The 10 Best Online MBAs in Accounting Degree Programs

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Continuing a trend of the last decade (at least), the MBA remains the popular graduate degree in the US. First, of course, is its applicability: every line of work needs business-savvy professionals, whether for technical or managerial needs, and the MBA carries an excellent return-on-investment record. Second, MBAs tend to be highly flexible to fit the schedules of working professionals and adult learners. While some students pursue an MBA right out of college, the majority of MBA candidates have at least 5 years of professional work experience (and many programs require 3-5 years of work experience for admission).

The other major advantage of the MBA is its customizability. Most programs offer several concentrations, and among those Accounting ranks next to Finance and Management as the most popular. In general, this means a core MBA module, followed by 3-6 courses that specialize in accounting practices, often directed toward preparing students for CPA certification. Given the field’s evergreen status – the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment opportunities to grow 10% through the next decade – expect Accounting MBAs to maintain their popularity and prestige.

For your convenience, we’ve ranked the best online MBA degrees in Accounting, which offer the same academic rigor of traditional programs with the added benefit of increased flexibility and affordability. Keep reading to find the right online MBA in Accounting for your needs!

1) Liberty University

Founded in 1971, Liberty University is a private Christian school with 100,000 online students. As a global leader in distance education, all 250 of Liberty’s online programs are designed to accommodate working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students, including affordable tuition and flexible delivery models like hybrid, intensive, and blended. For transfer students, Liberty’s generous policy allows students to waive course work through previous academic credits, work/life experience, MOOC certifications, PLE examinations, military service, and/or portfolio work. Finally, Liberty’s low student-to-faculty ratio fosters an intimate learning community, with a third of classes consisting of fewer than 20 students.

Liberty offers an online MBA in Accounting that requires 45 credit hours, up to half of which can be transferred into the program to accelerate course work. In addition to 33 core credits, students complete courses in Advanced Cost Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Tax Research & Jurisprudence, and either Advanced Auditing or Advanced Financial Accounting Theory. Other classes include Strategic Marketing Management, Legal Issues in Business, Policy & Strategy in Global Competition, and Accounting for Decision Making. While the curriculum covers essential technical knowledge, students also learn best practices and develop skills like leadership, management, and critical thinking. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

2) Benedictine University

Founded in 1887, Benedictine University is a private Catholic university with a total enrollment of just under 6,000. Both U.S. News and Forbes have ranked Benedictine among the best colleges in the country, including high marks for the business school, and The Chronicle of Higher Education reported it was one of the fastest growing campuses in the country from 2003-2013. The 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports an intimate, tight-knit learning community with individualized instruction. Sixty-five percent of classes have less than 20 students and almost none have 50.

Benedictine offers an online MBA in Accounting that includes 16 courses, including concentration courses in Theory and Practice of Financial Report, Tax Influences on Decision Making, and Cost Analysis, Profit Planning and Control. Core credits include Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, Strategic Management, and Project Management. In addition to advanced technical studies, Benedictine’s MBA develops students’ real-world skills through capstone experiences, preparing them for careers at private organizations, large corporations, nonprofits, and consulting firms. Students on a traditional track complete the degree in 22 months, but the accelerated track allows you to earn an MBA in as little as 12 months. All courses are built for maximum flexibility to fit busy schedules. For those interested, concentrations are also available in Marketing Management, Internet Marketing, International Business, Health Care Administration, Financial Management, and Entrepreneurship & Managing Innovation.

3) Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University, founded in 1883, is a public university in Alabama with a total enrollment of 8,500. Ranked among the top overall universities in the nation, US News places it on lists for public schools in the South, national universities, and online universities. The 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a vibrant, dynamic learning community that combines individualized instruction, expert faculty, and collaborative education. Over 40% of classes have less than 20 students and just five percent have 50.

JSU offers an online MBA in Accounting that totals 33 credits, including concentration courses in Accounting Information Analysis, Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions, Business Policy & Strategy, International Business, Managerial Economics, Financial Management, Business Leadership, and Marketing Administration. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree through a variety of elective options. In addition to being one of the top business schools in the country according to Princeton Review, JSU’s program is highly affordable and has been accredited by the AACSB-International since 2003. For maximum flexibility, students can enroll full- or part-time, and the degree can be completed in as little as 18 months on an accelerated track. Support services include academic advising, tutoring, registration assistance, library services, and more.

