace application, the curriculum includes courses like taxation (business) and international accounting. Online students have access to a variety of school resources, including financial aid, personalized advising, and tutoring through the SMARTHINKING program.
University of Maryland-University College
|Value Score 8.35|| |
Founded in 1947, UMUC is located in Adelphi, a four-hour car ride from Baltimore. UMUC was the first American college to send faculty overseas to to educate active-military personnel and this tradition of service continues today; not only do military men and women receive reduced tuition, they also have the opportunity to get their fees completely covered through the Tuition Assistance program.
Among UMUC’s many hybrid and fully-online graduate programs is the master of science in accounting (MSA) and financial management. The program’s curriculum is centered on real-world problem-solving. Students will be asked to tackle current financial crises, analyze applicable data, and engage in projects for local and national companies. Students who received their bachelor’s in accounting from UMUC can expedite their graduate work, reducing the 36-credit load by three. Online accounting master’s degree students are encouraged to join campus organizations like the Accounting and Finance Forum and the Business and Management Club to gain further experience and build professional relationships.
Southern Utah University
|Value Score 8.24|| |
Located in Cedar City, SUU offers a large number of completely remote and hybrid graduate programs through the Canvas platform, including an accounting master’s degree online. With courses in property transactions and auditing, the school’s master of accountancy program provides both breadth and depth, allowing students to further develop their knowledge and skills and prepare for the professional world.
Over 18 years old, the program’s track record is impressive, as nearly 100% of its graduates are placed in jobs with accounting firms and government agencies. This online accounting master’s degree also satisfies Utah’s 150-hour requirement, allowing students to take the Certified Public Accounting exam. State residents pay $2,887 per semester, while the tuition of non-residents is $9,527. However, this difference in price can be eliminated through the Non-Resident Student Waivers, making SUU’s program one of the most affordable online master’s degree in accounting available.
Florida Atlantic University
|Value Score 8.21|| |
Located in Boca Raton on what was originally an air base, FAU was established in 1964 and today houses over 180 degree programs. FAU’s Accounting School offers several online master’s accounting degree programs, including ones in forensic accounting and professional accounting. Around 75% of the student population has 3+ years of work experience in the field.
Both degrees are offered entirely online and take about two years to complete. Students in either program build upon their foundational knowledge of mathematics, business, and tax laws, but specialize in different areas. Professional accounting graduates work as CPAs for firms and government organizations, while those who pursue forensic accounting focus on fraud prevention, criminal investigations, and litigation. Financial aid is facilitated through FAFSA and tuition reimbursement is available.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
|Value Score 8.08|| |
Originally conceived in 1859 as a medical college, UAB now offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students interested in campus as well as remote studies. Among these eLearning options is an online accounting master’s degree, which consists of 30 credit hours that can be completed in as few as five semesters. Courses like financial accounting and income taxation build on fundamentals, while more specialized classes like advanced auditing and attestation allow students to gain new knowledge and skills.
Tuition rates for out-of-state students average $1,000, while resident students pay roughly half that. Loans and grants include a host of options for active military personnel and veterans through programs like ThanksUSA and the Army Scholarship Foundation. Resources for online students include tutoring and internship and career advising through the Dragontail program. Due to UAB’s accreditation system, some online programs are not offered to certain state residents. Check state authorization for more details.
|Value Score 8.01|| |
Located in Boiler Springs, NC, Gardner-Webb emphasizes balancing of faith and intellectual freedom towards a life of love, leadership, and compassion. The school offers many remote programs of study, including a master’s degree in accounting online that focuses on applied economics and financial practices, while also highlighting leadership and business decision-making skills.
The 30-credit curriculum comprises 15 hours of core coursework (including a capstone in auditing) and 15 hours of electives drawn from areas of focus like general accounting and forensics. Various forms of aid are available, including loans and grants, employer reimbursement, and graduate assistantships. Gardner-Webb also offers a dual master’s program in business and nursing or divinity, allowing those interested to gain a wide but connected array of skills to pursue their professional goals.
