accounting degrees

Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs Your Guide to Online MAcc Degree Programs

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Business & MBA Editor
Tammie Cagle is a writer, editor, entrepreneur, and certified academic life coach. Tammie received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University-College Station and her MBA from Marylhurst University.

Are you looking for the best online Master’s in Accounting programs? With the help of technology, you can now get a quality education without having to physically attend classes. Online Master’s in Accounting programs offer a flexible and convenient way to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become an accountant. With these programs, you will learn about accounting principles, financial statement analysis, taxation laws, and more. You will also gain valuable experience with software such as QuickBooks and other accounting software. So if you’re looking for an online program that can help you become a successful accountant, then look no further than an Online Master’s in Accounting program!

accounting degrees

What is Accounting?

Accounting is tracking finances by an individual or organization, like a small business.

Business accounting involves collecting and analyzing financial information for an organization. It can be done by an individual, accounting team, or business. The information gathered helps these professionals understand the enterprise’s business activity and generate financial reports. 

Regulators, businesses, tax collectors, and other oversight agencies must see thorough and proper accounting records. When a company seeks investors or other shareholders, these representatives review all accounting paperwork. When you see a deal made on television like Shark Tank or The Profit that later dissolves, it’s typically because of accounting problems. Proper accounting is vital to any successful business enterprise.

How Can I Work in the Field of Accounting?

Pursuing a degree in accounting is the best way to work in this gratifying field. An online Master’s of Accounting assists students in grasping practical accounting concepts and procedures. The degree helps to fill the academic necessities needed to sit for the Uniform CPA (certified public accountant) exam.

Most students enroll in an online Master’s in Accounting to advance their careers in enterprise, education, and accounting. Accounting master’s programs enable professionals to develop as CPAs and work in other areas.

These may include:

  • Consultants
  • Public accountants
  • Internal auditors
  • Controllers
  • Administration accountants
  • Tax accountants
  • Government accountants 

Graduates with a Ph.D. in accounting may work as professors in establishments of higher learning.

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Licenses, including the Licensed Public Accountant (CPA), increase job potential for accounting professionals. Graduates with certifications and licenses are more likely to qualify for the best professional prospects. Increased expertise steadily increases salary potential.

An accounting degree is essential to getting into and thriving in public accounting. Discovering the many benefits of an online master’s in accounting will begin your journey into the realm of public accountancy.

What Should I Look for in an Online Master’s in Accounting Program?

Students have many options when considering on-campus or online Master’s in Accounting degrees. Prospective business students should take into account the program’s curriculum, future career alternatives, tuition cost, and salary expectations of acquiring a graduate accounting degree when comparing programs. Today, many respected programs offer online, on-campus, and hybrid programs.

What are Some of the Nation’s Best Online Master’s in Accounting Programs?

Here is a list of the best Online Master’s in Accounting programs that top business schools have to offer. These accounting degrees are fully online and AACSB accredited. Schools are listed in alphabetical order.

Boise State University features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting at the College of Business and Economics. This best-of-the-best online Master in Accountancy provides students with a top-tier education. Distance learners acquire marketable skills and professional connections. The online Master of Science in Accountancy is a degree for business professionals wanting the most out of their careers.

Degree Website

AACSB, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino has an excellent online Master’s in Accounting. This online Master of Science in Accountancy requires no campus visits. The accelerated curriculum is formatted within six-week classes. With so much going for it, it’s clear why this accounting program is among the best in the nation.

Degree Website

AACSB, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

Emporia State University’s School of Business has a noteworthy online Master’s in Accounting. This online Master of Accountancy at ESU prepares students for public accounting and leadership positions in internal auditing, controllership, forensic accounting, and tax accounting. The affordable and flexible program can help students meet the 150-hour requirement for the CPA exam. Students can earn the degree entirely online.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

Georgia Southern University features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting at the Parker College of Business. The WebMAcc allows students to continue specialized studies in accounting. Many students earning the MAcc seek careers as certified public accountants. Its curriculum includes 18 credit hours of accounting coursework and 12 credit hours of electives. This distance degree is an accounting home run.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management has a top-notch online Master’s in Accounting. NC State’s MAC program prepares graduates to be tomorrow’s leaders in this critical and versatile field. The program provides students with a valuable understanding of accounting and business practices. Reach out to the business school for more information about this remarkable degree.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Pace University’s Lubin School of Business features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting. This online master’s degree provides students with the hands-on experience to excel in many accounting roles. It covers the competencies tested in the CPA exams. The curriculum explores the field within business decision-making. You will want to check out Pace University’s stellar accounting program.

