In developing this ranking, we compared 56 public and private non-profit institutions in the United States that are considered best deal schools for an online accounting masters degree.
Our methodology included a points system based on certain criteria. We awarded the most points to schools with the lowest graduate tuition and fees, per the most recent price published by NCES College Navigator. We gave points to schools that prepared students for professional certification, such as the CPA licensure. Points were also given to schools with doctoral programs in related accounting and business fields, and to those institutions ranked in U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. In the event of a tie, the school with the lowest graduate tuition and fees were ranked higher on our list.
Below are the 20 best deals for an online accounting masters degree, designed to assist you in your graduate school research.
#20 – Shorter University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,820
Earning a top spot in our online accounting masters degree ranking is the Master of Accountancy program at Shorter University. The program offers professional preparation to satisfy the hours of education needed to obtain the CPA certification. Georgia licensing is obtainable upon completion of required coursework, and instructors help prepare students to pass the examination. Master of Accountancy courses include Advanced Financial Accounting, Legal and Ethical Issues for Accountants, and Seminars in Internal Auditing and Fraud. Shorter University offers low graduate tuition rates and ample financial aid packages to help students offset the cost of graduate education.
#19 – SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Utica, New York
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,620
SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York, offers an inexpensive masters degree in accounting online that is AACSB accredited. The Master of Accountancy program is registered to satisfy the New York State requirements for 150-hour licensure, a rule enforced by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Low in-state graduate tuition and fees coupled with a high ranking from U.S. News and World Report helps position SUNY Polytech on our list. Out of over 1,200 online graduate business programs in the country (excluding the MBA), SUNY Polytechnic Institute ranks #58. U.S. News also ranks SUNY as the 122nd Best Regional University in the North.
#18 – National University
La Jolla, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,638
Our list of affordable online accounting masters degrees includes National University in La Jolla, California. The private institution along Torrey Pines Road is an affiliate of the National University System and offers an online Master of Accountancy with course content based on the Uniform CPA Examination requirements. What makes this program a best deal is the low graduate tuition and available financial aid packages. Students are also prepared for the CPA exam through curriculum that covers such topics as Cost Accounting, Defense Contract Audit, Financial Accounting, and Taxation of Businesses and Individuals. Students are also prepared to enter doctoral accounting programs outside of the school network.
#17 – Southern Adventist University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,530
One of the best value masters degree in accounting online is the Master of Business Administration with Emphasis in Accounting. The MBA in Accounting degree combines business principles with a unique focus in accounting. Southern Adventist University offers the online MBA in Accounting that is designed to prepare students for professional certification. Inexpensive graduate tuition rates, as compared to other private and public universities, help students maintain a healthy budget while working toward their graduate degree. The University has earned top rankings with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, Southern Adventist University ranks 25th among the Best Regional Colleges in the South.
#16 – University of the Southwest
Hobbs, New Mexico
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,440
Students looking for an affordable online accounting masters degree find the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico to offer budget-friendly options. The school offers an online MBA with the option of focusing studies in accounting. The program is specifically designed for students seeking CPA certification and professional careers in accountancy. Courses emphasize satisfaction of the requirements to sit for the professional CPA certification examination. In addition to online flexibility, students are able to self-design their program. If there is another area of interest besides accounting, graduate MBA students may emphasize courses to satisfy degree completion.
#15 – Indiana Wesleyan University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,235
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private institution located in Marion, Indiana. The school offers an affordable online masters in accounting degree for students interested in attending a Christian university that prepares them for professional certification. The school is highly ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the university #30 among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and #12 among Best Value Schools. The University offers a PhD in Organizational Leadership that provides seamless transitioning from the masters degree in accounting online. The school and business programs are accredited regionally and nationally.
#14 – Baker College Center for Graduate Studies
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,080
For students looking for an accredited online accounting masters degree, Baker College Center for Graduate Studies offers flexible options. Students may earn an MBA in Accounting that combines business principles with accounting expertise. Students graduate with an MBA in Accounting degree and are eligible to sit for the CPA examination, if desired. The program and school are nationally accredited. In fact, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) accredits the program. Students take courses in Financial Accounting, Global Accounting, Research and Statistics for Managers, and Taxation. Small class sizes with 100% online options help students gain the most of their education at Baker College.
#13 – Freed-Hardeman University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,900
Freed-Hardeman University offers an inexpensive online accounting masters degree that combines an MBA program with accounting principles. Students design their own MBA degree contingent on areas of interest. For those who want to pursue certification as a CPA or work as a professional accountant, the accounting emphasis helps prepare graduate students. Freed-Hardeman University is a private institution located in Henderson, Tennessee. The school is nationally ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 46th Best Regional University in the South. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, U.S. News also ranks the institution as #35 for Best Colleges for Veterans.
#12 – Bellevue University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,720
Securing the 12th position on our list of online accounting masters degrees, Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska is a top pick due to its low cost of attendance and flexible degree program. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Bellevue University offers an inexpensive Master of Science in Accounting degree online. The program is designed to prepare students with the required courses to satisfy eligibility to sit for the professional CPA certification examination. Many of Bellevue’s online graduate programs are ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate business program (excluding the MBA) is ranked #78 out of more than 1,200 similar programs.
#11 – Liberty University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,710
A most affordable online accounting masters degree is available at Liberty University. Qualifying students may earn a Master of Science in Accounting that is inexpensive and rigorous. In fact, the rigor of the program prepares students for professional certification and advanced careers in the field of accountancy. According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges, Liberty University is the 80th Best Regional University in the South. The school’s online graduate programs also rank well among similar institutions. Out of more than 1,200 programs, the online graduate business program, which includes the accounting degree program, ranks #61, according to the 2016 Best Colleges publication.
