A Master’s Degree can advance graduates’ prospects in the tax world. To help with the search, Grad School Hub has ranked the nation’s 35 Best Master’s Degrees in Taxation.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Though it may not be possible to master death, it is possible to master taxes. A Master’s Degree in Taxation builds advanced skills in aspects of taxation such as planning, regulations, and research.
Taxation programs deepen understanding of the tax world from the individual and corporate to international levels. Those with graduate Taxation degrees may work as revenue agents, tax collectors, or tax examiners. They may work for accounting firms, corporations or private businesses, or the government. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals in these careers earn a median pay of $53,130 as of May 2017. While some Taxation master’s programs are designed for licensed Certified Public Accountants, most include state CPA training as part of the curriculum.
California Polytechnic State University is a public university in San Luis Obispo, CA. The university's intensive, full-time, 10-month Master of Science in Taxation program takes first place in Grad School Hub's rankings. Required courses include Current Developments in Taxation, Effective Communication Skills for Managers, and International Taxation. A key program feature is the Learn By Doing winter internship, which gives students the opportunity to apply their tax skills in an accounting firm. Cal Poly has also developed a Graduate Tax Guest Speaker Series, which brings industry professionals from major companies to graduate classrooms. To top it all off, the program has a near-100 percent job placement rate.
California State University, Fullerton is a public university with the largest student body in the CSU system. The university's graduate taxation program is open to students of all undergraduate major areas. While the curriculum is designed for accounting or business administration students, others may apply and satisfy additional requirements. For all students, a course in Tax Research, Practice and Procedures is required, as well as seminars in Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders and Taxation of Partnerships. Elective seminars are offered in areas such as international business operations and property transactions. The program culminates in a Terminal Evaluation Project.
The University of Southern California offers a Jennifer and James R. Parks Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals. Classes are provided to students residentially and online, allowing students to choose a combination that fits their needs. On-campus courses are held one night a week, while online courses are held once weekly. Students can complete online exercises and activities throughout the week at their own pace. Program requirements include courses in Communication for Accounting and Tax Professionals and Tax Theory and Ethics. Most students in the program are already licensed CPAs, with an average of six years of relevant work experience. A minimum of one year of tax-related work experience is required.
The State University of New York at Albany is a public research university with three campuses in the Albany, NY, area. SUNY Albany's Taxation Master of Science program is reviewed and approved by an advisory council of taxation experts. The curriculum covers taxation on various levels, including corporate, state, national, and international. Core courses include Principles of Tax Research, Seminar in Taxation and Financial Planning, and Taxation of Partnerships. Students have the opportunity to take a tax law course each semester at the Albany Law School. Most students complete the program within two years depending on their enrollment status.
Northeastern University is another top-ranking university in Boston, MA, and just-so-happens to be classified within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The university's graduate taxation program focuses on Internal Revenue Code analysis, planning, and tax legislation changes. The curriculum was designed to build applicable real-world skills for working professionals. The program can be completed in as few as twelve months of full-time study, or at students' own pace in a part-time or online capacity. All on-campus classes are held in the evenings. Course requirements include Estate and Gift Taxation, Partners and Partnerships, and Tax Research Methodology.
The Arizona State University – Tempe campus is the largest of its four campuses. Located in the heart of Tempe, the urban campus is eight miles east of downtown Phoenix. It is situated around pedestrian malls and surrounded by an arboretum. ASU is ranked at No. 115 for National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. ASU's graduate taxation program aims to build students' communication, decision-making, and strategic thinking skills. The program prioritizes individual attention through small class sizes and mentorship opportunities. The plan of study includes courses in Analytics for Accountants; Corporate Governance, Ethics, and Sustainability Reporting; and Taxes and Business Strategy. Students sit for the Arizona CPA exam while completing the program. Overall, the MST can be completed in nine months.
Bentley University is a private university located nine miles west of Boston, MA. The university's graduate school specializes in the relationship between business and technology. U.S. News & World Report ranks Bentley at No. 3 for Regional Universities North and at No. 7 for Best Value Schools. Bentley's Masters in Taxation program is tailored for working professionals, with courses offered in the evenings and online through live-stream. Core courses include Corporations and Shareholders, Multi-Jurisdictional Taxation, and Transactions. Elective offerings include Intellectual Properties, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Tax Accounting Problems. Students may complete an internship or practicum and accompanying research paper.
