Online MBA Programs in Accounting
Accounting is often called the universal language of business, accountancy is uniquely positioned to touch many aspects of a business organization. Businesses are relying more and more on capable accountants to drive their business forward and help them realize financial success.
In addition, governments and policy makers are turning to accountants to help them work on issues such as climate change solutions like carbon taxes or cap and trade.
Whether you simply want to improve your fluency in the subject, or you’re looking to undergo a big career change, an MBA in Accounting could be for you.
- Section 1 – Online MBA in Accounting Programs
- Section 2 – Campus MBA in Accounting Programs
- Section 3 – Career and Job Outlook
- Section 4 – MBA in Accounting vs. Master’s in Accounting
Online MBA in Accounting Programs
An online MBA program is often a more flexible program option that prepares students for top jobs while they continue to work or pursue other activities.
(The below 8 online MBA in accounting programs are listed in no particular order.)
- 1 – Athabasca University
- 2 – Benedictine University University
- 3 – Concordia University
- 4 – Jacksonville State University
- 5 – Saint Leo University
- 6 – South New Hampshire University
- 7 – Tennessee Tech University
- 8 – University of Massachusetts
1. Athabasca University
AU began offering the world’s first online Executive MBA (EMBA) program in 1994, and today it has continued to build on this accomplishment. AU is a public Canadian university that is also MSCHE-accredited in the U.S. Its EMBA program is geared towards working professionals and built on a dynamic and challenging curriculum.
Athabasca offers an Executive MBA for Accountants online in partnership with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. The program is cohort-based, courses are asynchronous, and you can work offline or online. All courses have set start and end dates as well as assignment deadlines. Students are expected to contribute 20-25 hours of coursework per week.
A week-long residency experience and an applied project are required components of the EMBA. Completion time is typically two and a half to three years (up to five years is allowed). Accelerated students can finish in as little as 18 months.
AU offers a standard entry route and accelerated entry route into its executive online MBA program. Each is based on a number of criteria, including undergraduate major (business or non-business), GPA, managerial experience, and professional accounting designation. Intakes are in winter, spring, and fall.
Standard Coursework – Corporate Finance, Financial and Managerial Accounting, Human Resource Management, Information Technology Strategy, Marketing Management, Managerial Economics and Quantitative Analysis, Managerial Ethics and Decision Making, Operations Management, Strategic Management, and Strategy and Organizational Analysis.
2. Benedictine University
Benedictine University is a Catholic university headquartered in Illinois, and was named as one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes in 2015. It offers an Accounting MBA online and is HLC accredited. Benedictine’s program is designed for working professionals interested in pursuing an accounting role within privately held companies, corporations, or the not-for-profit sector.
Benedictine’s 64 credit online MBA is delivered 100% online, with no campus visits required. Its course design is based on the latest research and includes a mini-capstone experience at the end of the program. To complete the MBA, three concentration courses are added to the 16 MBA foundational courses. One or two classes can be taken at a time, and students typically spend 10-20 hours working each course per week.
An accredited undergraduate degree in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, along with an official GMAT exam score. The GMAT can be waived under certain circumstances. Foundational business courses are also necessary. Applications are received on a rolling basis.
Standard Coursework (52 credits) – Analytical Tools for Management Decisions, Economics, Financial Management, International Business, Leadership & Ethics in a Global Environment, Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, Marketing Management, Operations Management, Organizational Behavior, Project Management and Strategic Management.
Accounting Concentration Coursework (12 credits) – Corporate Theory and Practice 1 & 2, and Tax Influences on Decision Making.
3. Concordia University
For more than 125 years, Concordia has provided post-secondary education with a Christian foundation. Its online MBA in accounting is designed to provide students with the skills necessary for a career as a CPA. From fraud management to systems analysis and design, Concordia’s online MBA in accounting provides a solid foundation.
The program is accredited both by the IACBE and HLC. It is 39 credits in length, which is broken into 24 core credits and 15 advanced concentration credits. Courses usually take 8-10 weeks to finish with one course completed at a time. Completion time varies for each student.
An official GMAT exam score is not required. However, an accredited undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 is necessary. Foundational business courses are also required. Example topics include statistics, economics, and accounting. Additional requirements may be needed.
Standard Coursework (24 credits) – Accounting: Financial Analysis for Decision Making, Applied Statistical Methods, Business Ethics, Corporate Finance, Human Resources Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Managerial Economics, and Strategic Management.
Accounting Concentration Electives (15 credits required) – Database Management, Fraud Management, Public Speaking: Professional Reports and Presentations, Systems Analysis and Design, and Statutory Accounting.
4. Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University offers an accredited online MBA in Accounting. JSU’s MBA program is grounded in business fundamentals with an international twist and focus on changing technologies. Its online tuition is one of the lowest for an AACSB-accredited online program, and it offers a rich and diverse student body.
For individuals with an AACSB-accredited undergraduate in business, the program is 33 semester hours in length. Three courses (nine semester hours) are dedicated to advanced accounting classes, and the entire program can be completed in as little as 19 months. Studies can be pursued either full-time or part-time.
For admission, an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT score are necessary. A combination of your GPA and GMAT scores will be used to assess your eligibility. Foundational courses in business fundamentals are also required. Lack of these could result in additional courses being required. Admission occurs in the spring, summer and fall.
Standard Coursework (24 credits) – Business Finance, Business Organization and Administration, Legal and Social Environment, Statistics & Quantitative Methods, Principles of Financial Accounting, Principles of Macroeconomics, and Principles of Marketing, Operations Management.
