15 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Taxation in 2021

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Updated June 28, 2021

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Looking to work full-time while enhancing your taxation understanding and skills? The following 15 Best Online Master's Degrees in Taxation offer flexible routes to taxation expertise.

A Master's Degree in Taxation deepens individuals' understanding of the intricacies, regulations, and best practices of the ever-changing tax world. Graduate taxation degree programs cover the professional, legal, and financial aspect of tax practice. Elective offerings may address taxation from individual to international levels. Graduate taxation coursework can build skills in the planning, writing, and research involved in tax practice.

Some of the universities listed require students to hold Certified Public Accountant licensure upon entrance into the program. Most, however, build CPA exam training into the taxation curricula. Many states request individuals to have 150 academic credit hours prior to taking the CPA exam, and many of the following degrees fulfill said stipulation. Individuals who hold master's degrees in Taxation may go on to work for accounting firms, corporations or private businesses, or the government. They may take on roles as revenue agents, tax collectors, and tax examiners. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals in these careers earn a median annual pay of $53,130.

15 Best Online Master's in Taxation in 2021

  1. Northeastern University

    Boston, MA



    Northeastern University offers Grad School Hub's top-ranked online master's degree in taxation. The university's Master of Science in Taxation program is suitable for those with professional backgrounds in accounting, business, finance, and law. Students can choose to pursue a Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals track. Required courses for all students include Estate and Gift Taxation, Partners and Partnerships, and Tax Research Methodology. The MST can be completed entirely online and in as few as 16 months.

    The Evening Institute for Younger Men held its first class at the Boston YMCA in 1898. Over the next four decades, the institute evolved into Northeastern University. Today, the private university has a main campus in the heart of Boston and satellite campuses in Charlotte, NC; San Jose, CA; and Seattle, WA. NEU is classified within the highest tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. It has made advances in areas such as cybersecurity, drug discovery, and urban sustainability. The university emphasizes cooperative study, combining classroom study with professional experience. It has consistently ranked in Princeton Review's top 5 "Best Schools for Internships" for over a decade. U.S. News & World Reportranks NEU No. 44 in the nation and at No. 72 for best value.

  2. University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA



    The University of Southern California is home to the Jennifer and James R. Parks Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals. Most students enroll in the program as licensed CPAs and begin with an average of six months of relevant work experience. At least one year of tax-related work experience is expected of incoming students. Course requirements include Communication for Accounting and Tax Professionals, Tax Research and Professional Responsibilities, and Tax Theory and Ethics. USC offers its MBT entirely online, enabling online students to engage with one another in the same live class session as their on-campus peers. These sessions are generally held once a week between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The online program can be completed in as few as five semesters - about 20 months - or at students' own pace.

    USC was founded in 1880 on donations from key figures in early Los Angeles history, including an Irish Catholic former governor, a German Jewish banker, and a Protestant nurseryman. The school has always mandated that "no student be denied admission because of race." Originally affiliated with the Methodist Church, USC ended the affiliation in 1952. USC is the earliest private research university in California. Technologies developed at the university include the Domain Name System, antivirus software, and DNA computing. U.S. News & World Reportranks USC at No. 22 in the nation and No. 37 for best value.

  3. University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati, OH



    The University of Cincinnati's Master of Science in Taxation focuses on individual and corporate taxation. Students applying to the program should have both a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and leadership experience. The degree's departmental faculty is made up of expert lawyers, CPAs, and Fortune 500 professionals. Graduates are taught how to write professional-quality tax research papers and documents. Required courses include Corporate Tax: Life Cycle Strategies; Individual Tax: Structure; and Taxation of Subchapter S Corporations. The MST culminates in research capstone courses in individual and corporate taxation. UC's online MST can be completed in two years.

    The founding of UC was delayed by veal and livestock lobbyists protesting its potentially liberal arts-based curriculum and lack of agricultural emphasis. The university was ultimately chartered by Ohio state legislature in 1870. Today, it is a member of the University System of Ohio and the second largest university in the state. It is also the first higher education institution in the state of Ohio. The space-grant university is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Reportranks UC No. 147th nationally.

  4. Villanova University

    Villanova, PA



    Villanova University's Master of Taxation program emphasizes real-world issues and professional responsibility in tax practice. The curriculum is regularly reviewed and updated in accordance with current trends and practices in the tax world. Required courses include Partnership Taxation, Professional Practice, and Tax Procedure, and Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders. Elective offerings include Charitable Gift Planning, Global Tax Planning in Today's Dynamic Environment, and Green Tax Planning. The MTax can be completed entirely online in two years.

    The university was established in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine and named after Saint Thomas of Villanova. The college closed twice in its early years due to financial troubles caused by the Philadelphia Nativist Riots and the Panic of 1857. Villanova reopened in 1865 following the Civil War and has operated continuously ever since. Located in a Philadelphia suburb, Villanova is the oldest Catholic University in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The private university welcomes students of all faiths. U.S. News & World Reportranks Villanova No. 49 nationally and at No. 48 for best value.

  5. Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton, FL



    Florida Atlantic University offers a selective Master of Taxation program. Students may complete their degree on a full-time or part-time basis. The pace at which students can complete the MTax is flexible and self-directed. The core curriculum includes courses in Corporate Taxation, Partnership Taxation, and Tax Research. The program's classes can be used to satisfy CPA educational requirements.

    FAU was established by the state legislature in 1961. The first degree the university awarded was an honorary doctorate to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Today, FAU is a member of the State University System of Florida and has five satellite campuses throughout South Florida. It is classified as a "high research activity" university by the Carnegie Foundation. The public university conducts research in areas such as bioinformatics and ocean engineering. It is home to "two centers of excellence": The Center of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology and The Center for Ocean Energy Technology. It also houses a NASA Imaging Technology Space Center.

  6. Bentley University

    Waltham, MA



    Bentley University's Master of Science in Taxation is the largest graduate tax program in New England. It is designed for working professionals, with the convenience of evening and online classes. Online and in-person classes are held simultaneously to foster interaction between all students and the instructor. Enrolled students have seven years of relevant experience on average, and most complete their studies on a part-time basis. Core courses include Corporations and Shareholders, Multi-Jurisdictional Taxation, and Transactions. The curriculum can be applied to the CPA licensing education requirement.

    Bentley was founded in 1917 as the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance. Originally located on Boylston Street in Boston, the university has since moved about 9 miles west to suburban Waltham, MA. Today, the private university has a focus on business education- although its roots in accounting continue to enrich its MST. U.S. News & World Reportranks Bentley as the third best college for northern region and seventh nationally for best value.

  7. University of Denver

    Denver, CO



    The University of Denver offers an interdisciplinary Master of Tax program. Students are taught about the legal and accounting aspects of tax practice and how the two areas relate. Required courses include Civil & Criminal Tax Procedure, Individual Tax Problems, and Property Transactions. The degree can be completed on campus, entirely online, or a hybrid format. On-campus and online students alike will have access to high-quality video recordings of each class, which can be streamed live or reviewed later. Online students also have access to PowerPoint slides and written materials for each class. DU is also home to the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the preferred referral source of Denver's U.S. Tax Court.

    DU was founded as the Colorado Seminary in 1865 by John Evans, former Governor of the Colorado Territory. The seminary began as a Methodist institution to "civilize" the new city of Denver, which was a mining camp at that time. The school was renamed the University of Denver in 1880, though it is still legally named Colorado Seminary. DU is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. U.S. News & World Reportranks DU at No. 96 for National Universities and No. 58 for best value.

  8. The University of Alabama

    Tuscaloosa, AL



    The University of Alabama offers a Juris Master Concentration in Taxation. The program is suitable for accountants, business students, and CPAs. Cohorts begin each August, and all students must complete an online orientation session. All students must also pass a comprehensive first-year exam administered on campus at the Law School. Required courses include Capital Transactions, Corporate Tax, and Personal Income Tax. Electives are offered in Business Law and Tax, including courses in Business Bankruptcy, Ethics, and Securities Regulation. The degree takes two years to complete.

    The seeds of UA were planted in 1818 when Congress authorized the establishment of a "seminary of learning" in the Alabama Territory. The seminary was established in 1820 as "The University of the State of Alabama" in the state's then-capital of Tuscaloosa. UA is the most antiquated of the state's public universities, and the flagship institution of the University of Alabama System. In fact, UA was a center of organizing during the American Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. With both sea and space grants, the university is categorized among the Carnegie Foundation's top-tier research universities. U.S. News & World Reportranks UA at No. 129 for National Universities and No. 80 for best value.

  9. St. John's University

    Queens, NY



    St. John's University's Master of Science in Taxation can be achieved entirely online. It is suitable for both entry-level and experienced tax professionals. The MST has a special emphasis on building research and writing skills and a comprehensive understanding of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations. Curriculum requirements include courses in Corporate Taxation, Partnerships and Partners; and Practice and Procedure. Elective options include Global Taxation Systems, Individual Tax Planning, and Real Estate. Students can earn elective credits by completing an internship as well. All students must conduct a research project resulting in an article. The online MST can be completed in one to two years.

    St. John's was founded in 1870 by the Vincentians of the Roman Catholic church. It was named after Saint John the Baptist. The school's intention was intended to provide the disadvantaged youth of the city with an intellectual and moral education. Originally located in Brooklyn, the private research university is now located in the borough of Queens. It has additional New York campuses in Manhattan and Staten Island and a graduate center on Long Island. It has international locations in Limerick, Ireland; Paris, France; and Rome, Italy. U.S. News & World Reportranks the University at No. 152 in the nation.

  10. University of Akron

    Akron, OH



    The University of Akron's Master of Taxation can be completed on campus or fully online. It is suitable for both entry-level and experienced accountants and attorneys. Students must take an entrance exam unless they are practicing CPAs or attorneys with two or more years of experience. Those in the online MTax Direct program are expected to join live classes virtually, although lectures are recorded and archived for later review if needed. Course requirements include International Taxation, State and Local Taxation, and Tax Policy and Ethics. The online MTax can be achieved in as few as 15 months.

    The University of Akron opened in 1872 as a single-building campus college in alignment with Universalist religious principles. Today, it is a public research university and a member institution of the University System of Ohio. The university offers STEM-focused education with research in industries such as engineering and polymers. It has three branch campuses in the Ohio towns of Lafayette Township, Lakewood, and Orrville. The main campus in Akron is home to the Archives of History of American Psychology, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

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.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

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