Top 20 Master of Accounting Online Degree Programs

Top Accounting Degrees - Best Online Degree Programs 2015By TAD Staff

Earning an online master’s degree in accounting is a smart choice for anyone looking to land a job in the field. By many standards, being able to pass the Certified Public Accounting exam (CPA) is an absolute must for aspiring accountants. However, to even be eligible for the CPA, you’ll need to complete a number of class credits beyond undergrad. Thankfully, online degrees make this easier than ever before, allowing you to continue at your current job while you take more advanced classes, prepare for the exam, and bolster your resume for more high-paying jobs.


We took a look at all the online master’s degree programs in accounting out there – and there are quite a few – and determined what we think are the top 20 schools you should consider. We based our ranking on the following considerations:

Average Tuition (Weighted 10%)
While we didn’t want cost to be the primary factor in our ranking (and thus why we only weighted it 10% of the total score) we also wanted to keep in mind that tuition rates are an important issue for many students. So we took into account both in-state and out-of-state rates for all these online colleges, giving more points to the more affordable schools. We acquired all our information from College Navigator, a government-run website offering a wealth of information about U.S. colleges. We looked specifically at tuition rates for graduate school, although we understand that this cost can vary from program to program, even within the same school. If you’re a student or potential student, please note that you should contact the university to learn exactly how much you should expect to pay for school, and always remember to look into scholarships and financial aid if you need it.

AASCB Accreditation (Weighted 30%)
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a prestigious name in higher education, particularly for schools of management. The AASCB accredits both schools of business and accounting programs based on the rigor and effectiveness of their curriculum. We gave schools points for having accreditation in either area, making special note of colleges with AASCB accreditation for both their business and accounting programs.

CPA Exam Pass Rate (Weighted 20%)
The number of students from a particular university who are able to pass the CPA exam on their first try is a great indicator of how well the degree program prepares its students for professional accounting. We would have weighted this category more, but we couldn’t find pass rates for all the online colleges we considered. We found this information on a variety of websites, mostly “Masters in Accounting” and “Going Concern” (listed below in the sources). We weren’t able to compare all online colleges from the same graduation year, but generally found pass rate data post 2012, which we believe is a reliable indication of current program performance.

Employment Rate (Weighted 20%)
Looking at data on U.S. News, we attempted to discern what percentage of students at any given online college can expect to have a job offer by or shortly after graduation. Schools that report a high employment rate for their business master’s degree students received more points.

Salary Projections (Weighted 20%)
We found also this information on U.S. News, looking to see how much recent college graduates wielding a master’s degree in accounting can expect to make. Much of this data comes straight from alumni themselves, so alumni who report making higher wages shortly after graduation demonstrate that they were well prepared by their university. Note that in many cases these figures refer to the average salary for all graduate students of business, and is not necessarily specific only to accounting students.

After collecting all the data, weighting each category, and tallying up the points, we gave each school a final score out of 100. The schools with the top 20 scores made this ranking. Note that by traditional standards, there aren’t any schools that received an “A,” so to speak. But that’s to be expected, given that an online college with top scores across the board as well as rock bottom tuition rates probably doesn’t exist. But these schools nonetheless scored very well in all or most categories, indicating that they provide students with an educational experience they won’t regret.

Master of Accounting Online Degree Programs Ranking 2015

Florida Atlantic University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

20. Florida Atlantic University

Online Master’s of Accounting

Florida Atlantic University offers a convenient program that allows students to get a cheap master degree in accounting online. Their “Flexible MAC” program features more traditional classroom coursework with online flexibility, and the “Executive MAC” is exclusively online to accommodate students’ work schedules and living arrangements. Both programs prepare students for the CPA exam and a stable career in accounting, with classes that cover topics such as federal income tax, auditing, business communications, economics, and more. Students with or without bachelor’s degrees in business or accounting are all encouraged to apply; the latter will take foundational coursework in addition to the thirty credit hours required for the degree.
Tuition: $5,467/yr (In-state) $16,695/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 44.9

