Best Online MBA in Accounting

by Genevieve Carlton

Updated October 20, 2022

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An online MBA in accounting offers graduate-level management and accounting training in a flexible format.

An MBA degree emphasizes business problem-solving, strategic management, and organizational leadership. By adding an accounting concentration, graduate students prepare for advanced accounting roles. The availability of online MBA accounting programs makes it easier than ever to earn a graduate degree.

The best online MBA programs prioritize accessibility and flexibility. Distance learners often continue working while earning degrees to advance their careers. Our ranking lists the best MBA in accounting programs for 2021.

Featured Online MBA in Accounting Programs

The Best Online MBA in Accounting Programs

#1 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students interested in a master's in accounting can earn their MBA in accounting from Florida Atlantic University, located in Boca Raton. The program builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing students for leadership positions with increased salary potential. With a master's degree, candidates can advance their current career or move into new career paths.

The curriculum explores accounting research and methodologies. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. Applicants without a background in accounting may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees work with the program to find local internships. These and other networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

Florida Atlantic University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 63%

Total Online Master's Programs: 13

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,467

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,695

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,522
Out-of-state
$14,374
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
30,061
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Syracuse University

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The MBA in accounting program at Syracuse University, located in New York, offers a flexible online format. Students prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous program. With a master's degree, graduates can advance their current career or move into new careers.

The curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of accounting. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. The master's program recommends a background in accounting before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete local internships to gain hands-on experience. These and other networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

Syracuse University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 44%

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $38,880

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $38,880

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,616
Out-of-state
$50,616
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
22,850
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Pittsburg State University

  • Pittsburg, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Pittsburg State University, located in Pittsburg, Kansas, enrolls students in its online MBA in accounting program. The program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training learners for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. Master's graduates can pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of accounting. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in accounting or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

Pittsburg State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 96%

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,678

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,510

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,694
Out-of-state
$17,038
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
6,645
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online MBA in Accounting

University of Dallas

  • Irving, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The MBA in accounting program at University of Dallas, located in Irving, offers a flexible online format. The program helps students move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. A master's degree can also train graduates for roles in new industries.

The curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of accounting. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. The master's program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in accounting.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. The program hosts networking events and other professional development activities to help graduate students expand their professional connections.

University of Dallas at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 45%

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $33,750

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $33,750

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,680
Out-of-state
$39,680
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
2,481
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Union University

  • Jackson, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Jackson, Tennessee, Union University hosts a top-ranked MBA in accounting program. The program helps students increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The  curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to accounting. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program recommends a background in accounting or a related field when applying.

Online enrollees complement the classroom experience with local internships. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

Union University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 53%

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,000

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,600
Out-of-state
$21,600
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
3,172
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Ohio University-Main Campus

  • Athens, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio University-Main Campus, located in Athens, enrolls students in its online MBA in accounting program. Students prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous program. A master's degree allows graduates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to accounting. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The master's program recommends a background in accounting before applying.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

Ohio University-Main Campus at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 82%

Total Online Master's Programs: 23

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,444

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,436

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,612
Out-of-state
$22,406
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
27,367
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University enrolls students in its top-ranked online MBA in accounting program. Students prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous program. A master's degree also helps graduates pursue new career paths.

The curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in accounting. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants without a background in accounting may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. The program encourages professional development activities, including networking events, so graduate students can expand their professional connections.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 51%

Total Online Master's Programs: 67

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,980

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,980

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Concordia University-Wisconsin

  • Mequon, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Mequon, Concordia University-Wisconsin hosts a top-ranked MBA in accounting program. The program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing students for decision-making responsibilities. Earning a master's degree helps graduates move into a new career path or advance in their current field.

The curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The master's program builds on bachelor's-level accounting experience.

