The Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs

Hero Image - The Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Search Colleges
TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Students interested in graduate accounting programs can earn a master's in accounting online, giving them the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Online master of accounting programs prepare students to enter a growing field -- the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the accounting and auditing field will increase the total number of jobs by 6% from 2018 to 2028.

Choosing the right online accounting master's program entails weighing important factors like tuition costs, available courses, and degree requirements. Students should choose the program that best fits their needs, lifestyle, and goals.

This page ranks the best online master's in accounting programs to help students find the right program for their needs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Master's in Accounting Programs 2020

#1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#2 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
#3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
#4 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
#5 University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, MA
#6 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Norman, OK
#7 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
#8 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
#9 Auburn University Auburn, AL
#10 DePaul University Chicago, IL

The Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs

Sort By
Rank School Location Apply More Information
4

University of Missouri-Columbia 

Columbia, MO

About this school

One of four universities within the University of Missouri system,the University of Missouri offers 300 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 30,000 students annually. Students can earn an online master's in accountancy in as little as one year through Mizzou's Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business. The 30-credit program prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant examination.

Learners take core business classes on topics like operations management, legal aspects of business, and organizational behavior. Accounting classes explore topics such as taxation of corporations and shareholders, internal auditing, and accounting ethics.

Applicants must submit transcripts from an accredited bachelor's degree, essay responses, letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores for consideration. They must also complete prerequisite coursework in accounting, financial accounting, and accounting information systems.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
85%
5

University of Massachusetts-Amherst 

Amherst, MA

About this school

The flagship campus for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosts more than 24,000 students each year through nine academic schools and colleges. The Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst offers an online master of science in accounting with two tracks. The professionals track comprises 30 credits while the transitions track comprises 33-48 credits, depending on the student's background.

The online master's degree in accounting for professionals examines accounting and auditing. Students complete 18 credits of core classes on topics like ethics and professional responsibilities, data analytics, financial reporting, and taxes and business decisions. To fulfill elective requirements, learners can pursue a specialization in taxation or forensic accounting.

The transitions option initially builds proficiency in accounting basics, such as assurance services, financial accounting and reporting, and principles of taxation. Learners then proceed to core and elective courses, again with an option to pursue a focus on taxation or forensic accounting.

Applicants must submit a personal statement, a resume, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation for admission. The program director may request GRE or GMAT scores as well, depending on candidates' backgrounds.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
91%
6

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus 

Norman, OK

About this school

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma operates three campuses in Oklahoma and has educational centers around the world and online. Housed in the Michael F. Price College of Business, the John T. Steed School of Accounting offers an online master's in accountancy degree designed for students who have already completed extensive undergraduate accounting coursework.

The 33-credit, online accounting master's degree examines topics in advanced accounting, contemporary auditing, investments, and negotiations. Classes in fraud examination, financial statement analysis, and accounting research accompany business courses in operations management, organizational behavior, and management information systems.

An optional international accounting study abroad course familiarizes students with international accounting and business principles. Students who complete the course earn an international financial reporting certificate through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Applicants must submit a resume, a personal statement, an optional letter of recommendation, and transcripts. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
7

George Mason University 

Fairfax, VA

About this school

Once a branch campus of the University of Virginia, George Mason University became an autonomous institution in 1972. Today, GMU offers undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 38,000 students annually through 11 academic units.

The 30-credit, online master of science in accounting includes courses in financial reporting, fraud examination, taxation, and the global accounting environment. Learners can tailor the degree to their interests through electives in accounting analytics, governmental and nonprofit accounting, taxes and business strategy, and business valuation. Students also participate in an accounting colloquium to hone professional skills.

Students can complete the cohort-based curriculum in two years. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in accounting or at least 27 credits of undergraduate coursework in the discipline. GMU may award provisional admission for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than accounting, depending on scholastic performance. Required application materials include a resume, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
70%
Percent Receiving Loans
76%
8

University of Connecticut 

Storrs, CT

About this school

Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut offers undergraduate and graduate programs through 14 academic schools and colleges. UConn's 30-credit, online master of science in accounting begins with a class on the responsibilities of accounting professionals. This required course sets the foundation for the rest of the program, offering insights into the accounting profession, information literacy, and technology used in accounting.

Degree-seekers also study contemporary issues in accounting, and they can take electives to tailor the degree to their interests and goals. Elective options include assurance services, forensic accounting and fraud examination, and taxes and business strategy. Full-time learners can complete the 10-course curriculum in 2-3 semesters. UConn recommends that students who are working full time take no more than two courses each semester.

Applicants must submit four short essays, a resume, GMAT scores, and transcripts for consideration. Both in- and out-of-state students pay the same per-credit tuition rate.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
85%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
9

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL

About this school

Founded in 1856, Auburn University hosts more than 30,000 students annually through 15 academic schools and colleges. Offered through the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, the online master of accounting prepares learners to sit for the certified public accountant examination.

The 30-credit program includes 12 credits of required courses and 18 credits of elective classes. The accounting core explores topics like auditing and assurance services, accounting and federal tax research, and integrated accounting applications. Students can choose from electives like fraud examination, enterprise accounting systems, and corporate governance and accounting ethics.

Online students also participate in a three-day campus residency during the final semester. The residency brings together learners for a leadership summit, where they network, attend business seminars, and take part in leadership workshops.

Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and submit a resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GMAT scores. Auburn grants GMAT waivers based on previous academic performance and professional experience. Applicants also need prerequisite undergraduate accounting coursework.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
75%
10

DePaul University 

Chicago, IL

About this school

DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the U.S., hosting more than 22,000 students annually through 10 academic schools and colleges. The online master of science in accountancy program prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) examination. Learners study foundational accounting principles and theories while building auditing, analytical, and decision-making skills.

Offered through the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, the 36-credit program teaches students to apply theoretical concepts and practical skills to real-world scenarios. Required accounting classes include financial accounting, accounting information systems, and tax treatment of individuals and property transactions. Students also complete business coursework in economics and management.

The online accounting master's degree takes roughly two years to complete. As part of the program, students have access to Surgent review materials for the CPA exam, including additional online coursework, instructional videos, and practice test questions.

Applicants must submit transcripts from a regionally accredited bachelor's degree, a resume, and a personal statement.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
98%
11

University of Scranton 

Scranton, PA

About this school

Established in 1888, the University of Scranton is a private Catholic institution that enrolls more than 5,000 students each year. Scranton's 30-credit, online master of accounting emphasizes contemporary managerial accounting, effective accounting communication, and accounting ethics.

The program offers two concentrations: forensic accounting and accounting analytics. Forensic accounting learners study advanced auditing, financial reporting and fraud, and occupational fraud and abuse. The accounting analytics specialization emphasizes data mining, business forecasting, and business intelligence.

Students pursuing a general accounting master's degree take 15 credits of elective classes, building advanced knowledge in topics like auditing, taxation and regulation, and international accounting.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a resume, a statement of intent, and three letters of reference. Applicants also complete an academic honesty agreement as part of the admission process.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
82%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
12

Saint Joseph's University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Founded in 1851, Saint Joseph's University remains dedicated to its Jesuit foundations, continuing to provide educational programs designed to foster spiritual, personal, and intellectual growth. Offered through the Erivan K. Haub School of Business, SJU's online master of science in finance comprises 30-41 credits.

Depending on academic background, students might need to complete 11 credits of foundational classes on topics like statistics; accounting, business analysis, and financial reporting; and managerial economics during the course.

The program includes three specializations. The financial analysis track trains learners to analyze market data and identify financial trends, while the real estate finance concentration explores real estate development, residential investment practices, and real estate valuation.

Students who pursue the financial planning concentration prepare to take the certified financial planner (CFP®) examination after graduation. SJU's financial planning curriculum meets the standards established by the CFP® Board, integrating 21 credits of coursework in tax planning, pensions and benefits administration, and estate planning.

