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What is an MBA in Accounting?

An online MBA in accounting distinguishes graduates in a fast-growing and competitive field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth in accounting to rise 11% from 2014 to 2024, forecasting increased demand thanks to a healthy economy. Accountants and auditors can expect full-time employment opportunities across various sectors.

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By the middle of their careers, individuals with MBAs earn around $30,000 more annually than those with bachelor’s degrees.

An accounting MBA online degree can help you take the next step in your career. Entry-level MBA degree holders earn higher average salaries than employees with a bachelor’s degree, and their earnings rise with experience. To become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), candidates must pass a national exam, along with meeting their state’s requirements, which typically include 150 credits of college coursework — 30 more than four-year programs require.

Comparison of Healthcare Master’s Degrees

An online MBA in accounting offers a number of options to specialize within the field. The degree prepares students to become practitioners of accounting, and specializing in areas like taxation or statistics helps focus one’s professional career path.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Taxation A master’s of taxation prepares students for careers in the legal, financial, and business sectors as tax professionals who are well-versed in the application of tax principles and policies. The degree covers trends and practices in areas like shareholders, partnerships, estates and gifts, benefits, and international tax law. Students learn about the income tax system at local, state, and federal levels, and the laws, rules, and ethics that guide and constrain tax practitioners. $44,400 2 Years
Master’s of Statistics An online master’s accounting degree with a concentration in applied statistics is suited for those who intend to work in data analysis. Students learn the basics of numerical reasoning and apply it to real-world cases across industries. The degree focuses on statistical interpretation, including probability, inference, and predictive analysis. Graduates become economists, researchers, and project managers. $55,275 3-5 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting The MBA in accounting online degree teaches financial principles applicable to most business settings and prepares students for the CPA exam. Foundational courses cover business administration, with emphasis on processes like financial reporting, capital budgeting, and portfolio management. Graduates leave qualified for career advancement and ready to lead as financial managers, tax planners, and budget analysts. $54,643 Less than 2 Years

Students of online MBA in accounting programs acquire competencies that capture both the breadth of business administration and the depth of accounting. Below, we break down courses common to most accounting MBA online programs and explain how their learning outcomes translate to success in the field.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Financial Analysis Assess suitability of capital investment through analysis and synthesis of financial data, including annual reports and balance sheets. Set financial strategy and long-term plans for business activity. TITLE: Accountant

SALARY: growth of 6%

Budget Management Manage budgetary plans of action and objectives for an enterprise, including financial forecasting of profits and losses. Evaluate business strategy and overall cost-efficiency. TITLE: Accounting Manager

SALARY: growth of 2%

Forecasting Assist in preparing operating budgets and making proactive, cost-effective spending changes based on trends, risks, and variances. Monitor legislation that may impact taxation and the bottom line. TITLE: Financial Controller

SALARY: growth of 8%

Accounting MBA online graduates apply their skills to a wide range of career paths. Below, we delve into a few popular career options.

Accountant Median Salary: $49,545
  • Accounting firms
  • Payroll services
  • Finance and insurance companies
Accountants prepare and examine financial records, ensuring both accuracy and adherence to tax laws. Those on business staffs assist in analyzing operational costs and advise ways to maximize efficiency.
Audit Accountant Median Salary: $55,107
  • Accounting firms
  • IRS, the government
  • Banks
Auditors carefully check business and financial records, such as annual budgets, for accuracy and compliance. They identify areas that can be improved to meet standards and/or enable an operation to run more smoothly.
Trust Accountant Median Salary: $46,000
  • Trust banks
  • Law firms/practices
Trust accountants deal exclusively with fiduciary matters, working with a portfolio of trust clients for whom they prepare tax returns, maintain finances, and ensure compliance at state and federal levels.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Albertus Magnus College

Location New Haven, CT Tuition Tuition $40,848 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 1,515 School Type Private
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Ashland University

Location Ashland, OH Tuition Tuition $7,584 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 5,677 School Type Private
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Azusa Pacific University

Location Azusa, CA Tuition Tuition $31,164 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 9,975 School Type Private
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Baker College

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $34,551 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 23,790 School Type Private
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Bellevue University

Location Bellevue, NE Tuition Tuition $10,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 9,760 School Type Private
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Benedictine University

Location Lisle, IL Tuition Tuition $35,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 5,954 School Type Private
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Brandman University

Location Irvine, CA Tuition Tuition $29,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 8,004 School Type Private
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Brenau University

Location Gainesville, GA Tuition Tuition $29,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 2,883 School Type Private
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Caldwell University

Location Caldwell, NJ Tuition Tuition $19,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 2,138 School Type Private
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California Baptist University

Location Riverside, CA Tuition Tuition $23,148 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 8,541 School Type Private
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Campbellsville University

Location Campbellsville, KY Tuition Tuition $17,964 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 3,128 School Type Private
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Carnegie Mellon University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $15,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 12,963 School Type Private
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Chaminade University of Honolulu

Location Honolulu, HI Tuition Tuition $19,680 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 2,466 School Type Private
Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Not-For-Profit Management MBA
  • Island Business MBA
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Champlain College

Location Burlington, VT Tuition Tuition $28,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,006 School Type Private
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City University of Seattle

Location Seattle, WA Tuition Tuition $32,544 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 2,347 School Type Private
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Colorado Christian University

Location Lakewood, CO Tuition Tuition $21,489 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 6,879 School Type Private
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Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Location Fort Collins, CO Tuition Tuition $39,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 30,614 School Type Public
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Columbia College

Location Columbia, MO Tuition Tuition $14,718 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 14,759 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Location Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $30,360 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 899 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Chicago

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $26,910 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 5,239 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Wisconsin

Location Mequon, WI Tuition Tuition $26,598 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,268 School Type Private
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Creighton University

Location Omaha, NE Tuition Tuition $11,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,435 School Type Private
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Culver-Stockton College

Location Canton, MO Tuition Tuition $14,220 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 1,066 School Type Private
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Davenport University

Location Grand Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $26,598 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 8,142 School Type Private
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Delaware Valley University

Location Doylestown, PA Tuition Tuition $16,842 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 2,266 School Type Private
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DeSales University

Location Center Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $29,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 3,136 School Type Private
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Endicott College

Location Beverly, MA Tuition Tuition $31,977 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,695 School Type Private
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Everglades University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 98% Student Population 1,498 School Type Private
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Excelsior College

Location Albany, NY Tuition Tuition $77,922 % Receiving Financial Aid 8% Student Population 43,123 School Type Private
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Ferris State University

Location Big Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $28,431 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 14,715 School Type Public
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Florida Institute of Technology

Location Melbourne, FL Tuition Tuition $32,256 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 6,631 School Type Private
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Florida Southern College

Location Lakeland, FL Tuition Tuition $33,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 2,869 School Type Private
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Friends University

Location Wichita, KS Tuition Tuition $21,111 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 1,929 School Type Private
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Gardner-Webb University

Location Boiling Springs, NC Tuition Tuition $18,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 4,329 School Type Private
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Golden Gate University - San Francisco

Location San Francisco, CA Tuition Tuition $52,650 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 2,735 School Type Private
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Idaho State University

Location Pocatello, ID Tuition Tuition $46,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 13,078 School Type Public
Concentrations
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Indiana Institute of Technology

Location Fort Wayne, IN Tuition Tuition $20,790 % Receiving Financial Aid 85% Student Population 7,542 School Type Private
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Jacksonville State University

Location Jacksonville, AL Tuition Tuition $11,460 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,314 School Type Public
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King University

Location Bristol, TN Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 2,920 School Type Private
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Lakeland College

Location Plymouth, WI Tuition Tuition $21,060 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 3,671 School Type Private
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Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition Tuition $25,425 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 80,494 School Type Private
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Lindenwood University

Location Saint Charles, MO Tuition Tuition $10,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 11,620 School Type Private
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Maryville University

Location St. Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $18,564 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 6,414 School Type Private
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Mid-America Christian University

Location Oklahoma City, OK Tuition Tuition $21,384 % Receiving Financial Aid 7% Student Population 2,540 School Type Private
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Misericordia University

Location Dallas, PA Tuition Tuition $25,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 2,963 School Type Private
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Mississippi College

Location Clinton, MS Tuition Tuition $21,420 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 5,036 School Type Private
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National University

Location La Jolla, CA Tuition Tuition $26,208 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 17,488 School Type Private
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New Mexico Highlands University

Location Las Vegas, NM Tuition Tuition $4,512 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 3,499 School Type Public
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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $40,680 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private
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Northwest Christian University

Location Eugene, OR Tuition Tuition $22,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 81% Student Population 740 School Type Private
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Northwest Nazarene University

Location Nampa, ID Tuition Tuition $18,480 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 2,207 School Type Private
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Nyack College

Location Nyack, NY Tuition Tuition $28,413 % Receiving Financial Aid 84% Student Population 2,664 School Type Private
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Ohio Christian University

Location Circleville, OH Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 4,290 School Type Private
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Oklahoma Christian University

Location Edmond, OK Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population 2,570 School Type Private
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Park University

Location Parkville, MO Tuition Tuition $13,957 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 11,720 School Type Private
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Pennsylvania State University

Location University Park, PA Tuition Tuition $56,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 47,307 School Type Public
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Rider University

Location Lawrenceville, NJ Tuition Tuition $57,696 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 5,069 School Type Private
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Saint Joseph's University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $32,142 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 8,625 School Type Private
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Saint Leo University

Location Saint Leo, FL Tuition Tuition $25,020 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 15,800 School Type Private
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Southern Adventist University

Location Collegedale, TN Tuition Tuition $5,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 3,125 School Type Private
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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private
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St. Bonaventure University

Location Saint Bonaventure, NY Tuition Tuition $28,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 1,992 School Type Private
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Suffolk University

Location Boston, MA Tuition Tuition $16,110 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 7,922 School Type Private
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Syracuse University

Location Syracuse, NY Tuition Tuition $28,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 21,789 School Type Private
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Tennessee Technological University

Location Cookeville, TN Tuition Tuition $18,660 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 10,900 School Type Public
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The University of Findlay

Location Findlay, OH Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 5,031 School Type Private
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The University of Texas at Austin

Location Austin, TX Tuition Tuition $33,298 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 50,950 School Type Public
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The University of Texas at Dallas

Location Richardson, TX Tuition Tuition $47,956 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population 24,554 School Type Public
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Thomas Edison State University

Location Trenton, NJ Tuition Tuition $72,048 % Receiving Financial Aid 14% Student Population 13,093 School Type Public
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Thomas University

Location Thomasville, GA Tuition Tuition $23,580 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 1,182 School Type Private
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Touro University Worldwide

Location Los Alamitos, CA Tuition Tuition $10,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 13% Student Population 880 School Type Private
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University of Dallas

Location Irving, TX Tuition Tuition $37,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 2,387 School Type Private
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University of Maryland

Location College Park, MD Tuition Tuition $24,984 % Receiving Financial Aid 35% Student Population 38,140 School Type Public
Concentrations
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University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Location Lowell, MA Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 18,047 School Type Public
Concentrations
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University of Miami

Location Coral Gables, FL Tuition Tuition $79,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 29% Student Population 16,825 School Type Private
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University of North Alabama

Location Florence, AL Tuition Tuition $14,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 7,078 School Type Public
Concentrations
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University of Scranton

Location Scranton, PA Tuition Tuition $34,740 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 5,422 School Type Private
Concentrations
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University of South Florida - St Petersburg

Location St. Petersburg, FL Tuition Tuition $16,632 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 4,739 School Type Public
Concentrations
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University of St. Francis

Location Joliet, IL Tuition Tuition $28,728 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 3,957 School Type Private
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University of the Cumberlands

Location Williamsburg, KY Tuition Tuition $9,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 6,276 School Type Private
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University of the Southwest

Location Hobbs, NM Tuition Tuition $9,882 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 1,059 School Type Private
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University of West Florida

Location Pensacola, FL Tuition Tuition $15,065 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 12,763 School Type Public
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Upper Iowa University

Location Fayette, IA Tuition Tuition $19,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 4,797 School Type Private
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Warner University

Location Lake Wales, FL Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 83% Student Population 1,183 School Type Private
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Wayland Baptist University

Location Plainview, TX Tuition Tuition $17,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 82% Student Population 5,231 School Type Private
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Western New England University

Location Springfield, MA Tuition Tuition $47,022 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,912 School Type Private
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Wilmington University

Location New Castle, DE Tuition Tuition $16,380 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 15,002 School Type Private
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in Accounting is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Accounting is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local hospitals and businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Accounting program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

An MBA in accounting online degree provides a linear pathway to CPA certification, a sought-after designation and legal requirement for any accountant who files a report with the SEC. In addition to passing the national exam, many states require CPA candidates to have 150 credits of college coursework. A bachelor’s degree in accounting requires 120 credits; an online MBA with accounting concentration checks off CPA candidates’ credit requirement. Many accountants pursue other certifications, such as in management or internal auditing, to polish their résumés and prove expertise.

Liscense Description
Certified Accounting Paraprofessional This license allows accountants and auditors to place a “CAP” behind their name, denoting knowledge in accounting principles, payroll, taxes, and QuickBooks.
Certified Public Accountant The highest standard of competence for an accountant or auditor, holders of this certification have passed the Uniform CPA Exam and met state licensing requirements established by the board of accountancy.
Certified Management Accountant This certification, earned through a two-part exam, proves knowledge of 11 core skills in management accounting.
Certified Internal Auditor This certification proves competence and professionalism in the field of internal auditing; it is awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Those pursuing an MBA in accounting online can apply for merit scholarships specific to the accounting field. Future accountants have likely already crunched the numbers for higher education, but the nation’s best online schools for accounting are not out of reach. Scholarships and grants range from $500 to $10,000. Three prominent options are listed below.