Accounting Concentration Electives (9 credits required) – Accounting Information Analysis, Business Policy and Strategy, Financial Management, International Business, Marketing Administration, Managerial Economics, and Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions.
5. Saint Leo University
Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is a private, liberal arts university outside of Tampa, Florida. Its School of Business is IACBE-accredited and offers an Online MBA with an Accounting concentration. The program aims to foster and develop its students to become future business leaders and covers advanced topics such as fund accounting and fraud examination.
The 36-credit program is delivered 100% online and its courses are identical to their campus counterparts. No campus orientations or visits are required. Students can take up to two courses per eight-week term, and can complete their degree in as little as 12 months or extend it over five years.
Admission is based on a number of criteria, including GPA, GMAT scores, maturity level, work experience, and leadership qualities. The GMAT can be waived under certain circumstances. Students can enroll anytime, and there are six start dates throughout the year. Six prerequisite foundational business courses are required.
Standard Coursework (18 credits) – Global Business Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Managerial Economics, Professional Development and Strategic Management.
Accounting Specific Courses (18 credits) – Advanced Cost Accounting, Theory, Business Law and the Accountant, Fraud Examination, Fund Accounting for Governmental and Not-for-profit Accounting, and Using Financial Information.
6. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932 and has offered an MBA program for more than 40 years. Its Online MBA in Accounting is affordable, ACBSP-accredited, and flexible. What’s more, SNHU’s faculty is top-notch and brings real-world experience to the classroom.
The program is 39-57 credits in length (depending on the need for prerequisite business foundational courses). All courses are delivered 100% online and 10 weeks in length. A maximum of two courses can be taken at once. Completion time for the program can be as little as 15 months. Technical support is offered 24/365 via phone, online, or live chat.
An official GMAT score is not required for admission. Admission is based on a variety of other factors, including GPA and resume, and applications are received on a rolling basis. Students can begin studies in any of SNHU’s five terms.
Standard Coursework (27 credits) – Financial Analysis, Business Environment, Ethics, Corporate Culture and Social Responsibility, Finance, Economics, and Decision Making, Government Impact on Business, Innovations and Entrepreneurship, Leading in an Organization, Marketing and Strategy and Operations Management and Technology.
Accounting Specific Courses (9 credits) – Financial Reporting 1, Financial Reporting 2, and Tax Factors in Business Decisions.
7. Tennessee Tech University
Tennessee is home to some well-known universities, including Tennessee Tech University. TTU offers over 20 graduate programs, including an AACSB-accredited MBA with a concentration in Accounting. The program is geared toward professionals and encompasses case methods, simulation, and research projects.
TTU’s Online MBA is 30 credit hours in length and delivered 100% online. It can be pursued either full-time or part-time and be completed in as little as 12 months. Additionally, the online program uses the same curriculum and is delivered by the same faculty as its campus counterpart. The program consists of seven core classes and three elective courses.
Admission requirements include an accredited undergraduate degree (minimum GPA of 2.5) and a GMAT score (450 minimum). As of 2014, foundational business courses are not required before the MBA program can be started. No work experience is required. Applications are received summer, fall, and spring.
Standard Coursework (21 credits) – Accounting Information for Managers, Analytical Decision Making, Business Strategy, Financial Management, Management of Information Technology, Organizational Leadership and Strategic Marketing.
Accounting Concentration Electives (9 credits required) – Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Governmental, Not-for-Profit, and Healthcare Accounting, and Tax Research and Strategy.
8. University of Massachusetts
The Lowell College of Management at UMass offers an AACSB Accredited Online MBA with a focus in Accounting. The degree is designed to propel managers and other professionals into leadership roles within the business world. UMass’ program is rigorous, challenging, and encompasses case studies, experiential learning techniques, and field programs.
UMass’ online MBA is 30 credits in length for individuals who have completed foundational business courses (46 for those who have not). Courses are asynchronous and delivered entirely 100% online – no campus visit is necessary (a hybrid option of online and campus classes is available). Plus, the same curriculum is taught by the same and faculty both online and on campus.
To apply, students must submit an accredited undergraduate degree and official GMAT exam score. If a student has eight or more years in a managerial role, the GMAT is waivable. Prerequisite courses in microeconomics and statistics are required. Classes begin every fall, spring, and summer.
Standard Coursework (21 credits) – Accounting Information for Management Decisions, Corporate Finance, Customers and Markets, Management Information Systems, Managerial Organization Change, Operations Management and Strategy Formation and Implementation.
Accounting Concentration Electives (9 credits required) – Advanced Management and Sustainability Accounting, Advanced Cost Management, Contemporary Accounting Issues, Globalization and Accounting, Taxation of Business Entities, and Special Topics in Accounting.
MBA Programs in Accounting
An accounting concentration helps prepare students in subjects ranging from tax law to properly maintaining financial records. Classes concentrate on topics like auditing, estate taxation, and forensic accounting.
(The below 22 MBA programs with accounting concentrations are listed in no particular order.)
- 1 – DeVry University
- 2 – Baldwin Wallace University
- 3 – Baruch College
- 4 – Brenau University
- 5 – California State University San Bernardino
- 6 – Canisius College
- 7 – Florida Atlantic University
- 8 – Iona College
- 9 – Loyola University
- 10 – Maharishi University of Management
- 11 – Monmouth University
- 12 – Northeastern University
- 13 – Pace University
- 14 – Regis University
- 15 – Rutgers University
- 16 – St. John Fisher College
- 17 – State University of New York at Oswego
- 18 – Stony Brook University
- 19 – University of Pennsylvania
- 20 – University of Southern Maine
- 21 – Wilmington University
- 22 – Winthrop University
1. DeVry University
The Keller Graduate School of Management at Devry University offers an AACSB- and HLC-accredited MBA in Accounting. The program is designed for professionals already in the accounting field who want to advance their career. Practical experience in corporate–level communication, improving presentation skills, and collaboration tactics are key aspects of Keller’s MBA.
Devry offers its program at over 55 campus locations across the nation. The program is 48 credit hours in length, of which 30 are required courses, 12 accounting-specific, and six elective credits. Courses are eight weeks in length, and completion time varies depending on how fast you choose to progress.
To successfully apply, an undergraduate degree is required. For degrees with a grade point average under 2.7, an official GMAT exam score is also required. No professional work experience is necessary. Applications are accepted anytime, and there are multiple start dates throughout the year.
Standard Coursework (30 credits) – Accounting and Finance: Managerial Use in Analysis, Applied Managerial Statistics, Business Economics, Business Planning Seminar, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Managerial Applications of Information Technology, Managerial Accounting, Managerial Finance, Managerial Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and Legal Political and Ethical Dimensions of Business.
Accounting Concentration Electives (12 credits required) – Accounting Ethics and Regulatory Issues, Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting Issues, Budgeting, Cost Accounting, Intermediate Accounting 1, Intermediate Accounting 2, Intermediate Accounting 3, Federal Taxes and Management Decisions, and Professional Research for Accountants.
2. Baldwin Wallace University
Baldwin Wallace University is a private, liberal arts college rooted in the Methodist tradition. Founded in 1845 and with a student/faculty ratio of 13:1, BWU offers an MBA with an Accounting concentration. For individuals who want to become a certified public accountant in Ohio, Baldwin’s program provides a solid foundation that can help get you get there.
The program is 33 credit hours in length, which includes 12 credit core hours and 18 credit elected hours, as well as a three-hour capstone. Classes can be taken either in the evening during weeknights or on the weekends. Students can choose to pursue the degree either full-time or part-time, with full-time students being able to complete the program in 12 months. Students can also choose the pace at which they proceed through the curriculum.
To successfully apply, an accredited undergraduate degree along with an official GMAT score is required. A GPA of 3.0 and GMAT score of at least 500 is necessary (waivable). A minimum of at least two years of professional work experience is also required. Foundational business courses, such as Business Ethics and Statistics, are also required.
Standard Coursework (12 credits) – Financial Management II, International Financial Management, Organizational Behavior, Operational Analysis Models, and Systems Management and Organizational Theory.
Accounting Concentration Electives (18 credits are required) – Accounting Systems, Advanced Accounting, Business Communications, Business Law, Cost and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Management II, Federal Income Taxation, Federal Taxation: Corporations, Partnerships, Estate and Trusts, Principles of Auditing, Principles of Investments, and Risk Management in Financial Institutions.
3. Baruch College
New York City is the financial capital world and also home to the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Zicklin has been ranked as a Top 10 Graduate School by U.S. News & World Report, and it offers an MBA with an Accounting major. The CUNY MBA program is specifically designed for students with an undergraduate degree in fields other than accounting. It also meets New York City’s CPA examination requirements.
The AACSB-accredited program is 69 credits in total, which includes 36 credits of business studies and 33 credits of accounting studies. Students can choose to pursue the program full-time or part-time in a “flexible” format.
Program Completion Options
Full-Time – The full-time option is cohort-based and students are admitted in the fall. It can be completed in four semesters (22 months).
Flexible – The Flexible MBA Program provides working professionals with the ability to maintain their career while pursuing a degree. Students can vary the number of courses they take each semester and can pursue the program either full-time or part-time. Average completion time is three to four years.
Admission includes an accredited undergraduate degree and official GMAT exam score. Applications can be made online or by mail. Flexible MBA applications are due by June 1, and full-time MBA applications are due by November 1, January 31, and April 15.
Standard Business Coursework (27 credits) – Applied Statistical Analysis for Business Decisions, Business Policy, Business Communication I, Business Communication II, Financial Decision-Making, Fundamentals of Microeconomics, Financial: Intensive, Or Information Systems for Managers I, International Business Fundamentals, Management: A Behavioral Approach, Marketing Management, and Service Operations I.
Accounting Concentration Core (27 credits required) – Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing, Auditing and Information Systems, Federal Income Taxation: Theory and Practice, Intermediate Financial Accounting, And Taxation of Business Entities.
4. Brenau University
Brenau University is located in Gainesville, Georgia, and is accredited by the IACBE. BU offers an Accounting MBA Program across multiple campuses in Georgia, as well as online. The program is designed for students who intend to take the CPA exam, and is an excellent fit for students interested in pursuing a career in public, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Brenau University is ranked #61 for Regional Universities (South) by U.S. News & World Report. Its MBA is 45 credit hours in length and leads to an MBA and a certificate in either Public or Management Accounting. Class sizes are small, and can be taken online or on campus. Classes typically run for seven weeks, with most in the evening from 6 to 10 pm one night per week. Concentration courses are usually taught online.
A GPA of at least 2.5 or higher is required for admission, and an official GMAT score might also be required. Professional work experience and undergraduate business preparatory courses are not needed. Classes begin year-round.
- Standard Coursework (24 credits) – Budgeting for Managers, Cross-Cultural Business Challenges, Financial Management, Integrated Business Operations, Management and Organizational Behavior, Marketing Management, and Strategic Management.
- Public Accounting Concentration Core (15 credits) – Advanced Accounting, Auditing, Financial Statement and Business Analysis, Fraud Detection and Internal Control, and Taxation.
- Management Concentration Core (15 credits) – Corporate Risk Management, Financial Statement and Business Analysis, Fraud Detection and Internal Control, Taxation, and Valuation.
5. California State University San Bernardino
California might be known for its sandy beaches and warm weather, but it is also home to a number of top-rated business schools. CSUSB is ranked #7 for Regional Universities (West) by U.S. News & World Report. It offers an AACSB-accredited Accounting MBA that is suited for both full-time students and working professionals.
CSUSB’s program is rigorous and comprehensive. It is 45 units in length, of which 28 units are core classes and 20 units are accounting-specific classes. Classes meet on a Monday/Wednesday schedule or a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. Class times are 4, 6, or 8 pm.
An accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 is required. An official GMAT score might also be required. Professional work experience and prerequisite courses are not needed.
Standard Coursework (28 Units) – Managerial Decision-Making, Corporate Strategy in a Global Economy, Financial Theory and Corporate Finance, Information Management Systems, Marketing Management, Managing the Supply Chain, and Organizational Theory and Behavior.
Accounting Concentration Core (20 Units) – Some classes listed are either/or – Controllership, Financial Reporting and Disclosure, International Accounting, Internal Auditing and Management Controls, Seminar and Information Systems, and Seminar in Tax and Business Decisions.
6. Canisius College
The Richard. J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College offers an AACSB-accredited Professional Accounting MBA program. Canisius College is located in Buffalo, New York, and is rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report named it a Top 10 “Valley Regional University.”
The MBA program is 70 credit hours in length and designed for students who did not complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting. 33 hours of the program are dedicated to accounting classes, four hours are to business law, and 24 hours to general MBA courses. Each semester is 16 weeks in length, and classes meet once per week from 6 to 9 PM.
There are no classes on Fridays or the weekends, and students are free to pursue studies at their own pace. Internships are available, and students who complete the MBA program with an accounting emphasis will meet the requirements to complete the New York State CPA exam.
To apply, an accredited undergraduate degree is required. Note that students with an undergraduate degree in accounting are not eligible. A GMAT score is typically required. No prerequisite coursework is needed. Applications are processed on a rolling basis.
Standard MBA Coursework (24 credits) – Information Systems, Advanced Corporate Finance, Economics for Managers, Foundations of Marketing Management, Organizational Behavior, Operations Planning and Control, and Statistics for Managers. * Additional courses are required.
Concentration Core (33 credits) – Advanced Financial Reporting, Auditing Theory & Practice, Basic Taxation, Financial Accounting, Intermediate Financial Reporting I, Intermediate Financial Reporting II, Information Systems Auditing, Managerial and Cost Accounting and Seminar in Accounting Theory.
7. Florida Atlantic University
From the former president of Boeing Japan to the Executive Vice President and CFO of Office Depot, Florida Atlantic University boasts many accomplished alumni. It also offers an AACSB-accredited Flexible MBA with an Accounting concentration. The program is designed to provide a solid business foundation and specialized knowledge of the accounting field.
The program is 43-55 credits in length, and courses are offered at the Fort Lauderdale campus in the evening and the Boca Raton campus during the day and evenings. Full-time students with a business background can complete the program in 18 months (30 months for those without foundational courses). Part-time students can progress at their own pace and have 10 years to complete the coursework. Classes offered online will vary.
For entrance, a GMAT exam score of at least 500 is necessary (or its GRE equivalent). In addition, students without a business undergrad must take four foundational business courses to prepare them for the program. Start times are every spring and fall.
Standard Coursework (31-43 credits) – Advanced Analysis and Application of Accounting Data, Advanced Marketing Management, Advanced Financial Management, Advanced Managerial Economics, Business Law and Applied Ethics, Contemporary Issues in Industry: The Executive Forum, Data Analysis for Managers, Financial Management, Global Business Strategy, Global Environment of Management, Graduate Business Communication Applications, Leadership in Organizations, Management of Information Systems and Technology, Marketing Functions and Processes, and Operations Management.
Concentration Electives (12 credits required) – Examples include: Advanced Accounting Theory, Advanced Financial Reporting and Accounting Concepts, Cost Accounting Theory and Practice, Foreign Study Theory In International Accounting, and International Accounting.
8. Iona College
Iona College is located in New Rochelle, New York, and offers a Master of Business Administration in General Accounting. The program is AACSB-accredited and offered through the Hagan School of Business. It is designed for students with a non-accounting undergraduate degree and built on business fundamentals and advanced accounting studies.
Consisting of 33-57 credits, the program is ideal for students currently working in or anticipating a career in business, nonprofit, or governmental sectors. Standard core MBA courses of 24 credits are required, as well as 12 credits of accounting courses, 15 credits of advanced courses, and a Key and Capstone finish off the program with six credits. Some standard courses may be waived depending on the undergraduate coursework taken. Typical completion time is four years for a part-time student and two years for full-time student.
To apply, students must submit an official transcript of an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT exam score. Foundational business courses are not required to start the program, but they can reduce the number of credits needed from 57 to 33. Applications are received on a continual basis.
Standard Coursework (24 credits) – Economics Management, Finance Managers, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Information Systems, Management and Organizational Behavior, Marketing Management, and Quantitative Tools for Management.
Accounting Concentration Core (12 credits) – Accounting for Non-Business Organizations, Accounting Standards and Controls, Federal Taxation, and Managerial Accounting Theory and Practice.
9. Loyola University
The Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University offers an AACSB-accredited MBA with a concentration in Accounting. It is a flexible program with a practical curriculum, and ranked in the top 20% of programs across the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Social responsibility and values-based leadership are important aspects of Loyola’s programs.
The Loyola MBA program can be pursued either full-time or part-time. For easy access, courses are scheduled during the evenings (and some weekends). Students can progress at their own pace, and for those inclined, the program can be completed in 12 months by taking three or four courses each quarter.
Acceptance into the program is based on a number of criteria. Major components include an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT/GRE score. Foundational business courses are not required. Classes begin every quarter: fall, winter, and spring. Deadlines are July 15, October 1, January 15, and April 1.
Standard Coursework (14 Courses) – Financial Accounting for Decision-Making, Financial Management, Managerial Economics, Managing and Motivating in the Workplace, Managerial Statistics, Marketing Management, and Operations Management. Some of these may be waived depending on undergraduate courses taken. Additional courses are required beyond these core courses.
Concentration Electives (12 credits) – Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments, Federal Income Tax and Business Decisions, Forensic Accounting and Fraud, International Financial Reporting and Analysis, Issues in Financial Reporting, Integrated Decision-Making, Independent Study, Managerial Accounting, and Special Topics in Accounting.
10. Maharishi University of Management
Maharishi University of Management is a private university in Fairfield Iowa that incorporates human enlightenment and sustainability into its education. MUM offers an MBA for Accounting Professionals, and its students are typically top contenders in nationwide MBA simulations. Lean Management and Lean Accounting are core components of the program.
The program is accredited by the HLC, 57 credits in length and cohort-based. For eight months (32 credits), student study on campus in Fairfield, Iowa. After this, students engage in curricular practical training for up to two years. Past employers have included KPMG and Marriott international Inc. The program lasts for two and a half years.
In addition, students can take optional distance classes to prepare them to sit for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
To successfully apply, an accredited undergraduate degree in business or a similar field with a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Two years of recent full-time work experience in accounting is also required. A GMAT score might be required depending on your GPA. MUM gives preference to experienced Oracle and SAP professionals.
Concentration Electives (30 credits) – Auditing for Financial Accountants, Business Intelligence and Data Mining, Business Law and Taxation for Accountants, Computerized Accounting Systems, Financial Accounting Analysis, Intermediate Accounting I, Intermediate Accounting II, Lean Accounting Transformation, and US and International Accounting Practices.
11. Monmouth University
Monmouth University is located along New Jersey’s northern coastline and just one hour from NYC. MU’s Leon Hess School of Business is AACSB accredited and offers an MBA with a concentration in Accounting. The program is designed for students who are not accounting undergraduate majors. When complete, students are prepared to sit for the New Jersey CPA.
The MBA program is 36-57 credit hours in length (depending on undergraduate course completed). Class sizes are small and offered in a hybrid format, and the program can be pursued either full-time or part-time. An accelerated option is also available for students with an undergraduate business degree. It is an intensive one-year cohort-based program.
To apply, students must have an accredited undergraduate degree along with either a GMAT score or CPA or CFA licensure. Neither work experience nor prerequisite business studies are required to start the program. Application deadlines are July 15 for the fall and December 1 for the spring.
Standard Coursework (36 credits) – Accounting for Managers, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance and Organizational Ethics, Business Analysis, Research and Communication, Business Finance, Financial Accounting, Financial Markets, Graduate Business Statistics Using Microsoft Excel, Introduction to Management, Managerial Accounting, Managing and Leading Organization, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Production Operations Management, and Strategic Management.
Concentration Electives (21 credits required) – Advanced Accounting Topics, Applied Information Management, Business Income Tax, Econometrics, Globalization, International Business, International Marketing Management, International Real Estate, Legal Environment of Business, Management Science and Business Analytics, and Selected Topics in Financial Accounting.
12. Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers a well-rounded and highly ranked MBA/MS in Accounting program. This dual-degree program is suited for students from a non-accounting background, and fully prepares its graduates to sit for the CPA. Hands-on learning through a three-month internship is a key aspect of this program.
The program consists of 72 credits equally split between accounting and MBA courses. There are no electives. It is lockstep, and classes are held Monday to Thursday during the day at Northeastern’s campus in Boston. Completion time for the dual degree program is 15 months.
Admission requirements include an accredited undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an official GMAT score. The average applicant has one year of work experience, a GMAT score of 600, and GPA of 3.33. Application dates are November 15, February 1, and March 15.
Standard Coursework (72 credits) – Accounting for Business Combinations, Audit and Other Assurance Services, Creating and Sustaining Customer Markets, Contemporary Issues in Accounting Theory, Corporate Governance, Corporate and Governmental/Nonprofit Financial Reporting and Decision-Making, Corporate Financial Reporting 1, Corporate Financial Reporting 2, Entrepreneurship: Services and Retail Business Creation, Global Competition and Market Dominance, Information Systems and Technology, Information Analysis, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Business, Managing People and Organizations, Management of Service and Manufacturing Operations, Managing the Global Enterprise, Strategic Decision-Making in a Changing Environment, Strategic Cost Management, Taxation of Individual and Business Entities, and Value Creation through Financial Decision-Making.
13. Pace University
Pace University is located in New York City, and Payscale.com ranks it in the Top 11% for “Best Return on Tuition Investment.” Its Lubin School of Business offers an AACSB- and ACCA-accredited MBA in Accounting. The program covers essential business disciplines and prepares its graduates to take the CPA exam. Plus, many students intern at major financial institutions.
Lubin’s program is 53 credits in length and includes an Accounting Core, Specialization Courses, Breadth Electives, Professional Courses, Specialization Electives, and a Capstone Course. All courses are offered at its Lower Manhattan campus, with many also available at its Midtown campus. One, two, or more courses can be taken at a time – the pace is up to you. Classes are offered during the day and evenings, and some are offered on the weekends.
Admission requirements include a U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a GMAT or GRE score (waivable). Preliminary skill and foundation courses are required, including Business Writing, Managerial Finance, and Marketing Management. Work experience is not necessary. Recommended deadlines are August 1 for the fall term and December 1 for the spring term.
- Required Specialization Courses (17 credits) – Accounting Entities, Auditing, Advanced Auditing Practices, Contemporary Accounting Issues, Modeling of Accounting Information Systems, and Research Project.
- Accounting Core (14 credits) – Planning and Control, Financial Reporting 1, Financial Reporting 2, Fundamental Concepts of Taxation, Sales and Exchanges of Property.
14. Regis University
Colorado is known as the “Centennial State” and loved for its rugged outdoors. It Is also home to Regis University, which is rooted in the Jesuit tradition and ranked as a Top-Tier Western University by U.S. News & World Report. Regis offers an HLC-accredited MBA degree with a specialization in Finance and Accounting. It is a rigorous program that provides students with a solid foundation for career enhancement.
The program consists of 36 credits, 18 of which are core studies and 18 specialization studies. Courses are offered online and in the classroom and are eight weeks in length. In addition, students are granted access to Becker’s CPA Exam Review courses, which is a $400 value.
An accredited undergraduate degree along with an official GMAT exam score is required for admission. Finance and accounting prerequisites are also required, and can be completed at Regis or challenged by passing the accounting and finance sections of the MBA Foundation Suite. Start times are in the summer fall and spring. Applications are due two weeks prior to start date.
- Standard Coursework (18 credits) – Business Platforms: A Model for the 21st Century, Developing Effective Organizations, Ethical and Legal Environment of Business, Financial Governance, Planning and Control, and Sustainability in the Context of Business in the 21st Century.
- Core (6 credits) – Financial Decision-Making and Interpreting Accounting Information.
- Specialization Electives (9 credits required) – Advanced Auditing, Accounting for Nonprofit and Governmental Organizations, Accounting Information Systems, Case Studies in Management, Controllership, Case Studies and Financial Management, Financial Accounting Theory, Theory, and Money & Banking. More elective courses are offered. This is a sample.
15. Rutgers University
Rutgers is a top-tier university, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked its MBA as the #1 Public MBA in the NYC Metropolitan Area for 2015. Rutgers offers an MBA in Professional Accounting and an MBA in Accounting. Each is AACSB-accredited and prepares students to sit for the CPA exam.
The MBA in Accounting program is 60 credits and currently offered in a part-time format. This option is ideal for students who have careers, families, or operate a business. Classes meet once a week for three hours in the evenings. Students can choose to take daytime electives if they desire. Some courses are available online while others are offered at the Livingston, Newark, Jersey City, and Madison campuses. Students can choose to focus on one of two areas: CPA Exam Content or Taxation.
The MBA in Professional Accounting Program is 66 credits in length and full-time. Classes are daytime, and students begin the program in the summer. Undergraduate accounting majors are not eligible for this program. The program is offered at the Newark campus, and students graduate within 14 months. It is specially designed for students with a liberal arts background.
Case studies, internships, team projects, and mentoring are key components of both programs.
For admissions into the MBA in Accounting Program, an accredited undergraduate degree and official GMAT/GRE score are required. Exams can be challenged, and part-time MBA students can receive advanced standing for previously completed courses. Two years of full-time work experience is strongly recommended. Completion time is typically three and a half to four years.
The MBA requires an accredited undergraduate degree, a competitive GPA/GMAT score, and strong recommendations. Typical GMAT scores are between 550 – 650, and average GPAs are above 3.2. Students typically have three years of professional work experience, although no business experience is required.
- Standard Coursework MBA in Accounting (19 credits) – Accounting for Managers, Business, Ethics, and Society, Career Management Program, Financial Management, Managerial Economic Analysis, Marketing Management, Operations Analysis, and Organizational Behavior.
- Specialization Electives (Up to 32 credits) – Accounting for the Digital Era, Auditing Concepts, Corporate Income Taxation, Consolidated Returns, Income Taxation, Managerial and Cost, Partnership Taxation, State and Local Tax, and Tax-Exempt Entities. More elective courses are offered.
- Standard Coursework (19 credits) – Business Communications, Business Law 1, Business Law 2, Decoding of Corporate Financial Information, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Financial Management, Information Technology in the Digital Era, International Business, Managerial Economic Analysis, Marketing for Decision-Making, Operations Analysis, Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Management.
- Professional Coursework (33 credits) – Principles and Practices, Accounting Research Project, Advanced Auditing and Information Systems, Advanced Financial Theory – Theory and Practice, Audit Analytics, Auditing Concepts, Corporate Income Taxation Basics, Government and Not-For-Profit Accounting and Auditing, Income Taxation, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, and Managerial and Cost Accounting.
16. St. John Fisher College
St. John Fisher College School of Business offers an accredited MBA Accounting degree. It aims to educate future CPAs and those interested in the various fields of accounting. The program also allows its graduates to meet the educational criteria for the New York State CPA licensure exam.
The program has a total of 30 credit hours. Students have the opportunity to complete the MBA program in as little as one year or up to six years. Classes are held late in the afternoon and weeknights to accommodate the busy working schedules of professionals.
Admission requirements include a regionally accredited undergraduate degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher, and an official GMAT score. Applicants are evaluated through the student’s overall portfolio.
Standard Coursework (18 credits) – Process/Project Management, Marketing Concepts & Strategy, Business Strategy & Policy, Integrated Advanced Financial & Accounting Analysis, Leadership Experience, Capstone Project, Accounting Theory & Research.
Concentration Core (12 credit units required) – International Financial Reporting, Advanced Topics in Federal Taxation, Accounting Information Systems & Computer Auditing, Commercial Law and Professional Responsibilities.
17. State University of New York at Oswego
The State University of New York at Oswego offers a Public Accounting MBA program. The program is designed to meet the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ requirements. Graduate are awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree that is registered with the NYS Education Department. This degree reduces the experience requirement for the CPA license to one year.
The flexible curriculum gives students opportunity to combine their passion with coursework. The program consists of 36 credits that include basic foundation, accounting skills, principles, and concepts.
Applying students must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college with complete accounting courses to satisfy the Uniform CPA Exam of 150-hour education. Applicants should have a minimum of 2.6 GPA and GMAT score of 500 for admission. Admissions are rolling.
Standard Coursework (24 credits) – Management Information Systems, Managerial Finance, Marketing Management, Management Science I, International Business, Organization & Management: A Global Perspective, Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management, Management Policy (Capstone).
Concentration Core (12 credit units required) – Public Sector, Taxation of Corporations Partnerships Estates & Trusts, Financial Theory, and Advanced Auditing.
18. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University College of Business offers an MBA in Accounting for students who want to gain additional credits and strengthen their accounting education. The program features a rigorous accounting and management curriculum that meets New York State’s criteria for CPA licensing requirements.
The Stony Brook MBA program in Accounting includes 36 credits in different areas of business and 24 credit units in accounting courses. These credits will help add up towards the 150 required credit hours for the NYS CPA eligibility. All courses are taught by the College of Business Accounting Faculty.
Applicants are required to have a minimum 550 GMAT score and a GPA of 3.0 in previous academic work. If candidates are not able to meet these requirements, they can still be considered for a “conditional admission” to the program. Deadline for applications is as follows: June 15 for Fall semester, November 15 for Spring semester, and March 15 for the Summer admission. There is no work experience required.
Standard Coursework (36 credits) – Managerial Economics, Finance, Data Analysis & Decision Making, Marketing, Leadership Team Effectiveness & Communications, Technological Innovations, Business Planning & Strategic Management, Industry Project, Business Law, Operations Management, and Organizational Behavior.
Concentration Core (24 credit units required) – Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Accounting Problems, Accounting for the Small Business Entrepreneur, Internal Auditing, Forensic Accounting, Governmental & Not-For-Profit Accounting, Financial Accounting Reporting – Theory & Analysis, Advanced Auditing & Assurance.
19. University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA Program offers an Accounting major that provides students the skills needed to measure and communicate an organization’s economic activities. The Accounting department’s curriculum is also flexible to allow aspiring students to take courses toward certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Management Accountant (CMA).
The MBA in Accounting starts with six core courses to ground students in the fundamentals, followed by flexible courses. Students are initially part of a cohort group comprised of five to six classmates. This group will become their learning team to collaborate on projects and cases.
There are currently three rounds of application deadlines (September, January, & March), but applicants are encouraged to apply in either Round 1 or 2 because the third round is the most competitive. The program does accept candidates with limited or no experience; however, the Admissions Committee evaluates the individual’s professional maturity and managerial potential.
Standard Coursework (9 credits) – Foundations of Teamwork & Leadership, Marketing Management, Operations Management, Microeconomic Foundation, Advanced Topics in Managerial Economics, Regression Analysis for Managers, Speaking & Writing.
Concentration Core (4 credit units required) – Tax Planning & Administration, Cost Management, Auditing, Problems in Financial Reporting, Mergers Acquisitions & Complex Financial Structures, Financial Statement & Disclosure Analysis, Taxes & Business Strategy, or Corporate Valuation.
20. University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine offers an Accounting MBA. USM’s program aims to provide students with core business concepts and deepen their accounting knowledge. The AACSB-accredited School of Business promotes continuous improvement in both undergraduate and graduate courses for business administration and accounting. This concentration is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting or equivalent coursework.
The MBA program is composed of 30 credit hours of core courses and another nine credit hours of elective or concentration courses. Classes are held every evening, and there are summer course offerings to meet the student’s individual needs. The class size is currently between 15 – 25 students while the department imposes a cap of 30 students.
To be admitted to the University of South Maine’s MBA with Accounting concentration, applicants are evaluated based on several factors. Students must submit an official GMAT score, which will ideally be a minimum of 500. However, if the candidate’s score falls below 500, he or she will be evaluated based on evidence of their performance in outside and leadership activities, as well as accomplishments in business.
Standard Coursework (30 credits) – Introduction to Organizational Change, Management Accounting Systems, Financial Accounting, Ethical & Legal Issues in Business, Investment Management, Topics in Information Systems Management, International Finance, Managerial Marketing, Management Science, Supply Chain Management, and Capstone.
Concentration Core (9 credits required) – Tax Policy & Administration, Advanced Business Taxation, Advanced Individual Taxation, Advanced Financial Accounting Topics, Special Topics in Accounting, or Current Issues in Accounting.
21. Wilmington University
Wilmington University College of Business offers an MBA in Accounting program intended for credentialed accountants and financial managers. It also addresses the new Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure requirements. The IACBE-accredited MBA program is offered in both a traditional classroom and an online format. This flexibility allows students to fit the rigor and challenge of the program into their busy schedules.
The program requires a total of 36 credits to earn a degree. It is comprised of an 18-credit hour Business Management core and an 18-credit hour concentration in Accounting. You may take the classes through semester, block, modular, online, hybrid, or fusion coursework.
Applicants for Wilmington University’s graduate programs should hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited post-secondary institution. The University uses a rolling admission system, and candidates are notified of their status within two weeks of the receipt of all materials.
Standard Coursework (18 credits) – Organizational Behavior & Ethical Leadership, Quantitative Business Analysis, Economic & Financial Environment of Business, Financial Management, Global Marketing Management, and Business Strategy.
Concentration Core (18 credits required) – Financial Accounting Theory Policy & Research, Advanced Managerial Accounting, Issues in Auditing & Assurance Services, Fraud Prevention & Forensic Accounting, Federal Taxation Policy & Research, International Accounting & Taxation.
22. Winthrop University
Winthrop University offers an MBA Accounting emphasis program that provides students with a graduate business education coupled with a focus on advanced accounting topics. Winthrop is a diverse school with small class sizes and knowledgeable instructors who are willing to work with each student. Additionally, its program is AACSB-accredited.
The MBA-Accounting Emphasis requires 33 semester hours, which are comprised of seven core courses, three electives, and one elective in accounting. The program provides additional coursework to prepare interested students to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA. Classes are taught one night a week, from 5:00 – 6:15 pm or 6:30 – 9:15 pm during fall and spring semesters. For the summer semester, class meets once a week from 5:30 – 9:55 pm.
Admission to the program requires students to take necessary prerequisite courses as part of their MBA program. Applicants are also required to submit the official scores of GRE/GMAT. The deadlines for admission are as follows: July 15 (Fall), December 1 (Spring), May 15 (Summer).
Standard Coursework (21 credits) – Advanced Financial Accounting, Tax Research, Advanced Auditing, Advanced Managerial Accounting, Financial Policy Management, Organization Behavior/Organization Development, Strategic & International Issues in Management.
Concentration Core (12 credits required) – Corporate Tax, Intermediate Accounting III, Not for Profit Accounting, External Auditing, Financial Policy, International Field Experience, International Trade & Investment, Managerial Economics.
Career and Job Outlook
The need for accountants will grow as the globalization of business, international trade, and acquisitions continue to grow. In the wake of the corporate financial scandals of the past ten years, businesses will face even more audits and more stringent regulations. As these tighter standards become commonplace, accounting services will be expected to increase to support companies in complying with the new standards.
Consulting firm Robert Half International reports that businesses are moving their hiring focus toward positions in accounting that advocate company growth and that experienced accountants who can help businesses manage expansion opportunities will be in demand.
Top Earning Industries for Jobs
- Chief Financial Officer:
- Information Technology Services: $97,985-$175,392
- Financial Services: $97,497-$160,334
- Government: $43,615-$61,179
- Accounting/Auditing Firm: $46,745-$60,288
- Construction: $13.72-$20.03 Hourly Rate
- Manufacturing and Distribution: $13.73-$18.57 Hourly Rate
Career Outlook Links
Below is a collection of excellent resources on accounting career and job outlooks.
- Monster.com Best Paying Degrees
- Career Paths
- Payscale.com Salary Data
- Monster.com Accounting Careers
- AICPA.org Career Paths
- RobertHalf.com’s The 2016 Salary Guide
MBA in Accounting vs. Master of Accounting
As a student looking for a business degree with a focus on accounting, you have two options. You can either pursue a business program that concentrates on accounting or do a full master’s in accounting program.
A Broad Overview vs. In-Depth Training
The MBA gives you a broad overview of business management. The program typically covers many sides of the business world, giving you a general sense of how everything works. One course may cover business finances in a particular business type, such as non-profit accounting, while another course may cover business strategy in general.
The MBA program option gives you practical training in general management and entrepreneurship in addition to insight into general business finance. This training will help you make good decisions and improve your strategic planning skills. It can even pave the way for you to get into upper management. In effect, with an MBA, you equip yourself for management cadre positions and for entrepreneurship.
With a master’s in accounting, the focus is clearly on business accounting. The course content will delve deeper into this subject than the MBA. Enrolling in this type of program lets you hone in on just the money side of business, though you will learn how it affects all areas of business. The Master of Accounting option imparts technical skills and functional training in accounting and related areas.
While both degrees equip you for a prosperous career in accounting and finance, an MBA is probably the better option if you are not sure that you want to be tied down to accounting, while the Master of Accounting option is better if you are certain you want to work in the financial side of business.
Prior Accounting Knowledge and Work Experience
Many programs are restricted to students who have work experience. Some may require only a basic knowledge of concepts while others require you to have some specialized knowledge and experience in the field.
Prior work experience is an advantage. It can help you better understand what you are being taught and how to apply it. It also gives you more context for what you are learning. If you are getting your accounting MBA, you can put the concepts you learn to work right away; you don’t need to graduate to realize their value.
The master’s in accounting program usually does not require you to have work experience as a prerequisite for enrollment. Such experience may be viewed as a point in your favor, though. Fresh college graduates, however, should be able to follow the coursework easily and stay on par with their more experienced classmates.