Accounting Degree Rankings

The 10 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Accounting

An online master’s degree in accounting (MAcc) allows professionals to improve their eligibility for top jobs, while not compromising their current position. Holding the MAcc credential increases your chances for promotion, as well as your earning potential. In addition, it provides the extra coursework needed to meet the CPA exam’s 150 hour requirement.

Each of these schools is recognized by one of three prominent accrediting agencies for business and accounting programs: the AACSB, ACBSP or the IACBE. Using our own methodology to weigh factors such as a school’s reputation, graduation rate, quality of curriculum and student preference, we have identified the 10 best online master’s in accounting programs, all offering a highly competitive accounting degrees via distance education.

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The following online accounting master’s degrees are offered in both fully online and hybrid formats. Using our proven methodology, we have ranked the top programs known for producing qualified accounting experts. Here are the best online master’s in accounting for 2016.

RankLogoSchool NameTypeAccreditationDescriptionQuick Facts
1

University of Connecticut

Public NEASC/CIHE

The Program

The online Master of Science in Accounting at University of Connecticut School of Business was the first online program offered at this university. It remains almost completely online, save for a mandatory four-day on-campus session.

Faculty and students of the master’s in accounting online can engage fully via phone, email, discussion boards and chat rooms in the MSA’s “online community.” Activities and exams are asynchronous, meaning students are expected to meet weekly deadlines, but may access their coursework at any time.

UConn’s online experience is focused on both student-centered learning, or active learning, and information literacy; concepts designed to prioritize communication and active participation skills in everyday life and the workplace.

Admissions Requirements

  • While a business or accounting major is not necessarily required, undergraduate transcripts must reflect passing grades in eight specific courses or their equivalent.
  • Although averages tend to be higher among accepted candidates, the minimum required GMAT score is 500, with at least a 3.0 GPA, both overall and in accounting, in order to apply.

Credit Requirements

The curriculum consists of 150 course hours, the same credit load required to sit for the CPA exam in most states. To complete the degree, ten courses, or 30 semester hours of a student’s total course load, must be in accounting.

After taking two mandatory foundation courses, students tailor their curriculum by choosing from dozens of electives, including:

  • Financial Planning
  • Global Financial Reporting
  • Taxation of Business Entities
  • Forensic Accounting and Securities Fraud
  • Accounting and Auditing for Government Entities

Recognition

  • UConn’s online accounting master’s was the first online program offered by the school; now the program ranks third on U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.”
  • Uconn is also recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association for its best practices in online learning.
Address
352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT
06269
(860) 486-2000
Cost per Credit Hour
$825
In-state Tuition
$12,202
Out-of-state Tuition
$31,674
2

Syracuse University

Private (Non Profit) MSCHE

The Program

The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University offers an online Master of Science in Professional Accounting. The program features the same curriculum as its on-campus counterpart, but with increased flexibility and lower costs.

Online MSA students watch live lectures, take tests and interact with peers and faculty from their computer, or on-the-go with the smartphone app. In addition, they receive lifelong access to recorded materials on the virtual campus.

Distance learners earning their master’s of accounting online are exempt from the on-campus technology and health fees and are granted full access to an online platform exclusive to the Syracuse MSA community. When it comes to course discussions and group work, this platform functions more like a social media network than a traditional course forum.

Admissions Requirements

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • There is no professional experience requirement for this program.
  • International applicants are welcome to apply but may need to submit proof of English-language proficiency and/or U.S. degree equivalency.

Credit Requirements

Each semester is 12 weeks, and the online master’s in accounting typically takes between one and two years to complete.

Depending on their undergraduate degree, online and campus-based students at Syracuse must choose a curriculum in accounting, business or foundational study (other subject) requiring 30, 42 or 48 credit hours respectively. All sequences include courses in:

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Auditing Theory and Practice
  • International Accounting and Reporting
  • Taxes and Business Strategy
Address
900 South Crouse Ave.
Syracuse, NY
13244
(315) 443-1870
Cost per Credit Hour
$1,341
In-state Tuition
$32,184
Out-of-state Tuition
$32,184
Total Program Cost
$40,230
3

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Public NEASC/CIHE

The Program

The Master of Science in Accounting at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management is ideal for students holding a bachelor’s in accounting. It is a master’s degree in accounting online, and its intensive, comprehensive CPA exam prep provides an excellent base from which to launch an accounting career.

