Online Accounting Master’s Degree No GMAT Degree Programs

Explore the career possibilities, average salary, and included courses in an online master’s in accounting with no GMAT. There are a variety of programs available to help you continue your education after receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Use this Campus Explorer guide to compare online programs to find the right match for your situation.


What Is an Online Master’s in Accounting?

Accounting combines courses in finance and business. As a student in an online master’s in accounting course, you will learn how to prepare tax documents, create financial reports, review income and expenses, and perform other duties. Accountants work in corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses.

Most online master’s in accounting programs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. For many master’s programs, your bachelor’s degree must be in accounting or a related field. Many programs require a minimum GPA, typically in the 2.75 to 3.0 range. Some also require a GMAT score, but there are online master’s in accounting programs with no GMAT requirements.

An illustration of studying tools for an online master's in accounting

Before you enroll in an online master’s in accounting, you typically must have taken coursework in accounting. Some programs require courses in financial accounting, statistics, business law, and microeconomics. Other programs may have less required coursework, so be sure to compare program requirements.

You can typically complete a master’s degree — both online and in-person — in accounting in one to two years. There are also part-time online programs available to complete the required 30 to 45 credits in more time. Online courses can be self-paced or provide other options for a more flexible learning environment.

A master’s degree in accounting typically fulfills the eligibility criteria to allow you to sit for the CPA exam. After successfully completing this exam, you can become a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA. CPAs can analyze financial documents for tax or investment purposes.

You can specialize in a number of areas of accounting, including forensics, taxes, corporate accounting, and personal finance.

Here are other positions that you may be qualified for with a master’s in accounting:

  • Management analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Tax examiner
  • Auditor
  • Government or management accountant

What Is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized assessment that has traditionally played a critical role in the admissions process for graduate business and management programs, including Master of Accountancy degrees. Developed and administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT is designed to evaluate the analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English.

Historical Importance of the GMAT

Historically, the GMAT has been a pivotal tool for admissions committees to assess the readiness and potential of applicants for the rigorous demands of graduate-level business education. It serves as a benchmark to compare candidates from diverse educational and professional backgrounds on a common scale. The test covers various segments: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal sections. Scores range from 200 to 800, with higher scores indicating better performance.

The GMAT’s prominence in the admissions process stemmed from its ability to predict academic success in the early stages of a business or accounting program. For many years, a high GMAT score was considered a key indicator of a candidate’s ability to handle complex business concepts and to succeed in a competitive academic environment.

Changing Role and Prominence of the GMAT

Over time, the role and prominence of the GMAT in graduate admissions have evolved. With the growth of online education and changing perspectives on standardized testing, many institutions have started to question the necessity and inclusivity of the GMAT. Critics argue that the test may not fully capture a candidate’s abilities and potential, especially for those with substantial professional experience or excellent undergraduate records.

Why Are Online Master of Accounting Programs not Requiring the GMAT?

This shift in perspective has led to a significant trend: a growing number of online master’s programs in accounting and other business disciplines are waiving the GMAT requirement. These programs often emphasize other aspects of an applicant’s profile, such as work experience, undergraduate GPA, professional achievements, and leadership skills. This move towards a more holistic admissions approach aims to diversify the student body and make advanced education more accessible to a broader range of applicants.

In summary, while the GMAT has been a cornerstone in evaluating graduate business school applicants, its role is changing. As the landscape of higher education continues to evolve, particularly with the expansion of online learning, the importance of the GMAT is being reevaluated, paving the way for more inclusive and diverse admission practices.

What Admission Requirements Are There Instead of GMAT Scores?

In the evolving landscape of graduate education, particularly in online accounting master’s degree programs that do not require the GMAT, universities have adopted various alternative criteria to evaluate prospective students. These criteria aim to assess a candidate’s potential for success in the program through a more holistic approach.

Undergraduate Performance

One of the primary factors considered is an applicant’s undergraduate academic record. Universities often focus on the overall Grade Point Average (GPA), with particular attention to coursework related to accounting and business. A strong undergraduate GPA, especially in relevant courses, can indicate a student’s ability to handle graduate-level work.

Professional Experience

Many programs place significant emphasis on professional experience, especially in fields related to accounting or finance. Work experience can demonstrate practical skills and knowledge in the field, leadership abilities, and a clear understanding of the industry. Applicants may be required to submit a resume and may benefit from having several years of relevant professional experience.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation provide insights into an applicant’s character, work ethic, and academic potential. These letters, typically from former professors, employers, or professional mentors, can highlight the candidate’s strengths and readiness for graduate study.

Personal Statement or Essays

Personal statements or essays are crucial components of the application process. They offer candidates the opportunity to articulate their career goals, motivations for pursuing a master’s degree in accounting, and how they envision contributing to their field. These essays can also address any areas of concern in an applicant’s record.


Some programs may require or offer optional interviews. These interviews provide an opportunity for the admissions committee to assess an applicant’s communication skills, motivation, and fit with the program’s culture and objectives.

Test Score Alternatives

While GMAT scores may not be required, some programs may still accept or encourage submission of other standardized test scores like the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). This is particularly relevant for applicants who feel that their standardized test scores accurately reflect their academic abilities.

Additional Coursework or Certifications

In some cases, applicants might be asked to complete additional coursework or earn certifications related to accounting or business as a condition of admission. This is especially common for those who may not have a strong background in these areas.

Special Considerations for International Students

International students might have additional requirements, such as English language proficiency tests (TOEFL, IELTS), and evaluation of international transcripts.

Do I Need a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting to be Accepted Into an Online Master’s in Accounting Program?

One common question among prospective students is whether a bachelor’s degree in accounting is a prerequisite for enrolling in an online Master’s in Accounting (MAcc) program. The answer varies depending on the program, but many online MAcc programs are designed to accommodate students with diverse educational backgrounds.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting: Not Always a Requirement

While having a bachelor’s degree in accounting can provide a solid foundation for a MAcc program, it is not always a mandatory requirement. Many programs welcome students who have earned their undergraduate degree in other fields, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in the field of accounting.

Foundational Coursework for Non-Accounting Graduates

For students who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting, many online MAcc programs offer foundational or prerequisite courses. These courses cover essential accounting principles and practices, ensuring that all students, regardless of their undergraduate major, have the necessary background to succeed in advanced accounting courses. Topics might include basic financial accounting, managerial accounting, and business law.

Benefits of a Non-Accounting Background

Students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than accounting bring unique viewpoints and skill sets to the program. For example, a background in information technology, finance, or management can enrich class discussions and group projects, and provide a broader context to the study of accounting.

Admission Requirements Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, MAcc programs often consider a variety of factors in the admissions process, such as work experience, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and, in some cases, standardized test scores. These factors can play a significant role in admissions decisions, particularly for applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting.

In summary, a bachelor’s degree in accounting is not always necessary to be accepted into an online Master’s in Accounting program. Many programs are structured to accommodate students from a wide range of academic backgrounds, providing foundational coursework to ensure all students are prepared for the rigors of graduate-level accounting studies. This inclusive approach allows individuals with different academic and professional experiences to pursue advanced studies in accounting, broadening the diversity and richness of the learning environment.

How Long Are Online Master’s of Accounting Programs?

The duration of online Master’s of Accounting (MAcc) programs can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the program’s structure, the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and any prerequisite requirements for students without an accounting background. Understanding these factors can help prospective students plan their educational journey effectively.

Standard Program Length

Typically, online MAcc programs are designed to be completed within one to two years of full-time study. This timeframe is based on the assumption that students will be dedicating a significant portion of their time to coursework and related academic activities.

Part-Time Options

For students who choose to enroll part-time, often due to work or other commitments, the program length can extend to two to three years, or sometimes longer. Part-time pathways provide flexibility for students to balance their studies with other responsibilities, but they also require a longer overall time commitment to complete the degree.

Accelerated Programs

Some online MAcc programs offer accelerated options, allowing students to complete their degree in less than one year. These programs are typically very intensive and are best suited for students who can dedicate full-time effort to their studies and who may already have a strong background in accounting or a closely related field.

Prerequisite Coursework

For students without a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, additional prerequisite courses may be required. These courses, which cover foundational accounting principles and practices, can add extra time to the overall duration of the program. The length of time needed to complete these prerequisites can vary but typically ranges from a few months to a year.

Internship or Capstone Requirements

Some online MAcc programs include internships or capstone projects as part of the curriculum. These experiential learning components can affect the total program duration, depending on how they are structured and when they are completed during the program.

Online Master of Accounting Curriculum

An Online Master of Accounting (MAcc) program offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of accounting principles and practices, alongside the development of critical thinking and analytical skills. While curricula can vary between institutions, most programs include a blend of core courses and electives, allowing students to tailor their education to their career goals. Below is an overview of the typical curriculum components.

Core Courses

Core courses form the foundation of the MAcc curriculum, covering essential accounting topics and advanced concepts. These courses are designed to deepen students’ understanding of key areas in accounting and prepare them for various professional challenges. Examples of core courses include:

  • Advanced Financial Accounting: Delving into complex financial reporting issues, consolidation, foreign currency transactions, and financial statement analysis.
  • Managerial Accounting: Focusing on the use of accounting information for internal decision-making, budgeting, performance evaluation, and cost management.
  • Taxation: Covering federal income taxation of individuals and businesses, with an emphasis on tax planning and policy.
  • Auditing: Exploring auditing principles and procedures, ethical standards, and the role of the auditor in the financial reporting process.
  • Business Law for Accountants: Addressing legal issues in business and accounting, including contracts, commercial transactions, and liability.

Electives and Specializations

Electives and specializations allow students to focus on specific areas of interest or emerging fields within accounting. These courses enable students to customize their learning experience and develop expertise in niche areas. Common electives and specializations include:

  • Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination: Techniques for detecting and investigating fraud, including legal aspects and forensic auditing methods.
  • International Accounting: Examining accounting principles and standards in a global context, including International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • Information Systems and Technology: Understanding the role of information systems in accounting, including data analytics, cybersecurity, and financial technology applications.
  • Sustainability Accounting and Reporting: Focused on environmental and social accounting, sustainability reporting, and corporate social responsibility.
  • Government and Nonprofit Accounting: Addressing accounting practices and financial management in governmental and nonprofit organizations.

Capstone Project or Thesis

Many programs culminate in a capstone project or thesis, providing students an opportunity to apply their learning to real-world problems. These projects often involve research, analysis, and presentation of findings on a relevant accounting issue.

Practical Experience and Internships

Some programs may include practical experience components, such as internships or project-based courses, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the accounting field.

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Accounting Cost?

Tuition prices vary depending on state residency, program length, and other factors. On average, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,800 per credit. This makes the total cost of the master’s degree approximately $24,000 to $72,000.

The cost of an online program is typically lower than an in-person program. Grants and scholarships can help reduce the cost of an online master’s in accounting program.

Average Salary for a Master’s in Accounting

Illustration of an accountant working at a computer in his office

The median annual salary for accountants is $78,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median annual wages for accountants in the finance and insurance industry is more than $80,000. Accountants and auditors working in government have a median annual wage of about $77,000. The highest 10 percent average more than $130,000 in annual wages, according to the BLS.

According to the BLS data for 2022, individuals with a master’s degree have a distinct advantage in earnings compared to those with a bachelor’s degree. The median usual weekly earnings for individuals with a master’s degree were $1,661, while for those with a bachelor’s degree, it was $1,432. This represents a percentage difference of approximately 16% in favor of the master’s degree holders in terms of weekly earnings.

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Accounting Degree Holders?

The accounting industry is expected to have solid job growth. Jobs in the industry are projected to grow 4% annually between 2022 and 2032, which is as fast as the average for all occupations, according to BLS.

University NameProgram’s NameGMAT Required?
Albertus Magnus CollegeMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
Benedictine UniversityMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
DePaul UniversityMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
Franklin UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
Gardner-Webb UniversityMaster of AccountancyNot Required
George Mason UniversityMaster of AccountingGMAT Waivers Available
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
Liberty UniversityMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
Maryville UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
Merrimack CollegeMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
National UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
Ohio UniversityMaster of AccountancyNot Required
Plymouth State UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
Rutgers UniversityMaster of Accountancy in Governmental AccountingNot Required
Saint Joseph’s College of MaineMaster of AccountingNot Required
Saint Mary’s University of MinnesotaMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
South UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
St. John’s UniversityMaster of Science in AccountingGMAT Recommended but not Required
Syracuse UniversityMaster of AccountingGMAT Waivers Available
University of DallasMaster of Science in AccountingNot Required
University of Maryland University CollegeMaster of Accounting in Financial ManagementNot Required
University of Massachusetts LowellMaster of Science in AccountingGMAT Waivers Available
University of North DakotaMaster of AccountancyGMAT Waivers Available
University of ScrantonMaster of AccountancyNot Required
Utica CollegeMaster of AccountingNot Required
Walden UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
West Virginia UniversityMaster of AccountancyNot Required
Western Governors UniversityMaster of AccountingNot Required
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