2018 Top Online Master's in Accounting Programs

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These top 24 colleges offer the best value online master's degrees in accounting. Ranked at #3 overall, Tennessee Tech University offers the lowest tuition, at $6,210 per year. Ranked at #20 overall, University of Southern California leads the pack in academics with a strong academic rating of 87%. University of Massachusetts-Lowell is ranked #1 overall with annual tuition set at $9,600 and academic strength rated at 75%.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our comprehensive guide to an online accounting degree. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Annual Tuition $9,600 Academic Strength 75%
#2 #2 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual Tuition $12,000 Academic Strength 76%
#3 #3 Tennessee Tech University Annual Tuition $6,210 Academic Strength 66%
#4 #4 Mississippi College Annual Tuition $8,820 Academic Strength 70%
#5 #5 University of South Dakota Annual Tuition $6,663 Academic Strength 64%
#6 #6 Indiana Wesleyan University Online - Adult Education Annual Tuition $8,040 Academic Strength 66%
#7 #7 Southern Utah University Annual Tuition $6,991 Academic Strength 64%
#8 #8 Boise State University Annual Tuition $6,750 Academic Strength 64%
#9 #9 Pennsylvania State University Annual Tuition $13,950 Academic Strength 74%
#10 #10 Georgia Southern University Annual Tuition $10,305 Academic Strength 68%
#11 #11 Friends University Annual Tuition $11,577 Academic Strength 69%
#12 #12 Emporia State University Annual Tuition $8,712 Academic Strength 64%
#13 #13 The University of West Florida Annual Tuition $8,217 Academic Strength 63%
#14 #14 The University of Scranton Annual Tuition $13,425 Academic Strength 71%
#15 #15 University of Hartford Annual Tuition $10,425 Academic Strength 66%
#16 #16 Concordia University - Nebraska Annual Tuition $9,990 Academic Strength 63%
#17 #17 Regis University Annual Tuition $12,150 Academic Strength 66%
#18 #18 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Annual Tuition $9,150 Academic Strength 61%
#19 #19 University of Southern California Annual Tuition $25,650 Academic Strength 87%
#20 #20 SUNY Polytechnic Institute Annual Tuition $15,725 Academic Strength 71%
#21 #21 Culver-Stockton College Annual Tuition $8,500 Academic Strength 59%
#22 #22 University of Akron Annual Tuition $12,500 Academic Strength 65%
#23 #23 Misericordia University Annual Tuition $13,320 Academic Strength 66%
#24 #24 Wilson College Annual Tuition $8,400 Academic Strength 58%
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2018 Top Online Master's in Accounting Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $9,600
  • Academic Strength: 75%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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University of Massachusetts-Lowell provides superior value to graduate students seeking online accounting degrees. Its Manning School of Business offers both a Master's of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master's of Science in Accounting. The Master of Science program is structured so that students graduate having met the educational standards required to take the Certified Public Accountant exam, thereby fast-tracking them to become CPAs if they so choose. The MBA in accounting program allows students with a GPA of 3.0 or better to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as few as five years. Both programs are open to full-time or part-time students.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Academic Strength: 76%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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In keeping with its rigorous academic standards, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst's online Master's of Science in Accounting program is fully accredited by the world's premier accrediting agency, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International. Administered by UMassOnline, the degree program is designed for students who already have an undergraduate degree in accounting. This master's program gives students additional knowledge and expertise that will assist them in future careers as CPAs in a variety of institutional and organizational roles. The Isenberg School of Management creates the curriculum for the program with input from both its Accounting Advisory Council and the students themselves. The program requires 30 credits of graduate coursework, including seven required core classes and three elective classes.

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,210
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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With demand for accountants at an all-time high, Tennessee Technological University's online MBA in accounting fills an important niche in the world of academia. TTU's Accounting Department holds the highest level of accreditation available nationally, from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This sets the bar high for its accountancy major, which allows distance students to earn their master's degree in one to two years while attending to professional and family duties. All program requirements can be fulfilled online with the exception of two obligatory on-site professional development weekends. CPA review runs throughout the program and students are required to sit the entire exam before graduating.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,820
  • Academic Strength: 70%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Approaching 200 years of continuous educational service, Mississippi College now provides cutting edge opportunities to the global community with its online MBA in accounting. Aimed at full-time working adults, this degree program allows distance students to fit their classes around their own busy schedules. The curriculum for this degree includes classes in Accounting Information Systems, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Taxation and Auditing, and the degree itself is specifically intended to assist graduates with careers in positions ranging from cost accounting to auditing to federal tax accounting. In an effort to further assist students in its MBA degree programs, MC has reduced prerequisite hour requirements from 24 to nine hours.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,663
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Online students seeking a graduate-level accounting degree will find tremendous value in University of South Dakota's Master of Professional Accountancy program. This fully online degree is accredited and has three convenient start dates per year. It also fulfills the 150-hour education requirements for the CPA exam, putting graduates on the road to becoming Certified Public Accountants. Seasoned faculty from the Beacom School of Business facilitate the 30-credit program, which distance students can complete in two to four years as their busy working schedules permit.

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,040
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Indiana Wesleyan University Online - Adult Education offers an online master's of science degree in accounting for the ethically-minded student. This program teaches students forensic auditing, ethical standards and many other applicable accounting skills, all within an integrated biblical framework. Students may apply to the program online for free, and have 18-26 months to complete their course load. One-time online registration frees distance students up to pursue their higher education in the easiest manner possible, while study groups provide them with support as they complete classes on their own schedule.

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,991
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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Master's students at Southern Utah University's School of Business will be privy to numerous unique features and benefits found in its accounting programs. Its Master of Accountancy program can be completed in as quickly as one year, with 99% of new graduates finding employment within six months. Furthermore, graduates pass the CPA test at a rate that is higher than the national average. SUU also offers a joint Master of Accountancy/Master of Business Administration degree that allows students to focus on both degrees simultaneously if they so choose. With overlapping courses, this program allows students to complete their degrees in only 45 credits instead of the usually required 60. 

  • Annual Tuition: $6,750
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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Distance students seeking both flexibility and affordability will find both qualities in the online Master of Accountancy degree offered by Boise State University. Administered through BSU's regionally accredited and highly supportive eCampus, this program offers a 100% online course load, with three start dates per year. There are no additional fees for out-of-state students, and students are given full leeway to pursue their degree full-time or part-time as dictated by the demands of their own schedules. The advanced accounting skills taught in this program will prepare graduates for the CPA exam as well as the demands of the modern workplace.

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,950
  • Academic Strength: 74%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Penn State World Campus, the online branch of Pennsylvania State University, now offers a Master of Professional Accounting for the discerning graduate student. Admission to this program is dependent upon particular undergraduate accounting course prerequisites, but does not require a full undergraduate accounting degree. The program is asynchronous, allowing distance learners to pace themselves according to their own individual schedules. For this reason, this program is ideally suited for working adults who are looking for maximum flexibility in obtaining their degree. It also allows students to first obtain a graduate certificate before continuing on to earning a full master's degree.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,305
  • Academic Strength: 68%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Georgia Southern University's Master of Accounting Online, or WebMAcc, represents the cutting edge in online degree offerings. The two-year, AACSB-accredited program is designed to match the high standards of the university's traditional campus programs. The 100% online degree is offered through Georgia Southern's College of Business Administration, which actively cultivates close connections between students and staff in an engaging, research-rich environment. Distance students take two courses in the fall and spring semesters, and one course each summer session for the duration of the program.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,577
  • Academic Strength: 69%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Graduate students seeking online masters degrees in accounting will find quality options at Friends University. The university's Professional MBA program with a concentration in accounting is designed to provide students with functional skills for the professional world, while preparing them to take both the CPA and CMA exams. The Global MBA program with a concentration in accounting provides students with an extensive curriculum that includes classes, personal enrichment, and professional contacts. It is designed to develop international business skills, with a special emphasis placed on leadership and ethics.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,712
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Regionally accredited Emporia State University offers both a master's in accountancy program and an MBA in accounting for the online-savvy distance student. Both degree programs offer GMAT or GRE waivers for applicants with overall GPAs of 3.5 or better from AACSB-accredited undergraduate programs. The Master of Accountancy degree meets the 150-hour requirement for the CPA exam in Kansas and other states. The online MBA program consists of 12 classes and 36 credit hours and provides advanced business education for graduates seeking middle and upper management positions in today's burgeoning global corporate and nonprofit worlds.

