Why This Matters

  • FINANCIAL MANAGERS EARN $129,890 ON AVERAGE YEARLY

    The average salary for financial managers is $90,080 more than those of all other occupations.

  • 108,100 MORE FINANCIAL MANAGERS ARE NEEDED OVER THE NEXT DECADE

    The industry is expected to grow faster than the national average due to the high demand for cash management and risk management. The rise of globalization and the desire for banking institutions to focus on stability contribute to the positive job outlook for financial managers.

  • EMPLOYMENT IS EXPECTED TO GROW BY 15%

    More skilled financial managers are needed to develop long term financial plans and lead investment activities across multiple industries.

Our Research

This list evaluates graduate programs in accounting that prepare students for high-level financial positions such as chief financial officer, corporate controller, and managerial accountant. Degrees offered include Master of Accounting, Master of Science in Accounting, and Master of Accountancy. The programs on our list offer a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid learning formats.

Schools on our list have received accreditation acknowledging their curricula and programs uphold high academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the highest level of accreditation for a business school and is recognized by employers and other educational institutions. Other programs on our list have received either regional or national accreditation to verify their programs prepare students for careers in the field of accounting.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Master’s in Accounting program are affordable, respected, and flexible.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 56 hours to write this article
  • 186 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 352 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Accounting Programs

Best Master's in Accounting Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a career in accounting, you might also consider earning a master of finance or master of business administration (MBA) degree. Accounting focuses on tracking and reporting money, while finance is a broader study and deals with the movement of money. MBA programs teach students leadership and operational skills in addition to offering coursework in finance and marketing. Certain MBA programs also specialize in accounting. Think about career paths you’d like to pursue when deciding which degree program is right for you.

Certifications in the field of accounting are important to students who wish to hold senior financial positions. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Board of Examiners and includes a four-part exam. CPAs deal with financial reporting, including taxes and auditing. Many additional accounting certifications can improve job outlook, including Chartered Global Management Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Financial Services Auditor.

The field of accounting is tied to the health of the overall economy. Still, senior finance roles are expected to see continued growth until 2029, as the financial industry continues to focus on risk management and cash management.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching master’s in accounting programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Master’s in accounting programs are graduate level and require students to hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Prospective students are expected to have completed coursework in statistics, finance, and principles of accounting. Most programs also require a minimum GPA and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Online graduate accounting programs usually take one to two years to complete. The programs on our list require between 30 and 48 credits to graduate.

Check application deadlines and entry requirements for programs you’re interested in attending. Visit the school website to find more in-depth information about admission prerequisites.

Master’s programs require a financial investment, and you should consider how you’ll cover tuition fees and other academic-related costs. Research financial aid assistance, grants, and scholarships to identify potential funding opportunities. If you’re employed, your company might offer tuition assistance.