Online Master's in Accounting for Non-Accounting Majors

Feb 14, 2018

It is not necessary to have an accounting degree to get a master's in accounting. You can enroll in an online master's in accounting program for non-accounting majors that will prepare you to work in the field and to take the exam to become a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA).

If you are a non-accounting major who is interested in an accounting career, an online master's in accounting for non-accounting majors can help you reach your career goal. When you choose an online master's in accounting program, you can continue to work while earning a degree that enables you to attain the same accounting credentials as a master's earned in a campus-based program.

Online Master's in Accounting for Non-Accounting Majors

Public and private colleges and universities offer online master's in accounting degrees for students whose undergraduate degree is not in accounting. Non-accounting majors who have not taken accounting courses are expected to complete certain prerequisite accounting courses early in the program. Admission requirements usually include an application along with transcripts that show least a B in undergraduate studies, a satisfactory score on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), an essay, resume, letters of recommendation, and an interview.

How Does an Online Master's in Accounting Programs Compare to a Campus-Based Program?

The learning management system used by your institution will be the portal to your virtual classroom and all learning activities associated with your program. Courses may be asynchronous, meaning that you will listen to recorded lectures and participate in online discussions. If your courses are synchronous, you will meet virtually (online) with your instructors and peers at a specific time each week. The quality of the courses and the content will be the same as a campus-based program, because master's-level accounting graduates who plan to sit for the Certified Professional Accountants (CPA) Exam must meet the educational requirements of the American Institute of CPAs, the organization that sets standards for the exam.

What Courses Will I Take?

The courses you take in an online master's in accounting program for non-accounting majors will prepare you to engage in various types of accounting work and to sit for the Certified Professional Accountants Examination. The program you choose may offer the opportunity to specialize in a specific accounting area such as tax or audit. A few of the courses you can expect to take include the following.

Financial Accounting

Financial accounting will teach you how to prepare and interpret financial statements. You will also learn how to communicate your findings to management and stakeholders.


In this course, you will learn strategies for advising clients on various related to finance, including how financial markets work. Topics covered include analyzing risk, the time value of money, and how to use capital.


An auditing course is where you will learn procedures for reviewing and analyzing a company's financial records to ensure that transactions are conducted in accordance with rules of accounting, financial policies and applicable laws.

Cost Accounting

In a cost accounting course, students learn to record, analyze and report cost data to help organizations make decisions. Course topics may include strategic cost systems, budgeting and using information technology in cost analyses.


This course will help you understand and navigate tax laws that apply to businesses and households. After completing a taxation course you should be able to advise clients or your organization on how tax laws affect purchases, investments, nontaxable exchanges and other business practices.

There are several schools that offer online master's of accounting programs for non-accounting majors. Passing rates on the CPA exams, internships and what graduates say about these programs are a few of the factors you should consider in determining if a program is right for you.

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