Masters in Accounting

Your Guide to an Advanced Accounting Degree

This site strives to be the most comprehensive resource for prospective students in Masters in Accounting (MAc. MAcc or MAccy) and Masters in Finance. Visitors can access top programs via several ratings systems, student reviews, scholarships, student guides, a jobs board, free online lectures, and career outlook data for advanced degrees in Accounting. Prospective students can also research and quickly request free information about an online master’s in accounting degree, program and/or school. Thank you for visiting, we hope you find our work useful, and please contact us if we can be of help. -MastersInAccounting.info

Accounting School Information by State

We have researched and published accounting school information at the state level on the following pages designed to help you become an accountant. Here you will find quick facts, the top masters in accounting programs, profiles of well-known schools, top accounting firms, salary and job outlooking information, as well as student reviews.

Recent Accounting Career Interviews

Our accounting career interviews feature successful accounting professionals who share their career journeys and advice for students who are just starting out. You can click on the profile images below to read the individual’s interview.

Russell Fox
Principal, Clayton Financial and Tax

Anthony Cantanach
Associate Professor, Villanova University

Bill Kennedy
Owner, Energized Accounting

William Byrnes
Associate Dean, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

See all of the interviews on our accounting career interviews page.

Top Masters in Accounting Schools

US News ranked the following schools as having the top 10 accounting graduate programs in the country based on factors such as recruiter assessment, mean starting salary, employment rates, and student selectivity.2

1. University of Texas-Austin (McCombs)

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas-Austin offers a Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) that is open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any academic field. Students with an accounting background can typically complete the program in 36 credit hours or three semesters, while students from other academic backgrounds usually complete a 42 credit hour program across four semesters. Team competitions, workshops, distinguished speaker lyceums, and internships are integrated with the curriculum. Students may choose one of four specialized tracks in financial reporting and assurance, managerial accounting and control, taxation, or an individualized generalist specialization. Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. The MPA program is consistently top-ranked by US News and World Report and the Public Accounting Report, among others.

2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania awards a Master of Business Administration in Accounting with a focus on concepts and applications for accounting data and analysis as well as training for leadership. This three-year degree program is offered through the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and typically qualifies students to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Students may have the opportunity to complement the core curriculum with electives such as Advanced Corporate Finance, Competitive Strategy, and Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation. Wharton also offers distinctive opportunities such as Global Career Treks and the Wharton International Volunteer Program. Wharton’s business school faculty are distinguished by their top publication and citation rates, and students further benefit from individualized career advising and access to Wharton’s extensive alumni network.

3. University of Chicago (Booth)

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting that can be pursued full or part-time. The full-time program is 21 months in length, while the evening and weekend programs are designed to be completed in 2.5 to 3 years. In all programs, the curriculum is built around one required course in Effective Leadership, allowing students an exceptional degree of personalization in choosing courses to compliment individual career goals and objectives. Students pursuing an MBA at Chicago Booth may additionally take up to six free courses after meeting graduation prerequisites through the Take 3 and Alumni Post-Graduate programs. Chicago Booth has developed what it calls the “Chicago Approach to Business Education”, which emphasizes conceptual knowledge as well as real world applications for executives, and its faculty are internationally renowned for their academic and professional contributions to accounting practice and policy.

4. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois Urbana offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program that emphasizes career development for students with both limited and strong backgrounds in accountancy. The MSA program cohort begins in June of each year, and requires 32 semester hours to complete. The curriculum for the MSA can be customized according to the student’s background and individual career and education objectives. Courses are led by faculty with extensive experience, with a focus on hands-on training as preparation for in-demand advanced career fields including public accounting, banking and financial services, and consulting. The undergraduate and graduate accounting programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are consistently ranked among the best accounting programs in the US by such publications as BusinessWeek, US News and World Report, and the Public Accounting Report.

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree program that prepares students for the increasingly cross-disciplinary focus of accounting practice by combining the study of accounting, finance, and management. The MAcc program is a full-time, cohort program that begins in the fall semester. MAcc students take courses integrated in the Master of Business Administration curriculum, including accounting and finance electives. In the final spring semester of the program, students attend the Ernst & Young Accounting and Public Policy Symposium in Washington, DC as part of a graduate research seminar. This allows students to experience the interaction between public policy and business firsthand. Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam, and receive career search advice beyond graduation through the University of Michigan Alumni Career Services department.

6. Stanford University

The Stanford Graduate School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration program that can be tailored with a concentration in accounting through electives during the second year curriculum. The MBA program typically requires two years of full-time study to complete, and emphasizes leadership, analysis, and creative thinking to encourage business innovation. During the first year of the program students focus on general management perspectives and foundations, and complete a required global experience through one of many international study options. The second year of study is devoted to fulfilling degree requirements through electives, which may also include compressed courses in the form of intense business seminars between one and two weeks in length. Stanford University is globally recognized for the quality of its business education programs, and its faculty include Nobel Laureates and other leaders in academics and research.

Brigham Young (Marriott)

Brigham Young University offers a Master of Accountancy degree through the BYU Marriot School of Management. This full-time program can generally be completed in one and a half to two years. Students may enter one of two standard tracks or “stems” upon acceptance to the program, professional accountancy or taxation. Students in either track may additionally elect to pursue a second focus area in Accounting Information Systems by tailoring elective choices to courses within the accounting information systems core. Students in all tracks graduate with a deep understanding of accounting and auditing practice, standards, and ethics, and are prepared to assume positions of leadership in the accounting field. The Marriot School of Management has been cited as a top-ranked graduate school by numerous publications, including the Public Accounting Report, US News & World Report, and Forbes.

University of Southern California (Marshall)

The University of Southern California offers a Master of Accounting program through the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. This full-time, one-year program emphasizes conceptual thinking and problem solving as well as life-long professional development and learning. Graduates of the program will also have a firm understanding of accounting ethics and professional standards, and be prepared to apply global perspectives in a business environment. The faculty of USC Marshall and USC Leventhal are productive academic scholars and business professionals with a reputation for advanced research. Students and graduates can find further benefits through the school’s Corporate Connections, which helps students find career resources and make connections with school alumni and others in the fields of accounting, business, and academia.

9. New York University (Stern)

New York University’s Stern School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration that can be customized with up to three specializations from across 24 fields including Accounting, Corporate Finance, and Financial Systems and Analytics. With full-time study, the MBA program can be completed in two years, or students can elect to pursue part-time study in evening and weekend classes to complete the degree in two to six years. Students who specialize in accounting graduate with a comprehensive understanding of accounting, competitive advantages and information systems in accounting, and management practices. New York University Stern is ranked among the top schools in the world for research productivity, and New York University has been recognized as a top graduate school by US News and World Report, Times Higher Education, and other prestigious publications.

10. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has a Master of Accounting program that can be completed in one year of full-time study. Leadership and communication are focuses of this academically rigorous program, which is led by faculty with extensive academic and professional experience. Technical proficiency and development are emphasized through the integration of economics, behavioral science, and quantitative methods within each course in the curriculum. Courses are taught through 7 week or half-semester modules, or two modules per semester. Students can access competitive professional networking opportunities through the curriculum as well as through the university’s career services. Additional professional and research opportunities are available through the Kenan Institute and other professionally focused business institutes and centers at UNC. The Kenan-Flagler Business School is highly-ranked by US News and World Report and the Public Accounting Report.

Best Master’s in Accounting Schools According to Professors

Here are the top-ranked master’s in accounting programs in 2013 according to the Public Accounting Report:
1. University of Texas
2. Brigham Young University
3. University of Illinois
4. University of Notre Dame
5. University of Mississippi
6. University of Southern California
7. University of Michigan
8. Texas A&M University
9. Indiana University
10. University of North Carolina

The Public Accounting Report ranks accounting programs annually based on a survey of accounting professors at over 200 colleges and universities.

Accounting Schools with the Highest 2013 First-Time CPA Pass Rate

1. Brigham Young University
2. University Georgia
3. University of Wisconsin-Madison
4. University of Michigan Ann Arbor
5. University of Notre Dame
6. Texas A&M University
7. University of Virginia
8. University of Texas Austin
9. Lehigh University
10. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

These rankings are for large schools with at least 60 candidates for the CPA exam. For all candidates in the United States, the first-time pass rate was 54.6% in 2013 according to Nasba.org. You can find more information and specific statistics on the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report.

Masters in Accounting Degree

A Master’s in Accounting Degree (MAcc), also known as Master’s of Professional Accountancy (MPAcy) is an advanced graduate level business degree focused on curriculum that prepares individuals to work in the accounting field in various roles such as an auditor at a large accounting firm, management positions in corporate accounting, or as a CPA for individuals or businesses. Graduates are prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam which is required for many advanced accounting jobs.

Reasons to Earn a Master’s Degree in Accounting

The curriculum covered in a master’s in accounting degree program is focused primarily on learning fundamental concepts of accounting, effective accounting methods, and gaining the knowledge required to pass the CPA exam. An individual with talent and interest in working with numbers and strong attention to detail can excel in this career field. The demand for skilled accountants is strong and as a result, companies offer attractive starting salaries that can exceed six figures. There are also strong opportunities for accountants to advance to upper management or CEO of a corporation. If you prefer to be your own boss, you can start your own accounting firm and provide accounting services for businesses or individuals.

Master of Accounting Course Requirements

A master’s in accounting degree program often takes one year of intensive study as a full-time student or longer as a part-time student. The course topics vary depending on the school and may include tax and auditing courses, business electives, and financial analysis courses.

Masters in Accounting Educational Prerequisites

Typically an undergraduate degree in accounting is not required but if your degree was outside of business there may be prerequisites that may need to be completed before starting. Prerequisite coursework may include basic accounting, pre-calculus, and statistics. A satisfactory score on the GRE or GMAT is usually required for admission as well as some prior work experience. Schools may also require a satisfactory grade point average in undergraduate coursework.

Master’s in Accounting Curriculum

Master of Accounting degree programs typically focus on advanced level accounting topics, methods, and theory.

The coursework for a Master’s in Accounting Degree Program may include:

  • Financial Decision Making
  • Applied Statistics for Business Decisions
  • Financial Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Reporting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Federal Taxation
  • Contemporary Issues in Accounting
  • Accounting and Audition Aspects of Computer-based Information Systems
  • Business Taxation

Career Outlook for Accounting Graduates

Accounting offers an exceptional outlook with projections of much faster job growth than other professions over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS projects that employment for accountants and auditors will grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022 with about 166,700 new jobs during this period.1 Compliance with increased financial regulation is one factor driving demand for skilled accounting professionals.

Master’s in Accounting Graduate Salary

The median salary of accountants and auditors is about $59,430 per year 1 and the top 10 percent of accountants earn over than $100,000 per year.1 See our Master’s in Accounting Salary and Outlook page for a sortable table of salary and outlook by state.

Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

For prospective students who do not live near a campus that offers a master’s in accounting program or for those who prefer the greater flexibility and time savings of completing a degree from home, an online MAcc program may be right for you.

Additional Resources for Prospective Accounting Students

Accounting Today – a top news source for the accounting community including information on tax and regulation changes.
American Accounting Association – official site for the American Accounting Association.

Masters in Accounting Scholarships

Perhaps no one is more acutely aware of the high cost of higher education than a student of accounting.  An education in an advanced degree represents an investment of money and time.  Clearly, someone entering an accounting field is likely predisposed to considering the return on this investment and looking for ways to improve it.  The following list of accounting scholarships may help the graduate accounting student ease the financial burden enough to complete the course. See the full list of Masters in Accounting Scholarships

Masters of Accounting Student Guide

It often happens that a graduate holding a bachelor’s degree will return to the possibility of higher education after spending a few years on the job. A promising career in the world of business or finance might have reached a point of stagnation, where the potential for promotions and career advancement is less likely without an advanced degree in accounting. Read entire Student Guide for Earning a Masters in Accounting

Top 50 Accounting Blogs

Our Top 50 Accounting Blogs reflect the blend of traditional principles, modern perspectives and revolutionary technologies that is shaping the profession and its industry today, frequently busting staid stereotypes in the process. Find a variety of viewpoints, straightforward advice and updates on issues that affect everyone with an eye on the bottom line.
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Golden Practices Blog
The principle that progress starts with perceptions is the basis of “Golden Practices Blog” by consultant, strategist, author and trainer Michelle Golden, CPF, who reflects on letting an organization’s social media stars shine, learning to say no and setting the right tone with clients for the sake of time management, and defining effective roles for partner and apprentice.

See All Top Accounting Blogs

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