If you want to be an accountant, you may be wondering what degree programs are available for Masters in Accounting in California. A Masters in Accounting degree is a graduate-level degree that prepares students to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and find employment as auditors, managers and CPAs. A full-time student can usually earn a Masters in Accounting degree from an accredited school through one year of study. Prerequisites to enter Masters in Accounting degree programs include an undergraduate degree in accounting, business or another mathematics-intensive major and a passing score on the GRE or GMAT test. A Masters in Accounting degree allows accountants to move beyond entry-level and junior-level positions into senior-level positions with higher earning potential. In many states, certification as a CPA requires more hours of education than a student can earn while pursuing a bachelor’s degree, so pursuing an advanced degree completes that requirement.
Leading Masters in Accounting in California Degree Programs
Prospective students should know that there are several highly-regarded accredited programs through which to earn a Masters in Accounting in California.
The Masters in Accounting program at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California was ranked fourth in the nation in the 2011 Public Accounting Report published by Wolters Kluwer. Besides the standard accounting curriculum, this program requires training in professional development, globalization, research with the intent of lifelong learning, ethical principles and professional standards, and the development of technical, conceptual problem-solving skills. U.S. News and World Report places tuition at $46,781.
The College of Business Administration at California State University in Sacramento, California, offers one of the best online California Masters in Accounting Programs. The online-only option requires no in-person meetings. The top online Masters in Accounting degree programs are more convenient for students with employment or family obligations and allow for a more flexible schedule to accommodate the full-time professional.
Sacramento State University’s distance learning program provides students with resources through online course materials, streaming video and instant messaging. Tuition in this program is paid per credit unit, with 30 required units of program curriculum courses, at $740.00 per unit, and up to seven required units of foundation courses, at $630.00 per unit.
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Masters in Accounting in California Degree Programs
While attending a traditional or online Masters in Accounting program requires a significant investment of time and money, financial aid is available to ease the student’s financial burden. Students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for government loans and state and federal grants. Working professionals may get financial assistance from their employers to continue their studies in job-related programs. On-campus jobs as research assistants, teaching assistants and other graduate assistants are available. Some California Masters in Accounting degree programs offer their own sources of financial aid, like the State University Grant offered to students of California State University. Grants, scholarships and work-study programs are more limited for graduate students than undergraduate students, so prospective students of Masters in Accounting programs should apply for financial aid as early as possible to get the assistance they need to earn their Masters in Accounting in California.