Best Online Bachelor Degree Programs in Accounting

Apr 29, 2021

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Accounting

Study.com has researched dozens of institutions with online bachelor's in accounting programs to find programs that were accessible, high-quality, and affordable for students seeking an online degree. We looked for things like possible certification opportunities, accreditations, and positive online student experiences as well as used our unique ranking system to create this list of the best of the best for online undergraduate accounting degrees.

1. University of Sioux Falls

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18,910 91% 64% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, SD, offers an online degree completion program in accounting for adult students who previously started their degree or recently finished their associate degree. This exciting Bachelor of Arts in Accounting program prides itself on its International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education accreditation, as well the fact that it teaches students to be positive leaders through Christian faith. Students can expect a positive online experience with expert faculty mentorship and networking opportunities with other professionals through career internship fairs and the academic success center.

2. Park University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,399 No Available Data (2019-2020) 62% 93% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Park University in Parkville, MO, has been providing online programs like their Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree for more than 25 years. The program prepares students to take the Certified Management Accountant exams before graduation and serves as a launchpad for the MBA program and preparing for Certified Public Accountant licensing. This online accounting program also boasts small classes, a variety of internship opportunities, and a curriculum steeped in ethics, technology, and practical skills.

3. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,768 82% 44% 97% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, LA, offers a flexible, convenient online program for adult students seeking career paths in various areas of accounting. The Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International-accredited program has online lectures, discussions, and virtual meetings with classmates to promote engagement. Students also concentrate on one course at a time in the four-to-eight-week sessions in summer and eight-week and full term sessions in fall and spring, meaning they can finish at an accelerated pace without sacrificing concept mastery.

4. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,149 95% 52% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

Clarion University of Pennsylvania in Clarion, PA, has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting that has three concentrations to fit the career goals of its students. The CPA concentration is designed for students who plan on becoming Certified Public Accountants, the industry concentration is for students not planning on seeking certification but who want to work in industries like nonprofits or government, and the internal audit and forensic accounting concentration is geared toward students who want to become certified internal auditors. This program also offers an internship program, as well as various student support services like career services, online library access, a writing center, tutoring, and a comprehensive online orientation.

5. Regent University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18,620 86% 57% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Regent University in Virginia Beach covers topics from international business to financial management - all from a Christian perspective. Students in this Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs approved program will prepare to take the CPA exam and can even sit for the exam in Virginia after graduation. Unique faculty mentorship and various scholarship opportunities round out the numerous student benefits of this program.

6. Old Dominion University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,680 89% 53% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, has an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with an accounting focus that aims to develop students into leaders. This degree completion program is catered toward students who already have college credit. The program is separately accredited by the AACSB and provides students advancement opportunities to earn credits toward an MBA or MPA. Students can also take advantage of the school's online coaching and advising team, participate in engaging online classes live, or meet with their professors one-on-one virtually.

7. Touro University Worldwide

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14,600 No Available Data (2019-2020) 100% 90% No Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management with an Accounting concentration from Touro University Worldwide in Los Alamitos, CA, teaches students unique problem-solving skills. Students in this program can complete their degree at their own pace in as little as three and a half years. Touro University's small class sizes and professors with real-world experience provide a personalized experience for students. The school will also accept up to 90 transfer credits, making it easy for students to continue their accounting education.

8. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,470 83% 71% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Maryville University of St. Louis' online Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a blend of business and accounting that will prepare students for the future of the accounting field. With curriculum based on industry leader input, this program prepares students for the CPA exam, as well helps them earn credit toward a master's degree in accounting. Students are not required to have previous accounting experience in this program but will graduate with ample real-world accounting experience and tangible skills including proficiency in industry computer programs and financial forecasting.

9. Troy University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,908 88% 47% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Global Business from Troy University in Troy, AL, has a concentration in accounting and finance through its prestigious Sorrell College of Business. This school has been educating working adults and military students online for more than 20 years. Students in this accredited program can be assured they will be supported through its esteemed faculty, counseling, career services, online tutoring opportunities, and writing center services. Courses are a unique 9 weeks long and offer a well-rounded taste of accounting and finance for career development.

10. Davenport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19,338 82% 49% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI, offers an amazing online Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting program that has a reputation for placing nearly all its graduates in jobs - in fact, it guarantees it. Students can choose to specialize in internal auditing or management accounting in this program, which is designed to prepare students for the CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Management Accountant exams. The program is one of eight schools that received a specific accounting accreditation from the IACBE. Students also have internship opportunities and can participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and Business Professionals of America competitions.

11. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,568 74% 63% 95% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's online Bachelor of Science in Accounting describes itself as elite due it its seal of excellence in accounting from the AACB and endorsement by the Institute of Management Accountants. Students can choose a self-paced option or a structured, accelerated program concentrating on forensic accounting or information technology. This program also acts as a gateway to an accelerated master's program that tracks students toward becoming a CPA. Various internship opportunities and mentorship from award-winning faculty wrap up the program's benefits.

12. Concordia University-Saint Paul

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22,800 98% 51% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The fantastic online Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, is designed to help students prepare for the CPA and CMA certifications with its business core courses. Students are also prepared for careers in business, government or nonprofit, with 95 percent of Concordia graduates receiving job offers within a year of graduating. This program is designed with a flexible schedule for adult learners with seven-week modules.

13. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$21,456 88% 45% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX, has a fully online bachelor's in accounting degree with a unique Christian world view. Students will experience small class sizes and have full access to campus support and resources like the career center and counseling center. The university's business programs are also accredited by IACBE. This program is also even more affordable, with recently reduced tuition rates.

14. Northern State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,750 84% 48% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, aims to prepare students with the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to obtain professional certifications like CMA, CIA or a certified bookkeeper. Students have the opportunity to network with the Accounting Club, obtain internships for academic credit. There are also scholarships offered for qualifying students through the School of Business, making this program another affordable option.

15. Dakota State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,536 77% 43% 93% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Dakota State University in Madison, SD, has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting that delves into logistics by giving students expertise in accounting technology. This program has built in computer coursework in programs like QuickBooks, Sage 50, and other tax preparation programs to make students competitive in the job market. This program is also accredited by ACBSP and encourages students to complete internships.

16. University of Toledo

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,187 96% 50% 95% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Toledo in Ohio claims it is one of the best in the nation due to its CPA exam pass rate. This program's rigorous academic requirements is proven by its accreditation by the AACSB and its job placement rate of 93 percent. Students are supported from engaged faculty and the College of Business and Innovation's advising team. Students also have access to virtual support resources like the library, tutoring and IT help desk.

17. Fayetteville State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5,274 69% 34% 95% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Fayetteville State University in North Carolina offers a flexible online degree completion program for its Bachelor of Science in Accounting. This fantastic program teaches students how to use technology in the accounting field, while allowing them to choose courses from data processing to management to finance based on their career goals. Students will also collaborate with accounting professionals, get involved with an internship program and have access to job fairs.

18. Liberty University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16,118 51% 47% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, has unique biblical focus so students are prepared to handle ethical issues in the field. Taught by working professionals, this ACBSP-accredited program works to prepare students with industry skills to sit for the CPA exams. Accounting students will also enjoy benefits like frozen tuition rates, free electronic textbooks, additional credit for certifications, life experience and military training, and the ability to transfer up to 75% of the degree's total credits.

19. University of Memphis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,912 85% 53% 97% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The University of Memphis' online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics is fully accredited by the AACSB and designed to help prepare students for the CPA exam. The program at this Tennessee school not only covers foundational accounting concepts, but also helps them build business and leadership skills through courses in business ethics and decision making and how accounting supports an organization. Students in this online program will have access to career services, counseling, library services, tutoring, and tech support.

20. Dickinson State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,784 100% 41% 93% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Dickinson State University in Dickinson, ND, has a top-notch online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program that is versatile in both accounting and finance. This program helps students fulfill the educational requirements for the CMA, CFE, and CIA certification exams, as well as work toward the CPA exam. The School of Business and Entrepreneurship is accredited through the IACBE, so students can be assured that this program is as rigorous as its on-campus counterpart but with a flexible format.

21. Bemidji State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,940 65% 48% 90% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN, is perfect for career changers or students looking for professional development. This program can be completed in as little as two years depending on previous college credit, and students can choose to focus on advanced accounting principles for the CPA exam. Online accounting students have the opportunity for many of the hands-on experiences as on-campus students, such as participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or the Association of Accounting Professionals groups, attending a student conference for accounting and auditing, being placed at an internship by career services, or learning about scholarship opportunities for accounting majors.

22. Saint Leo University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$23,750 72% 49% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Saint Leo University in St. Petersburg, FL, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Accounting through a Catholic, liberal arts lens focused on ethical responsibilities. This well-rounded program prepares students for accounting careers in a range of environments, from corporations to museums to technology start-ups. Online students also have the opportunity to complete an internship, collaborate with their faculty mentor, connect with alumni about their experience, and more.

23. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,757 76% 35% 88% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the only accounting program in the state accredited by the AACSB. This program has a reputation for high CPA pass rates and places nearly all of their students in jobs. Online students are offered networking and internship opportunities to develop their soft skills, as well as given the option to attend guest lectures and workshops. The program is also affordable, providing in-state tuition for students nationwide.

24. Northwood University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,080 79% 54% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

Northwood University in Midland, MI, solely focuses on business, meaning students in its online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program will be immersed in accounting courses immediately. This program blends accounting and management, with its curriculum proven by its many graduates in leadership positions at firms locally or internationally. Students can also take advantage of a four-year BBA/MBA program to advance their education or earn college credit for life experience with the prior learning assessment program.

25. Southern Utah University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6,770 78% 50% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

Southern Utah University in Cedar City, UT, has an AACSB-accredited online Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that is known for the success of its graduates - with almost 100 percent of graduates getting a job after graduation. This program has a focus on career development, with internship opportunities and career coaching available. Students can also continue to a two-semester fast track for their master's in accountancy degree - a popular option that gets them closer to their CPA licensure. The best part? This program has a CPA exam pass rate higher than the national average.

26. University of Mary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19,074 74% 60% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, is an accelerated, online program that readies students for continuing their education to an MBA or prepares students for their CPA exam in as little as 3.3 years. This IACBE-accredited program has a unique focus on the Christian values that provides students accounting expertise with an emphasis on ethics. Easily transferable credits and military benefits round out student benefits.

27. Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6,450 58% 36% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

Eastern New Mexico University's main campus is in Portales, NM, but the online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting is fully online - and boasts a low out-of-state tuition. This program is geared toward helping students prepare for certification exams like the CPA, CMA, CIA, CGFM, and CFE. Students can take advantage of free job placement assistances by Counseling and Career Services, as well as advising and tutoring services specifically for online students.

28. Georgia Southwestern State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5,500 58% 38% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, GA, is perfect for working adults, military, or transfer students looking for a degree completion program. This AACSB-accredited program allows students to obtain credits for prior learning and obtain the same degree as the on-campus students for a low price point. This program also prepares students for various certification exams in the accounting field.

29. University of West Alabama

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,990 35% 35% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of West Alabama in Livingston, AL, has an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting designed with the purpose of making students competitive in the field by developing necessary computer accounting system skills. This program is ACBSP-accredited and is taught by experts in the field dedicated to giving students personalized attention and sharing knowledge needed to be an accounting professional. The program can also be completed in as little as three years.

30. Florida Atlantic University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$4,879 63% 50% 82% Yes Yes AP Credits

The online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, provides students with the same education experience as the on-campus students with the same faculty and AACSB-accredited curriculum. This program is offered in a unique format called Lecture Capture Video Streaming, so students can participate in the classes live while they are recorded or watch the full recording at their convenience. Online students also have access to advising services, instructors, and on-campus events, as well as 24/7 technical support.

31. Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,272 80% 37% 71% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Texas A&M University's Corpus Christi campus offers an online Bachelor in Business Administration degree completion program that covers four areas of accounting, including: accounting education, government accounting, management accounting, and public accounting. This program meets the education requirements for the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, as well as lead to certification opportunities as CMA, CIA, or CFE. Students can also continue on to their Master of Accountancy at the university.

32. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,512 66% 43% 95% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a practice-based program designed to prepare students to sit for the Arkansas CPA exam. This online program is accredited by the AACSB as a result of its rigorous curriculum. Students can get involved with organizations and events, take advantage of the tutoring and advising services, and learn more about scholarship opportunities.

