If you are in the midst of trying to decide on the best institution at which to earn your graduate degree in accounting online, chances are the length of time it takes to complete the degree will be a major determining factor in your decision making process. Generally speaking, a student can earn an online master’s in accounting in about two years after all prerequisites have been met. In order to get into a master’s degree program in accounting, most colleges and universities require a certain set of core business courses, if not a business undergraduate degree. Even if you already have a business degree and you want to earn a master’s degree in accounting, many institutions require that you have a concentration of core courses in accounting. If you do not have these courses you will need to take them in order to be admitted to a master’s program.
Length of Time
A typical master’s in accounting will be about 36 semester hours of coursework. There will probably not be a thesis requirement so all 36 hours are taught online. If, for example, you take nine hours per semester over two semesters per year, then that’s about two years of courses. This is typical for people working full time for a living while taking courses. If, on the other hand, you take 12 hours in fall/spring and six hours in summer, you’d wrap it up in about a year plus a semester. If you enroll in a program that is 45 semester hours, it will take longer. If you take a program that is 30 semester hours in length, a little less. How many hours required depends on the school. Some MBA programs with a concentration in accounting can run upward of 60 semester hours.
It is also a common practice for many people to take a year off to earn their CPA license with all of the requirements completed except for the practice experience since the coursework will fulfill this requirement.
A fortuitous attribute of an online education is the determinations made recently that the benefits of an online education are virtually identical to the same received in a classroom setting. As a result of this, many colleges and universities have implemented a greatly expanded set of programs, including master’s degrees.
For all of the reasons outlined above you should take care to do a lot of research prior to making a decision about where to earn your degree. Fortunately, not only does the variety of universities offering programs make the unique differences in these offerings appealing, but also allows prospective students to make their selections based on the reputation of the school, location, price and other important factor.
Further Reading: Online Degree Programs: How to Tell the Good From the Bad