University of South Dakota Online Master's Degree in Accounting

19. University of South Dakota

Online Master of Professional Accountancy

With accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949, the University of South Dakota is a premiere destination those looking to pursue a career in business and accounting. Their Master of Professional Accountancy is a cheap master of accounting online that prepares students not only for the CPA exam, but also for careers in finance, government, and accounting education. The flexible, convenient classes in this program satisfy the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA, and include statistics and calculus, economics, and business law, among robust finance and accounting coursework. Due to the breadth and rigor of this program, over 70% of graduates pass the CPA, finding careers that pay over 50K annually.
Tuition: $5,050/yr (In-state) $10,687/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 47.9

University of Hartford Online Master's Degree in Accounting

18. University of Hartford

Online M.S. in Accounting and Taxation

The University of Hartford is a great place to get a master of science in accounting online. Accredited by both the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) as well as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), their Barney’s School of Business is a convenient way to advance your career in accounting. CPAs, accounting students, and even students with unrelated degrees are all welcome to take advantage of all this program has to offer. In addition to networking opportunities and a degree, students will pursue coursework in business taxation, corporate taxation, research and seminar programs, and a host of electives.
Tuition: $13,100/yr
Total Score: 48.3

Bentley University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

16. Bentley University

Online Master of Accounting

Bentley University is committed to developing the next generation of financial leaders through rigorous coursework and independently-led study. With accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in both business and accounting, Bentley University provides students with a singular opportunity to launch their careers. Networking opportunities, recruiting initiatives, and international travel are just some of the ways that this program goes above and beyond to support students. Add in statistics classes, accounting seminars, business reporting projects, and internships, and it’s not hard to see why students leave this program earning upwards of 75K after graduation.
Tuition: $30,400/yr
Total Score: 50.2

Emporia State University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

15. Emporia State University

Online Master’s in Accounting

Looking to earn your accounting master’s degree online? Look no further than Emporia State University’s Online Master’s in Accounting for a great opportunity to start a career in finance, management, or in various governmental departments. This affordable program is perfect for students with busy schedules, since coursework is offered in a flexible combination of online, face-to-face, and classroom settings. Graduate instructors are all active consultants and leaders in professional organizations, guaranteeing high-level instruction in statistics, economics, and other topics in accounting. Emporia State University meets the high standards of the AACSB, and is dedicated to preparing graduates to pass their CPA examination.
Tuition: $5,280/yr (In-state) $16,440/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 50.8

University of Scranton Online Master's Degree in Accounting

14. University of Scranton

Online Master of Accountancy

Offering practical education in accounting and business skills, management practicums, and the strong values of a Jesuit education, the master of accounting online program at the University of Scranton is committed to producing strong leaders and professionals. The flexible, entirely online coursework is just another draw of this rigorous program; students complete 30 credit hours at their own pace to prepare for the CPA exam and build professional hard and soft skills that will serve them throughout the rest of their career. Classes include management and communication strategy, taxation and regulation, financial reporting, fraud detection, and more. Coupled with the university’s partnership with practicing CPAs who provide mentorship and networking opportunities in Pennsylvania and beyond, this program prepares students for success every step of the way.
Tuition: $10,497/yr
Total Score: 51.3

DePaul University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

13. DePaul University

Online Master of Science in Accountancy

DePaul University offers a variety of accounting specializations that can open the door to careers in the pay range of 65K shortly after graduation. Of particular note is their master of science in accounting online, an AACSB accredited program that combines flexibility and convenience with advanced coursework and a top alumni outreach program. Over the course of the 48 required credit hours, students take classes in micro and macroeconomics, topics in accounting, business ethics and law, auditing, and more. Students with prior coursework at either the graduate or undergraduate level also have the opportunity to accelerate their education by testing out of core classes.
Tuition: $17,880/yr
Total Score: 52.4

