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Working professionals in accounting who want to enhance their careers with a master’s in taxation know what they want, and they know why they want it. That also means they have certain priorities, one of which is cost. After all, most adult students are paying their own way, so looking for a lower-cost master’s in taxations makes sense. It’s important to make sure that the most affordable master’s in taxation is also one of the best. 

It’s understandable that you’d like to save money on a masters in taxation. However, you also want to get a quality education that helps you find well-paying jobs because you’re backed by an education from a quality institution. One of your options to save money on your degree is to take classes online. However, when looking for the cheapest online masters in taxation, make sure the school’s program is accredited, offers work-study opportunities and that the school itself is well-regarded. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Master’s in Taxation Programs

Cost isn’t everything, when it comes to getting a degree – if no one will hire you, it doesn’t matter how much you paid. That’s why Great Business Schools researches only trusted, accredited colleges and universities for the Most Affordable rankings. For the ranking order, though, cost is the priority, presenting programs from lowest to highest tuition cost according to current IPEDS data. 

1. Baruch College

baruch college

Baruch College Zicklin Business School offers an MS in Taxation that is ranked among the most affordable masters in taxation programs. This graduate degree in taxation includes classes like corporate taxation, estates and trusts, international taxation, financial planning, real estate taxation, and deferred compensation, among others. Business programs offered by Baruch College are accredited by AACSB. Students have the option of applying credit hours earned towards their CPA license requirements mandated by NY State. Part-time students complete this master’s taxation course in 2 years, with summer courses. Full-time students can complete this program in 1 to 1.5 years.

Baruch College was established in 1919 as a member school of the City University of New York (CUNY). The college’s campus in Gramercy Park (Manhattan) is home to more than 18,100 students. 

Highlight: Bernard M Baruch, a statesman, and a financial wizard, is honored by the college’s name.

Degree: Taxation, MS 

2. California State University, Fullerton

cal state fullerton 1

California State University, Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Taxation that is dually accredited by AACSB. CSUF’s most affordable masters in taxation program requires degree candidates to complete 30 semester credits to graduate. Coursework for Cal State Fullerton’s graduate taxation degree includes accounting ethics, tax research and practice, seminar in the taxation of flow-through entities, and estate, gifts, and taxes, to name a few. This program may only be open to those students with a classified MCBE status.

California State University Fullerton was founded in 1957. CSUF boasts the largest student enrollment of all California State member schools. CSUF’s urban campus covers more than 200 acres and serves more than 40,000 students.

Highlight: California State University Fullerton is recognized as a higher learning Hispanic-serving institution. 

Degree: Taxation, MS 

3. California State University, Northridge

csu northridge

California State University, Northridge offers an MS in Taxation that is accredited by the AACSB. According to many college ranking sources, California State University Northridge’s graduate taxation program is recognized among the most affordable masters in taxation program. CSUN’s master’s in taxation degree will allow students to meet the licensing requirements for CPAs in California. Students have the opportunity to complete this program in about 18 months, which is delivered through a cohort format throughout the degree. Students enrolled at CSUN can partake in the academic activities at the Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation.

California State University Northridge was established in 1958 as San Fernando State College. The school’s suburban campus in Northridge serves more than 38,200 students. CSUN is home to the National Deafness Center. 

Highlight: California State University Northridge boasts an alumni association of more than 325,000.

Degree: Taxation, MS 

4. Florida Atlantic University

florida atlantic fau 1

Florida Atlantic University College of Business offers a Master of Tax (MTX) degree that has received accreditation from the AACSB. FAU’s most affordable masters in taxation program requires students to complete 10 courses for a total of 30 semester credits. Classes for this graduate taxation degree include concepts of federal income tax, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, business communications, and tax research, among others. Students graduate with professional competence in taxation, tax policy, and the responsibilities of a taxation professional today. Admission to this program is considered highly selective.

Florida Atlantic University was established in 1961. FAU operates several campuses in South Florida – in Dania Beach, Jupiter, Fort Pierce, Davie, and Ft. Lauderdale. The school’s urban campus in Boca Raton serves more than 30,100 students. 

Highlight: the university’s campus is built upon what was once an army airfield.

Degree: Master of Tax 

5. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

indiana purdue indianapolis iupui

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Kelley School of Business offers a Master of Science degree in Taxation (MST) that is considered among the state’s most affordable masters in taxation programs. Students graduate from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis’ graduate taxation degree program to find rewarding work as financial analysts, tax advisors, systems analysis, consultants, and controllers, to name a few. Classes included in IUPUI’s taxation degree include taxation, corporate taxation, tax research, international taxation, gift taxes, taxes of tax-exempt organizations, S corporation taxation, advanced taxation, and taxation of LLCs and partnerships, among others. 

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis was founded in 1969. IUPUI’s status as a core campus of IU offering degrees from Purdue University meets the needs of over 30,000 students each year. IUPUI offers more than 200 academic degrees. 

Highlight: Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis’ campus sits on a peninsula, alongside downtown.

Degree: Taxation, MS 

6. SUNY College at Old Westbury

suny old westbury

SUNY College at Old Westbury offers an MS in Taxation that is considered among the most affordable masters in taxation programs by BestSchools.com. Old Westbury’s graduate degree in taxation is accredited by the AACSB – Busines Education Alliance.  Coursework for this taxation degree includes corporate taxes, cost accounting, calculus, gift taxation, liquidations, multi-state taxation, international taxation, and tax research, to name a few. Taxation degree candidates must complete 30 semester credits to meet the program’s mandates.

SUNY Old Westbury was founded in 1965. The College at Old Westbury is a member school of the State University of New York System. The college’s suburban campus in stately Old Westbury serves more than 4,900 students. 

Highlight: SUNY College at Old Westbury holds the distinction of being the only liberal arts college that is not private.

Degree: Taxation, MS 

7. University of Washington

u washington logo

The University of Washington Foster School of Busines offers an MS in Taxation that is recognized as the oldest of graduate taxation programs in the Pacific Northwest. The University of Washington’s graduate degree in taxation requires the completion of 51 semester credits. Coursework for UDUB’s most affordable masters in taxation programs includes corporate taxation, communication for tax professionals, international taxation, property ownership tax issues, and procedural and policy issues, among others. Students applying without a current business degree may need to meet certain program prerequisites. This taxation degree program is offered in an accelerated format that is completed in 9 months or 3 semester quarters.

The University of Washington (UDUB) was established in 1861. The university is a space-grant and sea-grant institution of higher education that serves more than 15,900 students each year. UDUB is home to one of the largest library systems within a university. 

Highlight: The University of Washington operates several campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma, Washington.

Degree: Taxation, MS 

8. Weber State University

weber state u

Weber State University offers a Master of Taxation (MTax) that is considered among the state’s most affordable masters in taxation programs. Students graduating from Weber State’s graduate degree program will have met the licensing requirements as set forth by the Utah Certified Public Accountant Licensing (CPA) Act. Students find rewarding careers in private industry, nonprofit organizations, government agencies for-profit entities, and academia.

Weber State University was established in 1889 as an academic academy that was once affiliated with the LDS Church. Weber State was elevated to a junior college in 1933. The university’s urban campus in Ogden serves more than 26,500 students vying for the academic degrees offered by the university’s seven colleges/schools. 

Highlight: Weber State has led the pioneering efforts for the Utah System of Higher Education online platform creation.

Degree: Master of Taxation

9. Florida Gulf Coast University

florida gulf coast

Florida Gulf Coast University offers an MS in Taxation and Accounting that is considered one of the most affordable masters in taxation programs in Florida. This AACSB-accredited graduate degree program in taxation offers one concentration in analytics and requires the completion of 30 semester credits. Coursework for this program includes data mining, big data, business analytics, special topics in taxation, tax research, law and business, estate and gift taxes, business intelligence and visualization, to name a few.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) was established in 1991. FGCU is a space-grant and member school of the Florida State University system with a student enrollment that exceeds 14,900 students studying for degrees offered by FGCU’s six colleges/schools. 

Highlight: Florida Gulf Coast University operates several campuses in Punta Gorda, Naples, and Fort Meyers, FL.

Degree: Accounting and Taxation, MS 

10. University of Mississippi

u mississippi

The University of Mississippi Patterson School of Accountancy offers a Master of Taxation degree that is approved by the AACSB-International. Ole Miss’s most affordable masters in taxation program requires the completion of 30 credit hours over a twelve month period. Students enrolled in Ole Miss’s taxation degree program will also receive a 3 credit CPA review class. Coursework for this degree includes corporate income tax, international accounting, data modeling, taxation of partnerships, accounting theory, managerial accounting, tax research, auditing, and business intelligence, to name a few.

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was established in 1848. Ole Miss is a space-grant and sea-grant institution of higher learning that is also Mississippi’s largest student enrollment campus. 

Highlight: The University of Mississippi was front and center during the 1962 civil rights riots, which became an integrated school a year later.

Degree: Master of Taxation

How Do I Save Money on a Master’s in Taxation?

Many educational institutions offer some of the cheapest masters in taxation online, but may not provide a masters program that meets national standards. Consider spending a little more money instead of seeking out the cheapest masters in taxation degree program. You don’t have to go with the most expensive masters in taxation program, but you may find the cheapest program doesn’t cover your educational needs.

One option for saving money is to take an accelerated degree program. An accelerated masters in taxation program compresses the amount of time spent in the classroom, whether it be online or in-person, and helps you save on the cost of tuition. A masters degree requires anywhere from 36 to 54 credit hours for completion. You could complete the degree in three semesters if you maximize your credit hours every semester and attend year-round. Eliminating a semester of attendance helps you save on costs associated with attending the school. The school may also offer a reduced tuition for students who want to attend an accelerated course. 

What Kinds of Taxation Masters Degree Should I Get?

There are three types of taxation degrees available, and they all have a different focus in terms of the career you begin after earning the degree. They are known as the masters of taxation in science (MS in tax), the masters in business administration (MBA), and the master of laws in taxation (LLM). Getting one of these masters degrees in taxation affords you the opportunity to work solely on taxation issues or combine different disciplines with the focus on tax law. Which one you ultimately earn is dependent on your goals and existing education. Here’s a look at the different types of masters degrees in taxation:

Masters of Science in Taxation

The masters of science in taxation focuses entirely on the understanding and application of U.S. tax law. You learn the ins and outs of tax law, how the IRS operates, and interpreting vagueness in tax law. A masters in taxation program also teaches you how to understand a tax problem and how to solve it, defending your decision to the IRS, and protecting your client’s financial interests while finding ways to reduce their tax liabilities. This degree is focused solely on taxation laws and their application although you do have the option to take CPA classes and sit for the CPA exam. 

Masters of Business Administration in Taxation

The masters of business administration in taxation, or MBA in taxation, is a broader program than the masters of science in taxation. As the name suggests, the MBA in taxation provides an education in business administration and management. That includes learning how to understand financial records and taxes. Getting an MBA in taxation means you spend more time focusing on tax law and how it affects businesses. A student specifically learns about tax law for businesses, how to apply the law to reduce tax liabilities and make sure that the tax filings are correct and true. The role of someone with an MBA in taxation is to protect the business against an audit by the IRS, use all allowable deductions, find credits and use them, and ensure that the company is legally able to use said deductions and credits. 

Masters in Laws in Taxation 

The masters in laws in taxation (LLM) is the most specialized of the masters degrees in taxation. It’s s designed for lawyers who have earned their JD and have experience practicing the law. The LLM program teaches students about tax laws and their application. It offers lawyers the opportunity to specialize in tax law, become an enrolled agent if they so desire, and combine their legal experience with tax law. A lawyer who earns an LLM can expand their career options and increase their earning potential. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Taxation? 

The field of tax studies falls under the accountants and auditors category in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for this role is $71,550. However, it should be noted that the salary is for someone who has a bachelors degree. The average masters in taxation salary can be higher depending on the geographical region you live in, competition for the role, and experience. You can expect to earn less upon graduation, but the masters in taxation salary scales with experience and you can find yourself earning a higher than average salary within a few years of graduation. 

Related Rankings:

25 Best Master’s in Taxation Degree Programs

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10 Fastest Online Master’s in Taxation Degrees