Accounting is one of those professional career paths that is as close as they come to a sure thing. Management styles may change, technology may make technical skills obsolete, but as long as there is money and taxes, there will be a need for accountants.
Accounting is also exceptional in that an aspiring accountant can begin a rewarding, secure career with nothing more than an associate’s degree or certification. However, that will only get graduates a lower, entry-level position in a firm or company; for real professional salaries, accountants need a bachelor’s degree and a CPA license.
But what about working professional accountants who want more responsibility and authority? To lead a team of accountants, take over managerial roles, and become a leader in the field, most corporations, government agencies, and other organizations are going to expect a master’s degree. With many accountants finding their progress stifled by only having a bachelor’s degree, colleges and universities across the country are developing Master’s in Accounting, Master of Science in Accounting, and related degrees that busy working professionals can earn entirely online.
Value Colleges has scoured the higher education scene for the best choices in graduate accounting programs, including online degrees from major public research universities, liberal arts colleges, Christian institutions, and more. The Value Colleges standard is Value, which we define by three pillars: reputability, affordability, and ROI. When ranking programs, we gather data on three metrics:
- ROI – sourced from Payscale’s salary data
- Reputability – ranking placement from U.S. News 2017 Online Grad Business ranking (non-MBA)
- Affordability – Cost per online credit as stated on institution’s website
By calculating this data, we determine which online programs are most likely to result in a secure, high-paying job that will provide a return on the time and tuition you put into a degree. All colleges and universities on the Value Colleges ranking are regionally accredited, and most have business schools accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP.
University of Texas at Dallas
Though it was only founded in 1969, the University of Texas at Dallas has quickly become one of the leading public research institutions in the southwest. They had a great head start – Texas Instruments, the venerable tech company, donated their research and development center in Dallas’s Telecom Corridor to the UT system to begin a new UT campus. Since that time, UTD has excelled not only in engineering and technology, as would be expected, but also in business, harnessing the power of the Dallas corporate culture to make the Jindal School of Management one of the nation’s most trusted business schools.
UTD has also put a great emphasis on online education, such at the UT Dallas online MS in Accounting, offered by the Jindal School. This AASCB-accredited program has been noted by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top online graduate programs, and the Flex format allows students to complete an accelerated 36-credit degree in as little as 18 months. The Jindal online MS in Accounting allows students not only to take courses to specialize in areas such as corporate accounting or internal auditing, but also prepares graduates for the Texas CPA exam. It’s one of the best programs in Texas and a model of online education.
Cost Per Credit: $701
University of Massachusetts Lowell
A major public research institution, and one of the largest in New England, the University of Massachusetts Lowell has established its own identity and reputation in the UM system by focusing on critical areas suited to an urban research university, particularly professional education, nontraditional students, and online education. Recognized among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, UML has also been acclaimed for its high ROI, ranking in the top 30 nation-wide.
Much of UMass Lowell’s reputation in recent years has depended on its excellent online degree programs, with more than 50 fully online degrees offered through the Division of Online and Continuing Education. One such program is UML’s online MS in Accounting, which builds on UML’s expertise in adult and professional education to provide an AACSB-accredited accounting program fully online. The program covers all areas of modern accounting, including Globalization, Forensics Accounting, and Corporate Finance, with much more. UML’s tuition is also one of the lowest rates in the region, making it a solid value.
Cost Per Credit: $640
University of Connecticut
One of the foremost public research universities in the nation, the University of Connecticut is a flagship land, sea, and space grant institution that has been a leader in applied science, technical, and professional education in the region since 1881. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, UConn is also recognized as a Public Ivy, a public university with the resources and reputation of an Ivy League. UConn has also received acclaim from USN&WR for their online degree programs.
One such program, recognized by USN&WR as one of the top online graduate degrees in the nation, is the UConn online MS in Accounting. Unlike some programs, which merely copy their on-campus curriculum, the UConn MSA program is specially designed for the needs of online students, with an accelerated full-time option that allows qualified students to complete the 30-credit program in as little as 8 months or one year. One 4-day residency is required, but all other coursework is fully online, providing students with a flexible, asynchronous education option.
Cost Per Credit: $825
Florida Atlantic University
Originally founded as an upper-division school with degree completion and graduate programs, Florida Atlantic University has put the needs of non-traditional and working adult students at its heart since 1964. In just 50 years, FAU has become one of the leading public institutions in Florida, and one of the fastest-growing anywhere, largely because of its focus on professional programs and online degrees. The FAU College of Business, in particular, has been recognized as a top program by Forbes and the Princeton Review, helping drive South Florida’s bustling economy with management and entrepreneurship programs.
FAU’s online Executive Master of Accounting degree program comes from the College of Business’s dedicated School of Accounting, recognized as one of the best in the south. This AACSB-accredited program is designed for students who want a fully online degree with a speciality in Forensics Accounting. FAU’s general-interest Flexible MAC degree can be earned largely online, but requires some residency. In either case, FAU has one of the lowest tuition rates out there for a Master of Accounting, making it one of the best low-risk investments in the south.
Cost Per Credit: $369
University of Alabama at Birmingham
As Alabama’s only public research institution ranked at the highest research activity classification by the Carnegie Foundation, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a major urban research university known for its impact on the professional life of Alabama. The UAB Collat School of Business is especially well-respected, ranked as one of the top business schools in the nation by both U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, while USN&WR has also noted UAB for developing one of the strongest online graduate degree programs in the nation.
The online UAB Master of Accounting degree program is just one of the degrees cited for excellence, an AACSB-accredited program that combines a top-tier faculty, a strong job-market reputation, and the flexibility of a fully-online curriculum. UAB’s MAC program is designed for both experienced accountants and recent graduates, providing a thorough grounding in critical thinking, analysis, law, and all of the other principles that guide the accounting profession. UAB’s trusted name in Alabama and the Deep South ensures that graduates will find employers and clients to make their investment pay off.
Cost Per Credit: $593
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The flagship of the UMass system, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the most respected public research universities in New England. Besides residing in one of the top-ranked college towns in the US, Amherst, UMass is recognized among the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s national universities. The Isenberg School of Management in particular is ranked as one of the strongest business schools in the nation, even among the impressive competition in New England and the North, with some of the best AACSB-accredited online degree programs anywhere.
UMass’ online MS in Accounting degree, offered through the Isenberg School, has its own AACSB-accreditation for added reputability and assurance, making UMass one of the few schools in the world with accredited business and accounting programs together. The 30-credit program is designed for both broad knowledge of accounting and finance, and specific, in-depth, experiential knowledge of accounting practice, as well as preparation for the CPA exam in Massachusetts. Taken altogether, the UMass MSA is a solid online degree from a trusted leader.
Cost Per Credit: $750
Pennsylvania State University World Campus
Pennsylvania State University, one of the most recognizable and respected public research universities in the northeast, is also one of the leaders of online education with the Penn State World Campus. Penn State helped pioneer distance education with correspondence courses beginning in 1892, reaching out to the rural areas of Pennsylvania, and launched one of the first fully online, fully accredited campuses of any major public university. Today the Penn State World Campus is one of the foremost names in online education and in value.
The online Master of Professional Accounting degree from Penn State World Campus is specifically designed to prepare students for the CPA exam, with a full range of accounting knowledge, from corporate and auditing to non-profit and government accounting. Graduates of this AACSB-accredited program can pursue careers in accounting firms, corporations and businesses, or as independent CPAs, as well as any other field that requires accounting. The Penn State name allows graduates to make a definite dent in the job market, making it one of the most trusted investments in online education.
Cost Per Credit: $930
University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota was founded as the first college in the Dakota Territory, bringing all of the practical, scientific, and liberal arts education necessary to prepare doctors, lawyers, and teachers for a new and growing land. That tradition has continued for South Dakota’s flagship, as well as new innovations, such as a model online education program designed to help meet the educational needs of Dakotans no matter how far they may be from Vermillion.
USD’s online Master of Professional Accountancy degree program comes from the Beacom School of Business, one of the finest business programs in the Midwest. This AACSB-accredited degree meets all of the requirements for graduates to sit for the CPA exam, with a broad foundation in all areas of accounting, from government to private industry. Coming from the Beacom School, with the national reputation of USD, graduates can expect to see a return from one of the most affordable online MPA degrees in the nation.
Cost Per Credit: $442
Founded in 1863 as a business school, Bryant University is a small, private institution in Rhode Island still specializing in business, accounting, and finance. Ranked as a top 10 regional university by U.S. News & World Report, Bryant is Rhode Island’s premiere business school, recognized for its excellent value and exceptional career placement abilities by the Princeton Review. Bryant’s AACSB-accredited business programs remain Bryant’s claim to fame, and their move to online delivery has made them more convenient to access than ever.
Bryant’s Master of Professional Accountancy degree program that can be completed in only 2 terms for full-time students. Applicants for this rigorous degree program must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and courses are delivered in both on-campus and online formats; on-campus courses are both recorded and fully accessible in real time to students from anywhere in the world. Bryant’s reputation gives graduates a 100% job placement rating in the accounting field, a value that is hard to beat.
Cost Per Credit: $1176
Auburn University, Alabama’s most prestigious public research institution, is a land, sea, and space-grant university that has been one of the leaders for applied science, technology, and professional studies in the Deep South. As Alabama’s land-grant university, Auburn has been a pioneer in agriculture, engineering, and science, but the Harbert College of Business has become one of the most respected business schools in the South. In addition, the Harbert College has been ranked one of the top 10 best online business educators in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
One such program is the Auburn online Master of Accountancy, a specialized degree designed for professionals already working in the accountancy field who want to improve both their technical and communication skills. Besides a short 2-day residency required for all students, the MAcc degree program can be completed fully online in only 2 years, and this AACSB-accredited curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to pass the CPA exam on the first try – as high at 80% of graduates.