Online students use Blackboard and SPIRE to explore courses, complete assignments and interact with their virtual learning community. 24/7 access is available to all educational tools included in these platforms. Technical support can be reached round-the-clock for online students via the helpdesk.

Admissions Requirements

  • All online master’s in accounting candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and must submit GMAT scores.
  • Due to federal and state restrictions, Amherst is unable to enroll students residing in Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas.
  • Students must hold a U.S. undergraduate degree or U.S. equivalent in order to apply.

Credit Requirements

Students choose between hybrid programs or earning their master’s in accounting online. Enrollment opens at the start of the fall, spring and summer sessions. Students enrolling in spring or summer courses may be able to complete their degree in as few as eight months.

A blended curriculum allows already-employed accountants to take advantage of an intensive 12-week session during the summer, when business is typically slower for accounting professionals.

Testimonials

As the world economy becomes more intertwined, web-based conferencing has become vital to global business. Online education is a great platform to give students practice collaborating with people from different industries and cultural viewpoints through the use of advanced technology.

Nicole Carlson, UMass MBA '09
Address
374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA
01003
(413) 545-0111
Cost per Credit Hour
$750
In-state Tuition
$2,640
Out-of-state Tuition
$9,937
4

Florida Atlantic University

Public SACS/CC

The Program

The online Executive Master of Accounting from Florida Atlantic University is a two-year program designed for working professionals who value flexibility and freedom while in school. Concentrations are offered in either Forensic Accounting (entirely online) or Business Valuation (entirely online or hybrid/on-campus).

A diverse student body attends FAU’s School of Accounting Executive Programs (SOAEP), representing over 35 U.S. states and multiple continents. Students have the opportunity to work alongside a variety of professionals, including published authors, industry experts and successful practitioners.

Both business valuation and forensic accounting students are able to use an iPod, iPad, PC, Mac or mobile phone to stream web videos of dynamic lectures and interactive activities, to download assignments, submit course work and correspond with faculty. Technical support is available round-the-clock for FAU’s online students.

Admissions Requirements

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s from an accredited institution.
  • Applicants must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in their most recent 60 hours of undergraduate study.
  • Official GMAT and/or GRE test scores are required.
  • Applicants who completed some or all of their undergraduate education outside the U.S. must submit a course-by-course evaluation performed by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

Credit Requirements

The online Executive Master of Accounting comprises 30 credit hours, most of which can be applied toward Florida CPA exam requirements. These include:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Concepts of Federal Income Tax
  • Cost Accounting Theory
  • Financial Management and Reporting

While this program is the only fully online graduate accounting degree option available through FAU, individual online courses are available in a number of other accounting topics.

Address
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL
33431-0991
(561) 297-3000
Cost per Credit Hour
$800
In-state Tuition
$5,467
Out-of-state Tuition
$16,695
Total Program Cost
$44,400
5

Auburn University

Public SACS/CC

The Program

The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) at Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business is geared toward professionals preferring a more flexible e-learning experience. The master’s in accounting online curriculum is identical to its on-campus counterpart, providing the research, technical and communication skills needed to develop a successful career.

Programs through the Harbert School at Auburn feature “smart” classrooms, which record and stream live classes on-campus. Auburn’s e-learning platform includes online discussion boards that supplement each course’s high-quality videos and create a strong sense of academic community.

The MAcc program promises to provide the training required to pass the CPA exam on the first attempt, and notes that its Master of Accountancy class averaged an 80% or better pass rate on all four sections of the CPA exam in 2014.

Admissions Requirements

  • Students wishing to enroll in the master’s degree in accounting online must hold a four-year undergraduate business degree and have completed all prerequisite foundation courses.
  • During the final spring semester, both on-campus and online students must attend one three day on-campus residency that includes participation in the Auburn MAcc Leadership Summit.

Credit Requirements

Completing the master’s in accounting online requires 30 credit hours. Enrolled part-time, this program can be completed within two years over five semesters. Full-time students complete the program in one year over three semesters.

