Online Accounting Degree: Search the Best Programs for 2016

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Identifying online accounting programs with the cost and quality elements you need takes research, know-how and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. But with the right tools and information, students can find the right online program and make the initial steps toward a successful college and professional career. This page is designed to help aspiring online accounting degree holders in two complementary ways. First, it breaks down the top colleges in the U.S. for online accounting degrees. Next, it offers an in-depth guide to online learning in accounting, with sharp focus on how they work and who benefits. Find programs and read expert-driven information.

Nation’s Best Online Accounting Degrees: 2015-2016

Online accounting degree programs make it easier for students to earn while they learn. In other words, working toward a degree while keeping their full-time or part-time job. The flexibility of an online accounting program also helps students and young professionals in the field to balance school and family commitments. When looking for schools that have these programs, however, some clearly stand out – whether for cost or quality reasons, or simply because they have more academic options from which to choose. The following colleges and universities boast some of today’s best online accounting degree options.

To see how we selected the Nation’s Best Online Accounting Degrees, please visit our methodology page.

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCost MORE INFO
1 University of Memphis 97.5114:197%

The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a major in accounting. Students pursue their BBA degree online through the School of Accountancy, Fogelman College of Business, and Economics.

In order to graduate, students must complete all requirements for the Fogelman College BBA, as well as all of the courses required to fulfill the accounting major. Required upper-division accounting courses include Intermediate Accounting I, Intermediate Accounting II, Cost Accounting, Federal Income Tax I, Accounting Systems, as well as Audit and Assurance Services.

Students must also complete two accounting electives. They may choose from Information Systems Auditing and Assurance, Financial Statement Analysis, Federal Income Tax II and Governmental, and Health Care & Not-for-Profit Accounting.

There are also graduate programs available for students who wish to continue onto advanced degrees.

Distance learners are offered an online orientation program that provides them with everything they need to know about what will be required of them, the resources they'll have at their disposal, and expectations of how their studies will progress.

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university is authorized to award bachelor's, first professional, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees.

2 University of North Carolina at Pembroke 97.3415:192%

Undergraduates can earn the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree with a concentration in economics, finance, or international business, or a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The curriculum, which is accredited by the AACSB, values ethical decision making, promotes personal and professional growth, and tailors the learning experience to prepare students for the competitive global environment. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to take the CPA exam, or qualify for entry-level positions at an accounting firm or organization. Using Blackboard and Braveweb, students can take an online Bachelor degree completion program for a BSBA along the economics, finance or management tracks.

3 Liberty University 96.5018:195%

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university that offers 148 residential and online undergraduate programs. Liberty describes itself as the nation's largest non-profit university and one of the largest four-year universities in the country. The current online enrollment is over 100,000, far above the residential enrollment.

Students can earn their Bachelor of Science in Accounting online to develop and enhance professional skills including business communication and computer applications common in the field. The program consists of 120 total credit hours. Typically, 30 credits and half of all credits for the major must be taken through LU.

Candidates can apply online and need to supply the application fee and all official transcripts from accredited schools. Another prerequisite for admission is a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Applicants can inquire about the possibility of earning credits based on prior learning.

LU Online provides degrees from the associate to doctorate level, and many programs run unilaterally with on-campus semester programs. Undergraduate students can take 8-week or 16 week classes including interactive online discussions. Digital instruction generally follows a flexible, asynchronous format using vehicles such as the Blackboard learning platform. In many programs, students have the option of attending brief intensive sessions on campus in Virginia.

4 Belhaven University 96.0112:1100%

Belhaven is a Christian university that provides online learning options for students looking for a God-centered bachelor's degree in accounting. Students can pursue a bachelor of science in accounting or a certificate in accounting.

The bachelor's program in accounting incorporates Christian values and ethics by teaching students how to utilize these principles in their future careers. Students are also responsible for taking a handful of religion and Bible studies classes as part of the program.

Belhaven delivers online classes in an asynchronous format. Students may complete assignments and access course materials at their convenience as long as they meet mandatory deadlines for their courses. They are required to complete three discussion board posts each week with assignments due on Saturdays. Online students have regular and consistent access to Belhaven's online staff and professors. Most online degree programs can be completed in less than four years entirely online.

Upon graduation, students in Mississippi will have completed all classes necessary to qualify to sit for the CPA exam. However, they may need additional credits to meet the 150-hour requirement. Graduates in other states should check with the state board of public accountancy for qualification requirements.

5 Brescia University 95.9414:1100%

Brescia University is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Owensboro, Kentucky. However, students all over the country can earn a bachelor's degree in accounting through its online program. Brescia's online program helps prepare students for leadership roles in business and accounting.

BUonline offers students the opportunity to tailor their class schedules around their work or personal life. Most of the online classes are accelerated to an eight-week structure so students can earn a degree faster than on a traditional schedule. Students may access course materials through BUonline's course management portal at any time of the day or night.

Online classes through Brescia are of the same caliber as the traditional on-campus classes. Instructors work with curriculum developers to ensure the coursework both mirrors the on-campus requirements but is also presented in a format that is effective for online learning.

BUonline's students have access to the full gamut of student resources, including career counseling, academic advising, tutoring, library resources and more.

6 Dallas Baptist University 95.8614:195%

At this comprehensive liberal arts university, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Business Studies in Finance, a 120 credit hour degree program that can be earned completely online through the distance learning platform. Graduate level students can earn a MBA in Accounting, Finance, or a number of other concentration areas. Through the College of Professional Studies, the university provides a way for busy, working adults to earn their degree at their own convenience, with online courses and degree programs offered through Blackboard Learning Management System. The curriculum is built on a foundation of Christ-centered scholarship, and values the integration of learning with biblical faith and spiritual development.

7 Northwestern Oklahoma State University 95.8117:196%

Northwestern Oklahoma State University is a public university that was established in 1897. It offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in over 40 areas of study, including accounting.

Through their online business program, undergraduate students can earn their Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting, which provides background training in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and management of information systems. The program prepares students for competitive, entry-level positions.

Online students must take UNIV 1010 Online Program Orientation in the first semester of the program. All virtual classes will follow the traditional semester schedule of 16 weeks, with some online classes offered in an 8-week format. NWOSU does not limit the number of transferable hours from accredited post-secondary institutions.

The BS Accounting degree requires:

  • Minimum 30 semester hours taken at NWOSU
  • Total of at least 124 semester hours of credit
  • At least 60 semester hours taken from baccalaureate degree granting institution
  • At least 40 semester hours in upper-level credits
  • At least half of final 30 semester hours or at least half of coursework required for major completed at NWOSU

At least 55 semester hours of coursework in liberal arts and science courses

8 Hiram College 95.7511:1100%

Hiram College is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts institution located in Ohio. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and specialize in undergraduate education. They offer fully online degree programs for students wishing to earn their Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Financial Management.

Students will learn the financial and economic effects of different businesses through courses such as:

  • Cost Management
  • Auditing
  • Taxation

They also offer additional coursework for those students who plan to sit for the CPA (Certificate Public Accountant).

Hiram College offers 6 start times: 2 in the fall, 2 in the spring, and 2 in the summer. Online programs are completed through Moodle, a learning management system that allows students to receive quality education through a virtual classroom. An average of 10-15 hours per week should be expected to be spent on learning activities per course.

A maximum of 60 credit hours can be transferred to Hiram College, with a grade of C or better, from an accredited institution. Hiram College also offers a Bachelor's Completion Program for Accounting and Financial Management. There is no application fee.

9 Tiffin University 95.7318:198%

Tiffin University is a private university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students wishing to pursue a career in business can earn their Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree fully online. Tiffin's curriculum emphasizes financial reporting, auditing, tax research, analysis and problem solving. The accounting degree can be earned online in 7-week terms, with flexible format options to suit each student's needs. Graduate students can earn a Master of Business Administration in Finance through Tiffin University's online program.

10 Culver-Stockton College 95.7213:1100%

Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, Missouri, offers a Bachelor of Science in Business with an accounting and finance specialization so students can complete a degree from anywhere with an Internet connection. The fully online program is geared toward adult learners looking to complete a bachelor's degree while maintaining their careers.

Online classes at Culver-Stockton are five to eight weeks long, depending on the course, and begin throughout the year rather than following a traditional semester schedule. Students attend class through e-learning, an online learning management system. Students use e-learning to access course materials, manage assignments and communicate with instructors and peers. My Connected Campus allows students to view grades and their class schedule at any time of the day or night. Most courses are in an asynchronous format, so students can participate in the class at their convenience.

Online students have access to all the same resources as their on-campus counterparts. Student services, the online library, academic advising, career counseling, enrollment services and a web-based bookstore all help students in their drive for a bachelor's degree.

Traditional on-campus students may also take online courses, if necessary, through cross-registration to fulfill graduation requirements.

11 Missouri Southern State University 95.7019:193%

Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) is a public, four-year university that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Established in 1937, MSSU has a total enrollment of over 5,616 students. Through the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting completely online.

This online program, offered through the MSSU Distance Learning Department, prepares students for any entry-level accounting positions, as well as those looking to take the CPA exam. By taking courses such as tax accounting, governmental and nonprofit accounting, strategic financial accounting, and forensic and investigative accounting, students will acquire the necessary skills to succeed in the field of accounting.

The BSBA, Accounting degree requires a total of 124 credit hours, which includes:

  • 43-44 hours in general education requirements
  • 39 hours in Business Core courses
  • 14-15 hours in Electives

Accounting majors must earn a grade of C or higher in all accounting courses.

MSSU online offers students 24/7 access to course materials through Blackboard Learning Management System, as well as online academic advising options.

12 Limestone College 95.7019:1100%

Students earning their Bachelor in Business Administration with an Accounting concentration at Limestone College will receive the necessary training to gain employment in government agencies, insurance companies, banking institutions and other financial organizations. As with any degree offered at Limestone College, the BBA degree can be earned entirely online. Online courses are taught with the same academic rigor as on-campus courses and also allow students the opportunity to earn their degree through an accelerated, 8-week format. Students may also choose degree plans with concentrations in finance, management, marketing, computer science or computer and information systems.

13 Keystone College 95.6911:198%

Established in 1868, Keystone College is a private, liberal arts and sciences college located in Pennsylvania that offers 40 associate and baccalaureate degree programs. Bachelor's degree programs in business are available both online and on campus. A fully online degree program is available to undergraduates interested in earning their Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

The online accounting major is focused on professional, managerial and technical aspects of accounting and finance. Students learn strategies for gathering, analyzing and interpreting data to use in business decisions. Another vital component of this degree is developing competency with the computer applications, databases and spreadsheets prevalent in the business environment.

Application materials include:

  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Personal essay or writing sample, minimum 250 words: either a copy of an academic paper from the student's senior year or a discussion of a significant life accomplishment
  • Personal video showing why the candidate's application should stand out
  • Official high school transcripts (or GED equivalent)
  • Common Application
  • Keystone College Supplement (found on the Common Application website)

Online students complete their coursework via Moodle learning management system. Web-based resources include a tutorial on Moodle as well as online tutoring. Keystone College offers rolling admission throughout the year, so candidates are encouraged to apply at any time.

14 Bluefield College 95.6914:1100%

While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree at Bluefield College, undergraduates can choose from three different majors: Information Technology Management, Web and Mobile Development, or Accounting. Through the Accounting track, students can gain professional and technical skills in general accounting, managerial and cost accounting, auditing, and taxation. This degree prepares students for employment as a stock broker, tax preparer, public or corporate accountant, or financial manager. With a student to teacher ratio of 11:1, this Christian college also has online degree program offerings, advanced and interactive technologies, and convenient formats for virtual classroom access. Study abroad, honors and internship programs are also available.

15 Fontbonne University 95.6510:192%

Fontbonne University offers online degrees in the Bachelor of Business program with concentrations in Accounting, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Advanced Topics in Management Cost Accounting, Federal Income Taxation, Management, Social Entrepreneurship or Auditing. Fontbonne University offers additional Master's and certificate degree programs for qualified students. Online programs are designed with non-traditional students in mind, offering the students to complete coursework on their own time, as long as all course deadlines are met.