Rutgers University has three regional campuses in New Jersey, including one in Newark, 30 minutes from New York City. Founded in 1776 in New Brunswick, Rutgers is the eighth oldest college in the nation. Rutgers' Newark campus is ranked 115th best for National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The university offers a Master of Accountancy in Taxation at its Newark campus. The program is designed to be completed by working professionals on a part-time basis. Rutgers' MST satisfies the educational requirements for the state CPA exam, though it is also suitable for current CPAs seeking career advancement. The curriculum is focused on global relations, real-world issues, and technological advancements in taxation. Courses include Consolidated Returns, Ethics in Business, and Law & Legal Reasoning.
Mississippi State University is a public research university near Starkville, MS. Its full name is the Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science. It is one of Mississippi's flagship universities, and the largest campus in the state by enrollment. U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU at No. 97 among the nation's Top Public Schools. The university's Master of Taxation allows students to design their program of study to fit their career goals and interests. Required courses include Business Assurance, Seminar in Financial Accounting Theory, and Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders.
Fordham University is a private Roman Catholic research university in New York City. U.S. News & World Report ranks Fordham at No. 70 for National Universities. Fordham's Master of Science in Taxation program can be completed in one full-time year or on a part-time basis to suit work schedules and individual needs. The curriculum builds skills in accounting, communications, estate and gift tax, general tax, and international tax. Course requirements include Current Law and Regulation Changes in Taxation, Federal Research and Procedure, and a Research Seminar. Students are presented with opportunities to network with taxation experts on campus and attend guest-speaker presentations.
Villanova University is a private research university in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. The university's graduate taxation program can be completed in person or fully online. The curriculum is updated regularly so as to stay up-to-date and modern taxation trends, practices, and advancements. Course requirements include Partnership Taxation, Survey of Tax, and Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders. Elective offerings include Charitable Gift Planning and Employee Benefits. Students of Villanova can apply to complete an internship with a local tax clinic or legal office as well. Overall, the MST program can be completed in two years.
The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, FL. U.S. News & World Report ranks UM's at No. 53 for National Universities. The university's Master of Science in Taxation is completable within one year of full-time classes. Required courses include Critical Thinking and Persuasion for Business, Financial Reporting Research, and International Financial Reporting Standards. Elective offerings include Data Mining and Forensic Accounting. Foreign students and those who hold an undergraduate degree in a field other than accounting can apply for the Accounting Summer Intensive Program.
The University of Mississippi is a public research university in Oxford, MS. Ole Miss offers a Master of Taxation degree program through its Patterson School of Accountancy. Course requirements include seminars in Income Tax & Tax Research and Accounting Theory, Cost, and Auditing. Elective offerings include Information Technology Auditing and Professional Report Writing. The program also offers a review course which allows students a structure for studying and sitting for the CPA exam. The Patterson School of Accountancy is also home to the National Library of the Accountancy Profession, which houses essentially every accounting periodical title in the English language.
Golden Gate University is a private university in San Francisco, CA. The university's graduate taxation program prioritizes real-world skills in courses taught by expert lawyers and tax professionals. The curriculum covers areas such as corporations, international tax, and retirement plans. Course offerings include Derivative Markets, Fixed Income Analysis, and Tax Timing. The program can be completed in person as part of an accelerated cohort, or online in a self-paced capacity. The full-time, in-person cohort program can be completed in 9 months, while online students generally complete the degree in two to four years.
The University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic research university in San Diego, CA. The university's Master's in Taxation program allows students to apply ethical leadership and financial strategizing skills. Students can take advantage of learning exercises such as case studies, experiential exercises, and simulations. Course offerings include European Accounting Business Environments, Fraud Examination, and Forensic Accounting, and Fundamentals of Personal Finance Planning. Students are also offered ample networking opportunities through on-campus interviews and recruiting and networking events, as well as off-campus interviews and office tours.
Grand Valley State University is a public liberal arts university providing students with an opportunity to earn their Master of Science in Taxation. GVSU's MST program is held on the university's downtown Grand Rapids campus. It is designed for working professionals, with classes held in the evenings. Most students complete the program part-time in two years. The coursework is client-focused, with an emphasis on problem-solving. Core courses include Partnership Taxation; the Taxation Problems, Planning, and Current Issues capstone; and Tax Research and Writing. Students are also required to complete related cognate courses such as Economic Reasoning and Legal Environment of Business.
Florida Gulf Coast University is one of 12 members of the State University System of Florida. U.S. News & World Report ranks FGCU at No. 78 for Regional Universities South and No. 29 in Top Public Schools. The university's Accounting and Taxation graduate program allow students to choose between accounting and tax degree tracks. The program incorporates aspects of communications, diversity, ethics, professionalism, and technology. Core courses for either track include Accounting Theory, Contemporary Tax Concepts, and Flow-Through Entities.