University of Maryland University College Online Master's Degree in Accounting

12. University of Maryland University College

Online M.S. in Management: Accounting

Future auditors, fraud examiners, accountants, and finance managers find their start at the University of Maryland University College with a master of science in accounting online. This unique specialization paves the way to diverse careers and CPA examination, with coursework in organizational theory, financial decision-making, strategic management, and accounting theory. In addition to providing an already flexible and accelerated degree program, UMUC offers their business and accounting undergraduates the opportunity to shave 6 credit hours off their requirements if they matriculate into this degree program. And with a CPA exam pass rate of nearly 70%, it’s easy to see why these students would want to stay.
Tuition: $8,244/yr (In-state) $11,862/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 53.6

Rutgers University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

11. Rutgers University

Online Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting

Rutgers University is the first to offer an exclusively online, advanced degree in this unique specialization. Governmental employees looking to receive an accounting masters degree online will also be pleased to know that RU has begun to offer in-state tuition for students of this program, even if they do not live in New Jersey. Students can take this convenient program two formats: a four-course certificate program that prepares students for the Certified Government Financial Manager exam, and 30 credit-hour degree program to prepare students for the CPA exam. All coursework in the former program, including government accounting, auditing, and budgeting classes, can be applied towards a degree as well, offering flexible opportunities for students regardless of their individual goals.
Tuition: $15,552/yr (In-state) $25,704/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 54.9

University of Massachusetts Amherst Online Master's Degree in Accounting

10. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Online M.S. in Accounting

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a great incubator for the financial industry. With nearly half of graduates passing their CPA exams on the first try and landing salaried careers in the field worth 80k or more, this master of science in accounting online is one of the best programs out there. The high standards at the Isenberg School of Management have also led to accreditation from the AACSB in both accounting and business. Coursework is entirely online, and features topics such as investment strategy and stock analysis, taxes and business strategy, information technology, and more. This curriculum by and for accountants is an all but guaranteed path to success in the exciting world of finance.
Tuition: $14,051/yr (In-state) $21,349/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 60.4

Auburn University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

9. Auburn University

Online Master of Accounting

Are you a working professional looking to advance your career in public accounting or finance management? You can earn a master of accounting online at Auburn University with a flexible program that mirrors full-time, on-campus coursework. The quality of this program is demonstrated by their graduates’ high CPA pass rate and employment rates (80% and 60%, respectively—one of the highest on this list) soon after graduation. After completing 30 credit hours of classes such as financial engineering, database management, and federal tax research, students polish off their degree with an intensive 3-day residency on campus to evaluate their practical skills and send them off into the workforce.
Tuition: $8,262/yr (In-state) $24,786/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 61.2

University of Texas Dallas Online Master's Degree in Accounting

8. University of Texas Dallas

Online Master of Accounting

What if you could walk into an 80K a year position in a growing and challenging field? Over 75% of students earning an accounting master’s degree online at the University of Dallas Texas do just that. In just 24 months (36 semester hours), students in this program cover topics like cost management, business economics, and fundamentals of taxation to prepare for their careers in corporate accounting, taxation, auditing and more. This program, which is accredited by the AACSB as well as the American Institute of Certified Publics Accountants, offers both online and classroom formats to accommodate professionals and commuters. All majors are welcome to apply and take advantage of this invaluable opportunity.
Tuition: $11,940/yr (In-state) $21,606/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 62.1

Georgia Southern University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

7. Georgia Southern University

Online Master of Accounting

GSU’s College of Business Administration is unique in that it is accredited by the AACSB for both business and accounting. Their no-frills, 100% accounting program is one of the best ways to start a career in finance today, with rigorous coursework and a team-based learning approach that ensures success. The support students receive from classmates and professors is just one factor in the high CPA exam pass rate they see after graduation. Coursework featuring accounting, auditing and information technology seminars, legal issues, and income tax provide a robust framework for negotiating the financial arena professionally.
Tuition: $6,468/yr (In-state) $25,846/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 62.3

