The Top 15 Best Affordable Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

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In this article, we rank the top affordable online master’s in accounting degree programs based on our own ranking methodology that factors accreditation, cost, and regional and national rankings in major publications.

Accounting is one of the most important professions in modern business. As globalization takes hold, even small businesses must often deal with finance laws and regulations that vary greatly from state to state and nation to nation. Accountants are on the front lines of modern day business. There are as many roles for accountants as there are types of businesses and government organizations. One role, that of the Certified Public Accountant, requires a graduate degree in accounting at the least. Other specialties in the field may not have such stringent education requirements, but a Master’s degree in accounting can be a major boon to those accountants looking to set themselves apart from their competition.

This is a list of the top fifteen fully online accounting programs among the most affordable such programs available. Some of the programs are designed for those that want to sit for the CPA exam, while others are designed to enable students to focus on other aspects of the field, such as management.

Our ranking methodology is simple. We consider a school affordable if the full tuition of the entire program is less than the national average of $35,000 for a graduate program. Accreditation is important, so we award extra points for schools that have their accounting program accredited by the AACSB. Finally, a school’s reputation can often be just as important as the education one receives there; so in our system we award points for accolades that the school has received from nationally recognized ranking agencies. Below is a detailed outline of our ranking system, which you may find useful for evaluating schools outside this list.

Ranking System

Affordability

1- Resident tuition is below $35,000

2- Non-Resident tuition is below $35,000

2-Resident Tuition Below $20,000

3- Non-Resident Tuition Below $20,000

Accreditation

1-Regional Accreditation

2-AACSB Accreditation

Accolades

Regionally Ranked-1

Nationally Ranked-2

Online Program Ranked-1

Our primary source for tuition data is the National Center for Education Statistics. The tuition figures are based on average tuition at the individual school, so actual prices may vary slightly. For the national ranking agency we used U.S. News and World Report, one of the foremost authorities on higher education in the United States. Also included among our sources is the website of the AACSB which contains lists of all accredited business and accounting programs.

National Center for Education Statistics
U.S. News and World Report
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

#15. Southern Utah University

Master of Accountancy

Southern Utah University Online Master of Accountancy

Total: 4

Affordability-2
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

Southern Utah is a strong choice for Utah residents looking for an affordable online degree program. The tuition for residents is almost ⅓ that of the national average for a graduate degree.The online Masters of Accountancy program at SUU is designed to provide students with a flexible way to pursue the education requirements necessary to sit for the CPA exam.

Resident Tuition: $12,506
Non-Resident Tuition: $39,366
Accrediting Bodies: NCCU
Accolades: Ranked #71 among the Best Regional Universities (West), by U.S. News and World Report.

#14. National University

Master of Accountancy

National University Online Master of Accountancy

Total: 4

Affordability-3
Accreditation-1
Accolades-0

The Master of Accountancy program at National University is designed for students that have an undergraduate degree in any field other than accounting. Many professionals will find that knowledge of accounting disciplines and the ability to apply accounting principles is increasingly important in the modern business age. A Master of Accountancy can open doors to career advancement in a wide variety of fields, as people with an understanding of their specific industry or discipline with a strong knowledge of accounting are highly sought.

Tuition: $20,088
Accrediting Bodies: WASC
Accolades: N/A

#13. Florida Atlantic University

Master of Accounting

Florida Atlantic University Online Master of Accounting

Total: 4

Affordability- 2
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

While non-resident tuition is one of the more expensive on this list, it is still under the average of $35,000 for graduate programs nationwide. That being said, the resident tuition is one of the least expensive at just a hair over $10,000. This accounting program is designed to be as flexible as possible. There are two Executive Masters in Accounting programs at FAU each with a different concentration. These concentrations are Business Valuation, and Forensic Accounting. Students that want options, flexibility, reasonable pricing, and a strong program would do well to check out FAU.

Resident Tuition: $10,974
Non-Resident Tuition: $33,390
Accrediting Bodies: SACS
Accolades: Ranked #110 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report

#12. Franklin University

Master of Science in Accounting

Franklin University Online Master of Science in Accounting

Total: 5

Affordability-3
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

The role of accountants in business has changed somewhat in the last several years and Franklin University is cognizant of that. Franklin recognizes that now more than ever, from accountants to accounting executives, interpersonal skills, communication skills, and management training are necessary for advancement and long term success in the field. That’s why Franklin integrates training in these skills into their programs, making their accounting program unique, and especially attractive to accountants that seek long term advancement in their field.

Tuition: $27,120
Accrediting Bodies: NCACS
Accolades: Ranked #153 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

#11. Southern Polytechnic State University

Master of Science in Accounting

SPSU Online MAster of Science in Accounting

Total: 5

Affordability-3
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

SPSU’s online Master of Science in Accounting can be completed in as little as one year. Students have the flexibility to choose course loads that fit with their lifestyles and time constraints. The program is designed to meet the 150 hour requirement of the Georgia Board of Accountancy so long as the student has an undergraduate degree in accounting.

Resident Tuition: $7,992
Non-Resident Tuition: $29,052
Accrediting Bodies: SACS
Accolades: Ranked #89 among the Best Regional Universities (South) by U.S. News and World Report.

#10. University of Maryland-University College

M.S. in Accounting in Financial Management

UMUC Online M.S. in Accounting and Financial Management

Total: 5

Affordability-4
Accreditation-1
Accolades-0

UMUC is the online education arm of the Maryland State University system. UMUC is one of the earliest online campus initiatives to surface among public universities, though the idea of public online colleges is becoming more and more common. The program is designed to provide students the necessary credits to sit for the CPA exam in most states assuming that the student has a bachelor’s in accounting.

Resident Tuition: $16,488
Non-Resident Tuition: $23,724
Accrediting Bodies: MSCHE
Accolades: N/A

#9. Davenport University

MBA in Accounting

Davenport University MBA in Accounting

Total: 6

Affordability-5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-0

The MBA with Accounting Concentration at Davenport University is designed for flexibility in regard to scheduling and purpose. Those holding a bachelor’s degree in accounting seeking a program that will qualify them to sit for the CPA exam may take a specialized track within the accounting concentration. Those who simply seek an MBA with accounting focus and are not interested in becoming a CPA may take the normal track. The normal track is a strong choice both for those with an undergraduate accounting degree looking for a business focused graduate degree, and those with a business degree looking to extend their education in business while focusing more intently on accounting.

Tuition: $19,908
Accrediting Bodies: NCACS
Accolades: N/A

#8. Texas A&M University-Commerce

Master of Science in Accounting

TAMU-Commerce MS in Accounting

Total: 6

Affordability-4
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

Texas A&M Commerce is a part of the distinguished Texas A&M University System. The school is highly regarded and offers a strong Master of Science in Accounting available both to those with an accounting background and those without. Those without an accounting background however will have to take foundation courses to ensure they get the most out of the degree program.

Resident Tuition: $9,920
Non-Resident Tuition: $22,556
Accrediting Bodies: SACS
Accolades: Ranked #148 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report

#7. Fitchburg State University

MBA in Accounting

Fitchburg State University Online MBA in Accounting

Total: 6 Points

Affordability-5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-0

The MBA in Accounting from Fitchburg State University is designed for students seeking to advance their career that are not interested in becoming a CPA. The program will provide students with a valuable understanding of both management, and accounting practices, and is primarily designed for those interested in management positions that benefit from an in depth understanding of accounting practices.

Tuition: $10,404
Accrediting Bodies: NEASC
Accolades: N/A

#6. Post University

Master of Science in Accounting

Post University Online MS in Accounting

Total: 7 Points

Affordability- 5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-1

Post University is one of the most respected, least expensive private for-profit universities offering programs online. This may have something to do with the school’s 120 year history, and the reputation that comes with such a history in the academic community. The school is established, and recognized for the quality of its online programs by national organizations. The MS in Accounting program is designed not only to provide the student with the required education credits to sit the CPA exam, it also integrates CPA exam preparation into the program so that students are prepared.

Tuition: $13,530
Accrediting Bodies: NEASC
Accolades: Ranked #91 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report

#5. SUNY Institute of Technology-Utica

M.S. in Accounting

The Master of Science in Accountancy degree program 

Total: 7 Points

Affordability-2
Accreditation-3
Accolades-2

The program at the SUNY IT at Utica was developed in response to the growing demand among accountants with bachelor’s degrees for graduate programs that would aid them in advancement in the accounting profession. The program is designed both to accomplish this, and to provide accountants with the necessary education credits to sit for the CPA exam. The program is one of only two programs on this list with an AACSB accredited online accounting program.

Resident Tuition: $18,740
Non-Resident Tuition: $33,360
Accrediting Bodies: MSACS, AACSB
Accolades: Ranked #109 among the Best Northern Regional Universities, #138 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs

#4. Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting

Liberty University Online M.S. in Accounting

Total: 8

Affordability-5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-2

Liberty University is a private evangelical Christian university that offers affordably priced online programs. Liberty is committed to instilling a sense of social responsibility, and ethics in its students that is sought after by companies, from small businesses to major corporations. The program can be completed in one to two years depending on the course load a student takes, it is designed to meet the education requirements of CPA exams in most states.

Tuition: $16,740
Accrediting Bodies: SACS
Accolades: Ranked #89 among the Best Regional Universities (South), #122 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

#3. Saint Leo University

Master of Accounting

Saint Leo University Online Master of Accounting

Total: 8

Affordability-5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-2

This program is designed specifically for students seeking to sit for the CPA and CMA exams. Students will acquire an in depth understanding of all facets of the accounting field and be prepared to enter a position of leadership within the field upon graduation. The program is flexible, and one of the most affordable programs on our list for both in and out of state students.

Tuition: $14,688
Accrediting Bodies: SACS
Accolades: Ranked #55 among the Best Regional Universities (South), #106 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

#2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Master of Accounting

UAB Online Masters in Accounting

Total: 10 Points

Affordability-4
Accreditation-3
Accolades-3

UAB has been growing its stable of online programs over the course of the last couple years, and its brand new Masters of Accounting program is one of its best. The program is designed for flexibility, especially for resident students who may take courses in either a fully online or hybrid format. The school also runs events designed for accounting students that will help them secure employment in this growing field upon graduation. UAB also boasts one of the only online programs in the country that offers an AACSB accreditation, and out of those schools, it is certainly the most affordable.

Resident Tuition: $12,840
Non-resident Tuition: $29,148
Accrediting Bodies: NCACS, AACSB
Accolades: Ranked #152 among the Best National Universities

#1. University of South Dakota

Master of Professional Accountancy

USD Online Master of Professional Accountancy

Total: 10

Affordability-5
Accreditation-1
Accolades-4

The University of South Dakota is ranked nationally, and its online graduate business programs are some of the highest ranked programs on this list. Students can count on the solid reputation of a nationally ranked state school, and an incredibly low tuition which is the same for both resident and nonresident students. All of this combined with a very high ranking among online programs, and prospective students can rest assured; the University of South Dakota is the best affordable online graduate degree in accounting in the world.

Resident Tuition: $9446
Non-Resident Tuition: $19,994
Accrediting Bodies: NCACS
Accolades: Ranked #190 among the Best National Universities, and #27 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News and World Report