Online Master's Degree Programs in Accounting in California
California's online master's degree programs in accounting prepare students for rewarding careers in financial management, financial planning, and certified public accounting. This article compares the tuition rates and core coursework for these programs.
California State University, Sacramento
This school's online Master of Science in Accountancy program prepares graduates for the Certified Public Accounting exam through coursework in auditing, financial accounting and reporting, regulation, and business. The program offers instruction through a mixture of online course materials and streaming video.
California Baptist University
On average, students complete the 30-credit-hour Master of Science in Accounting program from California Baptist University in one year. Graduates have the professional development, critical-thinking skills, and business leadership expertise to become accounting educators or professionals.
Golden Gate University
At Golden Gate University, students can complete their Master of Science in Accounting program through flexible evening classes or 100% online. Even online students have the chance to network with top accounting firms in San Francisco through the university's weekend-long professional development program. Within the program, students can choose to concentrate in financial accounting and reporting, forensic accounting, management accounting, internal auditing, or taxation.
University of Southern California
While USC's main accounting master's degrees are offered on campus, it does have a unique Master of Business Taxation program designed for working professionals. Students complete ten courses (at whatever pace best fits their already full life) either online or on campus and graduate with an identical diploma, regardless of which format they choose to complete their degree requirements.
Saint Mary's College of California
Saint Mary's College of California offers an 18-month Master of Science in Accounting program that includes a 15-month option for students with a bachelor's degree in accounting. In the hybrid program option, students complete their coursework through a combination of online learning and campus-based courses on Saturday evenings.
At National University, students with no prior experience in accounting can earn their Master of Accountancy (MAcc) 100% online or through a mixture of online and weekend/evening courses. The program offers 4-week courses, so students can focus on completing one course at a time.
|University||Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition for Academic Year (2018-2019)*|
|California State University, Sacramento||Master of Science in Accountancy||In-state: $7,176|
|California Baptist University||Master of Science in Accounting||$13,420|
|Golden Gate University||Master of Science in Accounting||$18,900|
|University of Southern California||Master of Business Taxation||$44,712|
|Saint Mary's College of California||Master of Science in Accounting||$39,077|
|National University||Master of Accountancy||$15,480|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Earning an Online Accounting Master's Degree in California
Many online accounting programs in California can be completed in two years or less and include the following core courses.
In this course students learn how accounting know-how can translate into informed business decision-making. Students may practice using cost data in a number of contexts, like managing customers and finding life-cycle costs. They can also learn how to make data-backed decisions about how to control and operate their business or how to fairly compensate and award employees. To this end, students may work to analyze case studies, complete projects, and give presentations. Topics may include cost allocations, C-V-P analysis, variance analysis, differential cost analysis, pricing decisions, balancing scorecards, management control systems, and performance measurement.
This course introduces students to the plethora of tax laws that apply to business entities at different points in their life cycles. Students learn how tax law impacts the formation, practice, dissolution, sale and transfer of a business. Students may learn about the laws that apply to corporations and their shareholders, particularly C and S corporations. Within this course, students may also have the chance to develop and practice their tax planning skill set.
This course introduces students to the professional and ethical responsibilities of Certified Public Accountants. To this end, students may study the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and apply these codes to case studies. Topics may include corporate governance, ethical reasoning skills, and decision-making theories and frameworks. Students can develop a sense of professional judgement and moral code that can guide them through the rest of their career.
Admissions Requirements for an Online Master's Degree in Accounting in California
Some online accounting master's degree programs require students to have a bachelor's degree that meets prerequisite course requirements and/or industry experience, while other programs accept students with a bachelor's degree in any discipline. Many programs require students to submit GMAT or GRE test scores (although this requirement may be waived for students with an accounting background and a high undergraduate GPA, among other criteria). Minimum GRE, GMAT, and GPA requirements differ widely between programs. All students should submit their official transcripts, current professional resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay explaining their interest in the program and professional goals.
Online master's degree programs in accounting are scattered across the state of California and can equip students for competitive careers in accounting. These programs offer their students flexible scheduling options, academic and group coursework, and ample preparation for the Certified Public Accountant exam.