Updated: June 6, 2017
Most children don’t dream of becoming accountants when they grow up. But if you’re looking for a profession that is constantly in demand (and pays well), through good economic times and bad, then accounting may actually be your dream job.
Accounting is essentially the basis of all business – knowing where the money is and where it is going. And as such, accountants are present wherever business is happening, analyzing financial performance and limiting chances of failure.
But not all accountants end up crunching numbers in accounting firms. Accounting is a broad field, and there are many areas of specialization – from forensic accounting to litigation support as well as newer fields like environmental accounting. Chances are if you are good with numbers you can probably find a niche that interests you.
And even with the inevitable shifts in the economy, it seems certain that the need for accountants isn’t going away anytime soon. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% rate of job growth between 2014 and 2024 – faster than average for any other occupation.[footnote]https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm[/footnote]
Bolstering those findings is the AICPA’s 2015 statistical study of trends in the supply and demand for public accounting recruits which reported that out of all new hires, master’s degree hires saw the largest growth, with an 11% increase since 2012. [footnote]http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/AccountingEducation/NewsAndPublications/DownloadableDocuments/2015-TrendsReport.pdf[/footnote]
Accounting can also be lucrative. The BLS reports the median salary of accountants at a respectable $67,190 per year (around $32/hour) – but keep in mind that holders of credentials like Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, can demand more in terms of salary and benefits than their uncertified colleagues.
Pursuing a master’s in accounting ensures that you will gain the necessary range of knowledge and practical skills you need – and opens doors to a wide range of career options, both nationally and internationally. But if leaving work for a traditional, on-campus program isn’t feasible for you, there are many high-quality, accredited online programs that employers will take seriously.[footnote]http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradelevel.pdf[/footnote]
With so many online options, though, the task of finding the best program can be overwhelming. But we at College Choice have your back. We’ve sorted through the options, weighing standard academic reputation rankings, program tuition, early career earnings, and school acceptance rates to produce a list of the top 35 Online Master’s in Accounting programs.
At College Choice we understand the importance of accreditation and all schools on our list are regionally accredited. And many of the programs on the list have additional business accreditation from one of the three programmatic accrediting bodies:
- AACSB: the oldest and most established accreditation, mainly awarded to universities which concentrate on research.
- ACBSP: a newer, but no less respectable accrediting body which has a more practical, innovative focus.
- IACBE: a recently recognized accreditation with less prestige attached, but nevertheless a sign that a business school is meeting established standards of quality.
We hope our list helps you find the the best program for you!
University of Massachusetts Amherst
College Choice Score: 100.00
Average Tuition: $750.00
Situated in Amherst, MA, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Massachusetts. This nationally-ranked university is the largest in New England and home to both the Isenberg School of Management and one of the best online business programs in the country.
The Isenberg School of Management offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting program which prepares students for a career in accounting in a variety of settings. Students in the program gain knowledge and skills in accounting and business – including understanding tax implications, using technology to gain a competitive advantage, and business writing. This 30 credit program includes seven required core classes, including:
- Taxes and Business Decisions
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Advanced Audit
- Information Technology for Accountants
Students generally complete this flexible program in two years, though students may take longer due to other commitments. All New England states and NY state recognize an Isenberg MSA as fulfilling the educational requirements for CPA licensure. This program is currently not available to residents of Alabama and Arkansas.
University of North Carolina
College Choice Score: 97.62
Average Tuition: $1,363.56
Established in Chapel Hill, NC in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds the distinction of being one of the oldest universities in the United States. Today, this historic university ranks among the best national universities in the country as well as being home to the prestigious Kenan-Flagler Business school and several highly regarded online Business programs.
The Kenan-Flagler Business School offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accounting degree which delivers a combination of academic rigor and real-world experiential learning. This program, unlike its campus-based counterpart, is open to students with our without an academic background in accounting. Some courses include:
- Managerial and Cost Accounting
- Professional Communications
- Financial Reporting
This is a flexible, 45 credit program, which students can complete in as little as 18 months or up to 36 months. And students who have worked in a professional function (or have served in the military) for more than five years may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE waiver. Students in UNC’s accounting program also have the opportunity to take part in Global Immersions, a program that provides valuable experience in international business.
College Choice Score: 96.41
Average Tuition: $850.00
Located in Auburn, AL, Auburn University is a nationally ranked public research university. Home to the highly regarded Harbert College of Business, Auburn has also garnered national acclaim for its online programs. Notably, US News and World Report recognized their online non-MBA business program as one of the best in the nation.
