Top Online MBA Programs in Accounting

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A top online MBA in accounting prepares graduates for lucrative business careers in accounting, taxation, financial management, and auditing, and distinguishes graduates from competitors with bachelor’s degrees. Accountants and auditors made a substantial median salary of $70,500 in 2018, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects healthy growth in accounting, auditing, and related business and financial careers between 2018 and 2028.

Designed to assist you in choosing the right online MBA in accounting program, the following page provides an overview of curricula, online program formats, and potential career paths for this degree. Also see below for relevant scholarships and professional organizations that can support your career journey.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Top 10 Online MBA Programs in Accounting

Rank School Location
1 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
2 University of St. Francis Joliet, IL
3 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
4 St. Bonaventure University Saint Bonaventure, NY
5 Regis University Denver, CO
6 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
7 Endicott College Beverly, MA
8 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
9 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
10 Misericordia University Dallas, PA

What Is an MBA in Accounting?

Combining business fundamentals with accounting specialization, an online MBA in accounting contains courses such as financial analysis, auditing, and budget management. This versatile degree also usually meets education prerequisites for certified public accountant (CPA) certification, and many graduates become professional accountants in industries such as accounting, insurance, management, and government.

The BLS identifies transportation, government, and finance as top-paying industries for accounting and auditing professionals. Other popular careers for accounting MBA graduates include management analyst, budget analyst, and financial manager.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Accounting?

Earning an online MBA can benefit students in many ways. The advanced curricula of accounting MBAs enable students to build specialized skills and knowledge in areas of interest such as taxation regulation, forensic accounting, or accounting information systems.

Often boasting asynchronous attendance options, online degree options allow busy professionals to advance their careers without relocating or taking time off from work. For professionals or students from non-accounting-related backgrounds, this degree can pave the way for transition to new careers. MBA programs also offer excellent opportunities for internship and networking with professionals in your desired field.

For accounting and tax professionals with related bachelor’s degrees, the accounting MBA often opens doors for promotion and salary advancement. The BLS reports the median salary for accounting and auditing professionals at $70,500, and senior accountant salaries usually range from $58,000-96,000, according to PayScale.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Accounting?

  • Accountant

    Tasked with compiling and reviewing tax returns and other financial statements, accountants facilitate their clients’ financial operations and tax law compliance. Accountants also sometimes play advisory and/or bookkeeping roles for their clients. Skills required include comfort with numbers, attention to detail, and business acumen. BLS data on this profession reports a median salary of $70,500 annually and projects 6% job growth between 2018 and 2028.

  • Financial Analyst

    Often employed in banking, insurance, or investment/securities industries, financial analysts help to guide client investments. Related job titles include risk analyst, ratings analyst, fund manager, and portfolio manager. These professionals need expert knowledge of financial markets and skills in advanced math, financial analysis, and decision-making. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $85,660 and may anticipate a 6% job growth rate between 2018 and 2028.

  • Management Analyst

    Also called management consultants, management analysts advise executives on means for cutting costs and generating more revenue. These professionals analyze financial reports and other data, observe and meet with employees, and suggest solutions for increasing company efficiency. The BLS indicates that management analysts made an $83,610 median annual salary as of May 2018, and projects 14% job growth for this career between 2018 and 2028.

  • Financial Manager

    Responsible for organizational finances, financial managers perform financial monitoring, analysis, and reporting. These professionals also collaborate with executives on strategic planning, goal-setting, and decision-making. Financial managers boast skills in management, data analysis, and market trend analysis. BLS data places financial managers’ median annual salary at $127,990 and projects 16% employment growth between 2018 and 2028.

  • Budget Analyst

    Budget analysts help with organizational finances by generating and reviewing budget proposals and reports, monitoring spending, and advising company executives regarding funding and finance organizing. These professionals are skilled in analysis, organization, and communication. Budget analysts make a median annual salary of $76,220 and may anticipate a projected growth of 4% from 2018-2028, according to the BLS.

