2020 Best Graduate Schools Badge

25 Best Master's in Accounting Programs 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

We ranked the top 25 schools by median salary one year after college for students who graduated with a Master's Degree in Accounting. New York University tops the list with a starting salary of $74,900. #2 on the list, Seton Hall University, has a starting salary of $71,400 and a median debt of $20,500. University of Hartford Master’s in Accounting students graduate with $20,398 of student debt, the lowest median debt on the list. Starting median salaries for graduates from these schools range from $63,800-$74,900.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 New York (NY) New York (NY) $39,592 $34,701 $74,900
#2 #2 South Orange (NJ) South Orange (NJ) $34,328 $20,500 $71,400
#3 #3 San Francisco (CA) San Francisco (CA) $19,875 $47,072 $69,900
#4 #4 New Brunswick (NJ) New Brunswick (NJ) $34,182 $37,268 $67,900
#5 #5 Moraga (CA) Moraga (CA) $32,335 $40,804 $67,500
#6 #6 West Hartford (CT) West Hartford (CT) $15,202 $20,398 $67,200
#7 #7 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $33,984 $40,750 $67,100
#8 #8 College Park (MD) College Park (MD) $36,598 $58,931 $66,800
#9 #9 San Luis Obispo (CA) San Luis Obispo (CA) $21,257 $20,500 $66,700
#10 #10 Storrs (CT) Storrs (CT) $43,174 $20,757 $66,600
#11 #11 Amherst (MA) Amherst (MA) $33,750 $20,500 $66,400
#12 #12 Adelphi (MD) Adelphi (MD) $12,132 $45,813 $66,100
#13 #13 Bronx (NY) Bronx (NY) $23,950 $36,381 $65,900
#14 #14 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $23,985 - $27,359 $40,000 $65,900
#15 #15 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $39,126 $40,750 $65,300
#16 #16 San Francisco (CA) San Francisco (CA) $18,462 Not Reported $65,000
#17 #17 Lawrenceville (NJ) Lawrenceville (NJ) $18,594 $27,288 $64,800
#18 #18 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $37,484 $24,346 $64,600
#19 #19 New York (NY) New York (NY) $20,882 $21,275 $64,500
#20 #20 Springfield (MA) Springfield (MA) $17,550 $20,500 $64,400
#21 #21 Nashville (TN) Nashville (TN) $53,722 $51,000 $64,100
#22 #22 Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $64,666 $48,959 $64,000
#23 #23 Fairfield (CT) Fairfield (CT) $20,149 $25,674 $63,900
#24 #24 Bridgewater (MA) Bridgewater (MA) $8,793 Not Reported $63,900
#25 #25 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $40,078 $38,944 $63,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

New York (NY)
Median Salary $74,900
Median Debt $34,701
Annual Tuition $39,592

Through its highly regarded Stern School of Business, New York University offers a Master of Science in Accounting. This degree requires 30 credits and is an intensive, full-time on-campus program usually completed in one year. The degree program satisfies the educational requirement for New York CPA licensure. Admission into this, or any Stern School program is very competitive.

Students will learn responsibility, leadership, general accounting competencies and prepare for the CPA exam. The Stern School places a strong emphasis on global aspects of accounting and business, ethics in business, leadership, social responsibility and professional competence. Graduates are sought after; 91% of recent graduates had job offers within three months, and 67% went to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms.

The program's courses include Advanced Managerial Accounting, Professional Responsibility, Modeling Financial Statements, and Forensic Accounting and Financial Statement Fraud.

Stern is located in Manhattan, in the heart of the country's financial center. The school has strong connections with many accounting firms and corporations.

Visit New York University's website.

South Orange (NJ)
Median Salary $71,400
Median Debt $20,500
Annual Tuition $34,328

Seton Hall University offers two master's degrees in accounting at its Stillman School of Business: a Master of Science in Accounting (MSAC) and a Master of Science in Professional Accounting (MSPA). Both require 30 credits and both satisfy the 150 hour education requirement to sit for the CPA exam. The MSAC program is designed for students without a bachelor's degree in accounting and the MSPA is designed to prepare students with an accounting background for the CPA exam. Among the courses offered are Commercial Law, Cost Accounting, Financial Reporting, and Essentials of Federal Taxation.

The MSAC may be completed either on campus or online. Full-time students usually complete the degree in one year, and part-time students take two years. Students with no business background may be required to take one or two pre-qualifying classes. The MSPA degree is an on-campus program, which can be completed in one year of evening-only classes. In these programs, students will learn accounting competencies and prepare for the CPA exam in a context that strongly emphasizes ethics.

Located in South Orange, New Jersey, the school was founded in 1856. It is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the country.

Visit Seton Hall University's website.

San Francisco (CA)
Median Salary $69,900
Median Debt $47,072
Annual Tuition $19,875

San Francisco's Golden Gate University offers a very flexible Master of Science in Accounting. This 30-credit program is available on campus, as a hybrid campus/online program, and completely online. The program has the option to concentrate in taxation. The MSA degree has been designed for people wishing to change their careers. The program can be completed in as little as one year, but students working full-time may take a full two years.

Up to 6 credits of electives toward the 30 total credits may be awarded through approved internships. In the program, students will learn the principles of accounting, the importance of teamwork, communications and business ethics. The program emphasizes financial accounting and reporting, forensic accounting, internal auditing and management accounting. Courses include Property Taxation, Accounting Information Systems, Data Analytics for Accountants, and Tax Research and Decision Making.

GGU's location in San Francisco, the financial center of California, facilitates internships and employment opportunities. Founded in 1901, the university has developed long-term relationships with the city's financial community.

Visit Golden Gate University's website.

New Brunswick (NJ)
Median Salary $67,900
Median Debt $37,268
Annual Tuition $34,182

On its two campuses in New Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey, Rutgers University offers four highly ranked Master of Accounting degrees. They are in Financial Accounting, Government Accounting, Professional Accounting and Taxation. All four require 30 credits and may be completed in one year. All four will meet the 150 hour education requirement for the CPA exam. 90% of recent graduates have full-time employment within 6 months.

The Master of Accountancy in Financial Accounting is a hybrid program, geared toward students who have recently joined accounting firms and want to advance their career. The MAA in Government Accounting is 100% online.

The MAA in Professional Accounting is designed for people without an accounting background who want a career change; this degree may be done part-time. The MAA in Taxation is designed for working professionals and is often done part-time. These are on-campus programs with classes offered on both campuses.

The program covers many aspects of accounting in their programs. Professionalism, teamwork, and ethics are emphasized. Among the courses in these programs are Accounting in the Digital Era, Public Sector Auditing, Government Budgeting Systems, and Regulation of Tax Practice.

Founded in 1766, Rutgers is one of the oldest universities in the country.

Visit Rutgers University's website.

Median Salary $67,500
Median Debt $40,804
Annual Tuition $32,335

Through its School of Economics and Business Administration, St. Mary's College of California offers a Master of Science in Accounting. This is a hybrid degree; approximately half of the classes are online, with other classes held during evenings and on alternate Saturdays. Completion will satisfy the 150-hour education requirement to take the CPA exam. The degree can be completed in 15 months in its accelerated form for students with a bachelor's in accounting. The program will take 18 months for students who do not have an accounting background; these students must start in the spring term and complete intermediate-level accounting classes.

Students will learn the material required to achieve CPA licensure. The program's emphasis is on preparing students for accounting career success in both public and private institutions. Recent graduates report an average 45% salary increase. Courses in the program include Advanced Legal Environment of Business, Corporate Financial Reporting, Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting, and Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation.

St. Mary's is located in Moraga, east of Berkeley in the greater San Francisco urban area.

Visit Saint Mary's College of California's website.