- Online Master of Accounting Programs
A master’s degree in accounting can yield new career opportunities, ensure continued career growth and, in many states, enable students to sit for the CPA exam – and an online program adds added flexibility, so students can earn a degree without relocating or disrupting their careers.
While employment growth in this field is strong across all sectors, it’s at an all-time high in public accounting firms. In 2014, these firms hired the largest number of master’s accounting graduates. This trend is expected to continue as public accounting firms seek to hire skilled individuals who, having earned a master’s, already meet the 150-hour education requirement for the CPA exam.
Master of Accounting
Delivered online, UNC Kenan-Flagler’s top-ranked Master of Accounting program offers a unique combination of academic rigor and real-world experiential learning to prepare students for a wide range of accounting careers.
The online format can be completed in as little as 15 months. You must complete your degree requirements in 36 months.
July and January
Master of Science in Professional Accounting
The online MS in Professional Accounting program from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management offers three sequences of study based on students’ undergraduate degree and prior experience. Accounting@Syracuse prepares students with the skills to advance their accounting careers and, in many states, enables students to sit for the CPA exam.
Most graduate accounting programs have comparable admissions requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Official transcripts and letters of recommendation
- GRE or GMAT scores, which may be waived for students with significant work experience
- Personal essay
- Application and application fee
While an undergraduate major in business or accounting is often preferred for admission, some programs have a curriculum specifically designed for students from non-accounting fields, allowing them to gain the foundational skills required for the program.
To accommodate students of diverse backgrounds, some programs offer tailored curriculum tracks. Not all programs take the same approach to curriculum, but most master of accounting programs focus on fundamental skills, with core courses in international accounting and reporting, taxes and business strategy, financial statement analysis, and auditing theory and practice. Some programs allow students to take a concentration in a particular area of accounting, such as taxation or professional accounting.While most graduate accounting programs do not guarantee to prepare students to sit for the CPA exam, some are registered in their home state as a CPA licensing program. Most graduate accounting programs can help meet the 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the exam. Applicants should consult their home state’s accountancy board to ensure their program of choice meets the requirements for CPA examination eligibility.
Characteristics of Top Graduate Accounting Programs
As applicants compare online programs, they will want to consider the factors that set the best online accounting degree programs apart:
Accreditation: To receive accreditation, a business school must prove that it meets relevant professional standards. The highest-quality business schools offering online programs are accredited and therefore recognized by the profession and employers as institutions that produce graduates who are prepared to succeed. For business schools, accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the recognized standard of excellence.
Rankings: Rankings can be useful tools for understanding the relative strengths of a program. Applicants should be aware that rankings can be for the school, program or the accounting master’s program specifically. The newness of a program may prohibit it from being included in certain rankings. It is also important to understand what determines a program’s ranking as different entities rank programs based on different criteria.
Platform: An effective technology platform and engaging, flexible format are essential to the online graduate school experience. When looking for a top online graduate accounting program, applicants should consider whether it offers:
- The flexibility to earn a graduate degree while maintaining career and family commitments.
- Innovative technology that connects students and faculty through live classes with face-to-face interaction, social media and online collaboration tools.
- Networking opportunities with students of diverse backgrounds around the globe.
- Experiential learning through residencies and immersions.
2U-Powered Accounting Programs
2U partners with top universities to offer their degree programs online, including master’s programs in accounting. Students in 2U partner programs benefit from the highest-quality online learning platform available, with access to an online campus from anywhere they have an Internet connection. University faculty lead all academic issues related to programs, including instruction and curriculum development. 2U-powered programs feature:
created by faculty and available 24/7.
in a collaborative online classroom.
between students and universities.
at field placements or immersions.
from application through graduation.
Career Paths and Employment
An MS in Accounting opens a wide range of career opportunities in public, corporate and government accounting.
|Job Title||Job Description||CPA Required||Employed By|
|Public Accounting||Perform accounting, auditing, tax and consulting tasks. Public accountants have a wide range of clients.||Yes||Companies, individuals or the government — in firms or in their own business.|
|Corporate Accounting||Analyze and record financial information for private, internal use. Also known as management accounting. Corporate accountants work solely for a company or organization.||No, but useful||Organizations or any company that needs to manage internal financial information|
|Government Accounting||Maintain government records. Audit private business as dictated by government regulation.||Yes||Government agencies|