The contemporary job market has more need for qualified accountants than ever, with the complications of the global economy, e-commerce, and frequent tax overhauls, and a Master of Accountancy is quickly becoming the standard for high-ranking careers. In fact, many states have adopted a 150-credit requirement to sit for the CPA exam. That means accountants with the conventional 120-credit bachelor’s degree are short 30 credits if they want to get their CPA license, while new students must either seek out a 150-credit bachelor’s, or go straight through a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

For working accountants, who may have jobs in the corporate world or finance, an online Master of Accountancy or MS in Accounting is a convenient way to make a career jump. An online master’s in accounting degree can supply the credits needed for the CPA exam, or the credentials to advance into managerial and leadership roles and earn higher salaries for them. For working professionals looking for the best online master of accounting for their needs, Best Master’s Programs has ranked the Top 25 Online Master’s in Accounting for 2019.

Ranking the Best Online Master of Accountancy Programs

To guide working adults to the best master of accounting online programs, Best Master’s Programs began with accredited colleges and universities offering fully online MAcc, MS in Accounting, and Master of Professional Accounting Programs. Program accreditation from the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACPE was considered preferable to just regional accreditation. From there, editors ranked programs according to Alumni Salary (College Scorecard); Cost (IPEDS data); and Student Reviews (Niche).

1. Colorado State University–Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus’ Master of Professional Accounting degree program that can be completed entirely online. CSU Global’s online Master of Accountancy program prepares students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam upon graduation. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits its master of accounting online coursework. This accounting program requires the completion of 30-credits, of which 24-credits are at the graduate level.

Colorado State University-Global Campus is an online extension of the Colorado State University. It was established in 2007 as an outreach effort for adult learners in the state of Colorado and those across the world, and is considered the first independent public online university. The Global Campus administration officers are located near Denver, in Greenwood Village. The school operates with two paths, which determine the timing of the eight-week classes. Colorado State University-Global Campus is affiliated with many private organizations, businesses, and governmental agencies.

Degree: Master of Professional Accounting
Accreditation: ACBSP

2. University of Scranton

The University of Scranton’s online Master of Accountancy degree program prepares graduates for leadership roles in the field of accountancy. Online MAcc programs like Scranton’s, accredited by the AACSB, prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Public Accountant examination. The University of Scranton’s online master of accounting program offers the flexibility and convenience for students who are pressed for time. Degree graduates attending on a part-time basis typically complete this 30-credit program in only 20 months. Full-time students can complete the coursework in as little as ten months.

The University of Scranton was established in 1888 as a Jesuit and Catholic institution of higher learning. The school operates under the direction of the Diocese of Scranton. The school consists of three colleges, The Panuska College of Professional Studies, The Kania School of Management, and the School of Arts & Sciences. The school’s nearly 60-acre urban campus is home to nearly 6,000 students. The majority of students are originally from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Degree: Master of Accountancy
Accreditation: AACSB

3. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina’s online Master of Accounting degree program, from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, is widely recognized as one of the top online MAcc programs in the nation. UNC Chapel Hill’s online Master’s in Accounting program has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a professional education assessment organization. The convenient online coursework follows two specialization tracks: the Audit Concentration and the Tax Concentration.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established in 1789. It is one of three institutions of higher learning that claims to be the United States’ oldest public school. The school holds the distinction of being the oldest public university in the state of North Carolina. The school’s nearly 30,000 students graduate from its fifteen colleges and schools on 700+-acres in downtown Chapel Hill. US News ranks UNC Chapel Hill among the nation’s top public institutions of higher learning.

Degree: Master of Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

4. Auburn University

The Harbert College of Business offers Auburn University’s online Master of Accountancy degree program that is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AU Harbert’s Master of Accounting online degree program requires the completion of 30-credit hours in the areas of Auditing, Taxation, Fraud, and Risk Analysis, among others. The Harbert College of Business has been offering distance-learning options since the late 1980s.

Auburn’s Harbert College was established in 1957 as the business school of Auburn University. The Morrill Act was the legislation that chartered Auburn University in 1856. It is one of the two flagships universities in the state of Alabama. It 1,700+-acre campus is home to nearly 30,000 students. Auburn holds the distinction of being ranked among the top institutions of higher learning in the country for 20 consecutive years.

