top online masters programs, online masters degree, online masters in accounting, online accounting masters, master of accounting, online degree, online collegeWhen reviewing online masters programs to further your career in accounting, this college ranking will help you narrow the field in your school search.

Accounting may seem like a mathematical discipline, but, it is the science used to analyze and utilize financial data. Accounting is also the process of keeping financial accounts. The measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about all economic entities fall under the area of accounting, which is a subset of the business field. Degrees in accounting are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. In this ranking, we discuss masters degrees in accounting.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in this field are projected to grow at a rate of 10% over the 2016-2026 period; this is a rate faster than the national average. Any time that a field is expanding at such an aggressive pace, there is going to be increased demand for highly-qualified professionals. You can still secure a job with an undergraduate degree in accounting, but advanced education is going to give you an edge in the job market.

In addition to that, master’s degrees in accounting give you something that bachelor’s degrees don’t, and that is customization opportunity. At the master’s level, you can choose to add a concentration to your degree so that you can focus your career in a specific area of accounting such as business, taxation, auditing, or forensic accounting, among many others.

Earning an Online Masters in Accounting

Because accounting is so vital to the function of all types of businesses, degrees in accounting are widely available in America. Of course, that extends to online degrees as well. There are dozens of online masters degrees in accounting for you to choose from, and there are a lot of benefits to studying online.

The main benefit of studying online for most students is the convenience and flexibility. You don’t have to worry about relocating. This means that you don’t have to figure out the logistics of moving, you don’t have to leave your career or any of your other obligations behind. Most online masters in accounting don’t ever require you to visit campus! In addition to that, most of them are presented in an asynchronous format. This means that you can get on your computer from anywhere at any time of day and work on your classes, you don’t have to ‘attend’ classes at set times.

Online degree programs are usually associated with lower costs, too. Some schools will offer online students the opportunity to pay the same tuition as in-state students that are studying traditionally. You may also see fewer fees and material costs. You will also still be eligible for financial aid and scholarships.

Choosing to get your masters in accounting online will also allow you to find the best program for you. It doesn’t matter if schools in your area don’t offer a concentration you’re interested in because you can easily find a distance program that does. You will also have the opportunity to graduate on your own terms, based on the program, of course. Some of them offer both full-time and part-time schedule options; you may be able to find an accelerated degree program that will help you graduate faster.

What are the best online masters in accounting programs?

The best program for you isn’t going to be the same as the best for other students; however, there are a few hallmarks of a great online accounting degree program. It’s important that you find a program that is accredited, has the courses you want to take to advance your career, and will meet your scheduling and financial needs. With that said, there are a lot of choices out there! That’s why we’ve done the research and ranked the top 30 best online masters in accounting programs. This ranking can be a jumping-off point for you to start doing your research, or you may find the best online masters in accounting program for you. All of the schools were ranked according to the following.

Methodology

In order to rank the top 30 best online masters degrees in accounting, we started by curating a list of schools that matched some initial ranking criteria. The things that we looked for in each school is that they were based in the United States, were properly accredited, and offered at least one masters-level program in accounting online, whether that was entirely online or in a blended format. We didn’t consider any for-profit schools for this ranking.

Once we had a list of schools, we scored each of them based on the following three factors.

  • Freshman Retention Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Graduation Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Affordability (⅓ of final score)

The maximum possible score that could be awarded was 300 points. After each school was given a final score, they were ranked in ascending order accordingly. In the event that more than one school received the same score, we used the alphabetical ordering of their names to determine their position in the ranking. We’d like to note that we explicitly follow this methodology and explain it because we want to make it clear that no school is ever awarded preferential treatment for any reason. Some institutions that may have otherwise ranked could have been omitted due to incomplete information or per their own request; however, we are confident that these results are completely repeatable through this methodology.

All of the information we use to score the schools and discuss the online masters in accounting programs they offer comes from the schools’ websites whenever possible. Additional information we needed was gathered from reputable sources like the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News & World Report, and CollegeData.com. The affordability score is based on the residential cost of attendance listed on the CollegeData website, and this is the price we’ve included in this ranking. This information was current at the time of writing; however, this is not meant to guarantee you the price you will pay. You may pay a higher or lower cost for your degree based on your personal circumstances.

  1. MERIT: 282
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,100

    Master of Accounting

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    UNC Chapel Hill offers online masters programs, with the masters in accounting being rated #1 in the country by LinkedIn.

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is featured as the top school in our ranking of the best online masters in accounting programs. This university offers a Master of Accounting program that has been ranked as the best in the country by LinkedIn. This accounting masters degree consists of 36 total credits, but you could be required to complete as many as 48 credits based on your academic background.

    Academic background is one of the things that truly sets this program apart. It is uncommon for a masters program not to require you to have a bachelors degree in the field, but this program is open to all students, regardless of what they earned their undergraduate degree in. The curriculum is designed to be suitable for absolute beginners that are just starting to study accounting.

    There are four start dates each year that you can choose from, and, of course, you can earn this degree entirely online. The core courses will explore subjects like auditing and assurance services, data analytics for accountants, and managerial and cost accounting. You can also choose from three concentrations, which are Tax, Audit, or Financial Analysis and Reporting. Depending on your experience, you could graduate in just 12 months!

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  2. MERIT: 267
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,699

    Master of Science in Accounting

    UConn

    University of Connecticut offers highly ranked online masters degrees in accounting.

    The University of Connecticut is home to an online Master of Science in Accounting. U.S. News & World Report honored the university in their 2019 ranking of the best online graduate programs in business. It also is one of less than 200 schools nationwide that holds special AACSB accreditation for its accounting programs. So, there are a lot of things that make it stand out as offering one of the best online masters in accounting programs.

    This accounting degree offers three start dates each year as well as full-time and part-time scheduling options. This means that you can start when you’re ready and take your classes at a pace that works for you. All of your classes are also asynchronous! However, you may have some synchronous elements to complete. This is a 30-credit program that could be completed in as little as three semesters of full-time study.

    The way that the program is structured is perfect for you to tailor your education to your goals. There are two core courses, one of which is Understanding the Responsibilities of an Accounting Professional. The other, you have a choice of a course in taxation, financial reporting/analysis, or managerial accounting. From there, you will choose eight electives (from an impressive selection) that fit the career that you’d like to pursue when you graduate.

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  3. MERIT: 267
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,638

    Master of Science in Accountancy

    Master of Science in Accountancy is one of the online masters degrees at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign that can be completed 100% online.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a completely online Master of Science in Accountancy. The UIUC accounting program was ranked among the top five in the nation, and this is the first university among that top five to offer the program to online students. Abbreviated as the iMSA, the program is delivered in partnership with the Coursera platform and consists of 32 total credit hours.

    Even though the degree is online, the university boasts that it is still very hands-on and practice-oriented so that you are gaining important experience as you add depth to your theoretical education. There are two start dates for you to choose from, and those are in August and January. Depending on your undergraduate education and schedule, you could finish this masters in accounting in as few as 18 months.

    There are 20 credits worth of classes that make up the core curriculum; this breaks down to five courses that are each worth four credits. The core classes include Accounting Analysis I & II, Managerial Accounting, Auditing, and Federal Taxation. Then, for the remainder of your credits, you must take eight credits worth of accounting electives and four credits worth of non-accountancy electives.

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  4. MERIT: 258
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,346

    Master of Professional Accounting

    One of the online masters programs offered by Penn State is the Master of Professional Accounting program.

    Pennsylvania State University is home to a Master of Professional Accounting program that you can take online through the Penn State World Campus. This program stands out among our ranking of the best online masters in accounting because it doesn’t require you to have an undergraduate degree at all. Instead, there are a handful of prerequisite classes that you would have to take in order to get started.

    The focus of this MPA program is to prepare you to take your CPA exam. The curriculum will not only equip you with the skills you need to prepare for the exam, but it will also give you the educational foundation and credentials to be licensed as a CPA. There are a total of 30 required credits in this program; you will be able to earn those credits according to your schedule thanks to the asynchronous delivery of your classes.

    This is a very straightforward program comprised of ten courses that are laid out for you. The classes you’ll take in this program cover business tax, auditing, financial statement analysis, nonprofit accounting, cost management, and more. The curriculum will certainly prepare you for a solid career in accounting and for earning your CPA, but there are no opportunities to individualize your education if that is something that you want.

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  5. MERIT: 254
    View Profile Average Cost: $22,613

    Master of Accountancy

    Auburn University

    Auburn University offers a variety of online masters programs. The Master of Accountancy program is geared towards working professionals.

    Auburn University offers an online Master of Accountancy program that it assures was designed specifically for working professionals. One thing that differentiates this program is the fact that it is very structured. It follows the exact same academic calendar as the on-campus program and has the same rigor, standards, and accountability. With that said, students that can pursue the program at a full-time pace can still finish reasonably fast – in one calendar year.

    Auburn’s online accounting degree also requires you to attend campus, although it is only one time in the final spring semester you’re enrolled. The residency lasts for three days, and it is called the MAcc Leadership Summit. You will be able to participate in business seminars, leadership workshops, and social events.

    You will be able to take your classes asynchronously, but you will also have the option to participate in real-time by watching live-streamed lectures that are later posted online. There are only five required courses, and those are Advanced Auditing & Assurance Services, Research in Accounting, Federal Tax Research, Integrated Accounting Applications, and your residency. You will be able to choose from a list of nearly 20 offered electives to fill the rest of your requirements.

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  6. MERIT: 249
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,629

    Master of Science in Accounting

    George Mason University offers online masters degrees, including a Master of Science in Accounting program.

    George Mason University has a Master of Science in Accounting program that it describes as being 100% online; however, it still requires a residency. The residency is a one-week global residency, which means you will have to go abroad to complete the program. Global Accounting Environment is one of the five required courses, and you can’t waive it. Overall, the program requires a total of 30 credits, half of which come from your required courses.

    Other required courses include Professional Accounting Colloquium, Identifying and Resolving Issues in Taxation, Identifying and Resolving Issues in Financial Accounting, and Fraud Examination. The remaining 15 credits you need will come from your elective courses. There are only five electives offered online at this time, and they are all delivered synchronously. GMU states that the majority of courses are delivered asynchronously, which we assume applies to the required courses.

