How Much Academic Flexibility Do Students Have in an Online Master’s of Accounting Degree Program?

When you’re trying to decide which graduate school is right for you, you might wonder how much academic flexibility students have in online master’s of accounting degree programs. While any accredited program should meet certain standards, you will also find a lot of variance from one online master’s of accounting degree curriculum to the next. One program might offer a wealth of academic options, while another might allow you less freedom. Keeping in mind your career goals and how much academic flexibility matters to you can help you choose the right graduate school.

Core Graduate Accounting Courses

How much academic flexibility students have in online master’s of accounting degree programs depends in large part on the school they choose. Some programs allow students a wide range of opportunities to direct the course of their own education by choosing from a large number of elective courses or even pioneering their own specialization. Others offer a smaller selection of electives and concentration options, spending more time on developing a breadth of advanced accounting knowledge.

At just about any graduate accounting degree program, you’ll find at least a handful of classes that every student in the program must take. These required core courses are mandatory because they provide the basic graduate-level education that prospective employers will expect from someone with a master’s in accounting degree. Keep in mind that just because a degree program requires you to take core classes doesn’t mean it limits how much academic flexibility students have in online master’s of accounting degree programs. Many programs establish a mandatory core curriculum but still allow for plenty of flexibility through electives and concentration options.

Exact core courses vary from one school to the next, but many master’s of accounting degree programs require common subjects as part of their core curriculum. Advanced classes in auditing, taxation, accounting and financial reporting are common among online graduate accounting programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s not unusual for online master’s of accounting programs to include some general business courses in the core curriculum as well, to help students develop a breadth of knowledge about the world of business.

Academic Options in Master’s of Accounting Degree Programs

One way to tell how much academic flexibility students have in an online master’s of accounting degree program is to look at the academic tracks and specializations available. Can you specialize in subjects like forensic accounting, auditing, taxation and finance? Some of the best online programs, like the University of Connecticut’s online Master of Science in Accounting, allow students to customize their education by choosing their own blend of elective courses.

The specialization you pursue in graduate school can affect what careers you are qualified for and how prospective employers will see you, which means how much academic flexibility students have in online master’s of accounting degree programs matters.

Related resource:

Top 10 Best Online Master’s of Accounting Degree Programs 2015