Online enrollees meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Concordia University-Wisconsin at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 64%

Total Online Master's Programs: 25

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,052

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,052

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,060
Out-of-state
$30,060
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
5,777
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online MBA in Accounting

Florida Institute of Technology-Online

  • Melbourne, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online

Located in Melbourne, Florida Institute of Technology-Online enrolls students in its top-ranked online MBA in accounting program. Learners train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree. A master's degree helps graduates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in accounting or a related field.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internships at approved locations in their local area. The program encourages professional development activities, including networking events, so graduate students can expand their professional connections.

Florida Institute of Technology-Online at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 99%

Total Online Master's Programs: 15

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $16,128

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,128

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,240
Out-of-state
$12,240
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
1,841
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online MBA in Accounting

University of Scranton

  • Scranton, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The MBA in accounting program at University of Scranton, located in Pennsylvania, offers a flexible online format. The program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing graduates for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. A master's degree allows graduates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The curriculum emphasizes the best practices in accounting. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. The admission requirements include a background in accounting or a related field.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. Internships and other networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

University of Scranton at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 76%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: MBA in accounting

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,580

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,580

Average Tuition
In-state
$45,390
Out-of-state
$45,390
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
5,253
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Best Online Programs

Online MBA in Accounting Programs Ranking Guidelines

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

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

What Is an Online MBA in Accounting?

An online MBA program builds strong financial, analytical, and decision-making skills. Accountants also strengthen their leadership and management abilities to prepare for careers as CPAs, accounting managers, and accounting directors.

Most MBA programs take 1-2 years to complete. During that time, MBA students complete business and accounting classes. MBA programs also incorporate hands-on learning components, such as group projects and internships, to provide career-ready skills for graduates.

Earning an MBA can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, many of the most affordable online MBA programs offer tuition discounts and financial aid for distance learners.

Why Enroll in an MBA in Accounting Program

An MBA in accounting provides focused training in business decision-making for accounting professionals. Other common MBA specializations, like healthcare management, project management, and financial management, lead to different career paths.

MBA programs often prefer applicants with professional experience. However, students can also enter business school directly after completing their undergraduate degrees. Many MBA in accounting students follow one of the following paths to their degree:

  • Recent College Graduates: These students enter graduate school within a year of earning their bachelor's degrees.
  • Professionals With Under Five Years of Experience: Many MBA students gain work experience before entering business school.
  • Professionals With More Than Five Years of Experience: These applicants often bring clear career goals to their programs.

Individuals with 10-15 years of professional experience often pursue executive MBAs.

What Is the Difference Between an MBA in Accounting and a Master's in Accounting?

An MBA in accounting and a master's in accounting both prepare graduates for advanced roles in the accounting field. However, an MBA offers a broader focus on management and leadership skills. The following information highlights some of the similarities and differences between the two graduate degrees.

MBA in Accounting

  • Typically takes 1-2 years and requires 33-36 credits
  • Offers business and management courses in addition to accounting classes
  • Often meets the requirements for a CPA license
  • Admits students with a background in business, such as an associate in business administration or a bachelor's in business administration
  • May require prerequisite courses in management, finance, and accounting
  • Prepares graduates for careers in business and accounting, including as a CPA, financial manager, or accounting manager

Master's in Accounting

  • Typically takes 1-2 years and requires 30-36 credits
  • Focuses on accounting courses with less emphasis on management
  • Almost always meets the requirements for a CPA license
  • Typically requires an undergraduate degree in accounting or a closely related field, including business administration
  • Generally requires prerequisite courses in financial accounting, management accounting, and auditing
  • Prepares graduates for careers in accounting, particularly as a CPA, accounting manager, or auditing manager

What Can I Expect in an Online MBA in Accounting Program?

MBA programs train graduate students in business analytics, strategic decision-making, and organizational leadership. In an accounting concentration, MBA students also study advanced financial reporting, public accounting, and auditing. Successful online MBA students bring initiative, organization, and discipline to their degrees.

