An MBA is a no-brainer for anyone looking to work their way up in the world of business. But why not make yourself more marketable by adding an extra edge to your degree? If you’re a numbers person, then an MBA in accounting would be the perfect next step.
Continuing your education is important in any profession. But in the business industry, staying ahead is all the more crucial. Since you’ll be getting this degree online, pretty much all you need is a calculator and your laptop. Let’s get started!
What kind of online MBA in accounting degree should you get?
Choosing the right online program is not always a cakewalk. For starters, there’s so many to choose from! An easy way to start the process is to consider your own schedule.
If you’re hoping to stay at your 40-hour-a-week job, then you should consider the part-time programs at schools like Carnegie Mellon or UMass Lowell.
If you’re ready to jump in full-force and finish your degree as soon as possible, then maybe check out Tennessee Technological University or Benedictine University. You can also check out our Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with an online MBA in accounting?
It may not seem like the work of an accountant is glamorous. But with the salary of an accountant, you’ll definitely be living a glamorous life. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average starting salary for an accountant is $68,150. But if you specialize in something like financial management, you’ll be looking at closer to $121,000 per year.
Even more, the job market increasingly relies on people who know how to handle money effectively and judiciously. The employment rate for accountants is expected to rise 11% by 2024.
What can you do with an online MBA in accounting?
Don’t let anyone tell you accounting is boring. You can do so much with an MBA in accounting. Some graduates go ga-ga for taxes and become tax managers or auditors. Others work as financial consultants and travel the world. If you’re into managing huge amounts of money, you can be a budget analyst.
Here’s the bottom line: every business needs someone who’s good with numbers. So pick your dream job and go for it!
What are the requirements for an online MBA in accounting?
The admission requirements for getting into an online MBA program vary widely. Some require you to take the GMAT or GRE (and get a certain threshold score), but others don’t ask for that. Some schools require that you have 1-2 years of work experience in a business-related job. Some schools prefer that you come from a non-business-related background.
When it comes down to it, the best preparation you can do is to attend a 4-year undergraduate program and to take advantage of diverse opportunities. Business is all about leveraging experience. A diverse resume, with grades to prove your grit, will go a long way.
What are the best online MBA degrees in accounting?
Here at College Choice, we’ve done some number-crunching of our own, and settled on the top 15 online MBA programs from a list of over 250 schools. We’ve considered not only the quality of the curriculum, but also the tuition costs, the return on investment, and each school’s reputation.
We’ve distilled a methodology from our own data nerds, the esteemed US News & World Report, and the brainiacs over at Payscale.com. We’ll ask you again: are you ready to step up your accounting career?
See our rankings methodology page.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $35,250.00
First up on our list is Carnegie Mellon University, a private university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Though it is one of the more expensive schools on our list, Carnegie Mellon is known for its strong academic reputation and its flexible online MBA program in accounting.
The online MBA program in accounting at Carnegie Mellon stands out for a reason. For one, it’s designed for part-time students who want to work while taking classes. The blended format lets you take most classes online, with a few intensive Access Weekends on campus. The curriculum is the same as full-time MBA students, just with more flexibility! Some sample classes include:
- Probability and Statistics
- Statistical Decision Making
- Corporate Strategy
The Tepper School of Business is small but mighty. It ranks among the top 15 business schools in the country, as well as one of the smallest. This gives you first-hand access to faculty, internships, and instruction. Online students also receive sufficient orientation through the BaseCamp classes in their first year.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 99.15
Average Net Price: $33,701.00
Founded in 1888 as a Jesuit College, the University of Scranton has kept its Catholic traditions, in addition to a thriving student body of over 5,000. The Kania School of Management hosts the MBA program, which consistently ranks in the top 20, according to US News & World Report.
The MBA specialization in Accounting at the University of Scranton is just one of six concentrations in the program. Through the Flex curriculum, you’ll take 36 credit hours in total. You start with core business classes, and then branch into specialized courses. Some accounting classes that you can anticipate include:
- Accounting Integration and Configuration
- Advanced Auditing
- International Accounting
- Managerial Accounting Topics
Besides its renowned MBA accounting program (University of Scranton ranks among the top 10 in the country for master’s programs in its region), the program also offers its online students quality resources. The Business & Leadership Resource Center is completely online and full of tips and trends in the field of accounting.
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
College Choice Score: 98.76
Average Net Price: $18,348.00
The University of Massachusetts is one of the five campuses in the larger University of Massachusetts (UMass) system. Known for having one of the largest selections of online programs that are delivered through a traditional university (45 degrees in total), UMass Lowell delivers the all the qualities of an in-person classroom to the online format.
One of four focus areas in the MBA program, the specialization in Accounting lets you tackle both the broad and specific specs of the field. Students complete 10-16 classes in the program, depending on their pre-requisites. Among the upper-level accounting classes, you can take:
- Accounting Information for Management Decisions
- Management and Sustainability Accounting
- Tax Factors in Business Decisions
- Financial Accounting Theory and Researc
One of the many great features of the UMass Lowell program is its flexibility. Offered part-time and through a hybrid model, you can take classes when you want, where you want. The Manning School of Business earned its high reputation among places like Princeton Review and US News & World Report through this kind of attention to online learning.
University of Maryland-College Park
College Choice Score: 94.72
Average Net Price: $15,757.00
Straddling Washington DC and Maryland border, the University of Maryland College Park is a large public university known for its high-caliber academic research. The Robert H. Smith School of Business delivers MBA degrees online, on the main campus in Maryland, and in Beijing, China.
Known as the Smith Online MBA, this program gives students the chance to graduate with an MBA in just two years. The degree offers a specialization in Accounting (others include Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, and more), and lets you build an accounting career from the ground up. The curriculum includes:
- The Impact of Taxation on Business Entities
- Fraud Examination, Detection, and Deterrence
- Managerial Accounting
- Decision Modeling
The University of Maryland College Park impresses in a number of areas. For one, the Robert H. Smith Business School of Business ranks 9th in the nation for online MBA programs, according to US News & World Report. Even more, its proximity to DC give students amazing job opportunities post-graduation.
University of South Florida-St Petersburg
College Choice Score: 94.09
Average Net Price: $11,150.00
The University of South Florida-St. Petersburg claims the prize of being the most affordable school on our list (with an average net price of $11,150). Also unique to USF St. Petersburg is its offering of an MBA/MACC dual degree, which combines an MBA with a Master of Accountancy.
If you’re feeling like a latecomer to the business world, this program might be just the ticket. USF St. Petersburg offers Online MBA Essentials Modules to get students quickly caught up on prerequisites. Then, you’ll go through the 36-credit-hour curriculum and get the chance to focus in Forensic Accounting, among other areas. Here are some highlight courses:
- Forensic Accounting and the Legal Environment
- Accounting Research
- Fraud and Financial Reporting
- Governmental and Not-For-Profit Accounting
The program at USF St. Petersburg not only keeps you from breaking the bank, but also aims for a higher mission. The MBA program has been recognized for its efforts in corporate social responsibility. This, combined with the flexible online format, make USF St. Petersburg a tough school to pass up.
College Choice Score: 92.46
Average Net Price: $25,764.00
Concordia University-Wisconsin is a private Lutheran school with 10 affiliate schools. It hosts the largest adult education programs among other Lutheran schools in the country. The online branch offers over 50 different programs, as well as specialized certificates.
The online MBA program at Concordia University blends together the best features of online learning with a religious core. Students can jump into the program whenever they want, instead of waiting until a fall semester start date. The 39-credit-hour degree features a number of specialized accounting classes like:
- Corporate Finance
- Accounting: Financial Analysis for Decision Making
- Applied Statistical Methods
- Strategic Management
You don’t have to stop at just an online MBA in accounting. Concordia offers over 40 business degree programs, including useful graduate certificates that would surely bolster your resume. For example, in addition to your MBA, you could earn a Graduate Certificate in Finance or Sport and Entertainment Business.
College Choice Score: 92.26
Average Net Price: $26,505.00
Founded in 1877 by a group of Jesuit priests, Regis University still holds true to its Roman Catholic roots today. Regis is a private university based in Denver, Colorado. The university educates around 11,400 students each year—both online and on-campus—through its five academic colleges.
At Regis University, you’ll get an MBA in Finance and Accounting. It is offered either totally online, or through a hybrid program of online and in-person. The first 15 credit hours solidify your foundational knowledge in accounting. Then, you get to the good stuff. Some of these upper-level classes include:
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Managerial Economics
- Issues in International Business
- Strategy Formation
Regis University is known as one of the top universities in its region. In fact, US News & World Report named it 23rd among all the universities in the western United States. It also has great statistics post-graduation: over 95% of its graduates are either employed or attaining more education.
College Choice Score: 91.11
Average Net Price: $24,794.00
Founded by Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is the largest evangelical Christian university in the world. With its main campus located in Virginia, Liberty University Online delivers degree programs to students around the globe. Established in 2009, LU Online enrolls close to 100,000 students annually.
The MBA in Accounting program at Liberty University covers everything from taxes to finance theory. Through a total of 45 credit hours, you’ll master the basics of the field, as well as specialize in your own interests. Some of the highlight accounting courses include:
- Tax Research & Jurisprudence
- Accounting Information Systems
- Advanced Auditing
- Accounting for Decision Making
Along with Liberty University’s extensive online learning network, it tends to respectable online rankings. Among other regional universities in the south, US News & World Report ranked it 80th. Liberty is perhaps most known for its political stance; Young America’s Foundation consistently ranks it in the top 10 most conservative colleges in the nation.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 89.97
Average Net Price: $34,984.00
Home to six professional colleges and schools, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is private university that enrolls around 60,000 students per year. Though its main campus is located in Manchester, New Hampshire, the majority of its students attend the College of Online & Continuing Education.
Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA program has been around for over 40 years. Instead of just highlighting number-crunching, the online MBA Accounting program at SNHU takes a global approach to accounting. You’ll take classes like Financial Reporting and Tax Factors in Business Decisions, but also get a solid understanding in the following areas:
- Leading in an Organization
- Marketing and Strategy
- Government Impact on Business
- Accounting and Financial Analysis
Southern New Hampshire’s School of Business is held in high regard among local and national standards. In the past number of years, the New Hampshire Business Review awarded it “Best MBA Program.” SNHU is also frequently acknowledged for its innovation; in fact, Fast Company recently named it the 12th most innovative organization globally.
College Choice Score: 88.48
Average Net Price: $20,017.00
A private university with ties to the Roman Catholic Church, Benedictine University is located in the suburbs of Chicago. Its small size and proximity to a cultural hub make it an ideal choice for students who want one-on-one attention in academics. The school offers a number of online graduate and undergraduate degrees.
The online MBA Accounting program at Benedictine University knows that most students are working adults. Therefore, you can take either one class at a time to graduate in 22 months, or two classes at a time to graduate in just one year! In addition to the core curriculum, you’ll also take a number of accounting-specific classes:
- Corporate Accounting Theory & Practice
- Tax Influences on Decision Making
- Financial Management
- Cost Analysis, Profit Planning, and Control
Online MBA graduates from Benedictine University leave feeling confident and prepared in their field. In fact, 80% of them said they would return to the online MBA program at Benedictine University if they had to do it all over again. Even more, 95% reported feeling highly prepared in their current jobs.
Tennessee Technological University
College Choice Score: 86.07
Average Net Price: $14,688.00
Tennessee Technological University (or Tennessee Tech) is a public institution located just east of Nashville. Its early beginnings focused on engineering and technology degrees, though now Tennessee Tech delivers a wide variety of degrees. Among them is the distance MBA program, which allows for concentrations in six areas.
The online MBA in Accounting at Tennessee Tech is a relatively new program that allows you to complete the degree without leaving your current job. Aside from monthly weekend meet-ups in Nashville, this program is entirely online. Some of the speciality accounting courses include:
- Accounting Information for Management Decisions
- Financial Management
- Analytic Decision Making
- Auditing and Attestation
A few of the many draws to Tennessee Tech include its affordability (2nd most affordable on our list), and its flexibility. The online MBA classes are divided into ten, 3-hour classes making it an attainable 30-hour program that you can finish in just one year.
College Choice Score: 86.00
Average Net Price: $23,624.00
A private, Baptist institution based in North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University was founded in 1905. Though the school is fairly small, with just 4,500 students, it offers over 60 degrees to both undergraduates and graduates. Gardner-Webb also has programs specifically designed for adult learners and students with disabilities.
The online MBA program at Gardner-Webb University opens up the world of accounting in more than just one way. In additional to a core curriculum in business, it offers focus areas in subsets of the field, like accounting, banking and finance, forensic accounting, tax accounting, and more. Some classes you’ll take include:
- Managerial Accounting
- Managerial Finance
- Tax Research and Planning
- Fraud Examination
Gardner-Webb University’s online business degrees have earned top marks for their students services and technology (#1 according to Top Online Programs). The school has also been recognized for its excellence in faculty credentials and training, which extends to online faculty too.
Florida Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 84.52
Average Net Price: $31,582.00
Florida Institute of Technology is a private research university in Melbourne, Florida that delivers degrees primarily in technology, engineering, aviation, and STEM. Because of its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and Florida Tech Research Park, the school is known for its research activity.
At Florida Institute of Technology, you’ll get an online MBA program with a specialization in accounting. Not only that, you’ll be able to take classes that prepare you for the CPA exam if you choose to pursue that. In addition to core courses and a capstone course, you’ll take specialty classes in accounting that include:
- International Accounting and Reporting
- Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
- Strategic Cost Management
- Financial Management
The academic influence of Florida Technical Institute goes beyond just sciences and technology. For example, US News & World Report listed it as a tier-1 school in its list of Best National Universities in the country.
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 82.40
Average Net Price: $21,296.00
Saint Leo University is a private, Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1889. Beyond its main campus in St. Leo, Florida, Saint Leo University provides a top-notch education to its 14,650 students in over 40 locations throughout the country. The Center for Online Learning at Saint Leo was created in 1998, and was one of the first in the United States!
The curriculum in Saint Leo’s MBA in Accounting degree covers everything from fraud examination to tax law to financial analysis. You’ll be well-equipped in this online MBA to jump into a leadership position in any business sector. The one-year track program ends with an internship, but also covers some of the following courses:
- Fund Accounting for Government and Non-Profits
- Business Law and the Accountant
- Accounting Theory
- Using Financial Accounting Information
Saint Leo University is no stranger to praise. Guide to Online Schools recently listed Saint Leo as the 17th best online program in the country. On a more regional scale, US News & World Report included Saint Leo University in its list of “Top Universities in the South” in 2016.
University of the Southwest
College Choice Score: 82.22
Average Net Price: $18,063.00
A small, religious school in Hobbs, New Mexico, the University of the Southwest enrolls around 1,000 students per year. Despite its small size, it grants over 65 different degree programs to its students. The online MBA is one of eight degrees offered through the School of Business and Professional Studies.
With classes that start every 8 weeks, the online MBA program at University of the Southwest allows you to graduate in just one year. Within the 36-credit-hour program, you can specialize in one of ten areas, including accounting. The accounting-specific classes prepare you for a range of industry-related tasks, like:
- Small Business Accounting
- Internal Audit Theory and Practice
- Accounting and Auditing Research
- Financial Reporting
University of the Southwest knows how to cater directly to online students. For example, upon admission into the online MBA program, each student receives a laptop, as well as all of their textbooks in a digital form.