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,217
  • Academic Strength: 63%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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In addition to its five academic colleges and multiple locations, the University of West Florida has a burgeoning online campus that offers over 50 degrees, including a Master of Accountancy and a Master of Business Administration in Accounting. The M.Acc. program requires 30 semester hours and places particular emphasis on communication and analytic skills sets. The AACSB-accredited MBA Online with an emphasis in accounting totals 36 semester hours and requires participants to take two courses per semester in assigned sequence. Students must submit completed portfolios to the Director in order to graduate.

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,425
  • Academic Strength: 71%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The University of Scranton is a Jesuit institution with deep spiritual roots that reach all the way into its online graduate accounting degree programs. The university offers two such programs, an MAcc and an MBA. The Master of Accountancy program teaches hands-on skills as well as communication and people skills, and includes considerable emphasis on CPA exam preparation. Requirements for the MBA program are stringent; applicants are required to have at least three years of professional work experience, provide three letters of reference and present a case study. The program is comprehensive, addressing real-world business issues that will help graduates advance their careers.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,425
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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Chartered in 1957, the ever-innovative and dynamic University of Hartford is meeting the challenges of twenty-first century education by providing students with a growing list of online degrees. Their Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation has no required class or login times, allowing adult professionals to learn on their own time. The MSAT program is taught by full time faculty, and fosters connection and community between online students. With career advisors assisting graduates in finding employment, this degree program provides unique flexibility and value.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,990
  • Academic Strength: 63%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Founded in 1894, Lutheran-based Concordia University - Nebraska brings its core value of faith-based teaching to its online student community. Its online MBA in Accounting offers students an intensive, real-world education from a Christian perspective. Classes are kept small and attentive faculty give the program extra value. The 24-month degree, which is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, has a fast-track option that allows students to complete it in as few as 18 months. The course load is designed to help students meet the 150-hour requirement for the CPA exam.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $12,150
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Jesuit-founded Regis University offers an online Master of Science in Accounting. This 8-week accelerated program is asynchronous and designed to be customized by students to fit their own personal career paths. Eligible graduates who intend to sit for their CPA receive special pricing on exam review courses though a partner discount program. Program terms start every eight weeks beginning in January, with scholarships and financial aid available to qualified applicants.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,150
  • Academic Strength: 61%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has a religion-based mission to support its students in a caring environment. Its online Master of Science in Accountancy degree was designed with the overarching theme of priming students to become business leaders. For this reason, it emphasizes both hard and soft skills. It fulfills the 150-hour requirement needed to sit the CPA exam, and prepares graduates for CMA certification. Taught by expert teachers, this program is one of the top options in its field.

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  • Annual Tuition: $25,650
  • Academic Strength: 87%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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Working business professionals looking to further their careers will find University of Southern California's Master of Business Taxation to be well-suited to their needs. Offered by the Leventhal School of Accounting, this 100% online, 30-unit degree is comprehensive in scope and designed to fit the active schedules of working adults. Video discussion forums and web chat allow faculty and students to regularly meet, mingle, and study together. The course has 15 required core units and students are allowed to choose an additional 15 elective units. Elective courses include State and Local Tax Concepts, Advanced Corporate Taxation, and Taxation of Individuals among others.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $15,725
  • Academic Strength: 71%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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SUNY Polytechnic Institute offers a wide range of asynchronous online degrees, including a master's in accountancy. Self-motivated distance learners will benefit from this 100% online program, which allows students complete freedom to pursue their studies full- or part-time. Classes are taught by regular on-campus faculty, and students participate in real-world internships and clinical placements. Students are also assigned personal tutors for the duration of the program. The program satisfies the 150-hour credit hours required to sit the CPA exam, thus preparing graduates for further career enhancement.

