Online master's in accounting programs prepare graduates for an array of career choices, including tax auditing, corporate management, financial information systems, and investigative or forensic accounting. The field is growing for accountants and auditors.

What are the most affordable Accounting programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC
  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Champaign, IL
  3. Rutgers University - Newark, NJ
  4. University of Connecticut - Storrs, CT
  5. George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
  6. SUNY Polytechnic Institute - Utica, NY
  7. California State University - San Bernardino - San Bernardino, CA
  8. University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
  9. Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, FL
  10. California State University - Sacramento - Sacramento, CA

2020's Most Affordable Online Master's in Accounting Programs

Many of the nation's finest business schools now offer affordable master's in accounting (MAC) programs completely online, giving students the opportunity to continue working while they earn credit toward their degree, which should give them an edge in the increasingly competitive business world. Master's graduates are more desirable than accountants with undergraduate degrees, and they earn more right out of college. Corporations from all over actively court MAC accountants before they even finish school.

Accountants understand the importance of getting the most value for their dollar, including dollars spent on education. Students should consider what they receive for their investment, and make a holistic evaluation of affordability. That's why we've ranked the following online MAC programs using our unique college affordability score, which accounts for quality of education, total cost, financial aid opportunities, and potential future earnings.

Affordable schools promise a return on investment. They demonstrate track records of providing rigorous academic experiences for an affordable cost, and their graduates earn salaries that make paying back their loans relatively simple.

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1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 89%

Ranked among the top graduate accounting programs in the country, UNC-Chapel Hill's affordable online master's in accounting provides concentrations in taxation, auditing, and financial analysis and reporting. Many courses use a synchronous format that enables learners to interact with peers and faculty in a live virtual classroom.

The 36- to 48-credit program accepts applicants of all academic and professional backgrounds, though students with an MBA or prior coursework in accounting may complete fewer credits. Qualified applicants may also be to waive GRE or GMAT requirements.

Just prior to the program start date, students travel to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus for a three-day orientation and leadership immersion experience. The program boasts one of the highest first-time pass rates for graduates on the CPA exam.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Accounting
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Taxation; auditing; financial analysis and reporting
Tuition: $1,446/credit
Credit Requirements: 36-48 credits
Program Length: 12-36 months

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (919) 962-3209
Email: mac_info@unc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Located about two hours south of Chicago, U of I hosts one of the best and most affordable online master's in accounting programs available today. The fully online program features a mix of synchronous and asynchronous course formats, with learners attending live virtual class sessions weekly.

U of I's 32-credit accounting curriculum includes 20 credits of core accounting courses and 12 credits of electives. Students must take four credits of nonaccounting coursework, choosing from options that include marketing management, global strategy, and corporate finance.

The program offers two start dates per year, and students typically complete the degree in 18-36 months. Program graduates have an average first-time CPA exam pass rate of 75%.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accountancy
School Status: Public
Tuition: $850/credit; $297/credit nonaccounting courses
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Program Length: 18-36 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum (recommended)
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (waived with 3 years relevant professional experience)

Contact

Phone: (217) 244-0009
Email: onlineMSA@illinois.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Rutgers University

Newark, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Founded in 1929, the business school at Rutgers University-Newark offers a one-year, 30-credit master of accountancy in financial accounting. The program uses a hybrid format that combines full-time, in-person summer courses with part-time online courses in the fall and spring.

During the summer, candidates complete 15 credits of accounting classes in two five-week sessions held at Rutgers' Livingston campus in New Brunswick/Piscataway. They then complete 15 elective credits online during the fall and spring.

While electives cover a wide selection of accounting and finance topics, Rutgers encourages students to complete courses in governmental accounting and auditing and ethics in business due to those topics' presence on the CPA exam. The program boasts a 90% job placement rate within six months of graduation.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy in Financial Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $13,852/semester in-state; $24,048/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum (recommended)
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (973) 353-1234
Email: admit@business.rutgers.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

A top-ranked, public research college based in Storrs, UConn delivers one of the most affordable online master's in accounting degrees in New England. This fully online, primarily asynchronous program holds prestigious AACSB accreditation and fulfills all requirements for eligibility to take the CPA exam.

UConn offers a highly flexible curriculum model with just two core courses, allowing students to fulfill the remaining program credits with elective courses that match professional interests. Electives cover topics such as forensic accounting and fraud examination, global financial reporting and analysis, and taxation of business entities.

Nearly half of all accounting degree candidates enter the program from another field, and UConn offers a 12-credit accounting fundamentals certificate for students who lack an accounting background. Students can also complete an online accounting certificate program and earn credits that count toward master's degree requirements.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $875/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (860) 486-0334
Email: erika.durning@uconn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

The largest public research college in Virginia, Mason features one of the region's most affordable online master's in accounting degrees. The university boasts a strong professional reputation, which leads to enhanced career outcomes for students: 64% of accounting graduates secure a job by graduation, with 26% receiving a signing bonus.

This 30-credit program features a curriculum evenly divided between core courses and electives. Core classes cover taxation, financial accounting, fraud examination, and global accounting. Electives offer a wide variety of course options, including independent study and a professional field experience.

Mason offers 90% of its accounting coursework online, but students must travel to participate in a one-week global residency. Focusing on international business and accounting practices, past residencies have taken place in major business centers like Frankfurt, London, and Prague.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,057/credit for Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. residents; $1,937/credit for residents of all other states
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (703) 239-2670
Email: gradbus@gmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Home to one of the most affordable online master's in accounting programs in New York state, SUNY Poly is also ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its online business programs. The school offers a fully online master of science in accountancy with an optional concentration in forensic accounting.

Degree candidates must complete a minimum of 33 credits, including 15 credits of accounting courses, 15 credits of business courses, and any three-credit graduate elective available through the College of Business. The program curriculum prepares students to sit for both the certified public accountant and certified management accountant exams.

Most program applicants possess an accounting background. Students who lack accounting knowledge may complete undergraduate accounting prerequisites while taking graduate electives in multinational economics, financial management problems, quantitative business analysis, and management information systems.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accountancy
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Forensic accounting
Tuition: $295/credit in-state; $565/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (315) 792-7347
Email: graduate@sunypoly.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

California State University - San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Ranked among the top public colleges on the West Coast, CSUSB hosts one of California's most affordable online master's in accounting programs. The college's master of science in accountancy prepares students for obtaining certified public accountant, certified management accountant, and certified internal auditor credentials.

The degree requires candidates to complete a minimum of 48 credits, split evenly between core courses and electives. The program core explores key topics such as financial reporting and disclosure, corporate taxation, and international accounting. Electives cover a wide assortment of specialized subjects, such as healthcare accounting and trade and business in Asia.

Students can also fulfill up to two elective course requirements by completing a professional internship in a public or private organization. Performed under close supervision and requiring the approval of both the instructor and the department's internship coordinator, internships help learners build hands-on experience and form professional connections.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accountancy
School Status: Public
Tuition: $2,796/semester in-state
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (909) 537-5704
Email: msa@csusb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Mizzou offers a fully online master of accountancy that ranks among the top degrees in the country. The program primarily serves working professionals, with the average admitted student having 7.4 years of work experience.

Candidates must complete a total of 30 credits comprising six core credits and 24 elective credits. The program core includes two courses: auditing theory and practice and accounting and business strategic analysis. Elective options include accounting ethics, forensic auditing, strategic cost management, and government accounting and budgeting.

Mizzou offers part-time enrollment options to serve working students. Full-time candidates can complete the degree in just one year. The accounting program boasts a 95% domestic job placement rate among graduates, and MIzzou students pass the CPA exam at a rate far higher than the national average.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Tuition: $668/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (573) 882-2491
Email: MizzouOnline@missouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

A public college based in Boca Raton, FAU offers one of the most affordable online master's in accounting degrees in Florida. Geared toward working learners, the school's executive master of accounting program offers start dates in January, May, and August. Most degree candidates complete the program while maintaining full-time employment.

FAU admits students regardless of academic background, but those who lack accounting credits must complete prerequisite undergraduate courses. Candidates with an undergraduate accounting background can complete the program in as little as three semesters.

Courses use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous elements, and online students can log on for interactive video lecture sessions held each Saturday morning. FAU also offers hybrid enrollment options, which enable students to experience both on-campus and online courses.

Program Overview

Program Name: Executive Master of Accounting
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Business valuation; digital accounting forensics and data analytics; forensic accounting; forensic accounting with business valuation; forensic accounting with digital accounting forensics; professional accounting; tax
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12-24 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GMAT, GRE, or LSAT (recommended)
Work Experience: Recommended

Contact

Phone: (561) 297-0525
Email: jknox6@fau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

A member of the California state university system, Sac State delivers an affordable master of science in accounting that caters to working professionals. On average, admitted students are 30 years old with six years of professional accounting experience.

Sac State's accounting degree features a fully online format that requires no campus visits. Most courses are asynchronous and implement interactive learning that includes instant messaging and streaming video. All courses are available year-round, enabling candidates to complete the program in as few as 18 months.

The 30-credit degree curriculum includes 27 credits of program requirement courses and a three-credit culminating experience. Required courses focus on topics such as financial reporting, cost analysis and control, and taxation of individuals, while the culminating experience focuses on accounting and ethics.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $740/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (916) 278-2895
Email: goldsby@csus.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Auburn University

Auburn, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 78%

A major public college based in Alabama, Auburn hosts one of the South's most affordable online master's in accounting programs. Auburn accounting graduates pass the CPA exam at an average rate of 93% — far higher than the national average.

Degree candidates must complete 30 credits total, including 12 credits of required courses in topics such as auditing, assurance services, integrated accounting applications, and accounting research. Electives include uncommon options like information technology auditing and technical aspects of big data management.

While students access most course content for the accounting master's degree online, they must attend a three-day residency held on the Auburn campus during the final spring semester. Lasting from Wednesday to Friday, the residency includes business seminars, leadership workshops, and social events.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Tuition: $900/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (334) 844-6207
Email: andee.hodo@auburn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Amherst, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

Focused on the needs of working students, UMass Amherst's flexible master of science in accounting offers three annual start dates and a fully online curriculum that requires no campus visits. The program also offers blended learning options for students who want to take some classes on campus.

The degree curriculum requires learners to complete 30 credits in total. Core coursework includes classes in ethics and professional responsibilities, financial statement analysis, and taxes and business decisions. With full-time study, many candidates complete the program in as little as two semesters. UMass Amherst also offers variable part-time enrollment options to suit working students' schedules.

While the program primarily serves those with an undergraduate accounting background, candidates looking to enter the field can enroll in the Accounting Transitions Program. These students complete up to 15 credits of prerequisite courses (also available fully online) before enrolling in UMass Amherst's graduate accounting program.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $800/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (413) 545-5608
Email: dcurcio@isenberg.umass.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Boasting a wide range of undergraduate and graduate distance learning options, UArizona features a flexible master of science in accountancy with six start dates per year. Around 70% of graduates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt.

The 30-credit program curriculum includes 18 credits of core accounting courses and 12 credits of electives. The program core covers topics such as professional law, business ethics, information technology auditing, and advanced federal taxation. Electives enable students to explore complementary fields such as marketing, entrepreneurship, economics, and finance.

UArizona requires applicants to hold an undergraduate accounting background, though students who lack prerequisite coursework can first earn the school's online accounting graduate certificate. The certificate comprises 9-18 credits, depending on student background, to provide all accounting classes needed for admission to the graduate accounting program.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,000/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (520) 214-6594
Email: GradAcctPrograms@email.arizona.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Recognized as one of the most innovative colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, UND offers an affordable online master's in accounting degree. UND provides two program options: a practitioner track for students with an undergraduate accounting background and a fundamentals track for those with no accounting experience.

Both programs comprise 30 credits and include the same 15-credit core, which includes courses in advanced financial accounting and business law in addition to a seminar in accounting issues. Regardless of their track, candidates can complete the degree in as little as 20 months of full-time study.

The fundamentals track offers a strong accounting foundation, including three courses in financial accounting. The practitioner track explores more specialized topics, including ethics and leadership, business intelligence, and accounting for governments and nonprofits.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fundamentals; practitioner
Tuition: $765/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (877) 856-4576
Email: admissions@onlinedegrees.und.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

A fully online college, WGU hosts a flexible and self-paced master's in accounting program. The degree path consists of 10 courses, including financial management, accounting research, and advanced auditing. Seventy-six percent of candidates complete their degree in 24 months or less.

WGU is well-known for its competency-based education model, which dispenses with traditional academic course schedules. This modular format enables students to move through material by demonstrating specific knowledge rather than completing courses of a set length. This nontraditional academic model also allows learners to skip course material they already know.

The standard curriculum path comprises three courses each semester, but WGU also enables candidates to complete coursework at any pace and pay the same flat tuition rate every six months.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $4,180/6-month term
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (888) 456-7897
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Based in southern Texas near the Mexican border, UTRGV offers a fully online master of accountancy intended for students with a strong accounting background. This accelerated program offers concentrated seven-week courses, enabling many candidates to finish in as little as 12 months.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits, including a program core with courses in business law for accountants, accounting research and communication, and information technology for accounting and control. They can also choose from concentrations in auditing or taxation.

Each concentration track includes four specialized courses that build marketable skills. The auditing track covers topics such as fraud examination, financial statement analysis, and internal auditing. The taxation track explores wealth transfers, corporate and partnership taxation, and tax research and communication.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Auditing; taxation
Tuition: $472/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (833) 887-4842
Email: andres.bello01@utrgv.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Home to one of Florida's top online master's in accounting degrees, UM provides two program tracks for students with different backgrounds: a 32-credit master of professional accounting (non-CPA) for business majors and a 40-credit CPA option for accounting majors.

The program features accelerated seven-week courses, which students complete one at a time. Courses cover subjects like accounting information systems, auditing and assurance, financial statement analysis and valuation, and advanced cost accounting.

For those interested in accounting with a heavier emphasis on business, UM also offers an online MBA with an accounting practice focus. The 51-credit program includes several specialized accounting classes along with advanced courses in business, leadership, and management.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Professional Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $2,100/credit
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Program Length: 16-20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 411-2290
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

An online college known for its low tuition, TUW offers one of the most affordable online master's in accounting degrees in the country. The school's online MBA with a concentration in accounting combines management skills with finance and accounting concepts, training candidates to serve as both accountants and business leaders.

Students in the program must complete 36 credits of coursework, divided between 27 credits of core MBA courses and nine credits of accounting courses. The MBA core covers topics such as professional communications, management across cultures, and contemporary marketing. The accounting concentration features courses such as audit corporate accounting and financial statement analysis.

The program concludes with a three-credit capstone course that integrates program concepts. Students demonstrate their understanding of accounting and management principles by completing a real-world business project.

Program Overview

Program Name: MBA
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Accounting
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (818) 575-6800
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

A private college in San Diego, NU offers a fully online master of accountancy program designed for working adults. The curriculum prepares students to obtain a variety of professional certifications, including certified personal accountant, certified management account, and certified internal auditor, and is specifically designed for students without an accounting background.

NU offers a high level of flexibility, including frequent start dates and accelerated four-week courses that enable candidates to complete the degree in as little as 14 months. Courses primarily use a synchronous format that features live interactions with classmates and faculty.

Students must complete a minimum of 63 credits, divided among 14 courses. Candidates interested in pursuing professional certification (such as CPA) must also take an additional 18 credits of coursework covering topics such as ethics, data analytics, and certification exam reviews.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Accounting professional skills
Tuition: $442/credit
Credit Requirements: 63 quarter credits
Program Length: 14 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (858) 642-8663
Email: slightner@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Saint Louis, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Ranked among the fastest-growing colleges in the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Maryville delivers one of the most affordable online master's in accounting programs. The school's online master's in accountancy emphasizes the changing nature of the accounting field and trains students to adapt to new business practices and technologies.

Maryville offers a highly flexible, fully online course format that requires no campus visits. The program also does not require applicants to take the GRE or GMAT. Candidates with an accounting background can complete their degree in as little as 10 months.

Maryville's accounting program comprises at least 30 credits, including 18 credits of core accounting courses and 12 credits of Becker CPA-informed courses. For students who lack an undergraduate accounting background, Maryville offers a 30-credit bridge program that includes introductory courses such as business law and principles of finance.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Accountancy
School Status: Private
Tuition: $765/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-60 credits
Program Length: 10 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum (recommended)

Contact

Phone: (888) 266-0574
Email: Admissions@online.maryville.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

A selective program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, OU's online master of accountancy offers three annual start dates to accommodate working students. OU boasts a 75% pass rate on the CPA exam for its accounting program graduates over the past 10 years, far above the national average.

Students in the program complete two modules simultaneously per semester: one business course and one accounting course. Many candidates complete the degree in two years or less while still maintaining full-time employment.

All students have the option to participate in a two-week, three-credit study-abroad trip focused on international financial statement analysis. Spanning sites in England, France, and Belgium, the study-abroad experience offers students the chance to work with international companies as well as the European Commission.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Tuition: $32,500
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 21-24 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (405) 325-4139
Email: onlinemacc@ou.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Colorado State University - Global Campus

Greenwood Village, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

CSU-Global offers a flexible online master's in professional accounting with accelerated course options, monthly start dates, and an asynchronous format that can fit in anyone's schedule. Approximately 90% of program alumni find work in the accounting field.

The master's in accounting program offers five emphasis options: data analytics, fraud investigation and forensic accounting, auditing and assurance, taxation, and professional accounting. Regardless of emphasis, all candidates complete a 24-credit program core that features courses in international accounting, ethics, and advanced auditing and assurance services.

Program applicants typically must possess a bachelor's degree in accounting or at least 15 upper-division accounting credits. Some candidates may receive conditional acceptance while taking additional courses in business writing and research.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Professional Accounting
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Data analytics; fraud investigation and forensic accounting; auditing and assurance; taxation; professional accounting
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-33 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum (recommended)

Contact

Phone: (800) 920-6723
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

A private research university with a 150-year history, Syracuse offers a highly flexible, fully online master of science in accounting. The program caters to working students, and the average admitted applicant holds 11 years of professional experience.

The curriculum comprises a mix of synchronous and asynchronous content, with live class sessions held each week. Syracuse uses a cohort model in which students complete most courses as a cohesive group. Candidates also benefit from four annual start dates and a GMAT-waiver policy for applicants with at least five years of professional experience.

Syracuse offers three completion options: candidates with accounting experience can enroll in either a traditional 15-month professional track or an accelerated 12-month track, while students without accounting experience enter a variable foundational track that requires 33-48 credits.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Accelerated; professional; foundational
Tuition: $1,620/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-48 credits
Program Length: 12-24 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (waived with 5 years of professional experience)

Contact

Phone: (844) 797-4622
Email: admissions@onlinebusiness.syr.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Ranked among the most affordable online master's in accounting degrees in the South, UAB's completely online program also boasts a high rate of student success and has placed graduates at all of the "Big Four" international accounting firms. Candidates can earn the degree in as little as two years.

The program requires students to complete a minimum of 30 credits, divided between 21 credits of core accounting courses and nine credits of electives. The core encompasses key topics such as business law, corporate governance, and advanced financial accounting, while electives cover areas such as fraud examination, auditing, and forensic accounting.

For students without an accounting background, UAB offers a 24-credit bridge program that fulfills all prerequisites for the master's degree. The bridge curriculum covers foundational topics such as accounting principles, income taxation, and accounting information systems.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,088/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact

Phone: (205) 934-8829
Email: jtalty@uab.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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Southern Utah University

Cedar City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

A public college located in Cedar City, SUU offers one of the top online master's in accounting degrees in the western U.S. The program prides itself on a nearly 100% career placement rate among graduates.

The accounting degree comprises a minimum 30 credits, with 12 credits allocated to core courses and 18 credits allocated to electives. The program core includes courses in accounting ethics, auditing, and taxes for pass-through entities. Learners can select from electives in estate and gift taxes, management science, negotiations, and other topics.

SUU offers partial tuition waivers for graduate accounting students, with eligibility determined by the School of Business Graduate and Scholarship Committee. Tuition-waiver amounts vary each year based on available funding and committee recommendations. Students must be enrolled in at least nine credits per semester to qualify.

Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Accountancy
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Business analytics; managerial accounting; public accounting; taxation
Tuition: $4,527/semester in-state; $11,135/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (435) 586-5462
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Accounting Program?

Many of the most affordable online master's in accounting programs are also the highest quality. Details may vary by school and program, but applicants can expect common application procedures, concentration offerings, and coursework as part of their accounting degrees. The length and cost of each program also varies, but the following section includes general estimates of completion times and tuition prices for a master's degree.

Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Accounting

Online accounting master's degree applicants need a bachelor's degree. Some master's programs specify that applicants must possess a bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting, or a related major, but many welcome applicants with bachelor's degrees in other subjects, as well. Additionally, some schools require that students earn their bachelor's degrees from an institution with regional accreditation in order to qualify for admission.

Some schools also require previous work experience, but many of the most affordable online master's in accounting degrees do not. Completing the degree provides graduates with a broader scope of lucrative job opportunities. For any master's degree, minimum GPA requirements can vary widely, though most of the best master's in accounting online prefer a minimum 3.0 GPA. Many programs do not require GMAT or GRE scores; however, those that do may waive this requirement for applicants with a bachelor's degree in accounting, extensive work experience, or a GPA above the school's minimum requirement.

Taxation

Online MAC programs offering a taxation concentration introduce students to critical income, estate, and sales taxation principles and practices. Students develop a mastery of auditing, financial reporting, and tax law for corporate, nonprofit, and individual clients. Graduates also qualify to sit for the CPA exam.

Careers this Concentration Prepares For: Accountant, auditor, tax director

Auditing

The auditing concentration within an online master's degree in accounting prepares students to follow Sarbanes-Oxley federal requirements in their career, and introduces the latest auditing technologies and techniques. The curriculum emphasizes coursework in advanced auditing, ethics in accounting, and detection and prevention of fraudulent financial statements.

Careers this Concentration Prepares For: Compliance auditor, internal auditor, accountant

Forensics

Students concentrating in forensic accounting as part of an online MAC program study fraud investigation, specifically related to bankruptcies, contract disputes, mergers and acquisitions, and complex financial agreements. Aspiring forensic accounting experts also learn how to use forensic financial evidence in the prosecution of white-collar criminals.

Careers this Concentration Prepares For: Forensic accountant, investigative accountant, fraud examiner

Management

The management accounting concentration teaches students to strengthen business and leadership aspects of their role as accounting manager. Coursework prepares students to lead teams of employees, including at the managerial/executive level, to improve financial productivity and efficiency within an organizations. Graduates qualify to sit for the CMA exam.

Careers this Concentration Prepares For: Certified management accountant, controller, accounting director

International

Online MAC programs in international accounting train students to practice accounting and comply with tax laws in a global environment. Coursework explores how international taxation and accounting regulations compare to U.S. systems. Graduates possess a mastery over foreign exchange rates, related financial risks, and management of global financial systems.

Careers this Concentration Prepares For: International accountant, international auditor, international tax accountant

Sample Courses for an Online Master's Degree in Accounting

  • Financial Reporting: A crucial skill in any accounting occupation, a course in financial reporting provides students with a comprehensive understanding of international accounting, consolidation reporting, SEC regulations, and reporting practices specific to corporations in financial distress. Financial reporting coursework at the graduate level also trains students in advanced tax preparation for individuals and corporate clients.
  • Advanced Auditing: Coursework in advanced auditing builds on a student's prior knowledge of auditing principles and practices, introduced at the undergraduate level. Topics include common auditing errors, auditing follow-up protocol, and ethical concerns specific to this occupation. Most courses in this subject incorporate a combination of case studies, current auditing research, industry promotional materials, and student-led presentations.
  • Business Law: This course examines the law in the context of business, stressing the importance of legal compliance and ethical practice in the corporate decision-making process. Topics include contracts, product liability, tort litigation, and internet and employment law. A necessary component of many accounting careers, business law courses also often explore international rules and regulations.
  • Globalization and Managerial Economics: Coursework in globalization and managerial economics explores and compares international taxation laws, financial reporting methods, and accounting practices. Students develop a critical understanding of the global marketplace, essential to aspiring international accountants and domestic tax and finance experts alike.
  • Corporate Financial Management: This course provides an in-depth exploration of financial management from a corporate perspective, examining capital structure, corporate policy, portfolio management, budgeting, and global executive markets. Students develop a working knowledge of risk-assessment methods specific to corporate finance shareholder valuation.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master's in Accounting?

While completion times for the most affordable online accounting degrees vary, most students complete a master's degree in two years. Many online schools offer the degree in an accelerated format, which typically takes less than 24 months to complete. Most online accounting master's degrees do not include residency requirements, but students who choose to complete courses on-campus may take longer to earn the degree.

A master's in accounting comprises roughly 60 course credits. Students must consider whether to pursue a part- or full-time schedule, and may choose either a self-paced or cohort learning program. Many schools follow self-paced learning models for maximum flexibility, enabling students to take as many courses as they prefer per semester. In other cases, cohort-style learning requires all students in a group to complete their coursework simultaneously.

How Much Does an Online Master's in Accounting Cost?

As with any degree program, the cost of even the most affordable online master's in accounting varies. Each school dictates its own fees for tuition, which may vary depending on whether students are in-state or out-of-state. Some programs may also include fees for services and facilities used exclusively for online learning, such as technology fees, test proctoring, and virtual labs. Applicants should always research tuition prices at their preferred schools, and explore their own personal financial aid options to understand the full cost of earning a master's in accounting. The average amount spent for graduate school is $18,947, according to the NCES.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Accounting Prepares For

Certified Public Accountant

The American Institute of CPAs offers the CPA credential to aspiring public accountants through individual state boards of accountancy. AICPA provides the same universal exam to all CPA candidates regardless of location, but test takers may need additional education or experience, depending on their state of residence. Most states require at least a bachelor's degree and two years of professional experience to take the CPA exam, which comprises four, four-hour sections.

Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA Institute offers the CFA credential to students who aspire to work in portfolio management and high-level investment analysis. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree and pass a three-part CFA exam. They must also complete four years of experience working in investments and become a member of the CFA Institute to obtain their charter and become CFA-certified.

Certified Management Accountant

The Institute of Management Accountants offers CMA certification to candidates aiming for executive financial management positions. The CMA exam tests students' expertise in financial reporting, performance, control, and planning, plus their financial decision making skills. The IMA requires aspiring CMAs to hold a bachelor's degree in accounting or professional accounting certification, complete at least two years of work experience, and pass the exam to obtain certification.

Additional Requirements for an Online Master's in Accounting

While largely technical in nature, most online master's degrees in accounting include some additional requirements, such as an internship, and culminate in a capstone or thesis. Most master's-level accounting internships encompass three credits, which students complete through placement in a local accounting firm or financial institution. Some programs even coordinate paid internships. An online master's degree in accounting typically concludes with a capstone course in lieu of a thesis requirement.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Accounting Degrees

Students beginning their school search should narrow their options to only include accredited programs. Colleges and universities may hold regional or national accreditation through a recognized accrediting agency. Either type of accreditation is acceptable, but regional accreditation is generally more common and preferable among many top schools. In some cases, colleges with regional accreditation only accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions. Students should confirm their school's accreditation status through a legitimate agency overseen by the Department of Education U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

In addition to institutional accreditation, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) gives accreditation to some business degrees and some of the nation's most affordable online master's in accounting. Programmatic accreditation cannot replace institutional accreditation, but AACSB recognition highlights the industry's most relevant and valuable accounting programs.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Accounting Graduates

Master's in Accounting Salary

Employment for accounting master's degree graduates varies by location, employer, and individual requirements. As with most occupations, candidates with advanced degrees and professional experience qualify for the most lucrative jobs in accounting and finance. Populated by Payscale data, the table below highlights the median salaries for accountants and finance professionals through all career stages.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Less Than 1 Year of Experience 1-4 Years of Experience 10-19 Years of Experience
Accountant $50,937 $46,000 $49,000 $56,000
Budget Analyst $59,994 $49,000 $55,000 $71,000
Cost Estimator $55,100 $47,000 $51,000 $63,000
Financial Analyst $60,196 $54,000 $59,000 $71,000
Financial Manager $72,531 $59,123 $63,000 $81,000

Master's in Accounting Careers

Graduates of online accounting master's degrees can pursue a variety of career paths and fields of expertise. Aspiring accountants with an eye for detail should demonstrate dexterity in crunching numbers, and have a thorough understanding of mathematical functions. With qualifications exceeding the minimum education requirement for most entry-level jobs, candidates with their master's degrees can pursue advanced positions in fields including accounting, auditing, and finance management.

Accountant or Auditor

Accountants and auditors prepare and thoroughly examine taxes and other financial records, respectively. They help ensure individuals and corporations can follow financial rules and regulations and operate efficiently and lawfully. Accountants must obtain CPA certification through their state board to file SEC reports -- another critical requirement of a tax preparator. Most employers accept candidates with their bachelor's degrees and CPA certification, but master's degree holders may qualify for advanced positions in finance.

Median Annual Salary: $70,500
Projected Growth Rate: 6%

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts help clients manage their finances by evaluating their spending habits, drafting or amending their budget, and monitoring their expenditures. These professionals may work for public or private institutions, ranging from large corporations to individual business owners. Most budget analyst employers require at least a bachelor's degree, though some government agencies may also require the certified government financial manager credential.

Median Annual Salary: $76,220
Projected Growth Rate: 4%

Cost Estimator

Cost estimators help estimate the money, labor, time, and materials necessary to complete a project, make a product, or provide a service. Most budget estimators work in construction, manufacturing, or auto repair. Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or a related field, plus work experience in their area of expertise.

Median Annual Salary: $64,040
Projected Growth Rate: 9%

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts help clients make informed investment decisions by analyzing the risk and performance of bonds and stocks, and make investment recommendations to improve the overall health of clients' financial portfolios. Candidates should hold their bachelor's in finance, accounting, mathematics, statistics, or economics. Some employers may require a FINRA license for sales positions, while others may sponsor CFA certification for new-hires.

Median Annual Salary: $85,660
Projected Growth Rate: 6%

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee all financial operations of an organization, corporation, or private client. They help their clients reach long-term financial goals by drafting finance reports, advising on investments, and creating a budget with a focus on overall financial health. Candidates should hold a bachelor's degree and work in accounting, security, sales, or financial analysis for at least five years to pursue this career.

Median Annual Salary: $127,990
Projected Growth Rate: 16%

Professional Organizations

Joining a professional accounting or finance organization can provide students with benefits not available anywhere else. Students often receive discounted membership rates as an incentive to join a professional organization while still earning their degree. Members enjoy perks including networking opportunities, continuing education courses, and career placement services. The following represent some of the largest and most reputable accounting and finance organizations.


Financing Your Online Master's in Accounting Program

Most U.S. college students need financial aid to fund their degree. Regardless of a student's major or socioeconomic status, they may qualify for one or multiple financial aid resources. Common options include federal funding, scholarships, grants, and work-study. All financial aid programs and most schools require students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines students' eligibility for almost all forms of educational funding.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Scholarships for Online MAC Programs

Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Government Finance Officers Association provides this scholarship to aspiring government accountants and finance professionals. Students must show evidence of full-time enrollment in a graduate program, in a course of study related to state, local, or government finance. They must also provide a letter of recommendation with their application.
Amount: $15,000

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AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship Award

Who Can Apply: AICPA sponsors the Carey Scholarship, providing financial aid to applicants with a background in liberal arts or a nonbusiness field who plan to enroll in a graduate accounting program and pursue CPA licensure. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school and student affiliate membership in AICPA. Eligible graduate programs receive AACSB and/or ACBSP accreditation.
Amount: $5,000

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Wiley CPAExcel Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Named for its flagship exam-prep product, Wiley Efficient Learning, Inc. offers this award to full- and part-time college students enrolled in at least one accounting course. The grand-prize winner receives a cash award and the Wiley CPAExcel Platinum study course; the runner-up receives the course only.
Amount: $500

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NABA National Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The National Association of Black Accountants presents this award to black applicants who hold active NABA student membership. Students must show proof of enrollment in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program in business, accounting, or finance, and hold a minimum 3.3 overall and 3.5 major GPA.
Amount: $1,500

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NABA Member Scholarship Award

Who Can Apply: NABA offers the Member Scholarship Award to recipients with similar qualifications through the NABA National Scholarship Program, in a wider range of cash awards. Applicants must be black NABA members and enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program in accounting, business, or finance. Students must demonstrate an overall GPA of at least 3.3 and a major GPA of at least 3.5.
Amount: $1,000-$3,000

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AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students

Who Can Apply: AICPA grants this award to applicants who belong to a minority racial or ethnic group, and are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate accounting degree.
Amount: Up to $5,000

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Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship

Who Can Apply: GFOA presents this scholarship to students pursuing careers in accounting for local or state agencies. Applicants must show proof of full-time enrollment in an upper-level undergraduate or graduate program.
Amount: $10,000

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