2019 Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs

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For affordable online master’s in accounting degrees with high earning potential, look no further than this list of the 24 top-ranked online colleges. Villanova University Online Graduate Programs takes the top spot, with annual tuition of $21,750 and a median alumni salary of $177,200. Fourth-ranked Southern Utah University has the lowest tuition on the list, offering an online Master of Accountancy for $7,097 per year.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 Villanova University Online Graduate Programs $21,750 $177,200
#2 #2 Seton Hall University $25,580 $148,300
#3 #3 California State University-Sacramento $7,176 $131,800
#4 #4 Southern Utah University $7,097 $131,700
#5 #5 DePaul University $34,980 $135,200
#6 #6 Auburn University $13,125 $128,400
#7 #7 Golden Gate University $23,345 $126,500
#8 #8 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign $13,600 $125,000
#9 #9 University of Hartford $10,425 $124,400
#10 #10 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $54,149 $129,300
#11 #11 The University of Texas at Dallas $30,992 $116,800
#12 #12 University of Connecticut $12,750 $100,000
#13 #13 University of Alabama at Birmingham $9,612 $96,100
#14 #14 University of Maryland Global Campus $11,862 $91,900
#15 #15 Nova Southeastern University $29,667 $87,400
#16 #16 Southern New Hampshire University Online $13,794 $84,800
#17 #17 National University $13,760 $84,500
#18 #18 Bellevue University $10,350 $80,900
#19 #19 Stetson University $13,500 $81,100
#20 #20 Florida Atlantic University $13,912 $80,700
#21 #21 University of Miami $50,750 $85,300
#22 #22 Gardner Webb University $8,505 $74,000
#23 #23 Western New England University $24,621 $74,200
#24 #24 Liberty University $13,560 $68,900
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

2019 Online Master's Degree in Accounting Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $21,750
  • Median Salary: $177,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Villanova University offers two fully online master's programs in accounting. Emphasizing the importance of real-world education and program professional responsibility in tax practice, these programs are designed for legal, accounting and business professionals. The Master of Laws in Taxation is an online program for attorneys who want to develop a specialization in taxation. The Master of Taxation online program is for those already in accounting and business who want to dive deeper into taxation. Students can graduate in as few as 18 months and can learn from faculty who are industry experts.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $25,580
  • Median Salary: $148,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Seton Hall University has two fully online master's in accounting degrees. The programs provide the same rigorous education as is found on-campus. The Master of Science in Accounting is offered for students with non-accounting bachelor's degrees, whereas the Master of Science in Professional Accounting is for accounting undergraduates. Online students have deadlines and exam dates, but may complete coursework as their schedules allow. Both programs meet the requirements for students to sit for the CPA exam in the states of New York and New Jersey, but students located elsewhere should check their state's requirements. Each degree consists of 30 credits, takes 18 months to complete, and costs $38,370.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,176
  • Median Salary: $131,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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The California State University system delivers an online, accredited Master's in Accountancy degree through Sacramento State. The degree takes an average of 18 months to complete and is designed to help working professionals advance their accounting careers and prepare to sit for professional accounting examinations like the CPA and the CMA. The program is fully online and includes asynchronous class resources and synchronous live office hours and collaboration. Tuition for program is $740 per unit, and the degree requires 30 units (excluding foundation courses) and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for graduation. There are minimum academic requirements for admittance into the program, and typically 30 to 50 students are accepted each semester. Online coaches are available to assist with enrollment, financial aid, degree program selection, and more.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $7,097
  • Median Salary: $131,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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Southern Utah University offers an online Master's of Accountancy degree for students wishing to advance their accounting career and prepare to take the CPA exam. The award-winning program has been offered for over 25 years and has a job placement rate of almost 100 percent. There are requirements for acceptance into the program, including a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of foundation courses. The degree requires 30 credits, a minimum of a C grade for all courses, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 for graduation. Tuition for the program is $847.75 per credit hour, though there are financial aid options available in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans.

  • Annual Tuition: $34,980
  • Median Salary: $135,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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DePaul University offers an accredited, fully online Master of Science in Accountancy degree for professionals looking to advance their career and take the CPA exam. The program usually takes two years to complete, although some students with prior professional experience can finish earlier by having certain classes waived. The online program is identical to the on-campus program, as they are taught by DePaul faculty who work with Instructional Designers to create high quality content. Courses are asynchronous and available 24/7, and exams are delivered through a secure online proctoring service, so students have the utmost flexibility in balancing their coursework with other responsibilities. The degree requires 48 credits and tuition for the 2018-2019 school year is $50,880. The average CPA pass rate for master’s degree candidates from DePaul is 64 percent.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,125
  • Median Salary: $128,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Auburn University created their highly regarded online Master of Accountancy degree with working professionals in mind. The accredited program, identical to the one delivered on campus, can be completed in one to two years and prepares students for the CPA exam. Classes are available for students to stream live or view later, and online discussion boards allow distance learners to interact with their peers and instructors. The only part of the program that cannot be completed online is a required three-day on-campus residency during students' final year. Tuition for the 30 semester hour program is $26,250 plus fees, regardless of the student’s location. Distance learners have access to all on-campus activities and resources, such as the library, academic advising, and tickets to athletic events.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $23,345
  • Median Salary: $126,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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Golden Gate University offers two online master’s in accounting degrees for individuals looking to further their career or prepare for certification exams. The Master of Accountancy degree is geared toward professionals looking to make a career change, as well as accounting professionals wanting to take the CPA or CMA exams. The Master of Science in Accounting degree is intended strictly for students who have previously studied accounting and wish to further their career or take the CPA.  Both degrees allow students to choose between concentrations in financial accounting, forensic accounting, internal auditing, management accounting, and taxation. The Master of Accountancy degree consists of 45 units and the Master of Science in Accounting degree consists of 30 units. Tuition is $3,150 per three-unit course.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Median Salary: $125,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has one of the highest rated online master’s in accountancy programs in the nation. Their online MS in Accountancy (iMSA) degree allows students to further their education while balancing other responsibilities. The program is designed for professionals looking to enter into an accounting field, or for accounting professionals looking to sit for the CPA exam. The iMSA is considered to be groundbreaking in terms of the quality of the program and the level of engagement it provides to distance learners. The program is 32 semester hours in length and can be completed in 18-36 months, depending on the student’s course load. Tuition for the iMSA degree varies between $22,050 and $27,170, depending on the electives chosen.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,425
  • Median Salary: $124,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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The University of Hartford offers an accredited online Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation (MSAT) degree created for working adults looking to establish or advance their career in the field of taxation or prepare for the CPA exam. The 30 credit MSAT degree requires five taxation courses, with the remaining 25 elective credits chosen by the student. Program completion can take anywhere from two to five years, allowing students to balance their coursework with other responsibilities. The MSAT costs $695 per credit hour and there are three starting dates per year. Students enrolled in the MSAT are supported throughout their coursework and job search by full-time faculty members.

  • Annual Tuition: $54,149
  • Median Salary: $129,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides students with the flexibility they need to balance their responsibilities while pursuing their online Master's in Accounting degree. The program, which features the same curriculum and faculty as the on-campus version, is 36-48 credits in length and is delivered across a high-quality platform with 24/7 tech support. It is unique in that the program includes a mandatory leadership immersion session in Chapel Hill, which serves to form connections among students. Tuition for the program is $1,418 per credit hour, plus travel expenses associated with the leadership immersion.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $30,992
  • Median Salary: $116,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Texas at Dallas offers a fully online Master of Science in Accounting degree to students looking to further their education while balancing other responsibilities. The program consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours and takes between 12 and 24 months to complete. Distance learners have the flexibility to complete coursework at their own pace and tailor the program to their individual career goals. Tuition for the degree program is dependent on the number of credit hours taken per semester, the date of enrollment, the tuition plan, and other costs specific to the program. Tuition for the 2018/2019 academic year ranges from $1,356 to $2,352 per credit hour, plus fees.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,750
  • Median Salary: $100,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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The University of Connecticut's online, accredited Master of Science in Accounting degree is ranked as one of the best online programs in the nation. The 30-credit program was created to give students the same education as their on-campus peers, without the restraints of a traditional on-campus schedule. The degree can be tailored to meet the student’s individual career goals, and also prepares students to sit for the CPA exam in most states. Classes are mostly asynchronous, though students are required to attend a four-day on-campus course during the program. Tuition for the program is the same for all students, no matter their state of residence. Current rates are $850 per credit hour plus travel expenses associated with the on-campus course, and financial aid is available.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,612
  • Median Salary: $96,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online Master of Accounting degree is created by the school’s award-winning business department and provides the same education as is delivered on campus. The program features renowned faculty members, 24/7 technical help, the ability to transfer credits, and networking opportunities. It is open to students without an accounting background and prepares them to sit for professional certification exams. The program consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed in as few as five semesters. Tuition for the program is $534 per semester hour plus fees, regardless of the student’s location, and scholarship opportunities are offered to qualified students. Online students receive the same degree as their on-campus counterparts and are invited to attend the on-campus graduation ceremony.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $91,900
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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University of Maryland Global Campus offers two fully online master’s in accounting programs. The 36-credit MS in Accounting and Financial Management degree is geared towards students looking to advance into a leadership position. The 30-credit MS in Accounting and Information Systems degree is targeted to students who want to transition into a career in the industry. This degree can be used to meet the 150-credit requirement for licensure. Classes in both programs are asynchronous, so students complete coursework at their convenience. Tuition rates are $458 per credit for in-state and military students and $659 per credit for out-of-state students.

  • Annual Tuition: $29,667
  • Median Salary: $87,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Nova Southeastern University offers a fully online Master of Accounting with concentrations in Public Accounting, Management Accounting, and Taxation. The public accounting specialization is geared toward students who want to enter into or further their accounting career and sit for the CPA exam. The Management specialization is intended for students who wish to obtain their CMA (Certified Management Accountant) certification. The taxation concentration is designed to prepare students for the CPA or enrolled agent exam. The degree consists of 33 to 51 credits and can be completed in as little as 21 months. Tuition is charged by credit and total program cost will depend on the student’s undergraduate degree and program length, but a general estimate of $35,960 plus fees and textbook costs is provided as a guideline.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,794
  • Median Salary: $84,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Southern New Hampshire University’s accredited, online MS in Accounting is designed for students interested in obtaining a CPA certification or for CPAs looking to further their career. The program provides the utmost flexibility with coursework, 24/7 accessibility, and multiple start dates throughout the year. In addition to its convenience, the program is also among the most affordable with tuition priced at $627 per credit hour, or $470 per credit hour for military service members and spouses of active duty service members. The degree can be completed in as little as 15 months and is taught by instructors with practical industry experience. SNHU offers a range of online support services including academic advising, tutoring, career services, and an online library.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,760
  • Median Salary: $84,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC ACCJC and WASC WSCUC
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National University offers their online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree to students who wish to pursue a career in accounting but do not have a background or undergraduate degree in accounting. The program features content that is geared toward the requirements of the CPA exam, though students interested in sitting for the CPA may need additional coursework in order to prepare for the exam. Degree completion requires a minimum of 63 quarter units, and students are able to transfer up to 13.5 credits of previous, relevant coursework toward the MAcc. Tuition is $430 per quarter unit and National University offers financial aid and scholarship options to qualified students.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,350
  • Median Salary: $80,900
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Bellevue University’s online Master of Science in Accounting degree qualifies students to take the CPA exam in most states, though prospective students are encouraged to check their state requirements for verification. Students have the option to specialize in finance and/or tax. Degree completion requires 36 credit hours with nine additional credits required for students choosing to earn a concentration. Tuition for the degree is priced at $575 per credit hour, and additional fees may apply depending upon selected courses. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s or master’s degree or the equivalent from an international institution and a minimum GPA. A letter of recommendation and essay may also be required.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Median Salary: $81,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Stetson University offers an accredited, online Master of Accountancy degree that allows students to further their career in the accounting field and prepare to sit for the CPA exam. The program is equivalent in academic quality to the one delivered on campus and can be completed in as little as one year. Students will progress through the program with a small group of about 25 students and will have the ability to connect with their peers and instructors 24/7. Tuition for the degree is priced at $900 per credit hour and the degree is 30 credits in length. The program meets the requirements for CPA licensure in some states, so students interested in pursuing their CPA should verify their state’s requirements prior to enrolling.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,912
  • Median Salary: $80,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Florida Atlantic University offers a broad range of master’s in accounting degrees that can be completed fully online. Their degree offerings include an Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in Forensic Accounting, an Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in Digital Accounting Forensics and Data Analytics (DAFDA), an Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in Professional Accounting, an Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in Business Valuation, and an Executive Master of Taxation. Each of the degree programs is two years in length with the exception of the Executive Master of Taxation, which takes just over two years. Tuition varies by program, and those interested in taking the CPA exam are encouraged to check their state’s requirements before enrolling to make sure that FAU's program will qualify them to sit for the exam in their state.

  • Annual Tuition: $50,750
  • Median Salary: $85,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Miami offers an online Master of Professional Accounting degree with different tracks to suit students' backgrounds and career goals. The general Master of Professional Accounting track is geared toward students with no previous accounting experience, while the Master of Professional Accounting-CPA Track is designed for students with an accounting background who are interested in pursuing their CPA licensure. The Master of Professional Accounting program is 32 credits in length, takes 16 months to complete, and costs $64,960. The Master of Professional Accounting- CPA Track consists of 40 credits, requires 20 months to complete, and costs $81,200. There are many scholarship and financial aid options available, and military benefits are also available to qualified students.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,505
  • Median Salary: $74,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Gardner-Webb University’s online Master of Accountancy degree broadens a students' understanding of the key functions of accounting and qualifies them to sit for the CPA exam in North Carolina. The program requires a minimum of 30 semester credit hours and includes 15 hours of core classes. The program is offered in a general format, though there are optional specializations available in taxation and forensic accounting. Requirements for degree completion also include a minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate studies and completion within six years. Tuition for the program is $567 per credit hour, and financial aid and scholarships are available for qualified students.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $24,621
  • Median Salary: $74,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Western New England University offers an accredited online Master of Science in Accounting degree via an online platform that allows students to complete coursework as their schedules allow. The 30-credit hour program can be completed in 15 months and enables students to further their accounting career and satisfy the requirements to become a CPA. The program has required courses that account for 21 of the 30 credit hours, and students complete their degree by choosing electives or completing a concentration in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation. Distance learners receive the same education and are held to the same academic standards as their on-campus peers. Tuition for the program is a total of $25,470.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,560
  • Median Salary: $68,900
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
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Liberty University's accredited online Master of Science in Accounting degree is designed to provide a well-rounded accounting education and deliver content that counts toward the 150 hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam. Students in the program are able to complete coursework around their schedule and are also able to customize the program with specializations in audit and financial reporting, business, forensic accounting, financial services, leadership, and taxation, or gain a broader expertise with the general track. The program is 30 hours in length, requires completion within five years, and has minimum grade requirements. Tuition is $565 per hour for full- time students (nine or more hours), $615 per hour for part-time students (eight hours or fewer), and $275 per hour for military students, plus fees.

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 skill set, 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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