Why This Matters

  • CPA LICENSURE REQUIRES 150 SEMESTER HOURS

    Tax professionals need to complete 150 semester hours before they can become certified public accountants. The courses taken for a Master’s in Taxation degree could count toward this requirement.

  • MORE THAN 61,000 ADDITIONAL AUDITOR AND ACCOUNTANT JOBS

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 4% job growth for auditors and accountants from 2019 through 2029. The pace should create another 61,700 new jobs in the field.

  • INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL BY MORE THAN $34,000 ANNUALLY

    The average annual salary for tax professionals who have a Master of Taxation degree is $88,740. That’s $34,740 higher than the average salary of professionals who have a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Taxation, which is $54,000.

Our Research

We reviewed many Master’s in Taxation degree programs, including Master of Science (MS), Master of Taxation (MTax), and Master of Accounting (MAC) degrees. We included online, traditional, and hybrid programs to offer maximum flexibility among the listed choices.

All of the programs that we included are regionally accredited, and many have additional accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Accreditation ensures that a program meets quality standards and is recognized by others.

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 Taxation Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 66 hours to write this article
  • 197 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 329 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Taxation Degree Programs

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

Most students who enroll in a Master’s in Taxation degree program are pursuing certification as a public accountant. The exact requirements for becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) differ from state to state, so you should check the specific requirements in your state and make sure a program meets those requirements.

While the majority of Master’s in Taxation degrees are intended to help tax professionals become CPAs, a few programs are designed more for legal professionals and focus on legal topics within taxation. These programs may be helpful to attorneys who want to specialize in tax law, and whether such programs meet CPA credentialing requirements depends on the specifics of a program.

An alternative option for tax professionals is a Master’s in Accounting degree. Master’s in Accounting degrees also prepare accounting professionals to become CPAs, but these programs focus more on accounting in general and less on taxation in particular. Consider your personal interests and career goals, and choose a Master’s in Taxation or a Master’s in Accounting accordingly.

Many online programs can be completed mostly over the internet, but they might have a brief in-person component. Make sure your schedule will allow you to complete any required in-person portion.

What’s Next?

Consider these questions as you evaluate different Master’s in Taxation degree options:

  • Am I eligible for this degree? Master’s in Taxation degrees normally require an undergraduate degree in accounting, taxation, or a related field. If you don’t have a bachelor’s in these subjects, a combination of professional experience and supplemental coursework might suffice for some programs.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most of these programs range from 30 to 45 credits, which takes two to three years to complete. The CPA credential may require additional credits outside of a degree program.

When you have a list of potential degree programs, contact them or check their websites to learn more about the admissions process. You’ll need to know what application materials are required and the relevant deadlines.

Also research how you’ll pay for a degree. Talk with programs about any financial aid or scholarships they offer. If you’re working, check whether your employer offers tuition reimbursement.