I have been researching Masters of Accounting programs for someone without a background in accounting. I have a B.S. in Natural Resources and a minor in Business with managerial and financial accounting. I was looking for a Masters of Accounting program with no or few Prerequisites and could be completed in a year. I limited my search to AACSB accredited schools because non-AACSB accredited schools such as University of Phoenix or Southern New Hampshire are a waste of time and money if you want to get a job and pass the CPA exam. In person programs are preferred by employers, but I am also listing several online programs. Here are the best programs I have found listed by my criteria of number of prerequisites, cost, and quality:
#1. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. This program is highly ranked (top 10) and has a high CPA exam pass rate (85-90%). This is an intensive 1 year program and cost $40,000 for residents $55,000 for non-residents. The average accepted student's GPA is 3.4 and they accept both the GRE and the GMAT, with an average GRE score of 314 and an average GMAT of 654. No prerequisites are required though basic managerial and financial accounting are recommended. The program runs May-May each year and housing costs are moderate.
#2. San Diego State University. Requires the equivalent of a minor in business but no upper division accounting classes. Accepts both the GRE and GMAT and has an average GMAT of 600 and GRE of 310 with average GPA of 3.3 for incoming students. Masters can be completed with 36 units in 1 year and 1 summer. CPA pass rate of 70%, which is 5th highest in California. Tuition is about $20,000 per year. Housing is expensive.
#3. University of New Mexico. Requires only basic accounting and can be completed with 36 units of graduate classes. Accepts both GRE and GMAT. A few classes are offered online, but most are in person. Could not find information on CPA pass rate. Tuition is about $25,000 for the entire program. Housing is affordable.
Other programs worth looking into with few prerequisites are University of Colorado - Denver and University of Idaho - Moscow, Texas A&M-Commerce, and Stetson University in Deland, FL. These programs require Intermediate Accounting I&II, Cost accounting, Auditing and a business background but are flexible.
#1. Sacramento State University. Requires no accounting background and takes the GMAT with and average scores of around 650 and GPA of 3.3. Can be completed with 30 units of graduate work. No background accounting courses required. AACSB accredited. Costs about $800 per unit. Classes are offered in modules 5 times per year rather than traditional semester classes. Pass rate for CPA exam is 50% for the school.
#2. Texas A&M Commerce. Takes the GRE & GMAT and will even waive these exams if your GPA is 3.0 or greater. Can be completed with 39 units of graduate work. No background accounting or business courses required for admission. AACSB accredited. Costs about $800 per unit. Classes are offered in traditional semester system and summer. Also has an in-person program with the same requirements. Pass rate for CPA exam is only about 30% for school.
The two online programs below require significant prerequisites, but are highly ranked schools with top accounting programs:
Florida Atlantic University. Takes the GRE & GMAT and can be completed with about 40 units with a few background courses. Tuition is expensive and will cost $40,000 to $50,000 for the entire program. AACSB accredited. Also has an in person program. Had a CPA exam pass rate of 50% for the entire school.
Stetson University (Deland Florida). This small school has both online and in person programs that require Intermediate Accounting I&II, Cost Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation as prerequisites as well as basic business classes. AACSB accredited. The tuition is about $26,000 for the program and it is offered in a Fall-Spring-Summer format. The CPA pass rate for this school was very high - 70% and compares to the University of Florida pass rate.
Hope this helps!