Cost Per Credit: $850
Colorado State University-Global Campus
The Colorado State University-Global Campus, part of the respected CSU system, was the first independent online university founded as part of a public higher education system. CSU-Global helped set a standard for what online education could provide, with excellent student support, flexible courses, and affordable tuition rates without any residency restrictions. CSU-Global has been acclaimed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online educators in the nation, as well as a best value and a military-friendly educator.
CSU-Global’s online Master of Professional Accounting is specifically designed for working professionals looking to become CPAs, with education in not only the technical aspects of accounting, but in management, communication, and leadership. The MPA degree program helps aspiring accountants prepare for roles as independent entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, and more, all for a low tuition rate that is the same no matter where students live and learn.
Cost Per Credit: $500
One of the most prestigious small, private business schools in the nation, Bentley University was founded in 1917 to provide specialized accounting and finance education for the Boston area. In the last century, Bentley has grown into a leading university specializing in business technology, ethical leadership, and the demands of global business. Bentley’s resources, combined with the close personal mentorship of a small college, has helped Bentley earn recognition from U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the best regional colleges and best online educators in the nation.
Bentley University’s flexible Master of Science in Accountancy program puts an emphasis on leadership and ethics in accountancy, preparing working professionals for the critical thinking and decision-making needs of modern business. Students come to Bentley’s MSA program from a variety of backgrounds, including non-business, so the curriculum is designed to give students a thorough grounding in business as well as specialization in accountancy while also setting them up for the CPA exam. Students trust the Bentley name to carry its weight on the New England job market.
Cost Per Credit: $1408
New Jersey’s premiere public research institution, Rutgers University is one of the 9 Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution, a pioneering land-grant agriculture and engineering university, and a crucial link in the economy of New Jersey and the Northeast. The Rutgers Business School is also one of the foremost public business schools in the nation, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 business school in the tri-state area, including New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. As an AACSB-accredited institution, Rutgers Business School is an education for success.
In recent years Rutgers has solidified their reputation further with top-ranked online programs, including the online Master of Accountancy from Rutgers Business School. This fully online, 30-credit program is designed as a specialization in Governmental Accounting and is the only online program of its kind in the US. Ranked in the top 15 online graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report, the Rutgers MAcc is also the same price for New Jersey residents and non-residents alike, making it an online program to watch.
Cost Per Credit: $945
Southern Utah University
A small public institution, Southern Utah University was founded as the region’s first teacher’s college (what was then called a normal school). Since its inception in 1897, SUU has grown into the state’s designated public liberal arts college, with a small student body, dedicated faculty, and all the student support that the liberal arts format can provide. SUU has been named a best regional institution and a best value by the Princeton Review, and has begun bringing its reputation for quality online with distance education programs.
SUU’s online Master of Accountancy degree program has been ranked in the top 50 online business programs by U.S. News & World Report, a testament to SUU’s commitment to student support. The online MAcc prepares students for CPA examination and for the complexities of modern accounting, and motivated students can tack on 15 credits for a dual MAcc/MBA degree. With an accelerated format, students can be graduates in only 1 year, and SUU has an impressive 99% job placement rate within 6 months of graduation, making Southern Utah’s online MAcc the best accounting bargain in the state.
Cost Per Credit: $446
National University is a private institution dedicated to meeting the educational needs of working adults and military service members and veterans. Founded in 1971 by a retired Naval officer, National has helped set the pace for non-traditional professional and technical education by emphasizing top-tier career preparation, technological innovation, and diversity, including awarding more degrees to minority students, especially Hispanic and Latino students, than any other university in California.
National has emerged in the 21st century as an online education leader, including such programs as the National University online Master of Accountancy degree program. This 14-course program is designed to prepare students for the CPA exam, with a thorough grounding in current technology, analytical tools, and ethical and legal knowledge. With concentrated 4-week quarters, National ensures that students can complete their degrees quickly and flexibly, making the most of their time and money.
Cost Per Credit: $624
Georgia Southern University
Founded in 1908 as a regional agriculture and mechanics school, Georgia Southern University has grown in the last century into the largest and most influential public research institution in southern Georgia. Georgia Southern has been widely recognized as one of the top regional universities in the south, as well as a long-standing military-friendly institution, and individual schools and programs – including engineering, computer science, business, and online programs – have been acclaimed by U.S. News & World Report and other agencies as standing among the best in the nation.
The fully online Master of Accounting program at Georgia Southern is AACSB-accredited and formatted for the educational needs of working professionals. The 30-credit curriculum is designed to be completed in two years, with students working through the sequence in a cohort format for added support and network-building. Applicants do not have to have a business undergraduate degree, though work experience is recommended, and it is expected that students will be full-time professionals. Their reputation for quality and support makes Georgia Southern a reliable choice for Georgia students.
Cost Per Credit: $687
University of Miami
Ranked in the top 50 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Miami is the premiere private research institution in Florida and one of the most respected educators in the world. Founded in 1925, the University of Miami grew up with the young city that gave it its name, building world-class medical and law programs, as well as helping develop Miami into a global metropolis. Its deep connections to the government and industry of Miami has also helped UM build a top-ranked School of Business Administration.
The University of Miami’s online Master’s in Professional Accounting program, a fully-online program designed to prepare students for the CPA exam and work in the 21st century business scene. Students do not have to have a background in business to apply, but the MPA degree is built for working professionals, with 32 credits and an experiential curriculum led by industry experts. The degree can be finished in as little as 16 months, and the University of Miami name carries a value all its own for graduates.
Cost Per Credit: $1900
Emporia State University
Since 1863, just two years after Kansas became a state, Emporia State University has made educational opportunity available for the people of the Flint Hills, first as a teacher’s college, and today as an all-around designation for professional and technical education. Recognized as a top regional institution for the Midwest by the Princeton Review, ESU is particularly known for its adult and professional education programs, including those from the AACSB-accredited School of Business.
ESU’s online Master’s in Accountancy degree program is part of Emporia State’s respected School of Business and a prime program for working professionals in Kansas and throughout the region. In addition to providing all of the requirements for taking the CPA exam in Kansas, the ESU MACC program gives students a foundation in government, corporate, and public accounting, providing access to career opportunities in a variety of fields, all for one of the lowest tuition rates for an online degree in the Midwest.
Cost Per Credit: $333
St. John's University
Founded by the Vincentian Fathers, a charitable Catholic order, in 1870, St. John’s University is known for a mission and curriculum dedicated to social welfare, community engagement, and the ethical use of education and the opportunity it gives. St. John’s is a deeply Catholic institution, rooted in faith and moral education, and brings its values into all of its programs, including highly respected business programs. Its location and connections within New York City have paid off, as SJU’s business programs have been recognized by the Princeton Review, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal for their quality and job market influence.
St. John’s University offers an online MS in Accounting from the highly respected Tobin College of Business, a 30-33 credit program designed for working professionals to increase their knowledge and skills in accounting. From global economics to theory and problem-solving, the SJU MSA program prepares accountants for the needs of modern corporations and organizations. With an accelerated online format the MSA can be completed in only one year, and SJU’s reputation on the job market – acclaimed by Businessweek and the Wall Street Journal – assures graduates of a place for their talents.
Cost Per Credit: $1180
Texas A&M University - Commerce
A mid-sized public research institution, Texas A&M University-Commerce has its roots, like many regional universities, in a normal school, and has grown over the last 100-odd years into one of the most respected institutions in northern Texas. In addition to one of the top education programs in the state, TAMUC is also known for the College of Business, which has been recognized by agencies like U.S.News & World Report and Forbes for the quality of their programs, particularly in accounting.
TAMUC’s online MS in Accountancy degree program is designed both for students who already have an undergraduate degree in accounting, and those who do not. This 36-credit program (42 for those without an accounting background) gives students all they need for the various fields of accounting, including public, government, or corporate. With AACSB accreditation and one of the lowest tuition rates anyone is likely to find in Texas, the TAMUC MSA online program is an investment worth making for Texas professionals.
Cost Per Credit: $320
California State University - Sacramento
Part of the nationally-recognized California State University system, CSU Sacramento – better known as Sacramento State – is a highly diverse, widely respected urban research university dedicated to cultivating the leaders, professionals, and researchers of the future. With a student body largely composed of first-generation and low-income students, Sac State is a major force for social mobility and development for the state of California.
Sac State’s online MS in Accountancy degree program is a specialized master’s degree focused on preparing working professionals for the complexities of modern-day accounting. From new regulations to ever-improving technology, Sac State’s online program covers everything the 21st century accountant needs to know. Add to that Sacramento State’s proven reputation, and graduates can trust their online degree to be a worthwhile investment.
Cost Per Credit: $740
George Mason University
One of the most prestigious universities in the Washington, DC region, George Mason University was founded in 1949 as an extension campus for the University of Virginia. In less than a century, George Mason has grown into Virginia’s largest public research university, known for its strong programs in business, economics, law, politics, and other areas that the Washington location strengthens and develops. In recent years, George Mason has turned their reputation to online degree programs as well, with significant success.
George Mason’s online MS in Accounting degree program is an AACSB-accredited, 30-credit degree program developed for working professionals to earn the credentials they need to sit for and pass the CPA exam. With 10-week courses, and a cohort format that allows students to develop their interpersonal skills and relationships, the GMU MSA program gives graduates access to the George Mason reputation, which has a real impact on the job market – including serious hiring bonuses and an 86% placement rate at graduation.
Cost Per Credit: $933
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The nation’s first public university is still one of its most prestigious – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s flagship institution and an original Public Ivy (public college with the reputation of the Ivy League). In addition to being one of the corners of the Research Triangle, one of the earliest industrial research parks, UNC is a leader in business education with the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Regularly ranked as one of the top business schools in the US, Kenan-Flagler has also expanded into online education with a graduate program ranked in the top 15 by U.S. News & World Report. One of the acclaimed UNC online programs, the Master of Accounting, is designed as an accelerated program that allows students to earn their degree in only one year. Graduates find the UNC reputation brings a job placement rate of 98%, with active recruiting even before graduation.
Cost Per Credit: $1363
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
SUNY Polytechnic Institute is the designated public polytechnic for the state of New York, part of the world-renowned State University of New York system. Since its founding in 1966 as an upper division campus for the SUNY system, SUNY Poly has developed into one of the most prestigious and productive research institutions in the northeast. In addition to some of the most cutting-edge technology and research, SUNY Poly has also AACSB-accredited and offers some highly ranked online programs.
One such program is the SUNY Poly online MS in Accountancy, a degree program designed for working professionals with an accounting background to increase their credentials for leadership positions in every field, including corporate, government, and non-profit. This 33-credit program is also arranged to fulfill the requirements of the CPA exam. SUNY Poly is one of the most trusted names in the region, and graduates can trust that, along with low tuition, a MSA from SUNY Poly will pay off.
Cost Per Credit: $453
A private Christian institution associated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Gardner-Webb dates back to 1905, with a long history of recognition for quality. As a Christian college, GWU puts distinct emphasis on service and community, and is recognized for its commitment to public engagement. Gardner-Webb’s liberal arts foundation provides a grounding in critical thinking, educational rigor, and spiritual development, including their acclaimed online programs.
Gardner-Webb’s online Master of Accountancy is a 30-credit program designed for working adults who are preparing for a career in an accounting firm, government, or private industry. It provides not only a thorough preparation for the CPA exam, but also grounding in ethics, leadership, decision-making, and regulations. The Gardner-Webb name is highly regarded as a regional institution, and a reasonable tuition rate increases their value and chance for a high return on investment.
Cost Per Credit: $525
Ranked as a top 5 regional institution for the south by U.S. News & World Report, Stetson University (named for hatmaker John B. Stetson, a major donor in the early years of the institution) is one of the most prestigious small private universities in Florida, with top-ranked law and business programs, a reputation as a military-friendly university, and ranking as one of the best values in the nation. The School of Business Administration is accredited by the AACSB for both business and accounting, a rare distinction.
Stetson’s online Master of Accountancy degree is a fully-online program designed explicitly for the needs of working professionals, whether studying full-time or part-time, and has a strong commitment to student support and academic excellence. This highly competitive program benefits from the expertise and influence of Stetson’s Rinker Institute of Tax and Accountancy, one of the most respected in the south, and an excellent opportunity for graduates to develop their professionalism and job market skills.
Cost Per Credit: $784
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
A small liberal arts and sciences institution in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Clarion University of Pennsylvania is well known for their professional and technical programs in areas such as business, education, and health science. As a public university, Clarion keeps tuition costs affordable, with some of the lowest rates students can find in Pennsylvania, but the small size helps students obtain the kind of personal attention and support usually associated with much more expensive liberal arts colleges.
Clarion’s MS in Accounting degree program is exclusively online, designed for working professionals who are looking for a convenient, reputable, and rewarding education in accounting. The program is explicitly created to prepare students for the CPA exam, and along with professional opportunities in business and government, will prepare students for the demands of individual practice as a CPA. Clarion’s value is well-established, AACSB-accredited, and ranked in the top online business programs nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
Cost Per Credit: $522
California Baptist University
Founded in 1950, California Baptist University is a fairly young institution, but with less than a century under its belt CBU has emerged as one of the leading private Christian colleges in the nation. This mid-sized evangelical university has especially grown in stature due to their online degree programs, which have been acclaimed by U.S. News & World Report among the best in the nation (top 25 for online bachelor’s). Their low tuition rates have earned CBU recognition as a top value for California.
CBU’s Jabs School of Business has made particular strides in online education, with a slew of respected and ACBSP-accredited online degree programs, such as the CBU online MS in Accounting degree program. With their Christian worldview, the CBU MSA is particularly focused on ethics and leadership, and while it prepares students for work in corporate or government accounting as well as the CPA exam, the online MSA is also suited to future accounting educators, giving graduates a wide range of career options.
Cost Per Credit: $643
Southern New Hampshire University
The Southern New Hampshire University story has become one of the most inspiring stories in higher education in recent years, as this once small, regional college has turned into one of the most recognizable and trusted names in online education. SNHU is still small on campus – around 3000 students – but online, SNHU is one of the fastest-growing universities in the world, with over 75,000 enrolled. SNHU’s combination of quality, convenience, and marketing smarts has made them one of the best choices for an online business degree, and the envy of colleges across the US.
SNHU’s online MS in Accounting degree program prepares students for the CPA exam, and for a long, rewarding career that can be adapted to any accounting field, from corporate and government to non-profit and education. This accelerated program can be completed in only 15 months with a full-time course load, while still remaining flexible enough for working professionals to schedule around their jobs. With more than 80 years of experience, SNHU has reputation and job market influence to spare.
Cost Per Credit: $627
City University of Seattle
A small, private institution in the heart of Seattle, WA, the City University of Seattle has put adult and professional education at the center of its mission from its beginnings in 1973. CUS has been recognized widely as a best value and a top choice for veterans and military students, and both Forbes and U.S. News & World Report have ranked CUS as one of the best online educators in the nation, particularly the ACBSP-accredited School of Management, which is fed by CUS’s many partnerships in the Seattle corporate world.
The School of Management draws on its expertise and corporate connections to design the City University of Seattle’s online Master of Professional Accounting, a degree program that brings students the most leading-edge and competitive accounting education possible. In addition to ample preparation for CPA exams, and an adaptable curriculum that provides a multitude of career options, the CUS online MPA gives students that mentorship and support of a small program, along with the excellent job-market reputation of City University of Seattle, for a definitive best value.
Cost Per Credit: $565
Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the west, Regis University is the only Catholic college in the Rocky Mountains and a military-friendly school. Founded by an exiled group of Italian Jesuits, Regis has been bringing the academic excellence we associate with Catholic education to the region since 1877. A century later, they began offering accelerated degrees for adult students, a direct precursor to the online programs that have made Regis one of the best-known names in online education today.
Regis’ online MS in Accounting degree program is an accelerated, 30-credit curriculum designed for working professionals. Asynchronous courses allow students to schedule the program around their current jobs, and 8-week courses move quickly and effectively through the full range of accounting knowledge. As a Catholic institution, Regis puts an emphasis on ethics and service, directing students to roles where they can make a difference, as CPAs in their own practice or in business, government, or faith organizations. The Regis reputation opens up a wealth of career opportunity.
Cost Per Credit: $780
Founded in 1865 as a business school, business, finance, and accounting is still the center of Rider University’s curriculum, and they do it better than nearly any other small college in the northeast. Recognized in the top 25 regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report, Rider has earned acclaim for their diversity, academic quality, and commitment to professional education, and after a century and a half Rider has become a leading online educator too.
Rider’s College of Business boasted dual accreditation from the AACSB for both business and accounting, a rare distinction, and has gained attention for their online degree programs. One such program is the Rider online Master of Accountancy, a 30-credit program that prepares students for CPA certification in all the state of the union, and an optional specialization in Forensic Accounting. Taught by experienced professionals, the online MAcc emphasizes critical thought and analysis and is ideal for leadership in the profession.
Cost Per Credit: $1020
One of the most resounding success stories in Christian higher education, the former Lynchburg Baptist College has grown into what may be the largest Christian university in the world – Liberty University. Founded in 1971 by Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty’s reputation and enrollment exploded with the implementation of online degree programs, which spun into their own division with Liberty Online in 2009. Today, Liberty is one of the most recognizable names in higher education, which online enrollment approaching 100,000 students.
One of Liberty’s signature focuses is business, to which they bring an evangelical, biblical worldview centered on ethics and service. The Liberty Online MS in Accounting degree is a 30-credit program designed to give working professionals the grounding in communication, research, analysis, and technology that 21st century accounting needs. The program can be completed in as little as one year of full-time scheduling, and Liberty’s low tuition rate is the same anywhere in the world for an added bargain.
Cost Per Credit: $565
Founded in 1966, Bellevue University has its roots in adult education, as an innovative approach to providing degree completion, professional education, and technical training for working adults. This private institution has specialized in innovative learning and diverse opportunity for five decades, and they have made their name as trailblazers in online education as well, in keeping with their commitment to the needs of non-traditional students.
Bellevue’s online MS in Accounting degree program has been widely recognized for its quality and affordability. With an experiential learning style, students practice accounting skills and analysis with realistic cases and settings, preparing not only for the CPA exam, but for adaptation and flexibility in the modern accounting profession. Bellevue’s low tuition is the same everywhere in the nation, and strong student support gives students the same experience whether they are on campus or anywhere else.
Cost Per Credit: $545
New England College
A uniquely New England sort of institution, New England College was founded in 1946 to meet the educational needs of returning WWII veterans, who were making use of the GI Bill to get a college education and enter into professional civilian life. Adult and non-traditional education is still key to NEC’s mission, with values formed by liberal arts education and top-notch professional and technical programs like education, business, and healthcare.
NEC’s online MS in Accounting degree program draws on the spirit of liberal arts inquiry and exploration with a multi-disciplinary, practical education in the many facets of modern accounting to provide students with a flexible and adaptable career preparation. This 40-credit program covers not only technical skills but critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving, making NEC graduates indispensable employees and motivated entrepreneurs.
Cost Per Credit: $565
Albertus Magnus College
Founded in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, Albertus Magnus College is a highly respected private Catholic institution in New Haven, CT, a New England center of higher education. AMC focuses on the power of the liberal arts to not only prepare students for their careers, but for lives of service and community engagement, in keeping with the values of the Dominican Sisters. A holistic approach to life, work, and faith informs all of Albertus Magnus’ programs.
AMC’s online MS in Accounting is no different, with a deep preparation in the demands of modern accounting and in the ethics and responsibilities of an accounting career. Students can now complete the MSA in Albertus Magnus’ FLEX format, choosing between online and on-campus courses as they desire; online courses are 8-week accelerated courses with the same content and support as on-campus classes, so students can complete the program entirely online if they wish. With 5 different starting times, online students can graduate in as little as one year.
Cost Per Credit: $855
Nova Southeastern University
One of the most respected private universities in Florida, Nova Southeastern University began its life in 1964 as a technical institute, but quickly grew in size and stature. In addition to its excellent engineering and technology programs, Nova’s original claim to fame, NSU has become known throughout the south for their healthcare, education, and business programs. The Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship is one of the most respected in the region.
The NSU online Master of Accounting degree program is a 39-credit curriculum centered on Value Driven Management, preparing students for the complexities of leading in the modern accountancy field. The program is specifically tailored for working accountancy professionals who wish to move into positions of more responsibility and authority, though foundational courses can be taken online for students with less experience in accounting. The online program can be completed in 21 months and brings graduates to the job market with the known NSU reputation.
Cost Per Credit: $880
Ranked as one of the top online educators in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Post University has had adult education and business training in its mission since its founding in 1890 as a small secretarial school. Today, Post is known for a wealth of top-tier business programs, all geared toward motivated leadership in the era of globalization. A regionally-accredited, for-profit institution, Post is one of the most respected institutions of its kind in New England.
Post’s online MS in Accounting degree program is an ACBSP-accredited leader in online education, designed to help take working professionals from simple day-to-day accounting to leadership, strategy, and planning roles. With experienced professionals for faculty, and small class sizes, Post offers online students the same kind of mentoring and support that on-campus students expect, and a reasonable tuition rate (especially for New England) helps ensure that Post graduates will find their investment of time and money pay off well for them.
Cost Per Credit: $625
University of Scranton
Founded in 1888 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the University of Scranton today is a small Jesuit Catholic research institution known for its commitment to education, justice, and service. U.S. News & World Report ranks Scranton in the top 10 regional colleges of the north, but US is most recognized for the Kania School of Management, one of the north’s most prestigious business schools, ranked by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine as one of the nation’s best.
Offered through the Kania School, the University of Scranton’s online Master of Accountancy degree program is widely considered one of the best online management degrees in the nation. The 30 credit program is designed to help working professionals develop the finance skills they need to become leaders in the accounting field, and a bridge program helps non-accounting majors catch up for the master’s. The University of Scranton reputation is just an added bonus to the excellence of the program.
Cost Per Credit: $895
Maryville University of St. Louis
A small, private liberal arts and sciences institution in the St. Louis suburb of Town & Country, Maryville University of St. Louis is one of the oldest and most esteemed institutions in the region. Originally founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart order, today Maryville University is a secular institution deeply ensconced in the community and committed to bringing education and leadership to the greater St. Louis area. That includes a healthy slate of online programs that have earned MU notice as a top online school and best value for the Midwest.
Maryville University’s online MS in Accounting degree program taught by experienced CPA experts and designed for working adults. This fully-online program also offers a bridge program for students who do not have an accounting bachelor’s, Becker CPA Preparation courses built into the program, and ACBSP accreditation for assurance that students are getting the best, most market-relevant education. Students can complete the program in as little as 10 months, making this best value a fast track to a rejuvenated career.
Cost Per Credit: $765
An exclusively online, regionally-accredited for-profit institution, Northcentral University specializes in business, education, and social sciences, including accredited programs in Homeland Security, Marriage and Family Therapy, and other socially-directed fields. With an emphasis on experiential education and one-on-one support, Northcentral has begun to make a name for itself in the last 20 years as a diverse, trusted online educator.
The ACBSP-accredited School of Business & Technology Management at Northcentral University offers an online MS in Accounting. Focused on globalization, regulation, and the technology of contemporary accounting, the Northcentral MSA is designed for the California CPA exam and uses a flexible, weekly start date for courses to help working professionals tailor their courses around their existing schedule. With a faculty made up completely of doctorate-holding, experienced accountants, Northcentral gives students all the knowledge they need to succeed.
Cost Per Credit: $837
Madison, WI, is best known as the home of the University of Wisconsin, but for students who want the academic rigor and close personal attention of a small Catholic college, Edgewood College has been there since 1927. Founded in the Dominican tradition, Edgewood is known for their excellent student support and commitment to diversity and community, with students and faculty creating a strongly knit educational family. That commitment stands in Edgewood’s online degree programs as well.
Edgewood’s ACBSP-accredited business programs include the Edgewood online MS in Accounting degree, a 30-credit curriculum focused on getting students to pass the CPA exam on the first try. With flexible online scheduling, the MSA is tailored to working professionals, with knowledge students can take directly into the current jobs, and the accelerated format allows students to complete their degree in as little as one year with a full-time course schedule. Edgewood’s name is trusted in Wisconsin and the Midwest, making an online Edgewood MSA a solid investment.
Cost Per Credit: $898
University of Dallas
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the best regional institutions in the west, the University of Dallas is a prestigious, private Catholic university in the Dallas suburb of Irving, TX. Recognized for educational excellence, UD is most known for the AACSB-accredited Gupta College of Business, a highly respected business school that has made the most of its location to develop deep connections and partnerships with the booming Dallas industry.
The University of Dallas’ online MS in Accounting program is extremely flexible, offering a number of scheduling possibilities for working professionals to work their education into their current schedules, including 12-week, 6-week, and intermester (between semester) courses. This 33-credit program provides all students need to take on modern accounting positions, and for students in Texas, UD’s reputation in the Dallas metro region is a strong advantage on the job market.
Cost Per Credit: $1250
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Maine’s only private, Catholic college, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine was founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy. Saint Joseph’s is dedicated to intellectual and spiritual growth in the Catholic tradition, with strong ties to the church and an ongoing commitment to service. Saint Joseph’s began offering distance education courses for adult students in the 1970s, a background that helped inform the formation of Saint Joseph’s Online, one of the strongest online education programs in the state.
Saint Joseph’s online Master of Accountancy degree is primarily intended for working professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, though prerequisites are available online for students who do not have a business background. With 10-week courses, students can more conveniently arrange their schedules to finish in as little as one year, and Saint Joseph’s affordable online tuition rate helps keep costs down and returns up for a strong educational investment.
Cost Per Credit: $499
University of Michigan - Flint
A mid-sized regional institution in the University of Michigan system, the University of Michigan-Flint was founded in 1956 to provide top-quality professional and technical education to the industrial region around Flint, particularly for returning WWII and Korean War veterans using their GI Bill to reintegrate into civilian life. Ranked as a top Midwestern regional university, UM-Flint continues its commitment to practical education with its online degree programs.
UM-Flint’s online MS in Accounting degree program is delivered in the NetPlus! format, with students taking all coursework online, but having the opportunity to meet and build relationships twice a semester. This hybrid program does require some travel, therefore, and may not be for every student, but for those in Michigan who can come to Flint infrequently, the opportunity for career advancement and skills enhancement offered by the UM-Flint MSA is second to none in the state.
Cost Per Credit: $668
University of Charleston
A prestigious private institution in Charleston, WV, the University of Charleston is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the top regional universities in the south. UC is known for their unique competency-based educational model, in which students work through outcomes modules (rather than conventionally graded classes) to complete an education founded on experiential knowledge. Emphasis on adult and military students means that non-traditional students can earn credit for life, work, and military experience as well.
UC’s online Master of Forensic Accounting is the first program of its kind in the nation, focused on investigations into fraud, with interdisciplinary courses in criminology, law, ethics, and other specialized areas. The MFAcc is presented in a hybrid format, with students required to make infrequent visits to campus for face-to-face meetings – 8 campus visits over the course of the 16-month program. UC’s unusual 8-module format is well-designed for working professionals to fit their courses into their existing work and life schedules.
Cost Per Credit: app. $1250 ($3750 per module)
Golden Gate University
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top online business school, Golden Gate University is a private institution founded in 1901. In those days, the YMCA was a crucial source of adult education, and like many other institutions of the era Golden Gate had its origins in an evening class at the YMCA. Golden Gate’s focus is largely on graduate-level professional programs, particularly law and business, and since beginning their first online degree programs in 1998 GGU has become one of the most recognizable names in online education.
GGU offers two online accounting master’s degrees: an MS in Accounting, and a Master of Accountancy. The focus of these programs is slightly different, with the MSA designed for working adults with an accounting bachelor’s degree, and the MAcc geared toward professionals who are changing fields, but in both cases, GGU offers strong career development and job search support, fully-online courses, and the opportunity to earn an accounting master’s in a short period of time, as little as 12 months for some students.
Cost Per Credit: $975
Founded in 1873 as a Baptist women’s college, Shorter University is an evangelical Christian institution that has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 20 best regional institutions in the south. Shorter’s emphasis on a biblical, Christ-centered education encourages students to practice their faith and morals in whatever career they choose. Shorter’s online division spreads Shorter’s mission and provides the opportunity for students around the nation to benefit from their century and a half of excellence.
Shorter’s online Master of Accountancy degree program is developed to provide all of the credit hours and knowledge necessary for the CPA exam in any state. This 31-credit program emphasizes analytical and interpersonal skills alongside technical knowledge of accounting practice, technology, and regulations. Students with an accounting background can complete the degree in only 12 months, increasing the value of Shorter’s already affordable tuition and sterling reputation.
Cost Per Credit: $500