Online classes integrate asynchronous content with weekly live meetings. Full-time students can graduate in one year. Applicants with sufficient prior coursework in mathematics, business, and accounting may receive waivers for foundational courses. Application materials include two letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and GMAT or GRE scores.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
98%
13

Seton Hall University 

South Orange, NJ

About this school

Named for Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, Seton Hall offers nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate programs steeped in Catholic values and traditions. The Stillman School of Business offers a 30-credit, online master of science in accounting that students can complete in two years.

The program includes 21 credits of required classes in financial reporting, auditing standards and problems, and cost accounting. Learners also study federal taxation and commercial law in anticipation of a capstone course in financial accounting or tax research. Students can tailor the degree through electives in international accounting, forensic accounting, enterprise-wide accounting information systems, and tax research.

The online master's degree in accounting prepares learners to sit for the certified public accountant examination. The program emphasizes practical learning activities that build accounting skills, while also providing access to mentorship and networking opportunities.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, a resume, GRE or GMAT scores, and one letter of recommendation. Individuals with more than five years of relevant work experience or a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.4 may receive GRE and GMAT waivers.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
70%
Percent Receiving Loans
98%
14

University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, ND

About this school

Established in 1883, the University of North Dakota hosts more than 13,500 enrollees annually through over 250 undergraduate and graduate programs. The online master of accountancy at UND includes two separate track options for students, depending on whether they have backgrounds in accounting.

The fundamentals track builds foundational knowledge of accounting for students new to the field, while the practitioner track enhances existing accounting knowledge to facilitate career advancement. Both options prepare students to sit for the certified public accountant examination.

Learners pursuing the fundamentals track study accounting systems, auditing and assurance services, and financial accounting. During a three-part financial accounting sequence, learners examine assets and liabilities; accounting document preparation; and practices related to transactions such as taxes, leases, and pensions.

The practitioner track emphasizes ethics and leadership in accounting, business intelligence, and information technology governance and auditing. Students participate in an auditing seminar, examining auditing functions, frameworks, and assurance issues.

Common courses for both tracks include accounting information for decision and control, business law for accountants, and financial accounting. All students also complete a seminar in accounting issues, exploring contemporary topics and standards in the field.

Applicants to the fundamentals track can hold a bachelor's degree in any field, while admission to the practitioner track requires a bachelor's degree in accounting or prior undergraduate coursework in intermediate accounting, auditing, and taxation. All applicants must submit three references, a statement of goals, and GMAT scores for consideration.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
90%
15

University of South Dakota 

Vermillion, SD

About this school

The flagship university of South Dakota, the University of South Dakota hosts nearly 10,000 students annually through 10 academic schools and colleges. Its online master of professional accountancy program prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant examination.

The 30-credit program includes 21 credits of core classes on topics like accounting theory, tax planning and practice, and accounting standards and ethics. Students can choose to complete a general curriculum or specialize in accounting analytics. Accounting analytics learners study topics like forensic auditing and fraud examination, data management and warehousing, and data mining for managers.

While individuals completing the accounting analytics track must complete a non-thesis curriculum, generalists can choose from thesis, non-thesis, and internship options. At the end of the program, all learners must pass a comprehensive examination.

Applicants must submit transcripts from an accredited bachelor's degree, GMAT scores, and three letters of recommendation. They also need prerequisite business and accounting coursework.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
16

University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Birmingham, AL

About this school

Formed out of the merger of the Medical College of Alabama and an extension campus of the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham became an autonomous institution in 1969. The largest research institution in the state, UAB is one of three campuses within the University of Alabama system.

the online master of accounting offered through UAB's Collat School of Business comprises 30 credits of core and elective coursework. Applicants without a bachelor's degree in accounting may need to complete 18 additional credits of foundation courses.

The accounting core covers topics like tax and accounting research, auditing and attestation, and governance and the business environment. Learners can tailor the degree to their interests through electives like fraud examination, digital forensics, and information security management. Students earning the master of accounting online can also study abroad or complete an internship to gain practical experience.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, a resume, GMAT scores, a statement of purpose, and two letters of reference.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
17

Maryville University of Saint Louis 

Saint Louis, MO

About this school

One of the oldest private institutions of higher learning in the U.S., Maryville University opened its doors in 1872. Maryville enrolls more than 10,000 students annually and offers over 90 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Offered through the John E. Simon School of Business, Maryville's online accounting master's degree offers options for students both with and without an accounting background. Students without an accounting background must complete 30 credits of fundamental bridge coursework in business, finance, and accounting, then take an additional 30 credits of coursework identical to that delivered to their counterparts with a bachelor's degree in the discipline.

All students take core accounting courses and preparatory classes for the certified public accountant examination. Core classes cover tax planning and decision-making, financial statement analysis, and data analytics. Learners also study financial reporting, accounting research, and accounting communication.

Applicants must submit transcripts indicating a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and a personal statement.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
18

Western New England University 

Springfield, MA

About this school

Founded in 1919 to provide part-time educational programs for returning students, Western New England University now offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The 30-credit, online master of science in accounting takes one year to complete and prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant exam.

Students without prior coursework in business and accounting may need to take up to 24 credits of foundational classes. All students take core courses on topics like accounting theory and contemporary issues, business analysis and valuation, and cost-based decision-making.

Nine elective credits allow students to explore niche aspects of business and accounting or complete a specialization in forensic accounting and fraud investigation. Specialization classes include fraud examination, law for accountants, and principles of forensic accounting.

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, two recommendations, a resume, and a personal essay. WNE awards GMAT waivers based on previous academic performance and professional experience.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
19

Saint Joseph's College of Maine 

Standish, ME

About this school

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in 1912, Saint Joseph's College of Maine is the sole Catholic college in the state, offering undergraduate and graduate programs to over 2,000 students annually. SJC's 30-credit, online master of accounting prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant examination.

The program trains students to think analytically, apply accounting concepts and principles to real-world problems, and become leaders in business environments. Core classes cover topics like accounting information systems, auditing and assurance services, and managerial accounting. Students also take courses in the legal environment of business, leadership and relationship management, and disclosure and financial reporting.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts. Students who meet all of the admission and prerequisite requirements can enroll in SJC's fast-track accounting master's program, which allows learners to take two courses each term, graduating in one year.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
20

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 

Winona, MN

About this school

Offering educational programs inspired by the mission of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota traces its origins to 1912. The private Catholic institution enrolls more than 5,500 students annually in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

The 30-credit, online master of science in accounting prepares students to pursue certified public accountant and certified management accountant credentials. Core classes cover topics like financial communication, accounting information systems, and strategic management accounting.

Students can tailor the degree to their interests through electives like business analytics or foundations of cybersecurity. Students culminate the degree with an integrated research project, blending theory and practice to demonstrate leadership and decision-making skills in an accounting context. Individuals without prior accounting coursework may need to complete up to nine credits of foundational classes in auditing, business taxation, and intermediate accounting.

Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts from an accredited bachelor's degree for consideration. Learners with a cumulative GPA below 2.75 may receive provisional admission.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
61%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
21

Rider University 

Lawrenceville, NJ

About this school

Founded in 1865, Rider University offers undergraduate and graduate programs through five academic units. The school hosts over 4,000 students annually and boasts a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Rider's online master of accounting degree offers three concentrations: business analytics, finance, and forensic accounting. Students can also pursue a general curriculum. All students complete core courses in accounting data analysis, auditing practice, business intelligence, and financial reporting.

Students pursuing the business analytics concentration focus on data management, business law, and managerial analytics. The finance concentration explores investment instruments and strategies, personal financial planning, and international finance, while the forensic accounting concentration emphasizes fraud and forensic accounting, fraud detection and deterrence, and business law.

Degree-seekers without a bachelor's degree in accounting need to take foundation courses in economic analysis, cost management, accounting theory and practices, and auditing. Rider waives foundation course requirements for students with comparable undergraduate coursework.

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, a resume, and transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Individuals may receive exemption from GMAT or GRE requirements based on prior academic performance and professional experience.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
98%
22

Edgewood College 

Madison, WI

About this school

Established as a junior college for women in 1927, Edgewood College transitioned to senior-college status in 1958. Today, the school hosts more than 2,000 students annually through over 60 academic programs and boasts a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Its 30-credit, online master of science in accountancy program includes 12 credits of business courses on topics like executive communication, business ethics, and business law. Fifteen credits of required accounting classes cover cost management, fraud and forensic accounting, and strategic management communication. In addition to coursework, students can choose to complete business internships and accounting-related study abroad tours.

Students have access to annual networking events, career fairs, and accounting firm tours. They also receive discounts on certified public accountant exam materials offered through Becker.

Applicants must submit transcripts, a personal statement, a professional resume, and GMAT scores for consideration. Individuals without prerequisite coursework in economics, accounting, finance, and statistics may complete foundation courses at Edgewood College prior to entering the accounting program.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
23

Utica College 

Utica, NY

About this school

Once an extension of Syracuse University, Utica College transitioned to an independent institution in 1955. Today, UC offers undergraduate and graduate programs to over 5,000 students every year.

UC's 30-credit, online master of science in accounting prepares students for careers across the financial and government sectors. Required courses include advanced corporate taxation, auditing, financial statement analysis, and forensic accounting. Elective courses allow students to focus on niche aspects of accounting, such as forensic auditing, financial reporting, and risk management.

Students have access to one-on-one mentoring, career counseling, and job search assistance. Applicants must submit transcripts from an accredited bachelor's degree in accounting or documentation of at least 30 credits of business coursework and 18 credits of accounting coursework. Additional required application materials include a letter of recommendation and a personal statement.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
97%
24

Regis University 

Denver, CO

About this school

The lone Jesuit university in the Rocky Mountains, Regis University offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, all of which are rooted in Catholic faith and tradition.

The 30-credit, online master of science in accounting prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant exam. The program offers concentrations in financial accounting, fraud and forensic accounting, information technology accounting, and managerial accounting.

All students take core courses in accounting ethics, financial communication, and interpreting accounting information. Learners can also complete an optional advanced accounting internship to gain practical experience. The program offers six start dates each year. Resident and nonresident students pay the same tuition rates.

Applicants must submit transcripts from previous college coursework, a resume, and a personal essay for consideration. They also need prior undergraduate coursework in finance, auditing, and accounting. Degree-seekers who do not meet prerequisite requirements may take up to 18 additional credits of preparatory coursework.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
25

Stetson University 

DeLand, FL

About this school

Established in 1883, Stetson University fosters personal growth, intellectual development, and global citizenship throughout its undergraduate and graduate programs. Home to four academic schools and colleges, including Florida's first law school, Stetson University enrolls nearly 4,500 students annually.

Stetson University's 30-credit, online master's in accounting program integrates asynchronous coursework with weekly live sessions. The accelerated, five-week sessions include both core accounting and elective coursework. Learners can also use electives to pursue an optional specialization in tax accounting.

Core courses focus on topics like accounting theory, financial accounting and reporting, and governmental and nonprofit accounting. Elective courses explore topics like electric commerce, forensic accounting and fraud examination, and business valuation.

Applicants must submit a resume, GMAT or GRE scores, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. Degree-seekers without previous business and accounting coursework may need to complete up to 24 additional credits of foundation courses.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
61%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Accounting Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Accounting Degree?

Online master's in accounting programs provide busy students with a flexible option for earning their degree. These programs vary in length and course requirements, but all of them prepare students to sit for the CPA exam and work as professional accountants. Professionals with an established career in accounting, including those who hold a bachelor's in accounting, may choose to pursue a master's to increase their salary potential and/or take on leadership roles.

Students earning a master's in accounting online study topics in areas like business ethics, finance, leadership, and information management systems.

Choosing an Online Program

When researching online accounting master's programs, students should consider a variety of factors, such as delivery format. For instance, online learners should research whether prospective programs feature any on-campus requirements. They should also consider whether online programs offer asynchronous or synchronous courses. Other key considerations include tuition costs, course requirements, and program length. Learn more about how to choose a program through the link below.

How To Choose Your Major

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Accounting Program?

Course offerings will vary across schools, meaning the exact curriculum of each online accounting master's program is different. That said, however, certain classes are likely to appear in most programs, as they make up an integral part of the knowledge and training needed in accounting.

Master's in Accounting Curriculum

Auditing

This class addresses basic concepts related to internal and external auditing, such as internal control, evidence collection, and ethical standards. Learners may be required to evaluate case studies and apply standards and procedures to conduct audits in the public and private sectors.

Fraud Examination

Covering common types of financial fraud, such as concealment and employee embezzlement, this course introduces methods of identifying and investigating corporate dishonesty. Prospective forensic accountants develop practical fraud detection and prevention skills, along with working knowledge of relevant legal procedures.

Government Accounting

Coursework explores financial issues related to government and nonprofit organizations, including budget reporting, program analysis, and tax levies. Students learn to prepare financial statements according to Governmental Accounting Standards Board regulations and perform government audits in compliance with national standards

Accounting Certifications and Licenses

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Accountants who receive this certification qualify to perform a broad range of functions. CPAs may provide public accounting services, write government-sanctioned audit reports, represent clients before the IRS, and prepare taxes. Prospective CPAs need at least one year of relevant work experience before seeking licensure.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Known as the gold standard of financial certifications, this designation is awarded to individuals who complete the CFA educational program and pass a three-part exam. Topics include portfolio investments, inputs, and financial analysis. Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree and four years of professional experience in finance or investing.

Accounting Professional Organizations

American Accounting Association

The American Accounting Association seeks to advance scholarly research in the field. Along with educational resources and exclusive webinars, AAA members gain access to the organization's extensive digital library.

National Society of Accountants

Promoting professional excellence through certification and legal advocacy, this society offers its members resources that include insurance plans, tax preparation tools, and continuing education opportunities.

Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

Setting quality standards for CPAs in the U.S. and abroad, the AICPA has more than 418,000 members worldwide. Its Young CPA Network provides students with support, career assistance, and networking opportunities.

Careers in Accounting

An online master's in accounting degree provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to work in several capacities throughout the financial sector. While many students go on to become treasurers, auditors, or budget analysts, others work in law enforcement as forensic accountants. The positions listed below rank among the most popular with graduates.

Accountants

In addition to preparing and assessing clients' financial records, accountants maintain financial operations, oversee and inspect accounting systems, and complete tax returns. While most entry-level accounting positions require only a bachelor's degree, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a graduate degree.

Median Annual Salary

$71,550

Projected Growth Rate

6%

Financial Managers

A financial manager's duties depend largely on their setting and industry; most focus on data analysis and cost reduction, while other professionals also prepare budgets, monitor cash flow, assess financial risks, and/or direct mergers and acquisitions. Employers typically prefer candidates with a graduate degree and industry certification.

Median Annual Salary

$129,890

Projected Growth Rate

16%

Human Resource Managers

Human resource managers oversee the administrative functions of an organization, including hiring, benefits plan development, and other staffing issues. These workers serve as liaisons between an organization and its employees. Along with a master's degree, candidates for many high-level human resource management positions need extensive work experience in a related field.

Median Annual Salary

$116,720

Projected Growth Rate

7%

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a master's in accounting program?

Most online master's in accounting programs comprise 30-36 credits and take 1-2 years to complete.

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

Graduates can work in roles such as certified public accountant, auditor, or financial analyst. They can also pursue various careers in business.

Is a master's in accounting better than an MBA?

Both degrees prepare students to pursue advanced roles in business and finance. However, a master's of accounting serves as a more specialized accounting degree, whereas an MBA emphasizes various business concepts and skills.

What is an accountant?

Accountants manage and analyze financial records for businesses and individuals. They often assist in preparing taxes and help businesses and individuals make informed financial decisions.

What is a CPA?

A CPA, or certified public accountant, is an accountant with certification from a state accounting board. CPAs have passed their state's required exam and completed the required number of practice hours and college credits.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Woman working at desk