Most Affordable Online Master’s in Accounting

This page highlights 18 accredited online Master in Accounting programs that rank highly on affordability and discusses other ways to lower the cost of your master’s degree. Read on to learn if these affordable online master’s programs are right for you and about how to fund your master’s degree.

A quality and affordable online master’s in accounting program develops critical thinking and communication skills as well as the hard skills associated with accounting. It also prepares you for a variety of positions such as a certified public accountant, financial advisor, and forensic accountant. A master’s degree in accounting opens doors for career advancement and higher pay, but many wonder how’ll they’ll complete the work while balancing other priorities.

Questions about online versus in-person learning, which program to choose, and how to pay for the degree also make getting your degree feel overwhelming. To help with these decisions, we’ve overviewed the most affordable online master’s in accounting programs below and provided suggestions for lowering how much you’ll pay for your degree.

18 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Accounting Programs for 2022

Though program quality, time commitment, pacing, and cost are all aspects students consider when selecting an online master’s in accounting program, cost is usually the most important and ultimately the deciding factor. The following rankings of affordable programs were determined by comparing key affordability and quality metrics data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). See our “About the ranking” button below for a full explanation of these rankings.

About the ranking
1
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Westfield State University offers an Accounting, M.S. that can be completed in one year via the advanced track. Westfield prepares students for management positions within the field and helps them prepare for tests like those for becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). The program offers both in-person and online classes that meet on weekday evenings.

Westfield’s advanced track requires a bachelor’s degree in a business-related discipline or a specific set of prerequisite courses. Other admissions requirements include a 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and a written statement of purpose. Westfield does not have a rolling deadline, so submit your materials four to six weeks before the start of the semester you want to begin.

Program Highlights:

Accounting, M.S.

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: At least one year
  • Cost: $383/credit
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
2
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Texas A&M-Commerce’s Accounting Master of Science program offers both fully online and fully in-person options with a wide variety of classes offered on a rotating schedule. Concentrations include Accounting Information Systems and Control, Analytical Financial Management, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Tax Compliance and Planning. Students can also minor in Business Analytics, Cyber Security, Financial Planning, Entrepreneurship, and more.

If you are coming from a non-business undergraduate degree, only one course is required as a prerequisite. Students must provide a letter of recommendation, a personal statement, transcripts, and a resume or CV. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Program Highlights:

Accounting, Master of Science

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $500.39/credit (resident); $908.39/credit (non-resident)
  • Format: In-person; fully-online.
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); AACSB (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s MBA in Accounting allows students to select a CPA or non-CPA track to further personalize the learning experience. All MBA in Accounting students receive a working knowledge of accounting principles and business applications.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours earned. Students not meeting these requirements can receive conditional admission with further proof and greater restrictions on course choices. Students with undergraduate degrees in business may be able to obtain this degree in 33 credit hours. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Program Highlights:

Master of Business Administration, Accounting emphasis (MBA)

  • Credits: 33 to 42
  • Length: At least four semesters
  • Cost: $346/credit
  • Format: Fully-online

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
4
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fitchburg State University offers a 100% online Master of Business Administration in Accounting program that features collaborative learning groups and emphasizes participatory learning. This program prepares students for careers as financial analysts, financial managers, auditing managers, forensic accountants, and controllers.

Fitchburg applicants need an undergraduate degree from any field and a GPA of 2.8. Students with an undergrad GPA of less than 2.8 can still be considered based on professional work experience and letters of recommendation. Fitchburg State does not require a GMAT score for admissions. If your GPA is at least a 3.0 after a semester of coursework, you can apply for an additional concentration. The accelerated format of these classes appeals to working professionals who want to get their degree quickly, and Fitchburg offers numerous start dates throughout the year.

Program Highlights:

  • Program Name
  • Credits: 30
  • Length: As little as one year
  • Cost: $436/credit
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school); IACBE (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
5
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi provides a hyper-focus on the accounting field and is specific to individuals seeking high-level accounting positions in firms or businesses. All required courses are 100% online, and program goals and objectives include having students become effective communicators, implement competent business practices, make good decisions, and become good citizens.

If your undergraduate degree is in an area other than accounting, the school requires you to consult with the program director to determine your necessary coursework. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi wants students to have taken either the GMAT or GRE or to have a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of their bachelor’s in addition to a minimum grade of a B in College Algebra. Students who already have graduate degrees do not need to take an admissions test.

Program Highlights:

Accounting, MAcc (Master of Accountancy)

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $688.95/credit
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
6
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
7
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
8
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
9
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
10
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
11
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
12
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
13
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NWCCU
14
Laramie, WY
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
15
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
16
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
17
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
18
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC

5 Ways to Save on Your Online Master’s Degree in Accounting

Cost is a major determining factor for most students when deciding where to earn their online master’s degree in accounting. While online learning reduces room and board as well as travel costs, the degree’s price tag is still significant. Below are five additional funding sources for your master’s degree.

  1. Scholarships, grants, and fellowships created for accounting master’s students.

    Many programs offer scholarships, grants, and fellowships specifically for graduate or accounting master’s students. Scholarships are usually based on academic or professional accomplishments, and grants as well as some scholarships are determined by financial need. Fellowships can be awarded by a university, a professional organization, or a nonprofit. Many university websites, like Ohio Wesleyan University’s, provide information on fellowships. You can also explore scholarships, like the Robert Kaufman Memorial Scholarship offered by the Independent Accountants International Education Foundation, specifically for accounting students. More opportunities for scholarships can be found in OMD’s scholarships and resources guide.

  2. Work-Study or Assistantships

    Assistantships or work-study programs allow students to save money on tuition and gain practical experience in the field. Universities offering assistantships often provide both a tuition waiver and a living stipend to offset the cost of coursework. Graduate assistants often work with professors in a variety of capacities such as grading or research. Work-study programs, such as the one offered by the federal government, provide employment in a related field and allow you to use your wages for tuition.

  3. Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

    Your employer may offer full or partial reimbursement for continuing education. Even if your employer does not offer an official reimbursement program, you should ask. If you plan to continue working during your degree, you can leverage how your knowledge and skills will immediately benefit your employer. Also emphasize how you will be better prepared to take on leadership roles on projects as a result of your education. Deloitte is one company that offers 100% graduate school tuition reimbursement.

  4. Payment Plans

    Universities often offer payment plans to help students pay tuition costs in small increments. You can spread out your tuition costs throughout the year, and the exact breakdown (e.g., monthly, by semester, by percent) depends on the specific payment plan. Payment plans are not a loan and do not typically charge interest, but they do often have an enrollment fee. Many plans allow automatic withdrawal from your bank account, and some allow payment by credit card. Investigate any associated fees to these payment methods ahead of time.

  5. Paid Internships

    For students not already employed full-time, paid internships are an opportunity to gain experience, network, and earn money to help pay for graduate school. These part-time jobs often are associated with lower pay, but they also give more space and time to focus on schoolwork. Look for paid internships with networking potential as well as a chance to gain valuable experience in the accounting field.

FAQs: Affordable Master’s Programs in Accounting

Q. What impacts the affordability of an online master’s program?

Multiple factors play into the cost of a master’s program. Whether a school is a private or public institution and if you have in-state or out-of-state residency status often impacts tuition rates. In addition, online programs are often cheaper because of savings from the waiving of student activity or other fees and not having to commute. The availability of scholarships, grants, and other programs (e.g., work-study or assistantships) can also affect affordability. Finally, transfer credits can be a great way to save you both time and money.

Q. What is the ROI of an online master’s degree in accounting?

Compared to other advanced business degrees, a Master of Accounting has one of the best ROIs because they’re relatively short with multiple fellowships and scholarships available. The median pay for an accountant, according to the BLS, is $77,250. If you complete an online program in a year and receive a pay increase, you may very well cover the cost of your online master’s degree in accounting fairly quickly. With the upper ten percent of accountants earning over $128,000, the ROI of this degree certainly makes it worthwhile.

Q. How can I ensure that an affordable master’s in accounting program is high-quality?

Check out a program’s accreditation status for assurance of its quality. You can see accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, but accreditation status should also be displayed on individual school websites. Many programs also list objectives for student learning to help you determine how the program translates into career skills and prepares you for advancement. You can also check into employment numbers for graduates of individual schools. Texas A&M University-Commerce, for example, reports that 91% of graduate students were employed within 12 months of graduating.

Q. Is an online master’s degree more affordable than an in-person program?

There are many factors to consider for determining which is more affordable, but online programs often come out on top. While many online programs include a fee for distance learning, these fees are often less than the fees paid by on-campus students. An online program is also more likely to allow you to continue working while earning your degree. Also consider that an online degree saves you money on travel costs.

Q. Can job experience count towards a master’s degree and help cut costs?

Upon admission, your university should review your experience to determine if any of it applies to your degree. Some programs allow you to place out of certain courses, reducing cost and increasing the speed at which you can earn your degree. Others may actually give you course credit toward the completion of your degree. Ask about credit for work experience before coming to a program since it may be a deciding factor in overall cost and time commitment.

Q. How can I know if an affordable master’s degree program is right for me?

Consider making a list of what matters most to you. Do you want to finish in less than two years? Do you want a fully-online program? Is networking important? Creating a list of your must-haves can help you weed out programs that do not fit your needs. Prioritizing those needs can help you make the final decision about which program to enroll in.