4) University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest, founded in 1962, is a private Christian institution with an enrollment of about 1,100 students. US News ranks USW among the best colleges in the region and highlights several of its online programs. All programs are designed for maximum flexibility to fit the schedules of working professionals, adult learners, and other non-traditional students. With a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the university emphasizes small class sizes, personalized instruction by expert faculty, and collaborative learning opportunities. In addition to a top-notch financial aid policy, USW includes a variety of excellent student services, including online tutoring services, tech support, and learning platforms with group discussion boards, web conferencing technologies, live chat rooms, and more.

University of the Southwest offers a fully online MBA in Accounting that requires 36 credits. Core course credits include Leadership, Information Technology for Managers, Business Analytics and Econometrics, and Financial Planning & Investment Analysis, among others. From there, the Accounting specialization features studies in Accounting and Auditing Research, Internal Audit Theory and Practice, Small Business Accounting, Accounting and Professional Ethics, and a capstone in Accounting and Professional Ethics. Designed for students seeking a CPA certification, the accelerated program can be completed in as little as 14 months, and financial aid is available to all MBA candidates. The faculty is composed of experienced accounting professionals, covering key methodologies and techniques in addition to technical accounting concepts.

  • Tuition Per Credit: $544

5) Wilmington University

Founded in 1967, Wilmington University has a total enrollment of 15,000 students, a large percentage of which take online classes. In addition to rigorous academics, Wilmington emphasizes career-oriented teaching and personalized learning. Wilmington’s 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio is solid for a school of its size and helps to synthesize the best of both educational worlds: the extensive resources of a research institution with the small, intimate classroom experience of a liberal arts school. Over eighty percent of classes have less than 20 students and hardly any have 50.

Wilmington’s online MBA in Accounting features 36 credits. Core requirements include Organizational Behavior and Ethical Leadership, Managerial Accounting, Quantitative Business Analysis, Economic and Financial Environment of Business, Financial Management, Global Marketing Management, and Business Strategy. From there, Accounting candidates take classes in Advanced Managerial Accounting, Issues in Auditing and Assurance Services, Fraud Prevention and Forensic Accounting, International Accounting and Taxation, and Federal Taxation, Policy, and Research, among others. Designed for working professionals, the program is highly flexible, and courses deliver in accelerated 7-week blocks. In particular, the curriculum emphasizes executive skills development, quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, and managerial skills in a global business environment. It is accredited by the IACBE.

6) Brenau University

Brenau University, founded in 1878, has a total enrollment of about 2,900. In addition to rankings by Princeton Review and Chronicle of Higher Education, US News ranks Brenau among the best colleges in the South, with special recognition for veterans’ services and affordable tuition. The university’s 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a close-knit learning community that features individualized instruction by expert faculty and collaborative educational opportunities. Over eighty percent of classes have fewer than 20 students and almost none have 50. For students interested in tuition assistance, Brenau has an excellent financial aid record, as well.

Brenau’s online MBA in Accounting consists of 45 credit hours. Core classes include Integrated Business Operations, Management & Organizational Behavior, Business Law, Strategic Management & Policy, and Budgeting for Managers, among others. From there, accounting students have the opportunity to concentrate in either Public Accounting or Management Accounting. Example classes include Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services, Fraud Detection and Internal Control, Financial Statement and Business Analysis, and Corporate Risk Management Accounting. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers in public accounting, industry, government, and non-profits, and potential credentials include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

7) Southern New Hampshire University

Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a worldwide leader in distance education, with over 70,000 online students and 200 degrees. US News ranks Southern New Hampshire 1st in the nation for innovation, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, and New Hampshire Business Review have all recognized the university for EdTech efforts, as well. With a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, SNHU supports a dynamic, collaborative learning experience, featuring tailored instruction and expert faculty with years of online teaching under their belt. Over sixty percent of classes contain less than 20 students. For students interested in tuition assistance, SNHU has an excellent financial aid record and is ranked among the most affordable schools in the country.

Southern New Hampshire offers an online MBA in Accounting that includes classes in Marketing and Strategy, Government Impact on Business, Operations Management and Technology, Accounting and Financial Analysis, Leading in an Organization, and Ethics, Corporate Culture, and Social Responsibility. A capstone serves a culminating experience, giving students the chance to demonstrate mastery of material. In addition to working at some of the premier accounting firms in the nation, SNHU accounting graduates have occupied management-level roles at a variety of private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Courses deliver in accelerated 10-week blocks, and the degree can be completed in as little as 15 months. The program is accredited by both the NEASC and ACBSP, and neither the GMAT nor GRE are required for admission.

8) Concordia University

Founded in 1881, Concordia University Wisconsin is a private Christian institution with a total enrollment of 7,700. US News places CUW among the best colleges in the country, as well as highlighting its affordable tuition. The 11:1 student-to-faculty keeps classes small and intimate without sacrificing collaborative learning, and the university emphasizes bridging a liberal arts curriculum with project-based, experiential education. Over sixty percent of classes have fewer than 20 students and two percent have 50. For those interested in tuition assistance, Concordia also boasts a great financial aid record.

Concordia offers an online MBA in Accounting that consists of 39 credits. Core credits include Applied Statistical Methods, Business Foundations for Administrative Professions, Financial Analysis for Decision Making, and Corporate Finance, among others. From there, accounting MBAs take classes in Advanced Auditing, Global Production and Operations, Fraud Management, Systems Analysis and Design, Statutory Accounting, Mergers and Acquisitions Accounting, and more. Finally, all students are required to complete a 120-hour internship to gain real-world experience in the field. Designed to prepare students for the CPA exam, the program’s other objectives are to: differentiate accounting practices of governmental and not for-profit organizations; build skills in budgeting, cost-profit relationships, break-even analysis, and management planning; and develop an ethical decision-making framework.

9) Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a private Christian school that emphasizes flexible, affordable online education to accommodate working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students. Bellevue’s cutting-edge learning platform features a wide variety of educational tools, from 24/7 access to course materials to group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing. In addition, Bellevue offers a variety of delivery models – flex paths, MOOCs, course clusters, and accelerated cohorts – and the 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio promotes small class sizes and individualized instruction.

Bellevue offers an online MBA in Accounting that requires 36 credits, up to 30 of which can be transferred into the program. Core courses include Financial Reporting & Analysis, Human Capital & Organizational Performance, Strategy Innovation & Integration, and Operations & Logistics in the Value Chain, among others. Accounting students can tailor the degree through a range of accounting studies: among them, Advanced Accounting Problems, International Accounting, Financial Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, and an internship option. With an emphasis on hands-on, applied learning, Bellevue’s curriculum is developed by a board of advisors from a variety of business backgrounds. In addition to performing essential accounting skills, graduates of the program will be prepared to: assess business performance for strategic management; analyze human capital dynamics to enhance productivity, collaboration, and innovation; and apply analytical and ethical frameworks to business decisions.

10) University of Maryland – College Park

Founded in 1856, University of Maryland – College Park has a total enrollment of about 40,000, including 12,000 graduate students. US News ranks Maryland among the best colleges in the country for veterans, value, and overall academics; its online MBA program is ranked in the top 10. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Maryland classes combine a tight-knit educational setting with individualized instruction, collaborative learning, and world-class faculty. Nearly half of classes have fewer than 20 students, and less than 1 in 5 have 50.

Administered by the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Maryland’s online MBA in Accounting can be completed in as little as 24 months. Core courses include Corporate Finance, Managerial Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Ethical Leadership, and Operations Management, among others; accounting courses include The Impact of Taxation on Business Entities, Financial Planning and Control Systems for Managers and Consultants, and Fraud Examination, Detection, and Deterrence in the Business Environment. With an emphasis on experiential learning, the program feature a hands-on approach and combination of live online classes, on-campus residency requirements, and asynchronous delivery models. Further, with an alumni base of 60,000 worldwide, Maryland MBA graduates have access to a top-tier networking community. It is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl