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Guide to Earning a Master’s in Accounting Online

Over 580 colleges and universities in the US offer advanced degrees in accounting, and a growing number of these institutions are offering programs that allow students to earn their master’s in accounting online.1 A master’s degree in accounting is a popular option to meet the 150 semester credit hours of education required to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. A graduate accounting degree also provides in-depth preparation for advanced and specialized accounting careers in such fields as finance, forensic accounting, and taxation.

On this page, you will find our proprietary ranking of the best master’s in accounting programs that can be completed online, along with in-depth information and advice to help you make an informed decision on earning your master’s degree.

Table of Contents
Earning a Master’s On Campus vs. Online
Top Online Master’s in Accounting Programs
Select Schools with Online Master’s in Accounting Programs
Frequently Asked Questions

Earning a Master’s On Campus vs. Online

There are benefits and drawbacks to earning a graduate degree online. Before you commit to attending an online accounting program, it’s a good idea to analyze whether a distance learning environment is a good fit for your skills and learning style.

While all of the schools on our list of top online master’s in accounting programs offer peer and faculty interaction through such mediums as videoconferencing and message boards, online learning is not always in real time. This can be a benefit for those who have work and life commitments outside of school, but this also means that online graduate students must be disciplined enough to complete coursework on their own.

Another advantage to earning a master’s degree online is the in-state tuition offered by many schools to out-of-state online learners. Since graduate tuition is typically much higher than tuition for undergraduates, the savings at institutions that offer these online discounts can be substantial.

One of the drawbacks to enrolling in an online program is the lack of in-person networking, although students do have opportunities for online networking with peers. Since forming professional networks is a large component of a graduate degree program and the asynchronous nature of online learning can hinder real-time communication, students must apply themselves to take advantage of networking opportunities when attending classes online.

Advice for Choosing an Online Master’s in Accounting Program

Be sure to verify the support resources available to online students at each school and program you evaluate, as these can vary between schools and differ from typical on-campus programs. Many, though not all, schools offer 24/7 online technical support and other resources such as online career counseling and tutoring. Before committing to an online graduate program, you should also:

  • Find a program that’s a good match for your academic background. Some programs accept students from all majors, while others limit admissions to accounting or business majors. GPA and GMAT requirements also differ. Find out about the requirements and academic averages for your target school(s) before applying.
  • Determine how much time you can commit. Some programs that offer the master’s in accounting online are specifically designed to be completed with part-time study, while others may require full-time study.
  • Decide on a concentration or specialization. If you are particularly interested in taxation or forensic accounting, for example, you should look for a program that offers an online emphasis in the field you want to pursue.

Finally, accreditation is an important marker of quality in education. There are three major national bodies that award discipline-specific accreditation to business schools and accounting programs: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). You can read more about these bodies and the importance of accreditation on our home page.

Top Online Master’s in Accounting Programs

To help you navigate your options for earning a graduate degree through distance learning, we have ranked the best online master’s in accounting programs using our proprietary ranking system. All of the schools on our ranking are not-for-profit institutions that hold regional accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education.

Heavily weighted factors in our ranking methodology include the cost of tuition per online credit hour, the number of students enrolled in distance education, and ranking recognition from US News & World Report. Other factors considered include the average salary of graduate school alumni and business school/accounting program accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. The reference marks following school names in the table denote typical GMAT/GRE requirements, as footnoted below. Clicking on the name of a linked school will lead you to a profile of that school with additional information such as student and faculty statistics.

SchoolMIA RankAverage Online TuitionAvg Grad Alumni Mid-Career Pay2Accreditation% Tenured Faculty3US News Regional Rank4US News National Rank4US News Online Rank5
University of Connecticut*1$925$111,000AACSB Accounting37%#63 tie#11
Villanova University*2$1,428$126,900AACSB Accounting33%#49 tie#5
Florida International Universitytt3$980$96,100AACSB Accounting43%#162 tie#14 tie
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hilltt4$1,446$104,300AACSB Accounting43%#28 tie#6 tie
University of Massachusetts Lowelltt5$655$116,100AACSB Business School26%#179 tie#29 tie
Auburn Universitytt6$900$111,000AACSB Accounting45%#99 tie#17 tie
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign^7$850$123,600AACSB Accounting50%#47 tieNR
George Mason Universitytt8$1,010$115,100AACSB Accounting26%#148 tie#38 tie
University of Scrantont9$895$107,800AACSB Business School44%#5 North#48 tie
University of Missourit10$854$107,000AACSB Accounting33%#122 tie#34 tie
University of Southern Californiatt11$2,469$133,300AACSB Accounting26%#27

#1
University of Massachusetts Amherst^12$800$109,400AACSB Accounting45%#68 tieNR
West Texas A&M Universitytt13$520$90,600AACSB Business School30%#71 West tie#34 tie
University of Alabama at Birminghamtt14$1,088$90,900AACSB Accounting32%#148 tie#24 tie
Rutgers Universityt15$995$115,550AACSB Business School26%#63 tie#12
Georgia Southern Universityt16$527$92,800AACSB Accounting34%#299-391

#46 tie
Pennsylvania State University World Campus*17$951N.Av.AACSB Business School40%#63 tie#10
Colorado State University-Global Campust18$500$103,600ACBSPN.Av.#148 tie#34 tie
Southern Utah Universitytt19$485$89,600AACSB Business School26%#67 West tie#48 tie
University of Cincinnatitt20$1,108$101,600AACSB Business School27%#148 tie#21 tie
Boise State Universitytt21$545$89,000AACSB Accounting24%#299-391

#43 tie
DePaul Universityt22$1,102$113,800AACSB Accounting30%#127 tieNR
Syracuse University^23$1,683$114,800AACSB Business School39%#59 tie#41 tie
Stetson University*24$1,050$97,000AACSB Accounting38%#5 South#62 tie
Rider Universityt25$990$106,100AACSB Accounting34%#27 North tie#109
Emporia State Universityt26$363$83,800AACSB Business School49%#82 Midwest tieNR
University of Miamit27$2,213$106,500AACSB Accounting37%#55 tie#21 tie
University of South Dakotatt28$470$93,600AACSB Business School25%#239 tie#34 tie
Northeastern Universityt29$1,640$115,600AACSB Business School32%#49 tie#52
American Universityt30$1,812$113,600AACSB Business School23%#79 tie#16
University of Texas Dallas*31$2,416$105,600AACSB Accounting37%#136 tie#6 tie
St. John’s University^32$1,360$115,200AACSB Accounting31%#172 tieNR
University of Hartfordtt33$814$110,000AACSB Business School24%#213 tie#125-164
California State University-Sacramento*34$740$106,800AACSB Business School27%#46 West tieNR
Indiana Wesleyan Universityt35$559$83,900ACBSPN.Av.#19 Midwest tieNR
Plymouth State Universityt36$660$86,200ACBSP29%#123 North tieNR
Western Governors Universityt37$378$94,900ACBSPN.Av.NR
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesotat38$675$99,400IACBE12%#34 Midwest tieNR
Bellevue Universityt39$610$88,700IACBEN.Av.#119-157 MidwestNR
Southern New Hampshire Universityt40$627$83,700ACBSPN.Av.#131-171 NorthNR
Franklin Universityt41$670$86,600IACBE AccountingN.Av.NRNRNR
Golden Gate University San Franciscot42$1,090$115,700None35%NRNRNR
Nova Southeastern Universityt43$996$90,600IACBE Accounting3%#213 tie#125-164
New England Colleget44$576$91,800NoneN.Av.#131-171 North#125-164
Bay Path Universityt45$855$69,500NoneN.Av.#90 North tieNR

Table Notes:
*GRE/GMAT required
^GRE/GMAT optional/recommended
tGRE/GMAT not required
ttGRE/GMAT waived if you meet other requirements; waiver requirements vary widely by program.

Select Schools with Online Master’s in Accounting Programs

University of Connecticut (#1)

uconn-logoThe University of Connecticut (UConn) offers an online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). The MSA was the first online master’s program offered at UConn and can be completed in as little as two semesters (eight months) with a full course load. Students studying part-time typically take two courses per semester. Admitted students usually start during the summer semester (May). With the exception of a required campus residency during May, all coursework can be completed online and primarily asynchronously, allowing for self-paced learning and scheduling flexibility. Available elective courses include Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination; Accounting and Disclosure for Not-for-Profit Entities; Research for Accounting Professionals; and Advanced Assurance Services. Online students also have access to the same “learning accelerators” as on-campus students, which include partnerships with high-profile corporations that can help students form advantageous professional relationships and gain experience. The School of Business at UConn also offers doctoral programs in accounting and finance, as well as an on-campus Master of Science (MS) in Financial Risk Management and an online Certificate in Global Risk Management.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 8,2981
Acceptance rate (business school): 98%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N.Av. / 3.55,6
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5395

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $925/$9256
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): The University of Connecticut does not offer an on-campus master’s program in accounting for comparison.6
Online instructional faculty (business school): 12; 8 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $25,9405
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 38%5

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#4)

university-north-carolina-logoThe online Master of Accounting (MAC) program from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) accepts candidates from all undergraduate backgrounds. Those who have undergraduate degrees in accounting or business may be eligible for course waivers as well as an advanced curriculum. MAC students can choose a concentration in either Tax or Audit and may take specialized courses in such topics as negotiations, governmental accounting, analytics, and finance. With regular admission and full-time study, the program can be completed in as few as 15 months. Courses can be started in either June or December and are delivered through a mix of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (self-paced) formats using integrated communication platforms that allow advanced interactions with peers and faculty. Admitted students must attend a one-week leadership immersion on campus. An optional winter internship in accounting can be completed for degree credit. Online students also have access to the same international learning experiences, known as Global Immersions, as on-campus students.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 10,6971
Acceptance rate (business school): 55%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.0 / 3.25,7
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 6775

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,446/$1,4467
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,755/$2,4877
Online instructional faculty (business school): 1095

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $63,3655
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 57%5

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Auburn University (#6)

auburn-university-logoAuburn University’s online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program accepts students who are US residents, have a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting, and meet business and accounting prerequisites. The online program mirrors the on-campus program in a format designed for working professionals. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as one year (three semesters). The curriculum provides students with in-depth preparation for the Uniform CPA Exam. A range of electives, including courses in Fraud Examination, Financial Analysis & Valuation, and Global Financial Markets, are available for degree plans tailored to individual interests. To ensure academic integrity, students may choose to have exams proctored by approved personnel at their employers, local library, or college. While the majority of degree requirements are completed online, students must complete a three-day on-campus residency for the MAcc Leadership Summit during the final semester of study. Auburn also offers an online Master of Science in Finance (MSF) that may be of interest to those pursuing careers in accounting.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 6,2321
Acceptance rate (business school): 68%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.75 / 3.45,8
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5465

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $900/$9008
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $947/$2,0398
Online instructional faculty (business school): 31; 11 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $30,7075
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 48%5

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (#7)

university-of-illinois-logoThe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers an online Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA), that is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline provided that the student has met certain undergraduate business course prerequisites. It is recommended that applicants have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in order to be competitive in the admissions process and the program. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. Admitted students must complete 32 credit hours to earn the iMSA. With a full-time course load, it is possible to complete the iMSA in as few as 18 months; students may also take up to 36 months to complete the program with part-time study. The program is designed to allow students to personalize their education to their career goals with electives beyond the accounting core. Elective courses available include Statistical Analyses in Accountancy, Advanced Financial Reporting, and Data Analytics in Accountancy. Students must also take at least one business elective. Each course is delivered in two fully-online segments; the first segment is delivered as video lectures and assigned readings through Coursera, followed by a second segment that is based on weekly live online classroom engagements.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 18,9961
Acceptance rate (business school): N.Av.
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.0 recommended5,9
Average GMAT score of accepted students: N.Av.

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $850/$8509
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,303/$1,3039
Online instructional faculty (business school): N.Av.

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: N.Av.
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: N.Av.

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University of Southern California (#11)

university-southern-california-logoThe University of Southern California (USC) offers a Master of Business Taxation (MBT) that can be completed online through a track designed specifically for working professionals. Most classes meet online once per week between 5:30 and 6:30 PM, Pacific Time. The admissions process is competitive and is based on the completion of prerequisite courses in economics, intermediate financial accounting, and corporate/public finance. In order to be admitted, prospective students must have at least one year of tax-related professional experience. The MBT can be completed in as few as five semesters when taking one to two courses per semester, though students are permitted to work through the degree requirements at a slower pace. The curriculum consists of five required courses plus five electives, which can be selected to fit with personal and professional interests. Electives include courses such as Taxation of Transactions in Property; Taxation of Foreign Business Operations; and Advanced Financial Statement Auditing Topics. The USC Leventhal School of Accounting also offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree program, though at this time the MAcc is not available online.

Admissions & Enrollment

Admissions

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 26,5011
Acceptance rate (business school): 67%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.0 / 3.15,10
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5905

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $2,469/$2,46910
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $2,469/$2,46910
Online instructional faculty (business school): 275

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $26,1345
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 555

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University of Massachusetts Amherst (#12)

umass-amherst-logoThe online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management emphasizes analysis and valuation while preparing students to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The MSA holds separate programmatic accreditation from the AACSB and can be completed in as few as two semesters. The majority of the 30 credits required to earn the degree are from the core curriculum, which includes such courses as Advanced Topics in Financial Reporting, Advanced Audit, and Information Technology for Accountants. Admission is competitive and is based on both academic and professional performance. Accepted students may begin their coursework during the spring, summer, or fall semesters. Graduates of the program benefit from an extensive alumni network as well as the school’s strong relationships with corporate and foundation partners. The Isenberg School of Management has dedicated business school advisors and professional student support resources available through the Chase Career Center.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 7,4091
Acceptance rate (business school): 84%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.75 / 3.45,11
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5705

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $800/$80011
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $800/$80011
Online instructional faculty (business school): 475

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $39,4745
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 16%5

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University of Alabama at Birmingham (#14)

alabama-birmingham-logoThe fully online Master of Accounting (MAcc) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business (UAB Collat) helps students develop skills in analytics, business, and leadership while preparing for the Uniform CPA Exam. A bridge program is available to help students who have an undergraduate degree in majors other than accounting or business meet the prerequisite course requirements. Once enrolled in the MAcc program, students take seven core accounting courses as well as three elective courses. Electives offered include External Auditing; Forensic Accounting and Information Technology Auditing; and Corporate Governance. Students may also take practicum courses to earn credit for work experience. UAB Collat is known for its focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, with strong ties to the corporate community that aid students in building professional networks.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 8,6851
Acceptance rate (business school): 835
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.45,12
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5135

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,088/$1,08812
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,088/$1,08812
Online instructional faculty (business school): 105

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $34,5795
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 625

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Rutgers University (#15)

rutgers-logoThe Rutgers Business School offers a specialized Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accountancy (GOVMACCY), the first program of its kind to be offered entirely online. The program is part-time and designed for working professionals interested in advanced government accounting careers. The credits earned for the GOVMACCY can help students meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The program can also prepare students to take the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) exam or the Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) exam. Though not required, it is recommended that students have an undergraduate degree in business or accounting for admissions consideration. To earn the degree, students take seven required courses plus three electives. Elective topics include Federal Financial Management, Public Sector Forensic Accounting, and Special Topics: Governmental Financial Analysis. Rutgers also offers a hybrid program leading to the Master of Accountancy (MACC) in Financial Accounting, as well as on-campus programs for the Master of Accountancy (MACC) in Professional Accounting and Master of Accountancy (MACC) in Taxation.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 14,5671
Acceptance rate (business school): 86%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.25,13
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 6455

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $995/$99513
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,184/$2,05413
Online instructional faculty (business school): 27; 11 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $54,7385
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 51%5
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Georgia Southern University (#16)

georgia-southern-logoGeorgia Southern University (GSU) offers an online Master of Accounting (WebMAcc). Students from all undergraduate majors are considered for admission, although all admitted students must meet the accounting prerequisites. The cohort-based curriculum that emphasizes student team-building is sequenced across six semesters and consists of 10 courses, six of which are required and four of which are chosen from available electives. Though the program prepares students to work in all major accounting competencies, the School of Accounting has a particular focus on excellence in the field of forensic accounting. Available electives include Fraud and Society; Cyber Forensic and Data Analysis; and Expert Witnessing. Once admitted, students must arrange an approved testing center to proctor course exams. The program is academically competitive and requires students to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to graduate, with no more than two grades of “C” or below permitted during the program. Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam and may be eligible to sit for other professional certification exams such as the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) exam established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 3,4801
Acceptance rate (campuswide): 83%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.25,14
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 4965

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $527/$52714
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $410/$1,23814
Online instructional faculty (business school): 225

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $20,4145
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 53%5

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Pennsylvania State University (#17)

pennsylvania-state-logoPennsylvania State University’s (PennState) World Campus offers an online Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) that builds the skills and credentials needed to sit for and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. Applicants are not required to hold an undergraduate degree in accounting, although certain accounting courses are prerequisites for full program admission. Courses in the online program are taught by the same full-time, experienced faculty who teach on-campus courses and include study in such topics as Auditing Theory and Practice, Strategic Cost Management, Advanced UCC and Commercial Transactions, and Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting. Students also take a capstone course in Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support, which provides unique and specialized preparation for professional forensic accounting activities. PennState also offers a Master of Finance that can be completed substantially online with a one-week campus residency.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 15,3701
Acceptance rate (business school): 88%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.25,15
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5445

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $951/$95115
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,254/$1,25415
Online instructional faculty (online campus): 52; 6 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $23,0005
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 25%5

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Colorado State University (#18)

colorado-state-logoColorado State University (CSU) offers a fully online Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) degree program through its Global Campus. The MPAcc program emphasizes analysis and problem-solving in accounting and finance for business and prepares students for advanced professional accounting careers. To be considered for admission, students must have an undergraduate degree with either a major or concentration in accounting, including 21 upper-division credit hours in accounting. Prospective students who do not meet this requirement may be able to seek provisional admission if they have at least 15 credit hours of upper-division accounting plus previous experience or if they complete the prerequisites through the CSU Global Campus with a GPA of at least 3.0. Once enrolled in the MPAcc program, students are locked into the tuition rate as of their first semester for as long as they remain active students. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes 24 credits in required courses plus six credits of elective coursework. CSU also offers online specializations in Finance and Fraud Management that may be of interest to accounting students, as well as an online Master of Finance (MFin) degree program.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (Global Campus): 4,6081
Acceptance rate (business school): 83%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 3.0 / 3.65,16
Average GMAT score of accepted students: N.Av.

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $500/$50016
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $692/$1,18616
Online instructional faculty (business school): 3045

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $45,2375
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 59%5

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DePaul University (#22)

depaul-university-logoDePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) that requires 45 credit hours to complete. The program is designed for students who do not have undergraduate accounting degrees, making the program a flexible option. The sequenced curriculum includes 12 courses in accounting plus four courses in business, providing a well-rounded degree program and developing students’ understanding of the intersections between accounting and the wider business environment. Students may take up to six years to complete the degree, which provides preparation for professional accounting careers and the Uniform CPA Exam. The business programs at DePaul University are nationally respected by employers and are regularly top-ranked by business and graduate school publications. The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business also offers an online program leading to the Master of Science in Taxation (MATAX) , as well as a broad variety of specialized on-campus master’s programs in Wealth Management, Enterprise Risk Management, and Computational Finance.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 7,7771
Acceptance rate (business school): N.Av.
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N.Av.
Average GMAT score of accepted students: N.Av.

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,102/$1,10217
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,080/$1,08017
Online instructional faculty (business school): N.Av.

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: N.Av.
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: N.Av.

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Emporia State University (#26)

emporia-state-logoEmporia State University awards the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) to candidates who complete its 30-credit hour, fully-online graduate program, which helps students meet the 150-hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. To be considered for admission, students must have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a closely related field as well as a minimum score of 450 on the GMAT. A variety of elective courses, such as Enterprise Resource Planning Foundations, Fraud Examination, Managerial Economics, and Information Technology Project Management, allow students to tailor their curriculum plans to their individual interests. The School of Business offers a limited number of graduate scholarships to academically talented students. Graduate students also have access to the school’s Corporate Connection and mentorship programs as well as a dedicated Business Advising Center.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 2,6471
Acceptance rate (business school): N.Av.
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: 2.75 / N.Av.18
Average GMAT score of accepted students: N.Av; minimum requirement of 45018

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $363/$36318
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: Emporia State University does not offer an on-campus master’s program in accounting for comparison18
Online instructional faculty (business school): N.Av.

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: N.Av.
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: N.Av.

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Northeastern University (#29)

northeastern-university-logoNortheastern University awards the Master of Science in Taxation (MST) to students who complete its academically rigorous graduate program, which consists of 15 required credit hours plus 15 credit hours of electives. The MST is designed for working students and can typically be completed in two years or four semesters. Admitted students may begin the program in January, May, or September and choose a specialization track in either Individual Taxation or Entity Taxation. Electives offered include Tax Accounting for Income Taxes; Taxation of E-Commerce; Advanced Flow-Through Entities; and Financial Planning for Investments. To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam as well as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Examination. Graduate programs offered on-campus through the D’Amore-McKim School of Business include the Master of Science (MS) in Accounting, Master of Science (MS) in Innovation, and Master of Science (MS) in International Management.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 7,7491
Acceptance rate (business school): 83%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.35,19
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5005

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,640/$1,64019
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,366/$1,36619
Online instructional faculty (business school): 27; 6 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates (campuswide): N.Av.
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt (campuswide): N.Av.

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University of Texas Dallas (#31)

ut-dallas-logo.jpgThe University of Texas Dallas (UT Dallas) offers a 36-credit hour Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program through the Naveen Jindal School of Management that can be completed in as few as 18 months. Students from all undergraduate majors are considered for admission. Students enrolled in the program acquire the skills and knowledge to succeed in various fields of accounting and pass the Uniform CPA Exam; however, prospective students who are Texas residents should note that the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires that at least 15 of the 30 graduate hours in accounting taken to qualify for the CPA Exam be delivered on-campus. Under the guaranteed tuition plan, once admitted, students’ rate per credit hour does not change for up to 12 consecutive semesters. Many courses in the MSA include experiential components that allow students to apply learning in real-world situations in diverse contexts, from the corporate landscape to nonprofits and start-ups. An online CPA review course is also offered online in the summer and fall semesters. Various graduate-level scholarships are available based on diverse criteria, including need- and diversity-driven financial awards as well as those based on academic merit, leadership, and work experience. The Naveen Jindal School of Management has an international reputation for excellence and offers students the opportunity to connect to alumni mentors and gain other advantages through its corporate and professional networks. An on-campus program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management Science with an Accounting Concentration is also offered.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 7,4821
Acceptance rate (business school): 66%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.55,20
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5855

Tuition & Academics

Tuition

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,996/$2,86520
In-state/out-of-state tuition per on-campus credit hour: $1,250/$1,25020
Online instructional faculty (business school): 73; 10 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $38,8345
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 19%5

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St. John’s University (#32)

st-johns-university-logoSt. John’s University offers two fully online programs of interest to prospective accountants, a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) and a Master of Science in Taxation (MST). Offered through the university’s Peter J. Tobin College of Business, both programs take between 31 and 33 credit hours to complete. The MSA program focuses on modern professional practice in accounting in a global context and offers admission to those who completed an undergraduate major in business. Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The MST program focuses on building comprehensive knowledge of taxation strategy, compliance, and research. To be admitted to this program, students must hold an undergraduate degree in accounting.

Admissions & Enrollment

Number of graduate students (campuswide): 4,4501
Acceptance rate (business school): 43%5
Minimum / average undergraduate GPA for acceptance: N/A / 3.45,21
Average GMAT score of accepted students: 5705

Tuition & Academics

In-state/out-of-state tuition per online credit hour: $1,360/$1,36021
In-state tuition (per on-campus credit hour): $1,360/$1,36021
Online instructional faculty (business school): 24; 3 years average online teaching experience5

Graduate Statistics

Average debt of 2019-2020 graduates: $36,7355
Proportion of 2019-2020 graduates with debt: 21%5

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are online degrees respected? How do employers view online degrees?

Whether or not a degree was earned online, the most important indication of respect for your degree is likely the reputation of the school you choose to attend. Since the vast majority of programs do not differentiate between online vs. on-campus courses on transcripts or degrees, employers will not be able to tell whether a degree was earned online unless you choose to disclose that fact. Your online degree, if earned from a respected school, should be just as well-regarded as if you earned that degree on campus.

Do I need a master’s degree to practice accounting?

You do not need a master’s degree to practice accounting, but you typically need a master’s degree to qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The Uniform CPA Exam, which is required to earn the CPA designation, requires at least 150 credit hours of education. Since most bachelor’s degrees take around 120 credit hours to complete, and most master’s degrees require 30 credit hours, earning a master’s in accounting is the typical route for CPAs as well as those seeking to advance to managerial positions.

What can I do with a master’s degree in accounting?

A master’s degree in accounting opens the door to greater responsibility and career advancement. As noted above, a master’s degree is the typical route to CPA licensure. A master’s degree in accounting is also suggested for careers in governmental accounting, auditing, taxation, and compliance.

How long does it take to complete a master’s degree?

The length of a master’s degree program depends on the structure of the individual program and the student’s availability. Many schools offer both part-time and full-time programs for earning an online master’s in accounting. Full-time programs can generally be completed in as few as 18 months. Part-time programs usually allow students up to six years to complete degree requirements.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. PayScale College Salary Report: https://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report
3. College Factual: https://www.collegefactual.com/
4. US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges
5. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Business Programs: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/business/rankings
6. University of Connecticut: https://uconn.edu/
7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: https://www.unc.edu/
8. Auburn University: http://www.auburn.edu/
9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: https://illinois.edu/
10. University of Southern California: https://www.usc.edu/
11. University of Massachusetts Amherst: https://www.umass.edu/
12. University of Alabama at Birmingham: https://www.uab.edu/home/
13. Rutgers University: https://www.rutgers.edu/
14. Georgia Southern University: https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/
15. Pennsylvania State University: https://www.psu.edu/
16. Colorado State University: https://www.colostate.edu/
17. DePaul University: https://www.depaul.edu/Pages/default.aspx
18. Emporia State University: https://www.emporia.edu/
19. Northeastern University: https://www.northeastern.edu/
20. University of Texas Dallas: https://www.utdallas.edu/
21. St. John’s University: https://www.stjohns.edu/