Online MBA in Accounting Curriculum

While online accounting MBA programs vary in the concentrations and courses they offer, all programs include foundational business administration coursework and advanced accounting coursework. See below for sample courses available in most online accounting MBA programs.

  • Financial Analysis

    This course teaches students how to formulate financial business strategies and plans. Financial analysis courses focus on how to analyze financial reports and assess investment suitability.

  • Taxes and Business Strategy

    Particularly important to aspiring tax accountants, this course investigates the relationship between tax regulations and business activities such as investments, acquisitions, and employee compensation.

  • Forecasting

    Forecasting courses cultivate knowledge and skills in operating budget preparation and spending decision-making. Students learn to analyze business trends and risks, cut costs, and consider legislation that affects business.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Accounting Program

As you research online MBA in accounting programs, choose from well-reputed programs only. Attending a highly regarded school in your desired geographical area can make sense; however, getting your degree online means you can apply to high quality programs anywhere, so do not hesitate to apply to distant but well-known schools.

Also keep in mind that students at either nationally or regionally accredited schools may receive federal financial aid, but credits and degrees from nationally accredited schools do not usually transfer to regionally accredited schools because the latter meet higher academic standards.

The best online MBA programs also boast programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

Earning an accounting MBA can get expensive, so compare tuition rates carefully. Regionally accredited schools sometimes charge higher tuition, but they may offer more financial aid and work-study opportunities. Note whether schools charge per credit or a flat rate per semester, as taking more credits at schools with flat semester rates can save you money. Accelerated programs offering more academic terms per year can also save you money, provided you have adequate time for intensive academic study.

Busy working professionals often opt for part-time online MBA programs that allow them to continue their education without relocating or taking time away from work. However, many programs require internship experience, periodic on-campus visits, and/or a capstone thesis or project. Before applying, make sure that you can meet extracurricular requirements.

Scholarships for Accounting MBA Programs

Students seeking financial support should take the time to examine the many need-based, merit-based, and identity-based scholarships offered to college students by schools, professional organizations, private funders, and governments. Students pursuing an online MBA in accounting should consider scholarships specifically designed for accounting students. See below for a selection of these scholarships.

  • American Institute of CPAs John L. Carey Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Designed to encourage students new to accounting, this scholarship awards $5,000 to non-business degree holders pursuing CPA licensure and graduate degrees in accounting.

    Amount: $5,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance Master's Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: AFWA grants this scholarship to women master’s degree students enrolled in master’s programs at accredited schools.

    Amount: $1,000-3,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • American Institute of CPAs Minority Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: AICPA grants this scholarship to minority students enrolled full time in accounting-related degree programs. Eligible applicants must hold a 3.0+ GPA and must be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

    Amount: $5,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Alice L. Haltom Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents pursuing an Illinois accounting degree and CPA licensure. Applicants need to demonstrate financial need, progress in accounting coursework, and have a 3.0+ GPA.

    Amount: $4,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • New York State Society of CPAs Excellence in Accounting Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Created to support worthy accounting students, this need-based scholarship provides $1,250 to part-time and $2,500 to full-time accounting students.

    Amount: $1,250-2,500

    Apply for Scholarship

Professional Organizations for Accounting

The professional organizations described below provide education, networking, mentorship, and employment resources for accounting professionals and students. Offering a wealth of information on related fields, careers, and industries, accounting professional organizations may help you clarify your career interests, identify compatible MBA programs, and advance your career.

American Accounting Association

Founded in 1916, the AAA supports accounting academics and others interested in accounting research and education. The organization provides annual conferences, publications, and educational resources.

Association for Financial Professionals

The AFP provides events and networking, treasury professional certification, and training for treasurers and other financial professionals. The AFP website provides current industry trend information to help you plan your career path.

Institute of Management Accountants

This organization provides networking, leadership, and continuing education for management accounting professionals. The IMA also runs the certified management accountant certification and publishes white papers, books, and reports.