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,500
  • Academic Strength: 59%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Founded over 160 years ago, Culver-Stockton College offers an online Master of Business Administration in Accounting & Finance. Offered through its regionally-accredited online campus in accelerated, eight classes, this 33-hour online degree is designed to accommodate active working professionals. The 11-course curriculum includes courses such as Legal Environment, Data Analysis for Decision Making, Investment Analysis and Global Strategy. The program is designed to provide graduates with superior skills that will assist them with their career advancement in the professional world.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,500
  • Academic Strength: 65%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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University of Akron's online Master of Taxation program has fall, spring, and summer start dates, allowing distance students to start their program as their busy schedules allow. The program is designed to provide existing accountants and attorneys with extensive training, while also fully educating those students who plan to enter the taxation field upon graduation. The main goal of the program is to provide students with the skills necessary to pinpoint and resolve tax problems. Assistantships, scholarships and financial aid are available to qualified students.

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,320
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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With a low tuition rate and flexible course scheduling, Misericordia University’s online Master of Business Administration in Accounting was designed with working professionals in mind. Students can begin classes in the fall, spring, or summer terms, and the program can be completed in two and a half years for part-time students. Classes in the accounting specialization include Accounting Theory, Advanced Auditing, and Advanced Taxation: Corporations, Partnerships, Estates, and Trusts.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • Academic Strength: 58%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Wilson College offers a top-notch online master's degree in accountancy. Its 3+1 program allows students to earn both a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy in just four years. Students who complete the 3+1 program will have satisfied the 150-hour requirement to sit the CPA exam. Wilson's Master of Accountancy program is designed to teach students practical business skills as well as managerial skills that will allow them to exceed in the global corporate workplace.

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Overview of an Online Master's in Accounting

Online master’s programs in accounting cover topics in theory, managerial principles, critical thinking, and analysis. These programs typically take between one and two years, and are geared towards students seeking to expand their accounting skillset, prepare for licensing exams, or make a pivot in their career.

Can a Non-Accounting Graduate Earn a Master's in Accounting?

Most Master of Accounting programs do not require applicants to have a bachelor’s in accounting, however many programs require foundational classes in accounting, business, and management. Some programs are specifically tailored for students with no prior accounting experience, and include all introductory coursework in the program’s curriculum. Beyond these prerequisites, typical programs require an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT or GRE scores.

What Type of Classes Will I Take?

The accounting master’s curriculum revolves around advanced accounting concepts, specialized accounting topics, and business coursework. In advanced accounting classes, students learn how to manage accounts in a variety of settings. Management accounting classes discuss corporate mergers, contracts, and other business accounting topics, while classes in financial accounting cover financial statement preparation and analysis. Other courses discuss information systems in accounting, strategic management, business law, and taxation.

What Is the Difference Between a Master of Accounting and an MBA in Accounting?

An MBA in Accounting offers a more general business curriculum with a partial focus in accounting, whereas a Master of Accounting program will focus heavily on advanced accounting principles. Due to their in-depth nature, Master of Accounting programs are often designed to prepare students to sit for licensing exams such as the Certified Public Accountant exam. Students in a Master of Accounting program can also often focus their studies on a specific topic such as internal auditing or taxation. Students seeking a broader variety of career options might prefer an MBA with a concentration in accounting.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Accounting?

For most graduates, the master’s degree in accounting is used to enter a more competitive position as a professional accountant. Students who have completed 150 credit hours of post-secondary education are eligible to sit for the CPA exam. The CPA credential is highly valued in the field and can be useful for finding a job. Master’s-level accountants may work in a variety of settings, including private accounting services, finance and insurance, state and local government, and manufacturing.

References

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