Online Master's Degree in Accounting

Learn about admissions requirements and courses for online master's degree programs in accounting. Find out about licensure and the employment outlook for accountants. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's Degree Program in Accounting?

An online master's degree program in accounting trains you in advanced accounting techniques, finance and business practices. You can find this online degree program at a number of reputable universities. Many require you complete 36 credit hours, which may take 2 or 3 years. Studying online gives you the flexibility to earn your graduate degree around your schedule. A few programs require you to attend on-campus learning sessions during the program.

These accounting programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and many will allow you to transfer credits from other AACSB schools. Along with a bachelor's degree in a related field, you'll need to submit college transcripts, letters of recommendation and a resume. Most graduate admissions committees also ask that you take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and participate in an admissions interview.

Your undergraduate degree program should include courses such as managerial and financial accounting, finance and macroeconomics. Also, classes in math, accounting, computer science or business help prepare you for this online program.

PrerequisitesBachelor's degree in a related field, college transcripts, letters of recommendation, resume, GMAT scores, admissions interview
Common CoursesBusiness law, federal taxes and tax preparation, risk prevention, business analysis, auditing
CertificationCPA creedential required to file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% growth (for accountants and auditors)*
Median Salary (2018)$70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will Be in the Curriculum?

These graduate programs give you the knowledge needed to understand today's accounting practices, software and technology. These programs prepare you to become a Certified Public Account (CPA). Some online programs may require you to complete an internship. Your coursework may include classes about:

  • Managerial communication
  • Business law
  • Federal taxes and tax preparation
  • Risk prevention
  • Information technology for accountants
  • Accounting policy
  • Business analysis
  • Auditing
  • Fraud prevention

Do I Need a License?

To work as a professional accountant, you'll typically need to be a CPA. This credential is required by any accountant filing a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. To become a CPA, you need to sit for the national accountancy exam and meet any other requirements mandated by the state in which you practice.

What's the Job Market Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants are expected to experience a job growth rate of 10% between 2016 and 2026 ( Job growth in accounting professions will likely be driven by a growing number of small businesses. As of July 2019, accountants earned a median annual salary of $50,737 according to Those with at least 20 years of experience earned a yearly median salary of $56,915, while those with 0 to 5 years of experience earned a median salary of $49,001 annually.

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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