National Society of Accountants

The NSA advocates for accountants’ rights, provides continuing education, and shapes ethical and practical standards for the profession. Member benefits include subscription discounts and a tax help desk.

Institute of Internal Auditors

IAA leads the internal auditing field by establishing practice standards, advocating for auditors, and providing continuing education. Member benefits include access to industry-specific networks and discounts on team development training.

How We Rank Online MBA Programs

Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on academic quality, affordability, online flexibility, and student success.

Top Online MBA Programs in Accounting

  1. University of Scranton

    Scranton, PA



    A Jesuit university based in northeastern Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton offers an online MBA in accounting aimed at working professionals. Available entirely online, this 36-credit program grounds students in the fundamentals of modern business. It does so from a Jesuit perspective, emphasizing ethics and socially just practices.

    The asynchronous curriculum splits into three parts, offering distance learners unique flexibility. Everyone must take the cornerstone course on social justice. Within certain parameters, learners can adjust their core courses and electives to meet their career goals.

    With eight concentration areas, this program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university requires three years of work experience before application. It does not ask for GMAT or GRE scores.

  2. University of St. Francis

    Joliet, IL



    Saint Francis created its online MBA in accounting to meet modern business needs. The Catholic university in Joliet, Illinois, takes a globally minded and technologically enhanced approach to the degree, preparing the next generation of business leaders. Students can progress at their own pace, earning their diplomas in as few as 12 months.

    Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, this program's curriculum focuses on experiential learning. Students participate in team exercises, case studies, and directed discussions. Unlike in many other programs, learners can begin their concentrations immediately.

    Saint Francis features rolling admissions, allowing distance learners to begin their programs any semester. Students can transfer in as many as nine credits and do not have to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

  3. Maryville University of Saint Louis

    Saint Louis, MO



    A mid-sized private school in St. Louis, Maryville offers an online MBA with 12 concentration options, including accounting. The university requires no previous business experience and develops students' technical, critical thinking, leadership, and networking skills.

    Maryville's online MBA prepares students for management careers and the CPA exam. The program runs asynchronously in accelerated eight-week sessions. Focus areas include forensic accounting, tax preparation, financial planning, and strategic accounting.

    The university's John E. Simon School of Business cultivates partnerships with business leaders like Centric, Edward Jones, Scottrade, and Ameren to promote networking opportunities. Many ambitious distance learners complete this program, which holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, in just over a year.

    Admission requires an undergraduate record and an essay explaining the applicant's qualifications for graduate study. Maryville does not request GRE or GMAT scores. Six admission points each year allow scheduling flexibility.

  4. St. Bonaventure University

    Saint Bonaventure, NY



    St. Bonaventure aims to create complete business professionals in its online MBA in accounting. Set in St. Bonaventure, New York, this small, private university boasts intimate classes with a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. This creates a personalized experience and fosters lots of interaction between professors and peers.

    The MBA curriculum takes students through 39 credits, including nine in foundation courses, 12 in the business core, and 18 electives. This gives students the freedom to tailor their learning experience to their personal career goals. The accounting concentration delves into financial statement analysis and preparation and advanced cost accounting.

    Distance learners take one seven-week class at a time for a focused experience. Admission does not require GMAT or GRE scores. Students must submit previous academic transcripts, a resume, and a writing sample.

  5. Regis University

    Denver, CO



    A Jesuit institution based in Denver, Regis hosts an online MBA in accounting through its Anderson College of Business. In keeping with its core values, the school cultivates ethical decision-making through its curriculum. Many students complete the program in about two years, taking six classes annually while continuing to work.

    The experiential coursework features 33 hours of required business administration classes, six elective credits, and 12 credits in accounting itself. Courses progress in quick, eight-week sessions. The university boasts a scholar-practitioner model, meaning professors both teach and work in business. This brings the latest practices and networking opportunities to the classroom.

