Top Master of Finance and Accounting (MFA) Programs

Top Master of Finance and Accounting (MFA) Programs

Did you know senior accountants came ninth on Indeed’s 50 best jobs of 2024? They earn good money and can work from home or have a mix of remote and office work. Choosing a career in finance and accounting can lead you to these benefits. A master’s degree further boosts your job options.

These master’s programs get you ready for big roles in finance and accounting. You could become a financial controller, accounting manager, or a top financial analyst after you graduate. With a master’s, you can also take the CPA exam. By March 2024, the average yearly salary for someone with this degree hit $81,000.

Key Takeaways:

  • Senior accountants rank ninth on Indeed’s list of 50 best jobs of 2024.
  • A master’s degree in finance and accounting can lead to high-paying careers in corporate finance, consulting, and managerial roles.
  • Professionals with a master’s in accounting earn an average annual salary of $81,000.
  • A master’s degree in accounting meets the educational requirements for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.
  • Excelling in a master’s program in finance and accounting can provide valuable career opportunities and a competitive edge in the job market.

Overview of Accounting Master’s Degrees

Accounting master’s programs help students learn many things. They learn about financial studies, forecasting, ethics, and risk. Students also get better at understanding corporate taxes and using data to make financial plans. They can choose to study more about taxes, checks and assurance, using data, or investigating money. It usually takes a few years and lots of classes to finish a program. Students can study on-campus, online, or both together.

The Benefits of Accounting Master’s Programs

  • Students learn a lot about financial analysis and risk.
  • They can focus on different areas like tax, assurance, using data, or investigating money.
  • They get good at corporate taxes and using data.
  • They can prepare for jobs in managing and advising businesses.
  • They can take the certified public accountant (CPA) test.

Accounting master’s programs look closely at how money is managed and reported. Students get better at making and checking financial reports, handling budgets, and looking at money risks. They learn to review business investments and make money choices that are good for investors. With all this learning, students have many job options when they graduate.

“The accounting world is changing fast, and these master’s programs help students keep up. Graduates can take on big roles in managing money, advising businesses, and understanding complex finances.”

After finishing a master’s, students can do many jobs:

  • Financial controller
  • Accounting manager
  • Senior financial analyst
  • Tax accountant

These jobs often pay well and have many chances to grow. For example, in May 2020, financial managers made a median wage of $129,890 a year. Financial analysts, including the seniors, made $83,660 a year. These jobs let you work in many areas, like finance, technology, or healthcare.

Plus, finishing an accounting master’s meets one of the steps to becoming a CPA. This is a big deal in the accounting world. Getting your CPA can lead to even more job chances and higher pay.

Skills and Knowledge Career Opportunities
  • Advanced financial analysis
  • Corporate taxation
  • Data analytics
  • Forecasting
  • Ethics
  • Risk analysis
  • Financial controller
  • Accounting manager
  • Senior financial analyst
  • Tax accountant
  • Consultant
  • Auditor

Admission Requirements for Accounting Master’s Programs

Getting into an accounting master’s program means fulfilling specific requirements. These rules make sure applicants have a solid academic background. This makes it more likely for them to do well in the program.

To apply, you need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. It should be in accounting or something similar. It helps if your degree came from a school known for its strong accounting programs.

If your degree isn’t in accounting, you might need some extra classes. These include basic business and accounting courses. Always check what each program needs before you apply.

Most programs look for a GPA around 3.0 out of 4.0. Good grades in your undergrad show you can handle their coursework. This is very important for admission.

Often, you’ll need to take a standardized test like the GMAT or GRE. These tests check if you’re ready for advanced study. Programs have different score requirements, so be sure to find out what they are.

Don’t forget about letters of recommendation. They speak to your skills and readiness for the program. They should come from teachers or professionals who know you well.

You also need to send in your college grades. These show how well you’ve done in your classes. They also prove you’ve taken the necessary courses.

Your personal statement and resume are key too. They let you tell your story. You can talk about your work experience and what you want to achieve with your masters.

For students from abroad, English proficiency is a must. You’ll likely need to do well in a test like the TOEFL. This shows you can keep up with classes taught in English.

To sum up, meeting all these application requirements is crucial. Make sure you know what each program asks for. This will set you on the right path to getting into the program you want.

Core Courses and Electives in Accounting Master’s Programs

In accounting master’s programs, students learn foundational core courses. These courses are vital for a full understanding of key accounting principles. Graduates get the skills they need to succeed in their future careers.

Students also pick from many elective courses. This lets them specialize in areas of accounting that match their interests and goals.

Core Courses

Core courses dive deep into essential accounting topics. They offer a detailed look at advanced accounting principles. Some common core courses include:

  • Advanced Accounting: Focuses on topics like consolidated financial statements. It covers mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. This course prepares students for complex real-world accounting.
  • Federal Taxation: Focuses on federal tax law. Students learn about corporate, partnership, and individual tax. They also study tax planning and compliance, and the ethics of tax accounting.
  • Applied Business Forecasting: Gives students forecasting tools. They learn statistical models and how to make business decisions with data. It’s key for financial planning.
  • Business Leadership Experience: Offers practical work with real companies. It hones leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It readies students for leadership roles.

These core courses form the foundation of an accounting master’s program. They give students a strong grasp of advanced accounting concepts.

Elective Courses

Accounting master’s programs also have many elective courses. These courses let students delve into specific areas of accounting. This is great for those with particular career goals.

Elective courses include:

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Auditing and Assurance Services
  • International Accounting
  • Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
  • Cost Accounting
  • Accounting Information Systems

Choosing electives allows students to personalize their program. It aligns with their career aspirations. These courses offer focused knowledge, readying students for specialized accounting roles.

The mix of core and elective courses in accounting master’s programs is vital. It ensures a broad education in accounting. So, graduates are well-prepared for roles in finance and accounting, in various industries.

Cost of Accounting Master’s Programs

Thinking about getting a master’s degree in accounting means looking at the costs. Tuition prices can change a lot based on the school and the course you pick. Besides tuition, there are more costs like fees, books, transport, and living costs.

For the year 2021-22, the average cost for a year of study at a public grad school was $12,596. But at private schools, students paid around $28,017 on average. These numbers give you a rough idea of what to expect for an accounting master’s degree.

If you study in your home state at a public school, you might get cheaper rates. Online programs can also be cheaper since they might not have special prices for out-of-state students.

Remember, besides tuition, there are other things you’ll need to pay for. Additional fees and technology costs might increase your bill. Books and supplies, as well as how you get to school, also count. Don’t forget about living costs, which can include rent, bills, and food.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Opportunities

Thankfully, there are scholarships and grants to help reduce your costs. Many schools offer scholarships for accounting graduate students. This support can lower the program’s total cost for you.

If scholarships aren’t enough, there are grants and loans to look into. These can help you pay for school as you work toward your master’s in accounting.

Many places offer these financial opportunities. It’s a good idea to look into all the available aid. This way, you can make your education more affordable.

Institution Type Tuition Rates (2021-22)
Public University $12,596
Private Institution $28,017

Selecting the Right Accounting Master’s Program

Looking into an accounting master’s program takes a lot of research. You need to look at several factors. These help you find the right one for your future.

Research Schools and Programs

Start by researching different schools and their programs. A strong reputation and accreditation are important. They affect the value of your degree and job prospects.

Program Culture and Learning Environment

Consider the culture and the way you’ll learn. Each program offers a different experience. It’s key to find one that matches how you like to learn. Look for a place that’s supportive and helps you do your best.

Curriculum and Professors

Check out what the program teaches you and who will be teaching. Make sure the courses cover what you’re interested in, like tax or analysis. It’s also good to know if the teachers have real-world experience and are respected in their fields.

Class Size and Learning Experience

The size of your classes matters for your education. Smaller ones give more time with teachers and other students. But, larger ones bring many viewpoints and chances to network.

Internships and Projects

Real-world learning, like internships, is crucial in a master’s program. Find a program that helps you apply what you’ve learned. It can be through internships or projects with local companies.

Program Length and Flexibility

Knowing how long the program is and how flexible it is important. Some are faster to finish, while others let you study part-time. Pick what works with your life and goals.

Alumni Network

Think about the alumni network’s strength and reach. A good alumni network can open doors to jobs and mentors. Look into what past students have achieved to see if the network is helpful.

Take your time to consider these points and do your research well. This will help you choose the perfect accounting master’s program. Something that meets your goals, learning style, and where you want to go in your career.

Common Questions About Accounting Master’s Programs

Thinking about getting a master’s in accounting? You must have some common questions. Let’s go over them to help you make the right choice:

  1. Career options: What job opportunities come after an accounting master’s?
  2. CPA exam: Does it prepare you for the CPA exam?
  3. Cost of programs: How much does it usually cost?
  4. Online programs: Can you find programs online if you prefer that?
  5. Eligibility requirements: What do you need to apply?
  6. References: Do you have to provide references?
  7. Test scores: Are GMAT or GRE scores needed?
  8. Undergraduate performance: How much does your bachelor’s GPA matter?
  9. Additional classes: Will you need extra classes or prerequisites?
  10. Financial aid: What help is available, like scholarships, for these programs?

These topics often come up when thinking about accounting master’s programs. Getting answers helps you decide wisely about your studies and career path.

Top Master of Finance and Accounting (MFA) Programs

Are you looking to get your master’s in finance and accounting? There are top programs out there. They give you everything you need to do well in jobs like financial analysis, asset management, and corporate finance.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT’s Sloan School of Management is known for its MFA program. It focuses on finance and accounting. You’ll learn a lot through tough classes and real-life learning opportunities. This prepares you for big roles in the finance and accounting world.

2. University of Texas at Austin

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin is another great spot. Their MFA program stands out with its focus on financial analysis, investments, and risk management. You get to connect with the finance world, which opens doors for your future.

3. Texas A&M University

Want a broad MFA program that covers finances and accounting from all angles? Texas A&M University is where you should look. They offer a wide choice of specializations like corporate finance and financial planning.

4. Columbia University

Columbia Business School at Columbia University is also a top pick. It gives you cutting-edge finance and accounting knowledge along with skills in leadership and management. Graduates are in high demand by leading finance companies.

5. Indiana University-Bloomington

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Bloomington will set you on the right path. Their MFA program is known for getting students ready for real work. You’ll learn a lot through internships and projects.

6. University of Southern California (USC)

USC’s Marshall School of Business blends finance and accounting theories with practical use. Here, the faculty and alumni network are golden. They offer amazing chances and help for students.

7. University of Texas at Dallas

Looking for a program that’s all about financial management, investment analysis, and accounting? The Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas has you covered. It gets you ready for jobs in many areas including corporate finance and investment banking.

8. University of Wisconsin – Madison

The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin – Madison offers a great MFA. It mixes hard classes with work in the real world. You’ll work on projects and meet professionals in the field.

These are the top MFA programs for those interested in finance and accounting. They’ll give you the skills and knowledge to excel in these fields. Choosing one of these programs can lead to a successful career in finance and accounting.


Earning a master’s degree in finance and accounting can lead to great career paths. You can work in corporate finance, consulting, or management. The best programs give you a strong education.

In these programs, you’ll learn about tax accounting, auditing, and more. They prepare you for success in your career. You need to pick the right program and meet its requirements. This helps you gain the skills you need.

If you dream of being a financial controller or an accounting manager, this degree is for you. It gives you advanced skills needed in the job market today. These programs offer many courses for finance and accounting pros.

When choosing an MFA program, look at its rank, the teachers, the curriculum, and how it helps you network. Picking a top program means a better chance at a great education and career.


What career opportunities are available after completing an accounting master’s program?

After finishing an accounting master’s program, you can chase after some top jobs. These jobs include being a financial controller, accounting manager, senior analyst, or tax accountant.You could also dive into corporate finance, consulting, or managerial positions.

Can I sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam after completing an accounting master’s program?

Yes, a master’s in accounting sets you up well for the CPA exam.

How much does an accounting master’s program cost?

The cost of these programs varies. Public schools ask for about ,596. Private ones cost around ,017 for a year’s tuition.

Are there online programs available for accounting master’s degrees?

Yes, you can find accounting master’s programs online, on-campus, or in a mix of both.

What are the admission requirements for accounting master’s programs?

For admissions, you must have a bachelor’s from a good school. Some programs might want your bachelor’s to be in accounting. If not, you might need to take some business or accounting courses.Other common requirements are letters of recommendation, transcripts, statements, resumes, and for international students, an English test.

What are the common core courses in accounting master’s programs?

Typical core courses include advanced accounting, tax laws, forecasting, and business leadership. These classes help you understand important accounting principles and skills. You’ll learn about financial statements and tax laws. Plus, you’ll get real-world business experience.

Besides tuition, what other costs should I consider for an accounting master’s program?

You should also think about fees, books, transport, and living costs.

How can I select the right accounting master’s program?

To find the best program, do your research. Look at the culture, teaching, courses, professors, class sizes, internships, and program flexibility. Also, consider the alumni network’s strength.

What are some common questions about accounting master’s programs?

People often ask about job opportunities, CPA exam eligibility, program costs, online options, and admission criteria. They also ask about references, test scores, undergrad performance, necessary classes, and financial aid.

Which schools offer top master’s programs in finance and accounting?

Some top schools for finance and accounting masters are MIT, UT Austin, Texas A&M Columbia University, and others. These include prestigious institutions among others.

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