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Best Online Master’s in Accounting: No GMAT Required

Author: Angela Myers

Editor: Kari Scare

Skip the GMAT and dive straight into your degree by earning an online masters in accounting with no GMAT requirements.

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Looking for a high-paying job with great security? Consider accounting and the fact that states like Texas are passing legislation to make it easier to enter the field since there’s a shortage of qualified accountants. Accountants prepare and examine financial records as well as file taxes or help with tax audits for individuals and organizations.

Most accounting roles, including becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), require a master’s degree. In-person master’s programs, however, usually involve commuting to campus, making it difficult to balance studies and work. They also commonly require the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a standardized test that requires hours of studying and often causes test anxiety.

Fortunately, getting an online masters in accounting with no GMAT requirement is a viable option that offers more flexibility. Continue reading for the best programs with no GMAT and learn what to expect when applying and once enrolled.

Spotlight: No-GMAT Accounting Master’s Programs

There are many options for an online masters in accounting programs with no GMAT requirement, but not all are created equal. To help you find stand-out programs, three of the best are spotlighted below. Each excels in academic rigor, affordability, and flexibility.

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University offers an online masters in accounting with no GMAT stipulations that’s ideal for full-time workers. All courses are either asynchronous where students watch pre-recorded lectures at their convenience or in person in the evening. Many faculty members also have full-time jobs outside of teaching, so they understand work conflicts and the need to balance classes with professional obligations.

This industry experience also allows faculty to integrate modern, real-world insight into their courses. While the curriculum is rather broad, students can take electives in areas of interest. Graduates are prepared for a variety of roles, such as working as financial analysts, public accountants, controllers, auditing managers, or forensic accountants. The program can be completed in as little as twelve months.

Liberty University

The image displays the logo of Liberty University. The text "LIBERTY" is written in large, bold, uppercase letters, with "UNIVERSITY" written below it in smaller, uppercase letters. The design is simple and uses a serif font in dark blue. Ideal for promoting online programs and certificates in Healthcare Administration.

To be accepted into the accounting master’s at Liberty University, applicants don’t submit GMAT scores. Instead, admission is based on GPA, application answers, and official transcripts. Once accepted, students can get a general master’s in accounting or choose a specific concentration. Specialties include forensic science, audit and reporting, business, financial services, leadership, and taxation.

Courses can be completed online for all concentrations. Virtual classes are delivered at set class times that work with most working professionals’ schedules or in prerecorded videos that students can watch whenever they have time. Courses also span eight weeks instead of a traditional semester, so students can lighten or increase their courseload based on their availability throughout the year.

Southern New Hampshire University

Logo of Southern New Hampshire University featuring a stylized blue shield with a three-colored flame design in yellow, light blue, and dark blue, accompanied by the university's name in green and gray.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) provides a robust accounting master’s program that’s worth consideration. The entire program can be accessed online, and all lectures are uploaded as pre-recorded video modules. Students can access these modules and complete coursework 24/7, making this a great program for those in different time zones or with demanding schedules.

Along with schedule flexibility, the program offers two concentrations: forensic accounting and management accounting. All students also take a few foundational courses, such as auditing, business analytics, and federal tax for corporations. SNHU designed the admissions process so the barrier to applying is low. As a result, applicants only submit a free online application and their undergraduate transcripts. No GMAT is required.

Admission Requirements for No-GMAT MAcc Programs

Minimum GPA

If a school doesn’t require GMAT scores, it often places more emphasis on a student’s GPA. Typically, schools have a minimum GPA requirement, and they prefer all applicants to meet or exceed that minimum. For the three spotlighted schools above, minimum GPAs are:

While GPA matters, some schools place less emphasis on it for those with significant and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s Degree

Masters in accounting programs aren’t asking for your high school GPA. They want a GPA from a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university. While some programs accept students with a bachelor’s in any field, many prefer students with a bachelor’s in accounting, finance, or related fields. If someone didn’t receive a master’s in a field related to accounting, programs may want to see business courses on that applicant’s transcript.

Transcripts

Almost all master’s in accounting programs require students to submit an official transcript from their bachelor’s degrees. If a program doesn’t accept GMAT scores, it may look closer at what courses a student took. Liberty University, for example, doesn’t require GMAT scores but does want official transcripts. While most programs can be flexible with what courses they are looking for, they typically want to see previous coursework in business statistics, accounting, finance, and business management.

Personal Statement

A personal statement is an essay where an applicant states why they want to get a master’s in accounting and why they choose to apply to a specific program. These statements aren’t always required, but many programs without GMAT requirements ask for them since the programs typically take a holistic approach to accepting students.

Online Application

Programs typically require students to fill out online applications. These usually consist of short answer questions related to your academic background, why you are applying to a specific program, and what you hope to achieve after graduating. They may also ask for additional information on previous degrees and work experience. Southern New Hampshire University is one example of a program requiring an online application.

What You’ll Learn in an Online Accounting Graduate Program

Online accounting programs offer a robust, expert-level look at accounting. Common courses include financial reporting, management accounting, and accounting technology, all of which are detailed below.

Financial Reporting

Good record-keeping is important to most accounting roles. Accountants must be able to document financial information and create reports to showcase financial data to various stakeholders. As a result, many online accounting graduate degrees offer at least one course in financial reporting. This course details how to perform a tax audit, how to keep good records, and the elements of quarterly financial reports. Some programs, such as the online degree at Liberty University, offer an entire specialization in financial reporting.

Management Accounting

In many states, you can work as an accountant without a master’s degree. To progress to leadership positions, however, many employers require applicants to have a master’s in accounting. If this is your goal, courses or a specialization in management accounting may be a good fit. For a better idea of what these courses look like, explore the curriculum from the online master’s at Southern New Hampshire University.

Accounting Technology

A recent study surveyed accounting employers to determine what skills they valued most. For almost all, the ability to use accounting technology stood above other capabilities. Many programs, such as the one at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, offer courses in how information technology and accounting intersect. In some programs, an accounting technology course is a requirement. In others, it’s an elective but one that may boost your employability. The University of Urbana, for example, provides electives in AI and accounting, data-driven decisions, and accounting analytics.

Online MAcc Program Specializations (No GMAT)

Accounting is a varied field. Some accountants work with individuals while others work with giant organizations. No matter your ideal employer, a specialization can help you earn more. Continue reading to learn about three popular specialties.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants dig into financial records, searching for any signs of criminal activity. They often work on interesting financial crime cases and may work alongside detectives and others who investigate crimes. Become a forensic accountant through a program, such as the master’s at Stevenson University, with a specialization in this field.

Taxation

Almost all accountants are familiar with taxes. If you’re interested in a career centered around taxation, consider specializing in this field. Taxation specialists work for either individuals or corporations paying taxes or for government organizations collecting taxes. Florida Atlantic University hosts a popular online program with a specialization in taxation.

Public Accounting

If your goal is to become a CPA, a program specializing in public accounting may be a good fit. In these programs, students take courses covering what will be on the CPA exam. Schools offering this specialization, such as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, often boast high CPA exam pass rates.

Tuition and Financial Aid for MAcc Majors

A master’s in accounting isn’t cheap. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average degree cost $19,792 annually in 2020. Fortunately, online programs are often more affordable, though some can be more expensive, as demonstrated in the table below. Accountants typically earn above average, too, so the investment in your education will probably pay off.

That being said, almost $20,000 is a lot to pay in one year. To offset the cost, apply for financial aid. Aid can come in the form of student loans, the federal work-study program, or fellowships and scholarships offered by specific schools. Some private organizations, such as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, offer scholarships specifically for accounting students. If you’re employed while attending a master’s program, check with HR to see if your employer offers tuition assistance.

What Your Online Accounting Degree Could Cost

School Program No. of Credits Est. Tuition
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign MS in Accounting

32

$22,560

Stevenson University MS in Forensic Accounting

36

$25,380

Fitchburg State University MBA in Accounting

30

$13,080

Accountants are in demand across industries, and there has never been a better time to enter the field. While the opportunities are many, the salaries and growth potential vary. Check out important employment stats for three of the most common accounting careers.

Certified Personal Accountant (CPA)

Certified personal accountants work with individuals to prepare their taxes and gather any materials for tax audits. Each state has specific requirements to become certified. They usually include graduating from a master’s program and passing a CPA exam. Becoming a CPA is ideal for those who like to work directly with individuals, are detail-oriented, and can examine documents for hours on end. Becoming a licensed CPA may also help you receive more promotions or advance earlier in your career.

Career Outlook: CPA

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$79,880 $137,280 4% Professional, Scientific, and
Technical Services

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$79,880
90th Percentile
$137,280
Projected Growth (2022-32)
4%
Top Industry
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Sources: O*Net OnLine, 2023; Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2023

Tax Examiners and Collectors

While CPAs help individuals file taxes, examiners and collectors often work for the government. They analyze how much is due from different individuals and businesses and examine tax returns to ensure they are correct. To thrive in this role, you should be detail-oriented, a good record-keeper, knowledgeable about taxation, and adept at contacting individuals or company representatives to resolve disputes over tax filings.

Career Outlook: Tax Examiners and Collectors

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$58,530 $107,660 1% Government

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$58,530
90th Percentile
$107,660
Projected Growth (2022-32)
1%
Top Industry
Government

Sources: O*Net OnLine, 2023; BLS, 2023

Financial Analysts

Are you passionate about helping individuals or businesses maximize profit? If so, you may enjoy working as a financial analyst. Financial analysts evaluate financial trends and data to provide and implement recommendations to improve a corporation’s or individual’s financial situation. While many degrees can enable someone to enter this field, a master’s in accounting can help you stand out since it demonstrates a commitment to learning about taxes, excellent record-keeping, and adeptness at analyzing financial data.

Career Outlook: Financial Analysts

Median Annual Pay
(2023)
90th Percentile
Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$99,010 $175,840 8% Finance and Insurance

Median Annual Pay (2023)
$99,010
90th Percentile
$175,840
Projected Growth (2022-32)
8%
Top Industry
Finance and Insurance

Sources: O*Net OnLine, 2023; BLS, 2023

FAQs for No-GMAT Accounting Programs

Are there any accredited MAcc programs that don’t require GMAT scores?

Many Master of Accounting (MAcc) programs that don’t require GMAT scores are accredited, including each program listed in this guide. When looking at an MAcc program, look for institutional accreditation and AACSB accreditation for the accounting program specifically.

Is it worthwhile to earn a master’s degree in accounting?

While not required, a master’s in accounting can better qualify you for leadership positions. Compared to candidates with bachelor’s degrees, you may also earn more and have increased chances for promotions. In some states, a master’s is also a requirement to sit for the CPA exam.

Can I earn an online graduate certificate in accounting instead of a master’s degree?

Let’s say you want to complete graduate-level accounting courses, but you’re not ready to commit to a one- to two-year master’s. Instead, you can start with a shorter online graduate certificate in accounting. Some certificates are more general, while others cover a specific skill set like accounting management.

What GPA should I have if I’m not taking the GMAT?

Whether or not a program requires GMAT scores, try to keep your GPA high. Most schools don’t have a specific GPA range, though many have a minimum. Minimum GPAs can vary from 2.0 to 3.0, depending on the program. If you’ve been working for a few years and have relevant work experience, program admissions may place less emphasis on your GPA.

What are the admission requirements for non-GMAT accounting programs?

When a school doesn’t require accounting applicants to submit GMAT scores, it often places more emphasis on other admissions requirements. These include your GPA, letters of recommendation, essay questions, and work experience. For a better idea of what a specific program considers important, contact its admissions team.