The Harbert College of Business offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy that equips students with the technical knowledge needed for a successful career in accounting. The program is designed for working professionals – students can complete it in five semesters (two courses per semester) while working full time. Students who can study full-time may complete the program in one year. Courses include:
- Advanced Auditing & Assurance Services
- Integrated Accounting Applications
- Research in Accounting
- Federal Tax Research
Taking the Auburn Accounting program online provides students with additional technical skills, research and communication skills, as well as preparation to pass the CPA examination on their first attempt. And the program has a proven record at preparing students for the CPA exam – the Master of Accounting Class of 2015 averaged an 80 percent or better pass rate on all four sections of the CPA exam (far above the national average).
College Choice Score: 95.96
Average Tuition: $945.00
Rutgers University – Newark is a public research university located in Newark, NJ, and one of three campuses of Rutgers University. The school ranks nationally in several categories, including as one of the top public schools in the country. Rutgers is also home to an AACSB-accredited Business School which offers one of the best online non-MBA business programs in the country (US News and World Report).
The Rutgers Business School offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting program for those wishing to advance a career in the public or nonprofit sector. Students can complete this 30 credit program in as little as a year, or part-time for those who are working as they study. Candidates for this competitive program should hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business or accounting. Courses include:
- Ethical Issues in Public Financial Management
- Governmental Accounting and Auditing
- Public Financial Management
Additionally, for those students looking to pursue public administration and governmental accounting within the context of public administration and public financial management, Rutgers also offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) / Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting (MAccy) dual degree program.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
College Choice Score: 94.07
Average Tuition: $925.00
The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, commonly referred to as SUNY Polytechnic Institute, is a multi-campus public research university. The Utica campus ranks in the top twenty regional schools in the North and is home to a highly regarded Business program, as well as one of the best online non-MBA graduate business programs in the country (US News and World Report).
SUNY Polytechnic Institute offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting which provides the skills and knowledge for a career in accounting. The online program, which covers public, corporate, not-for-profit and government accounting, satisfies the 150 credit hour education requirement which the AICPA mandates. Comprised of 33 credits of Accounting and Business Core Courses and Electives, students may complete the program full-time or part-time. Courses include:
- Financial Statement Analysis and Reporting
- Advanced Income Tax Research
- Fund Accounting
Primarily intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, students without an academic background in accounting may still qualify for admission to the program by including additional undergraduate prerequisite coursework in their plan of study.
College Choice Score: 93.40
Average Tuition: $1,009.00
Situated in the city of Deland in Central Florida, Stetson University is a private, not-for-profit university with four campuses. The school ranks as one of the best regional universities in the South and also ranks among the best values in higher education in the South. Additionally, their online non-MBA graduate business program ranks among the best nationally (US News and World Report).
Rinker Institute of Tax and Accountancy offers an online Master of Accountancy which ensures that students meet the academic requirements for the CPA examination (at which Stetson students perform well). The program also provides the necessary range of knowledge and practical skills needed for successful accounting careers. This 30 credit program covers a wide range of topics in accounting, including 18 credits of:
- Financial Accounting
- Governmental/Not-for-Profit Accounting
- Statistics/Technology Collateral
Students choose the remaining credits from a list of electives which align with their interests. Stetson University encourages students to take part in internships. These may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and may take place during the academic year or the summer.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 91.89
Average Tuition: $895.00
Located in the historic Hill Section of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton is a private, Catholic (Jesuit) research university which ranks among the top regional universities in the North. Among their highly regarded departments in the Kania School of Business which offers highly ranked online business programs (US News and World Report).
The Kania School of Management offers an AACSB-accredited, online MBA in Accounting program which bridges the gap between accounting and other areas of business to allow for easier resource management. This online degree combines broad, ethical, and sustainable business foundations with a deep understanding of the accounting profession. The program also prepares students to sit the CPA exam. Some topics the program covers include:
- Accounting for Management
- Accounting Integration and Configuration
- International Accounting
- Financial Reporting and Research
Students can finish this 100% online program in as little as 10 months of full-time study (though they may take up to 6 years if necessary). Most students in the program have several years of work experience but come from a diversity of backgrounds. Students without a bachelor’s degree are also welcome to apply. There is no on-campus residency requirement, and no entrance exams are necessary.
University of Conneticut
College Choice Score: 91.54
Average Tuition: $1,932.00
A land-grant public research university located in Storrs, Connecticut, the University of Connecticut is a nationally ranked institution with a long history of providing high-quality programs to Connecticut students. The school is home to a School of Business that ranks among the best in the nation, as well as an online graduate business program that is #4 in the country (US News and World Report).
