What Are the Top Schools Offering Accounting MBA Degrees?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting can lead to a career in tax preparation, auditing, finance or budget management. The following article features three of the nation's best graduate schools for earning the degree. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top School for an MBA in Accounting?

Look for schools with a reputation for success. Explore MBA in Accounting program rankings from publications such as U.S. News & World Report; Bloomberg Businessweek; and Financial Times. You should also seek schools that offer ample and varied lab courses for gaining hands-on experience in solving real-world business challenges. Look for campus-sponsored, student-led organizations dedicated to preparing students for careers in finance. These organizations can give students leadership experience, which is often highly valued among employers.

What Are Three Top MBA in Accounting Schools?

University of Texas in Austin

The University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business offers an MBA in Accounting, as well as a Master in Professional Accounting (MPA). McCombs' graduate accounting program was named the best in the country according to 2019 rankings from U.S. News and World Report. The publication ranked McCombs #19 among the nation's top business schools for that same year.

Within the MBA in Accounting, you can specialize in investment banking or corporations. In the investment banking concentration, you must take two courses in financial accounting standards and analysis, as well as courses in strategic controls and financial statement analysis. In the corporations program, you choose five courses from a list of ten. Class offerings include both general accounting courses as well as niche courses, such as those related specifically to nonprofit organizations and petroleum companies. Both programs allow some electives.

McCombs offers students several hands-on opportunities, including the MBA Fellows Program, MBA+ Leadership Program and international study programs. Study abroad experiences are available in Paris, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen, London, Johannesburg, Milan, Buenos Aires and various other locations, providing students with a better feel for the global aspect of accounting.

McCombs offers:

  • MBA in Accounting
  • Master in Professional Accounting

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania offers an MBA in Accounting. For 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked this accounting program #3 in the nation and named Wharton the best graduate business school in the country.

Students in the MBA program learn about the generation of accounting information and how reliable it is in analysis. You are required to take a course in financial accounting, and then you can choose among courses like financial reporting; auditing; tax planning; corporate valuation; and, accounting for complex financial structures. The curriculum allows students to work toward certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Management Accountant (CMA). Wharton offers multiple interdisciplinary degree options to students wishing to combine an MBA in Accounting with another degree program. The MBA in Accounting program is offered in two formats:

  • MBA in Accounting
  • MBA for Executives (optional accounting specialization)

University of Chicago in Illinois

The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business offers a top-ranked MBA in Accounting program. In fact, Booth's program took the #6 spot for graduate accounting degree programs in the country for 2019, according to U.S. News and World Report. The publication also ranked Booth as the third best graduate business school in the nation for that same year.

Through the full-time MBA program, you take courses in major business areas, like financial accounting; marketing; microeconomics; management decision making; business operations; and, statistics. You have 11 elective classes that allow you to build your concentration or take classes from other departments. The school offers 13 concentrations to its MBA students. Students typically fulfill between one and three of them, including accounting. The accounting concentration includes courses in accounting and financial analysis; financial statement analysis; and, taxes and business strategy.

Booth offers numerous opportunities for learning outside the classroom. You could join one of Booth's student-run organizations to network with professionals and learn more about career options. The Corporate Finance Group (CFG), for instance, provides information and contacts regarding jobs in finance. CFG is just one of many such groups available to you. You could also join a team and participate in real-world problem-solving competitions to help you build skills before entering the field. The American Bankruptcy Institute Corporate Restructuring Competition is an appropriate one for accounting students, but there are others.

  • MBA with Accounting Concentration

Ten Top Schools for an MBA in Accounting

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign4-year, PublicChampaign, IL$18,000
Stanford University4-year, PrivateStanford, CA$51,000
Brigham Young University--Provo4-year, PrivateProvo, UT$7,000
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000
New York University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$45,000
University of Southern California4-year, PrivateLos Angeles, CA$45,000
Indiana University--Bloomington4-year, PublicBloomington, IN$10,500
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC$12,000
Columbia University in the City of New York4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$48,000
Ohio State University4-year, PublicColumbus, OH$12,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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