Degree Website

AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Norm Brodsky College of Business at Rider University offers an online Master’s in Accounting. It is perfect for professionals with an accounting background. Professionals seeking advanced credentials and education for a CPA license will thrive. The program features the rigor of an on-campus program and the convenience of a distance degree.

Degree Website

AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Rutgers University-Camden features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting at the School of Business. This online Master of Accountancy gets students started in one of the most sought-after degree programs. Distance learners develop essential skills for modern business. The entirely online 30-credit master’s program employs accounting technology. This graduate degree in accounting is a must for tomorrow’s business leaders.

Degree Website

AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University has an excellent online Master’s in Accounting. Online students of the MS in Accounting from Seton Hall develop technical proficiency. They can be effective in accounting roles and gain functional business understanding. This program gives students quality and value.

Degree Website

AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The College of Business at Texas A&M University-Commerce features an outstanding online Master’s in Accounting. The AACSB accredits this accounting program. It has been designed to prepare students for successful careers in public accounting and government enterprises. This online Master of Science in Accounting will take your accounting skills and competencies to the next level.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

The Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an online Master’s in Accounting. This online Master’s Degree of Accounting at UAB helps students realize their professional goals. It provides the same program the on-campus students take. Students with an undergrad in accounting can take the bridge program. There is a lot to like about this accounting degree.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management features an online Master’s in Accounting. This online program matches some of the industry’s best instructors with a rigorous curriculum. Enrolled students learn from the same renowned faculty as the on-campus MSA program. Graduate students develop the mastery to take their accounting career further.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

The University of Colorado Denver’s Business School offers an excellent online Master’s in Accounting. Very few programs worldwide have CU Denver’s AACSB accreditation. Enrolled students are members of a diverse community of number-loving professionals. Distance learners at the Business School are ready to start or advance their careers in accounting.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign features a top-shelf online Master’s in Accounting. The business school’s iMSA is a flexible, entirely online program. It teaches students to gather and analyze information and make strategic decisions. This excellent program emphasizes decision-making to apply Big Data findings to business leadership.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

The B. I. Moody, III School of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting. This online Master of Science in Accounting prepares students with advanced skills. They can pursue senior public, corporate, not-for-profit, and consulting roles. Do not sleep on this quality distance degree.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

The Robert J. Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a stellar online Master’s in Accounting. This online accounting degree at UMass Lowell prepares students for higher-level accounting positions. Students work as public, corporate, government, and nonprofit business leaders. Manning’s distance degree has a lot to offer.

Degree Website

AACSB, New England Commission of Higher Education

The University of Michigan-Flint features an excellent online Master’s in Accounting at the School of Management. It is offered in an online asynchronous format. Michigan-Flint’s Master of Science in Accounting degree is perfect for those who want to pursue Certified Public Accountancy and advance their careers.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

The University of North Dakota offers a top-notch online Master’s in Accounting through the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. Professionals who didn’t begin their careers in accounting can get their start now. This fundamentals-focused program is designed for students with and without accounting experience. UND’s online MS in Accounting is an extreme value.

Degree Website

AACSB, Higher Learning Commission

The University of Scranton’s Arthur J. Kania School of Management features one of the nation’s best online Master’s in Accounting. Kania’s online MAcc program ensures students receive a timely, relevant, and real-world education. Program leaders leverage a professional alum council and a group of practicing CPAs to inform course content. Enrolled students in this stellar program learn current accounting theories, practices, and approaches.

Degree Website

AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers an online Master’s in Accounting. This online Master of Accountancy enables students to qualify for professional accounting positions in business and government. Some work for public accounting firms. This online degree in accounting will prepare you for success.