The School of Business at the University of Connecticut offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting that promises to provide the necessary skills for a successful career in public and private accounting. This student-centered accounting program is unusually flexible – with only two required courses, students are able to build their own program by choosing eight electives with reference to their interests. Courses include:
- Taxation of Business Entities
- Contemporary Financial Accounting Issues
- Contemporary Managerial Accounting Issues
- Financial Planning for Accounting Professionals
The program provides students with the 150 necessary hours to qualify for the CPA exam in most states – but the program is equally popular among experienced professionals who are looking to update their skills and advance their careers. Students typically start the MSA program in May, though it is possible to start in the fall or spring.
University of Alabama
College Choice Score: 90.84
Average Tuition: $935.00
One of three institutions in the University of Alabama System, the University of Alabama in Birmingham serves a diverse student body through a variety of traditional and nontraditional learning formats. A nationally ranked university, UA Birmingham is known for their interdisciplinary research programs – as well as a number of highly regarded online programs.
The Collat College of Business offers an AACSB-accredited, online Master of Accounting (MAcc) for both experienced professionals and aspiring accountants. For candidates without an academic background in accounting, the school provides a 24-credit bridge program which provides the necessary knowledge for success at the graduate level. The 30-credit MAcc program offers core courses in:
- Business Law for Accountants
- Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
- Advanced Financial Accounting
- Advanced Auditing and Attestation
Students choose between the general MAcc program or taking a concentration in Internal Auditing. UA is one of the first five schools in the U.S. designated as an Internal Audit Education Partner by The Institute of Internal Auditors. Students also have access to UA’s Career & Professional Development Services as well as a robust internship program.
College Choice Score: 89.64
Average Tuition: $810.00
Founded in 1877, Regis University is a private, Catholic (Jesuit) university located in Denver, Colorado. Comprised of five colleges, the school has been offering online undergraduate degrees since 1997. Regis seeks to provide values-centered education to both traditional and nontraditional students and has several undergraduate and graduate online programs that rank highly nationally.
The College of Business at Regis University offers a flexible, accelerated, online Master of Science in Accounting which affords access to a number of career paths in the field of accounting. The nontraditional MSA degree is available completely online (or in evening classes) in ten eight-week courses. Students work with an advisor to customize an accounting degree plan that fits their specific goals and special interests. Core program requirements include:
- Interpreting Accounting Information
- Financial Communication
- Accounting Ethics (or Issues in Accounting Ethics)
Regis’s MSA program meets the 150 credit hour requirement for sitting the CPA exam. Students who do not have previous experience in finance and accounting are welcome to apply to the program but may be required to take 18 credit hours of prerequisite courses. Depending on a student’s academic background, Regis’s MSA program is comprised of between 30 and 48 credits. And for students interested in a more broad business degree, Regis also offers an online MBA in Finance and Accounting.
University of South Dakota
College Choice Score: 88.93
Average Tuition: $442.05
Founded in 1862, the University of South Dakota is the oldest university in the state, and one of a growing list of rurally-based schools that are extending their reach through online academic programs. Located in Vermillion, SD, this public university prides itself on innovative technology combined with long-standing tradition.
The Beacom School of Business offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) for those preparing for a career in public accounting. The curriculum prepares students to sit the CPA exam and provides training in graduate accounting, finance and related subjects as preparation for careers in industry, government service or accounting education. Core courses include:
- Seminar in Cost Accounting
- Seminar in Accounting Theory
- Contemporary Topics in Auditing
- Accounting in Government & Non-Profit Organizations
Students will graduate as competent professionals with the ability to produce and use accounting information. The Accounting Programs at the Beacom School of Business have a mission to provide quality professional education in an environment that promotes critical thinking, fosters the exchange of ideas, and contributes value to the practice of accounting.
Georgia Southern University
College Choice Score: 88.55
Average Tuition: $687.00
Classified as a doctoral/research institution, Georgia Southern University is a member of the Georgia university system located in Statesboro, GA. Founded in 1906, the school has developed a robust online program which US News and World Report recently ranked among the best in the nation.
