If you’re an accountant, in the business of finance, or have an undergraduate degree in finance, it may be a good idea to get an MBA in accounting – especially if you’re looking to pursue executive roles in corporate finance, assess management, and private equity.
There are many schools in the United States that offer MBA specializations in accounting or finance, as well as programs that allow students to earn their MBA with a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Here are the top business schools for accounting and finance professionals.
1. McCombs School of Business, University of Texas
Location: Austin, Texas
Tuition: $51,804 per year
According to FindMBA.com, McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas has been ranked as one of the top accounting MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report. The McCombs Accounting Department is world-renowned and its faculty is made up of innovative teachers and renowned researchers. The curriculum prepares students for today’s financial careers, which included advice from executives on the McCombs Advisory Council who’ve been working in the financial field for years.
Though all MBA students are required to take an Introductory Financial Accounting course, students who are pursuing a career a finance career, such as accounting or investments can fill their schedule with plenty of electives. And if there’s a particular area you’d like to specialize in, you can choose one of the areas of concentration in addition to accounting to focus on, like consulting, international business, or entrepreneurship.
2. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $70,200 per year
The Wharton School is known for creating business pros, and the same goes for finance – this prestigious business center has a large accounting department where the accounting faculty use teaching, research, and industry experience to show students the best ways to manage finances, economics, and more business numbers.
A big benefit of Wharton’s Accounting Department is its multidisciplinary curriculum approach — in classes, students integrate finance and economics with organizational issues and the business environment. Courses focus on concepts, procedures, and applications of accounting data as well. The department also allows students to take courses toward CPA certification or CMA (chartered management accountant).
3. College of Business, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Tuition: $36,008 per year
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks among the top accountancy school in the United States year after year, and the MBA accounting program is one of the top accountancy MBA programs in the U.S. This university offers graduate programs in finance through the College of Business at the University of Illinois at the Urbana-Champaign campus, letting students earn a Master of Accounting Science (M.A.S), Master of Science in Taxation, or another finance-focused master’s degree.
The curriculum helps students become a true accounting professionals with multi-faceted experiences that focus on technical and non-technical business skill development. While studying, your core courses include accounting analysis, managerial accounting, auditing, and federal taxation
4. Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University
Location: Provo, Utah
Tuition: $45,000 total
In 2018, Marriott School of Business Accounting Department ranked 4th by U.S News and World Report. The Marriott School of Business’s Master of Accountancy program offers students a general background in accounting, with a strong focus on business-related subjects — and the biggest benefit is that students can choose to study one or more areas of accounting.
Two emphases are offered within the MAcc program: Professional Accountancy and Tax. In addition to offering one of the best curricula available for accountancy, students do have the freedom to customize their learning and education, as you can choose to take classes that suit your interests as electives. You’ll get a well-rounded business education thanks to the combination of business fundamentals and accounting expertise offered by this unique master’s program.
5. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tuition: $67,300 per year
The University of Michigan is home to the Ross School of Business, which is internationally renowned for its incredible business education for students of all levels. However, this exceptional business school is also home to a program that focuses specifically on accounting.
Earning your Master of Accounting (MAcc) at Ross involves so much more than the CPA exam and becoming a working professional. Students in the Accounting program work on gaining an understanding of how accounting works within the corporate world. Students can customize this degree program with cross-discipline electives, emphasizing or concentrating on specific finance subjects that are interesting. The school also hosts many network events where students can connect with other MBA students from a range of programs.
6. Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Location: Stanford, California
Tuition: $68,868 per year
The Graduate School of Business at Stanford University offers a variety of MBA specializations in finance including e-commerce, economics, and accounting. If you’re looking to become a true finance expert, there’s no better place to study than this prestigious business school designed specifically for those seeking advanced degrees. Stanford students go on to become world renowned professionals in plenty of industries, meaning your education could transform into an entirely new career.
While studying accounting at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, you’ll cover crucial concepts like financial reporting, capital markets, performance measurement, incentive systems, and best practices in compensation for all kinds of corporations. Students are taught by world-renowned faculty who are worldwide leaders in scholarship and have contributed to the accounting practices in the United States, ensuring you’re networking while you learn with pros from the finance world.
7. Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Tuition: $69,200 per year
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers a variety of MBA programs for students looking to specialize in different realms of the business world – and if accounting and finance are your biggest interests, you’ll find both at this stellar school. At Booth School of Business, you can study in the MBA Accountancy program, where you’ll have a chance to explore important concepts both inside and outside the classroom to help build skills, relationships, and networks.
In addition to your specialized interests and elective courses, which are a part of every MBA program at Booth School of Business, you’ll also focus heavily on core concepts and business fundamentals. You’ll also delve into accounting specifics to suit your degree, learning financial analysis, taxes, business strategies, cost analysis, and financial statements.
8. Leventhal School of Accounting, University of Southern California
Location: Los Angeles, California
Tuition: $60,951 per year
The University of Southern California is home to a fantastic graduate accounting program through the Leventhal School of Accounting. The Leventhal School of Accounting is consistently ranked among the top accounting schools in the nation, and both the Public Accounting Report and U.S. News & World Report rankings place this graduate program in the top five nationwide. Leventhal’s long standing reputation for excellence includes a world-renowned faculty dedicated to teaching MBA students interested in any area of business.
To become a master of accounting, Leventhal School of Accounting offers a challenging curriculum with an emphasis on global affairs. You’ll study the most important concepts of accounting and business, but you’ll also connect those ideas to international business. Every course offers both theory and practical experience, letting you put your new knowledge into practice before heading out into the real world.
9. Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Location: New York City, New York
Tuition: $69,086 per year
The Master of Science in Accounting at New York University’s Stern Business School is among the top-ranked accounting programs in the United States. The curriculum also prepares students to be CPA ready in one-year, making it both easy and quick if you’d like to advance your career in the near future. You’ll study under a faculty filled with researchers and accounting practitioners, ensuring you’re learning from those who’ve worked in the field.
To earn your masters in accounting, you’ll study plenty of core courses focused on the very basics of the subject like managerial accounting, auditing, corporate finance, individual and business taxes, and income statements. While you won’t be able to specialize your degree, you can opt for electives that suit your more varied interests.
10. Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Tuition: $47,138 per year
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers three master’s degree programs for students interested in accounting: MBA with an accounting major or minor, MBA in Accounting, and Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). If you’re more business-minded or more interested in pursuing broader business education, you’ll love the two MBA options. Both programs will teach you important concepts that’ll educate you in running a business and running an accounting department.
The Kelly School of Business is home to such great MBA programs for accountants because of their specificity. Students get the chance to explore concepts and coursework that’ll prepare them for executive and managerial roles, all while also gaining important accounting and financial knowledge that’s suitable for a more specialized career – which will ultimately give you more options and choices.
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