Degree Website

AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

What Topics does a Master’s in Accounting Curriculum Cover?

Programs differ from school to school. However, there are some universals. Here are some topics typical of an online accounting program:

  • Research
  • Taxation
  • Business valuation
  • Value management
  • Financial and managerial accounting
  • Info techniques
  • Auditing
  • Consulting providers
  • Policy
  • Taxation

What is the Difference Between an Online Master’s in Accounting and an Accounting MBA?

An MBA with a concentration in accounting and a Master’s in Accounting, including the Master of Accounting (MAcc), will train you for managerial positions within the accounting field. The degrees, however, are slightly different. An MBA degree gives graduate students broad business expertise that might transfer to other arenas. The MBA program’s comprehensive curriculum teaches students management and enterprise strategy concepts that may prove beneficial for positions geared toward management. The MAcc offers better specific accounting training and coaching for the CPA exam. It is important to note that some MBA applications supply the credit hours required to take the CPA exam.

What Different Types of Master’s in Accounting Degrees Exist Today?

choose degree

Master’s in Accounting in Cost Accounting

This graduate degree deals with management accounting. It is a specialized area of expertise, including analyzing the costs of merchandise manufactured or purchased by a company. For a company to be worthwhile, it’s essential to know the exact cost of a product and use that information to establish reasonable prices. Cost accountants assist an enterprise in this process. Cost accounting is vital to overall monetary decision-making.

Masters of Accounting – Financial Accounting 

Management accountants assist in forming enterprise strategies inside an organization. Monetary accountants are concerned with how external parties represent a business’s efficiency. They also report revenue, loss, and cash stream data to shareholders and managers.

Accurate monetary accounting reports aid potential investors and lenders in determining whether to spend money on an enterprise or lend a company money. They help tax authorities find the appropriate amount of tax owed on earnings. These professionals communicate with stakeholders throughout the organization to inform them about its financial performance.

Master’s in Accounting – Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants deal with fraud and capital crime circumstances. These professionals may enjoy the thrill that comes with law and order. Professionals in forensic accounting combine accounting, investigative, and auditing skills to investigate and interpret business and monetary proof. They may testify in trials as expert witnesses. Before beginning your sleuthing, search for a relevant forensic accounting program. To start working in this direction for your career, investigate which accounting bachelors, MBA, and MAcc programs feature the specialization.

Master’s in Accounting – Management Accounting

financial manager job

This concentration is known as company accounting or administration accounting. These professionals work inside one specific company. The role of the administration accountant is to perform duties to ensure the organization’s monetary security. Management accountants handle all financial issues and help to drive an enterprise’s overall strategy and administration.

Administration accountants are vital figures in determining the success of an enterprise. Some of these professionals choose to become Licensed Management Accountants. These workers have the same credentials as CPAs but with a higher concentration on administration issues, value accounting, and financial planning.

Job duties can range widely for management accountants. Most of this is determined by the organization’s needs, the worker’s stage of experience, the time allotted for accounting, and the kind of business. These professionals could end up doing any of these duties:

  • Budgeting
  • Working with Taxes
  • Managing Assets to Determine Compensation and Benefits Packages
  • Contributing to Strategic Planning

Master’s in Accounting – Public Accounting

Public accountants are general accountants who work for accounting firms or have their own private practice. These professionals often develop into certified public accountants. They may work for numerous accounting companies and maintain diversified clients and corporations.

Public accountants’ daily duties widely vary. They oversee auditing, tax, and monetary planning. These accountants consult and offer advice concerning compensation and benefits. Public accountants may work with large groups of accountants and coach other junior accountants.

Many public accountants rise to high-level positions inside an agency or shift to a private firm as controllers or CFOs. Public accountants historically work in an office setting. They often work with several purchasers at one time. Public accountants encounter various work and people, making the job exciting and inspiring.

What Prerequisites are There Before Earning an Online Master’s in Accounting?

All business schools have their own admission requirements for their Master’s in Accounting degree programs. It is up to the program researcher to check the specifics of what each school offers.

