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Best Master’s in Accounting Programs 2021

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Best Master's Programs

A master’s degree in accounting can lead to profitable positions in the ever-changing business world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay for accountants nearly doubles that for all occupations. Many students pursue a master’s degree in accounting to obtain the required credits for licensure examinations, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.

A master’s in accounting is highly specialized, requiring in-depth study of topics such as financial analysis, tax regulation, and auditing procedures.

Even so, the skills acquired in an accounting master’s program apply across industry sectors and occupations.

This page, which we update yearly to reflect the latest developments and trends in accounting, contains detailed information about some of the nation’s best master’s in accounting schools.

What Is Accounting?

The oldest accounting records uncovered date back to around 5,000 B.C., pointing to the accounting discipline’s pivotal role in all civilizations routinely exchanging goods and services. Modern accountants enjoy consistent demand for their services; the BLS projects a 4% growth in accounting and auditing positions from 2019 to 2029.

A master’s degree in accounting is one of the most versatile graduate degrees. With this degree, graduates can choose from a wealth of occupations in public and private sectors, such as forensic accounting, financial advising, import and export brokerage, and financial management.

Due to their versatile skill set, graduates who enter the field of accounting enjoy greater job stability than candidates from many other disciplines. Even in an economic downturn, companies need skilled management accountants who know where to cut costs.

A master’s in accounting offers other attractions aside from its adaptability and high earning potential. The rigorous yet diverse curriculum of a professional accounting master’s program also cultivates important character traits for human flourishing, such as honesty, trustworthiness, cordiality, tenacity, and determination.

Why Get an Accounting Master’s?

Students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting hold the foundational expertise needed to land an entry job in accounting. But a master’s degree in accounting can also satisfy the academic requirements to sit for the CPA exam. The additional expertise an accounting master’s degree affords can provide access to top-level positions in finance and give graduates a competitive advantage in the job market. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.

CPA Prerequisite
To qualify to sit for the CPA exam, candidates must possess 150 completed academic credits in accounting or related areas. As a typical undergraduate degree provides only 120 credits, a master’s degree in accounting can help aspiring certified public accountants on their path to obtaining the CPA credential.
Top-Level Positions
A master’s degree in accounting can open the door to some of the most profitable and prestigious positions in the field, such as financial manager, private equity associate, hedge fund manager, chief financial officer, and chief compliance officer. Median annual salaries for these top-level positions range from $129,890 to $184,460.
Competitive Advantage
Companies often enact stricter and more complex business regulations in the wake of corporate scandals and economic recessions. The increasing complexity of financial legislation gives corporate recruiters an incentive to hire applicants with a graduate degree, which gives candidates with an accounting master’s degree an edge over applicants who hold a bachelor’s.

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What To Expect From Master’s in Accounting Programs

An accounting master’s degree gives learners an advanced command of accounting and business principles. Classes delve into topics like statistics, financial reporting, managerial economics, and federal taxation. Many accounting master’s programs offer concentrations in high-demand areas like accounting information systems, forensic accounting, and financial management.

Degree length depends on the type of accounting degree and whether learners complete the program part time or full time. The main types of master’s degrees in accounting include master of accounting (MAcc), master of science in accounting (MSA), and MBA with a concentration in accounting.

An MAcc typically takes one year to complete, whereas most MBAs with a concentration in accounting take two years to finish. The average credit load for an MAcc or an MSA degree is 30-36 credits, while a two-year MBA with a concentration in accounting usually requires 60 credits.

Degree costs depend on the school attended, required credits, funding opportunities, and whether the program takes place in person, online, or in hybrid format.

Read More About Accounting Programs

Admission Requirements

To apply for an accounting master’s program, students must typically submit an online application packet including a resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, an essay, and GRE or GMAT scores. Some schools offer GRE/GMAT waivers to applicants with high GPAs or other qualifying credentials.

Admission to a quality accounting master’s program requires a bachelor’s degree, minimum GRE/GMAT scores, and an unweighted minimum GPA of 2.0, though many schools prefer a GPA of at least 3.0.

Some schools require prior coursework in accounting or related areas, but many places allow prospective students to complete the prerequisites during the summer months leading up to the official program start. Degrees tailored to seasoned professionals may require relevant work experience in accounting.

Degree and Concentration Options

Prospective students thinking about pursuing an accounting master’s degree may choose from several degree options and concentrations:

  • Master of Accounting or Accountancy (MAcc)

    An MAcc provides advanced knowledge of accounting and prepares degree-seekers to sit for the CPA exam. Common concentrations include government accounting, taxation, and assurance services.

  • Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

    An MSA also qualifies learners to sit for the CPA exam, but a master of science often requires more quantitative coursework, such as advanced statistical analysis and business analytics. Common concentrations include forensic accounting, accounting information systems, and information technology.

  • MBA with a Concentration in Accounting

    An accounting MBA degree focuses on developing knowledge of accounting and business administration. Common concentrations include financial management, business compliance, and risk management. An accounting MBA may offer the best option for learners who aspire to work toward a top-level position such as financial manager, chief compliance officer, or chief financial officer.

Popular Accounting Courses

A standard accounting master’s curriculum offers classes cultivating advanced expertise in core accounting areas, elective courses allowing learners to specialize in topics of interest, and sometimes a final thesis or capstone. Below you can find some examples of courses often encountered in an accounting master’s curriculum.

Advanced Financial Reporting
A course in advanced financial reporting teaches learners how to use accounting analysis, ratio and cash flow analysis, and forecasting and valuation analysis to analyze financial statements from manager and shareholder perspectives. Students also learn to prepare projected financial statements in light of forecasted changes in exchange rates, interest rates, and commodity prices.
Business Law
Enrollees in this course learn to navigate general principles of business law and regulations governing intellectual property, contracts, sales, and torts. Students also learn some of the key differences between state and federal legal systems as they apply to corporations.
Managerial Strategy and Analysis
This course teaches enrollees how to formulate realistic business objectives, develop and implement corporate strategies, and advise top executives on leading companies through adverse financial circumstances. One of the key strategic tools in this course is the SWOT analysis, which provides a holistic overview of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Accounting Information Systems
This class focuses on building the information systems, data management, and technology skills needed to evaluate information systems used in auditing and accounting. Enrollees learn to use data management and information systems to effectively analyze, synthesize, and communicate financial information.
Capstone Seminar in Accounting
This seminar integrates knowledge acquired throughout the program in financial, cost and managerial accounting, general ledger, computer techniques, and business ethics. Degree-seekers complete a practical team-based project addressing an authentic or simulated issue in corporate or public accounting.

How Much Will a Master’s in Accounting Cost?

The cost of earning a master’s degree in accounting depends on various factors, including the school’s prestige, whether the school is public or private, whether students pay in-state or out-of-state tuition, and whether the degree is online. Tuition at a quality one-year accounting master’s program starts at around $30,000.

Other costs learners may incur include living expenses, fees, textbooks, on-campus workshops, internships, and studies abroad. Students can lower their costs by choosing to pursue an online master’s degree in accounting. Some schools offer a discount on online degrees, and students who opt for an online degree do not incur additional expenses for on-campus residency or commuting.

Degree-seekers may also want to look at the links below for an overview of other ways to finance an accounting master’s degree, including scholarships, financial aid, and student loans.

Jobs for Master’s in Accounting Graduates

A master’s degree in accounting increases earning potential and career opportunities. According to the BLS, as of May 2019 accountants and auditors made a median annual wage of $71,550, exceeding the national median of $39,810 for all employees. CPA certification or licensure in other specialty accounting areas can further expand career options.

Potential job positions for accounting master’s graduates include personal financial advisor, auditor, financial manager, actuary, and chief financial officer.

Below we offer additional details about these occupations, including job descriptions, degree requirements, median annual salaries, and employment outlooks.

  • Personal Financial Advisor

    Personal financial advisors help clients make the best financial decisions, given their circumstances and life goals. Typical job duties include researching investment opportunities, recommending investments to clients, and advising them on planning for the future. Most personal financial advisors work for banks, consumer finance companies, real estate investment trusts, and mortgage lenders.

    – Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

    – Job Outlook (2019-29): 4%

    – Median Annual Salary: $87,850

  • Accountants and Auditors

    Accountants and auditors evaluate companies’ financial records, ascertain their accuracy, and report findings to decision-makers. Job duties include analyzing and assessing financial records, proposing ways to cut costs, and advising management on accounting issues. Virtually all types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations employ accounting and auditing professionals.

    – Required Education: Master’s degree preferred

    – Job Outlook (2019-29): 4%

    – Median Annual Salary: $71,550

  • Financial Manager

    Financial managers help ensure a corporation’s financial health through all economic cycles. Typical job duties include supervising employees in charge of budgeting, analyzing market trends, and presenting financial information to decision-makers. Types of financial managers include risk and insurance managers, controllers, treasury officers, and chief financial officers. Virtually all large corporations employ financial managers.

    – Required Education: Master’s degree preferred

    – Job Outlook (2019-29): 15%

    – Median Annual Salary: $129,890

  • Actuary

    Actuaries use statistical, mathematical, and financial tools to analyze the financial consequences of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries work in companies that need to manage financial risk, such as insurance companies, banks, investment firms, hospitals, government agencies, consulting firms, and human resource departments of large corporations.

    – Required Education: Master’s degree preferred

    – Job Outlook (2019-29): 18%

    – Median Annual Salary: $108,350

  • Chief Financial Officer

    Chief financial officers possess senior-level executive responsibilities for making financial business decisions. Typical job duties include tracking cash flow, budgeting for the future, analyzing the corporation’s economic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and proposing corrective economic measures. Virtually all large corporations employ chief financial officers.

    – Required Education: Master’s degree preferred

    – Job Outlook (2019-29): 4%

    – Median Annual Salary: $184,460

Choosing the Right Accounting Graduate Program

When deciding where to apply, prospective students should give preference to universities that hold regional accreditation from one of the six regional accrediting commissions. Proper accreditation ensures that the degree-granting institution meets established academic standards.

Program-specific accreditation may matter even more than regional accreditation. Earning an accounting master’s degree from a school with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — the most prominent accrediting body for business schools — can make a substantial difference to job outlook, earning potential, and career advancement.

Prospective students may also benefit from attending a STEM-designated program, as this designation signals that the program delivers rigorous analytic and quantitative training in accounting.

Finally, participating in alumni events can help identify internships and job opportunities. Accounting professionals should consider attending a program that provides networking opportunities with notable alumni.

Should You Get Your Accounting Degree Online?

The increasing popularity of online accounting master’s degrees highlights their greater flexibility, convenience, and affordability. Many distance learning programs allow degree-seekers to choose how quickly they complete their degree.

An online master’s degree in accounting can also prove more affordable than a traditional in-person degree. Some business schools offer online accounting master’s degrees at a reduced cost. Distance learners may obtain additional savings on living expenses, on-campus parking, and student fees for on-campus activities.

Distance learning may appeal to working professionals and others who cannot commit to the demands of an on-campus degree. In the age of COVID-19, as many schools switch to online or hybrid formats, an affordable program designed to deliver quality distance education may offer additional benefits over a traditional program temporarily moved online.

Questions About Master’s in Accounting Degrees

  • What should I major in to become an accountant?

    Aspiring accountants certainly benefit from majoring in accounting or finance. But many accounting master’s programs accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any subject, provided they take prerequisite courses prior to official program start dates.

  • Is a master's degree in accounting worth it?

    A master’s degree in accounting can provide the additional course credits required to sit for the CPA exam. Employers hiring accounting professionals often favor candidates with CPA certification.

  • What can I do with a master's degree in accounting?

    Graduates with a master’s degree in accounting can find employment in financial occupations in virtually any industry. Occupations that require a master’s degree in accounting or business administration include financial advisor, stock broker, and forensic accountant.

  • What is the best master's degree for accountants?

    Options for master’s degrees in accounting include the master of accounting (MAcc), master of science in accounting (MSA), and MBA in accounting. A MAcc or MSA may provide better preparation for the CPA exam. An MBA may provide a faster track to a top-level corporate job.

The Best Master’s in Accounting Schools of 2021

This guide ranks the best master’s in accounting schools of 2021 based on factors like affordability, program quality, and student success. The following link provides further insight into our ranking methodology.

  • What the Best Accounting Programs Have in Common

    While accounting master’s programs vary by school, many top schools share similar characteristics. The list below details some of these commonalities.

    • They Are Accredited. Regional accreditation from one of the following regional accrediting bodies ensures that a degree-granting institution meets rigorous educational standards.
      • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
      • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
      • WASC Senior College and University Commission
      • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
      • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
      • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

      Some programs hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), signaling degree’s value to future employers. All schools on our list hold regional and AACSB accreditation.

    • They Offer Academic Excellence. Our ranked schools exhibit academic excellence, measured by student retention rate, graduation rate, full-time faculty, and student-to-faculty ratio.

      These factors often correlate with the success of program graduates. Indeed, many of the best master’s in accounting programs on our list boast impressive alumni networks. For example, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s alumni network features more partners in Big Four accounting firms (i.e., Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers) than any other university.

    • They Are Reputable, Yet Affordable. Our ranked schools offer reputable, affordable programs according to factors like net price, scholarships awarded, and mean earnings of graduates after six years.

      Many of the schools on our list place most of their students in rewarding accounting jobs almost immediately after graduation. For example, the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports a 98% placement rate for graduates within three months of graduation.

    • They Have Strong Accounting Programs. The schools listed below offer strong accounting master’s programs, teaching students to apply theory to practical problems. Indiana University-Bloomington, for example, gives students opportunities to collaborate on case study analysis and consulting projects.

  1. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Established in 1898 in collaboration with YMCA, Northeastern University was initially named the Evening Institute for Young Men. Now one of the premier private research universities in the U.S., the school enrolls over 20,000 students across nine schools and colleges.

    Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

    Northeastern's MSA degree provides advanced accounting prowess for college graduates with a major in accounting from the D'amore-Mckim School of Business. Enrollees can complete this 30-credit master's degree in accounting in as little as seven months of full-time study. The program meets the academic requirements to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

    The MSA program offers tracks in auditing and taxation. Both tracks require successful completion of 15 credits in the accounting core curriculum, nine credits of track-specific coursework, and six electives. Available electives include forensic accounting, internal auditing, income taxation of trusts and estates, international taxation, retirement plans, and state and local taxation.

    Applying to Northeastern

    Applicants must submit an online application form, a resume, transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and a nonrefundable application fee of $80. Northeastern does not require GMAT or GRE scores for the 2021-22 academic year.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: NECHE, AACSB
    • Tuition: $1,640/credit
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 7 months (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  2. The University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Founded in 1883, The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. In addition to its academic and athletic achievements, the school is known for its Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, one of only 14 presidential libraries.

    Master in Professional Accounting (MPA)

    UT Austin's MPA degree at the McCombs School of Business accepts students who hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline from any academic institution across the world. The program requires 31-43 credits, depending on educational background. Enrollees with a bachelor's in accounting may only need to complete 31 credits, while those with degrees in different disciplines need 43 credits.

    Notable classes include oil and gas taxation, petroleum accounting, and international and interstate taxation. Students can elect to complete an internship after graduation.

    Applying to UT Austin

    Applicants must submit an online application, a CV, transcripts, two essays responding to prompts (one can be a video essay), two letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and a nonrefundable $125 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $26,113/31 credits (in state); $45,321/31 credits (out of state); $40,302/43 credits (in state); $64,849/43 credits (out of state)
    • Required Credits: 31-43 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  3. Indiana University-Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Founded in 1820, Indiana University Bloomington is the flagship institution of the Indiana University system. With an enrollment of over 40,000 students, the institution is one of the nation's most populous universities.

    Master of Science in Accounting with Data and Analytics (MSADA)

    IU provides a flexible MSADA degree from the Kelley School of Business. After completing the required core courses, students create their own concentrations by choosing among courses in assurance, data analytics, risk management, or taxation. Full-time students can complete this 30-credit master's degree in accounting in one year.

    The MSADA degree meets most states' academic requirements to sit for the CPA exam. Throughout the program, students collaborate on analyzing case studies and completing consulting projects to prepare for accounting jobs. Ninety-five percent of MSADA students receive job offers within three months of graduation.

    Applying to IU

    Applicants must submit an online application, a resume, transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation (one from a professor at a previous institution of higher education), optional GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable application fee of $75.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $6,190/semester (in state); $15,225/semester (out of state)
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    A public research university in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign maintains a long-lasting reputation as a distinguished research university. The school features a nationally renowned campus library and a research park known for launching several startups.

    Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)

    Illinois offers a STEM-designated MSA degree through the Gies College of Business. The program provides on-campus and online degree formats. Learners who already hold a bachelor's in accountancy can complete the program in one year of full-time study.

    MSA students must choose a core curriculum in taxation or financial reporting and assurance, plus a concentration in data analytics, corporate government and international business, finance, real estate, information technology and control, or supply chain management.

    The program's alumni network contains more partners in the Big Four accounting firms than any other university. In 2019, the program boasted a 100% placement rate of graduates within three months of graduation.

    Applying to Illinois

    Applicants must submit a graduate college application, a prior coursework form, a resume, transcripts, a statement of purpose, GMAT or GRE scores, two references, and a nonrefundable $70 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $25,176 total (instate or online); $39,100 total (out of state)
    • Required Credits: 32 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: 100% online or on campus
  5. Case Western Reserve University
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Established in 1967, Case Western Reserve University was the result of a merger of two long-standing, renowned institutions: Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology. Today, CWRU enrolls more than 5,000 students across nine schools and colleges.

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    CWRU's MAcc at the Weatherhead School of Management prepares learners for professional accounting careers in an array of industries. This 30-credit master's degree in accounting fulfills the academic requirements for the CPA exam in most states. Students can complete the program full time in one year or part time in two years.

    The program offers two tracks: professional and analytic. The professional track focuses on reporting and analysis, taxation and auditing, information systems, and analytics and control. The analytic track cultivates skills in data mining, statistical analysis and probability theory, predictive analytics, and programming for corporate purposes.

    Applying to CWRU

    Applicants must fill out an online application and submit a CV, transcripts, two essays responding to prompts, the names of two potential letter writers, GRE or GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $70 application fee. The school makes teaching assistantships and scholarships available to eligible students.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $41,400/program (full time)
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  6. Wake Forest University
    Location

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Established in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In addition to its intellectual and athletic accomplishments, the school is known for its unconventional mascot, Demon Deacon. The mascot rides a motorcycle dressed in gold pants, a black tuxedo, and a top hat.

    Master of Science in Accountancy

    Wake Forest offers a STEM-designated MS in accountancy for students with bachelor's degrees in accounting. Learners can complete this 30-credit master's degree in accounting in two semesters of full-time study, or they may add a third semester for a paid, nine-week internship.

    Students can choose among specializations in taxation; auditing and assurance services; and financial transaction services. Wake Forest is the only accounting master's program in the country to offer the latter concentration. All three tracks meet CPA exam academic requirements in most states. Wake Forest has ranked in the top five for CPA pass rate for 19 of the past 20 years.

    Applying to Wake Forest

    Applicants must submit an online application, a CV, transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, names of potential letter writers, essays providing answers to specified prompts, and a nonrefundable $65 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    • Tuition and Fees: $52,682 total (two semesters); $79,023 total (three semesters)
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 12-18 months (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  7. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    The fifth-oldest institution of the University of North Carolina system, Western Carolina University enrolls more than 11,000 students from around the world in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Now regarded as one of the best public universities in the nation's southern region, WCU has educated learners since its establishment in 1889.

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    WCU offers its MAcc through the Dixon Hughes Goodman accountancy program at the AACSB-accredited College of Business. Students can complete this 30-credit master's degree in accounting part or full time. Full-time learners typically earn this degree in one academic year; part-time students often finish in 2-3 years.

    Classes primarily take place on campus in the evening. The program occasionally offers online and hybrid courses. Enrollees can choose between a general MAcc or a specialized MAcc with a concentration in taxation. Both tracks meet the academic requirements to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

    Applying to WCU

    Applicants must submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $65 application fee. A minimum GMAT score of 450 and outstanding performance in the prerequisite undergraduate courses can increase chances at admission.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB.
    • Tuition: $4,099/semester (in state, full time); $8,911/semester (out of state, full time)
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus or hybrid
  8. DePaul University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Founded in 1898, DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the U.S., serving nearly 23,000 students. The institution hosts the prestigious Driehaus College of Business, the 10th-oldest business school in the country.

    Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)

    DePaul offers an MSA through the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, part of the Driehaus College of Business. This 48-credit master's degree in accounting prepares enrollees for an accounting career across a variety of occupations and industries.

    The program includes both on-campus, hybrid, and online options. Full-time learners typically complete the program in 18 months; part-time students often take 2-3 years. Enrollees can choose between a generalized MSA and a specialized MSA in taxation or audit and advisory services. Both tracks qualify graduates to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

    Prospective students interested in a more business-oriented master's degree in accounting may want to consider DePaul's MBA in accountancy.

    Applying to DePaul

    Applicants must submit an online application, a resume, transcripts, a personal essay, and a nonrefundable $40 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $1,080/credit
    • Required Credits: 48 credits
    • Program Length: 18 months (full time)
    • Delivery Format: 100% online, hybrid, or on campus
  9. Bradley University
    Location

    Peoria, IL

    Founded in 1897, Bradley University is a private research university in Peoria, Illinois. The school enrolls 5,400 students across 100 undergraduate programs and 30 graduate programs.

    Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

    Bradley's MSA degree at the Foster College of Business allows for customization according to students' career interests.

    The program offers classes during traditional fall and spring semesters and the January and summer interim sessions. Most classes take place in the afternoons or evenings. Enrollees with bachelor's degrees in accounting can complete this master's degree in accounting in 1-2 years. To finish in one year, students must take classes in the interim sessions.

    The MSA qualifies learners to sit for the CPA exam in most states. In 2018, Bradley boasted an 80% CPA pass rate, significantly higher than the 51.9% national average.

    Applying to Bradley

    Applicants must submit an online application, a resume, transcripts, essay responses, two letters of recommendation, GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $40 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $910/credit
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 1-2 years (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  10. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Founded in 1861 to aid economic growth in Seattle, Washington, University of Washington-Seattle Campus is one of the oldest institutions of higher education on the west coast. Today, UW employs approximately 4,000 faculty and enrolls over 70,000 students across its 20 schools and colleges.

    Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc)

    UW's MPAcc degree at the Foster School of Business provides aspiring accounting professionals with the prowess to land lucrative, rewarding jobs in the accounting field. This 48-credit accounting master's curriculum includes an internship and classes with industry professionals from some of the world's most successful businesses, such as Deloitte, Amazon, and Microsoft.

    The MPAcc program can be completed in nine months. Students typically complete their coursework during the first and third quarters and the internship during the second quarter.

    Applying to UW

    Applicants must submit a resume, a video essay, transcripts, three references, optional GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $80 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: NWCCU, AACSB
    • Tuition: $21,999 total (in state); $27,300 total (out of state)
    • Required Credits: 48 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  11. Gonzaga University
    Location

    Spokane, WA

    A private Catholic university in Spokane, Washington, Gonzala University dates back to 1887 when Joseph Cataldo, an Italian-born priest, purchased the land for the campus with 936 silver coins. Today, the school serves more than 7,000 students across 43 undergraduate majors and 26 master's degrees.

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    Students at Gonzaga can pursue a general MAcc or a specialized MAcc in taxation through the School of Business Administration. Both options require 31 credits and take one year to complete. Students can earn three credits working in the program's forensic accounting lab to assist fraud victims in the community.

    Gonzaga's master's degree in accounting prepares enrollees to sit for the CPA exam. Of Gonzaga's accounting master's students, 82.4% pass the CPA exam on their first try. The program boasts a 95% job placement rate for their most recent class of graduates.

    Applying to Gonzaga

    Applicants must submit a resume, transcripts, three essay responses to prompts, two letters of recommendation (one from a professor of accounting), and a nonrefundable $50 application fee. Current Gonzaga accounting majors may apply to the MAcc program in their junior year.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: NWCCU, AACSB
    • Tuition: $1,005/credit
    • Required Credits: 31 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  12. Brigham Young University-Provo
    Location

    Provo, UT

    A private university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, enrolls over 30,000 students across 179 majors, 62 master's programs, and 26 doctoral programs.

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    BYU's 36-credit MAcc program from the Marriott School of Business takes two years of full-time study to complete. Learners can choose between tracks in professional accountancy and taxation. The professional accountancy track delivers a general background in accounting with a business emphasis. The taxation track provides fundamental skills in accounting and advanced taxation expertise.

    BYU's accounting master's program aims to foster a strengthened faith in Jesus Christ and of his gospel, a renewed appreciation of hard work, and mastery of accounting and business fundamentals. BYU requires all students to take three credits of religious teachings per semester.

    Applying to BYU

    Applicants must submit an online application, a resume, transcripts, a personal essay, letters of recommendation, GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $35 application fee. Acceptance requires a 3.0 GPA or higher.

    Non-Mormons may apply as long as they agree to observe the LDS honor code, which requires regularly attending the services of the LDS Church, plus abstenance from premarital sex; homosexual behavior; and the consumption of caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: NWCCU, AACSB
    • Tuition: $13,860/year (full time for Mormons); $27,720/year (full time for non-Mormons)
    • Required Credits: 36 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus
  13. Ohio University
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Chartered in 1787 by the Congress of the Confederation, Ohio University was the first university chartered by an act of congress and the first to be chartered in Ohio. Today, the school enrolls more than 30,000 students across 250 undergraduate and graduate programs

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    Designed for undergraduate students with bachelor's degrees in accounting or business, OU's College of Business offers the MAcc on campus and online, with the option of studying part time.

    OU's accounting master's program cultivates the skills needed to work in government, corporate, or public accounting settings. The curriculum includes courses in foundational principles and emerging trends, such as mobile accounting, big data, and cloud computing.

    Students with bachelor's degrees in accounting must complete 30 credits, and learners with bachelor's degrees in business must complete 42 credits. Most full-time students complete the program in 1-2 years; part-time learners often finish in 3-4 years. Graduates qualify to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

    Applying to OU

    Applicants must submit an online application, transcripts, a professional statement, three letters of recommendation, and a nonrefundable $50 application fee. GMAT and GRE scores are currently waived due to COVID-19.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $17,166/year (in state, full time); $29,154/year (out of state, full time)
    • Required Credits: 30-42 credits
    • Program Length: 1-2 years (full time)
    • Delivery Format: 100% online, hybrid, or on campus
  14. George Mason University
    Location

    Fairfax, VA

    A public research university located in Fairfax County, Virginia, George Mason University enrolls almost 40,000 students from 130 countries across its 10 colleges and schools. Eighty percent of Mason students find employment within six months of graduation.

    Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

    Mason's MSA from the School of Business develops the professional skills needed to succeed as a public accountant. This 30-credit master's degree in accounting meets the academic requirements to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

    The program provides on-campus and online degree formats. The online MSA curriculum contains the same rigorous accounting and business courses as the in-person alternative. Students can choose to study full or part time. Full-time students can complete the MSA in 11 months, and part-time learners can finish in 22 months.

    The curriculum covers core accounting classes and courses in analytical decision-making, responsible leadership, information technology, business ethics, and effective communication.

    Applying to Mason

    Applicants must submit an online application, a CV, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a goals statement, GMAT or GRE scores, and a nonrefundable $75 application fee.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $975/credit (online and on campus for Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. residents); $1,600/credit (on campus for residents of other states)
    • Required Credits: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 1 year (full time)
    • Delivery Format: 100% online or on campus
  15. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Founded in 1848 when Wisconsin achieved statehood, University of Wisconsin-Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin system. The school boasts 24 Pulitzer and 17 Nobel prize-winning faculty or alumni.

    Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

    UW's MAcc program at the Wisconsin School of Business prepares students with little or no accounting background to become successful accounting professionals. This 54-credit master's degree in accounting takes two years of full-time study to complete. Learners can choose from concentrations in taxation, accounting, assurance, and advisory.

    Enrollees may complete a paid internship between their first and the second years of study. UW's MAcc program prepares graduates to sit for the CPA exam. The Wisconsin School of Business places 98% of its graduates in jobs within three months of graduation, and it ranks among the nation's top five programs for CPA exam pass rates.

    Applying to UW

    Applicants must submit a graduate application, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, GMAT scores, and a nonrefundable $75 application fee.

    UW undergraduates interested in UW's integrated MAcc, which adds a fifth year to the undergraduate accounting curriculum at the Wisconsin School of Business, should check with the school about how to apply.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    • Tuition: $21,166/year (in state); $42,703/year (out of state)
    • Required Credits: 54 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years (full time)
    • Delivery Format: On campus

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