University of Southern California Online Master's Degree in Accounting

6. University of Southern California

Online Master of Accounting

Success in accounting comes down to more than just number crunching—business acumen, management, and communication skills are all essential to make a splash in this industry. The integrated curriculum of USC’s accounting program lays exactly this groundwork, giving students the foundation they need to acquire a top accounting position. And it works—after graduation, students who chose to get their accounting master’s degree online at USC see unprecedented results, with nearly 70% finding careers that soon pay upwards of 100K a year. Coursework in professional development, research, and globalization complement traditional financial classes in business and accounting, ultimately producing well-rounded individuals who are ready to take on the world.
Tuition: $36,864/yr
Total Score: 64.7

Rider University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

5. Rider University

Online Master’s of Accountancy

If you have a background in accounting and are prepared to take your career to the next level, Rider University has the program for you. Earning a master in accounting online has never been more convenient, with a streamlined 30 credit hour curriculum that not only prepares students for the CPA, but also helps them develop the advanced professional skills they need to succeed. With an 85% CPA exam pass rate, Rider University’s approach is proven to work. Plus, classes like data mining, business evaluation, and forensic accounting open the door to a wide range of emerging jobs.
Tuition: $19,490/yr
Total Score: 69.3

University of North Carolina Online Master's Degree in Accounting

4. University of North Carolina

Online Master of Accounting

Low tuition and high salaries are the hallmark of UNC’s master of accounting program. In just one year, 98% students who earned their accounting master degree online at UNC received employment offers upon graduation, and saw salaries in the range of 100K after just a few years in the field. Their secret to success? World-class faculty, networking opportunities, and flexible online coursework that give students the practical skills and insider opportunities necessary to get ahead. Project management and communication seminars accompany financial coursework to produce eager professionals right out of the gate.
Tuition: $4,371/yr (In-state) $17,816/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 70.8

University of Alabama at Birmingham Online Master's Degree in Accounting

3. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Online Master of Accounting

A wide range of accreditations, from the AACSB to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well US News’ Best Online Graduate Program designation, all testify to the strength of University of Alabama Birmingham’s streamlined accounting program. Earning a masters degree in accounting online is no guarantee of success, unless students couple their education with technical training in business strategy and communications. In addition to an 80% CPA exam pass rate, students in this program take coursework in management processes, qualitative analysis, business foundations, and marketing to produce analytically minded and well-rounded professionals.
Tuition: $6,804/yr (In-state) $15,444/yr (Out-of-state)
Total Score: 71.5

Stetson University Online Master's Degree in Accounting

2. Stetson University

Online Master’s of Accountancy

In the competitive world of finance, you need time on your side. In as little as a year, students can get a masters in accounting online from Stetson University without taking time off of work or delaying their future employment opportunities. Stetson’s rigorous coursework includes information systems, business law and other topics that are fundamental to succeeding as an accounting professional today. Over 80% of students who complete this accelerated, intensive program pass their CPA exam on the first try, opening the door to lucrative careers in taxes and auditing, finance, and financial management.
Tuition: $15,456/yr
Total Score: 73.6

University of Connecticut Online Master's Degree in Accounting

1. University of Connecticut

Online M.S. in Accounting

The accounting program at the University of Connecticut is one of the leading online master’s degrees available today. Why? In addition to being the first asynchronous master’s of science in accounting out there, this program has CPA exam pass rates and post-graduation employment numbers both above 75%. Equipped with practical and theoretical training in finance, economics, business management, and communication, recent graduates earn salaries of 100K+ annually in careers that span the public and private sector, as well as academia. Their AACSB accreditation and US News rankings are a testament to the rigorous coursework, flexible schedules, and career opportunities this program affords students who choose to earn a master in accounting online.
Tuition: $29,740/yr
Total Score: 76.6

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