The College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accounting (MAcc) which is intended to fit the needs of working professionals. This flexible, 30-credit degree program is comprised of ten three-credit courses which students complete over six semesters. Students progress through the program as a cohort, taking two classes during spring and fall semesters and just one class during the summer. Core courses include:
- Seminar in Financial Accounting
- Seminar in Accounting Information Systems
- Tax Research
- Fraudulent Financial Reporting
Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for admission to the program – students without undergraduate coursework in accounting will need to complete the necessary prerequisites before admission to the program. Georgia Southern does offer GMAT waivers based on outstanding academic background or extensive managerial experience.
University of Miami
College Choice Score: 87.53
Average Tuition: $1,900.00
The University of Miami, an elite private research university, is situated just outside Miami in Southern Florida. The school was founded in 1925 and is now one of the major research institutions in the country, frequently ranking among the best national universities. Their online graduate business programs rank among the best nationally, as does their School of Business Administration.
The School of Business Administration at the University of Miami offers several online, AACSB-accredited graduate accounting options:
- Master of Professional Accountancy (MPrA) – 32 credits
The online Master’s in Professional Accounting provides the skills necessary for success as accountants within a professional environment or for running your own business more effectively.
- Master of Professional Accounting (CPA track) – 40 credits
This degree program adds two additional courses at the end of the MPrA program – this ensures that students with a non-accounting, business undergraduate degree can earn the necessary accounting credits required for CPA licensure in Florida and many other states.
- MBA with focus in Accounting – 51 credits
The MBA Accounting degree program is intended for candidates with no prior academic background in accounting. Students will gain critical knowledge of financial and managerial accounting practices, taxation and accounting information systems.
Indiana Wesleyan University
College Choice Score: 87.34
Average Tuition: $536.00
Founded in 1920, Indiana Wesleyan University is a regionally accredited, evangelical Christian university of the Wesleyan Church. The school, which has a traditional campus in Marion, IN, has been pioneering adult education since 1985. Currently, over 10,000 students are enrolled in their acclaimed online courses and education centers.
The Devoe School of Business offers an online Master of Science in Accounting which teaches students to integrate knowledge of accounting standards and practices in performing a wide range of accounting practices. Taught within a biblical framework, courses cover accounting standards and practices in forensic accounting and auditing services, financial reporting, and tax preparation and advisory services. Courses include:
- Critical Thinking and Business Communication for Accountants
- Ethics and Business Law for Accountants
- Financial Accounting and Theory and Issues
- Advanced Managerial Accounting
Students are part of a cohort group which generally takes one course at a time, in a sequential order until all 30 credits are completed. Most students complete the degree within 18-26 months. Indiana Wesleyan offers four start dates throughout the year: in April, May, June, and August.
Colorado State University - Global Campus
College Choice Score: 87.09
Average Tuition: $500.00
As the first independent, fully-accredited, 100% online state university in the country, Colorado State Global Campus stands out as a unique institution on our ranking. Students at the Global Campus are part of the Colorado State University System and benefit from programs which are models for online learning nationally.
The Global Campus at Colorado State offers an online Master of Professional Accounting (MPrA) degree program that will help students become effective leaders in public accounting, corporations, government agencies, and other fields. This 30 credit program was specifically designed to meet both the educational needs of students interested in working as professional accountants and students looking to meet the educational requirements of the CPA exam. Courses include:
- Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
- International Accounting
- Accounting Ethics
- Advanced Cost Accounting
Colorado State’s 30 credit program consists of 24 credits of required graduate professional accounting courses, and 6 credits of elective coursework. Students advance through this flexible program at their own pace and have the opportunity to acquire Awards of Completion and Skills Endorsements which highlight the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they master in the program.
St. Johns University
College Choice Score: 86.45
Average Tuition: $1,180.00
Located in New York City, St. John’s University is a private, Catholic, research university with a history that reaches back to the late nineteenth century. The school has produced 28 Fulbright scholars since 2012 and focuses on providing innovative courses to students on-campus and online. US News and World Report ranked their online graduate business program as one of the best in the country in 2017.
The Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University offers two online, AACSB-accredited accounting related degree programs: a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) and a Master of Science in Taxation (MST).
The Master of Science in Accounting program provides students with specialized technical knowledge in accounting, tax, and auditing. This is a one-year, 33-credit program which satisfies the requirements to sit the CPA exam in New York and most other states. Applicants to the M.S. in Accounting program must have been an undergraduate business major. Core courses include:
- Global Managerial Accounting
- Auditing: Concepts and Applications
The Master of Science in Taxation program focuses on the technical aspects of taxation so that graduates will be able to enter and advance as tax specialists in the profession of public accounting or enter corporate management in the tax area. This is a one-year, 31-credit program. Courses include:
- Tax Research and Writing
- Corporate Taxation
- Partnerships and Partners
College Choice Score: 86.42
Average Tuition: $565.00
Established in 1971, Liberty University is a private, evangelical Christian university located in Lynchburg, VA. The University has an extensive online program (100,000 students were enrolled in 2016) which has garnered national attention – US News and World Report ranks their online Bachelor’s program in the top 100 nationally.
The School of Business at Liberty University offers an online, ACBSP-accredited Master of Science in Accounting which provides a foundation for a career in accounting, auditing, and taxation. The program stresses the importance of maintaining high ethical standards in accounting as the basis for good business. Core courses include:
- Advanced Business Law for Accountants
- Advanced Cost Accounting
- Accounting Information Systems
- Tax Research & Jurisprudence
Liberty’s online MSA is a 30-credit program which students can complete in 1-2 years. The curriculum helps students meet the 150-credit hour requirement to sit the CPA exam. Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for admission to the program. Students must fulfill a number of business and accounting credits before admission to graduate level accounting courses.
College Choice Score: 85.45
Average Tuition: $1,020.00
Located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Rider University is a private, non-profit, university which provides undergraduate and graduate education to a diverse student body. The school ranks highly in several categories, according to US News and World Report – notably, among the best Regional Colleges in the North (#23). They also ranked as a Best Value School in 2017.
The College of Business Administration at Rider University offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy (MAcc) specifically designed for currently practicing accountants who are seeking to fulfill requirements for sitting the CPA exam or advance their accounting knowledge. This program meets the CPA requirements in all 50 states, and also prepares students for the CMA, CIA and CFE exams. Core courses include:
- Seminar in Taxation
- Analysis of Accounting Data
- Issues in Financial Reporting
This is a 30-credit program, with 27 required courses and 3 credits of electives. The program also offers the opportunity to add a concentration in fraud and forensic accounting. The online MAcc program at Rider is cohort based and takes 16 months to complete, beginning in September – though students do have the option of creating their own plan of study outside of a cohort.
California State University Sacramento
College Choice Score: 85.12
Average Tuition: $740.00
Located in the city of Sacramento, CA, California State University Sacramento (“Sacramento State”) is one of 23 schools in the California State University System. Listed as one of the Top Public Schools in its category, Sacramento State has a reputation for providing extensive research and internship opportunities to its students.
The College of Business Administration at Sacramento State offer an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program that is designed to align with the requirements of the CPA exam. Students in the program will cover all the necessary areas of the exam through a flexible, online delivery model which allows for interactions with peers and instructors. Core courses include:
- Financial Reporting
- Cost Analysis and Control
- Governmental and Not-for-Profit-Accounting
This is a 30-credit program accelerated degree program which students can complete in 18 months of full-time study. Classes are six weeks long and meet once per week, online. Applicants do not need an academic background in accounting for acceptance, but students may need to meet certain prerequisites before proceeding with the program curriculum.
Florida Atlantic University
College Choice Score: 85.06
Average Tuition: $927.51
Situated in the city of Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University is a public research university. From its inception, Florida Atlantic has put innovation and accessibility at its center, and today boasts several nationally ranked online programs – including a graduate business program which is among the best in the country (US News and World Report).
The College of Business at Florida Atlantic University offers an online, AACSB-accredited Executive Master of Accounting with several concentration options. The School of Accounting Executive Programs Department offers this program which is designed for the needs of working professionals. Concentration for this fully online degree program are:
- Forensic Accounting
- Digital Accounting Forensics and Data Analytics
- Professional Accounting
- Business Valuation
Each concentration within the Executive Master of Accounting program is available fully online, and students can complete their degree in about two years. The program has flexible start-dates, with the options of January, May, or August – with the exception of the Master of Taxation program which starts in Summer and Fall.
Emporia State University
College Choice Score: 84.24
Average Tuition: $457.30
Located in Kansas just east of the Flint Hills, Emporia State University is a small public university which ranks as one of the top regional public universities in the Midwest. The school, which was founded in 1863, has a mission to create a student-centered learning environment and has a robust online program.
The School of Business at Emporia State University offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. By providing an understanding of the nuances of accounting, Emporia’s MAcc program will prepare students for careers in professional accounting in the areas of government, management, and public accounting. Core courses include
- Advanced Income Tax
- Advanced Auditing
- Advanced Management Accounting
- Accounting Theory
- Advanced Accounting Information Systems
Graduates of the MAcc program will meet the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam in Kansas as well as other states. The 30 credit program is structured for working adults and is available completely online or in a hybrid model. Emporia’s online graduate business program ranked at #80 nationally in 2017 (US News and World Report).
University of Texas Dallas
College Choice Score: 83.10
Average Tuition: $2,103.00
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) is a public, research university in the University of Texas System. Ranking as one of the top public national universities, the school is home to both the prestigious Naveen Jindal School of Management and one of the top two online graduate business programs in the country according to US News and World Report.
The Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program which will prepare students for careers in various fields of accounting and ready students to sit the CPA exam. Students are able to customize their program with their own interests – including corporate accounting, assurance services, taxation, internal audit, and ERP/SAP systems. Required accounting courses include:
- Advanced Financial Reporting
- Fundamentals of Taxation II
- Advanced External Auditing
Students must have an undergraduate degree for admission into the MSA degree program – all majors are acceptable, though students may need to complete prerequisites before admission. Some courses in this 36-credit program provide leadership experience through experiential projects – these projects provide students with opportunities to work on accounting-related projects for local businesses, non-profits, start-ups, and organizations on campus and in the community.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 82.99
Average Tuition: $406.25
Western Governors University is a private, non-profit, online university located in Salt Lake City, UT. Originally founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states, the school aims to make education as accessible as possible for nontraditional students.
The Online Business School at Western Governors University offers a flexible and affordable online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program which prepares students for a successful career in public and private accounting. Unlike many higher learning institutions, WGU employs a competency-based learning model that ensures that students are prepared with concrete skills that can be used in the job market when they graduate. The program readies students for the CPA exam, as well as the CMA and CIA exams. Key subject areas include:
- Advanced Financial Accounting
- Management Communication
- Advanced Managerial Accounting
- Advanced Auditing
- Financial Management
The standard time for completing this 30-credit degree program is 1.5 – 2 years, though students proceed on their own schedule (rather than in a cohort). A note about tuition: WGU charges tuition a flat rate regardless of the number of competency units (credits) that students attempt or complete in a six-month term. The above listed per-credit tuition is based on eight graduate competency units per term.
Southern Utah University
College Choice Score: 82.89
Average Tuition: $811.00
Located in Cedar City, Utah, Southern Utah University is a small public university which ranks as one of the top regional Universities in the West. The school has a liberal arts and science focus and offers more than 100 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that meet a broad range of career goals.
The School of Business at Southern Utah University offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program which allows students to gain the requisite professional accounting experience while working toward CPA licensure. The 30-credit program is designed to help fulfill the 150-credit requirement for sitting the CPA exam in many states, while further developing the knowledge and skills to enter professional accountancy. Core courses include:
- Accounting Principles
- Managerial Accounting
- Business Law
It is possible to complete this 30-credit program in as little as two semesters. And graduates from Southern Utah’s program have very high placement rates – with typical jobs including positions in taxation, auditing, and controllership. Notably, Southern Utah University’s online graduate business program ranked as #49 nationally in 2017 (US News and World Report).
College Choice Score: 82.87
Average Tuition: $560.00
Located in the small town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University is a nationally ranked private, non-profit university affiliated with the Baptist denomination. The school offers over sixty fields of study at the undergraduate and graduate level and has a robust and award-winning online program.
The Godbold School of Business at Gardner-Webb University offers an online, ACBSP-accredited Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program which is designed to deepen students’ knowledge of the main aspects of accountancy. Gardner-Webb promises a reality-based education that focuses on technical skills, and training in specific disciplines. This 30-credit program includes:
- Fifteen hours of core curriculum
- Nine accounting elective hours
- Six graduate business elective hours
A capstone project in advanced auditing is part of the core curriculum. Students also have the option of selecting an emphasis which involves taking between nine and fifteen accounting elective hours. Gardner-Webb encourages students to take part in internships, service opportunities and group projects in order to gain experience in hands-on accounting, leadership, and decision-making.
University of Michigan
College Choice Score: 81.41
Average Tuition: $829.00
The University of Michigan – Flint (UM-Flint), is a nationally ranked public university and part of the University of Michigan System. The school ranks among the top public universities in the Midwest and offers over 100 undergraduate and 18 master’s degree programs recognized for their excellence and relevance. UM-Flint also has several online programs that have earned national attention.
The School of Management at the University of Michigan – Flint offers a blended online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) that prepares students to take the CPA exam, as well as other professional certificates. Students will receive practical, working knowledge from experienced faculty in this blended online / campus-based program. Students complete a majority of the coursework online and meet with fellow students and faculty in traditional on-campus classroom sessions that meet twice per semester on a Friday and Saturday. Courses include:
- Financial Reporting Special Topics
- ACC 545 – Seminar in Management Accounting
- ACC 550 – Individual Federal Income Taxation
For students who are also interested in obtaining an MBA degree, UM-Flint’s School of Management offers students the opportunity to double-count up to 15 credits from the 39-credit MSA towards their MBA program.
St Leo University
College Choice Score: 81.25
Average Tuition: $695.00
Located just north of Tampa in the small town of St. Leo, St. Leo University describes itself as a Catholic, liberal arts school serving learners of all faiths. The school is ranked among the best regional schools in the South as well as being a Best Value school (US News and World Report). St Leo is also home to several online programs that have earned national acclaim.
The Tapia School of Business at St Leo University offers two online, IACBE-accredited Accounting degrees:
- Master of Accountancy (MAcc)
- MBA with an Accounting concentration
The Master of Accountancy degree, which is the dominant graduate degree for accounting, provides an in-depth study of accounting principles. The program was designed to fulfill the requirements of the CPA exam, and also prepares students for the CMA exam. Students in this 30-credit program will gain technical skills in accounting and financial reporting.
The 36-credit MBA with an Accounting concentration provides a more general business foundation than the MAcc. The program provides an understanding of business fundamentals and accounting concepts, preparing students to solve complex management problems. St. Leo’s MBA program also stresses the development of leadership skills within the school’s values and traditions.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 78.84
Average Tuition: $880.00
Located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a young, innovative, private research institution with a focus on the physical and social sciences. Founded in 1964, the school has expanded the reach of its high quality-programs through several online degree programs that further the career aspirations of non-traditional learners.
The Huizenga College of Business at Nova Southeastern University offers an online, IACBE-accredited Master of Accounting for working professionals in the field of accounting. The program meets all CPA requirements and both deepens the knowledge and skills of accounting professionals and prepares entry-level students for a career in accounting, Core Courses include:
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Accounting Information and Control Systems
- Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting
Students can complete this 39 credit program in 21 months – with three start dates throughout the year in August, January, and May. And 21 of the 39 program credits are electives, making this an exceptionally flexible degree. The program is also open to students with little accounting experience – foundation course requirements are available online
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 78.65
Average Tuition: $627.00
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is private, non-profit university which has been a national leader in accessible adult education. Academic programs at SNHU, both on-campus and online, are both academically challenging and highly practical, so students are prepared to launch successful careers when they graduate.
The School of Business at SNHU offers an online, ACBSP-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree for those looking to advance their accounting careers and prepare themselves to take the CPA exam. The program promises to enhance analytical skills, deepen student’s knowledge of accounting principles and learn the latest technology from instructors with real-world expertise. Areas that the degree program covers include:
- Accounting principles and practices
- Professional auditing methods
- Cost analysis for informed decision-making
- Using information technology to evaluate financial information
For students who can take two classes per ten-week term, it is possible to complete this 36-credit program in 15 months. Specialization options include: Auditing, Forensics Accounting, Management Accounting, and Taxation. No GMAT or GRE is necessary for acceptance.
St. Joseph's College
College Choice Score: 77.18
Average Tuition: $499.00
Located on the shores of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, St Joseph’s College is a private, Catholic, nationally ranking liberal arts college. The only Catholic college in Maine, St Joseph’s has been delivering distance education courses since the 1970s. The school emphasizes personalized, career-focused education both on-campus and online.
St Joseph’s College offers an online Master of Accountancy degree for those beginning their careers or looking to enhance their existing knowledge of accounting. The program curriculum stresses problem-based learning which gives students the chance to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios. The interdisciplinary curriculum covers ethics, leadership, and accounting and includes courses in:
- Financial Accounting Standards
- Research for Accounting Professionals
- Applied Corporate Financial Management
For this 36-credit program, courses are 10-weeks long and offered in five terms per year: January, March, May, July, and October. St. Joseph’s College also offers a fast-track option for eligible students who want to complete the entire program in one year. To be eligible, students must have earned at least a B in both Intermediate Accounting I & II in their undergraduate program.
Texas A&M University - Commerce
College Choice Score: 76.79
Average Tuition: $1,024.26
Since 1889, the Texas A&M University in Commerce has been providing education programs for the people of Texas. Texas A&M-Commerce is a public university and the second largest school in the Texas A&M University System. The school has a strong online presence, extending the reach of its “personal, accessible, and affordable” programs.