Eastern Michigan University is a public university in Ypsilanti, MI. Founded for teacher education as the Michigan State Normal School, EMU is now governed by the Michigan Board of Regents. The university's graduate taxation program emphasizes tax compliance, policy, and planning. The program also incorporates an understanding of technological advancements as they apply to tax practice, as well as ethical and legal standards in taxation. Core course requirements include Corporate Financial Reporting; Federal Income Taxation; and Tax Compliance, Research, and Policy. Elective offerings include Government and Electronic Tax Preparation, Non-Profit Accounting, and Professional Auditing.
The University of Baltimore UB's Merrick School of Business offers a taxation program in collaboration with the university's School of Law. The program, therefore, emphasizes aspects of tax laws and regulations. The curriculum specifically covers areas of bankruptcy taxation, consolidated corporations, tax procedures, and so on. Course offerings include Business Planning, Tax Research and Writing, and Welfare Benefit Plans. When combined with an undergraduate accounting degree, the graduate taxation program can fulfill the Maryland CPA educational requirements.
San Jose State University is the founding campus of the California State University system and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university's flexible graduate taxation program is suitable for entry-level and experienced tax professionals alike. Courses are offered on Saturdays, in the evenings, and online, with none during the busy tax season. Sample courses include Accounting for Income Taxes, Taxation of Business Entities, and Tax Research and Decision Making. Students may complete the program in one full-time year or in two to three part-time years. The university's Tax Institute holds regular conferences and events.
Baylor University is a private Baptist Christian University chartered in 1845 by the last Congress of the Republic of Texas. U.S. News & World Report ranks Baylor at No. 78 for National Universities. The university's graduate taxation program is comprised of business, finance, and tax coursework. Program requirements include Business and Professional Ethics for Accountants, International Taxation, and Tax Research. Students must complete a relevant internship, generally during the spring semester of the program. Students can work with academic advisors to ensure they are taking courses that are applicable to the CPA exam.
Weber State University provides students with a Master of Taxation with courses incorporating real-world scenarios to train graduates to handle complex aspects of taxes. Courses are provided in the evenings for students with busy work schedules. Students can expect to take courses such as Internal Auditing, International Taxation, and Tax Research & Communication. The MST's course objectives allow students to develop skills in areas such as exempt entities, mergers and acquisitions, and retirement planning. Students gain experience in oral and written communications, preparing tax returns, and researching tax law. The degree satisfies the education requirements for the Utah CPA exam.
Fairleigh Dickinson University was the first American university to operate an international campus. Along with its Florham and Metropolitan campuses in New Jersey, the private university operates campuses in Canada and the United Kingdom. Fairleigh's Master of Science in Taxation program on its Metropolitan Campus, which spans the Hackensack River. The program is designed to benefit both entry-level and experienced tax professionals. The curriculum emphasizes practical applications of current tax law, planning, and research. Required courses include Advanced Corporate Tax, Partnerships, and a Tax Research Project. Electives include Estate & Gift Taxation and U.S. International Corporate Taxation. The university offers qualified students provost scholarships.
Florida Atlantic University is a public university with five satellite campuses throughout South Florida. It is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. The Carnegie Foundation classifies FAU as a research university with high research activity. The university's selective Master of Taxation program is flexible and self-directed. It accommodates full-time students as well as those who work full-time. Core courses include Corporate Taxation, Partnership Taxation, and Tax Research. The MST's required courses are also applicable toward student CPA certifications, and other professional licensure requirements.
Bryant University is a private university that was founded in 1863 as a bookkeeping and business communication school. U.S. News & World Report ranks Bryant's Master of Science in Taxation at No. 10 in Regional Universities in the North. The university's graduate taxation program is offered part-time and designed for individuals with a fundamental knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code. The curriculum covers areas such as corporate income taxation, property tax, and K entity interests. Required courses include Corporations and Shareholders, Individual Income Taxation, and Sales and Exchanges of Property. Elective offerings include Corporate Reorganizations, Multi-State Taxation, and Pension and Profit Sharing.
American University is a private research university chartered by U.S. Congress in 1893. Though it is affiliated with the Methodist church, religious affiliation is not an admissions criterion. The university's Master of Science in Taxation program combines theoretical learning with technical skill application. The MST requires two core courses, which are Tax Planning for Individuals and Tax Research and Procedure. Specialization course offerings include Accounting Projects and Methods, International Taxation, and Tax Policy. The Kogod Tax Policy Center is an extension of the program which produces research projects, sponsors workshops, and provides networking opportunities.
