Why This Matters


    In most states, you need a minimum of 150 credit hours to be eligible to take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam and obtain licensure. A graduate degree in taxation will help you earn the extra credits you need.


    A healthy economy, globalization, and changes in tax codes will all contribute to a growing demand for trained accountants and auditors. Employment in these areas is expected to increase 6 percent.


    Individuals with a master’s degree can qualify for management positions, such as financial manager, which pays an average of $127,900 annually, compared to $70,500 for bachelor’s-level positions like accountants.

Our Research

Our research focused on master’s-level programs in taxation. There are several different types of degrees available in this field, including a Master of Science (MS), Master of Accounting (MAC), and Master of Taxation (MTax).

As a measure of quality, we only included programs offered by regionally accredited institutions. Many programs are further accredited by specialized accrediting bodies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Another criteria was that programs be available completely or primarily online, ensuring accessibility for the greatest number of students regardless of schedule and location. A number of programs can also be completed in-person or as hybrid programs.

Our team evaluated each program on the basis of outcomes, affordability, faculty, reputation, and flexibility. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each degree on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 84 hours to write this article
  • 177 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 413 education programs we compared

The Top 25 Online Master’s in Taxation Programs

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

Generally, individuals pursue a master’s degree in taxation when they are seeking certification as a public accountant. The licensure requirements to become a certified public accountant (CPA) vary by state. It’s wise to review your state’s CPA requirements before selecting a master’s program in order to confirm that the program you enroll in meets your state’s requirements.

Once you obtain your CPA license, you must complete a certain number of continuing education credits at set intervals to maintain licensure.

While most master’s in taxation programs will prepare you for a career as an accountant, other programs focus more on the legal aspects of taxation. These programs are designed for lawyers and other legal professionals who wish to gain expertise in the area of tax law, and they may or may not meet the requirements for CPA licensure. When reviewing programs, it’s important to be clear about your career goals and understand the difference between the two types of programs.

Another option for individuals who want to earn their CPA license is a master’s in accounting program. These types of programs will also help you develop the skills and knowledge base you need to be successful in the accounting field, without an emphasis on taxation and tax codes. The type of program you choose will depend on your interests and professional goals.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Taxation programs:

  • Am I eligible for this degree? In order to gain admission to a master’s in taxation program, you may have to have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a related field and/or professional work experience. When researching programs, be sure to look at their minimum qualifications to ensure that you meet the basic eligibility requirements.
  • Are there any in-person requirements? Even programs that deliver all of their coursework online may have in-person requirements for experiential learning components like internships or on-campus residencies and seminars. Find out what, if any, in-person requirements a program has prior to enrolling to confirm that you can fit them into your schedule and budget.

Another important step to take at this point is researching application requirements and deadlines as well as gathering your application materials. If you need to take any standardized tests like the GMAT or GRE, you should also make arrangements to do that.

Another important consideration is financing your graduate degree. Research funding options including scholarships, student loans, assistantships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer.