10 Best Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

Graduates of Master’s in Accounting degree programs can find work in many different accounting and auditing positions. A graduate accounting degree provides an overview of the principles and practices of accounting and finance, as well as more specialized knowledge related to the field. It also prepares you for the CPA exam and other accounting credentials.

Our editors first ranked the best master’s in accounting programs in July 2023. This ranking was updated March 2024.

Featured Programs

This guide explores some of the best master’s in accounting programs available today. You can find information on the top 10 accounting programs, coursework students complete, and the pros and cons of each program. Read on for more detail on our top 10 best master’s in accounting degrees.

Related Rankings:

10 Best Master's in Accounting Degree Programs

How We Ranked Best Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

Researchers and writers at utilized many resources during the selection process for these schools and degree programs. Criteria for this ranking included the following:

  • Undergo training in modern accounting technologies
  • Learn effective strategies and methodologies, soft skills, and the various areas of the profession
  • Focus on preparation for the Certified Public Accountant examination or other exams
  • Gain networking connections through professors, classmates, mentors, working professionals, and alumni
  • Properly accredited according to accounting career requirements
  • Provide federal financial aid options
  • Provide everything necessary to achieve employment in the accounting field

Best Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

RankSchool NameLocationAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
#1Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NC85%61%71%
#2Northeastern UniversityBoston, MA7%91%97%
#3University of Texas Permian BasinOdessa, TX95%40%66%
#4University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA12%92%97%
#5Texas A&M UniversityCollege Station, TX63%84%95%
#6Indiana University BloomingtonBloomington, IN82%81%90%
#7Baylor UniversityWaco, TX46%81%90%
#8Utica UniversityUtica, NY81%58%73%
#9The University of Texas at AustinAustin, TX31%88%95%
#10University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA19%95%97%
Note: Retention rate for full-time students. Data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.


Program Website

Western Carolina University offers a Master of Accountancy degree. Core coursework and electives create a comprehensive approach to accounting that prepares students for any relevant title or position. The program also serves as preparation for the CPA exam.

With the extensive CPA exam prep materials and resources available at WCU, students will have every opportunity to prepare. Students can also take advantage of internships and assistantships designed to expand their future opportunities in the workforce.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
  • Taxation of Flow-Through Entities


  • 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Access to accounting clubs and national/regional organizations
  • CPA certification preparation and resources
  • Diverse selection of accounting electives
  • Scholarships available for graduate students


  • GMAT prerequisite for admission (minimum 450 score)


Program Website

Northeastern University is has earned the highest respect from organizations worldwide. It is accredited, ranked, and offers one of the top graduate degrees in accounting. The Master of Science in Accounting offers two distinct concentration options, including the Audit Track and the Taxation Track. Curriculum also provides a strong academic foundation in accounting, financial reporting, and ethics.

Students can get their degree following an accelerated format that takes seven months when enrolled full-time. Students gain unmatched knowledge, experience, and skill for a fast-changing digital future that demands an in-depth understanding of current methods and strategies.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Business Entity Taxation
  • Ethics in the Accounting Profession
  • Financial Reporting for Integrated Multinational Enterprises


  • 95% job placement rate over the last 5 years (within 3 months of graduation)
  • Industry-focused courses
  • Preparation for CPA licensure
  • Summer entry terms


  • Competitive admissions
  • Rigorous coursework


Program Website

The Master of Professional Accountancy at University of Texas Permian Basin focuses on preparation for CPA licensure. It is an excellent choice for students pursuing either a doctoral degree or a professional career in business by emphasizing specific regional organization types, service firms, entrepreneurial firms, and government agencies.

UTPB also offers a Joint MPA/MBA program in which students can earn two impressive degrees in one. It is a 60-credit curriculum that provides as much emphasis on accounting as it does on business administration. Graduates receive a strong business acumen they can apply to any number of fulfilling and profitable employment positions.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Contemporary Control Systems
  • Financial Management
  • Legal Environment of Business


  • 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Dual degree options
  • Focus on CPA licensure
  • Robust catalog of electives and general courses


  • Competitive admissions
  • Lower graduation rate than some schools


Program Website

Students in search of accounting degrees have options at the University of Southern California. There are four unique programs, each of which provides a detailed perspective into the field. Current business professionals can earn a Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals, which is available at night and online. There is also a Master of Accounting and Master of Business Taxation.

USC is one of the only schools on this ranking to offer multiple master’s degrees. The Master of Accounting degree also has concentrations in areas like Data and Analytics. USC is a respected institution that is student-focused.

Program Options:

  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of Accounting in Data and Analytics
  • Master of Business Taxation
  • Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals


  • Esteemed faculty and mentorships
  • Extensive and active alumni network
  • Multiple master’s in accounting degrees
  • Research opportunities


  • Large institution and student population


Program Website

Texas A&M University is a top research school with a strong reputation. Students who gain admittance to the Master of Science in Accounting get to choose between two tracks of study.

The Assurance Services/Information Management Track examines accounting and business concepts from an assurance services professional’s perspective. The Tax Consulting/Financial Planning Track trains students to understand the entire tax process as it relates to business decision-making.

The TAMU Mays Business School has received praise and recognition for its top business education programs by authorities such as the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Report.

Concentration Options:

  • Assurance Services/Information Management
  • Tax Consulting/Financial Planning


  • 94% pass rate on CPA exam
  • CPA preparation and examination
  • Large selection of electives and core courses
  • Top business school and accounting program in the nation
  • Two concentration tracks


  • Non-resident tuition rates
  • Prerequisite courses for admission


Program Website

Indiana University Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business provides two outstanding accounting-focused master’s degrees in Accounting and Taxation. Both programs offer either part-time or full-time completion paths and customizable classes and curriculum. In some cases, students’ work experience counts as class credit!

The MSA program is an excellent match for students with years of professional accounting experience as well as newcomers to the profession. It is an 18-month degree that focuses on preparation for the CPA exam. The taxation degree is unique because it allows students to choose electives that specialize the curriculum in areas such as Accounting, Business, Law, or Tax.

Program Options:

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Taxation


  • Emphasis on internal auditing
  • Graduate certificates in accounting
  • Part-time and summer options available
  • Preparation for the CPA exam
  • Two unique accounting degrees offered


  • Competitive admissions
  • Competitive fellowships


Program Website

Baylor University offers two master’s degrees in Accounting and Taxation. Both are matches for current and future auditors, analysts, consultants, and finance professionals.

These nationally recognized programs immerse students in coursework that offers everything needed to sit for applicable certification examinations. Advisors, mentors, and faculty members act as dedicated support persons throughout your educational and professional career.

Baylor is also a good choice for undergraduates seeking a combined approach to a master’s degree in accounting. The BBA and MAcc/MTax joint degree offers an excellent perspective into complex and competitive fields. It is an efficient choice that takes students from a bachelor’s degree to the CPA exam in a condensed amount of time.

Program Options:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration/Master of Accountancy or Master of Taxation Joint Degree
  • Master of Accountancy
  • Master of Taxation


  • Career-focused courses and curriculum
  • CPA certification preparation
  • Mentorships and coaching from faculty
  • Multiple accounting degrees offered
  • Taxation focus


  • More expensive than some other accounting schools


Program Website

What’s most exciting about the Utica University graduate degree in Professional Accounting is its MBA foundation. This program takes novice business students and turns them into professionals in a matter of two terms.

This 15-semester-hour program includes advanced courses in professional practice and managerial accounting. Students learn from faculty with terminal degrees in their areas of expertise. Graduates from Utica become Public Accountants, Management Accountants, Internal Auditors, Information Technology Auditors, and other high-level professionals. Some of the businesses and firms that have hired Utica alumni include PKF International, Brown & Associates, NBT Bank, and Moss Adams.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Advanced Corporate Tax
  • Corporate Ethics
  • Introduction to Forensic Accounting and Fraudulent Financial Reporting


  • CPA examination preparation
  • Fulfills 150-hour education requirements for CPA exam
  • Diverse courses and electives
  • Large and active alumni network
  • Strong retention rate


  • Competitive admissions
  • Rigorous and fast-paced courses


Program Website

The University of Texas at Austin is recognized as one of the best MSA programs in the U.S. Students have four concentration tracks to choose from that can elevate their education to new levels and open doors to unique professions.

The McCombs School of Business is a highly respected educational business institution that is well-known across the country. Enrollees in the Master of Professional Accounting look forward to an intensive, personalized approach with the help of dedicated advisors, counselors, and instructors. Whether students are pursuing leadership and management or more general positions, UT-Austin has it all.

Concentration Options:

  • Financial Reporting and Assurance Track
  • Managerial Accounting and Control Track
  • Taxation Track
  • Generalist Track
  • Internal Audit Certificate Program


  • 99% of students received job offers
  • 97% of students consider the MPA program a good investment
  • Diverse classes, faculty, and students
  • Three degree completion pathways
  • Well-known and recognized business school


  • Out-of-state tuition for non-residents


Program Website

The Master of Science in Accounting program at the University of Virginia has a strong emphasis on analytics. Students develop sharp critical thinking and interpersonal skills that aid in working in accounting. Students can choose between two concentrations in Financial Reporting and Assurance or Tax Consulting The program also prepares you for passing the CPA exam.

The McIntire School of Commerce at UVA provides students with resources and opportunities along the way. Master’s degree students finish in 9 months in an accelerated curriculum format.

Concentration Options:

  • Financial Reporting & Assurance
  • Tax Consulting


  • 100% graduates receive job offers
  • CPA exam preparation
  • Quick path toward a master’s degree
  • STEM-designated degree
  • Top-ranked accounting program by many publications


  • 4 prerequisite courses
  • Rigorous and fast-paced program

Other Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs to Consider

Not all master’s in accounting programs made our top 10 list, but here are other schools with quality programs to consider.

  • American University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • College of William & Mary
  • DePaul University
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • The University of Chicago
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Wake Forest University
Best Master's in Accounting Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Master’s of Accounting worth it?

Yes! If you have the math skills and interest, a graduate degree in accounting is worth it. Accountants receive job security and good pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook for accountants and auditors at 4% and the average pay at $78,000/year. Now is a good time to earn a master’s in accounting.

How many years is a Master’s in Accounting?

It depends on the program, but plan on spending at least a year or more getting your master’s in accounting degree. Accelerated programs can take anywhere between nine months and 1.5 years. But the average time to get your graduate accounting degree is two years.

Is Master’s in Accounting difficult?

Students report a Master’s in Accounting can be challenging due to its focus on complex financial principles and tax regulations. Specific classes that students find the most difficult include Advanced Financial Reporting, Taxation, Auditing, and Managerial Accounting.

How much can I make with a Master’s in Accounting?

The average pay for accountants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $78,000/year. The highest 10% make over $132,690, while the lowest 10% make around $50,000/year. The more education and credentials you can get, the more money you will make in this field.

Do I need the GRE or GMAT for a Master’s in Accounting?

Not always, but it’s about a 50/50 split between programs that require test scores and those that don’t. Some of the most rigorous programs want to see test scores. Others may waive this requirement if you meet certain GPA or experience criteria.

Do Master’s in Accounting programs prepare you for the CPA exam?

Yes! There are many master’s in accounting programs that offer preparation. In fact, programs cover the necessary accounting principles, taxation, auditing, and business law topics required for the exam. Additionally, many programs offer CPA exam preparation courses and resources to help students succeed in passing the exam.

What percentage of accountants have a master’s degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 13% of all accountants and auditors have a master’s degree. But with the degree comes higher earnings and job advancement.

Can I make six figures with a Master’s in Accounting?

With experience and a master’s in accounting, you can make six figures. The average pay for accountants is $78,000/year, but the top 10% make over $130,000/year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have additional certifications (like CPA), and specializations in high-demand areas such as forensic accounting, corporate finance, or financial analysis, you will see higher pay.

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor