Discover a Clear Path to CPA Licensure With Our MS in Accounting Online
Do you have your sights set on becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)? Start building your future by earning your MS in Accounting degree online from Walden. Beyond developing advanced accounting skills, you’ll prepare to sit for the CPA and other certification exams that open doors in a stable, in-demand profession.
Walden’s MS in Accounting program is one of the few programs of its kind that has received accounting accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). In addition, it’s part of our School of Management, which earned a Silver Achievement Award for performance excellence from ACBSP.
An online master’s in accounting program prepares students with the analytic and financial decision-making skills needed to address today’s accounting challenges.
In your capstone course, you’ll get ready to sit for the CPA exam. No need to spend time and money on additional courses.
Feel confident in a program recognized for meeting ACBSP’s standards of academic quality.
Coursework in this program prepares you to pursue other professional certifications, including the CFE, CMA, CIA, and Series Exam.
Receive a Graduate Certificate in Managerial Accounting after successfully completing your first four courses.
Explore accounting theories and trends as well as techniques needed to manage regulatory compliance and business risk.
Blend accounting theory with its practical application to prepare for the CPA exam as well as the accounting field.
Design a specialization based on your goals and interests, such as tax analysis, systems thinking, or nonprofit accounting.
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Advance Your Career in Public Accounting
Whether you already hold an accounting degree or want to switch careers, our online master’s in accounting program can help you gain the capabilities and confidence to launch your future. This program’s capstone is a CPA preparatory and exam course, which will give you a jump-start toward earning the gold standard of industry credentials. Coursework in this program also explores specialized areas of accounting, including auditing, taxes, managerial accounting, and government/nonprofit accounting.
Bob CastanedaProgram Director
Dr. Castaneda has worked in a number of countries in senior finance positions. He is currently a board member and treasurer for the Illinois Literacy Foundation. He is also a member of Financial Executives International, AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), and the Illinois CPA Society.
Renee Forbes-WilliamsCore Faculty
Dr. Forbes-Williams has more than 25 years of higher education experience, including university departmental management. She has practiced accounting in the areas of public accounting (Big 8), internal auditing (Fortune 500 corporate and government), and financial advisement.
Salvador GonzalezContributing Faculty
Dr. Gonzalez has 30 years of experience in executive accounting and management position. He is an expert on individual federal taxation and has represented individuals and small business owners before the IRS and various state revenue agencies.
As a graduate of the MS in Accounting program, you will be prepared to:
- Assess the impact of managerial decisions in organizational contexts using research techniques and results.
- Communicate effectively about accounting and business practices, demonstrating knowledge of and respect for a variety of audiences.
- Effectively employ quantitative and analytical skills essential in the accounting profession.
- Construct alternative solutions to unique accounting situations and challenges.
- Evaluate accounting and business practices from ethical, legal, and regulatory perspectives, considering diverse stakeholders and competing interests.
- Appraise the mission-critical role the accounting professional has as an active partner in supporting the goals and needs of the organization.
- Evaluate opportunities accounting professionals have to promote sustainable, socially aware organizations.
Factors such as globalization, economic growth, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to support continued strong demand for accountants and auditors.1 Whether you plan on earning your CPA credential or another related certification, an online master’s in accounting can help you begin or advance your career in this stable, well-respected profession.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $71,550 in May 2019. However, the salary range typically falls between $44,480 and $124,450.1 Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.
$71,550in May 2019, according to the BLS.1
An MS in Accounting degree can prepare you to pursue career options such as: 2
- Financial analyst
- Financial manager
An MS in Accounting degree can prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Auditing firm
- Corporate finance department
- Financial consulting
- Finance operations
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
Walden University makes you think deeply to solve problems—and to make sure those solutions will benefit society.
Peter Inserra MS in Accounting Graduate
I decided to pursue my MS in Accounting to improve my skills and acquire knowledge on current issues that are relevant to my career.
Susan Aforonwa MS in Accounting Graduate
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in Accounting Program
Walden’s online accounting master’s degree program is designed to help you improve your analytical abilities and understand accounting in the context of today’s legal and regulatory environment. An MS in Accounting degree helps prepare you to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and a number of other professional accounting certifications, and positions you for a rewarding career in the field. Earning your degree through this program can help you prepare for a variety of accounting career options, including financial accounting, compliance auditing, cost accounting, external auditing, and IT auditing.
When it comes to finding a high-quality accounting program, you should look for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Walden’s MS in Accounting program has received ACBSP’s separate accounting accreditation, which reaffirms the quality of the university’s program and support services, as well as our commitment to continuous assessment and improvement. Earning a degree from an ACBSP-accredited program can better prepare you to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. Employers recognize the value of graduates of a program with educational standards modeled on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, used by businesses, government, and other organizations as a measure of quality.
Earning your MS in Accounting is a great choice if you’re looking to further your career in finance. That’s because having a master’s enhances your résumé and can open a wide range of opportunities in your accounting career. In addition, if you have earned a BS in Accounting, you will have completed 120 credit hours that can be applied toward the 150 you’ll need to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and obtain a CPA license. A master’s in accounting can get you the rest of the way there, giving you the other 30 credit hours you need to take the CPA licensing exam. Whether you’re looking to prepare for the CPA exam or pursue other accounting jobs, earning a master’s in accounting can help you transition to the next phase of your career.
The CPA exam is divided into four sections, each of which takes four hours to complete. The sections cover the topics of Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation. In order to assess your knowledge of accounting and your ability to apply that knowledge to real-world situations, the CPA exam measures four types of skills, adapted from Bloom’s Taxonomy. The four types of skills measured, from most basic to most complex, are:
- Remembering and understanding: The perception and comprehension of the significance of an area utilizing knowledge gained
- Application: The use or demonstration of knowledge, concepts, or techniques
- Analysis: The examination and study of the interrelationships of separate areas in order to identify causes and find evidence to support inferences
- Evaluation: The examination or assessment of problems, and the use of judgement to draw conclusions
To help you prepare for the CPA exam, Walden University’s MS in Accounting program offers a capstone course that includes simulated CPA test questions.
While most tend to associate a master’s in accounting with a career as an accountant, another interesting option is the role of auditor. What’s the difference between the two? While an accountant prepares financial records, an auditor examines them. Auditors play an essential role in both business and government, including reviewing internal controls and examining financial records for errors and compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.