Answer: Yes, there are master’s in accounting degree programs that are fully online and that do not require students to attend campus-based sessions. Some online master’s in accounting programs incorporate a limited number of on-campus sessions that students are required to attend. Potential applicants to online master’s in accounting programs should research programs carefully to determine whether or not a particular program has on-campus residency requirements.
There are a number of different ways that online master’s in accounting degree programs may be structured. These structural differences can affect the relative convenience of an online program and impact the overall online learning experience. One primary area of differentiation concerns campus visits, which are also commonly referred to as on-campus intensives, immersion sessions, and/or residencies.
For students who would prefer not to travel to a campus in order to earn a master’s degree in accounting, there are programs that offer 100% of their instruction online and that do not require in-person attendance of campus-based events or activities. Students in these programs access lectures and other course materials remotely using a secure Internet connection, participate in online discussion forums and other interactive learning activities through a school’s learning management system (LMS), and contact instructors electronically, via phone, email, and/or video conferencing.
There are also online master’s in accounting program that deliver most of their instruction via an LMS, but that incorporate one or two required campus sessions per year. These sessions may be held at a school’s main campus or at other designated locations and may last for a weekend or up to eight or ten days. Required campus-based activities may include orientations, workshops, seminars, capstone project presentations, networking opportunities, and other instructional activities. They also provide online students with an opportunity to meet face-to-face with instructors and fellow students, and to engage in hands-on learning experiences and other instructional activities that may be difficult to facilitate online.
However, campus residencies, intensives, and immersion sessions involve travel and may lead students to incur expenses in addition to a program’s tuition and fees. Students who are considering earning a master’s in accounting degree online should examine program structures carefully to determine whether a program requires campus visits or is offered 100% online.
As noted above, it is not uncommon for online master’s in accounting degree programs to require students to attend a limited number of campus-based instructional sessions during the one to two years it typically takes to complete a master’s program. However, there are a number of 100% online programs that do not require campus visits. Examples of fully online master’s in accounting programs include programs offered by the following schools:
Maryville University: Maryville University in St. Louis offers a 100% online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting program that can be completed by full-time students who hold an undergraduate degree in accounting in as few as ten months without having to attend campus-based sessions. Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in accounting can prepare for Maryville’s master’s curriculum in accounting by completing a bridge program of courses that are also offered online by the school.
Seton Hall University: Seton Hall University in New Jersey offers a fully online MS in Accounting (MSAC) program that is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in business, and a fully online MS in Professional Accounting (MSPA) program for students who hold an undergraduate degree in accounting. These programs can be completed in as few as 18 months with no campus-visits required.
The University of Scranton: The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania offers a 100% online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that has flexible enrollment options and that does not require campus visits. Students who hold an undergraduate degree in accounting can graduate from the program in as few as 20 months or take up to six years to complete the degree requirements. Students who do not hold an undergraduate degree in accounting are eligible for an accounting bridge program that prepares students for the program’s core curriculum.
In contrast to the programs listed above, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and Ohio University represent two examples of schools that offer online master’s in accounting programs that require students to attend one campus-based session. The online MS in Accountancy program offered by St. Mary’s University of Minnesota has a ten-course curriculum that can be completed in approximately 20 months. The program features a final capstone project, and students are required to present results from their capstone project work at an on-campus colloquium at the conclusion of the program.
Ohio University’s online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program consists of ten courses that can be completed in five semesters. The program requires students to attend a weekend-long professional development workshop held at the school’s Athens campus, and gives students the option of attending up to two more on-campus workshops that are not required.
For more detailed information about online master’s in accounting programs, refer to our Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs page.