We all know taxes are complicated, but few of us realize just how complicated. The current federal tax code is over 4 million words, and has been updated or amended almost 5 thousand times in the last decade and a half. That’s a lot of information to keep up with, and if it’s hard for ordinary people to understand their own personal income taxes, it’s not hard to imagine how difficult taxes can be at a corporate level.
That’s why good accountants, especially those who have a speciality in taxation, are crucial to the modern economy. With globalization, gigantic corporations, and a tax code that is constantly changing and growing in complexity, people who are qualified to keep it all together are worth their weight in gold to American and international corporations. Federal and state governments need qualified tax experts as well, opening up another avenue for employment in the public sector.
Let’s look at the numbers: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the accounting field is expected to grow by 11% in this decade, and other specializations are even higher – as much as 30% for financial advisors, for instance. Professionals with a master’s degree in taxation can expect no shortage of work. In fact, according to the American Institute of CPAs, there is a projected gap in the number of open jobs vs qualified tax specialists, as not enough students are choosing Taxation to meet the demand. Glassdoor.com, a clearinghouse for salary and employment data, ranks Tax Manager as the second-best job in the nation in terms of compensation for the level of education. Tax professionals with a master’s degree can expect as much as 5-15% bump in salary over their bachelor-holding competition.
Accountants and other working professionals are seeing the opportunity a master’s in taxation provides, and are returning to school to earn their graduate credentials, while new accounting grads are going straight into a master’s program to get a head start on their peers. In general, there are three options for tax specialists. The Master of Science in Taxation (MST or an MS in Accounting with a tax specialization) is very common, and focuses more on general accounting as it relates to taxes. The more specialized Master’s in Taxation (MTax) is more directly focused on taxation, and is usually designed for working professional accountants who want a further credential; many are accelerated programs. The LLM (Master of Laws) in Tax is more rare and is often offered by law schools; it is, as the name implies, focused on tax law, and can be geared toward working lawyers or accountants.
Knowing the value of information to prospective students, Value Colleges has compiled a ranking of the top values in taxation master’s degrees for 2017. In determining value, we consider three main metrics:
- Reputation – U.S News & World Report overall score for institution
- ROI – Dept. of Education College Scorecard data on salaries for institution alumni
- Affordability – Cost per credit
The Value Colleges formula helps us determine which institutions are most likely to give graduates a significant return on their investment of time and money – those that balance affordability, quality, and job marketability. Around 50% of the programs on the list are programs offered Online and On-Campus; the others are On-Campus ONLY. A few are Hybrid Programs. Almost all are engineered to be flexible, convenient, and speedy for the working professional, either through evening and weekend courses, accelerated terms, or fully online classes.
California Polytechnic State University
U.S. News & World Report’s #1 regional institution for the west, California Polytechnic State University – better known as Cal Poly – is one of the most prestigious and competitive public universities in the nation. Founded in 1901 to bring the polytechnic model of education to California’s Central Coast, Cal Poly has become a leader in technology and research, as well as earning the second-highest ROI in the state, next to flagship UC Berkeley. Cal Poly’s AACSB-accredited Orfalea College of Business is ranked as one of the best in the nation by the Wall Street Journal.
One of the biggest reasons for Cal Poly’s high ROI is the relationships it cultivates with business and industry, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Orfalea College. Cal Poly’s MS in Taxation makes the most of those relationships, serving as a main recruitment site for major and smaller accounting firms. This rigorous, on-campus program can be completed is only 10 months, providing students with a thorough grounding in every aspect of modern tax accounting, including regulations, law, and technology. An internship allows students to put their learning into practice, and the Cal Poly reputation – plus a low tuition rate – ensures a rewarding career.
Format: On-Campus Accelerated
Cost Per Credit: $543
Part of the world-renowned City University of New York, Baruch College is one of the most respected business schools in the north, recognized for its diversity, value, and highly competitive admissions standards. Baruch traces its origins back to the Free Academy, an 1847 experiment in providing free education for any who needed it, and Baruch College continues its commitment to accepting only the best, whoever they may be, and keeping tuition at an affordable and accessible level, making it one of the best values and the highest-ranked college in the nation for social mobility.
Baruch College’s MS in Taxation degree program is ideal for student who want to take on specialized careers in taxes with private accounting firms, government agencies, or other public and private organizations. Students are prepared for careers in leadership, whether as managers or as entrepreneurs, and this AACSB-accredited, 11-course degree program is designed for adaptability and continuing usefulness, even as regulations and law change. Full-time students can complete the degree in only a year, making Baruch College’s MS in Taxation even more of a value.
Cost Per Credit: $425
One of the most trusted and influential business schools in New England, Bryant University began as a non-traditional educator before non-traditional was a concept. From its beginnings in 1863, Bryant’s founders not only focused on providing educational opportunities for Civil War veterans returning to civilian life, but also on intentionally recruiting women for management and accounting careers. That mission continues today with an intensive, interdisciplinary curriculum that combines experiential learning with the most current theory and analysis.
Bryant’s AACSB-accredited MS in Taxation degree program is specifically focused on the needs working professionals who are already in business, finance, and accounting careers who want to specialize in tax. This on-campus and online hybrid program allows students to attend class from anywhere simultaneously with on-campus classes, providing the best of both real-world and virtual learning experiences, including networking and relationship-building with classmates and faculty. However students earn their degree, Bryant’s excellent reputation takes them to the job market with a distinct advantage.
Format: On-Campus and Hybrid
Cost Per Credit: $1176
One of the foremost names in business education, Bentley University is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the #3 regional institution in the North and by Businessweek as one of the top AACSB-accredited business schools in the nation. Bentley’s history, going back to 1917, is one of complete dedication to the very best in business education, forming deep connections to the business and finance sector of Boston, MA, and creating a model of business education imitated throughout the nation.
Bentley has also made significant strides in bringing their business education online, such as through the Bentley Master’s in Taxation. The largest taxation-specialization program in New England, the MT degree program brings all of Bentley’s strengths in education, technology, and student support both online and on-campus, preparing students for the CPA and CFP exams in Massachusetts and the rest of New England. Bentley’s reputation and network of alumni and partners gives graduates a clear career path.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1408
Bellarmine University, a small, Catholic liberal arts institution in Louisville, KY, is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the dozen best regional institutions in the south. With the small classes, close personal attention and mentorship, and excellent student support that small colleges are known for, Bellarmine is making a reputation as one of the best choices in the region, particularly in their growing, AACSB-accredited business programs.
Bellarmine’s online MS in Taxation degree program is offered by the Rubel School of Business, a top ranked business school and the only private institution in Kentucky with AACSB accreditation. The online program is designed for convenience and flexibility, with professional accountants and tax professionals in mind. With recorded lectures, interactive discussions, and practical assignments, as well as a faculty made up of experienced professionals, the online MST program from Bellarmine is a top-tier preparation for a career in tax accounting, financial planning, and entrepreneurship.
Cost Per Credit: $730
Founded in 1847 by the Order of St. Augustine, Villanova University is a household name, with an international reputation for academic rigor and excellence. With their Augustinian heritage, Villanova’s mission emphasizes learning and service, in keeping with their tradition of humility and missions. Villanova’s commitment to education has made it one of the most respected universities in the nation, regularly ranked as a best value for their combination of reasonable tuition and high ROI, and the School of Business and Widger School of Law are particularly cited for excellence.
The Widger School of Law offers the Villanova online Master’s of Taxation degree program, a 30-credit program designed for working professionals in the field who already have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. As it comes from the law school, the MT program is heavy on tax law, with many optional electives that can help a tax professional further specialize in particular areas of tax and law. Villanova’s global reputation and wide pool of alumni and partnerships promises excellent returns for graduates.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1200
San Jose State University
The oldest public university on the West Coast (founded in 1857), San Jose State University is one of the top regional institutions and part of the California State University system. San Jose State’s reputation has grown for primarily one reason – its proximity to, and role in developing, Silicon Valley. With that pedigree, SJSU enjoys the most philanthropic support of any CSU institution, while being ranked as the top public institution for students who want to work in Silicon Valley, whether as computer programmers or entrepreneurs.
SJSU’s AACSB-accredited Lucas Graduate School of Business offers the San Jose State MS in Taxation degree program. This hybrid program is taught largely in evening and Saturday classes, with online classes as another option, and full-time students can complete the degree in as little as 12 months. The program is primarily designed for working accountants who wish to specialize in taxation, though students with a non-business or accounting bachelor’s degree may be considered. San Jose State’s low tuition has made it a regular feature on best value lists, and with ample employment opportunities, the MST is no different.
Cost Per Credit: $645
Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 20 best colleges in the nation, Georgetown University is as prestigious as the Ivy League and, in many ways, more influential. Located in Washington, DC, Georgetown is one of the most important institutions in American government and politics, with the second-highest number of alumni in Congress and a reputation in business and law that includes the nation’s largest student-run business and student-run credit union.
Georgetown Law, among the most significant law schools in the US, offers the Georgetown online Master of Studies in Law degree program in Taxation. This unique program is developed for working accounting and tax professionals who do not have a law degree but wish to specialize in tax law. As an online program, the MSL in Taxation has the full backing of Georgetown Law’s world-class faculty, and the convenience of studying anywhere in the world, while the Georgetown reputation makes employment a given.
Cost Per Credit: $2056
University of Southern California
One of the nation’s most prestigious and elite institutions, the University of Southern California is also California’s oldest private research university, founded in 1880. As such, USC had a major hand in shaping the growth and development of Los Angeles, from playing a major role in the burgeoning movie industry (and building one of the world’s most respected film studies program) to pioneering computer technology. USC is also home to the Marshall School of Business, which has leveraged its connections to the Los Angeles corporate world to become one of the top business schools in the world.
The Marshall School offers the USC online Master of Business Taxation degree program, a fully online curriculum designed for the most prepared and motivated accountants. As much as 95% of USC’s online master’s students are CPA-certified, and the Marshall School is accredited by the AACSB as a guarantee of excellence. The online program can be completed in only 20 months of full-time work, and the USC reputation – and deep networking connections in Southern California – means this challenging education will certainly pay off.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1778
University at Albany (SUNY)
Part of the State University of New York system, one of the largest and most respected public university systems in the US, the University at Albany dates back to a normal school formed in 1844, then became a SUNY system teacher’s college before growing into a full-fledged university. Ranked as a national university by U.S. News & World Report, many of Albany’s individual programs are recognized as among the best in their category, including education, criminal justice, and business.
The University at Albany’s dual AACSB-accredited (business and accounting) School of Business offers an accelerated MS in Taxation program that gives working professionals in the accounting field to earn a specialized master’s in only one year. In addition to a focus on analysis, research, and tax law, the MST program also prepares students for the New York CPA exam in just a year, for those who are not already certified. SUNY Albany’s reputation in New York makes them a prime resource for recruiters from the finance and corporate sector.
Format: On-Campus Accelerated
Cost Per Credit: $453
The Rutgers Business School is easily one of the foremost business schools in the northeast, with a top-tier reputation throughout New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek as the top public business school, and the top for job placement, Rutgers Business School carries on Rutgers’ long history of excellence, dating back before the American Revolution. With AACSB accreditation and a faculty of leading professionals and experts, Rutgers Business School is a trusted name.
Students can earn the Rutgers Master of Accountancy in Taxation degree from the Newark campus of Rutgers Business School, although some core courses are also available on the flagship New Brunswick campus. This 30-credit program is designed for current or prospective CPAs who intend to focus on a career in taxation accounting, and is scheduled for the convenience of busy working adults, with night and weekend classes. Graduates can count on Rutgers’ exceptional job placement rate to work out for them throughout the Tri-State region.
Cost Per Credit: $1077
One of the most prestigious and influential private research institutions in the nation, Northeastern University is known for innovation and entrepreneurship. Having pioneered the concept of cooperative education, with students engaging in traditional classroom courses and real-world experiential learning with a large network of corporate partners, Northeastern is one of the most effective universities for job placement and for business education.
The AACSB-accredited D’Amore-Kim School of Business is regularly cited as one of the best in the US, ranked in the U.S. News & World Report top 20 for the field. Students can earn the Northeastern MS in Taxation degree entirely online, with the same industry professionals who teach Northeastern’s traditional on-campus courses. With two specializations – Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals – students can tailor their degree to their current careers, or to the direction they want their careers to go in, with the trusted Northeastern name to take them there.
Cost Per Credit: $1476
University of New Haven
The University of New Haven, a small liberal arts and professional studies institution, has a pedigree that can’t be beat – it owes it origins to an adult education junior college started by Northeastern University on the Yale University campus in 1920. With that kind of parentage, it should be no surprise that the UNH has a reputation as one of the best regional institutions in its class, with top-tier engineering and business programs informed by a liberal arts foundation.
The AACSB-accredited business program at New Haven offers a MS in Taxation, a hybrid program for working professionals in a wide range of fields, from government and private industry to non-profit and entrepreneur. This 30-credit program prepares student for the Connecticut CPA exam, as well as giving professionals a full foundation in tax law and regulation. Accelerated 8-week courses help students complete the program in only one year, at a price that puts UNH on par with most public universities in the New England region for added value.
Format: Online, On-Campus, and Hybrid
Cost Per Credit: $870
Florida Gulf Coast University
One of the youngest members of the State University System of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University is a mid-sized public institution founded in 1991 to focus on career and professional studies. FGCU emphasizes contemporary instruction methods, diversity, and career-readiness, and for its work has earned one of the highest rates in the state of Florida of job and grad school placement for graduates. The AACSB-accredited Lutgert College of Business has been particularly noted, with its reputation steadily growing in U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.
FGCU’s MS in Accounting and Taxation degree program offers working professionals the opportunity to earn a specialized master’s degree in either accounting or taxation. The Taxation track focuses on research and analysis, taxation of entities and individuals, and specialized tax issues such as estates. Florida Gulf Coast University’s incredibly low tuition rate, along with the strong regional reputation that has earned a high job placement rate for their graduates, makes their MS in Taxation a true value.
Cost Per Credit: $373
One of the premiere private research institutions in New England, Boston University has been at the center of life and learning in Boston since 1839, and remains an education leader in a city known for an incredible concentration of world-class universities. With a faculty made up of Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, scholars and professionals of all kinds, BU has made its mark in every area of culture, but BU’s business and law programs are particularly respected.
Ranked #20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the Boston University School of Law is a place for more than traditional JD degrees; the BU online Master of Laws in Taxation Law program is a unique degree focused on expertise in business and taxation law and regulation. First begun in 1959, BU’s LLM program is a pioneer, and today brings that internationally-recognized excellence to a fully online program for busy professionals and executives. It’s a convenient degree from one of the most recognizable institutions in the world.
Cost Per Credit: $2083
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University was founded in 1960 to offer a public higher education opportunity for the growing Grand Rapids area, which was rapidly becoming a metropolitan region. In just over half a century GVSU has become one of the largest universities in Michigan and has earned praise from U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the top regional institutions in the Midwest. The AACSB-accredited Seidman College of Business is recognized as one of the region’s best, and has done much to increase GVSU’s reputation.
GVSU’s MS in Taxation degree program, from the Seidman College, is primarily intended for students with an accounting background, including recent graduates and working professionals who are seeking to earn a specialization in taxation. This 33-credit program can be completed in only 18 months by full-time students, and students have the option of developing independent studies with faculty to further specialize in some area of taxation. A reasonable tuition rate and a growing reputation give graduates confidence on the job market.
Cost Per Credit: $646
New York University
Without a doubt, New York University is one of the foremost private research institutions in the world, regularly recognized for excellence, with Nobel Prize-winning faculty and some of the most influential alumni outside of the Ivy League. Founded in 1831, NYU took part in and fueled New York’s rise to the most powerful and influential city in the world, from business and law to culture and arts. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #1 in the nation for tax law, the NYU School of Law is the oldest law school in New York founded in 1835, and its reputation seals the deal for its graduates.
Now students can earn their degree from NYU Law entirely online, with programs such as the online NYU Master of Studies in Law in Taxation, a part-time program for accountants and professionals who want to earn graduate credentials in tax law. This specialization is one NYU Law is known for, and whether students are in New York City or abroad, the NYU reputation gives them a wide network of alumni to draw on, and the eyes of employers all over the world.
Cost Per Credit: $2482
University of South Carolina
The flagship of the University of South Carolina system, and one of U.S. News & World Report’s up-and-coming institutions, the University of South Carolina is at the center of learning and culture for the state of South Carolina. USC has risen in recognition by focusing on its core strengths, particularly in professional education programs, and has seen significant gains in recent years, especially in the AACSB-accredited Moore School of Business, one of the highest-ranked in the south – top 10 for international business, supply-chain management, and insurance.
USC’s Master of Accountancy Taxation track is a highly regarded program emphasizing values such as critical thinking, analysis, and research for prospective tax professionals. This 30-credit program not only prepares students for the technical aspects of accounting, but also for ethical, leadership, and decision-making roles in higher-level positions, whether in corporate, government, or private practice. USC’s national reputation, plus a low tuition rate, gives graduates assurance that their hard work will pay off.
Cost Per Credit: $533
Designated as New York’s Jesuit university, Fordham University is the premier private, Catholic institution in New York City. While today Fordham is governed by a board made up of laypeople, Fordham’s Jesuit heritage still informs its work, with a focus on service, ethics, and educational rigor that have made it one of the most prestigious and selective institutions in the city. Since 1920 the AACSB-accredited Gabelli School of Business has been one of the leading business schools in New York.
Students can earn a Fordham MS in Taxation that carries all of the reputation and confidence of the Gabelli School, focusing not only on the technical aspects of the tax code and analysis, but on communication, leadership, and the traditional Jesuit values of ethics and social responsibility. A full-time track can allow full-time students to complete the program in only one year, while a part-time track for working professionals may take 2-3 years. In any case, the Fordham name opens doors in New York.
Cost Per Credit: $1595
Southern New Hampshire University
Few universities hit the 21st century with as much enthusiasm and gusto as Southern New Hampshire University. Founded as a small accounting and secretarial school in 1932, SHNU embraced online education early on and took a significant lead over its competition, establishing its name as an online educator. Regularly recognized as one of the most innovative organizations in the US, SNHU’s online programs are some of the highest-ranked and best-known in the nation.
SNHU’s ACBSP-accredited School of Business offers an online MS in Accountancy with a Taxation concentration designed for working professionals. In addition to meeting the requirements for CPA exam certification, the SNHU emphasizes interactive, practical learning and experiential lessons led by experienced professional accountants who can guide students in the most current information and the most useful leadership and managerial theory. This affordable program has everything an aspiring tax professional needs to make a lifelong career.
Cost Per Credit: $627
University of San Diego
The University of San Diego is a small, nationally-recognized private Catholic institution known for its academic rigor and its commitment to diversity, ethics, and social responsibility. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 100 national universities, USD has many highly respected programs, particularly in law and business, as well as engineering, health science, and the recently-created Kroc School of Peace Studies.
The AACSB-accredited USD School of Business offers a Master’s in Taxation program that stands with the best that California has to offer. The MTAX program prepares students for CPA licensure in California, as well as giving students the managerial and leadership know-how to take on high-level roles in accounting and finance firms. With case studies and interactive instruction from experienced faculty, the MTAX curriculum is a thorough education that prepares students for their careers. Many Fortune 500 companies and accounting firms recruit directly from USD, giving graduates even more reason to trust this best value.
Cost Per Credit: $1420
Recognized as the most politically active college in the US, American University is a private research institution in Washington, DC. While it is affiliated with the Methodist Church, American University was founded by Congressional charter in 1893, and since that time AU has emerged as one of the best choices in the nation for students interested in a career in politics, government, foreign service, lobbying, or non-profit organizations.
One of the finest business schools in the nation, AU’s AACSB-accredited Kogod School of Business is particularly know for their taxation program, having developed the Kogod Tax Policy Center for research on the subject. Students can earn the AU MS in Taxation degree in a full-time or part-time format, focusing not only on tax regulations, but on leadership in the field. AU and the Kogod School’s impressive connections make it one of the best places in the nation for a tax degree, with ample employment recruitment in public and private sectors.
Cost Per Credit: $1470
University of Mississippi
Few institutions in the south are as storied or respected as the University of Mississippi. Known almost universally as Ole Miss, UM is a top-tier research university under federal sea and space grant status, and regularly ranks as one of the best values in the nation thanks to its combination of academic excellence and affordable tuition. The flagship university of Mississippi, and one of the most trusted in the Deep South, Ole Miss is particularly recognized for its highly-ranked School of Business Administration and the Patterson School of Accountancy.
The AACSB-accredited Patterson School – the most prestigious accounting program in the region – offers the UM Master of Taxation degree for prospective tax professionals. This 30-credit program provides the necessary credit hours for the CPA exam, as well as all of the technical and theoretical expertise needed for an adaptable and life-long career in the tax field, from non-profit and government to private corporate accountancy. Low tuition and job-market reputability makes Ole Miss a can’t-miss opportunity.
Cost Per Credit: $424
DePaul University, a private, Vincentian Catholic institution in Chicago, IL, is the largest Catholic university by enrollment and one of the most respected in the Midwest and nationally. DePaul is highly regarded for their diversity and their commitment to social mobility, drawing their student body from a high proportion of first-generation and low-income students to provide opportunity for students of excellence who might otherwise be left behind.
Much of DePaul’s reputation comes from the AACSB-accredited Driehaus College of Business, one of the oldest and more prestigious business schools in the nation. DePaul’s online MS in Taxation degree program focuses on contemporary tax problems and possibilities, with a focus on ethical leadership and responsibility. In keeping with their tradition of accessibility, DePaul’s online MST provides students all over the nation with the opportunity to earn a market-ready, highly reputed degree from one of the leaders in business education.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1020
Eastern Michigan University
A large, regional public institution located between Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI, Eastern Michigan University is known for their quality technical and professional programs. Founded as one of the nation’s earliest normal schools in 1849, EMU became the first 4-year teacher’s college in the US and is still recognized for their teacher education programs, but recent years have seen increased recognition for their College of Health and Human Services and their AACSB-accredited College of Business, both providing Michigan with service leadership for the future.
EMU’s MS in Taxation degree program is a specialized graduate curriculum from the excellent College of Business. The MST prepares future tax professionals for the technical and managerial demands of modern taxation, from ethical and legal considerations to the complexities of regulation and the tax code. EMU’s tuition rate makes it one of the most affordable programs of its kind in the Midwest, giving graduates a golden opportunity to build a rewarding career.
Cost Per Credit: $640
University of Denver
The oldest university in the Rocky Mountains, the University of Denver was founded in 1864 to bring education to the new city of Denver, and the rugged Colorado Territory. Today, UD is one of the most admired private research institutions in the region, ranked in the top 100 national universities with respected business, law, and health and human services programs. The AACSB-accredited Daniels College of Business is one of the oldest dedicated business schools in the US, founded in 1908, and remains one of the best.
The Daniels College developed one of the very first graduate tax programs in the nation, and today the UD Master of Taxation and LL.M. in Taxation programs are both available fully online. For law school graduates who want to specialize in tax law, the program awards an LL.M. (Master in Law) degree; for business and accounting students, the MT degree provides all of the necessary education to enter a career as a tax accountant. In both cases, the convenience of online learning and the reputation of UD’s business and law programs give graduates a leg up.
Cost Per Credit: $1258
Founded in 1906 as a small business school in Manhattan, Pace University today is a major, multi-campus institution with business incubators and even a public high school under their umbrella. Pace was originally founded to provide education for men and women to prepare for the CPA exam, and accounting remains central to Pace’s reputation. The Lubin School of Business is one of the few institutions with dual business and accounting AACSB accreditation.
Pace’s Lubin MS in Taxation degree program provides all the necessary expertise to manage and advise major organizations on tax regulations, analysis, and strategy. From estate planning to international tax codes, the Pace MST offers a full perspective on the complexities of the modern tax system, and all courses are taught by credentialed experts with substantial real-world accounting experience. With a median graduate salary rate of over $70,000 and strong job placement numbers, graduates can trust the Pace University Master’s in Taxation.
Cost Per Credit: $1120
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Founded as a small junior college in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University began a process of growth and expansion when returning WWII veterans brought an explosion of students and GI Bill money – a process that helped make FDU the largest private university in the state of New Jersey. A U.S. News & World Report best regional institution for the north, Fairleigh Dickinson is best known for their relationship with the UN, and has become a significant source of ambassadors and foreign service members.
The AACSB-accredited Silberman College of Business is also known throughout the region as a top institution in its field, and FDU offers an MS in Taxation noted as one of the first in the state. This specialized program is designed for accountants, lawyers, financial planners, and others who want to specialize in taxation and tax law, and their experiential, expert-led courses provide students with a thorough look at the ins and outs of a tax accountant’s career. Full preparation for the New Jersey CPA exam, and Fairleigh Dickinson’s excellent reputation in the region, make FDU a rewarding educational investment.
Cost Per Credit: $1256
Arizona State University
One of 21st century higher education’s most incredible success stories, Arizona State University’s ambitious plan to open up enrollment and maintain quality, while expanding into a massive online education powerhouse, led to becoming the largest university in the US. ASU has become a model of the new American university, and has been recognized time and again as one of the most innovative institutions in the world, from health care and engineering to law and business.
ASU’s AACSB-accredited Carey School of Business is one of the highest-ranked business schools in the nation, with top-tier programs on campus and online. ASU’s Carey Masters of Taxation program has been recognized as one of the best, preparing students for the CPA exam in Arizona and California as well as providing graduates with nearly full job placement within three months of graduation. Job-market reliability and a reasonable tuition make ASU’s MTax program an obvious best value.
Cost Per Credit: $826
Widener University is recognized among Pennsylvania’s top institutions for their focus on experiential learning, leadership, and career preparation. These values are reflected in rigorous academic expectations and high-impact educational practices that promote student engagement and learning. Formerly a military college, Widener maintains a reputation as a military-friendly institution, with both its Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pa. and its Delaware Law School in Wilmington, Del. offering programs and initiatives that seek to help veterans.
Widener’s AACSB-accredited School of Business Administration is noted for its cooperative education program and excellent job placement through strong connections to the Philadelphia business community. Students gain hands-on experience through the Widener Small Business Development Center, which provides free consulting services and in The Money Club, where they manage their own investment fund through the school’s state-of-the-art finance lab. Widener’s Master’s in Taxation and Financial Planning provides students all of the requirements for the Certified Financial Planner exam, as well as the practical, experiential knowledge needed for careers as financial planners or tax professionals. Widener’s faculty of experienced professionals also publish the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, a leading scholarly journal in the field, so students can trust that they will receive the most current education possible.
Cost Per Credit: $984
Weber State University
Originally founded as an LDS academy, today Weber State University is a large, regional public institution largely focused on professional and technical degree programs. The mission of most regional universities is to provide the education people need where they need it, and Weber State performs that duty expertly. Three-quarters of Weber State’s students are employed, and more than half are full time, with Weber State embracing adult education methods to ensure that their students can earn the credentials they need.
Weber State’s AACSB-accredited Master of Taxation degree program focuses on the expertise needed to excel as an accounting leader, from executive management in an accounting firm or corporation to entrepreneurial ventures. The MTax program gives students analytical and managerial experience from trusted faculty, and recent graduates start with an average salary much higher than the national average. Weber State’s low tuition makes it a solid value.
Cost Per Credit: $456
California State University - Fullerton
The largest member of the California State University system, CSU Fullerton is well-known for its diversity and social mobility, designated as a Hispanic-serving and Asian-American, Native-American, Pacific Islander-serving institution. Besides awarding more degrees to Hispanic students than any other institution in California, CSU Fullerton is ranked as one of the top regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report and is highly respected for supporting achievement of non-traditional and disadvantaged students.
CSU Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business & Economics sports dual AACSB accreditation in business and accounting, a distinction that adds value to the CSUF Master’s of Taxation degree program. Offered on campus for students with and without a business degree, the MTax program emphasizes technical skills, communication, and ethical leadership, providing accountants with specialized expertise in taxation for careers in every sector. CSUF has an extraordinarily low tuition rate as well, increasing the value of an MTax degree.
Cost Per Credit: $481
University of Alabama
Alabama’s flagship institution, the University of Alabama has been crucial to Alabama’s government, business, and culture since 1820, when Alabama represented the far reaches of the frontier. Today, UA is known for its reputation as one of the 50 top public universities in the nation, with leading programs in law, medicine, and business, including the AACSB-accredited Culverhouse College of Commerce, one of the south’s leading business schools for innovation and job-market value.
The UA Master of Tax Accounting degree program is designed to give accountants the taxation specialization necessary for work in the federal government, private industry, and a variety of other settings. This 31-credit program emphasizes research, law, and decision-making, giving students a thorough grounding in both accounting and tax for a more rounded and more adaptable degree. The Culverhouse College has been acclaimed for their ability to get graduates into the field, just another reason UA is a proven value.
Cost Per Credit: $820
University of Hartford
A small, liberal arts institution in beautiful Hartford, CT, the University of Hartford was founded in 1957, during the largest expansion of higher education in American history, when the GI Bill allowed returning veterans from WWII and the Korean War the opportunity to earn degrees. With its roots in non-traditional students, the University of Hartford has continued its commitment to providing educational opportunity, including a strong slate of online degrees.
UH’s AACSB-accredited Barney School of Business offers the UH online Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation, with a fully online Taxation specialization designed for working accountants and other professionals who wish to focus on tax preparation and analysis. Students who already have a qualifying accounting bachelor’s degree may be able to finish the accelerated program in less than one year. The Barney School and the University of Hartford are known and respected throughout New England, making their online MSAT a solid investment.
Cost Per Credit: $670
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Illinois’s flagship institution, the University of Illinois is a public land-grant, first-tier research institution known as a top 50 national university by U.S. News & World Report, and named as a Public Ivy. In addition to pioneering computer science and library science programs, Illinois is known for their U.S. News & World Report top ten, AACSB-accredited College of Business, one of the strongest in the Midwest; their Accountancy program is further ranked #2 in the nation.
Illinois Online offers the MS in Tax from the College of Business, a 12-month executive-style program that is also available at the business school’s Chicago campus. This accelerated master’s is designed for working professionals who want to move into the upper reaches of management in financial organizations, government, and other industries, with an emphasis on communication and leadership in addition to tax preparation skills. Few names are as trusted in the Midwest as UI, making this a program to watch.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1020
Mississippi State University
Originally founded as a land-grant agriculture and mechanical science school in 1878, Mississippi State University is highly rated for their impact on social mobility in Mississippi and the Deep South, bringing educational opportunity to the people of the state regardless of background. MSU has long been a destination for students in engineering, health sciences, and other professional and technical fields to make their mark on Mississippi’s economy and life.
The AACSB-accredited Adkerson School of Accountancy is doing its part to educate the future leaders of Mississippi and beyond, with programs including the Master of Taxation, a specialized program in accounting designed to prepare future professionals who want to focus on a career related to tax. With a thorough foundation in the details of tax regulation, individual and corporate tax, and ethics, graduates can trust the low MSU tuition to pay off in a rewarding career.
Cost Per Credit: $426
University of Minnesota
The flagship of the University of Minnesota system, the University of Minnesota is a top-tier, Public Ivy research institution, and one of the largest universities in the nation. Recognized as a leader in computer science, engineering, law, and more, UM is also noted for the Carlson School of Management, one of the top-ranked business schools in the nation. This AACSB-accredited business school is known as one of the top sources for an MBA or Master’s of Taxation.
The UM Master of Business Taxation degree program is built to help working professionals progress in their careers with a combination of business and accounting skills and knowledge, focused on tax. With a student body made up of working professionals, the MBT emphasizes communication and shared learning, with once-weekly classes to create a more flexible schedule and allow for cooperation between students and faculty. It’s a proven value from one of the Midwest’s most trusted sources.
Cost Per Credit: $1295
Founded in 1922 as a cutting-edge accountant’s school, Walsh College is a small, private business school in Troy, MI, a suburb of Detroit. As an upper-division college, Walsh offers only bachelor degree-completion and master’s programs; students must transfer to Walsh with at least 60 general credits, and the vast majority of Walsh’s students from from area community colleges. With regional accreditation, as well as ACBSP business accreditation, Walsh is a trusted name in the Midwest.
The Walsh MS in Taxation degree program is designed to give prospective tax professionals a thorough grounding in research, analysis, and practice in accounting and tax law and regulation. This 36-39 credit program is continually updated, and Walsh’s library of tax information makes research convenient for students. With a faculty made up of seasoned professionals, students gain direct knowledge of the tax system and the demands of modern corporate, government, and individual taxes.
Cost Per Credit: $740
California State University - Northridge
Originally an extension campus for CSU Los Angeles, in the suburban San Fernando Valley, CSU Northridge has grown into a significant public university on its own, with the second-largest enrollment in the CSU system. CSUN is highly ranked for social mobility, providing students with access to professional study and careers, particularly though the AACSB-accredited College of Business and Economics, which has taken a leading role in promoting commerce in the Los Angeles metropolitan region.
The CSUN MS in Taxation degree program is designed for maximum flexibility, in keeping with CSUN’s commitment to educational accessibility; students can work completely online, completely on-campus, or in a hybrid format, with CSUN allowing students to switch back and forth at their convenience. Students receive ample support from the cohort format and one-on-one mentorship from faculty, and the entire program can be completed in only 18 months, making for a brief and full experience ending in a rewarding career.
Format: Online, On-Campus, Hybrid
Cost Per Credit: $765
St. John's University
St. John’s University, a private Catholic institution in Queens, NY, has made the most of its location since its founding in 1870. Built by the Vincentian order, a group rooted in charity and social responsibility, St. John’s has been widely recognized for their excellent return on investment, particularly because of their reputation in New York and connections to the finance and business sectors of the city, which have made St. John’s a significant source for recruitment.
St. John’s AACSB-accredited online programs from the Tobin College of Business include the MS in Taxation, a 31-33 credit program (depending on previous undergraduate experience) designed to prepare students for a multitude of career possibilities in the tax field. Prospective tax professionals are prepared for the rapid changes of tax regulation, practice, and management, and the accelerated online program can get them into their careers in as little as one year – the faster to reaping the rewards.
Cost Per Credit: $1180
One of the most respected institutions in its class, Baylor University is a private Christian university regularly ranked in the top 100 national institutions by U.S. News & World Report, and as one of the best regional Western universities by the Princeton Review. This large, Baptist-affiliated university is the oldest continuous university in Texas and a recognized leader not only in Christian education, but in a wide range of areas, particularly business.
The AACSB-accredited Hankamer School of Business is one of the most prestigious in Texas, bringing together experiential learning and theory with a Christian focus on ethics and integrity. The Baylor Master of Taxation degree program is a 33-credit program designed to prepare students for taxation profession, whether as analysts, consultants, or managers and executives in corporate positions. Baylor’s trusted reputation makes it a safe investment throughout Texas.
Cost Per Credit: $1583
Golden Gate University
In the late 19th century, one of the few places for working adults to go for education was YMCA night classes, and those courses are the origin for Golden Gate University, which made the leap from night classes to degree-granting institution in 1901. Golden Gate’s mission has always been accessible, practical college education for those who need it, and GGU continues that mission in exceptional style with top-ranked online and on-campus degree programs in professional and technical fields.
The GGU MS in Taxation can be earned both online and on-campus, ideally designed for working professionals to fit their learning around their work schedules. The on-campus cohort format allows students to complete their degree in as little as 9 months, with excellent student support and networking, while the self-paced online option starts at any time and can be completed at the student’s convenience. GGU is well-known to recruiters in the finance industry, making a Golden Gate degree a clear value.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1110
University of Baltimore
A small, public urban institution in downtown Baltimore, MD, the University of Baltimore is a respected member of the University System of Maryland and one of the most important institutions in the state for professional and applied science education. Originally founded in 1925 by local businessmen to provide educational opportunity for Baltimore’s workers, UB has had adult education at the heart of its mission from the beginning, with trusted business and law programs supplying Maryland’s leaders for nearly 100 years.
UB’s MS in Taxation degree program is a collaboration between the AACSB-accredited Merrick School of Business and the UB School of Law, one of only two law schools in the state. The MST is available in both online and on-campus formats, and both are designed for the convenience of working professionals. The program focuses on tax law for prospective tax advisors, tax policy developers, and other professionals in corporate and government roles. The online program includes a flat rate for in-state and out-of-state online students, meaning the online MST is the same value no matter where the student lives.
Format: Online or On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $979
Long Island University - Post
Long Island University is a large, multi-campus private institution with schools reaching across New York City, including the unique Post campus, housed on the former estate of C.W. Post (of Post cereals). LIU’s proximity to the financial and business sector of New York City have allowed them to become a leader in business, including founding the first School of Professional Accountancy in the nation, an AACSB-accredited program that defines accounting education on a national level.
LIU Post’s MS in Taxation program can be earned on Post’s beautiful Long Island campus, or fully online, both designed to accommodate working professionals, both benefiting from LIU’s extensive expertise in tax law, analysis, and research. With a wealth of connections in the banking and finance capital of the world, LIU Post’s MS in Taxation is a clear winner for job market reputability and career opportunity.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $1178
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University is one of the fastest-growing institutions in Florida, and one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century, having grown from a small, upper-division college to a major public university in just 50 years. FAU has been acclaimed for their diversity and social mobility, and in recent years they have grown from one of the top-ranked regional institutions to reaching national-level rankings, particularly as their online programs have grown and succeeded.
FAU’s AACSB-accredited College of Business is one of Florida’s leaders in business, with one of the highest rates of CPA exam passing in the nation and top rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The FAU Master’s of Taxation degree program is intended to prepare working professionals for the CPA exam, as well as for analytical and planning roles in corporate or government sectors. FAU’s low tuition and high reputation in Florida promises graduates a solid return on their investment.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $369
Robert Morris University
Founded in 1921 as a small business school, Robert Morris University has business and accounting at its center, even being named for the Founding Father and businessman who helped finance the American Revolution. RMU has been acclaimed for their innovative programs, particularly since embracing online education, and their status as an AACSB School of Business makes them one of the leading institutions in Pennsylvania for business, accounting, and taxation.
RMU’s MS in Taxation degree program draws on all of the RMU School of Business’ expertise to provide a thorough education in federal and state tax codes, professional skills, and technical know-how. Started in 1979, the RMU MS in Taxation is one of the most tried and true in the nation, preparing students for professions in the public and private sectors, including finance, law, and business.
Cost Per Credit: $900
Northern Illinois University
Founded in 1857 as a normal school, Northern Illinois University today is a large public research institution recognized as a top regional university. NIU is especially highly-ranked for their diversity and social mobility, helping thousands of working adults, non-traditional aged students, and low-income and disadvantaged students access professional and technical education in areas like engineering, nursing, public affairs, and business.
NIU offers an MS in Taxation degree from their AACSB-accredited College of Business’s Department of Accountancy. This on-campus program meets in weekly evening classes, and can be completed part-time for working adults who cannot take on full-time education. In addition to earning credit toward the CPA exam, students learn advanced accounting and taxation skills, research, and analysis from experienced professionals offering strong one-on-one support, all at a reasonable tuition rate.
Cost Per Credit: $990
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University began its mission in 1964 as a technology school intended to prepare students for careers in military contracting, NASA, and similar fields, but in the last half-century Nova has grown into one of the most decorated private universities in Florida. While engineering remains its best-known program, Nova has also earned accolades for the IACBE-accredited Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship, one of Florida’s top business schools.
Nova’s Master of Taxation degree program can be earned on-campus at Nova’s Fort Lauderdale Campus, or fully online. Either format can be completed in as little as 21 months, giving students a full, experiential education in tax codes, analysis, and planning from a recommended faculty. With Nova’s online degrees ranked among the nation’s best graduate online program by U.S. News & World Report, either choice is trusted to bring back a significant return on investment.
Format: Online and On-Campus
Cost Per Credit: $880
Portland State University
Oregon’s only public, urban research institution, Portland State University began in 1946 to provide opportunity to returning veterans on the GI Bill, and they have kept true to the specialized needs of non-traditional and working adult students ever since. Located in one of the most innovative, dynamic, and celebrated cities in the nation, Portland State is deeply engaged with the community, putting responsibility and service at the heart of every program, including their acclaimed School of Business Administration.
The Portland State Master of Taxation degree program is designed with working professionals in mind – even the winter semester is scheduled to allow accounting and tax professionals part-time enrollment during the height of tax season. While all coursework is completed in an interactive online format, MT students must meet at the beginning of each quarter on campus to get to know their cohort and faculty, as well as make connections to professionals and experts in the field. With PSU’s reputation and low tuition, tax graduates can trust their investment to come back with interest.
Cost Per Credit: $445
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
A unique collaborative institution created by two of Indiana’s most esteemed institutions, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a major public urban research university in Indiana’s capital. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as an up-and-coming institution, IUPUI has also been acclaimed for their adult education, military and veteran education, and service to minorities, including being named one of the best universities for minority students in the nation by the journal Diverse.
IUPUI offers an MS in Taxation from Kelley Indianapolis, the Indianapolis branch of Indiana University’s acclaimed Kelley School of Business, one of the highest-ranked public business schools in the US. This 30-credit program is designed to fast-track prospective accounting and tax professionals into their careers, including public and private sector positions. IUPUI and the Kelley School are renowned for their job placement, with strong ties to Indiana’s government and business, making their reasonable tuition even more of a value.
Cost Per Credit: $650
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