Online Master’s in Accounting

Shauna Blackmon
Updated November 15, 2023
Edited by
A master’s in accounting program can set you on the path to advanced professional roles in the field. Explore details about these degrees to find your ideal program.
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The formation of a global marketplace has generated many consumer benefits while making accounting and finances increasingly complicated. Modern accountants face complex rules and regulations, making their jobs more important and in demand.

If you have an eye for detail and enjoy working with numbers and regulations across sectors, earning an online master’s in accounting can allow you to pursue advanced roles in the field or bolster security in your current position. Explore information on online master’s in accounting programs in this in-depth guide and find the program that aligns with your personal and professional goals.

Why Choose a Master’s in Accounting?

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    Enhanced Career Opportunities

    A master’s in accounting can equip you with the specialized knowledge and skills for several careers, including certified public accountant (CPA), auditor, and financial analyst.
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    Job Security

    While earning a master’s degree doesn’t guarantee job security, completing a graduate program can help make you a more valuable employee. Many companies prefer employees with advanced degrees who know the industry, offering a competitive edge over the competition.
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    Skill Development

    Master’s programs delve deeper into complex accounting principles, along with taxation and financial analysis. This advanced coursework engages critical thinking and analytical skills, making you a more proficient and versatile professional in the accounting and finance sectors.
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Graduate Colleges With Accounting Programs

We have compiled a list of institutions that offer these degrees, ranked from smallest to largest student population. Use the table below to compare rates.

Graduate Colleges With Accounting Programs
SchoolStudent PopulationLocationAverage Net Price
Florida Institute of Technology-Online1,230Melbourne, FL$24,115
Johnson & Wales University-Online2,505Providence, RI$20,242
Colorado State University Global Campus9,565Aurora, CO$14,826
National University11,578San Diego, CAN/A
Pennsylvania State University World Campus13,979University Park, PA$19,551
Western Governors University156,935Salt Lake City, UT$9,207
Source: NCES

3 Schools for Online Accounting Master’s

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology’s program focuses on financial forensics. This specialized field investigates financial irregularities, fraud, and financial misconduct. Financial forensic experts, often known as forensic accountants, use their accounting skills to uncover financial fraud, embezzlement, asset misappropriation, and other financial crimes. With tuition and fees reaching just over $24,000, students can earn the additional 30 credits necessary for CPA licensure and specialize their knowledge of the field in this program. Enrollees can also complete internships and professional experiences with employers in the school’s extensive employer network.

Johnson & Wales University

The master of business administration (MBA) accounting degree at Johnson & Wales University suits busy professionals looking to take the next step in their careers. Johnson & Wales’ MBA program is 100% online and takes two years to complete, on average. The course load and time commitments also consider that students will likely balance their education with professional and/or personal responsibilities. At just over $20,000, this program offers a broad accounting education. Coursework explores economics, operations management, and business policy. Graduates can pursue roles as accountants, auditors, financial investment analysts, and tax accountants or bolster expertise in their current positions. As this program is less bound to a specific state, it does not heavily follow the rules and guidelines for CPA licensure. Instead, the university suggests students research the requirements in their specific state.

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

The master of professional accounting program at Pennsylvania State University focuses on basic accounting principles. It can be a good match for those interested in jobs in accounting, such as budget officer and internal auditor. Penn State’s 100% online program allows enrollees to receive financial aid to lower their overall financial burden of about $25,000 in tuition and fees. The university offers funding through scholarships and career services to connect students with internships and other professional development opportunities.

Applicants do not need to possess undergraduate accounting degrees but must have completed prerequisite accounting courses. This program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Is Graduate School for Accounting Worth It?

The value of earning a master’s in accounting depends on several factors, including degree costs, potential salaries, and availability of career resources.

Consider the required investment of time, energy, and finances for a graduate program. Though completing a master’s in accounting can lead to high-paying roles, consider whether you can remain employed while pursuing an education to limit your financial burden.

Research career pathways in your area for insight into available positions after graduation. Similarly, schools with strong employer networks can set you up for success with internships and networking opportunities.

Common Questions About Accounting Programs

What is the best master’s degree for accountants?

The best master’s degree in accounting aligns with your personal and professional aspirations. Compare several programs’ curriculums, costs, time commitments, and delivery methods to find your ideal program.

Is a master’s in accounting worth it?

If you are pursuing a career like CPA, auditor, or financial analyst, a master’s degree can help you meet certification requirements and qualify for employment. A master’s demonstrates your specialized knowledge to employers, which can lead to higher-paying roles with more responsibility.

Which is better: a CPA or a master’s in accounting?

CPA licensure and master’s in accounting programs fulfill different needs as separate credentials. A master’s program is a formal education degree, while CPA certification typically requires candidates to have completed a master’s degree.

Which is better: an MBA or a master’s in accounting?

The “better” degree relates to your professional goals. An MBA offers a wider knowledge of business practices that can make you a strong candidate for management roles. A master’s in accounting, however, will focus on accounting skills ideal for CPA or auditing positions.

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