During an online MBA in accounting, degree-seekers complete coursework, group projects, exams, and assignments. MBA courses emphasize practical skills with immediate applications in the workforce. Many programs offer electives to further specialize the degree. MBA students often complete internships to strengthen their real-world skills, as well.

Earning an online MBA degree typically takes two years. Some programs offer accelerated one-year MBA degrees, and others feature part-time MBAs. Depending on the program, learners may enroll in synchronous or asynchronous courses. Before enrolling, prospective MBA students should learn more about the degree and consider ways to increase their chances of success.

Common Courses

During an online MBA in accounting program, graduate students take classes in business, leadership, management, and accounting. Common online MBA accounting courses include:

  • Financial management
  • Accounting theory
  • Business finance and accounting
  • Strategic management and decision-making
  • Auditing concepts
  • Advanced public accounting

Choosing an Online MBA in Accounting Program

When evaluating online MBA accounting programs, prospective applicants should consider several factors. For many students, cost, program length, and learning format rank as the most important considerations. However, MBA students should also research specialization options, internship opportunities, and whether they can apply MBA credits toward CPA requirements.

The cost of an MBA program continues to rise. However, MBA scholarships and other forms of financial aid can make expensive programs more affordable. Before submitting an MBA application, applicants should research online student services, the program's placement record, and the graduation rate.

Accreditation for Online MBA in Accounting Degrees

Prospective applicants should always pursue accredited schools and accredited MBA programs. Accredited programs meet the highest standards for educating students.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Program grant accreditation to MBA programs.

Accounting Careers and Salaries

An MBA prepares accountants for many career paths. The degree meets CPA licensure requirements, allowing licensees to unlock higher salaries. With an MBA, an accountant can also move into supervisory roles as an accounting manager or director of accounting. At the executive level, professionals with MBAs in accounting work as chief financial officers.

MBA salaries vary depending on the career path, business school, and location. The following information introduces common career paths for professionals with MBAs in accounting.

MBA in Accounting Career Path Outlook
Career Median Annual Salary (2020) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)
Chief Executives $185,950 4%
Top Executives $107,680 4%
Management Analysts $87,660 11%
Accountants and Auditors $73,560 4%
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accounting Professional Organizations

ICPA represents certified public accountants. The association offers scholarships, education resources, and advice for students who want to become CPAs.

Founded in 1916, AAA represents accountants in academia. The association provides information on academic careers in accounting, publishes research in the field, and promotes collaboration and innovation.

This professional organization for management accountants offers several certifications, including the certified management accountant credential. Members also benefit from its education center, career resources, and publications.

FWA advocates for women in the accounting and finance field. The alliance offers networking, mentorship, and leadership opportunities to advocate for professional growth.

NABA advocates for Black professionals in accounting, finance, and business. The association offers career resources, educational tools, and campus student chapters to connect Black accounting students.

Common Questions About Accounting MBAs

Is an MBA Good for Accountants?

Yes. An MBA helps accountants qualify for the CPA exam and strengthen their management skills. With an MBA, accountants move into decision-making and supervisory roles.

How Much Do MBA Accountants Make?

According to June 2021 PayScale data, professionals with an MBA in accounting earn an average salary of over $92,000 per year.

Are Online MBAs Respected?

Yes. Accredited online MBA accounting programs meet the same standards as in-person programs and prepare graduates for career advancement.

What Can I Do With an MBA in Accounting?

Graduates with an MBAs in accounting can work as CPAs, accounting managers, executives, and management analysts. The degree also prepares accountants for entrepreneurial roles.

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. After earning her doctorate in early modern European history, Carlton worked as an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville, where she developed new courses on the history of science, Renaissance Italy, and the witch trials. Carlton has published five peer-reviewed articles in top presses and a monograph with the University of Chicago Press. She also earned tenure with a unanimous vote before relocating to Seattle. Learn more about Carlton's work at genevievecarlton.com.


Header Image Credit: Georgijevic | Getty Images


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