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Degree Overview

Master of Science Accounting

Earn an online accounting master's degree, referred to as the Master of Science in Accounting or the Master of Accounting (MAcc), with WGU, a nonprofit and accredited university. Our online master's in accounting programs will give you the required knowledge and skills to prepare you for a successful career in public and private accounting. This program will help prepare you for the CPA exam and allows qualified students to meet the 150 semester hours required to sit for the CPA exam in most states.

*The program will also help prepare you for other professional exams such as the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) exam and the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam.

*Requirements for CPA licensure vary by state. Additional details for Texas residents.

WGU's online master's in accounting programs focus not only on the technical and analytical skills necessary for accounting positions but also incorporate critical communication and strategic skills required in today's fast changing world. You will learn to assess complex transactions and determine the proper treatment of those transactions in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). You will also learn advanced auditing skills to be able to enhance internal controls of an organization and identify material weaknesses in those controls. You will develop and be able to apply advanced managerial accounting techniques in real-world situations as well as become familiar with the accounting for governmental and nonprofit organizations.

At the end of this program, you will have gained necessary analytical skills to address complex financial information and make appropriate recommendations to management.

Who the Program Is For:

  • Individuals needing additional academic preparation to help sit for the CPA, CMA or CIA exam.
  • Experienced accounting professionals with an accounting bachelor's degree seeking upward career mobility who need the credentials and additional expertise to do so.
  • Individuals who already have a knowledge base in accounting seeking to gain a competitive advantage by deepening their accounting knowledge and broadening their communication, strategic, and analytical skills.

This program will be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Click here to learn how this program works.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

While earning your master's degree in accounting online, you'll acquire essential skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the field. This program includes the following areas of study.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Management Communication
  • Advanced Managerial Accounting
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Financial Management
  • Advanced Tax Concepts
  • Fraud and Forensic Accounting
  • Strategic Management
  • Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
  • Accounting Research

Total Program: 30 Competency Units (credit equivalents)

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 15 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The standard time it takes to complete the online Master of Accounting program at WGU is 1.5 to 2 years.

The program requires the completion of 30 Competency Units (CUs), which are WGU credit equivalents. Each course typically equals three or four CUs.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your Master of Science in Accounting depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Our Partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers." John Steele,
Senior Vice President of Human Resources at HCA

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

WGU was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU’s online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.
  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.
  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.
  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.
  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. In fact, we haven’t increased tuition since 2008. And because we charge tuition at a flat rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.

Cost of Earning a Degree

You’ll pay the same low tuition each 6-month term, regardless of how many courses you complete. If you accelerate your degree program, you’ll pay less for your degree.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full course load is 8 competency units (credit hours) per term — each course generally represents three or four competency units. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

  • $3,250: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

WGU's online Master of Accounting (MAcc) is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

WGU Is Half The Cost

WGU is half the cost of other online universities. A business degree at a traditional university can cost more than $40,000. A typical two-year master's degree program at WGU is less than $15,000.

Tuition Comparison: Master of Science Accounting degree

WGU University of Phoenix
$3,250 per six month term. If it takes two years = $13,000 36 credit hours x $740 per credit = $26,640

*Note: This chart is for illustration only and reflects the tuition information made public by other institutions and WGU’s standard tuition of $2,890 per term as of February 1, 2015. Tuition for the MBA and nursing programs is higher at $3,250 per term. Actual rates will vary depending on the number of terms needed to complete the program. Check the website for the most current tuition information.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.
  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.
  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.
  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU’s financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

An online business degree from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:

98%of employers rate the "soft skills" of WGU grads as equal to or better than graduates from other institutions.

98%

of employers rate the performance of WGU grads as excellent.

100%

of employers said they would not hesitate to hire another WGU graduate.

98%

of employers agreed that WGU graduates meet or exceed their expectations.

98%

of employers rated WGU grads as equal to or above other employees who graduated from other colleges or universities.

98%

of employers consider WGU graduates strongly prepared for their jobs.

Note: 2013 Survey of Employers by Harris Interactive

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye, WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn Competency Units (CUs), or credit equivalents.

WGU sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the seven easy steps to getting started.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in accounting from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university.

See More about College of Business Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

Questions and Answers

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.

Is WGU a good fit for you?

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