Best Online Accounting Programs of 2021

Are you ready to find your fit?

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 good 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 if you're looking for other online education niches, take a look at our ranking of the top online colleges and universities.


What kind of Online Master's in Accounting degree should you get?

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.

Pursuing a masters 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.

Sponsored Accounting Programs

How much money can you make with an Online Master's in Accounting degree?

Accounting can be a very lucrative career. 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.

And even with the inevitable shifts in the economy, it seems certain that the need for accountants isn't going away anytime soon. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% rate of job growth between 2014 and 2024, faster than average for most occupations.

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.

Learn more about accounting degree salaries.

What can you do with an Online Master's in Accounting?

The most obvious choice for a career post-graduation is to be an accountant. Makes sense, right? But there is also a huge range of other positions that you would be highly qualified for with an online master's in accounting. Here's a look at some of the top paying jobs in this field:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Managerial Accountant
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Financial Analyst

Keep your eye out for programs that offer specializations or concentrations in a specific field like Forensics, Healthcare, Financial Planning, or Information Technology. These are great ways to silo your skills into tangible career outcomes.

Learn more about the requirements to become an accountant.

What are the Best Online Master's in Accounting Degrees?

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 top online colleges, weighing standard academic reputation rankings, program tuition, early career earnings, and school acceptance rates to produce a list of the Best Online Masters in Accounting programs.

We hope our list helps you find the best program for you!


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

    Amherst, MA




    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.

  2. University of North Carolina

    Chapel Hill, NC




    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.

  3. Auburn University

    Auburn, AL




    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).

  4. Rutgers University

    Newark, NJ




    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.


    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.

  5. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

    Utica, NY




    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.


    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.

  6. Stetson University

    DeLand, FL




    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.


    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
    • Taxation
    • Governmental/Not-for-Profit Accounting
    • Auditing


    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.

  7. University of Scranton

    Scranton, PA




    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.


    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.

  8. University of Conneticut

    Storrs, CT




    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.


    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.

  9. University of Alabama

    Birmingham, AL




    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.

  10. Regis University

    Denver, CO




    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.

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