The College of Business at Texas A&M Commerce offers an online, AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting for those who want to specialize in accounting at the graduate level. Designed for students entering, or working in, public accounting, government, or industry, the curriculum includes courses in:
- Accounting Research
- Advanced Managerial Accounting
- Business Law for Accountants
- Financial Statement Analysis
The degree is open to those with or without an undergraduate background in accounting. Those who do not have the necessary prerequisites will need to take two additional foundation courses (6 credits) before proceeding with the regular 36-credit program. It is possible to complete the 36 credit program in one year and one semester, but student timelines differ significantly. Students may transfer up to 12 credit hours into the MSA program.
College Choice Score: 75.87
Average Tuition: $650.00
Benedictine University is a private, Catholic university which is located in the Chicago suburb of Lisle. The school takes an inclusive approach to Catholic education – programs at Benedictine University are shaped by the school’s goal to care for the earth, welcome people of diverse faiths and cultures, and promote the common good.
The Goodwin College of Business offers an online MBA in Accounting degree intended for professionals interested in accounting roles at various types of organizations. Students will cover both core MBA concepts along with financial and managerial accounting, the theory and practice of financial reporting, and the impact of taxes on business decisions. In addition to MBA foundation and managerial process coursework, the accounting concentration consists of three courses:
- Corporate Accounting Theory & Practice
- Corporate Accounting Theory & Practice II
- Tax Influences on Decision Making
Students in the traditional online MBA program, generally finish in two years. Benedictine University also offers a fast-track option in which students take two courses at a time to finish in one year. Students also have the option of a dual concentration (an extra twelve credits) and some qualifying students may be able to waive up to four foundational courses.
American Public University System
College Choice Score: 75.79
Average Tuition: $350.00
The American Public University System, comprised of American Public University and American Military University is a regionally accredited (HLC), for-profit system catering particularly to (but not affiliated with ) the American Military. Headquartered in Charles Town, WV, the university has an online Bachelor’s program that has ranked in the top 100 in the nation (US News and World Report).
The American Public University System offers an online, ACBSP-accredited Master of Science in Accounting. The program stresses the theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and research skills that needed to navigate the complex issues accountants face. With the goal of enhancing skills in written communication, research, and complex problem solving, students cover a broad range of topics, including:
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
- Financial statement study and analysis
- Business profitability with financial data analysis and reporting
- Accounting, budgeting, reporting and auditing
- Forensic Accounting
This is a 36-credit program that generally takes two years to complete (though students are allowed up to seven years for completion), and students can transfer up to fifteen credits into the program. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and students with a degree from an accredited business program may be able to waive certain courses.
College Choice Score: 75.39
Average Tuition: $586.67
Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Post University is a regionally accredited, private, for-profit university. The school offers career-driven undergraduate and graduate degrees either on-campus, or through their accelerated online programs which are designed working adults.
Post University offers an online, ACBSP-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program that provides the knowledge and real-world experience necessary for success in the field of accounting. The program also meets the requirements for the CPA licensure in most states. With a focus on ethics integrated into the entire program, students take ten courses which include:
- International Accounting
- Non-Profit and Governmental Accounting
- Advanced Audit Issues
- Advanced Topics in Taxes
- Enterprise Risk Management
Post University’s MSA program culminates with a capstone project that requires students to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Students without a background in accounting will need to take a series of foundational courses (24 credits) to prepare them for the MSA program. Post University also offers an CPA track for the MSA degree, which involves an extra six credits of coursework geared specifically to achieving CPA licensure.
College Choice Score: 75.28
Average Tuition: $647.00
Founded in 1902, Franklin University is a private, non-profit university located in Columbus, Ohio. From its inception, the school’s mission was to provide an accessible education to adult learners. Today, the school provides adult-focused education through its main campus in Columbus, several regional centers, and through many online programs.
Franklin University offers an online, IACBE-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree which provides a hands-on learning experience designed by academic and industry experts. The program provides applicable, real-world scenarios that convert knowledge into strategy. Courses include:
- Introduction to Research in Accounting
- Management Control Processes and Systems
- Accounting Research Seminar
- Financial Accounting & Reporting
Students in Franklin’s MSA program have the option of completing either a Financial Operations Track or a Taxation Track, or they can choose four electives that align with their career goals. Franklin offers multiple start dates throughout the year, and students can complete the 30-credit program in as little as 17 months. No GMAT or GRE is necessary for acceptance.