Bookkeeping Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Students planning to attend a bookkeeping college have a number of factors to take into account when selecting a school. These include available bookkeeping programs, program length, and class scheduling.

Students considering attending a college for bookkeeping should first evaluate the types of programs in bookkeeping that are available. Bookkeeping and basic accounting degrees are offered through both 2- and 4-year colleges.

10 Schools with Bookkeeping Programs

These ten colleges and universities in the United States offer relevant education for aspiring bookkeepers:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Herzing University Madison, WI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate's, Bachelor's $13,090
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Diploma $2,200**
Pace University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate $1,299**
Everett Community College Everett, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,643 in-state,
$8,981 out-of-state
North Seattle College Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,458 in-state,
$9,693 out-of-state
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,974 in-state,
$8,610 out-of-state
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $3,913 in-state,
$7,825 out-of-state
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,448 in-state,
$6,704 out-of-state
Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs, CO 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,446 in-district,
$2,756 in-state,
$9,140 out-of-state
Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,730 in-state,
$6,451 out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website (2016-2017)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Accounting with Computers, General
  • Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation, General

School Selection Criteria

Some considerations for choosing bookkeeping education include the following:

  • When choosing between a certificate or degree program in bookkeeping, students should take into account the length of the program. Certificate programs usually last for one year or less, associate's degree programs typically take two years, and a bachelor's degree program usually takes four years.
  • For students with time constraints, such as a full-time job, it can be helpful to find a program that includes night-and-weekend or online classes.
  • Aspiring bookkeepers may want to find out if the program prepares students for the exam they must pass in order to earn the Certified Bookkeeper designation from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
  • Students who are choosing between certificate programs may want to check whether the credits they earn might be transferred to an associate's degree in the future. Similarly, students who are looking at associate's degree programs may try to find out if they can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree program.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

The most common training programs for aspiring bookkeepers are undergraduate certificate and diploma programs. Most of these programs take about a year to complete, although there are shorter programs that can be completed in less time. These programs provide education in the basic concepts of accounting and finance, as well as an introduction to industry-standard computer software, such as QuickBooks. An internship may also be included in the curriculum. Online and part-time study options are available at many schools.

Associate's Degree Programs

There are only a few schools in the country that provide associate's degree programs specifically in bookkeeping. However, many Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Science (AS) programs in accounting include much of the same coursework as bookkeeping certificate programs, plus additional general education courses, so they provide adequate education for a bookkeeping job. Graduates are also prepared for other entry-level finance-related positions.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

In most cases, bachelor's degree programs provide a higher level of education than is necessary for work as a bookkeeper, but there are a few schools that provide bachelor's degree programs in accounting that include relevant studies in the field. Because these programs last for four years instead of two years, they go beyond the associate-level curriculum with more advanced coursework in financial analysis and investment management.

There are many schools offering bookkeeping education in the form of certificates and undergraduate degrees. Often, programs are available in flexible online or part-time formats.

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