Some typical prerequisites for an online Master’s in Accounting include the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in accounting, economics, or finance 
  • A minimum GPA
  • GMAT or GRE test scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Application essays and interviews

An undergraduate degree in accounting, economics, or finance

students studying

Some business schools allow students lacking formal coursework in accounting or business to enter their programs. Candidates may still join the program if they have a non-accounting bachelor’s degree. These applicants may need additional coursework to level their business and accounting expertise.

A minimum GPA

Business school candidates must have exceeded a certain minimum grade point average (GPA) to show they can maintain an excellent academic standing. Most schools require a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5 for their incoming students.

GMAT or GRE test scores

More business schools are deleting this requirement from their applications, but not all. Some students aren’t strong standardized test takers and have other solid application attributes. GPA and work experience are factors used to waive this requirement. It is best to check with the school you are considering to note its placement test requirements.

Letters of recommendation

Applicants should choose their recommenders carefully. Letter writers should make sure they understand what makes a quality recommendation letter. These resources should address an applicant’s academic, professional, and character strengths.

Application essays and interviews

Many business schools require a written essay. These writings are sometimes called personal statements and statements of purpose. Essays explain why a potential student is interested in pursuing an online Master’s in Accounting. Essay writers should communicate clearly and use proper grammar.

The final step for many within the application process is the interview. Interviews are held in person and online through Zoom. Candidates and admissions representatives meet for interviews to ask the students questions about their education, job aspirations, and character.

What Type of Commitment is Required for Earning an Online Master’s in Accounting?

computer tech

Pursuing an online master’s degree in accounting requires time, money, and energy. Potential students should consider how long it will take and how much it would cost to graduate. These factors help reveal whether it aligns with one’s goals and plans.

Most online master’s degrees in accounting take one to two years to complete. Some business schools offer accelerated programs. These programs allow students to finish within a year or less. 

Some colleges and universities, like the University of Florida, feature a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. This program includes four years of undergraduate study and one year of graduate coursework. Students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting after five years.

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Accounting Cost?

The tuition fees for an online accounting master’s degree is typically between $20,000 to $70,000, according to U.S. News and World Report. Business schools offer lower tuition for in-state students. Additional expenses include miscellaneous fees for books, student services and facilities, and other supplies. All schools will list estimated additional expenses on their websites.

Working professionals with other commitments may consider part-time online study. These programs allow these learners to continue earning an income to fund their degrees. Many large organizations and employers feature tuition-reimbursement programs. These programs may include obligations like agreements to stay with the company for years after graduating or that students maintain a specific minimum GPA.

What Types of Exams and Certifications are Associated with a Master’s in Accounting?

education guide

Some business professionals dive right into finding a position once they finish their online master’s degrees in accounting. Some companies require accounting professionals to become certified public accountants (CPAs) before joining their organizations. Passing the CPA exam will give you more credibility as a respected accountant and improve your future job prospects.

To get licensed by your state’s board of accountancy as a CPA, you’ll need to fulfill the three Es:

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience


You must complete 150 credit hours. Your online Master’s in Accounting will help with this requirement.


You must report a passing grade on the Uniform CPA Exam. This test consists of four parts: 

  1. Auditing and attestation
  2. Business environment and concepts
  3. Financial accounting and reporting
  4. Regulation

Test takers are required to get a minimum passing score of 75 on each section. All CPA exam test takers must pass all four sections within eighteen months.


CPAs must acquire two years of public accounting experience. Experience in industries or fields other than public accounting may be accepted. The number of years required could be higher.

Each state has its requirements for licensure. Check with your state’s board of accountancy for the most current requirements and information. The AICPA provides resources to get professionals started on their CPA journey. These resources include CPA exam study materials, tutorial topics, and sample tests.

Professionals maintaining their licenses and practicing as certified public accountants must undergo continuing professional education. These requirements typically contain 40 hours of content annually. Accountants may also need training in ethics and compliance. They may need to pass exams on those topics.

Other certifications could boost accountants’ careers and validate their expertise. These certifications are in addition to the CPA exam. They include:

  • Management accountant certification
  • Internal auditor certification
  • Information systems auditor certification

Management accountant certification

Online Executive Masters of Business Administration

The Institute of Management Accountants features this certification. It requires passing a two-part exam and acquiring two years of professional experience in financial management or management accounting.