33. Texas A & M University - Commerce

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,958 43% 43% 91% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University - Commerce campus aims to recruit the best of the best for its accounting program. This program is taught by accomplished faculty to prepare students for certification exams. The AACSB-accredited program also provides students with career services, helps them build industry connections, gain internship experience, and learn from expert guest speakers.

34. Indiana State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,236 90% 41% 92% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting that is geared toward preparing students for career and education advancement. This AACSB-accredited program serves as preparation for the CPA exam and is a launchpad for earning an MBA or master's in accounting. Students will also learn employer-sought critical thinking and communication skills, as well as have the opportunity to minor in an area of interest like forensic accounting, finance, or insurance and risk management.

35. Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,666 63% 31% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK, is offered online in an asynchronous format so students have the flexibility to finish their degree. This program is accredited by the ACBSP and the 16-week schedule allows students to master the material, including accounting software skills. Students can also take advantage of possible scholarship opportunities, as well as network in student organizations.

36. University of Minnesota-Crookston

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12,116 68% 50% 93% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The University of Minnesota's Crookston campus offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that includes additional certifications and exam preparation. This program contains four CPA review courses and the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Taxation during their studies. Students in this ACBSP-accredited program will also be prepared for the CMA or CIA certification exams, as well as for career opportunities in forensic accounting and auditing.

37. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14,722 66% 48% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus is the only public university in Illinois that offers an online accounting degree completion program - and it is AACSB-accredited. In two years, students can prepare for the CPA exam by taking two courses at a time in eight weeks to finish the program faster or take one course at a time for flexibility. Scholarship opportunities, as well as interview training and job placement assistance are just a few benefits available to online accounting students.

38. Belhaven University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26,201 49% 50% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS, is a flexible program with an emphasis on Christian values and ethics. During this program, students will get on-the-job training experience and internships - some even secure jobs. Other program benefits include small class sizes to promote a positive online learning experience, seven-week courses, and competitive tuition rates.

39. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,872 58% 68% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh has an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting that allows students to transfer their associate's degree by offering a flexible transfer credit policy. The program's higher-than-average CPA exam pass-rate is a testament to this program's web-based curriculum, which is taught by professional faculty who will serve as mentors. Students will also have numerous experiential learning opportunities with the internship placement program, as well as the opportunity to build their network with other alumni.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Online Accounting Degree Overview

Online accounting degree and certificate programs are commonly available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many of these programs are designed to help prepare students for taking professional certification exams in the field and may allow students to focus their studies in a particular area of accounting. The program length and requirements vary by degree level, but students in each program have a chance to gain the accounting skills needed for various careers related to the field. Students trying to figure out the difference between an associate degree vs. a bachelor's degree in accounting, what types of online degrees are available, and more can read on for more details about online accounting degree programs.

Online Associate Degrees in Accounting

Usually offered as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, online associate's degrees in accounting may require between 60 and 90 credits of coursework. Students can usually finish these programs in 1.5 to 2 years and most programs are designed to easily transfer to a 4-year institution for students wishing to continue their studies. The curriculum in these programs generally provides students with an overview of accounting, as well as an introduction to some other areas of business, like finance. These programs can typically be completed fully online.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting

At the bachelor's level, students can most commonly pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting, but there are other online degrees, like a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Administration with a major in accounting, available. Many of these degree programs require around 120 credits, but some may require as many as 180 credits. Several programs offer different areas of concentration to allow students to further focus their studies. Graduates of these programs may be prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or other certification exams, like the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. Depending on the school, students may have the option to participate in an accelerated BS to Master of Science (MS) pathway.

Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Online master's programs are typically available as a Master of Science (MS) in Accounting or as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. Some online master's programs may require students to complete an on-campus residency and students can usually earn their degree in 2 years or less. Depending on the program, students may need to complete as many as 52 credits of coursework and some programs may be designed to help students fulfill the required 150 hours of training for the CPA exam. Students may complete their coursework in a cohort model with their peers and some may include different tracks, such as a CPA or CMA track and/or concentration areas for students to focus their studies.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting

Students can choose from an online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Accounting, or a Doctor of Accounting degree. Some programs may require a few on-campus residencies and students may need to complete around 60 credits or more of coursework. Students may be able to complete these programs in as little as 3 years and typically need to complete a dissertation. The curriculum is usually customizable to allow students to pursue their own research interests and/or prepare for a specific career.

Online Certificates in Accounting

There are several different types of online certificate programs in accounting available, including undergraduate certificates, graduate certificates, and career-focused certificates. Students may need to complete between 16 and 18 credits and some programs may allow students to finish in as little as 6 months. The curriculum usually consists of about 4 core accounting courses that may be at varying levels of intensity, such as intermediate accounting vs. advanced auditing, depending on the certificate level. Depending on the school, students may be able to count credits from these certificates towards a bachelor's or master's degree.

Accounting Specializations/Concentrations

Accounting may be offered as its own concentration for some degrees, like a BA in Business Administration or a DBA, but several online degrees specifically in accounting also offer various areas of concentration. Concentrations for the field are most common at the bachelor's and master's level and are usually intended to help prepare students for a career in a specific type of accounting. Students with a chosen concentration must take courses in that concentration. At the bachelor's level, some available concentrations for these online degree programs may include:

  • Forensic accounting and fraud examination
  • Public accountancy
  • Tax accountancy
  • Managerial accountancy
  • Finance

Curriculum/Coursework for an Accounting Degree

Students interested in learning accounting can find colleges with free online accounting courses. There are even courses available in various areas of accounting, like payroll accounting courses or tax accounting courses. However, students wishing to study the subject more in-depth can pursue an online bachelor's degree in the field to take core accounting courses and/or concentration courses in the field. In addition to these core courses, students have to take general education courses to help round out their education. Although not overly common, some programs may have culminating courses or projects, such as a capstone course. Online bachelor's degrees in accounting are likely to include courses in topics like:

  • Intermediate accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Federal tax
  • Managerial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Business law
  • Cost accounting
  • Microeconomics
  • Marketing

How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Accounting?

Most online bachelor's degree programs in accounting are designed to be completed in 4 years. However, some programs may be completed in as little as 3.5 years and there are additional ways that students can further accelerate the time to degree completion. For example, some schools offer additional credits for military and/or other life experiences that can help shorten the required number of credits to take. Students who have completed an associate's degree or took some college courses can also usually finish their degree faster with transfer credits. Some schools may accept up to 90 transfer credits. The number of courses that students choose to take each semester can also help determine how quickly or slowly students finish the program.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degrees

Online bachelor's degree programs in accounting are commonly accredited at two different levels. Most of the colleges and universities that offer these programs hold regional accreditation from groups like the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Regional accreditation is used to demonstrate that all levels of degree programs at an institution have met academic standards that were put in place to regulate academic quality. Accredited institutions may also be preferred by employers, allow credits to transfer more easily, and allow students to qualify for financial aid.

Online accounting degrees are also commonly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). This organization sets business-related academic standards for business degrees. The subject-specific standards help ensure that these business programs are teaching students the necessary skills for the field. Employers may look to see if students earned their accounting degrees from an ACBSP-accredited institution.

Accounting Licensure & Certification

Although it is not required for all accountants, some accountants may want or be required to earn their CPA license. Accountants must have 150 hours of college work in the field, which is usually a few more hours than a bachelor's degree but does not necessarily require a master's degree. These professionals must then take a 4-part Uniform CPA Examination that is provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) over the course of 18 months or less. Accountants may need to meet additional state requirements and usually have to take continuing education to maintain their CPA license.

Several other organizations offer additional designations that may demonstrate expertise in a particular area of accounting and/or help students advance their careers. For example, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has the CMA exam and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has the Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) credential, and more. Usually, to qualify for the exam, students need to meet education requirements and/or experience requirements.

Since an accounting degree can be applied to additional careers outside of the traditional accountant or auditor, students may need to pursue additional licenses and/or certifications. For instance, some budget analysts may decide to earn the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) credential that is offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) if they work for a government organization. This specific certification requires a bachelor's degree, work experience, and continuing education to keep the credential.

Accounting Career Information

While there are some finance and accounting jobs for students without a degree available, those with at least a bachelor's degree in accounting can choose from a variety of accounting-related positions. These positions are also available in a range of industries, including education, healthcare, and business. Even within the career of being an accountant, there are different types of accountants, like government accountants, insurance accountants, management accountants, and public accountants. Although accountant may be one of the most common careers for graduates of the field, some additional job options include:

  • Internal/external auditor
  • Financial examiner
  • Budget analyst
  • Tax examiner and collector
  • Finance director
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable/receivable specialist
  • Cost estimator

How to Become an Accountant or Auditor

Accountants and auditors have to have at least a bachelor's degree. Typically, this degree is in accounting and some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree in accounting or a related area, like business administration. Hands-on experience through an internship may be beneficial, as well as professional certification for some positions.

There are several different kinds of accountants and auditors, but in general, accountants and auditors are responsible for analyzing and preparing financial statements to help ensure that taxes are paid and records are accurate. This requires them to calculate taxes, organize statements, and ensure compliance with current laws. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors made a median annual salary of $71,550, as of 2019. The job outlook for these professionals from 2019 to 2029 was 4%.

How to Become a Budget Analyst

Budget analysts also usually need to have at least a bachelor's degree, but some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree. These professionals usually need to have some coursework in accounting but may have a degree in areas like business or finance. Some positions may consider related work experience in place of some formal education. Optional certification in the field is also available for career advancement.

Budget analysts help their organization prepare a budget and track the income and expenditures to balance the budget. Planning finances requires these professionals to examine funding requests, monitor spending, and try to predict future financial needs. The BLS reported that as of 2019, budget analysts made a median annual salary of $76,540 and had a job outlook of 3% from 2019 to 2029.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information for Accounting Degrees

There are many different options for financial aid and scholarships available to students of all majors, including those in accounting. Some of these options may be open to students of any background, while others may be subject-specific. All students should begin the financial aid process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if they are eligible for any federal grants and/or loans. After seeing loan options, students may opt to search for various scholarships that they qualify for.

Some of these scholarship opportunities may be specifically for undergraduate and/or graduate students studying accounting. These scholarships may be offered by professional organizations, local organizations, and/or the institution offering the degree. A few examples of accounting-related scholarships include:

  • AICPA/Robert Half Student Scholarship Award- This $10,000 award is offered by the AICPA and Robert Half to full-time undergraduate or graduate students aspiring to become a CPA. Students are required to meet a GPA requirement to apply.
  • Hawaii Association of Public Accountants O'ahu Chapter Endowed Scholarship- Offered by the local chapter of the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants, this $50,000 endowed scholarship is available to students in the School of Accountancy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • The Barbara B. and David H. Young Scholarship- Available at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, this scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate accounting students who have a 2.0 GPA or higher.

How to Choose an Accounting School and Program

There are many different preferences and aspects of a program to consider when choosing an accounting school and program that is right for you. Students may want to begin the process by thinking about their ultimate career goals and using these goals to decide what type of program to look for. For example, students wanting a broader business background for the flexibility of pursuing jobs outside of accounting may decide to earn a degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting instead of an accounting degree. Students may also look for a program that offers a specific concentration area that is of interest for the type of accountant they would like to become. To ensure the quality of a program, students should look for a business-accredited program and/or one that is specifically designed to help prepare students for professional certifications in the field.

In addition to accounting-specific factors, students may need to think about their personal budgets and scheduling needs when comparing programs. Some students may need to look for a school with a set tuition rate and/or scholarship opportunities to help cut costs. Other students may need to find a program with some flexibility in the course formats to accommodate a busy schedule. Other personal preferences may also play a role in the decision-making process, such as small class sizes.

Professional Organizations in Accounting

Professionals in the field of accounting may wish to join one (or more) of several available professional organizations in accounting. Participation in these groups helps accountants from all over the country connect and take advantage of online learning tools and professional development opportunities. Many of these organizations also provide professional certifications/licenses in the field. A few examples of professional accounting groups include:

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants- Not only does the AICPA offer multiple certifications, including the CPA exams, and scholarship opportunities, but professionals can also become a member of the organization and take advantage of continuing education opportunities, advocacy opportunities, and career resources.
  • American Accounting Association- The AAA also offers membership and emphasizes leadership in the field of accounting. The organization provides outreach opportunities, webinars, annual meetings, and a career center on its website.
  • National Society of Accountants- Professionals may decide to become a member of the NSA and participate in the group's professional development opportunities, events, and advocacy opportunities. The group also provides webinars, self-study courses, and other educational resources.
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