8 Questions about Getting a Master's Degree in Accounting

Earning an online Master's Degree in Accounting can pave the way for lucrative careers in public and private positions. While a master's degree isn't required to work in accounting, it is required in most states to be designated as a Certified Public Accountant, and this designation is required for various accounting roles. Online accounting degree programs make it possible for students to earn their master's degrees with minimal, if any, time on actual campuses. Because of the flexibility of online courses, these are great options for students who need scheduling flexibility to continue their educations. The top three masters in accounting schools of 2017 are Auburn University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Connecticut, and it's important to ask the right questions when considering these programs and others. Read on for eight important questions to ask about getting a Master's Degree in Accounting.

How long does this online master's program take?

Always ask about the estimated duration of various master's programs. Each of our top three online programs can be finished within eight months to a year for students taking full course loads. However, most students who take online classes aren't full-time students.

Are all costs included in this university's online tuition fee?

Always ask whether tuition rates for online students include all the necessary expenses for online learning. For example, the University of Auburn's online tuition fee doesn't include costs for distance education fees, books and exam fees.

How much of this accounting degree coursework can be done online?

Most online master's degree programs for accounting can be completed almost entirely online. However, these master's programs usually require short residency periods to be served at the actual campuses. Each of our top three accounting schools requires campus visits of roughly one to two weeks.

Which resources are available for online students?

Most online programs for accounting degrees offer students all the same resources they'd have through traditional classes. This includes access to professors, career center assistance, business school counseling and more. Ask about this when comparing online accounting programs.

How are exams administered?

Students often have options when taking their exams for online master's degree programs. For example, Auburn University gives students the options of taking exams at local colleges and libraries, or tests can be administered by employers.

Which electives are available online?

While pursuing an online master's in accounting, students will also have opportunities to take several elective courses. Always find out about available electives to see which programs best match up with your desired career path. For example, the University of Connecticut's highly rated online master's program offers elective courses such as research for accounting professionals, forensic accounting, accounting and disclosures for not-for-profit entities and more.

Does this accounting master's program offer concentrations?

A concentration is an emphasis on a certain aspect of a profession. Sometimes, this is desirable for accounting students. Always ask about available concentrations, such as the University of North Caroline offering a focus in either tax or audit accounting.

Are accelerated programs available?

Want to expedite the acquisition of a master's degree? If you already have extensive educational credentials in accounting, then you may be eligible for accelerated courses. Each college offers different accelerated programs, and some don't offer accelerated coursework. Ask about this when comparing your options.

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