#10 – Cleveland State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,615
Students searching for inexpensive online accounting masters degrees find Cleveland State University to offer a rigorous and budget-friendly program. For under $10,000 per year, students may earn a Master of Accountancy degree that is designed to prepare participants for professional certification and advanced careers. Cleveland State’s Master of Accountancy program is one of only 165 similar programs worldwide to have earned the Accounting Accreditation hallmark from AACSB International. The school also offers Bridge Programs, which allow students to earn more than one degree without spending additional time doing so. Students may participate in the Bridge Program and earn an MS in Accounting with an MBA at the same time. A doctoral degree in Business Administration is also open to students enrolled in any of the graduate business degree programs, including Accounting.
#9 – Southwestern College
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,360
Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas earns a top 10 spot on our Best Deals list for offering affordable online accounting masters degree programs. Students may earn an MBA with Accounting Emphasis or pursue a graduate certificate in Executive Accounting. Both degree options prepare students for professional certification as CPAs or other professional accounting disciplines. Southwestern College is ranked as the 99th Best Regional University in the Midwest according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. In fact, the school’s online graduate business program, which includes the Accounting emphasis, is ranked #77 among 1,200 similar programs.
#8 – Brescia University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,120
Students looking at affordable masters degree in accounting online programs find unique options at Brescia University. The school offers a Master of Science in Management with a Certificate in Accounting. Students with the desire to lead in the business field but have an interest in accounting enjoy the unique program combination. Brescia offers inexpensive graduate tuition rates with competitive scholarship and financial aid packages to help offset the cost of education. The University ranks high among similar schools and programs, according to U.S. News and World Report. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, Brescia ranks as the 50th Best Regional College in the South.
#7 – Brenau University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,996
Brenau University offers an affordable online accounting masters degree that combines business administration with the accounting discipline. Students graduate with an MBA in Accounting degree. Brenau University offers competitive tuition rates and attractive financial aid packages. The University’s MBA in Accounting program helps prepare students to sit for the CPA examination while earning a master’s degree. The program also helps prepare students who want to continue their education at the doctoral level. Seamless transition into a doctorate program is available through the school’s MBA program. Faculty work directly with online students to assist them with career goals and education pursuits. Brenau is ranked as the 61st Best Regional University in the South.
#6 – University of Maryland – University College
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514
University of Maryland at University College offers an accredited and affordable masters degree in accounting online that combine financial management and accounting. Completion of the program earns a Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Management. In-state residents may take advantage of the reduced tuition rate, although the out-of-state graduate tuition is highly competitive. The program is designed to prepare graduate students to take professional certification exams, including the CPA certification. The program is designed for students who want to earn professional certification and work as managers in the fields of finance, management, and accounting.
#5 – Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,442
Saint Leo University offers affordable online accounting masters degree programs that prepare students to pass the CPA and CMA examinations. Students who complete the Master of Accounting program at Saint Leo earn the required 150 hours for licensure, while gaining in-depth knowledge in business administration and accounting. Students have the option of earning a Masters in Accounting or an MBA with an Accounting Concentration. The program also prepares students for doctoral degree pursuits depending on the student’s educational plans. U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Leo University as the 71st Best Regional University in the South, according to the 2016 edition of Best Colleges.
#4 – Southern Utah University
Cedar City, Utah
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,551
Students looking for the best deal on masters degree in accounting online programs find Southern Utah University to be a viable option. The Master of Accountancy degree program is offered online with flexible, self-paced studies. The degree program is designed to satisfy Utah’s 150-hour requirement to take the Certified Public Accounting examination. The school also offers assistantships and a unique bridge program that allows students to earn a joint MBA and Master’s in Accounting degree. Southern Utah University is highly ranked among Best Colleges according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the institution was ranked #70 among Regional Universities in the West.
#3 – University of Alabama – Birmingham
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,090
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a very affordable online accounting masters degree designed to help students gain eligibility to take the CPA certification examination. Year-round internships, generous scholarship support, and fast-track degree completion options make the University of Alabama a top pick among our Best Deals list. In-state tuition rates for graduate students are highly competitive as compared to similar institutions. The University is also highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, University of Alabama ranks as the 149th Best National University in the country. The school’s graduate business programs, which includes the accounting program, is also highly ranked.
#2 – Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,657
At just $6,657 per year, Florida Atlantic University offers one of the most affordable online accounting masters degree in the country. The School of Accounting at Florida Atlantic offers online flexibility designed for students who lead busy and full lives but still want to complete a graduate degree in business or accounting. Successful completion of the program earns a Master of Accounting and preparedness to sit for professional certification exams, such as the CPA or CMA. According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges, the institution’s online graduate business programs, excluding the MBA, are ranked #41 out of over 1,200 similar programs.
#1 – Kennesaw State University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,670
Kennesaw State University earns the top spot among best value online accounting masters degrees due to affordability and program preparation. The Coles College of Business offers an online Master of Accounting degree program designed to prepare students for eligibility for professional certification exams, including CPA certification. The school ranks among some of the best regional universities in the south. According to U.S. News and World Report, Kennesaw ranks #71 among the Best Regional Universities in the South and #32 among Top Public Schools. The University is also recognized as the 6th Most Innovative School in the country, according to the 2016 edition of Best Colleges.
This concludes our ranking of the 20 best deals for an online accounting masters degree, designed to assist you in your graduate school research.
By GCD Staff
Published August 2016