Master’s in taxation careers are worth it for students who want to work in the field of tax law, but don’t want to become a lawyer or an accountant. It’s an alternative career to these roles, but you can decide to take classes for the CPA exam and become a CPA with a focus in tax law. Working lawyers can also earn the legal version of the masters in taxation, known as an LLM, and become a legal tax specialist. Another career avenue exists in the form of the enrolled agent with the IRS. The enrolled agent certification gives you the ability to defend clients in front of the IRS and help them resolve their tax issues. An enrolled agent does not have to be an attorney by training, but a lawyer can add this certification and use their education and knowledge on behalf of clients in need.
An online masters in taxation program offers advantages that you might not get when attending a physical campus. Masters in taxation online programs are flexible, can take less time out of your day for attendance and allow you to save money on getting a masters degree. Online masters in taxation programs offers working professionals and students who are starting a career the opportunity to attend school at their own pace.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Master’s in Taxation Programs
Great Business Schools editors want prospective master’s in taxation students to get the most out of their education, so we feature only accredited, legitimate institutions offering hybrid and online graduate programs. Schools are ranked according to data from IPEDS and Niche, including tuition rate, student satisfaction, and salary potential.
1. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California Leventhal School of Accounting offers a Master of Business Taxation that is one of the best online masters in taxation programs in the nation. Coursework for Southern Cal’s includes income tax of corporations, tax theory & ethics, communication for tax professionals, property transaction taxation, tax research, advanced partnership taxation, among others, – for a total of 30 semester credits. In addition to the regular coursework, students receive training through guest lectures, interactive activities, and case studies, to name a few.
The University of Southern California (Southern Cal/USC) was established in 1880. This private institution of higher learning is the oldest research university in Los Angeles county. More than 48,300 students attend classes offered by Southern Cal.
Highlight: Southern Cal’s athletics have won more than 100 NCAA championships.
Degree: Taxation, MB
2. Boston University
The School of Law at Boston University offers a Master of Laws in Taxation Law that is recognized among the top ten best online masters in taxation programs in the country by US News & World Report. BU’s graduate degree in taxation requires the completion of 24 semester credits to graduate. Students can complete this degree studying online full-time for three semesters, with part-time options available. Classes for BU’s taxation degree program include partnership Tax, Federal Income Tax, Comparative Income Taxation, Consolidated Corporations, Introduction to Corporate Tax, Tax Practice, & Procedure, to name a few.
Boston University was established in 1839. BU maintains an affiliation with the Methodist Church. More than 34,100 students attend classes offered by the university’s 18 colleges/schools.
Highlight: Boston University’s main campus is located in the Back-Bay section of Boston along the Charles River.
Degree: Taxation Law, ML
3. Bentley University
Bentley University offers an MS in Taxation degree program that is one of the largest taxation programs in the United States. Bentley’s best online masters in taxation programs prepare degree candidates for careers in wealth management, accounting. Corporate tax departments or international accounting firms. Classes for this degree include professional tax practice, corporations & shareholders, federal taxation of income, multi-jurisdictional taxation, pass-through entities, transactions, and mergers and acquisitions, plus an academic internship in taxation. Coursework for Bentley’s tax degree can be applied toward the CPA licensing requirements in Massachusetts and other states.
Bentley University was established as an accounting school in 1917 in downtown Boston. The university’s suburban campus in Waltham serves more than 5,400 students. US News recognizes Bentley among the top master’s universities in the country.
Highlight: Bentley University began conferring 4-year academic degrees in 1961 and made a move to Waltham in 1968.
Degree: Master of Taxation
4. University of Denver
The University of Denver College of Law offers a Master of Taxation degree that allows degree candidates to study alongside Juris Doctor candidates. DU’s best online masters in taxation programs offer students a nationwide job placement service, plus the ability to earn a degree in one year as a full-time student. Classes for this taxation master’s degree includes civil & criminal tax procedure, corporate taxation, tax principles, partnership taxation, and property taxation & transaction, among others. This degree offers two tracks – Estate Planning or Corporate Taxation.
The University of Denver was established as a seminary in 1864 when Denver had just been a mining town. More than 12,700 students attend classes offered by DU’s thirteen colleges, schools. DU’s campus is located a few miles from downtown Denver.
Highlight: In 2012, the University of Denver was honored by hosting the first of several presidential debates.
Degree: Master of Taxation
5. DePaul University
DePaul University Driehaus College of Business/Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers a Master of Science degree in Taxation (MSTAX) that can be completed entirely online. Coursework for DePaul University’s best online masters in taxation programs includes corporations & shareholders, tax research, federal income tax procedures, tax accounting, periods and methods, and current taxation problems. Total coursework for DePaul’s taxation degree is 46 semester credits. The AACSB accredits degrees offered by DePaul’s College of Business. Prerequisite courses for this degree include an intro to tax and principles of accounting.
DePaul University was established as a Vincentian higher learning institution in 1907. The university’s campuses in Chicago – at the Loop and Lincoln Park – serves more than 22,100 students.
Highlight: DePaul University seeks to education first generation college students or students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Degree: Taxation, MS
6. Villanova University
Villanova University Widger School of Law offers a Master of Taxation that is considered among the commonwealth’s best online masters in taxation programs. Required coursework for Villanova’s graduate degree in taxation includes professional practice, partnership taxation, a survey of tax, taxation of corporations & shareholders, business life cycle tax issues, and wealth tax, plus an academic internship with the IRS or other financial firm, among others. Degree candidates enrolled in Villanova’s graduate tax program are required to complete 30 semester credits to graduate.
Villanova University was established in 1842. Villanova is affiliated with the Augustinian Roman Catholic Church. The school’s campus in Villanova covers more than 250 suburban acres and serves more than 6,300 students.
Highlight: The university is named to honor Saint Thomas of Villanova. Villanova is the oldest of all Catholic schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Degree: Master of Taxation
7. Yeshiva University
The Yeshiva University Syms School of Business offers a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree program that is available entirely online. Students enrolled in Yeshiva University’s best online masters in taxation programs must complete 30 semester credits. Classes for this graduate degree in taxation includes tax practice & procedure, taxation of flow-through entities, federal income taxation, research taxation topics, and local & state taxation, to name a few. Prerequisites for this degree include federal income taxation I & II. Eligible transfer credits must have been earning at an accredited AASB institution of higher learning.
Yeshiva University was established in 1886. Yeshiva University is affiliated with the Modern Orthodox Judaism movement. More than 3,000 students attend class at Yeshiva, with an academic staff that exceeds 4,500.
Highlight: Yeshiva University is home to students of all faiths.
Degree: Taxation, MS
8. Stetson University
Stetson University School of Business Administration offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) with an academic tax track that can be completed entirely online. Tax track classes for Stetson’s University’s best online masters in taxation programs include tax research, not-for-profit accounting, advanced auditing, taxation of corporations, taxation of partnerships, and cases in financial accounting, to name a few. Stetson’s MAcc program has the best CPA exam pass rate for Florida advanced degreed test-takers. Students graduate from this tax program to find rewarding careers in human resources, financial analysis, accounting, financial regulation, or government compliance, to name a few.
Stetson University was founded as an academy in 1883. Stetson University is organized into four colleges/schools that serve more than 4,100 students. Stetson maintains a religious affiliation with the Southern Baptist/Protestant institution of higher education.
Highlight: The school’s name was changed to Stetson University to honor a significant benefactor, hat manufacturer, John Stetson.
Degree: Tax, MA
9. Liberty University
Liberty University offers an MS in Accounting (MSA) with an academic track in taxation that is available 100% online. Liberty’s best online masters in taxation programs require the completion of 30 semester credits, which can be completed in only 12 months. This graduate degree in taxation has received accreditation from the ACBSP. Classes for LU’s online tax degree include estates, trusts, and gift taxation, advanced cost accounting, and tax research, and jurisprudence, to name a few. Classes required by LU can be applied towards meeting the CPA (Certified Public Account) requirements.
Liberty University was founded as a Baptist College in 1971. Liberty University is an evangelical higher learning institution with a student enrollment that exceeds 100,000 – with 90% studying for degrees online.
Highlight: Liberty University’s first distance learning program began in 1985.
Degree: Accounting: Taxation, MS
10. New York University
New York University offers a Master of Studies in Law in Taxation (MSL) that can be completed entirely online as a full-time or part-time student. Students can complete this tax degree in two years, full-time or up to five years as part-time students. Applicants for NYU’s best online masters in taxation programs must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited higher learning institution plus have a minimum of three years of professional experience. Prior to graduation, students must submit a final written culminating project addressing a topical policy or tax law topic.
New York University was established in 1831. The university operates campuses throughout the globe in the US, China, Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Australia, and Israel, among others. More than 50,800 students attend classes offered by NYU.
Highlight: NYU is a feeder school for those seeking employment in NYC and Wall Street.
Degree: Taxation, MSL
11. Golden Gate University
Golden Gate University offers an MS in Taxation that prepares students for careers in the big four accounting firms. Golden Gate University’s best online masters in taxation programs require the completion of 30 semester credits to graduate. Coursework for this graduate degree in taxation includes accountant professional responsibility, financial accounting, tax timing, federal tax procedure, tax research & decision making, and federal income taxation of partners and corporations, among others. Degree candidates are encouraged to participate in an experiential internship.
Golden Gate University was established in 1901 as an evening college by the YMCA. The university’s urban campus in San Francisco’s financial district is home to more than 5,100 students vying for degrees offered by Golden Gate’s five colleges/schools.
Highlight: Golden Gate’s online system uses the learning platform known as Moodle.
Degree: Taxation, MS
12. Suffolk University
Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School offers an MS in Taxation (MST) degree program that can be completed as a part-time or a full-time or student online or on-campus. Suffolk University’s best online masters in taxation programs have received accreditation from the AACSB. Classes for Suffolk’s graduate degree in taxation include taxation of pass-through entities, mergers & acquisitions, taxation of estates and trusts, corporate taxation, tax research, graduate financial accounting, and federal taxation, plus a capstone course in tax compliance, among others.
Suffolk University was established in 1906. This private higher learning institution located in Boston is home to more than 7,100 students on its Beacon Hill Campus. Suffolk’s campus is adjacent to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the State House.
Highlight: The law school’s first cornerstone was laid by the Governor of Massachusetts, Calvin Coolidge.
Degree: Taxation, MS
13. University of Hartford
The University of Hartford Barney School offers an MS in Accounting and Taxation degree program that can be completed 100% online. The University of Hartford’s best online masters in taxation programs requires degree candidates to complete an academic internship and offers the possibility of meeting the 150-hour Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensing mandates. Classes for this graduate degree in taxation includes research in taxation, advanced taxation of pass-through entities, advanced corporation taxation, and a seminar in taxation, to name a few.
The University of Hartford was established in 1957 as a private institution of higher education dedicated to teaching art. The university’s suburban 300+-acre campus in West Hartford serves more than 6,600 students.
Highlight: One of the founding members of UHart was Mark Twain’s wife – Olivia Clemens.
Degree: Accounting and Taxation, MS
14. University of New Haven
The University of New Haven Pompea College of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) degree program in Taxation that is available to be completed 100% online. Classes for the University of New Haven’s best online masters in taxation programs include international taxation, partnership & LLC’s Income taxation, fundamentals of federal income taxation, property taxation transactions, tax-exempt organizations, advanced corporate income tax, plus a research project in federal income taxation, among others.
The University of New Haven was established in 1920 as a satellite facility of Northeastern University in Boston. The university’s 120+-acre campus is adjacent to the Long Island Sound and home to more than 6,800 students.
Highlight: The Princeton Review recognizes the University of New Haven among the best universities in the northeastern United States.
Degree: Taxation, MS
15. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS in Accounting with an academic track in Taxation that can be completed entirely online. Students enrolled in SNHU’s best online masters in taxation programs must complete classes in advanced auditing, situational ethics in accounting, estate & gift taxation, business law, corporate financial management, managing through communication, tax research methodology, plus an accounting capstone in the taxation realm, to name a few.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was established in 1932 as a private higher learning institution. The university operates with an open enrollment policy that serves more than 90,000 students. SNHU is organized into six colleges/schools.
Highlight: Southern New Hampshire University operates several regional academic centers in addition to its robust online platform.
Degree: Accounting: Taxation, MS
Why Should I Get My Master’s in Taxation Online?
Students get the same education from an online master’s in taxation program as they do if they attend a campus. The teachers that instruct the campus-based classes also teach the online masters in taxation and offer the same accessibility to online students that on-campus students receive. Masters in taxation online programs require students to meet their deadlines for coursework, take tests, and pass all course criteria the same as a student attending a campus. Group work is often a feature of online masters in taxation programs and helps students collaborate with one another through the use of technology.
Many undergraduate degrees are made more valuable by adding a post-graduate degree for more qualifications. A student who has gone to school for business or CPA studies might discover they enjoy understanding the intricacies of the tax code, but has to start their career and has no time for a campus education. Getting a master’s in taxation online makes it easier to earn a master’s degree while starting a career or enhancing an existing one.
Is a Master’s in Taxation Worth It?
The average salary for an auditor and accountant is $71,550. A master’s in taxation is not strictly an auditor or accountant role, but the roles do overlap each other. Auditing and accounting skills learned in a master’s in taxation program are necessary for the role and can prepare you to work in either of these roles exclusively. The degree does not strictly limit you to working on taxation issues only. Instead, it enables you to step into a number of taxation related roles that suit your personality and earnings goals. Getting a master’s in taxation is worth it for those who enjoy the challenge of mastering the IRS tax code and helping clients or employers stay out of trouble with the IRS.
Do I Need to Take the GMAT to Get a Master’s in Taxation?
Not all masters in taxation programs require students to take the GMAT, but students should have an undergraduate degree that’s in line with the masters in taxation. A master’s in taxation online no GMAT program features classes that teach students advanced auditing skills, how to research the tax code, business law and corporate financial management. The classes in a master’s in taxation course are all advanced knowledge and require a solid base of experience and/or undergraduate class completion. Schools that don’t have a GMAT requirement may want to see student transcripts that show relevant undergraduate courses as part of admission requirements.
The GMAT is usually an admission requirement for the MBA and similar masters programs that have a strong focus in business education. The master’s in taxation is not a business-related degree even though it’s an important component of business management. The major difference for a masters in taxation from the MBA is the fact the degree is focused almost exclusively on understanding the IRS tax code, how to interpret and apply the code to a given tax issue and prevent costly errors.
Should you take the GMAT prior to earning your masters in taxation? There is no one answer to the question due to the fact that schools with good reputations don’t have it as a requirement. You are not limiting your selection of schools by not taking the GMAT. The GMAT is of importance to major employers who require the score as part of the application process. But if your ultimate career goal is to work for smaller firms or on your own, you may want to skip the GMAT in favor of attending a school that doesn’t require the test for entry.