On this page

Back to top

MS in Accounting: Top AACSB-Accredited Programs Online

Whether you want to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), an AACSB-accredited online master’s in accounting (MAcc) can help you get there. Read our guide to find out how.

Find your school in just 60 seconds

Find Your School in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Take our quiz
  2. Match with schools
  3. Connect with favorites
A person sitting at a desk is using a laptop while holding a pen over documents, likely preparing for an Online Masters in Accounting. There is a stack of clipped documents with orange tabs in the foreground, perhaps related to AACSB-accredited programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors, financial managers, and financial analysts are in high demand. The BLS projects that the employment of accountants and auditors will grow by 4% from 2022 to 2032 and will add about 126,500 jobs annually. By earning an MS in accounting online that’s AACSB-accredited, you can position yourself to enter this promising field and start your career.

Before you can dive into an online degree program, you probably have a lot of questions about getting an AACSB-accredited online master’s in accounting. Below, we’ll walk you through the basics of AACSB accreditation, how to get into the top online programs, and some of the most promising career paths after graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions About AACSB-Accredited Online Accounting Programs

What is AACSB accreditation?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation is a long-standing and widely recognized credential awarded to business programs at colleges and universities. Confirming AACSB graduate school accreditation assures that an online accounting master’s program meets well-established academic excellence standards.

AACSB accounting accreditation is a supplemental accreditation offered to accounting programs. In addition to AACSB business accreditation criteria, the school must also meet requirements in six accounting standards. Schools are evaluated for AACSB accreditation every five years.

Why is attending an accredited accounting program important?

An AACSB online master’s in accounting is viewed as a standard of quality education by employers. Enrolling in an AACSB-accredited accounting program ensures that you’re receiving a high-quality education that maintains a curriculum aligned with top industry standards. Graduating with an MS in accounting online that’s AACSB-accredited means you’ll be well-prepared for licensing examinations and qualified for higher-paying jobs with top-notch employers who prefer to hire graduates of these programs.

Are AACSB-accredited programs more academically difficult?

AACSB accreditation is a sign that a program maintains industry-recognized standards for academic excellence. However, that doesn’t mean it is more academically difficult. Any master’s in accounting is an in-depth program that can be challenging. That’s because you’ll be diving deep into complex accounting, auditing, and financial management principles. However, with dedication, hard work, and plenty of time to study, you’ll succeed in an AACSB-accredited accounting program.

Do I need to take the GMAT to apply to an accredited accounting program?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a general admissions test used to apply to most graduate programs. The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is a common admission test for applying to business schools. Depending on the program and school you apply to, you might need to provide scores for the GRE or GMAT. Other business schools have no GMAT requirement, making it easier to apply for a program without taking a standardized test.

Do I have to earn a master’s degree to work in accounting?

Technically, it is possible to work in the accounting field without earning a master’s degree. However, a master’s degree is preferable for certain positions and certifications, such as a CPA. It can also help you gain qualifications and experience that put your career on the fast track. However, if you can’t invest time or money in a master’s program and you want to earn graduate credits, a graduate certificate in either accounting or management accounting could be the perfect fit for you.

College Spotlights: AACSB-Accredited Online Accounting Programs

To help you choose an AACSB-accredited online master’s in accounting, we’ve curated five outstanding programs. These programs are known for their affordable tuition, flexibility, and support for students who want to get an MS in accounting online that’s AACSB-accredited. Whether you’re advancing your skillset or just getting started in accounting, read on to learn about our top picks.

The University of Oklahoma

Logo of the "University of Oklahoma" with stylized gothic script in white on a maroon background.

At the University of Oklahoma, students can get an online Master of Accountancy to earn the additional credits they need to be eligible to take the CPA exam. This flexible online program provides students with the same instruction as the on-campus degree. The convenience of online format along with small class sizes and a cohort model ensure students can collaborate with their peers in a remote learning environment.

Each year, one online MAcc student is selected for a 100% scholarship, and four are selected for a 50% scholarship for the Becker CPA Exam Review. Ideal candidates for this MAcc have taken undergraduate courses in accounting, auditing, and accounting information systems. Students can complete this 33-credit program in less than two years while also working full time.

Program Details: Master of Accountancy

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 2 years
  • Tuition: $32,000
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Specializations: General MAcc

The University of South Alabama

The Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama offers a Master of Accounting Degree. This program provides the advanced accounting experience and skills that students need if they want to become CPAs, management accountants, or government accountants. By the time students graduate from this AACSB-accredited program, they’re prepared to take the CPA exam in Alabama or any other state.

Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance can complete the program in as little as one year; those from other backgrounds will need to complete prerequisite undergraduate coursework in accounting, taxation, and auditing before enrolling in graduate-level coursework. Classes for South Alabama’s MAcc are available entirely online, and a new student cohort begins each fall and spring.

Program Details: Master of Accounting

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Resident cost/credit: $505
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Specializations: General MAcc

Arizona State University

Students who want to blend accounting and data analytics skills should check the online Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics offered by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting can get started on their master’s right away, but ASU also offers a four-course pathway program or MAcc/MTax Bootcamp to help students gain the prerequisite credits and experience necessary for admission.

To help them prepare for the CPA exam, all ASU MAcc students get no-cost access to Becker CPA Review. Classes are a mix of asynchronous and synchronous coursework; live synchronous classes meet one to two times per week at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

Program Details: Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost/credit: $719
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Specializations: Accountancy and Data Analytics

Rutgers University

The Online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) from Rutgers School of Business-Camden is a 30-credit, fully online program. In as little as 12 months, graduates can be prepared to take the CPA exam. The program has two educational paths, depending on the students’ background.

The accountant track is for those with a bachelor’s in accounting or equivalent experience, while the transition track is for those with a bachelor’s from another field. 15 out of 30 credits are free electives, which empowers students to specialize in areas, such as data analytics, auditing, accounting analytics, forensic accounting, or accounting information systems. No GMAT or GRE is required to apply for this program.

Program Details: Master of Accountancy

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost/credit: $1,313
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Specializations: Data Analytics, Auditing, Accounting Analytics, Forensic Accounting, Accounting Information Systems

Rider University

Rider University’s Norm Brodsky College of Business offers an AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy online. With six start dates throughout the year, no GMAT requirement, and graduation in as little as 21 months, this program puts students on the fast track to an accounting career. This program is ideal for students with or without a background in accounting. Those with a background in the field can waive up to 15 foundational credits to get their degree quicker.

Students can customize their degree with one of five concentrations: business analytics, finance, information systems, sport management, or forensic accounting. For all the specializations, students receive instruction with a practical focus on technology and its impact on accounting.

Program Details: Master of Accountancy

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 21 months
  • Cost/credit: $1,040
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Specializations: Business Analytics, Finance, Information Systems, Sport Management, Forensic Accounting

What You’ll Learn in an Accredited Online MAcc Program

Courses in the online master of accounting programs vary, but all students will take advanced courses in accounting, taxation, and auditing. If you’re transitioning into the field, you must complete prerequisite coursework in these topics before enrolling in advanced classes. At many schools, such as the University of North Alabama, a prerequisite curriculum is provided for transitional students.

Advanced Financial Accounting

In this course, you’ll cover crucial topics related to in-depth financial accounting. You’ll learn about the theory and practice of advanced accounting, covering topics such as mergers and acquisitions and foreign-currency translation. You’ll also develop practical skills, like analyzing reports, preparing financial statements, and communicating financial information to stakeholders.

Tax Planning and Research

As a master of accounting student, you’ll take at least one advanced course in tax planning and research. This course is a deep dive into tax research tools, how professionals use them, and tax planning considerations. You’ll also learn to perform research and tax planning on a wide range of important topics and write reports on your findings.

Advanced Auditing

Advanced auditing classes cover the advanced practices and problems of accounting. In this course, you’ll learn about current auditing issues, ethics and legal implications, risk assessment, data analytics, and cybersecurity. You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the sets of standards against which audits are reviewed, such as the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards, the audit process, and reports issued by auditors.

Lucrative Careers for Accounting Master’s Grads

Before you commit to getting your master’s in accounting online, we recommend that you thoroughly research your options. Most accounting careers offer an upward trajectory,, and to illustrate the point, we’ve put together a list of three top careers for MAcc graduates so you can review the typical duties and skills needed to do these jobs, as well as their salary and growth potential.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

CPA is a professional designation you receive after passing a state’s CPA examination and becoming licensed to perform certain public accounting duties. These duties range from tax preparation, auditing, and consulting to forensic accounting, financial statement preparation, and internal auditing. CPAs work in a range of settings from large firms to their own businesses. Their clients may be individuals, nonprofits, for-profit corporations or government agencies. Getting a master’s degree is a common way for students to earn the hours and skills needed to become a CPA.

Career Outlook: CPA

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$78,000 $132,690 4% Finance & Insurance

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$78,000
90th Percentile
$132,690
Projected Growth (2022-32)
4%
Top Industry
Finance & Insurance

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023; BLS, 2022

Financial Managers

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They create and review financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop plans for meeting the long-term financial goals of their organization. Financial managers typically supervise employees who do bookkeeping, financial reporting, and budgeting. They also collaborate with senior management to analyze data and offer advice on high-level financial decisions that maximize profit. A firm grounding in taxation is key; financial managers must ensure that legal and tax compliance requirements of an organization are met.

Career Outlook: Financial Managers

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$139,790 $239,200 16% Finance & Insurance

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$139,790
90th Percentile
$239,200
Projected Growth (2022-32)
16%
Top Industry
Finance & Insurance

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023; BLS, 2022

Financial and Investment Analysts

Financial and investment analysts advise people and businesses about using money to grow a profit. They evaluate the performance of stocks, bonds, and a range of investment types. They also analyze current and past financial data and study business trends, then recommend the appropriate investments or investment portfolios to their clients. Typically, financial and investment analysts specialize in a geographic area, industry, or type of product.

Career Outlook: Financial and Investment Analysts

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$95,080 $169,940 8% Finance & Insurance

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$95,080
90th Percentile
$169,940
Projected Growth (2022-32)
8%
Top Industry
Finance & Insurance

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023; BLS, 2022

Costs and Financial Aid for AACSB Accredited Online accounting Programs

Getting a Master of Accounting degree is a considerable investment in your future, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to make it happen. Choosing an affordable accounting program is a great first step, and there are myriad student resources available to accounting students.

Many students secure financial aid through private scholarships, such as those offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). You can also check with your school for scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs. If you’re already working in the financial field, check with your employer if they offer tuition assistance for continuing education.

How Much Your Accredited MAcc Program Could Cost

School Program No. of Credits Est. Tuition
Auburn University Master of Accountancy

30-42

$28,500 – $39,900

William & Mary Master of Accounting

32

$36,000

Rider University Master of Accountancy

30

$31,200