    You will progress through the program in a cohort model, and all of the classes are offered in what GMU calls a module format. This means that you will be able to enroll in two courses every eight weeks. There are no full-time scheduling options available, so you must enroll in this program on a part-time basis. The prescribed plan of study would allow you to graduate in two years.

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  7. MERIT: 245
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,762

    Master of Accountancy

    University of Missouri

    University of Missouri offers online masters degrees, including Master of Accountancy.

    The University of Missouri has a Master of Accountancy that you can complete at a distance through its distance-learning initiative, Mizzou Online. The degree is officially offered through the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business and holds an accreditation from the AACSB. There are absolutely no visits to campus required to complete the program. Students are invited to attend some events on campus if they choose, though.

    This online masters in accounting is made up of a total of 30 credits. The classes are semester-based, but depending on your schedule and academic background, you may be able to finish this degree in as little as one year. The average student with a full-time job takes one class per semester and can take up to three years to finish. The curriculum of the program is designed to prepare you for the next step in your accounting career, and for your CPA.

    The curriculum covers a range of key topics in accounting like auditing, ethics, taxation, fraud examination, and forensic accounting, among others. One of the highlights of this particular accounting degree is that online students are eligible to pay the same tuition rate as students that are residents of Missouri. The estimated cost of the program in its entirety is around $23,000.

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  8. MERIT: 240
    View Profile Average Cost: $42,204

    Master of Professional Accounting

    19 Miami-logo

    Among the online masters degrees offered by University of Miami are a Master of Professional Accounting, a Master of Professional Accounting with a CPA preparation track, and a Master of Business Administration with a Focus Area in Accounting.

    The University of Miami is certainly not one of the most affordable programs; however, it certainly fits into our list of the top online masters in accounting because it has a lot to offer. At the University of Miami, you have a few choices when it comes to programs. The university offers a Master of Professional Accounting, a Master of Professional Accounting with a CPA preparation track, and a Master of Business Administration with a Focus Area in Accounting.

    The Master of Professional Accounting consists of 32 credits if you take the general track and 40 credits if you take the CPA track. Students take one course at a time, and each one lasts for a duration of seven weeks. There are eight courses in the MPA program, and you can graduate in 16 months. The CPA track has two more courses to help you prepared and takes an extra four months to complete.

    The MBA in Accounting is the longest program. The classes are still condensed into seven weeks each, and you will still take one at a time; however, you will have to take a total of 15 classes. Along with your accounting classes, you will explore topics in management, economics, marketing, and business, along with other business concepts. This option takes 28 months to complete.

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  9. MERIT: 237
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,758

    Master of Science in Accounting

    Among its online masters programs, The University of Arizona offers a Master of Science in Accounting program.

    The University of Arizona is home to an online Master of Science in Accounting. One thing that sets this program apart from other schools featured among the top online masters in accounting is that there is an Online Accounting Graduate Certificate program you can take if you didn’t meet all the prerequisites in your undergraduate studies. You can also start with the certificate if you don’t meet the GPA requirement of the master’s program.

    The Master of Science in Accounting at the University of Arizona was designed to help you to further your career in professional accounting while you earn credit toward a CPA license. There are 30 credits required to complete the degree; 18 of those credits will come from the core accounting curriculum, and the remaining 12 will come from MBA and accounting electives.

    There are six different start dates throughout the year, so you can enter the program when you want to. You can also graduate in as little as 12 months. The accounting courses you will take cover the fundamental parts of accounting such as ethics, business law, auditing, federal taxation, and more. There are several subject areas that electives are offered in so you can build on that foundation; these areas are Management Information Systems, Management, Healthcare, Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Economics.

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  10. MERIT: 236
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,375

    Master of Science in Accounting

    University of Massachusetts Lowell

    One of the online masters programs offered at UMass Lowell is a Master of Science in Accounting program.

    The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a Master of Science in Accounting through UMassOnline. It has one of the best costs per credit out of all the schools we’ve ranked among the top online master’s programs in accounting. If you choose this school, you will pay less than $700 per credit; some programs can cost over $2,000 per credit. U.S. News & World Report has also featured this as one of the top online graduate programs.

    In order to be eligible to enroll in this program, you will have had to earn an undergraduate degree in accounting or at least a related field that allowed you to fulfill all of the prerequisites. There are 30 total credits required in this program. The required courses you’ll take are Government and Nonprofit Accounting, Advanced Cost Management, Taxation of Business Entities, Financial Accounting Theory and Research, and Advance Auditing. They account for 15 of those credits.

    The remaining credits you will earn through your choice of electives. This program requires that you take two accounting electives and three business electives. Your business electives can be in finance, management, marketing, and a few other areas.

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  11. MERIT: 234
    View Profile Average Cost: $36,392

    Master of Accountancy

    Of the online masters degrees offered by The University of Scranton is a Master of Accountancy that offers two specialization tracks: Forensics and Business Analytics.

    The University of Scranton has an online Master of Accountancy that offers two specialization tracks, which are Forensics and Business Analytics. This is a 30-credit program, and it stands out from other schools in our ranking of the best online masters in accounting because you can graduate in as little as ten months if you study at a full-time pace. Part-time options are available; this scheduling option extends the program over a period of 20 months.

    The University of Scranton also offers a bridge program for students who did not earn an undergraduate degree in accounting. This bridge program makes all of the prerequisites available to you online to give you the necessary background to succeed in the master’s program when you start. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for their CPA; however, if you don’t have prior academic experience in accounting, you may not meet the academic hours requirement for the CPA Exam.

    This Master of Accountancy online degree program is offered 100% online, and there are several start dates throughout the year. It is also very simple to tailor your studies to your individual needs because there are only three required courses. You will have the opportunity to select four or five advanced electives based on your goals; you also choose your specialization. The Forensic Accounting track has five required courses which fulfill your requirement. The Business Analytics option has just two required courses, and you can choose an additional three.

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  12. MERIT: 232
    View Profile Average Cost: $28,700

    Master of Science in Accounting

    Seton Hall University makes this online masters program ranking for its Master of Science in Accounting program.

    Seton Hall University has been featured in the best online masters in accounting degrees ranking for the online Master of Science in Accounting it offers. This degree stands out because it is specifically designed for students who earned their bachelor’s degree in a non-accounting business program. In total, it requires 30 credits for completion and will familiarize you with the fundamentals of accounting and then continue to build open that.

    This is a practical program that puts a strong emphasis on the technical skills you will need to perform your job every day as an accounting professional. Also, it will expand your understanding of business that you began in your bachelor’s degree. Seton Hall University is one of the very few schools that have received AACSB accreditation, specifically in the area of accounting. You can also complete this program at a pretty swift pace, graduating in just 18 months.

    The classes you take will help you grow your career in more than one way, too. This accounting degree prepares you to take the CPA Exam. The majority of your credits (21) will come from required courses that cover taxation, auditing, financial reporting, commercial law, and accounting. You will be able to select nine credits worth of electives; some options include International Accounting, Tax Research, Accounting Information Systems, and Financial Statement Analysis.

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  13. MERIT: 231
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,615

    Master of Science in Accounting

    Regis University

    Regis University makes our list of best online masters programs with its Master of Science in Accounting program, which offers students flexibility.

    Regis University has an online Master of Science in Accounting that is very flexible. This program is structured in such a way that there is a little something for everyone, no matter what their academic needs may be. There are six start dates that students can choose from throughout the year; students can opt for traditional 16-week courses or accelerated eight-week courses and; all online classes are completely asynchronous.

    This program is designed to help you support your career goals through the classes you take. There are foundation courses that are static and offered for those students whose undergraduate studies didn’t cover all of the prerequisites. However, students with a bachelors in accounting or with relevant work experience could see all of those courses waived. There are truly online three required courses.

    The bulk of your credits come from the accounting electives you select. There are over a dozen to choose from, and you can work with an advisor to create a program of study that will propel you forward in your professional life. There are also optional specializations in Financial Accounting, Fraud/Forensic Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and I.T. Accounting. Students earning a bachelors in accounting can enroll in the master’s program and finish in just two additional semesters. New students can complete their degree in just three semesters.

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  14. MERIT: 230
    View Profile Average Cost: $32,927

    Master of Science in Accountancy

    DePaul University

    One of DePaul University’s online masters programs is Master of Science in Accountancy.

    DePaul University’s online Master of Science in Accountancy does not allow a lot of room for customization but, it makes up for that by offering students an AACSB-accredited education taught by award-winning faculty at one of the longest-standing business schools in the country. This is a rigorous and engaging program that gives you everything you need for the CPA Exam and seamlessly blends practical, real-world challenges with in-depth exploration of accounting theory.

    For the majority of students, there are 36 total credits required for graduation. However, this degree program accepts students regardless of their academic background so some students may need to take three additional business courses. The average student can finish this degree in two years by following the prescribed program of study, which has them taking two classes at a time. DePaul University does allow you to take more classes at once, though, if you’d like to accelerate the degree.

    The comprehensive curriculum of this program uses practical coursework as well as principles and theory, preparing any graduate to excel in their field regardless of the academic background they’re coming from. Classes cover everything. Business law, accounting information systems, financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, and policy formation are just a sampling of the topics you’ll study. There are no electives or concentration options offered.

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  15. MERIT: 230
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,921

    Master of Science in Accounting

    Maryville University of Saint Louis

    Maryville University offers online masters programs, including a Master of Science in Accounting.

    Maryville University of St. Louis has a Master of Science in Accounting that students can choose to take online. This is an institution that understands the way that technology, regulations, and the desire to streamline all directly impact the field of accounting; so, they make sure that those things impact their degree program. This is a masters in accounting that will give you advanced and practical skills and a keen awareness of business strategies in order to help you succeed.

    This online masters in accounting does not require any visits to campus for you to graduate, nor does it require you to have taken the GMAT or GRE. In fact, it doesn’t even require that you hold a bachelors degree in accounting because you can enroll in the bridge program. The bridge program includes all of your prerequisites as well as all of the necessary courses for your master’s degree. This option requires 60 total credits.

    For students who have followed a more typical academic path, you would enter straight into the master’s program. The Master of Science in Accounting consists of 30 credits, and you could complete those credits in as little as ten months. Becker CPA Preparation Education is a partner of the university, so there are some specialized courses to help prepare you for the CPA Exam.

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  16. MERIT: 227
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,016

    Master of Accounting

    One of the most celebrated online masters programs at UAB is the Master of Accounting degree program.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a 100%-online Master of Accounting degree program that has been recognized in other publications for its quality, and it is also AACSB accredited. This online accounting degree will not only equip you with everything you need to expand your career horizons, but it will also serve as great preparation for a variety of certifications like CPA, CMA, CIA, or CFE.

    The Master of Accounting is made up of 30 credits in total and is designed for students who have already earned a bachelors degree in accounting. Core courses account for 21 of the required credits. You will have to take Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting, Advanced Financial Accounting, Current Topics in Financial Accounting, Advanced Auditing and Attestation, Corporate Governance, Tax Entities, and Business Law for Accountants. The remaining nine credits are for electives, which must be relevant to your degree.

    There is an entry option for students who have not earned a bachelors in accounting. The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a bridge program. The bridge program courses are also available entirely online, and they cover the foundations of accounting; the classes you’ll take are all prerequisites to the master’s program and will earn you 24 credits. The bridge program takes a little longer to complete, but, the average student finishes just the master’s curriculum in about a year and a half. More aggressive students can finish in one year.

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  17. MERIT: 220
    View Profile Average Cost: $27,287

    Master of Accountancy

    15 Stetson-logo

    Stetson University offers online masters degrees, including a highly regarded Master of Accountancy.

    Stetson University is a small school, but that’s not to downplay the fact that it is an incredible institution. U.S. News & World Report has ranked them in third place in their publication of the best southern masters-granting schools. An award-winning faculty, a coveted AACSB accreditation, and a convenient but comprehensive curriculum have all helped to solidify Stetson’s place in our ranking of the top online master’s degrees in accounting. The degree it offers is a Master of Accountancy.

    The online Master of Accountancy at Stetson is a 30-credit program that is ideal for students who have already earned a related bachelors degree. You can enter the program without such a degree, but you will need to meet additional requirements. All of the classes you’ll take are offered in accelerated five-week sessions, online, and in an asynchronous delivery format. The online program can be completed at a full-time or part-time pace based on your needs. Full-time students can graduate in just one year.

    If you’re located near the Stetson campus in Deland, Florida, you have the option to take hybrid courses as well as online. You can also add a Tax specialization if you are looking to pursue a career in that area. As part of the general Master of Accountancy program, you will take classes in accounting theory, auditing, data analytics, information technology, and business strategy, business law, and more.

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  18. MERIT: 219
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,363

    Master of Science in Accountancy

    Boise State University offers online masters programs for professionals, including the Master of Science in Accountancy.

    Boise State University offers you the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Accountancy online. This program is designed to help you advance your career in public accounting as well as pass the CPA Exam. This is an accounting degree that is available entirely online as well as being very competitively priced. The cost per credit for the 2019-2020 academic year was only $495!

    Students are admitted to the program three times a year in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. There is not currently any sort of bridge program for students who didn’t take all of the prerequisite courses in their undergraduate studies, so this is more suited to those students who already have a background in accounting or business administration. There are 30 total credits required, and you can finish them all in just a year.

    The curriculum is very flexible. The required courses are Advanced Auditing, Corporate Tax Law, and Advanced AIS and I.T. Audit; they only account for nine of the credits you need. The remaining 21 credits will come from electives that you choose that are relevant to what you’d like to do when you graduate. Forensic accounting, accounting for income taxes, and personal financial planning are just some of your options. You can also choose to complete an internship as an elective.

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  19. MERIT: 219
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,042

    Master of Science in Accountancy

    The Master of Science in Accountancy is one of the online masters programs offered by Edgewood College.

    Edgewood College has a Master of Science in Accountancy that students can complete entirely online, without ever having to visit campus. It is only open to those students who have earned their undergraduate degree in a related area of study so that they’ve completed all of the prerequisite courses. Students are admitted to the program in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

    This online masters in accounting requires 30 credits for you to graduate, and the curriculum consists of two main parts, which are Accounting courses and Business courses. You will need to take 15 credits of accounting classes and 12 credits of business classes at the minimum. Most of these are going to be your required classes, but you can select an elective in each area.

    The things that you’ll learn throughout the program will help you to prepare for your CPA Exam. As a student at Edgewood, you will also benefit from their partnerships with Gleim and Becker CPA. You will be able to receive discounts on review materials purchased through either of these channels. You can study full-time or part-time based on your schedule, and you would be able to complete your degree in one year or two to three years, respectively.

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  20. MERIT: 219
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,264

    Master of Accounting

    12 GSU-logo

    The Master of Accounting program is online of several online masters degrees offered by Georgia Southern University.

    Georgia Southern University’s Master of Accounting online is another great program featured in our ranking of the best online masters in accounting. This degree is presented in a cohort model, and it is only offered at a single pace. Students take two classes in the spring and fall semesters and then one class over the summer. You’ll be able to graduate in two years after you’ve earned a total of 30 credits.

    Georgia Southern University is one of fewer than 200 institutions that has received AACSB accreditation for its accounting program. All of the courses you will take are delivered online, and you will never have to attend campus. This accounting degree was designed for full-time professionals that are looking to advance in their careers. In light of that, this is an asynchronous program that also incorporates CPA preparation into its curriculum.

    There are only ten courses in the program. The required classes you will encounter are Seminar in Financial Accounting, Seminar in Accounting Information Systems, Tax Research, Fraudulent Financial Reporting, Seminar in Auditing, and Current Legal Issues. You will then finish up your credit requirements with electives relevant to your degree. There is no bridge program offered; you must have completed your prerequisites to enroll.

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  21. MERIT: 217
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,257

    Master of Science in Accounting

    bay path university, online degree programs, bay path college, online college, online university

    Of all the online masters programs in this ranking, Bay Path University offers the fastest Master of Science in Accounting.

    The Master of Science in Accounting offered by Bay Path University is the fastest degree program featured in this ranking of the best online masters programs in accounting. It is also one of the most flexible for those who want to earn your CPA. There are five different start dates throughout the year, and if you start in April or May, you could graduate in as little as eight months.

    There are three different pace options to choose from, and those are eight months, one year, or two years. The total number of credits required to complete the program is 30, and you can earn all of those credits entirely online. There are no classes held between January and the middle of April, to account for the busy season in this industry. You can also customize your studies based on the CPA requirements in your home state.

    As a student of this program, you will have the opportunity to get internships during tax season, you will have individualized advisement and career coaching, and you will have access to all of the same student resources that campus-based students do such as tutoring, the library, and career services. The classes you will take depend on the concentration you select. The current offerings at Bay Path are Public Accounting (Tax & Audit), Private Accounting, and Forensic Accounting.

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  22. MERIT: 217
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,028

    Master of Accounting

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    One of Rider University’s 100% online masters programs is an AACSB-accredited Master of Accounting degree program.

    Rider University offers students an AACSB-accredited Master of Accounting degree program that is offered in a 100%-online format. Students have the choice of six different start dates throughout the year and three different concentrations. Rider currently gives students the option to specialize in Business Analytics, Finance, or Forensic Accounting.

    This degree requires you to complete 30 credits of coursework regardless of the concentration that you choose. This program is generally for those students that have completed all of the prerequisite courses; however, you may get your prerequisites waived based on academic or professional experience. In the event that you need to take those prerequisites, the university offers them online as well.

    There are seven required courses for this program, and they cover topics like accounting data analysis, federal taxes, professional research, business intelligence, auditing, and financial reporting. Then, your remaining nine credits will come from concentration-specific courses like Business Law, Personal Finance Planning, or Fraud Detection & Deterrence. It will take the average student less than two years to finish their degree.

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  23. MERIT: 217
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,647

    Master of Professional Accountancy

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    One of the online masters degrees offered by The University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business is the Master of Professional Accountancy.

    The University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business has been consistently accredited by the AACSB for the past seventy years, so it is no surprise that the Master of Professional Accountancy it offers has showed up here among the best online masters programs in accounting. This program is designed to provide specialized training in accounting and help prepare students for the CPA Exam.

    There is an optional Accounting Analytics Specialization that you can also take online, and it goes beyond the basics of accounting to equip you with the skills you will need to analyze data and improve decision-making processes. Data is a huge focus in the specialization courses. Whether you choose this track or the general track, this program is made up of 30 credits in total. It will take two years to complete.

    If you haven’t completed all of the prerequisite courses you need to be eligible for this accounting masters degree, the University of South Dakota offers all the prerequisites you need online. The core courses in the program cover relevant topics like accounting theory, auditing, ethics, and taxes. Your required courses account for most of your credits, but you do have the choice of three electives.

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  24. MERIT: 215
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,177

    Master of Science in Accounting

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    One of the online masters programs offered by Albertus Magnus College is an outstanding Master of Science in Accounting degree program.

    Albertus Magnus College has a Master of Science in Accounting degree program that truly has it all. This degree program is offered entirely online but gives students the option to attend class in-person if they’d like. Classes are condensed down to just eight weeks each, and they’re taught by professors with real experience in the field. The class sizes are small, synchronous components are built around the typical work schedule, and on top of everything else, you can graduate in just one year.

    This program helps students meet the requirements for their CPA, but they can also choose to take classes that will specifically prepare them for the Personal Financial Specialist Exam as well. There are 30 credits required to complete this online accounting degree. All of those credits come from required courses, though. There isn’t much room to individualize your studies if that it was you’re looking for.

    The required classes you will take are Organizational Behavior, Financial Statement Analysis, Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Ethics for Accounting Professionals, Fraud Investigation, Taxation of Business Entities, and Global Financial Reporting. You will also have the choice of taking Survey of Operations Management or Principles of Project Management. This program also requires you to complete a research project.

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  25. MERIT: 215
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,610

    Master of Business Administration in Accounting

    The Florida Institute of Technology offers a Master of Business Administration in Accounting among its online masters programs.

    The Florida Institute of Technology is home to a Master of Business Administration in Accounting. An MBA program like this will cover the core principles of business as well as equip you with advanced skills in accounting that you’ll need to do your job. Even though this isn’t the same as a traditional accounting degree, it still helps you meet the requirements for the CPA.

    In total, there are 36 credits required in this program. The core courses you will take are going to be primarily in business, and they will cover topics like business development, managerial economics, organizational behavior, and marketing. You will also take directed electives that relate to business administration. There are not many courses that you take as part of the accounting specialization, though.