California State University, Northridge is a public state university in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA. The university's graduate Taxation program is designed for working professionals. Students can choose to join live classes virtually or in person. Classes are held on Saturdays and on one weeknight per week, and no classes are held during tax season. Core courses include Accounting Methods and Periods, Federal Tax Procedure, and Income Taxation of Partnerships. Students can gain practical experience through the program's tax project, tax clinics, and the student-run tax journal. The entire degree program takes 19 months to complete.
Pace University is a private university with the main campus in the Financial District of Manhattan. It has three additional campuses in suburban Westchester County, NY. U.S. News & World Report ranks Pace 177th in National Universities. The university's Master of Science in Taxation builds skills in financial and managerial accounting, fundamental tax concepts, legal environment of businesses, and property sale and exchange. Course offerings include Estate Planning, International Taxation, and Tax Accounting. All students must take a Research Methodology course and complete a related research project.
Widener University is a private university in Chester, PA. It has additional campuses in Exton and Harrisburg, PA, and Wilmington, DE. The university's Taxation & Financial Planning program covers topics including those required for the Certified Financial Planner exam. Widener also hosts the office of Journal of Financial Service Professionals. All Taxation & Financial Planning students are required to join the Society of Financial Services Professionals, which they can do at student rates. Course requirements include a Comprehensive Financial Plan, Financial Fundamentals, and Insurance Products & Planning.
Northern Illinois University is a research university in DeKalb, IL, with five additional satellite campuses throughout Illinois. NIU's Master of Science in Taxation program was designed to accommodate students who work full-time. Courses are held at the university's Hoffman Estates campus on weekday evenings. Course requirements include Corporate Taxation, Federal Estate, and Gift Taxation, and Professional Tax Research. Students may pursue supervised independent studies in topics of interest. Each student is expected to take a Graduate Management Admission Test prior to beginning the program.
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis is a public research university on a peninsula adjacent to downtown Indianapolis, IN. It is a core campus of Indiana University, and it also offers Purdue degrees. Students do not need a business or accounting degree for admittance to IUPUI's graduate Taxation program. The only prerequisite is an Introduction to Financial Accounting course. The curriculum covers areas including business and estate planning, corporation tax, and tax-exempt organizations. Required courses include Accounting Periods and Methods, Taxation of S Corporations, and Tax Research. Students can apply a maximum of three credits toward their work experience credit as part of the school's Learning in a Professional Environment program.
Jefferson University is a private university formed through the 2017 merger of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University. U.S. News & World Report ranks Jefferson at No. 5 for Most Innovative Schools, No. 15 for Regional Universities North, and No. 30 for Best Value Schools. Jefferson's Master of Science in Taxation is geared toward practicing accountants, financial managers and planners, and lawyers. The program offers full- and part-time options. Its core curriculum includes courses in Corporation Taxation and Planning, Foundations of Economic Analysis, and Individual Taxation and Planning. Students may also take up to seven discounted courses in preparation for a Financial Planning certification.
Baruch College is a public research institution residing in Manhattan's Gramercy Park. U.S. News & World Report ranks Baruch No. 20 for Regional Universities in the North. Baruch's Master of Science in Taxation can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. The program is designed for, both, experienced tax professionals, and students hoping to enter the taxation field. Course requirements include Business Communication; Estate, Trusts, and Planning; and Partnership Taxation. Baruch's MST typically requires one to two years for students to complete. Credits can be applied toward New York Certified Public Accountant licensure.
Robert Morris University is a private institution located in Moon Township, a suburban area found just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. The school was named after the financier of the American Revolution. Founded as the Pittsburgh School of Accountancy, RMU has a long history in financial studies. The university offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Taxation. The program curriculum covers areas including accounting, consulting, finance, and tax planning. Sample courses include Federal Estate & Gift Taxes, Income Taxation of Corporations & Shareholders, and Tax Research. Students can complete an independent study course in which they examine and write an analytical paper on a taxation topic of interest.
Walsh College is a nonprofit business school based in Troy, MI. The college's Master of Science in Taxation is its longest-running graduate program. Students may join the Accounting and Tax Student Organization, which partners with The Accounting Aid Society each year to help community members file taxes for free. Walsh is also home to the Mark R. Solomon Tax Symposium, where students and industry experts gather to explore tax practices, challenges, and opportunities. The program's core courses include Advanced Tax Research Writing & Citation Methodology, Planning & Current Issues in Taxation and The Role of Legal Authorities in Taxation.
Our Methodology, Explained
Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates
Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid
Admission and enrollment rates
Number of program options
Online Enrollment Score
Portion of learners taking at least one online course
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