    Admission requires proof of a bachelor's degree, a writing sample, and a current resume. Regis expects students to bring work experience to the program. The school provides six start dates. The Anderson College of Business states that MBA graduates earn starting salaries exceeding $100,000.

  6. Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh, PA



    Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon offers a hybrid top online MBA online MBA. Students must attend "access weekends" six times each year in various locations. This builds community, enhances networking, and develops leaders.

    During these intensive weekends, distance learners meet their peers and professors. They also visit leading businesses for a first-hand look at how they work. These classes meet weekly for real-time sessions, while the rest of the program's classes follow an asynchronous format.

    Carnegie Mellon has offered accounting as part of its core curriculum since the university's inception in 1949. Students may now study the subject as a concentration. Degree candidates immerse themselves in more than just day-to-day bookkeeping elements. They develop skills in analytical thinking, decision-making, strategizing, business ethics, and the use of tech in the field.

    The Tepper School of Business requires program participants to select a concentration, and many complete multiple specializations. Admission requires a previous academic record, a resume, a recommendation, a writing sample, and GMAT scores. The program carries accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  7. Endicott College

    Beverly, MA



    Endicott designed its online MBA in accounting to accommodate working professionals' schedules. The 42-credit program offers asynchronous classes, and students can earn their degrees in as few as 18 months. They can also complete some requirements at the college's campus in the Boston area.

    Through their curriculum, the Van Loan School of Business emphasizes ethical decision-making, real-time skills, and a project-based approach. The accounting concentration requires learners to complete four three-credit courses. These include classwork in financial reporting and analysis, managerial cost accounting, taxation, and intermediate accounting.

    Endicott allows program participants to complete up to two specialty areas. It does not require the GMAT. Applicants must submit a resume, academic credentials, two letters of recommendation, and an essay stating their career goals.

  8. Lewis University

    Romeoville, IL



    Based in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Lewis offers its online MBA program to working professionals and students from any undergraduate background. The degree combines an immersion in theory with opportunities to test those precepts with practical application. The university keeps classes small, with a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

    Lewis' online MBA features 54 credits: 21 in foundational courses, 24 in the program core, and nine in the accounting concentration. Learners with business degrees may waive several foundation course requirements. Lewis also allows people with subject matter expertise to waive classes through proficiency exams.

    Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA while working through the program. Classes run asynchronously in fast, eight-week sessions. Lewis follows a rolling admissions format, letting degree candidates begin classes at any of five start dates each year. Applications do not require GMAT scores.

  9. Seton Hall University

    South Orange, NJ



    Seton Hall's online MBA in accounting takes advantage of the school's proximity to the center of the business world, New York City. This 40-credit course of study takes place primarily online, but the university also gives students opportunities to make connections in the city through a two-day residency and guest lectures by leading executives.

    The program, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, stresses ethics, cross-disciplinary learning, communication, and effective leadership. Degree candidates must earn 25 core credits and 15 elective credits, including the four classes in accounting concentration. Students must also complete a capstone project, which gives them hands-on experience and real-world business insights.

    Classes run asynchronously, allowing for scheduling flexibility. Distance learners without business experience may need to take pre-qualifying courses before beginning the program. Applicants must submit a resume, previous transcripts, letters of recommendation, an essay, and GRE scores.

  10. Misericordia University

    Dallas, PA



    A small Catholic school in Dallas, Pennsylvania, Misericordia offers an online MBA in accounting, which promotes business ethics and develops the "human side" of management. The program holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and it provides graduates with an understanding of how their decisions impact the wider community.

    The 36-credit curriculum takes participants through 24 foundational credits and 12 in the accounting specialization. Most part-time learners earn their degrees in 2.5 years or less. Students with bachelor's degrees in accounting earn the educational credits required for the CPA exam.

    Misericordia prides itself on small class sizes and personalized attention. The school does not require GRE or GMAT scores or letters of recommendation. Applicants simply submit their previous transcripts and resumes.


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