    The accounting courses you will take are Advanced Problems and Current Topics, Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, International Accounting and Reporting, and Strategic Cost Management. This online masters in accounting also culminates in a capstone course on strategic management.

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  26. MERIT: 213
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,013

    Master of Accountancy

    Emporia State University offers online masters degrees in an accelerated format. One of these programs is a Master of Accountancy.

    Emporia State University is a small university in Kansas that prides itself on offering accelerated online degrees. One of those offerings is an online Master of Accountancy. This program consists of 30 credit hours and asserts that its total tuition is just $10,500; that means that this degree costs just $350 per credit hour, which is incredibly affordable. You can complete your degree entirely online.

    The courses that you’ll take when you’re enrolled in this online accounting degree program are just seven weeks in length, packing the same amount of material into a shorter class so that you can finish your classes that much faster. In fact, it typically takes just twelve months for students to graduate. You must enter the program with your prerequisites completed, though. There is no work experience required, but three years of significant work experience could make it, so you don’t need your GMAT to apply.

    There are six start dates each year to choose from. You can also choose when you work on your schoolwork thanks to the asynchronous delivery of all your classes. There are five classes that are required of you, and they cover tax, auditing, management accounting, accounting theory, and accounting information systems. Along with those, you will have the choice of nine different electives to complete the remaining 15 credits.

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  27. MERIT: 213
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,451

    Master of Accountancy

    One of the online masters degrees offered by Southern Utah University is an online Master of Accountancy.

    Southern Utah University offers an online Master of Accountancy. The university has been offering this degree for more than two decades now. This is another one of the best online masters in accounting that holds the special accreditation from the AACSB; however, it is the flexibility of the program that really sets it apart. This is a 30-credit program with three start dates each year.

    The true flexibility lies in the fact that students can customize their pace more at this university than almost any other. You can take as few as one or as many as five courses each semester. You also have the choice to take summer off or study straight through depending on your lifestyle. Since this is a standard 30-credit accounting degree, if you were able to take five courses in a semester, you would be done in just two.

    This online Master of Accountancy also has several different emphasis tracks you can choose from. These are Business Analytics, Managerial Accounting, Public Accounting, and Taxation. The core of each program covers the same fundamental information, and then you build on that with specialized elective courses in your area of emphasis.

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  28. MERIT: 212
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,305

    Master of Science in Accounting

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    Western New England University offers a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting among its online masters programs.

    Western New England University offers both a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting online. We’ve ranked its Master of Science in Accounting as one of the top online masters in accounting, but the MBA program could be a great option for some of you as well. The Master of Science in Accounting is a 30-credit program that can be completed online in its entirety.

    WNEU offers classes in four 11-week terms over the academic year; because of this format, you can finish this masters in accounting is as little as one year. The courses are delivered through the Kodiak online learning management system, and they are completely asynchronous. This school is also the only private institution of higher education to hold AACSB accreditation in its area, western Massachusetts.

    You will progress through the program in a cohort model. This is nice because you still get the convenience and flexibility of online study, but you will have more opportunity to connect with your classmates for networking. The curriculum of the program is very CPA-focused, and you will complete things like case studies, which will help you gain practical experience as you learn. There is also an optional Forensic Accounting/Fraud Investigation concentration.

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  29. MERIT: 211
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,954

    Master of Science in Accounting

    Among its online masters programs, Liberty University offers a Master of Science in Accounting in seven different concentrations

    Liberty University is an institution that is often featured in our rankings because it is a very reputable school. One thing that almost always sets Liberty apart when it’s in an article is how flexible it is. Even though Liberty is further down the list of the best online masters programs in accounting, don’t brush it off. This is a school that has a lot to offer if you want to earn a flexible and respected degree. Liberty University’s Master of Science in Accounting is offered in seven different concentrations.

    You can choose to earn a general Master of Science in Accounting, or you can choose a concentration that is aligned with your career goals. Liberty offers concentrations in Audit & Financial Reporting, Business, Financial Services, Forensic Accounting, Taxation, and Leadership. All of these concentrations are available entirely online, and they are all made up of 30 credits in total. Liberty allows you to transfer up to 15 of those credits in if you have them.

    Regardless of the track you choose, you will have the benefit of six different start date options, completely asynchronous classes, accelerated eight-week classes, the generous transfer policy, and more. The core curriculum for each of these programs covers similar topics and then branches out, so you get a basic understanding of accounting while exploring your specialty area. All of these degrees can be completed in just one year.

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  30. MERIT: 211
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,740

    Master of Accounting

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    Nova Southeastern University has three online masters programs related to accounting: Public Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Taxation

    Nova Southeastern University is the final school that made it in our ranking of the top online accounting masters degrees. There are three concentrations offered for you to choose from, and those are Public Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Taxation. No matter your choice, the classes you take as part of the core curriculum, prepare you to sit for important credentialing exams like the CMA and CPA.

    If you have a relevant bachelors degree, you will only need to take 33 credits to complete your masters in accounting at NSU. Some students could need as many as 51, though. This degree program is one of few that Nova Southeastern University has available entirely online; many of their programs are in a hybrid format. There is one visit to campus required for this one. You will have to spend one weekend on the main campus in Florida.