Touro University Worldwide
|Value Score 7.76|| |
A non-traditional and non-profit school founded by entrepreneurs and philanthropic visionaries in 1998, Touro University Worldwide houses its headquarters in Los Alamitos, CA. TUW’s mission welcomes all cultures and backgrounds and emphasizes social justice and a global viewpoint. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Touro offers an exclusively online education, including an MBA.
Totaling 36 credit hours, this MBA curriculum combines core and concentrated coursework along with a senior capstone project. Students can choose from five concentrations, including accounting, to align their academic pursuits with career goals. Students have the option of finishing the degree in one year if they take two courses per two-month term, consecutively. Tuition is $500 per credit hour and TUW scholarship advisors work with applicants to bring that cost down through a combination of federal, institutional, and community scholarships; many graduate students pay less than $10,000 for their degree, making TUW’s an extremely affordable online master’s degree in accounting.
Saint Leo University
|Value Score 7.57|| |
Established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, Saint Leo‘s on-campus and online degree programs are accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools. SLU offers a robust remote learning experience through its platform eLion, and offers a variety of graduate programs, including an online accounting master’s degree within a business administration framework.
Courses focus on topics including fund accounting, business law, financial statement analysis, and fraud examination. Those motivated to get through the program quickly can opt for the accelerated MBA track, taking two courses each eight-week term continuously for six terms. This track can be completed in a year. SLU is known as one of the most military-friendly universities in the country. Not only do personnel receive reduced tuition across the board, but they also have access to a large number of grants and scholarships.
|Value Score 7.30|| |
Founded in 1878, Brenau is located in Gainesville, GA. The institution prides itself on fostering a desire for intellectual and artistic accomplishments in its students through a curriculum enriched by liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and global awareness.
Brenau houses a catalog of 555 graduate programs, and those wanting to pursue a master’s degree in accounting online can do so through the school’s MBA track. This 15-course, 45-credit hour program consists of courses in applied economics, business strategies, and international finance. In addition, students can choose to specialize in two fields: public accounting and management accounting. Online learning is facilitated through the Canvas platform. Tutoring, counseling, and career service support are open to all students.
Baker College Center for Graduate Studies
|Value Score 7.18|| |
Baker College, located in Flint, Michigan, was formed in 1965 through the joining of two institutions: Muskegon College and Baker Business University. Today Baker is the largest, independent, not-for-profit university in the state and prioritizes it mission based on 11 principles, including community orientation and a willingness to change and adapt. All of Baker’s programs, including its master’s degree in accounting online, are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Baker’s MBA in accounting focuses on providing an in-depth, practical understanding of theoretical and applied concepts. The program is ideal for those with accounting experience looking to gain managerial knowledge and skills critical for their work situation. In addition to student services such as tutoring and financial assistance, Baker offers lifetime employment assistance to its graduates.
|Value Score 6.99|| |
Located in titular Alabama city, Auburn opened its doors in 1859 as a private liberal arts institution, only to close two years later due to the Civil War. Auburn reopened after the war and is today one of the preeminent comprehensive universities in the country, offering degree programs for traditional and nontraditional students. Among the nontraditional options is an online master of accountancy (MAcc).
This accounting master’s degree online program consists of courses such as integrated accounting applications and government & not-for-profit accounting. Those who want to pursue the MAcc program but are lacking previous academic credentials can opt for Auburn’s accounting bridge program, which takes students through necessary prerequisite courses. Though they do not earn an undergraduate degree for this work, students are eligible for scholarships during their time in the bridge program. A network of support is available to online students, including financial aid assistance, tutoring and advising, and student/professional organizations.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
|Value Score 6.93|| |
SUNY Poly‘s mission is to provide higher education that is affordable and innovative in order to prepare graduates for technologically-driven and globally-focused careers. The university offers several online degree programs, including an MS in accountancy, which consists of 11 courses (or 33 credit hours). Graduates are qualified to sit for the New York CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exams.
The curriculum covers topics such as auditing theory, management information systems, and multinational economics. Online accounting master’s degree courses are conducted through the Blackboard learning platform. Financial aid, including paid assistantships, is widely available. Online graduates leave with degrees from the brick-and-mortar college where the program is held, making their accreditation identical to their campus counterparts.
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
|Value Score 6.88|| |
Though UML has roots that date back to the 1890s, the current iteration of the school was formed in 1972 through the merger between Lowell State College and Lowell Technological Institute. Today, UML is a public research institution that offers affordable and accessible education to all persons. Many remote programs are available, including an online accounting master’s degree program.
Housed in the Manning School of Business and part of the Division of Online & Continuing Education, the MSA prepares students for high-level positions in public accounting. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses in forensic accounting and corporate finance. Students in the program pay $640 per credit regardless of residential status. Online students have access to much of the same support their campus counterparts enjoy, including tutoring, academic advising, career assistance through Jobhawk, and 24/7 technical help.
|Value Score 6.87|| |
Located in Nebraska, Bellevue focuses on designing programs that satisfy the performance outcomes defined by professional and industry standards. Among the school’s many innovative and flexible options are two online accounting master’s degree programs: a MBA with a specialization in accounting, and an MS in accountancy.
Both programs consist of 13 courses (36 credit hours) and cover topics like financial management, auditing, and operations & logistics theory. While both degrees prepare students for a fast-paced and competitive job market, the MBA program focuses more on managerial and communication skills, while the MSA focuses on deep accounting practices like internal information systems. Both programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and tuition is the same: $545 per credit hour. Transfer work is accepted and students can also get credits towards their degree through Bellevue’s prior learning assessment program.
Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion
|Value Score 6.78|| |
Originally founded as Marion College in 1920, IWU is dedicated to providing liberal arts and professional education for all students. The school was one of the first to cater its degree programs to nontraditional and working adult students in 1985, and this dedication continues today through its 38 graduate programs, including an accounting master’s degree online.
Taking 18-26 months to complete, the MSA program integrates knowledge of field standards and practices with the ability to design and communicate strategies towards implementation. Courses include corporate taxation and forensic accounting & fraud examination. Financial Aid is applied for through FAFSA, and employer assistance/reimbursement is available. Pastoral discounts are also available, and active military personnel receive a 25% discount on all graduate tuition, among other benefits.
|Value Score 6.36|| |
Founded in 1873 and Located in the city of Rome, Shorter University is a Georgia Baptist Institution with a history of offering an excellent liberal arts education.
The school’s MAcc degree can be completed in as few as 12 months. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the CPA Exam. Consisting of 31 credits, the curriculum covers topics like legal issues, ethical practices, and accounting information systems. Tuition is $500 per credit hour. Active military and veterans receive discounts and other aid; they can also ask the university to assess their military training and experience in order to receive college credit.
Concordia University – Wisconsin
|Value Score 6.18|| |
Concordia University specializes in online education, especially for working adults. Concordia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business programs are backed by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Among the school’s many graduate offerings is an MBA in accounting, a 39-hour program.
Unlike many other MBA programs, Concordia’s does not require applicants to take the GRE or GMAT. The curriculum includes courses in applied statistical methods and management; students are required to take on an internship during their time in the program. Graduates leave with a strong foundation in business and essential skills including auditing and systems management and design.
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
|Value Score 6.17|| |
UMass-Amherst is part of the UMassOnline system, created in 2001 by the university president and board of trustees to meet the educational needs of busy individuals in the state and nationally. Among the graduate program offerings is an MSA, which can be completed entirely online or through classroom work at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Business.
The program is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in accounting, and many students graduate in two semesters. The 30-credit curriculum consists of seven core courses and three elective classes, covering topics like advanced auditing and business tax decisions. Students can apply for financial aid through FAFSA and a variety of assistance is available, including grants, loans, and tuition waivers for MA state employees and other eligible individuals.
|Value Score 5.63|| |
Located in Denver, CO, Regis University was founded in 1877 by a group of exiled Italian Jesuits and is today one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Like other Jesuit schools, Regis’s missions is based on care for the whole person, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, with a focus on social justice issues.
Offered through the College of Business & Economics, the online MSA degree program is designed for those with academic and/or work experience in the field. This 30-credit program also includes an additional 10-15 credits in prerequisites. Those with the aforementioned knowledge and skill can test out of these courses, making Regis’s MSA program suitable for a range of students and professionals. Military personnel receive a 15% discount on tuition and also have access to other assistance through G.I. bills and programs like the Yellow Ribbon Foundation.
New England College
|Value Score 5.53|| |
New England College, located in the quintessential New England town of Henniker, NH, was established in 1946 to serve the needs of military servicemen and women on the G.I. Bill after World War II. NEC promotes equal opportunities for all, and encourages the application of minority and women students to eliminate the effects of past discrimination in the provisions of educational and related services.
NEC offers a 40-credit MSA, which prepares graduates for several professional certifications, including the CPA and CFE exams. Regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the MSA program can be completed in less than two years. With the flexibility of rolling admissions, students can enter the program every seven weeks.
University of the Southwest
|Value Score 5.51|| |
Located in Hobbs, New Mexico, USW was founded in 1962. As a Baptist institution, USW’s mission focuses on the demonstration of faith through acts of service as well the freedom of thought and expression grounded in the separation of church and state.
USW offers a variety of degree programs suited for students of all ages and backgrounds, including a master’s degree in accounting online. Conducted through the Blackboard learning platform, the MBA with a concentration in accounting is a 36-credit program that can be completed in as few as 12 months and does not require a background in the field (though an undergraduate degree is compulsory). Courses cover topics like financial management, reporting, and leadership. USW’s tuition is the same for all students regardless of residency status; tuition includes all fees and digital textbooks.
|Value Score 4.24|| |
Franklin University opened its doors in 1902 in Columbus, Ohio as a private, nonprofit university. The school is dedicated to providing working adults with an education that caters to their schedules and responsibilities, while also preparing them for entrance into or advancement in their preferred career.
Franklin is a leader in online learning and offers a variety of degrees with multiple start dates and flexible 12- or 15-week course schedule options. Franklin’s MSA program combines 21st century skills with the thorough teaching of technical accounting, research, and communication. The 30-credit curriculum builds on fundamental knowledge and skills, but also leaves room for students to pursue personal interests through either the taxation or financial operations tracks. MSA students pay $647 per credit hour and the program can be completed in as few as 18 months.
University of Connecticut
|Value Score 4.16|| |
Located in the city of Storrs, UConn opened its doors in 2001 as an agricultural school with a class of 13 students. Today, the school operates on several campuses throughout the state in addition to the eCampus, the school’s online learning platform. Created with the Online Learning Consortium’s Quality Framework in mind, UConn’s remote degree programs combine flexibility with innovative communication to ensure that the quality of education does not differ from the traditional campus programs.
Among the selection of degrees is the MSA. UConn’s MSA program offers freedom in its curriculum; with only two required courses, students are able to design, with the help of advisors, the rest of the program to suit their academic, research, and professional goals. However, the program is best pursued by students with undergraduate credentials in accounting, as certain prerequisites must be met.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Value Score 4.09|| |
SNHU, located in Manchester, was initially founded in 1932 as a school for accountants and secretaries. Today it comprises the School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Arts and Sciences. Over 200 online degree programs are offered at SNHU, including an MSA with the choice of four concentration areas: auditing, taxation, forensic accounting, and management accounting.
These options allow accounting master’s degree online students to personalize their education, and the program has no GRE or GMAT requirements. Students can finish their MSA in 15 months by taking two courses per 10-week term. A wide array of support is available, including writing and other tutoring services, career advice, and disability services. Tuition is charged at $470 per credit hour for military personnel and $640 for civilians.
|Value Score 3.68|| |
Established in 1927 in Madison, Wisconsin as an independent institution, Edgewood College combines the Dominican Catholic belief in lifelong learning with the freedom and innovation of a liberal arts education. Edgewood is regionally accredited and its business programs are supported by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
The school’s online and hybrid degree programs are designed with the adult student in mind, as they focus on honoring past experiences and connecting you with peers in your industry. The MSA is a 30-credit degree program and consists of courses in management, taxation, and international business, to name a few. Students usually finish in two to three years, though those with the time can earn their MSA in as little as one year. Edgewood works with its accounting master’s degree online students to make their education as affordable as possible, and accepts up to 12 qualifying transfer credits.
Rutgers University – Newark
|Value Score 3.65|| |
Rutgers in Newark, New Jersey was established in 1766 and is the eighth oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Despite its age, Rutgers is on the cutting edge of alternative forms of education. Through its Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT), the offers a variety of graduate degree programs.
Among the online catalog is the 30-hour (up to six can be transfer credits) MAcc in governmental accounting. Students can take courses part-time or finish in one year on a full-time basis. Graduates are eligible to sit for the New Jersey CPA exam. Those interested may also pursue the dual degree option that combines the MSA with a master of public administration (MPA), further strengthening the credentials for future work in government agencies. Tuition is $945 per credit hour, though various forms of financial aid can lower costs substantially.
Nova Southeastern University
|Value Score 3.59|| |
NSU was established in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, amidst the turbulent and exciting changes of 1960s America. Today, NSU is considered a highly active research university by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Pursuing innovation from day one, NSU offers an engaging catalog of online degree programs, all of which are accredited by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
Among the selection is the MSA, a 39-credit program designed for adults with work experience in the field. The curriculum is focused on value-driven management and consists of courses such as business law and regulatory issues for accountants. Those without prior knowledge or experience can take foundational courses online before enrolling in the MAcc program; those with solid grounding can get their degree in less than 21 months. Scholarships, like the Graduate Business Student Tuition Award, are available to online students.
Golden Gate University – San Francisco
|Value Score 3.01|| |
What started as a lecture series in a San Francisco YMCA during the 1850s would 50 years later become an evening law school and the first iteration of Golden Gate University. Today GGU continues that tradition, offering “quality, practice-based educational programs” for working adults in business and management, accounting, taxation, and law.
It’s no surprise then that GGU has an established remote platform and multiple online accounting master’s degree programs, including the MAcc, the MSA, and the MBA with an accounting concentration. Credit requirements range from 30 to 54, and include core classes, electives, and specializations. Military personnel have access to additional forms of assistance through programs like Yellow Ribbon.
|Value Score 2.91|| |
Stetson was officially introduced in 1889, and eight years later the institution’s School of Business opened, making it the oldest of its kind in Florida. Though Stetson has undergone many changes, the university’s mission remains concrete: to create a lifelong love of learning in its students through personal growth, intellectual development, and global citizenship.
Stetson’s MAcc degree is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students can complete their degree in one year by taking 10 five-week courses completely online. The Stetson MAcc program prepares its students to sit the CPA exam, and nearly 100% of graduates land jobs shortly after finishing the program (if not before). Students are eligible for general financial aid as well as specific business awards like the Business Foundation Scholarship and the Professional Endeavor Scholarship.
Albertus Magnus College
|Value Score 2.53|| |
Located in New Haven, CT, Albertus Magnus was established by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1924 and the first classes were held a year later. Staying true to its Judeo-Christian heritage, AMC’s mission is grounded in “providing opportunities for learning that responds to academic needs and ethical challenges of it students and society.”
The school offers an MSA degree, which consists of 30 credit hours and the option to pursue the personal financial specialist track. With accelerated eight-week courses and five starting points per year, students can finish the degree quickly while also catering to their busy personal schedules. Loans and grants are available through FAFSA to help fund tuition.
St John’s University – New York
|Value Score 1.91|| |
Located in New York City, St. John’s University was founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Fathers. Today it identifies as a coeducational Roman Catholic University with international campuses in Rome and Paris. Through the Peter J. Tobin School of Business, St. John’s offers the MSA degree program, available on its campuses or online.
This one-year, 33-credit program is designed to help those with experience in the field greater understand the function of accounting in their organization and in the global marketplace, enabling them to relate theoretical concepts to practical problems. Courses cover topics like forensic accounting, analysis of foreign investments, and internal auditing. St. John’s offers tuition discounts and other forms of financial aid for active servicemen and women as well as veterans.