Degree: Master of Accountancy
Accreditation: AACSB

5. University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut’s MS in Accounting online degree program that ranks among the country’s top online business programs. UConn’s online master’s in accounting program has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the gold standard. UConn’s online MS degree is offered through a flexible, asynchronous innovative platform. Students can attend either on a full-time or part-time basis.

UConn was established in 1881. The school is the founding member of the New England Knowledge Corridor and is a sea-grant, space-grant, and land-grant university located about 30 minutes from downtown Hartford and nearly an hour and a half from Boston, MA. UConn’s several libraries collectively hold the largest amount of volumes in the state of Connecticut. The University of Connecticut is recognized as a Public Ivy university as it consistently ranks among the country’s top public research institutions.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

6. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

The globally known Isenberg School of Management offers the University of Massachusetts’ MS in Accounting online degree program, which prepares students in the worlds of accountancy and business. Career options when graduating from UMass Amherst’s MS in Accounting online program online program includes careers in the areas of auditing, budgeting, and accounting. UMass Amherst’s Master of Accounting online program prepares students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst was established in 1863. The school is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system and a land-grant university. It is located in picturesque Amherst, just north of downtown. US News recognizes Amherst among the top ten college-towns in the nation. The school’s nearly 1,500-acre campus is home to more than 30,000 students.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

7. George Mason University

George Mason University’s MS in Accounting online degree program offers a flexible scheduling platform for busy working professionals. The online master’s in accounting program requires the completion of 150-credit hours, working with a cohort online. Graduates find rewarding careers after graduation as a Controller, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Officer. Mason Online’s program includes either a global residency or a one-week international study excursion. The MS online program has received accreditation from AACSB International.

George Mason University was established in 1949. It was initially chartered as a branch campus of the University of Virginia. The school is named for George Mason, the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights – the basis for the United States’ Bill of Rights. George Mason consists of four Virginia campuses with the primary campus in Fairfax, Virginia. The university operates a fifth campus internationally in Songdo, South Korea.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

8. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The Manning School of Business offers the University of Massachusetts-Lowell MS in Accounting online degree program. This online master’s in accounting program is fully accredited by the AACSB. UMass Lowell’s Master of Accounting online program requires the completion of 30-credit hours of coursework taught by the school’s renowned on-campus faculty. Classes include Managerial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Auditing, and Forensic Accounting, among others. UMass Lowell is recognized as a trusted education provider and one of the North’s best regional universities by US News and World Report.

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell was founded in 1894. The school is a part of the University of Massachusetts system and Massachusetts’ second-largest public institution of higher learning. UMass Lowell holds the distinction of being one of just a few schools in the nation to offer baccalaureate degrees in Plastics Engineering, Meteorology and Sound Recording Technology, among others.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

9. University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota online Master of Professional Accountancy degree program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students in the online master’s in accounting explore an in-depth accounting education that prepares them to sit for the CPA examination. USD’s online master of accounting program requires the completion of 30-credit hours covering the accounting areas of Tax, Auditing, and Costing Account, among others. Transfer credits for online MACc programs are generally allowed if earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.

The University of South Dakota was established in 1862, almost thirty years prior to South Dakota’s statehood. USD is home to the state’s only law school and medical school and the first institution of higher learning in both South and North Dakota. Its 275-acre rural campus is about 50 miles from Sioux Falls, about 40 miles from Sioux City, Iowa.

Degree: Master of Professional Accountancy
Accreditation: AACSB

10. Rutgers University

Rutgers University’s online Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting program ranks among the top online accounting programs in the country. Rutgers’ master of accounting online program has been fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It is also the only program of its kind offered online. Coursework requires the completion of 30-credit hours. Applicants are eligible for the program without a GMAT requirement. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Public Account (CPA) exam. The school offers a dual degree option that is paired with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.

Rutgers University was established in 1766 and is officially designated as New Jersey’s State University. The school holds the distinction as being the eighth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation and a member school of the original nine colonial colleges (those chartered prior to the American Revolution). The school is a space grant, sea grant, and land grant university and operates from three campuses throughout the state of New Jersey.

Degree: Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

11. University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas’ MS in Accounting online program comes from the trusted Jindal School of Management. The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires those students intending to sit for the CPA exam attend half the required 30-credit course to be completed on campus. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits the UT Dallas’ online Master’s in Accounting program.

The University of Texas at Dallas was established in 1969 and is a member research institution of the University of Texas system. The school’s main 445-acre campus in Richardson is about 20 miles north of Dallas’ booming downtown. The school actually began as a research extension of the technology giant, Texas Instruments. Recently, US News and World Report recognized UT Dallas among the top tier universities in the country.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

12. Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University’s MS in Accounting online degree program, from the Devoe School of Business, provides an in-depth perspective into the accounting areas of Auditing, Forensic Accounting, Tax Preparation, and Financial Reporting, among others. The school’s master of accounting online degree has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Coursework can be completed in as few as 18 months, up through 26 months. Graduates find rewarding careers in accounting firms, industry business, and nonprofits.

Indiana Wesleyan University was established in 1920. This private school is a Christian institution of higher learning that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination. The school’s campus is located in suburban Marion, which is home to more than 13,700 students. As such, Indiana Wesleyan University is recognized as the largest member school within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: ACBSP

13. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham online Master’s in Accounting degree program has received full accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business(AACSB). The Collat School of Business offers a flexible online Master of Accounting, which includes a generous transfer credit policy. Career options for graduates include a Financial Manager, a CPA, an Auditing Manager, a Budget Analyst, or Chief Financial Officer, among other leadership roles. Coursework requires the completion of 30-credit hours focused upon the advanced study of accounting.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham was established in 1969 and is one of the three member schools that make up the University of Alabama system. The schools UAB Health system is considered one of the largest teaching medical centers in the nation. The University of Alabama is the state’s largest employer with a financial impact on the state estimated at over $4 billion.

Degree: Master’s in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

14. Maryville University of St. Louis

The Maryville University of St. Louis MS in Accounting online program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). It is available 100% online and it does not require a GRE or GMAT. Students can graduate from the online master’s in accounting program as quickly as 10 months. Upon graduation, students are prepared to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.

Maryville offers two tracks: one for students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting, or those who do not have an accounting background. For those without an accounting bachelor’s, there is a bridge program that offers core accounting courses. This program is geared towards students who are currently working in the field and want to pursue greater responsibility and leadership. Students learn the fundamentals of accounting, in courses like data analytics, tax planning, strategic accounting, and financial reporting.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: ACBSP

15. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s Master of Accounting online program is part of the College of Business, which has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This program requires 30 credit hours broken up into 10, three credit classes taken over six semesters. One of the top online MAcc programs in the South, GSU’s program is flexible for students so they can schedule classes around their lives.

Students in Georgia Southern’s online master’s in accounting will learn the fundamentals of accounting and gain a foundation in financial auditing and reporting. They will learn the value of research and studying research. They will benefit from learning the current laws and legal issues that impact accounting.

Degree: Master of Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

16. Regis University

Regis University’s MS in Accounting online program is geared towards students who want a deeper understanding of accounting, whether they have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or not. Regis offers a traditional program that has 16 week courses, or an accelerated program with 8 week courses.This will provide students the path to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Regis is well known for its connections throughout the Denver area, and because of these connections, the online master’s in accounting program combines course work with hands on experiential learning to prepare students for advancing their careers. Students take a deeper look at ethical accounting, communication, and working with organizations that are focused on servicing the public. This program focuses on interaction between people and how those interactions impact others, rooted in Regis’ Catholic foundation.

Degree: MS in Accounting

17. Western New England University

Western New England University’s MS in Accounting online program is the only private institution in New England with AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International accreditation. Students can complete the online master’s in accounting program in 15 months with four 11 week terms per year. Students wills be able to sit for the CPA exam upon completion of this program. The program at Western New England University has three main areas within the program.

The foundational courses provide a foundation in accounting, which are mainly for those that do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting. The core courses develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the processes associated with accounting and finances. The elective courses gives students some freedom to choose in which areas they would like to learn more. They offer a concentration in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation which is an area that many organizations need strong employees. Students gain stronger skills in analyzing, planning and evaluating financial information, which is important in the role of an accountant.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

18. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s online Master of Accountancy is intended for students who want a deeper understanding of taxes, audits, research, and accounting. The master of accounting online program requires 30 credits to graduate and offers preparatory coursework on an individual basis, as needed, to ensure success. Saint Joseph’s course work blends written work, facilitated discussion and problem solving to gain a better grasp of information. This degree program is suitable for those who wish to advance in their careers and for those seeking to change their career path.

Saint Joseph’s students benefit from an in-depth study of the legal world and business ethics in accounting for one of the best online MAcc programs in New England. They will learn how to become skilled leaders and better manage relationships. Students will get a better look at accounting on an international stage. They will understand the value of applied corporate financial management. Students also gain an understanding of disclosure as it relates to financial reporting.

Degree: Master of Accountancy

19. California State University, Sacramento

California State University, Sacramento’s MS in Accounting online program, from the College of Business Administration blends the worlds of accounting and business for students. The degree program follows standards set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Sac State’s online master’s in accounting program is fully accredited by AACSB International.

Upon graduation from Sacramento State’s online program, students are eligible and prepared to sit for the CPA exam. Students gain a better understanding of financial reporting and accounting, auditing, and regulation. Students learn the fundamentals of cost accounting concepts. The gain a better understanding of cost accumulation and critical thinking for making more sound decisions.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

20. National University

National University’s online Master of Accountancy program is one of the best online MAcc programs in California. National’s master of accounting online program provides students with the knowledge and ability to make sound decisions and find success as an accountant. Upon graduation, students will be able to sit for the CPA, CMA, or CIA exams. Students will be able to find positions as a public or corporate accountant, internal auditor, or an accountant for state or federal government.

National University’s program received first time accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). With the assurance of program accreditation, students will be better prepared to make sound and ethical decisions and communicate better with counter parts. They will learn to analyze financial documents. They will be able to evaluate the information and apply sound and ethical decision making. Students will learn the value of conducting effective accounting research.

Degree: Master of Accountancy
Accreditation: IACBE

21. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati MS in Accounting online degree comes from the respected Carl H. Linder College of Business. The Linder school has been an AACSB accredited program since 1917. University of Cincinnati received this achievement because they offer the highest caliber education. The online master’s in accounting degree program can be part time or full time, and could be completed in as little as 9 months by well-prepared full-time students. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Cincinnati’s online master of accounting program provides students with the foundation they need to pass the CPA exam the first time. Students will study information that is historically tested by the CPA exam. In addition, students develop the knowledge and skills they need to propel themselves in the professional world. The fundamentals they receive will equip them with the skills and tools accounting firms require their employees to have. They will be able to apply their classroom knowledge to real work experiences.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

22. Bellevue University

Bellevue University’s MS in Accounting online program can be taken online or in the classroom. Bellevue’s program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which is recognized by the US Department of Education. The online master’s in accounting degree provides a foundation in advanced accounting, analytical skills, and great communication. Upon graduation, students are able to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Students will be able to find employment as a controller, auditor, or accountant. They will better understand accounting information systems and internal accounting.

Bellevue students will be able to look at problems and issues and use relevant tax and auditing information to resolve them. Students will learn the value of critical thinking and strategic decision making to resolves problems. They will learn how to evaluate and understand the ethical layers within organizational and accounting decisions. Students will take a deeper look at the global accounting processes and understand the impacts they have on local businesses and organizations. They will learn the value of effective communication across the agency and to pertinent stakeholders.

Degree: MS in Accounting

23. Texas A&M University-Commerce

The Texas A&M University-Commerce MS in Accounting online degree is an AACSB accredited graduate program. The GMAT or GRE may be waived for applicants who qualify. This program is flexible to meet the needs of students who are working or have difficult schedules and can be taken online or in the classroom, or a blend of both. Those with an undergraduate degree in accounting need only 38 credit hours to graduate; students without an accounting undergraduate degree need 42 credit hours. Texas A&M’s program is fast paced and challenging, but will prepare students for the next step in their career path.

Students in the TAMU-Commerce online master’s in accounting will gain a foundation in auditing, international and tax accounting, forensics, and ethics. Students will hone their analytical skills to make sound leadership decisions. The College of Business at Texas A&M has a Career Center to provide hands on experience and internships to help prepare students for employment.

Degree: MS in Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

24. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s MS in Accountancy online program in their College of Business Management. This program is only available in an online format and can be taken full time or part time. Students must complete 11 courses totaling 33 credit hours. An AACSB-accredited program, SUNY Polytechnic Institute also offers a Forensic Accounting and Valuation concentration. In this concentration, students gain a foundation in fraud detection and prevention, forensic asset valuation, and specialized accounting data analytics.

SUNY Poly students will build a foundation in budgeting, financial and ratio analysis. They will gain an understanding of capital budgeting, portfolio concepts, and study market efficiencies. They begin to understand corporations financing strategies over the long and short term. They understand the theory behind dividend policy and capital structure theory. Students learn about the value of hypothesis and testing. They dig deeper in to regression analysis, linear programming, and decision making in uncertain times. They also study the basic elements of forecasting.

Degree: MS in Accountancy
Accreditation: AACSB

25. University of Miami

The University of Miami’s Master of Professional Accounting degree program is AACSB accredited and can be taken fully online. Students can graduate in 16 to 20 months. It is possible for the University of Miami to waive the GRE requirement. The Master of Professional Accounting program offers four different options within the program. Students will learn the basic concepts of taxes, including deductions, exclusions, and income tax formula. They will take an in depth look at tax law as it relates to corporations and partnerships. Students will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader, including motivating, developmental strategies, and the behavioral pieces of management. They will better understand group dynamics and personalities.

UMiami’s online master’s in accounting also makes additional certifications available to students. Those are the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Students with an accounting background can get an Accounting Practice Certificate in addition to the Master of Professional Accounting, with a CPA track. Students with no accounting background can get an Accounting Practice Certificate in addition to the Master of Professional Accounting, but without the CPA track.

Degree: Master of Professional Accounting
Accreditation: AACSB

Will Employers Trust an Online MS Accounting Degree?

Employers are far more willing to accept online Accounting Masters programs degree today than in the past. Employers are more concerned that the degree comes from an accredited school, than if the degree was completed online. They prefer that a third party source has said that the school’s program is the highest quality. With the growth in the accounting field, employers can’t find qualified accountants fast enough.

Accredited online Masters in Accounting programs can receive certification from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), which in a non-government agency that standardizes colleges of business and accounting. Those may be referred to as online Masters of Accounting programs AACSB.

Other online MS Accounting programs may receive accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), which certifies that schools have the highest quality business education programs. They are focused on teaching excellence, as well as tangible outcomes in learning.

Another type of certification colleges may receive is accreditation from the International Association of Certified Practicing Engineers (IACPE) which sets standards based on professional competence and ethics. This certification is given to schools that are identified as having met those standards. These schools are required to continue to engage in education programs for their own professional and personal development. These types of accreditation are the key for employers hiring an individual with an online degree. All students should ensure their schools have one of these accreditations.

Do I Have to Take the GMAT to Apply to an MS Accounting Online Program?

While some schools require the GMAT for students to get an MS Accounting online degree, that is not always the case. There are some schools that offer a Masters in Accounting, no GMAT required. A list of programs that do not require a GMAT also gives students some idea about what the schools may want instead of a GMAT.

Often, for schools with online Masters in Accounting, no GMAT is required. These programs are geared towards working professionals that are working in an accounting, or similar field of employment. Schools will often provide waivers for students with five or more years of experience in a relevant field. If students have a business type undergraduate degree, some schools will waive, or do not have, a GMAT requirement.

Other schools require students to be currently working in a relevant field and graduated with an undergraduate degree while maintaining a specific GPA, typically a 3.4. It is always best to check with the specific school to determine the exact GMAT requirements, or waivers.

Do I Need a Bachelor’s in Accounting to Get a Master’s in Accounting?

While it is always a good idea to have background knowledge of any subject to be studied at the Master’s level, an individual does not need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting to obtain an online Master of Science in Accounting. It is important to check if a school requires an accounting bachelor’s to study for a Master’s in Accounting before jumping in the the admissions process.

Many schools offer an online Masters in Accounting for Non Accounting majors. Other schools offer what they call catch up courses. These are general accounting courses that give students the knowledge they would have gotten in an Accounting undergraduate program. Many schools offer online Master of Accounting programs, which could be beneficial to an individual that doesn’t have an accounting background because he could have the flexibility and time to take some additional Accounting classes to help gain a better foundation. Students without a background in Accounting tend to have a more difficult time getting a Masters in Accounting, even if it is an online MAcc degree.

Related Articles:
What Can You Do With an MAcc?
Top Online Masters in Finance Degree Programs