Master’s in Accounting Online

On this page
Back to top

If you are in the field of accounting and you would want to gain the competitive edge required to advance in today’s financial environments, and advance your career further, then an online master’s in accounting would be ideal for you. Also, to get into the field of public accounting and get a CPA done a masters in accounting online is a good degree to start with. A master’s degree in accounting is also needed if students want to get into the profession of education and academics. Also students would need to complete their accounting master’s program if they are looking to get into the field of research and enroll in a Ph.D. program. In this article, we would discuss the requirements to get into a master’s in accounting online, the types of master’s students can get into and the scope and opportunities this degree would bring to students. Also, we would discuss the career opportunities and expected salaries they may expect post-accounting masters’ programs. We would also discuss the affiliations that would help students survive in this industry and how to go about being members of those organizations. According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, top accounting executives earn around $107,680 per year and predicts an eight percent increase in the job outlook for accounting professionals in the years between 2020-30 which is better than average.   


Best Masters in Accounting
Online Programs

There are a host of online masters that have come off late.  And in the pandemic time, this has become the chosen way of containing studies or furthering your accounting career. Accounting graduate programs online have become quite the rage lately. Hence, we looked at a lot of criteria and came up with our best online accounting courses as below:*

Villanova University is a private institution that was founded in 1842. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,037 (fall 2020), its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 260 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Villanova University offers an ideal online destination for highly motivated learners. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and collaborate in online classrooms to turn their hands-on education into high-level skills. The tuition and graduation rate are as below:
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Villanova University 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085 $20,619 92%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Masters in Accounting Online
Programs Near Me

If you are looking at the best online master’s in accounting programs near you, you are in luck, below is a list of Accounting programs near your location:

What to expect from the Masters in
Accounting Online Program?

Master’s in accounting programs usually last one or two years. In either case, students are expected to complete 30 to 36 credits or semester hours to qualify for their degree. This, coupled with the 120 hours studied at the undergraduate level means students will be able to take professional-level accountancy examinations such as the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. As a master’s in accounting student, you can expect to be taught through a combination of lectures, seminar classes, case studies, and project work, including a significant amount of independent research, ending in a dissertation. Some students may also be offered the opportunity to undertake a project for an external organization.

Types of Masters in Accounting
Online Programs

A master’s program in accounting delves into advanced courses in accounting theory and practice. Depending upon the bachelor’s that a student has completed and the subject of interest of a student, a master’s in accounting specialization can be taken up. In this section of the article, we will discuss the types of master’s programs that can be taken up post a bachelor’s in accounting.

Master’s in Science in Accounting

This master’s degree level program deals with advanced courses including International Auditing, Advanced Topics in Financial Reporting, and Situational Ethics in Accounting. A bachelor’s in accounting is mandatory to get into this course.

Master of Professional Accounting

This professional accounting course prepares students for the CPA. In addition to licensure preparation, this applied master’s degree program empowers students for career mobility, through the study of advanced concepts in accounting law, auditing, taxation, and more. Plus, this hands-on program includes an optional internship that can enhance students’ resumes, expand their portfolio of skills, and provide valuable networking opportunities.

MBA in Accounting

With an MBA in accounting, students can develop their professional potential and define their future as a leader in the world of business accounting. In an MBA students would gain an in-depth understanding of advanced managerial accounting, financial statements analysis, and taxation.

Master of Accountancy

A Master of Accountancy program course covers topics like taxation, auditing, fraud detection, ethics, accounting information systems, managerial & cost accounting, management communications, business law, statistics, and economics. Some of the common areas where Master of Accountancy graduates pursue careers include accounting, auditing, budget analysis, credit analysis, financial examinations, tax examinations and collections, and financial management.

MBA Vs Masters in

Though a master’s in accounting and an MBA in accounting are two advanced degrees in the world of accounting there are a few differences between the two. The biggest difference between an MBA vs a master’s in accounting is the scope of the curriculum. We discuss them in detail below:

Apart from these specializations, some colleges allow students to opt for other specializations or specialization courses. These can be used independently to obtain a certificate or applied to the elective requirement of the masters in sport management program. Example include:

  • MBA focuses on the breadth of skills that can be applied to a large variety of management scenarios and business challenges. Students will take classes in marketing, finance, operations, and management.
  • M.S. in Accounting develops deep expertise in the field of accounting, giving students the specialized skills needed in areas like taxation, data mining and auditing, forensic accounting, and organizational risk management.

Areas of Specialization for Masters
in Accounting Online

Depending on their chosen field of specialization, and their interest in subjects, students would choose their major and hence would get into the specific field of accountancy. Masters’ programs are advanced-level programs so, with a master’s degree students are getting into a very specialized field of their chosen career.

Area of Specialization Description Institutions availableCareers This Concentration Prepares For
International AccountingLiving in the 21st century, it’s hard to ignore that more and more businesses are spreading their work and customer base around the globe. By specializing in this field, you can ensure your success in any modern business. This specialty teaches you the ropes of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is imperative to any business accountant that works for a global company. By specializing in this field during your degree training, you will be showing potential employers that you are prepared to deal with an international market and can handle any curveballs thrown your way when dealing with customers and suppliers around the world.The University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignInternational Accountant
Certified Public AccountantGetting a master’s degree to become a Certified Public Accountant is perhaps one of the best decisions an accounting major can make. The CPA license gives accountants a chance to choose from a diverse career path. From taxes to financial planning, assurance services to consulting, a Certified Public Accountant has the world open to them. CPAs are also highly sought after to work for international companies due to the diversity of the Certified Public Accountant’s knowledge. By specializing to become a CPA, you can choose virtually any company to work for, and often, they will be pleased to have you on board.DePaul UniversityCPA
Certified Internal AuditingAuditing is a word that instills fear inmost hearts and recalls thoughts of the IRS and the dreaded tax season. However, companies often employ a Certified Internal Auditor to review the books regularly to make sure that the business is following all the tax laws and other regulations. All CIAs are required to sit for an examination before receiving the certification and are expected to have 24 months of job experience with internal auditing. Luckily, by obtaining a master’s degree, you can use the degree as the equivalent of 12 months of work experience. Certified Internal Auditors are a must-have for any modern business and will always be in demand.George Mason UniversityCertified Auditors
BookkeepingIf you find yourself working for a small business, your skills may be used in the bookkeeping department. The biggest difference between a traditional accountant and a bookkeeper is the day-to-day work. If you enjoy the hands-on knowledge of knowing the cash flow of a business, including transactions with suppliers, sales, and other business expenses, bookkeeping would be a great choice for your specialization. Traditional accountants, in turn, take the daily numbers and analyze them on a grander scale, turning it into a report on how the business is functioning overall. Bookkeepers are vital to any business, big or small, making this a great specialization choice.California State University-SacramentoBookkeeper
Accounting and FinanceAccounting and Finance specialization prepares students for a rewarding career as an auditor, corporate accountant, tax planner, and much more. This also helps students join the accounting industry preparing them for positions with private, public, not-for-profit, or government entities.The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillManagement Accountant
Information technology (IT) auditorsInformation technology (IT) auditors review controls for their organization’s IT systems to ensure that both financial and nonfinancial data come from a reliable source and only people with role-based requirements have access to those files. There are a host of professional bodies which have formalized and standardized operational best practices for this industry and this occupation.University of South FloridaManagement Accountant

Why pursue a Masters in
Accounting Online?

Master’s in accounting programs can open opportunities to a well-paying job, stable career paths in areas like financial accounting, public accounting, forensic accounting, and auditing. Many compliances requirements mandate a master’s degree for an accounts job also, employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees. Therefore, it could be said that it would be rewarding to get a master’s degree in accounting.

Students would generally pursue a master’s in accounting in two scenarios, firstly, if they have completed a bachelor’s in accounting and want to further their knowledge and exposure into the field and industry of accounting, and secondly, if you are just out of school and talking up an integrated master’s in accountancy and would be directly graduating with a master’s degree.