    There are start dates three times a year in August, December, and April. Each concentration shares the same core courses, which are Advanced Accounting, Internet Technology, Accounting Theory, Financial Statement Analysis, Accounting Analytics, and Survey of Taxation: Individuals, Entities, and Property. You will then take 12 credits in your concentration area and six credits of electives. You can graduate from this program in a mere 12 months.

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Are Online Accounting Degrees Respected?


Online accounting degrees are just as respected as traditional degrees. This is because online degree programs are held to the same standards as traditional programs, and sometimes, even higher standards. When you graduate from an online masters in accounting program, your degree will have nothing on it to indicate that you earned it online instead of in a traditional setting. Depending on what you choose to do, you don’t have to disclose that you earned your degree online if you don’t want to; however, if you do, you have a degree that is just as respectable as a traditional one.

Online accounting degree programs feature the same curriculum as traditional accounting degrees. The classes that you take are going to be the same ones that you would take on campus. In fact, most schools have online classes that are taught by the same faculty as the on-campus class you’re taking. You will also have the same student support, faculty mentorship, and networking opportunities in an online program. They are designed to give you the full academic experience and education that you need, just in a format that’s more accessible.

So, of course, you’re online accounting degree is going to be just as respected as it would be if you had earned it by attending school in person.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Masters in Accounting?


The amount of time it takes to get a masters in accounting is going to depend on several factors. Masters degree programs typically range from 30 to 36 credits, but some could require as many as 54. If you were earning your degree in a traditional on-campus format, the average student could finish that type of program in two to three years. Most online programs will take the same amount of time so you could graduate in about two or three years. However, the thing about online programs is that they offer you a lot more flexibility than you’d have on-campus. That flexibility could allow you to graduate faster.

There are some schools that will allow you to earn credit for past experience, like work or military training. There are also schools that have very generous transfer policies if you have already taken some graduate-level coursework in your field, allowing you to bring in as much as half of the credits you’ll need in some cases.

The main way that online degree programs can help you graduate faster, though, lies in the fact that some programs offer accelerated scheduling options. Condensed courses, higher course loads each term, and year-round classes are all ways that some programs enable you to complete them faster. So, even though the average time to earn a masters in accounting is usually two years or more, there are some masters in accounting that you could get in as little as 12 months online.

Can You Get a Job With an Online Accounting Degree?


Yes, of course! An online accounting degree is the exact same degree you would earn if you were taking classes in a more traditional format. You will have to complete the same amount of credits, cover the same material, and take the same exams as on-campus students. You’ll probably even have the same professors; the only difference is how you are getting the material delivered to you. You can rest assured that this degree will allow you to find a job just as easily as you could if you took it on an actual campus.

There are a lot of jobs that an accounting degree will prepare you for. You could find a job working as a budget analyst, financial controller, actuarial accountant, a personal accountant, bookkeeper, and more. Earning your accounting degree online is not going to limit you in any way when it comes to finding a job. Your employer won’t even know you earned your degree as a distance-learning student unless you decide to tell them.

How Much Does a Master in Accounting Make?


According to the most recent report from PayScale, the average salary across all of the jobs for those who hold a Master of Accounting is around $68,000 per year. One thing to keep in mind about determining your salary is that there are a lot of things that contribute to it, not just your degree. Where you live, exactly what you studied, and how much experience you have in the field are some of the things that will play a role. On top of that, there are a lot of careers you can hold with a masters in accounting. It may surprise you to know that a masters in accounting is a very versatile degree.

Here are some of the more common jobs you could hold with a masters in accounting and their average annual salaries.

  • Accountant: $52,870
  • Accounting Director: $106,227
  • Accounting Manager: $77,381
  • Certified Public Accountant: $61,742
  • Chief Financial Officer: $129,683
  • Corporate Controller: $99,746
  • Financial Analyst: $63,896
  • Financial Controller: $84,200
  • Senior Auditor: $68,181
  • Tax Accountant: $55,465

Is CPA Equivalent to a Masters Degree?


Both a CPA and a masters in accounting could help you secure the career you want in the field of accounting, but they are not the same thing.

To get your CPA, there are some requirements you have to meet in order to even sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. These requirements include a minimum of academic hours, the number may vary, but you will need to have at least a bachelors degree. You may also need to have a certain amount of work experience or even be a certain age. Different states, even though the exam is the same, will expect different things from you in order to allow you to take the exam. This is not an academic degree, just a certification that demonstrates your competency in the field. It is a great thing to have under your belt and may even be necessary for your job.

A masters in accounting is obviously an academic degree instead of just a certification. You might need a CPA to fill certain roles, depending on the company you want to work for and where you live. However, a masters degree is going to allow you to have a deeper understanding of accounting. You can choose to study a certain area of accounting that suits your career goals. The education you receive in this program is irreplaceable if you want to truly understand accounting principles. Earning a masters degree could also help you meet the academic hours requirement in your state for your CPA.

Looking to Learn More?


OnlineCollegePlan is full of great resources for students regardless of where they are in their academic journey. If you’re interested in accounting or a related field, some of these related rankings might be worth checking out.

We also publish a ranking of the Top 100 Best Online Colleges every year!

If you’re still on the fence about online college, you might enjoy weighing the Pros and Cons of Online College. You can also check out our whole repertoire of online college resources, online college rankings and online masters degrees.