Masters in Accounting
What Do You Learn in a Masters in Accounting?
A Master of Accounting degree aims to provide students with more complete or expanded education in the area of accounting. Many students entering this program may have completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Others may have completed a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. The master’s program may allow these individuals to focus more of their skill on accounting. As a graduate program, students may have more options for electives or to select courses that interest them the most.
A master’s degree in accounting may provide individuals with access to new skills they do not have. It may allow them to learn a deeper level of insight into this field. Often, organizations want their employees to have a master’s degree and even sometimes a PhD, which is a step further in education in this field.
A graduate degree in accounting may include a wide range of topics through various courses. This may include financial planning, consulting services, risk management skills, and auditing and assurance. Students may wish to gain insight that is particularly interesting to them or their chosen career path. For example, some courses may be necessary for those who wish to work in government agencies or non-profit organizations. Other courses prepare students for the complexities of the corporate world.
It’s important to note that a Master in Accounting does not lead specifically to a license as a Certified Public Accountant. However, some courses and the degree itself may help some people meet the requirements of that educational path (this is not the case in all situations). For those who wish to become a CPA, then, it is important to compare coursework and credit hours to the state’s specific licensing requirements.
Featured Online Programs in Accounting
Top 25 Schools Graduating Students with a masters in Accounting
According to NCES, these are the top 25 graduating schools across the U.S. based on the number of individuals graduating from each program in 2020.
|College / University||Graduates||Acceptance Rate|
|The University of Texas at Dallas||275||79.00%|
|Southern New Hampshire University||264||88.00%|
|The University of Texas at Austin||264||32.00%|
|Western Governors University||264||N/A|
|University of Phoenix-Arizona||246||N/A|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||230||23.00%|
|Florida Atlantic University||218||63.00%|
|CUNY Bernard M Baruch College||204||43.00%|
|The Pennsylvania State University||193||76.00%|
|University of Utah||177||62.00%|
|University of Missouri-Columbia||173||81.00%|
|University of Massachusetts-Amherst||162||64.00%|
|University of Houston||153||65.00%|
|University of Georgia||149||45.00%|
|Colorado State University-Global Campus||139||99.00%|
|Texas A & M University-Commerce||136||43.00%|
|Michigan State University||130||71.00%|
|University of Kansas||128||93.00%|
|Texas Tech University||124||69.00%|
|Wake Forest University||121||30.00%|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||117||45.00%|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus||114||92%|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||113||54.00%|
Accounting Courses May Include
Here is a look at some of the courses commonly found in a graduate program for accounting .
In this course, students typically learn how the events of business affect financial statements. Topics covered may include accounting in decision making, accounting recording procedures, and analytical tools for accounting. How to read and interpret financial statements may also be a part of this course.
This course usually covers the aspects of managerial accounting. Topics may include preparing and using financial information for planning, cost classifications, and profit planning. The course may also look into measuring performance product and service costing and methods.
This is typically an in-depth course in financial accounting topics. Topics covered may include valuation of inventories, intangible assets, and revenue recognition. Transitioning from US GAAP to IFRS is usually also covered.
Tax Planning and Decision Making
This course typically includes beginning insights into common tax regulations. Corporate and partnership taxation are topics sometimes covered in this course. Fundamentals of tax planning, taxation of sole proprietorships, and tax treatments of fringe benefits are also topics usually covered.
Accounting for Governmental and Non-Profits
The main concept of this course is often focused on learning the role of accounting in achieving an organization’s strategic goals. Corporate governance and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are major topics typically. How management auditors and committees are to work together may also be covered.
Financial Statement Analysis
In this course students typically learn to interpret and analyze the information on a financial statement. The different types of financial statements and how to evaluate them is also usually covered. Traditional ratio analysis and SEC reporting may also be topics.
- Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a masters in Accounting
Find Funding for a Masters in Accounting
The cost of completing a graduate degree may be high for some people. NCES found that, from 2017 to 2018, the average cost for a public institution tuition for a master’s degree program was $18,947. This may be prohibitive to some people to pay out-of-pocket. However, there are funding options that may be able to help some students cover those costs. Each situation is unique, but some of the options for paying for a master’s degree include the following.
Scholarships are a type of funding option for some master’s degree programs. When available and approved, they do not require students to repay them. Learn more about available scholarships for a master’s degree in accounting to determine if you may qualify for this type of funding.
Who Can Apply: This award is available for currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who are African American (black) or of African descent and are active members of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.3 or higher and a major grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Deadline: December 15
A federal loan is a type of loan backed by the U.S. federal government. Several types exist, each with different requirements and lending opportunities. There are fewer options for graduate students compared to undergraduate students, but numerous options may be available to some. Each loan program has different requirements that students need to meet to borrow these funds.
Some of the options that may be available to students include the following types of federal loans:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are typically available to graduate schools and professional students. Unlike direct subsidized loans, which are made available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, direct unsubsidized loans usually do not have a need based requirement. More students may be eligible for them.
- Direct PLUS Loans: These are loans typically made available to professional or graduate level students. They are designed to pay for educational expenses that are typically not paid for through other loans. Eligibility for these loans is not based on financial need, though. However, some require a credit check to be performed, and borrowers may not qualify without meeting other requirements in some cases.
- Direct Consolidation Loans: These loans may enable a student to combine all of their undergraduate and graduate level federal debt into one new loan. This consolidation loan is typically provided after a student completes their education.
Be sure to learn all of the eligibility requirements before making the decision to apply for these loans.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans are another option that some graduate students may wish to consider. These loans come from non-government organizations, including private banks and other financial institutions. Because they are not government-backed, the terms and conditions for borrowers differ from one loan to the next. Graduate students often benefit from carefully considering these terms to determine if these loans are a good idea for their specific needs.
For those considering private student loans to cover the cost of a master’s degree in accounting, it may be important to consider the following details about each one before making the decision to apply:
- Credit score requirements, if any
- Income requirements, if any
- Repayment terms (when do payments begin?)
- Interest rates including whether they are fixed or variable
- Whether the loan may be deferred, consolidated, or otherwise reworked during the loan term
- The amount available to borrow
- Any GPA or other requirements to students
Is investment fund manager a good career?
An investment fund manager is a person who works to plan, direct, and coordinate the investment strategy for individual investors or for institutional investors. This multi-faceted career path may include working to create a strategy for managing a large pool of liquid assets to achieve earning goals created by the organization. This fund manager may work to manage investment funds to grow the underlying value of their clients’ portfolios. They may also select specific investments to purchase for the fund and monitor the financial performance of those.
To complete this type of work, a person typically needs to have analytical or scientific software skills and work with other types of software, including database user interfaces, financial analysis software, and presentation software. They also may need to have good active listening, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
Their detailed work often includes directing financial operations for their organization, approving expenditures, implementing process of policy change, and developing policies or programs for the organization as a whole. They may also analyze forecasting data to improve business decisions.
This type of work typically requires a master’s degree and sometimes a Ph.D, if the employer requires it. Individuals typically need to have extensive skill and knowledge, as well as experience to work in some positions within this field. There is little on-the-job education provided with many employers expecting individuals to have the necessary skills to do the job when hired.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
2020 Median Salary for an Investment Fund Manager
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the following salaries were the median for those working as an investment fund manager in 2020:
|North Dakota||$127,320||New Hampshire||$121,770|
Is financial quantitative analyst a good career?
A financial quantitative analyst works to develop quantitative techniques with the goal of those techniques informing those working in security investing, valuation, or pricing of financial instruments. To do this type of work, they typically develop mathematical or statistic models for various goals such as asset optimization, relative value analysis, risk management, or pricing.
These individuals typically provide application support to others, including traders and researchers on valuations or other data. They may research and develop tools for this type of analysis work that may enable improvement of portfolio construction, attribution, or for profit and loss statements, among others. Some maintain and modify financial analytic models that are already in use as well.
To do this type of work, financial quantitative analysts typically need to have skills with various types of software, including data base user interface, analytical or scientific software, presentation software, enterprise resource planning ERP software, and other forms. They also need critical thinking, complex problem solving, and decision making skills as well.
The day-to-day tasks as a financial quantitative analyst may include applying mathematical models of financial or business conditions, develop business or financial information systems, and advise others on analytical techniques. They may also work with others in the industry to coordinate business operations. Some analysts also work to assess the cost effectiveness of projects, products, and services.
In terms of education, most individuals working in this field typically need to have at least a master’s degree or a PhD. They may also need to have some experience in the field, with some employers requiring 5 years of experience for key positions. Some employers may provide on-the-job learning.
2020 Median Salary for Financial Quantitative Analyst
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those working as a financial quantitative analyst in 2020 earned the following, by state, as their median income:
|North Dakota||$77,640||New Hampshire||$83,400|