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Googling online graduate programs can be a nightmare. First off, it will take a while to trudge through 25 million search results. Ugh… ain’t nobody got time for that. Why is it so hard to find a worthwhile program to make all your CPA (or CFA) dreams come true, let alone set you up for long-term career success?
You are in this predicament because, unfortunately, putting your life on hold to attend a top 10 B-school isn’t in the cards. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but, oh well. The good news is that if you can sift through the junk and marginally accredited for-profit colleges, there are some great programs that not only will help you check the 150 credit hour box but help advance your career too.
We did a little digging and found five great online graduate programs that are worth hearing more about:
1. Georgetown University Master of Science in Finance
Georgetown’s MSF program gives you a deep dive into finance that’s more focused than an MBA. It also has a leg up on many other online schools since it utilizes two-way video communication in virtual class sessions. While it’s not completely asynchronous it simulates a brick and mortar classroom better than most online schools.
Another neat attribute is that it has a weeklong onsite residency program where you have the opportunity to meet the faculty and other students in person before being forced to work together on group projects. D.C. road trip, anyone?
2. University of Scranton Master of Accountancy
If a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) is more your style, check out the University of Scranton. It’s a program designed for the online environment by current and former public accounting partners. One unique aspect of the program is the opportunity to specialize in forensic accounting (“CFE”).
The school offers three specialized courses to help you become a certified fraud examiner. Mixing accounting with criminal justice will be sure to spice up your work if you are sick of the run of the mill audit testing. Plus, get more bang for your buck if you're still working on the CPA exam. University of Scranton has partnered with Wiley CPAExcel with an integrated curriculum. Two birds, one stone.
3. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota MS in Accountancy
Calling all Accountants who want to do a program that is exactly 30 credit hours. Bingo. This program is for you. Not only does the curriculum not waste your time with accounting basics (like MBAs tend to do) it primes you to be ready to tackle the CPA and Certified Management Accountant (“CMA”) exams. Blend in some great professors who are prompt with their feedback and high-tech mobile apps, it’s a program that is perfect for the busy accounting professional who doesn’t have any time to waste.
4. Saint Xavier University Masters in Finance
Is your current work life making you dread Sunday night? The Master of Finance at Saint Xavier is a great fit for both professionals currently working in finance and those who want a career change and don’t have a background in finance. This program prepares students to sit for all three levels of the chartered financial analyst (“CFA”) exam. Like Georgetown, Saint Xavier requires a one-time residency. But, rather than D.C., this time we are talking about an adventure to Chicago. Not a bad place to visit.
5. Creighton University Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis
Creighton offers a super unique program for go-getters who want to become a CFA. The program is 100% online and taught exclusively by professors who have their CFA credential. If you already have studied more accounting to make your eyes bleed, why not ditch accounting altogether? What about transitioning into a financial analyst role? Or, set your sights on becoming a private wealth manager or equity strategist. This program is for you.
Do any of these programs intrigue you? Browse over to the landing pages linked above to request more information.