Internal auditor certification 

The Institute of Internal Auditors offers this certificate. The credential entails passing an exam and meeting the internal auditing experience requirement of one to two years.

Information systems auditor certification

ISACA features this certification for students who pass the exam and meet all work experience requirements.

What are the Possible Career Paths for Online Master’s in Accounting Graduates?

Pursuing an online Master’s in Accounting opens many doors for your career. You can start an accounting business or work with a small local accounting practice. Some graduate students become part of a large global accounting firm. They also work in academia as accounting educators. Accounting degree holders can also work for government or nonprofit organizations.

Here are some fields open to online Master’s in Accounting degree holders:

  • Public accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Government Accounting
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Auditing

Public accounting

These professionals work with financial documents that are publicly disclosed by law. This includes tax forms. Public accountants work for individuals, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses.

Management Accounting

Management accountants evaluate, manage, and analyze the financial accounts and performance of entities in the corporate sector.

business professional

Government Accounting

These accountants manage the finances of auditing private entities and government agencies whose activities are under government regulation. Government accountants ensure agencies handle and spend their budgets according to the law.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants investigate illegal financial transactions. These crimes include embezzlement and fraud. Besides their accounting skills, forensic accountants use their knowledge of the law and investigative techniques when conducting inquiries.


Auditors inspect financial records to ensure their preparation and accurate reporting. Auditors examine accounting procedures to make sure they comply with laws and regulations.

Top Accounting Jobs

The field of accounting has a lot of opportunity for driven professionals with an Online Master’s in Accounting. These are some of the best accounting jobs and their median pay.

JobMedian Pay
Tax Director$156,298
Internal Audit Director$136,880
Senior Tax Manager$134,934
Senior Manager Accountant / Auditor$129,994
Senior Manager Auditor$128,504
Senior Manager Accountant$124,467
Accounting Director$109,694
Corporate Controller$108,244
Internal Auditing Manager$104,250
Tax Manager$101,961
Plant Controller$99,850
Treasury Manager$99,634
Financial Controller$89,357
Senior Internal Auditor$83,093
Assistant Controller$81,151
Senior Tax Analyst$80,047
Senior Treasury Analyst$78,185
Senior Tax Accountant$75,009
Senior Accountant$71,833
Senior Staff Accountant$66,752
Fraud Investigator$66,038
Project Accountant$61,472
Associate Auditor$59,330
Tax Accountant$58,452
Staff Accountant$54,563
Data from

What Other Career Pathways Can an Accounting Professional Choose?

Accounting Professionals can Become Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help organizations organize their finances. They oversee budget proposals and make recommendations based on findings. Budget analysts also prepare and analyze budget reports. They monitor organizational spending to ensure it is within budget.

Accounting Professionals can Become Financial Analysts

Operations Research Analyst

Financial analysts advise individuals and organizations when making investment decisions. They evaluate investments and help develop sound investment strategies.

Accounting Professionals can Become Financial Managers

Financial managers maintain a company’s financial health. They analyze financial data to develop game plans and identify ways to minimize costs and maximize profits. Financial managers also guide stakeholders in making healthy financial decisions.

Accounting Professionals can Become Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors help people manage their finances. They can advise on savings, expenses, retirement, and taxes. They help clients plan and achieve financial goals and provide guidance on the risks and rewards of investments.

Accounting Professionals can Become Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)

This executive-level position leads an organization’s financial strategy and execution. CFOs are involved with financial policy development and planning. These professionals manage other finance executives and maintain relationships with stockholders and investment institutions.

What now?

When researching career opportunities, take advantage of your business school’s resources. Some colleges and universities host career fairs to connect accounting graduate students with prospective employers. Some online programs feature career development offices that provide career counseling to help students with their job searches. You can leverage your school’s alum network. Attend events and meet with alums to learn how they started in accounting.

An online Master’s in Accounting is a great way to earn the credentials for a successful career in accounting. Find the program that is right for you and start your journey in this exciting business field.

Related Resources

The Ultimate Guide for Accountants
Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting
Best Online Accounting MBA

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Ready to start your journey?