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Master's Degree in Accounting

While a bachelor's degree may be the typical minimum education requirement for accountants, many students don't stop there. A master's degree in accounting can help students enhance both their skill set and employment opportunities.

Since most states require 150 hours of semester coursework to become a CPA, some schools offer a combined bachelor's and master's program to help students meet the hour requirement. Other schools offer a separate Master of Accountancy degree. Yet another option for students pursuing a graduate-level accounting education is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

Coursework and program details

Specific coursework that students take depends on both their specialization and the type of program they pursue. Common coursework offered at the master's degree level may include the following classes:

  • Accounting for managers
  • Tax research and planning
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Advanced cost accounting
  • E-commerce and internet security

Students can also select electives according to their intended concentration and may need to complete a capstone project or senior seminar before graduating. Throughout the above and other courses, students gain in-depth knowledge of various accounting concepts. Below are some examples of topics that master's degree courses may cover:

  • Fund accounting for various sectors such as government and non-profit organizations
  • Business law and ethics
  • Fraud examination and accounting forensics
  • Cost accounting

Career opportunities and outlook for master's degree graduates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 13 percent national growth rate for accountants and auditors. Individuals with a master's degree may have a competitive edge when applying to jobs. Potential contributors to growth in accounting jobs include the following:

  • Overall economic growth
  • Increased globalization (particularly beneficial for professionals with international merger, acquisition, and trade skills)
  • More stringent financial regulations
  • Stricter lending standards (particularly beneficial for auditors)

Professionals filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission must become certified as a public accountant. Prospective CPAs must pass a national exam and complete the educational and other requirements set by their state.

There are many other career options beyond working as a public accountant for those with a master's accounting degree. The following are a few examples of jobs in which a master's in accounting or an MBA may benefit candidates:

  • Personal financial advisor
  • Budget analyst
  • Financial manager

A master's degree in accounting is the final step in the education of many accounting professionals. Although not necessarily required by employers, having a master's accounting degree can both expand job opportunities and help individuals strengthen and specialize their accounting skills.


Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm

Budget Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm

Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm

Personal Financial Advisors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm


Master Accounting Schools

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            MS in Accounting - Government Specialization
            • Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration.
            • Students are instructed in relevant business skills like communication, mathematics, and management.
            • Coursework emphasizes the development of project management, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
            • Flexible, 100% online and campus based programs available.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.B.A. in Accounting for Managers
            • Our online DBA program allows you to develop solutions to complex, real-world business problems using advanced decision-making and leadership skills.
            • Gain deeper business knowledge and serve as a global change agent—whether in corporate, public sector, or academic environments.
            • Benefit from our 24/7 tech support, Writing Center, Career Services Center, and more.
            • Walden University’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
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            Master of Science in Accounting
            • Offers M.B.A. and bachelor’s programs in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing, Accounting, and more
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs and Graduate Business Programs for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report
            • Coursework covers topics like project management, management fundamentals, and business strategies
            • Business students complete a capstone class that demonstrates their knowledge of business concepts
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            MA Accountancy
            • Online degrees offered include BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration, MBA, and more.
            • Business students may be eligible for scholarships such as the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
            • Courses help students develop knowledge of marketing, accounting, economic principles, and financial management.
            • Business Administration students can specialize in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Project Management.
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            MA Accountancy - Audit
            • Become the leader you know you can be @ Ashford University
            • Apply Now! Classes Start Every Tuesday!
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            MBA - Finance
            • Specialized bachelor’s and master’s degrees that let you take more courses devoted to your field of interest, on average, than at other similar schools.
            • 4 out of 5 employers of an AIU business graduate say they would hire another AIU business graduate
            • Classes taught by industry specialists who bring a real-world perspective to the classroom
            • Business administration programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) with the exception of Technology Management and Fashion Marketing specializations
            • MBA degrees can be completed in as little as 12 months
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            MS in Accounting

            100% Online & No Standardized Testing

            We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

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            Master of Accountancy

            Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

            Master of Accountancy in Professional Accounting
            • Ranked among the Best Business Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the #1 Public MBA program in the NYC region in 2014 by the U.S. News and World Report.
            • Educates about 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students per academic year at two campuses in New Jersey as well as five satellite locations in New Jersey and Singapore.
            • The only public university in New Jersey in the Association of American Universities (AAU), a group comprising of North America’s 63 leading research universities.
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            Denver - Master of Science - Accounting
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a 2015Military Friendy School by Victory Media.
            • Listed amongst the Best for Vets Colleges by Military Times 2 years in a row
            • Offers a network of technologically advanced campuses and online degree programs designed to provide a unique higher education.
            • 5 campuses located across Colorado.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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