What Are the Best Master's in Accounting Programs?

Find out what degree programs and coursework is available in the graduate accounting programs at three well-respected schools. Learn about these schools' rankings to determine which might be a good fit for you. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Master's Degree Program in Accounting?

You'll want to look for a school that has faculty members who are experienced in accounting and are recognized for their research, publications or work history. The best accounting schools typically offer hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, research institutions or seminars. Most master's programs help prepare you to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). You should also look for schools that offer a diverse selection of accounting courses, so you can choose electives that pertain to your area of interest.

Three Top Schools That Offer a Master's Degree in Accounting

University of Illinois in Champaign

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Illinois (UI) at number two on the list of best accounting graduate schools in 2019. The accountancy department at UI awarded its first master's degree all the way back in 1922.

The Master of Science in Accountancy program is designed to give you the prerequisites needed for the Certified Internal Auditor examination, the CPA examination and the Certified Management Accountant examination. UI offers additional research and learning opportunities through the Office of Accounting Research and the Vernon K. Zimmerman Center for International Research and Education in Accounting. Faculty members have published material in a number of journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Literature and Contemporary Accounting Research. UI also offers a wide selection of accounting elective courses, such as accounting management, corporate taxes, partnership taxes and financial statement analysis. You can pursue the following master's degrees at UI:

  • Master of Accounting Science
  • Master of Science in Accountancy

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania's (UP) Wharton School of Business is one of the oldest business schools in the United States. According to U.S. News & World Report, UP was ranked third on the list of best accounting graduate schools in 2019.

The accounting program has a flexible program of study that allows you to take courses to help prepare you to become a CPA or a Chartered Management Accountant. Some of the courses you could choose from include auditing, valuing corporations and accounting for mergers. The accounting department has performed research projects on securities analysis, information in capital markets and the impacts of accounting policy. Faculty members in the accounting department have been featured in a variety of publications, such as The Accounting Review and Journal of Accounting and Economics. A Master of Business Administration in Accounting is offered through the Wharton School of Business.

  • Master of Business Administration in Accounting

University of Texas in Austin

The University of Texas (UT) McCombs School of Business was ranked as the number one accounting graduate school and the number 6 business graduate school by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.

The work of faculty members from the accounting department can be found in The Accounting Review and Contemporary Accounting Research. The McCombs School of Business features learning opportunities through research centers, the McCombs Accounting Research Conference and student organizations, including the University Accounting Association and the Black Graduate Business Association. The accounting department offers a diverse selection of courses, including profit planning, accounting information systems and financial accounting. You can concentrate in accounting through the Master of Business Administration program. You could earn these accounting degrees at UT:

  • Master in Professional Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration

Ten Excellent Schools With Accounting Master's Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Chicago Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above Chicago, IL$59,000
Stanford University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above Stanford, CA$51,000
Brigham Young University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above Provo, UT$7,000
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Public, 4-year or above Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
New York University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above New York, NY$45,000
University of Southern California Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above Los Angeles, CA$45,000
Indiana University-Bloomington Public, 4-year or above Bloomington, IN$10,000
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Public, 4-year or above Chapel Hill, NC$12,000
Columbia University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above New York, NY$48,000
Ohio State University Public, 4-year or above Columbus, 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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