Best Online Master’s Degrees in Accounting

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Accounting

In this article we provide everything you need to know to find success in an online Master’s of Accounting Degree program. We rank the best available programs using Academic Influence’s innovative methodology.

An online master’s in accounting degree opens doors of opportunities toward challenging and fulfilling careers in diverse professional concentrations.

Graduate accounting students do more than just prepare financial statements and examine financial records. Unlike an undergraduate degree, a graduate accounting online program instills complex education and training for the actual workplace, mostly in research-intensive environments.

Specifically, graduate accounting students can pursue the following concentrations and specializations in online Accounting master’s programs:

  • Forensic accounting
  • Public accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Tax law
  • Business law
  • International accounting
  • Auditing

Featured Programs

Exploring the Online Master of Accounting Degree Program

Keep in mind that the academic expectations at the master’s degree level are different from bachelor’s degree programs! In a master’s program, you will be expected to display expertise in the introductory concepts learned at the undergraduate level.

Accounting students in graduate programs learn the most relevant and up-to-date accounting principles and practices of accounting and accountancy. Both the conceptual and practical aspects of the discipline are thoroughly explored

 

Outstanding master’s in accounting online programs also allow students to explore the intersection of business and technology in the field of accounting.

Specifically, the best programs offer specialized studies such as through a contemporary management accounting concentration, big data analysis, and digital forensics.

Accounting and technology become increasingly intertwined, with artificial technology (AI) used for the number-crunching work of financial planning and financial analysis.

Skills of Graduate Accounting Students

Accounting students develop the technical skills in both the traditional and technology-driven aspects of accounting alongside their transferable skills. The latter includes communication, critical and analytical thinking, and organization skills, which are vital in leadership roles, which financial managers often hold.

The skills development process is organic to the accounting courses that accounting students in master’s degree programs tackle. These courses include core courses and advanced studies in specialized accounting topics.

  • Advanced Financial Reporting
  • Students learn about accounting and financial analysis, forecasting and valuation analysis, and cash flow analysis.
  • Advanced Cost Accounting
  • Students explore management control systems, budgeting, and cost-volume profit analysis used in decision-making. Cost accounting skills are also emphasized.
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Students learn about practical database management, the applications of information technology in accounting and auditing, and business system modeling.
  • Government Accounting
  • Students develop the knowledge and skills for the specialized accounting processes in government and nonprofit organizations. Many of the topics discussed are different from business-centric accounting topics, such as fund accounting and budgetary accounts.
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Students explore fraud detection using forensic accounting techniques, which are useful in wagering, embezzlement and money laundering investigations.

Special Courses and Final Exams in Graduate Accounting

Students also learn about managerial strategy and analysis, project management, and corporate financial management.

These advanced accounting and management courses are in addition to the core and elective courses.

Instead of a dissertation or thesis, online master’s in accounting programs require students to complete a capstone seminar in accounting. In this seminar, students must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the knowledge and skills learned throughout the program.

Back to Top

What’s In Store for Online Master’s in Accounting Program Graduates?

Aside from the eligibility to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam or pursue other professional certification exams for specialized practice as a Certified Management Accountant

Graduates of online master’s in accounting programs also enjoy the following benefits:

Higher Earning Potential

According to PayScale, the average annual salary of professionals with a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $63,000 while those with a master’s degree in accounting made $72,000 (May 2021). Indeed, the extra 1-2 years spent in pursuing a master’s degree would nearly guarantee actual job growth! 

Increased Job Competitiveness

Professionals with a master’s in accounting degree are more likely to stand out from other applicants. The master’s degree demonstrates professional competence and commitment, and it’s the reason why employers prefer applicants.

Flexibility and Convenience of Earning the Online Degree at Your Own Pace

Students are more likely to maintain a good balance between personal obligations and professional commitments. They can learn at any time of the day and night, and learn anywhere with an Internet connection.

Leaderships Skills and Teamwork

Many online master’s in accounting programs also require students to complete a team-based project. The project must address either a simulated or a real-world issue in accounting and auditing, whether in the public or corporate domain.

Back to Top

Getting Admitted Into An Online Accounting Master’s Degree

Admission into the best online master’s in accounting programs are competitive. Prospective students must meet high standards including:

  • A bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution with minimum GPA,
  • Relevant work experience in the financial sector, such as in accounting, banking or business management,
  • Letters of recommendation,
  • Personal statement of purpose,
  • Current resume,
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT),
  • A completed application form and payment of application fee may also be required.

Frequently Asked Questions about Accounting Master’s Degree Programs

Why get a master’s in accounting?

If you plan to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant or serve in a leadership role for an accounting firm, you will likely be required to hold a master’s degree in accounting.

Back to top.

How long does it take to get a master’s in accounting?

While there are several degree paths offered at the master’s level, including Master in Accounting, Master of Science in Accounting, and Master of Business Administration in Accounting, most degree programs require 30-36 credits and can be completed in one to two years. Students can usually earn this degree online or in person, but in order to be admitted, they typically must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or another related field.

Back to top.

What can I do with a master’s in accounting?

Master’s level courses explore accounting theories, methods, and practices with greater depth and specificity, helping to qualify and prepare students for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. Graduates can pursue careers as CPAs, chief operating officers, and management analysts.

Back to top.

Learn more about what you can do with a master’s in accounting

Best Online Master's in Accounting Degree Programs
Back to Top

25 Best Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1385/30

    Online Degrees

    MAC in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 36-48
    • Completion time: 12-36 months
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    22K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Professional Accounting
    • Required Credits: 30-48
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Miami

    Coral Gables , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    28%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/30

    Online Degrees

    MPA in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    University of Missouri

    Columbia , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/26

    Online Degrees

    MAcc in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 1 year
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    30K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/29

    Online Degrees

    MSA in Accounting
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #11

    Wayne State University

    Detroit , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/23

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting systems
    • Entrepreneurship and innovation
    • Digital/Business Analytics
    • Finance
    • Financial accounting
    • Healthcare Supply Chain Management
    • Global supply chain management
    • Human resources
    • Information systems management
    • International business
    • Required Credits: 117
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #13

    Long Island University

    Brookville , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

    Online Degrees

    MS in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Hybrid
  8. #14

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    Online Degrees

    MS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  9. #15

    Stetson University

    DeLand , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Degrees

    MAcc in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    Online Degrees

    MAcc in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #17

    Roosevelt University

    Chicago , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/22

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Accounting Forensics
    • Finance
    • Hospitality & Tourism Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Systems
    • International Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Real Estate
    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • Training And Development
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 1 Year
    • Format: Online
    MSAF in Master of Science in Accounting Forensics
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 1 Year
    • Format: Online
  12. #18

    Seton Hall University

    South Orange , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/27

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 40
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 18-20 months
    • Format: Online
  13. #19

    Golden Gate University

    San Francisco , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Accounting

    Concentrations

    • Taxation Concentration
    • Financial Accounting and Report
    • Internal Auditing
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Management Accounting
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #20

    University of Maine

    Orono , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    10K

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Business Analytics
    • Finance
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/29

    Online Degrees

    MS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #23

    Mercy College

    Dobbs Ferry , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/22

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  17. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Online Degrees

    MS in Business Analytics

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Managerial Decision Making
    • Big Data Analytics
    • Marketing Analytics
    • Finance Analytics
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    102K

    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Business Intelligence
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • International Business
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Operations And Supply Chain Management
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Accounting Finance
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Accounting

    Concentrations

    • Auditing
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Management Accounting
    • Taxation
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

Back to top.

Back to Top

Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.