The career options and earning prospects for tax specialists depend largely on their experience and level of qualification.

Best Online Masters in Taxation Degrees

Whether you are an accountant looking for credits to qualify to sit the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or wanting to expand your knowledge base, there is one qualification that will certainly ensure a lucrative career, and that is a Master’s in Taxation.

There are many universities across the nation that offer tax-specific graduate degree programs. Degree terminology may vary from one institution to the next. Many call their degree a Master of Science in Taxation while others call it simply a Master’s in Taxation.

Either way, while their curricula may vary to some extent in detail, they all have a common theme and that is to prepare you for a career as a tax expert.

A Master’s in Taxation can be taken full time but there are very few people in the accounting profession who can afford to take the time off work. To accommodate working accountants and others interested in this degree, most institutions offer online programs which can take one to two years to complete.

Studying online may be hard for some and may need adjustments to your lifestyle, but it is a worthwhile investment in your future.

What Are the Advantages of Online Learning?

First off, you don’t have to interrupt your income stream while you study which eliminates much of the financial stress of being a full-time student.

Secondly, you can arrange your study schedule to suit your lifestyle. Many people also believe that online learning isolates you from the rest of the class. Nothing could be further from the truth.

With advances in digital technology today, most institutions offering online learning have virtual classrooms which allow you to participate fully. Many enable you to raise your hand and ask questions, virtually of course. But the point is, you are able to participate as much in proceedings, if not more, than if you were sitting in the classroom. Institutions take advantage of technology to ensure learning is interactive. You can communicate with instructors and fellow students through online discussion forums, making the learning experience as fully interactive as if you were in a traditional classroom. Be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Taxation?

Your career options are almost limitless with an online Master’s in Taxation.

Everyone wants to save on paying tax. You have the option to work for professional accounting firms, private businesses or corporations.

This degree is widely accepted as qualification to take the CPA exam which opens more doors for you. A Certified Public Accountant is a prestigious position to have in business, where you are able to advise individuals and businesses on issues related to their income and taxes.

You could advance your career as a Financial Advisor, assessing the financial needs of your clients and advising them on investment and financial management to minimize their tax obligations. In the corporate world, you can advance your career through the ranks from Tax Accountant through to Tax Director.

How Much Money Do You Make With an Online Masters in Taxation?

Recent salary studies conducted by Payscale, an established human capital consultancy, has determined median annual salaries for holders of a Masters in Taxation:

  • Tax Accountant : $60,143
  • Senior Tax Accountant: $72,961
  • Tax Manager: $97,960
  • Senior Tax Manager: $ 129,497
  • Tax Director: $149,101

What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Taxation?

The ranking system that we use for colleges and universities considers how well each of these institutions serve their online students.

We take into account the excellence of the institution and student satisfaction. We also place a high premium on the success that students can expect to achieve after graduating in terms of the return on investment in their education.

Various metrics are used to measure institutional excellence, including placement and graduation rates, student to faculty ratios and test scores. Student success can be measured by taking into account tuition fees, financial assistance, student debt on graduation and expected salary. Survey results are able to give us an indication of student satisfaction at each particular institution.

On this basis, we have compiled information on the universities and schools that offer the best online Masters degrees in Taxation in the United States. You will find our reviews in the following pages.


Northeastern University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $29,998

School Website


Northeastern University, a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded almost 120 years ago in 1898. In 2014, it was ranked fourth among “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Campuses” by Forbes magazine. The university’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a respected online program for a Masters in Taxation. This offers the opportunity to interact with top tax experts while studying the intricacies of tax planning, statutes and regulations.

Program Features

The university’s learning model enables students to combine academics with experiential practice that helps them to acquire skills that they can apply in the real world. The program integrates real-world case studies into the classroom, enabling students to interact and learn from tax and business experts. Required courses for online study include:

  • Federal Tax Issues and Analysis
  • Tax Research, Practice and Ethics
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Corporations and Shareholders
  • Partners and Partnerships

In addition, students are required to complete a further five of ten elective courses to broaden their tax knowledge base for degree qualification.


Northeastern’s online business programs were ranked 18th in America by the U.S. News & World Report. The university offers a choice of two tracks, Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals, for an online Master of Science in Taxation. Throughout the program, students interact with tax professionals to stay current with economic and industry trends. The school offers students six start dates per year and maintains small class sizes to ensure personal attention.


Liberty University

College Choice Score: 99.06

Average Net Price: $24,794

School Website


Liberty University is the largest Christian university in the world, based in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is also the largest private, non-profit university in America, offering over 550 study programs with a total enrolment over 110,000. It has been accredited as one of the top schools offering online accounting degrees by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Starting in the spring of 2018, the Liberty will be offering a new study program towards a Master of Science in Accounting-Taxation, accredited by the ACBSP.

Program Features

Liberty’s program will be 100 percent online, with a focus on developing competency skills in the field of taxation. Students will have access to leaders in taxation who will bring current, real-world experience to the classroom. Because this is a new program, the syllabi have not been finalized as yet, but will feature the following courses:

  • Tax Research and Jurisprudence
  • Estate, Trust and Gift Taxation
  • Topics in Individual and Pass-through Taxation
  • Topics in Corporate Taxation

Notables has ranked Liberty University in the top ten out of over 2,100 universities and colleges for quality, affordability and accessibility. For their offerings of discounted tuition fees and loans for military personnel past and present, Liberty was designated a Purple Heart University. It was the first educational institution to receive this award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).


Bentley University

College Choice Score: 96.55

Average Net Price: $35,579

School Website


Bentley University was founded in 1917 and is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Boston. Their Masters in Taxation program is the largest in New England and one of the most respected in the country. College Factual, a website which assists students in making college choices, ranks Bentley University number one in the field of accounting, as well as business and managerial economics. Bentley’s accounting faculty employs highly experienced tax practitioners who impart real-world knowledge to their students. Their online program offers the ability for real-time classroom interaction through active participation.

Program Features

Bentley’s program consists of ten courses of three credits each. This makes up the additional thirty credits required by undergraduates to take the CPA exam. Five of these courses are required for the degree:

  • Professional Tax Practice
  • Federal Taxation of Income
  • Transactions
  • Corporations and Shareholders
  • Multi-Jurisdictional Taxation

Students may elect five additional courses to complete degree requirements. Course options include Trusts and Estates, State and Local Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions, International Property and International Tax.


In their first ever college ranking, The Economist ranked Bentley University at number five in the country and Payscale ranks the institution’s business school number two for its graduates’ earnings. Seventy eight percent of full-time faculty employees hold doctorate degrees. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 across the board, the university prides itself on its ability to devote individual attention to students.


Bellarmine University

College Choice Score: 96.51

Average Net Price: $24,742

School Website


Bellarmine University is a private, Catholic university located in Louisville, Kentucky and was established in 1950. It confers degrees in more than 50 majors, including a Master of Science in Taxation (MST). Bellarmine’s W. Fielding Rubel School of Business has achieved prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Program Features

Bellarmine’s online MST program is designed to give students both theoretical and practical technical expertise to qualify as a tax professional. Online students have access to lecture videos and interact with instructors and other students through discussion boards.

The degree is conferred on the completion of 30 credits, consisting of eight required courses and two electives. The required courses for the degree include:

  • Tax Research
  • Taxation of Individuals and Partnerships
  • Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Federal Income Tax Practice and Procedure
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • International Taxation

Students must complete two elective courses to obtain an MST. These could be tax related or courses drawn from the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Students are also required to complete two prerequisite courses, one in accounting and the other in taxation, before enrolling for an MST.


Bellarmine is ranked 15th of southern universities by the U.S. News & World Report. They also ranked the university at number 10 for the best colleges for veterans. Famous alumni include Susan M. Cameron, current CEO of Reynolds American, Inc and Gerald J. Lynch, Professor of Economics at Purdue University.


New York University

College Choice Score: 89.29

Average Net Price: $35,147

School Website


New York University (NYU) has a long history, having been founded in 1831. It is a private, non-profit research university with no religious affiliation based in New York City, with the main campus centered in Greenwich Village. It is also a worldwide university, with centers in several European cities as well as Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. NYU offers a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) in Taxation, which is a program offered entirely online for accounting and financial professionals.

Program Features

NYU’s MSL in taxation normally requires 30 credits, but students who hold a master’s degree in a related field only need 24 credits to complete the program. The program enables students to choose from a wide range of tax courses and has the following features:

  • Only one required course: Survey of Tax Procedure.
  • Students can custom design their program to meet the credit requirements by selecting tax courses that meet their professional goals and areas of interest.
  • The school suggests that students take courses in corporate, partnership and international tax.
  • The course in Taxation of Property Transactions is recommended.


According to the US News & World Report, the NYU School of Law is the top-ranked school for tax law. The university is the largest private university in the United States. Nationally, it is ranked number 30 among the best universities and number 10 among the best colleges for veterans by the US News & World Report. The student to faculty ratio at NYU is ten to one, and almost 60 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students.


University of Cincinnati

College Choice Score: 88.02

Average Net Price: $19,978

School Website


The University of Cincinnati (UC) is a public educational institution with no religious affiliation founded in 1819. The main campus is located in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio and the university offers undergraduate degree programs in law, engineering and business. UC also offers a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree program that can be taken online.

Program Features

At UC, students receive instruction from tax experts, CPAs, academics and lawyers with Fortune 500 and international accounting experience. The school also offers an accelerated program for students looking to complete the MST within 12 months as preparation for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

The school requires students to complete 16 semester credit hours of required courses which include:

  • Individual Tax: Structure
  • Corporate Tax: Formation and Structure
  • Federal Tax Research: Individuals
  • Federal Tax Research: Corporations
  • Individual Tax: Special Topics
  • Corporate Tax: Attributes and Operational Considerations
  • S Corporations

In addition, students must complete 14 semester credit hours of elective courses. Choices include Partnership Taxation, International Taxation, Consolidated Tax Return Issues, State and Local Taxation and IRS Practice and Procedure.


In both 2015 and 2016, the university’s MST was ranked the top online graduate tax program by the US News & World Report. At a national level, UC is ranked number 133 among all universities and number 83 among the best colleges for veterans by the US News & World Report.


University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 86.28

Average Net Price: $32,932

School Website


The University of Southern California (USC) is located in the heart of Los Angeles. It is a private institution which has no religious affiliation and was founded in 1880. USC offers the broadest academic selection of any university in the United States, including 199 academic and professional minors. The university’s Marshall School of Business is highly ranked and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting offers an online degree program for a Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals (MBT.WP).

Program Features

USC’s program consists of ten, three-unit courses. Five of these are required courses and students may complete the credit requirement by choosing five electives. The online program enables students to access their Virtual Classroom at any time, and they can interact with other students and instructors via live video discussion forums. The required courses are:

  • Tax Research and Professional Responsibilities
  • Tax Theory and Ethics
  • Taxation of Partnerships and S-Corporations
  • Income Tax of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Communication of Accounting and Tax Professionals

Students may select a further 5 elective courses to complete the requirements for the MBT.WP. These include Tax Accounting Methods, State and Local Tax Concepts, Income Tax Accounting and Auditing, Advanced Corporate Taxation and Federal Estate and Gift Taxes.


USC is world renowned and enrolls more international students than any other American university. The U.S. News & World Report ranks USC at number 21 among the best national universities, and the fifth best college for veterans in the country. Famous alumni include John Wayne, Steven Spielberg, Will Ferrell, John Ritter and Forest Whitaker.


Florida Atlantic University

College Choice Score: 86.11

Average Net Price: $11,303

School Website


Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a public university located in Boca Raton in southeast Florida, founded in 1961. The university offers over 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs which include a Master of Taxation (MTX). This program is designed to provide students with the technical competence required to fulfill the tax demands of government, private industry and public accounting.

Program Features

The courses offered for the MTX degree at FAU satisfy the requirements for taking the CPA exam and other professional licenses. There are six core courses which the university requires students to take:

  • Graduate Business Communications Applications
  • Concepts of Federal Income Tax
  • Tax Research
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Estates and Trusts: Planning and Taxation

In addition, students are required to take three tax electives and one program elective. In total, these make up the 30 credits required for the MTX degree.


FAU has achieved recognition for its work in ocean engineering, biomedical research, education, computer science and accounting. It has been classified as a Tier 2 university by the U.S. News & World Report. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine ranked FAU fourth in Florida and 28th in the country for the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic students during the 2006-2007 academic year.


Villanova University

College Choice Score: 83.83

Average Net Price: $33,270

School Website


Set in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Villanova University (VU) was founded in 1842. Undergraduates have a choice of over 45 majors in business, engineering, nursing, arts and sciences. The university also offers an online Master of Taxation (MT) degree which is recognized nationally. Many graduates of this program have worked for top organizations in government and private enterprise like the IRS, Treasury Department and private law firms.

Program Features

Faculty members driving the MT program are authorities in tax law who are able to introduce real-world knowledge into the classroom and enrich the learning experience. The curriculum was developed by the university’s schools of business and law to compile an online program that examines taxation from multiple perspectives. There are six required courses, making up 18 credit-hours:

  • Survey of Tax
  • Taxation I
  • Taxation II
  • Professional Responsibilities in Tax, Research and Writing
  • Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Partnership Taxation

The remaining 12 credit-hours for the MT degree are made up of six elective courses from a choice of 11. These include Wealth Tax, State and Local Tax, International Tax, Executive Compensation and Taxation of Corporate Acquisitions and Reorganizations.


In the 2018 rankings conducted by the U.S. News & World Report, Villanova University ranked number 46 among universities nationally. For over ten years, they have also ranked VU the top university in the Best Masters Universities – Northern Region category. In 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek gave the Villanova School of Business top ranking. According to data from, accountants holding a Master of Taxation degree can earn $76,000 pa at Senior Accountant level, $92,000 pa at Tax Manager level and between $133,000 and $166,000 pa at more senior levels like Chief Financial Officer and Tax Director.


DePaul University

College Choice Score: 81.79

Average Net Price: $32,084

School Website


Founded in 1898, DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois takes its name from the 17th century French priest, Vincent de Paul. In 1998, its enrolment made DePaul the largest private Catholic university in the United States. It offers an online Master of Science in Taxation (MSTAX) degree which provides high-quality instruction in tax statutes and regulations, and the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code as it relates to taxation.

Program Features

DePaul’s MSTAX degree offers the flexibility of online studying with access to top academic and professional experts in taxation.  Students are required to complete 12 courses to obtain 45 credits for degree purposes. Seven courses are required to be taken:

  • Tax Research
  • Tax Treatment of Corporations and Partnerships
  • Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Tax Accounting, Periods and Methods
  • Federal Income Tax Procedures
  • Seminar on Current Problems in Taxation
  • One international tax course

Students must elect 5 other courses from a selection of 20 for the degree. Choices include Transactions in Property, State and Local Income and Franchise Taxation, Taxation of Closely Held Corporations and Federal Tax Valuation.


DePaul is ranked number 120 in the 2018 rankings by the U.S. News & World Report and number 79 among the Best Value Schools. There are over 180,000 alumni in the DePaul network that includes Richard M. Daley, Gillian Anderson, Joe Mantegna and Judy Greer.


University of Denver

College Choice Score: 70.75

Average Net Price: $32,940

School Website


The University of Denver (DU) is a private, coeducational university located in Denver, Colorado. Apart from its Sturm College of Law which is well regarded in legal circles, the DU’s Graduate Tax program offers an online Master of Taxation (MT) degree. Participation in this program is restricted to students who live more than 50 miles from Denver, although exceptions may be made in special circumstances.

Program Features

The university allows students to start this program in any quarter of the academic year. The program supports all common computer operating systems on PC or Mac, and no special software is required to participate.  Students enrolling for the MT degree are required to successfully complete eight core courses, which include:

  • Corporate Taxation
  • Tax Accounting
  • State and Local Taxation
  • International Taxation
  • Individual Tax Problems
  • Advanced Partnership Taxation
  • Employment Tax

Students are also required to choose 5 elective courses to make up the credits needed for degree qualification.


In ranking universities nationwide, the U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Denver at number 87 for 2018. They also ranked DU at number 49 among the best colleges for veterans. Condoleezza Rice, Pete Coors and George W. Casey Jr. are among DU’s notable alumni.


University of Akron

College Choice Score: 70.58

Average Net Price: $16,568

School Website


The University of Akron (UA) was founded in 1870 and is located in the city of Akron, Ohio. The university offers around 300 academic programs, including master’s degrees in the fields of law, engineering, education and business. UA’s College of Business Administration has an online program for a Master of Taxation (MTax) degree. Their comprehensive program enables students to develop the expertise to understand and analyze many aspects of taxation.

Program Features

Students qualifying for the program with non-business undergraduate degrees are required to take two foundation courses before commencement of the MTax program. These are Financial Accounting and Federal Taxation, which together account for 6 credits. The MTax program consists of 10 courses, eight of them required for the degree. These include:

  • Tax Research
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Taxation of Partnerships
  • Tax Accounting
  • Tax Policy and Ethics
  • State and Local Taxation
  • International Taxation

MTax students may then choose 2 elective courses to complete the 30 credits required for the degree. These options include Tax Crimes and Forensics, Estate and Gift Tax, Consolidated Tax Returns, S Corporation Taxation and Income Taxation of Decedents Estates and Trusts.


In 2013, BusinessWeek placed the undergraduate program of the UA’s College of Business Administration among the top 6th percentile of 1,600 business programs evaluated throughout America. Although ranked as a Tier 2 university by the U.S. News & World Report, UA was one of the institutions identified by the Princeton Review as the Best of the Midwest in 2008.


Nova Southeastern University

College Choice Score: 68.39

Average Net Price: $25,344

School Website


Nova Southeastern University (NSU) was founded in 1964 as a private, coeducational institution. It is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and offers 175 study programs with over 250 majors. NSU offers a prestigious online program for a Master of Taxation degree and students can enroll to start in August, January or May.

Program Features

NSU’s taxation program covers an in-depth examination of various aspects of the tax code and regulations. Thirty six credit hours are required for successful completion of the program. This equates to 7 required courses and 5 electives. The required courses are:

  • Taxation of Individuals
  • Tax of Estates, Trusts and Gifts
  • IRS Practice and Procedure
  • Tax Planning and Research
  • Federal Taxation of Partnerships
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Special Topics in Taxation

Students are required to select 5 elective courses from a choice of 7. These include Real Estate Taxation, US Taxation of International Transactions, Taxation of Exempt Organizations and Tax Policy. In addition, all students enrolling for this program are required to complete a course in Internet Technology.


In 2015, NSU was ranked number 290 out of 1,275 colleges and universities for graduate income. The U.S. News & World Report ranked NSU at number 198 in their 2018 university rankings. In 2014 and 2015, NSU conferred more doctoral degrees on minorities than any other university in America.


University of Alabama

College Choice Score: 67.10

Average Net Price: $20,133

School Website


The flagship campus of the University of Alabama (UA) is in Tuscaloosa, the state’s former capital, where it was founded in 1831 as Alabama’s first public college. With no religious affiliation, UA has satellite campuses in Birmingham and Huntsville. The university has highly ranked School of Medicine in Birmingham and School of Law in Tuscaloosa. UA offers a Juris Master Concentration in Taxation degree which can be taken online and instructs students in all areas of private, corporate and federal tax.

Program Features

The UA’s Juris Masters is a 30 credit-hour program which can be used for students to advance their careers or qualify to sit the CPA exam. The following 6 courses are required for the degree:

  • Personal Income Tax
  • Capital Transactions
  • Partnership Tax
  • Corporate Tax
  • Tax Procedure (Civil)
  • Tax Research

The school offers 11 electives, from which students must choose 4. They include Tax Accounting, State and Local Tax, Criminal Tax Procedure, Estate Planning and International Tax.


In the 2016 rankings of the U.S. News & World Report, the UA law school was ranked 22nd in the country and the business school tied for 58th. In the 2018 rankings, UA has been ranked number 110 and 68th in the Best Colleges for Veterans category.


Golden Gate University-San Francisco

College Choice Score: 65.18

Average Net Price: $34,370

School Website


Golden Gate University (GGU) in San Francisco offers an online Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree. Founded in 1901, the university specializes in educating students in law, business, information technology, taxation and accounting. GGU runs a Cyber Campus online learning program to accommodate their predominantly off-campus enrolment.

Program Features

The university recommends that students are proficient in writing and have a sound grasp of United States business practices to be successful in their graduate programs. For the MST degree, students require 30 units, comprising 21 units of core courses and 9 units of electives. The required courses are:

  • Advanced Federal Income Taxation
  • Federal Tax Procedure
  • Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Federal Income Taxation of Partners and Partnerships
  • Tax Research and Decision Making
  • Property Transactions
  • Tax Timing

Students may choose from any of the tax courses to make up their elective credits for the degree. However, GGU recommends that students take the course in Limited Liabilities Companies and S Corporations. The university will evaluate the transfer of credit from other accredited law schools or universities. Students may also apply for internship eligibility which may receive 6 course credits towards the MST degree in deserving cases.


In 2013, TaxTalent ranked GGU the most highly regarded MS Tax program in the United States along with DePaul University. In 2016, the Washington Monthly rated GGU number 1 in its survey of Best Colleges for Adult Learners. Notable alumni include Terence Henricks (Commander of Space Shuttle Columbia), Michael Flynn (former US National Security Advisor) and both Mary Hayashi and Fiona Ma (members of the California State Assembly).

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