In both the above scenarios, one would assume that students pursuing a master’s in accounting would be good with numbers and great at balancing sheets. Apart from that, it would be good to say that the student inclines higher studies. And to conclude, it is always a good idea to further your studies on subjects that interest you and higher degrees always pay better than a basic bachelor’s degree. Hence, pursuing an online master’s degree in accounting is worth it and is a great idea.

How to get a Masters in
Accounting Online?

To get a master’s in accounting one would need to fulfill the below requirements:

Students must submit proof that they have met all the above criteria to be accepted at a college or university.

How long does it take to complete a
Masters in Accounting Online?

Like any master’s degree program, a master’s in accounting degree would require 2 years and around 36 credits to complete the program. There are some accelerated programs that students would be able to complete in a year, but the number of credits required to complete the course would remain the same. At the same time, there are some online asynchronous master’s programs wherein students can complete their master’s in accounting at their time and pace. The number of credits required to complete the course remains the same.

The master’s in accounting program is divided into core subjects electives and specialization. A dissertation and interning and a final project are required per curriculum for completion of the program. Students who already have completed a master’s in some allied subject might get some credits for the same and can complete the program at a much faster pace.

Accreditation for Masters in
Accounting Online

Accreditation is a vetting process wherein an institution has been evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to meet the high standards of a rigorous education. Thus, accreditation in essence is enforcement of quality. Also, a few aspects of an accounting practice require licensing from state/federal bodies. And only those with accredited degrees would get the opportunity to sit for those license examinations. Hence, getting an accredited master’s degree in accounting is a must to practice the craft of accounting. Read more about Accreditation.

Hence, one must ensure that their degrees are regionally accredited online master’s degree programs and recognized by the industry and fraternity they are getting into, and more importantly, to be eligible for US federal student aid students must ensure that the institution one is enrolling in is accredited by one of the federally recognized accreditation bodies.

Masters in Accounting Online no
GRE/GMAT Programs

Franklin University

The Pennsylvania State University

University of Denver

Programs giving Masters in Accounting
without Bachelors

In general, an accounting background is not required of those who wish to enter a master’s program in accounting. Most MAcc programs will admit any candidate as long as he or she already has a bachelor’s degree in any area of study. You would only need to meet the prerequisites for the master’s program to qualify, which may include core accounting courses. While not every MAcc program requires applicants to have majored in accounting, some programs do reserve spots for accounting majors only. That’s because students with an accounting background have a much higher chance of succeeding in graduate school.

Also, there would be some programs where students can get into integrated master’s programs in accounting where they can complete both their bachelor’s and master’s.

Listed below are a few programs:

Although coursework largely depends on the physics specialization one selects, examples of courses one can expect from an online master’s degree in physics include but are not limited to:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Statistical Methods
  • Introduction to Superconductors
  • Astronomical Technology
  • Biological Physics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Electrodynamics
  • Optics & Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Electromagnetism & Electronics

Accelerated Masters in Accounting
Online Programs

The Accelerated Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program is designed for working professionals who wish to advance their careers, either as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or in some other areas of accounting. The credits required to complete remain at 36 credit hours but the program is completed at a very fast pace. Students in the accelerated program take 4 courses during both the Fall and Spring terms and 2 courses during the summer term. Below we have listed a few accelerated programs for your reference:

Accelerated Master of Science in Accountancy

The College of Business Administration and the College of the Extended University is proud to offer the Accelerated Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA). Cal Poly Pomona’s Graduate Business Programs have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a distinction that less than 5% of the world’s 13,000 business programs have earned. AACSB schools produce graduates that are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools.

Accelerated MAcc in Accountancy

The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program at OU is designed to prepare students not only to pass the CPA exam*but also for positions of responsibility in the accounting profession. It combines a broad-based business curriculum with in-depth accounting training, allowing students to specialize in chosen areas of accounting practice.

Accounting Accelerated B.S./M.S

Get both degrees in less time in a seamless process while earning the 150 credits required to sit for the exam to become a CPA in Maryland and many other states. Learn advanced skills beyond accounting in applied information technology, finance, and other relevant areas to advance your career at a more rapid pace.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Master of Accounting

Syracuse University Master’s in Accounting

University of Miami Master’s in Professional Accounting

How to Pay for Masters in Accounting
Online Programs?

A master’s program in accounting could cost students anything between $10,000 to $50,000 depending upon a public or private university, and in-state/out-of-state student’s tuition. For example, the MS in the accounting program cost at Texas A&M University is around 22,000 for the entire program. As you would all know graduate education can get a bit expensive. Hence, scholarships are a good way to pay your tuition. That’s why many students qualify for traditional student loans and financial aid. There are also several scholarships available for Master of Accounting Students, as well as teaching assistantships that make the program even more affordable. For further reference, students can refer to this link here for scholarships.

It might happen that someone does not qualify for a scholarship, for such candidates if they are working professionals, they can check with their employers to reimburse the tuition fee. The other way of funding your associate in accountancy is to apply for a student loan. Students can also check if they are eligible for federal student aid. Here is a link to the application for FAFSA Application. 

Free Courses for Masters in
Accounting Online

Below we discuss a few free courses that students might be interested in: 

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Master the technical skills needed to analyze financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis and learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to read the three most common financial statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Students can apply these skills to a real-world business challenge as part of the Wharton Business Foundations Specialization.

Accounting for Decision Making

In this module students will explore how accounting was designed to meet the needs of decision-makers and what this means to you as a user of accounting information. We will discuss the concept behind accrual accounting including introducing the two primary accrual accounting financial statements – the balance sheet and income statement. Also, students will create a set of accruals accounting financial statements. We will use that experience to walk you through the accounting cycle – which is the process by which accounting captures and aggregates all the transactions in the period into a set of financial statements.

Recording in Journals & Posting in Ledgers

This course covers the basic procedures involved in recording financial entries in Journals and Ledgers. Upon completing this course, students will be able to analyze and record various business transactions. They will also learn about the accounting cycle, posting transactions, accrual accounting, and cash accounting. Students can also practice these skills through a series of activities that provide real-world experience.

FAQs about Masters in Accounting
Online Programs

Is it worth getting a master’s degree in accounting?

A master’s degree in accounting is worth it because it can be the boost you need to a higher-level position in banking, taxation, insurance, or any company with a financial division. You’ll gain superior analytical skills, deepen your knowledge of accounting principles, and learn the latest technology.

Do accountants need an MBA?

Should I get my MBA or CPA first?

Is CPA equivalent to Master’s?

What are CFA and CPA?

Does the CFO need CFA?

CPA Instead of the MAcc?

Can You Get an Accounting Job with a Finance Degree?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Masters in Accounting Online

Post a master’s in accounting students can get into very lucrative and challenging opportunities. They are also looking at upholding roles that delve into compliance, state, and federal rules and regulations. Below we discuss a few roles and responsibilities:

Occupation Job Description Median Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
Personal Financial Advisors Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances. Personal financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals and help them with decisions on investments (such as stocks and bonds), tax laws, and insurance. Advisors help clients plan for short- and long-term goals, such as budgeting for education expenses and saving for retirement through investments. They invest clients’ money based on the clients’ decisions. Many advisors also provide tax advice or sell insurance. Although most planners offer advice on a wide range of topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement or risk management (evaluating the investor’s willingness to take chances and adjusting investments accordingly).$89,3305%
Financial ExaminersFinancial examiners ensure compliance with laws that govern institutions handling monetary transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management. Those working in risk assessment evaluate the health of financial institutions. Their role is to ensure that banks and other financial institutions offer safe loans and that they have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses. These procedures help ensure that the financial system remains stable. These examiners also evaluate the performance of bank managers.$81,43018%
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue AgentsTax examiners collectors and revenue agents determine how much is owed in taxes and collect tax from individuals and businesses on behalf of federal, state, and local governments. They review tax returns, conduct audits, identify taxes owed, and collect overdue tax payments. Tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents ensure that individuals and businesses pay the appropriate amount of taxes owed, as prescribed by laws and regulations. In addition to verifying that tax returns are filed correctly; they follow up with taxpayers whose returns are questionable or who owe more money.
Tax examiners typically deal with simple tax returns filed by individual taxpayers who claim few deductions and by small businesses. Tax examiners also may contact individual taxpayers to resolve outstanding problems with their returns. Tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents ensure that individuals and businesses pay the appropriate amount of taxes owed, as prescribed by laws and regulations. In addition to verifying that tax returns are filed correctly; they follow up with taxpayers whose returns are questionable or who owe more money.
Loan OfficersLoan officers use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans. After collecting and verifying all the required financial documents, loan officers evaluate the information to determine an applicant’s need for a loan and ability to repay it. Most firms use underwriting software, which produces a loan recommendation based on the applicant’s financial status. Loan officers review the software output together with the evaluation of an applicant’s financial information to make a final decision. Commercial loan officers specialize in loans to businesses, which often use the loans to buy supplies and to upgrade or expand operations. Commercial loans frequently are larger and more complicated than other types of loans. Some commercial loans are so large and complex that no single bank will provide the entire amount requested. In such cases, loan officers may have to work with multiple banks to put together a package of loans.$63,9601%
Bill and Account CollectorsBill and account collectors try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier. Bill and account collectors generally contact debtors by phone, although sometimes they do so by mail. They use computer systems to update contact information and record past collection attempts with a particular debtor. Keeping these records can help collectors with future negotiations.

The main job of bill and account collectors is to find a solution that is acceptable to the debtor and maximizes payment to the creditor. Listening to the debtor and paying attention to his or her concerns can help the collector negotiate a solution.

Certifications and Licensing for
Masters in Accounting Online

Post completing their accounting degrees, registered accountants have state-based licensing requirements to practice accounting. And to be certified accountants, students need to fulfill the prerequisite degree requirements before they can take up the licensing exams. These exams vary by state regulators. We discuss a few of the licensing requirements below. 

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The Certified Financial Planner credential is the most desired and respected global certification for those seeking to demonstrate their commitment to competent and ethical financial planning practice.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Certified Management Accountant is a professional certification credential in the management accounting and financial management fields. The certification signifies that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics.

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst is a professional designation offered by the CAIA Association to investment professionals who complete a course of study and pass two examinations.

Additional Resources for Masters
in Accounting Online

An online master’s degree in accountancy is a gateway to an industry with huge potential. But to further their careers and keep being relevant in a fast-paced industry, professionals need the leverage the potential of the industry by joining and becoming members of a professional organization in their chosen state of practice. Apart from being a body that assists in developing and distributing knowledge, professional accounting associations keep their members informed about the newest developments and innovations. We discuss a few such organizational bodies below:

Organization Job Description
The Ohio Society of CPAsMembers of The Ohio Society of CPAs adhere to the highest professional standards and ethical conduct in serving their clients and the public interest. CPAs in public accounting also undergo a peer review every three years. This includes a thorough inspection of their practices by other trained CPAs – a process designed to ensure a higher level of accuracy and integrity in a CPA’s work.
The Georgia Society of CPAsThe Georgia Society of CPAs is the premier professional organization for CPAs in the state of Georgia. With almost 14,000 members throughout the state, the purpose of GSCPA is to achieve excellence by providing superior advocacy, leadership, service, lifelong learning, and personal and professional development opportunities.
Tennessee Society of CPAsThe TSCPA is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of the CPA profession in Tennessee. Together we are shaping the future through peer networking, educational opportunities, legislative activities, and a variety of other member services.
Iowa Society of Certified Public AccountantsThe Iowa Society of CPAs (ISCPA) is the largest professional organization dedicated to CPAs, accounting professionals, and accounting students in Iowa.
Illinois CPA SocietyFounded in 1903, the Illinois CPA Society is one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation with more than 22,600 members.
It is an essential partner in your success, providing you with convenient and customized education, timely and relevant information, influential advocacy, and countless opportunities to make powerful professional connections
Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA)The Oregon Society of certified public accountants is your professional community serving CPAs engaged in public practice, corporate finance, government, and education in the state of Oregon.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.