Online courses follow the same calendar as their on-campus equivalent and certain classes may not be offered every semester.

Recognition

  • The Accounting Degree Review ranks Auburn’s online MAcc program as the fifth best in the nation.
  • The school is also ranked sixth for “Best Online Graduate Programs” by U.S. News and World Report.

Testimonials

I wanted to let you know that I loved the Auburn MAcc program. The distance program gave me the flexibility to continue with my current employment and allow me to have time with my family. I believe that Auburn is on the leading edge of what will be the university experience for many more people in the future…

Nathan Risenmay, MAcc Class of 2013
Address
Auburn, Alabama
Auburn University, AL
36849
(334) 844-4000
Cost per Credit Hour
$805
Total Program Cost
$24,150
6

Liberty University

Private (Non Profit) SACS/CC

The Program

Liberty Online’s Master of Science in Accounting offers a holistic approach to career-minded education, aimed at helping students achieve all-around success after graduation. Accounting, auditing and taxation are a primary focus, however students will also learn practical skills as well as ethical standards typically relevant to this field.

Blackboard hosts LUO’s comprehensive course selection, assignments, quizzes and discussion groups. The virtual classroom is tailored to offer students the same high-quality and nationally renowned curriculum as its on-campus equivalent, with the added benefits of flexibility and online community engagement.

Admissions Requirements

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • All candidates must have taken the following prerequisites or their equivalents: Cost Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Principles of Accounting I and II, and Intermediate Accounting I and II.

Credit Requirements

This 30-hour program may take between one and two years to complete and provides students with the training needed to pass the CPA exam. Up to six outside credit hours can be transferred toward the completion of this degree.

Recognition

  • LUO is ranked among the top three online accounting programs by Online Education Database.
  • Christian Universities Online named Liberty University Online the Best Online Christian Graduate School of 2015.

Testimonials

I was on active duty when I started my education, and due to my deployments schedule online was the only way I could get my degree. My degree helped me tremendously in getting my present job. I have been blessed to be a part of Liberty and highly recommend Liberty Online to others.

David Philips,
Address
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA
24515
(434) 582-2000
Cost per Credit Hour
$520
In-state Tuition
$9,360
Out-of-state Tuition
$9,360
7

Regis University

Private (Non Profit) NCACS/THLC

The Program

The Master of Science in Accounting at Regis University’s College for Professional Studies is centered on foundation courses in ethics, business and accounting. Students may choose between online and on-campus formats and will have the opportunity to work with an academic advisor to customize their curriculum.

Online degrees at Regis are offered in five- or eight-week accelerated sessions running concurrently with campus courses. Although classes are not completely self-paced, flexibility is a primary component of the program, and students can complete most assignments at their leisure.

Regis University’s platform for completing a master’s in accounting online allows students to review lessons, research relevant topics and interact with faculty in a single virtual forum. The online program also accommodates those with visual or hearing impairments through customized digital learning tools. Regis’s partnership with Becker CPA Review provides exclusive access to CPA exam study techniques.

Admissions Requirements

  • Students applying to Regis University’s online MSA program must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
  • Students should have a minimum of two years of related professional experience.
  • Candidates are also required to submit GMAT score reports.
  • There is no minimum required GPA, but students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.5 may need to complete additional coursework prior to enrolling.

Credit Requirements

Coursework in this 10-course, 30-credit-hour program necessitates seven foundational courses designed to improve existing knowledge in accounting, ethics and industry skills.

Recognition

  • U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis University on its list of “The Best Online Graduate Business Programs.”
Address
3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO
80221-1099
Cost per Credit Hour
$780
In-state Tuition
$10,224
Out-of-state Tuition
$10,224
Total Program Cost
$23,475
8

University of Scranton

Private (Non Profit) MSCHE

The Program

The Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program taught in the Jesuit tradition. The program occurs entirely online, with no on-campus visits required.

Students enrolled in the online MAcc program receive comprehensive CPA-exam preparation supplying the full amount of credit hours required to sit for the test. The opportunity to explore the quantitative, analytical and soft skills required to become successful in the accounting workforce is also central to the curriculum.

The online instructors are active accounting professionals able to offer the practical expertise students need. Each student is assigned a mentor and a student services coordinator to guide them through the virtual learning process.

Graduates of the online program often choose to join Scranton’s on-campus commencement ceremonies and become highly-active members of the university’s alumni.

Admissions Requirements

  • Ideal candidates for this program hold a bachelor’s in accounting, although graduates in any major that have completed the program prerequisites are eligible.
  • Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Credit Requirements

The online Master of Accountancy program comprises ten total courses, including six core courses and either four or eight elective courses, depending on a student’s career focus and customized curriculum.

The asynchronous MAcc program can be completed by part-time students in only 20 months or by full-time students in as few as 10 months.

Testimonials

Online courses are very different from traditional courses because you don’t have a professor standing in front of you or specific times to attend class. You learn at a pace that works for you, a pace that you can set yourself.

Ashley Benner, graduate 2013
Address
800 Linden Street
Scranton, PA
18510-4629
(570) 941-7400
In-state Tuition
$10,806
Out-of-state Tuition
$10,806
9

St. John's University

Private (Non Profit) MSCHE

The Program

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) featuring a global business focus. The program emphasizes experiential learning with coursework designed to prepare students to apply core financial principles in diverse, real-world professional settings. Each student and faculty member comes from a business or accounting background.

The online MSA uses the fully-integrated Blackboard system to deliver all learning materials and facilitate communication between students and faculty. At St. John’s, Blackboard supports a range of virtual services, including course registration, academic advising, financial aid and student invoicing, tech support and electronic archives.

Candidates enrolled in this online master’s in accounting program are eligible to apply for a number of scholarships and internships offered jointly by SJU and area accounting firms.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration or management.
  • Official transcripts and GMAT scores are required. The admissions committee does not define minimum grade point averages or test scores.
  • Federal regulations authorize St. John’s to provide online learning in most, but not all, states.

Credit Requirements

The one-year, 30-33 credit-hour MSA program prepares students for the CPA exam in the state of New York. Credits earned in the online MSA are identical to on-campus credit hours, and include the added benefit of scheduling flexibility through self-paced online course work.

Recognition

  • The U.S. News and World Report names St. John’s MSA program among its list for 2015’s “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.”

Testimonials

St. John’s University’s online courses provide a stimulating environment where you’re able to take control of how you learn…. Online classes have given me the opportunity to continue earning the credits I need to graduate while gaining hands-on experience.

Layal Elaraby,
Address
8000 Utopia Pky
Queens, NY
11439
(718) 990-6161
Cost per Credit Hour
$1,155
10

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Public SACS/CC

The Program

This online Master of Accounting offered via Alabama’s Collat School of Business is fully online. Distance courses are taught by the same qualified faculty who teach their on-campus equivalents. The program focuses on real-world skills and CPA exam prep.

All of Alabama’s online learners enjoy 24/7 help desk services, mobile coursework apps and access to Sterne Library’s digital archives and academic/career counseling.

Admissions Requirements

  • Candidates interested in completing their master’s degree in accounting online must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field from an accredited university.
  • There is no minimum GPA, but applicants must have maintained a 3.0 GPA for the last two years of their undergraduate.
  • UAB is only authorized to deliver online education to students in certain U.S. states. All students receive uniform CPA exam instruction and preparation to sit for the Alabama exam.

Credit Requirements

Altogether, the UAB master’s is 30 semester hours ― 21 required core course credits and nine elective credits. The school also maintains a fast-track master’s for students who have completed a minimum of 15 hours of courses at UAB in the pursuit of bachelor’s. This program is in effect a dual-degree that lets students directly segue from undergraduate education to graduate.

Electives offered include a broad range of vocational training courses, such as:

  • IT Auditing
  • Business Law
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Fraud Examination
  • Tax Entities
  • Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
  • Current Issues in Financial Accounting

Recognition

  • U.S. News and World Report ranks Alabama’s online MA program among its 2015 list of “Best Online Graduate Programs.”
Address
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL
35294-0110
(205) 934-4011
Cost per Credit Hour
$1,088
In-state Tuition
$7,090
Out-of-state Tuition
$16,072
Total Program Cost
$32,640