Accounting is one of the most stable disciplines around and also includes a variety of lucrative career paths. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation found that Americans spend approximately six billion hours per year complying with federal tax code and they often end up turning to taxation professionals for assistance. The life of a tax professional isn't always a boring desk job. In fact, approximately 15% of FBI employees qualify as special agent accountants. Regardless of your chosen path, a master's in taxation online can lead to a variety of rewarding positions.
Choosing a Program
WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
Yes. A bachelor's degree allows graduates to work in managerial accounting, although it does not meet the requirements needed for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation or for advanced taxation roles. An online master's in taxation also opens the doors for a variety of executive and advanced roles that are not available to those without an advanced degree.
DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?
The majority of master's in taxation online programs do not require students to have previous work experience, but they may need to have taken a few prerequisite courses in accounting or a related subject. Students must also submit GMAT scores to be considered.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S in TAXATION?
Yes, many degree seekers continue to work while completing their online master's in taxation. However, they need to have excellent self-discipline and time management skills to be successful students. Classes typically require 10-15 hours of work per week to complete assignments, listen to lectures, and interact with students and professors.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY M.X. ONLINE?
Earning an online master's in taxation provides all the same benefits of an on-campus program while allowing students to advance their educations from anywhere and on their own schedule. Distance learners also have the opportunity to build their professional networks by connecting with their fellow students.
What Are The Best Online Master's in Taxation Programs?
Northeastern University Global Network
|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
With its flagship campus in Boston and satellite campuses located nationally and internationally, Northeastern emphasizes experiential learning with a global reach. The school boasts one of the largest and most widely recognized co-op programs in the world.
The school offers an accelerated option that enables students to complete the program in as little as 16 months, with no residency requirements. Online students enjoy 24/7 support and small class sizes providing personalized attention from instructors. The program holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The master's in taxation online does not require the GMAT or GRE. Prospective applicants must hold a 3.25 minimum GPA and possess at least one undergraduate or graduate course in taxation with a grade of "B" or better. Admission requirements also include two prior years of professional work experience in taxation, with one busy season. The program offers six start dates each year.
University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 75%||
Founded in 1864 as a Methodist seminary, DU maintains a vibrant campus in the south Denver metro area near the famous Rocky Mountains. As a private school boasting a holistic educational model and small class sizes, DU receives accolades for its interdisciplinary learning model and global reach.
The school's rigorous master of taxation program, available through the college of law, delivers all coursework fully online. Students complete 45 credits and can specialize in either estate planning or corporate taxation. Required courses comprise 30 credits, including civil and criminal tax procedure, partnership taxation, and property transactions. Elective courses comprise 15 credits like fiduciary income tax, employment tax, and taxation of natural resources.
Emphasizing choice and flexibility, the master's in taxation online provides a variety of options to suit individual learning styles and accommodate the needs of busy professionals. Distance learners may use the Canvas platform to livestream courses synchronously in real time or watch high-quality recordings of class sessions. Students in the on-campus taxation program who relocate to accept job offers before graduation may elect to switch to online status to complete their degrees.
Admission requirements include a 3.0 minimum GPA and competitive scores on the GRE or GMAT. The program grants GMAT waivers to eligible applicants who either hold a bachelor's degree in accounting and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or provide evidence of passing scores on all four parts of the certified professional accountant exam.
Golden Gate University
|San Francisco, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
Founded in 1901 with a mission to serve professionals committed to career advancement, GGU maintains strong connections to legal and business communities. With small class sizes and cutting-edge coursework, the school provides a learning environment oriented toward students with ambitious career goals.
The school's comprehensive master of science in taxation program enables students to earn their degrees in 2-4 years, with part-time or full-time options. Distance learners complete 30 credits of coursework in fully online or hybrid formats. The core curriculum features classes like advanced federal income taxation, property transactions, and tax timing. Available electives include managerial finance, derivative markets, and sustainability for accountants and finance professionals.
Classes take place synchronously in a seminar environment, with asynchronous discussion components. Students with at least a 3.0 GPA can earn up to six of the required credits through an approved internship. The master of taxation online program, ranking highly on the radar of "big four" public accounting firms, attracts many recruiters interested in hiring GGU graduates.
Services available to online students include free writing and math tutors, wellness resources, and comprehensive advising throughout the program. Eligible students can transfer up to six credits of graduate-level tax coursework from other institutions. GGU holds regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Prospective students typically boast a minimum 3.0 GPA and may apply without taking the GRE or GMAT. The school also grants conditional admission to applicants with a lower GPA accompanied by strong professional recommendations and work experience.
Florida Atlantic University
|Boca Raton, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
With its main campus in Boca Raton and five satellite campuses, FAU occupies a prominent and respected space in the higher education landscape of Palm Beach County and beyond. Founded in 1964, the school prides itself on its welcoming environment, cutting-edge technological sophistication, and history of providing extensive, high-quality support services for distance learners.
The flexible, two-year executive master of taxation program online, offered through the FAU school of accounting, comprises 30 credits of rigorous coursework. Tailored toward busy corporate executives who must balance their graduate studies with extensive professional responsibilities, the program requires no campus visits and delivers all classes asynchronously. Students located near the Fort Lauderdale campus may also augment their studies with optional live lectures in taxation on Saturday mornings. To free up their students for the busy tax season, the master's of taxation programs online do not offer any courses during spring semesters.
Services available for online students include 24/7 technical support and comprehensive academic assistance. The taxation program holds accreditation from the renowned Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The executive programs accept applications on a rolling basis, and students can start classes in the summer or fall semester. Prospective students must boast a competitive GPA, and admission evaluations place greater emphasis on the most recent 60 credits earned. FAU handles the tuition and curriculum for its executive programs differently from its traditional master's programs. The school requests that prospective applicants contact the taxation program directly for further information.
St John's University
|Queens, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Founded in 1870 and located in metropolitan Queens, New York, St. John's upholds the Vincentian tradition as a Roman Catholic institution grounded in community service and reflective learning. The school boasts a commitment to Judeo-Christian ideals of respect, dignity, openness, and responsibility for betterment of the world.
St. John's offers a highly customizable master of science in taxation program comprising 31 credits of online and asynchronous coursework. With 21 elective credits and 10 credits of core coursework, the program examines taxation at all levels: federal, state, municipal/local, and international. Using tax regulations, treasury rulings, judicial decisions, and the Internal Revenue Code, the curriculum takes an integrative approach to theory and practice. Students interested in international taxation can choose from several distinguished elective options, including classes focused on global taxation systems and transfer pricing. Most students complete the master's in taxation online program in 1-2 years.
Students must complete a three-credit directed research project resulting in a paper of publishable quality on a current topic. Students may also elect to complete a three-credit taxation internship within an approved work setting. Enrolled students receive privileged access to targeted networking opportunities with large accounting firms and industry organizations. Graduates typically advance into leadership roles, including corporate management positions in tax accounting.
The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Admission requirements include professional work experience, GMAT or GRE scores, and a preferred 3.25 minimum GPA. Highly qualified students may receive GRE or GMAT waivers.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Taxation Program?
An online master's in taxation is the perfect option for those seeking to maximize their earning and growth potential while still enjoying the flexibility of distance learning. Whether a student lives in a rural area and can't easily reach campus or they're spending a year studying abroad, these programs allow them the autonomy to continue to live their life and earn their degree at the same time.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN TAXATION
Each master's degree in taxation will have a different curriculum with its own unique course offerings. However, there are many common courses that you will find in any master's in taxation program. Below are a few examples of foundational taxation courses:
Estate and Gift Taxation: This course introduces students to federal tax requirements for gratuitous transfers, both during their client's life and when property transfers take place after their death. A special emphasis is placed on helping students develop strategies that will aid their future clients when encountering these types of taxation.
Advanced Auditing: Taxation includes both the preparation of tax forms and the review of those documents for accuracy. Auditing is the art of reviewing tax forms and this class introduces topics beyond basic auditing principles, such as behavioral and ethical concerns.
Graduate Tax Externship: Many programs require students to complete an externship to gain real-world experience in all of the topics they've covered throughout the program. In addition to working with a taxation firm, learners must complete a portfolio and seek answers to a common issue within taxation.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN TAXATION?
There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of a program, including the length of a semester, externship or thesis requirements, and whether courses are delivered synchronously or asynchronously. Asynchronous courses allow students to complete coursework at their own pace, while synchronous programs sort students into cohorts and require them to move through all coursework together. Online master's in taxation programs build upon foundational knowledge gained at the undergraduate level. Therefore, students whose bachelor's degree is not in a related subject may have to complete prerequisite classes in topics such as cost accounting, financial reporting, auditing, and federal taxation.
The majority of online master's in taxation programs require approximately 36 credits, with accelerated formats allowing students to graduate in just 15 months and traditional programs requiring roughly 24 months of study.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER'S IN TAXATION PREPARES FOR
Certified Public Accountant: This license is offered by state boards of accountancy and requires candidates to complete at least 150 hours of coursework, meet experience and good character requirements, and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Employee Benefits Law Certificate: This optional certification covers topics ranging from deferred compensation to pension plans and helps those who successfully complete the program address nuanced questions about employee benefits. Coursework includes the study of executive compensation, health and welfare plans, qualified retirement plans, and benefits. This certificate can be completed in two years of part-time study.
Estate Planning Certificate: This certificate is ideal for those who want to develop a better understanding of tax law, charitable giving, and estate planning. The program emphasizes how complex many estates are that are encountered by tax planners. Students must complete two semesters of coursework in areas like income taxation of trusts, estate and gift tax, transfer tax, and private wealth planning.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Taxation Programs
When searching for the right online master's in taxation program for you, the first things you should look at is whether or not the program is accredited. Universities can apply for both national and regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is highly coveted and can take years to achieve, requiring schools to go through a rigorous set of steps to become approved. On the other hand, national accreditation is easier to attain and maintain, although it may make it difficult for students to transfer credits to other institutions or seek professional licensure. The other common type of accreditation is awarded to individual programs or degree paths. Within accounting and taxation, the two main accrediting agencies are the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) are both tasked with maintaining transparency and high standards among the nation's accrediting agencies. Students can see a full list of accredited schools by visiting the ED and CHEA websites.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Taxation Graduates
A bachelor's degree in accounting and taxation opens the door to a variety of entry-level roles, while most advanced positions in management require an online master's in taxation. According to data supplied by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), salaries for individuals with advanced degrees in accounting or taxation were nearly 32% higher than those of their colleagues with only bachelor's degrees.
|Business Careers||Median Salary for Individuals with Bachelor's Degree||Median Salary for Individuals with Master's Degree|
|Business Management & Administration||$62,000||$81,000|
|Operations Logistics & E-Commerce||$71,000||$97,000|
MASTER'S IN TAXATION SALARY
Depending on the type of taxation career you plan to pursue, salaries can be well above the national average. Salary can also be influenced by a variety of other factors, including the specific industry you're working in, years of experience, and the state and city where you live. The following table of data from Payscale highlights expected salaries at different stages of each career:
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20 years)|
|Senior Tax Manager||$130,149||$81,389||$126,012||$131,304|
MASTER'S IN TAXATION CAREERS
Master's in taxation graduates can pursue several different career paths after graduation, all of which command higher-than-average salaries and significant opportunities for growth. The majority of these roles offer a stable 40-hour work week, but there are also several freelance and consultant roles available for the more entrepreneurial-minded.
Auditors work with clients, either individuals or companies, to examine financial statements, inspect accounting records and systems to ensure that they comply with taxation laws, and write reports about the validity of existing tax records.
Median Annual Salary - $68,150
Projected Growth Rate - 11%
- Budget Analyst
Budget analysts work with both private and public companies to review budget proposals, make recommendations for funding requests, monitor internal and external spending, estimate financial needs, and create overarching budgets.
Median Annual Salary - $73,840
Projected Growth Rate - 3%
Economists focus on the big picture. They are responsible for analyzing economic trends, collecting data, conducting research, interpreting market trends, and creating reports about their findings. They may also serve as consultants to businesses or corporations who are seeking expertise on specific economic issues.
Median Annual Salary - $101,050
Projected Growth Rate - 6%
- Financial Analyst
These professionals are qualified to provide sound investment and financial advice and guidance to individuals and companies. Financial analysts may recommend investments, evaluate financial data, review trends, or prepare written reports about their investment projections.
Median Annual Salary - $81,760
Projected Growth Rate - 12%
- Financial Managers
Financial managers can be found working as either consultants or as in-house counsel at large corporations. They oversee the monetary health of their client and are responsible for preparing forecasts and financial statements, monitoring legal requirements, reviewing financial records, and analyzing market trends.
Median Annual Salary - $121,750
Projected Growth Rate - 75
Taxation law is vast and ever-changing, meaning that the most successful tax professionals are those who are lifetime learners. The following professional associations are well-known in the field for providing valuable continuing education initiatives and networking opportunities for their members:
Financing Your Online Master's in Taxation Degree
With the average annual cost of attending graduate school at $30,000 for public schools and $40,000 for private schools, completing an advanced degree can be a difficult financial decision. Fortunately, there are several ways for students to help fund their education. All students should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out about federal scholarships, loans, grants, or work-study funds. If you plan to work for a nonprofit, you may also qualify for the federal government's Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Students can also find financial aid through private foundations, accounting associations, nonprofits, and individual schools and departments.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- Best Online Master's in Taxation of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA 2 University of Denver Denver, CO 3 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 5 Golden Gate University-San Francisco San Francisco, CA
- Best Online Master's in Taxation of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA 2 University of Denver Denver, CO 3 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 5 Golden Gate University-San Francisco San Francisco, CA