16 Viterbo University 95.6312:199%

Viterbo University's accounting program provides students with the necessary skills and experience needed for careers in businesses, government and general accounting. Viterbo focuses on providing students with the basics of ethical decision making, communication and responsibility. To complete the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree, students take classes in topics such as finance, economics, business law and operations management. Students also have the option to earn their accounting degree through the online program. Through the 4+1 BBA/MBA program, students can complete both a BBA and an MBA in five years, which also counts as the 150 credits needed to take the CPA exam.

17 Northeastern University 95.6313:177%

Students interested in a career in the finance industry can earn a Bachelor of Science degree at Northeastern University in Finance and Accounting Management. The fully-online, 163 credit hour program can be completed in four years or longer as the student's schedule allows. A fast-track option allows students to earn their finance degree in as little as two years. Courses cover topics ranging from international business and macroeconomics to financial reporting and investment management. The curriculum provides students with the analytical and quantitative skills needed for success in financial and accounting organizations.

18 University of Mary 95.6217:1100%

The University of Mary offers an online bachelor's program in accounting for distance and nontraditional students through its Gary Tharaldson School of Business.

Students in the online program earn both an accounting major and a business administration minor through the required coursework. Classes prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), though typically this exam is taken after an additional fifth year of study. Students also have the option to complete the undergraduate degree in three and a half years, and then begin a master's program.

The online accounting program curriculum includes:

  • Technology and its use with financial information
  • Preparation of accounting information for internal or external use
  • Ethical dilemmas and legal frameworks for accountants
  • The global environment and how it affects an organization's practices
  • Benedictine values and the importance of servant leadership

Online students at the University of Mary can transfer credits from previous academic experience, and may be able to earn learning credits from job training and similar experiences. Advisors assist students in determining and transferring the appropriate credits. Sixteen upper level credits of accounting courses must be taken at the University of Mary in order to graduate.

Beyond advising, there are many additional student services available to online students. This includes tutoring, accessibility services, career and testing services, and online access to library resources.

19 Florida Atlantic University 95.6124:187%

Florida Atlantic University is AACSB-accredited and offers numerous degree options for undergraduates to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, Marketing or Accounting. All of the programs offered by FAU's College of Business can be earned entirely online. Accounting majors will study a diverse range of business topics, from business and finance to government and management. Online programs at FAU run asynchronously, allowing students the flexibility of attending e-lectures and virtual courses when their schedule allows. All discussions, presentations, projects and assignments can be accessed online at any time. For qualified students wishing to earn their master's in business, FAU offers a 23-month online MBA program.

20 University of Alaska Southeast 95.559:179%

The University of Alaska Southeast offers an e-Learning Bachelor of Business Administration program with an accounting emphasis. This program prepares students to work as accountants in private or public business fields, as well as to pursue additional education and experience to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

The program begins with a solid foundation of business courses, including business communications, elementary statistics, principles of management, and the legal environment of business. Students focusing on accounting will then take accounting emphasis courses, including income tax for individuals, advanced managerial cost accounting, auditing, governmental accounting, and fraud and forensic examination.

E-Learning courses at the university are delivered through several means, including audio conference, web conference, satellite, and online. Some classes may use a combination of methods. Some online classes are synchronous, requiring students to log on at a set meeting time, while others allow students to participate and view course materials at any time during the week. Local students who live in Juneau, Ketchikan, or Sitka can choose to take some classes on campus as part of their degree if they wish.

Costs for this distance program are approximately the same as for the school's on-campus programs, including identical tuition, technology fees, and textbook fees. However, online students have to pay an e-Learning fee, while on-campus students have to pay other additional fees (such as the student activity fee).

21 DeSales University 95.5215:199%

This private Catholic university offers a B.A in Accounting, a 120 credit hour degree, to undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in finance, management, government, or another related field. Courses include Quantitative Business Analysis, Principles of Macro/Micro Economics, Managerial Accounting, Financial Management, and Corporate Financial Reporting. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), DeSales specializes in providing students with a quality online learning environment, with courses offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats and taught through Blackboard Learn. Certificate and graduate level programs are also available in Financial Management.

22 Brenau University 95.5212:197%

At Brenau, students can earn an Accounting Certificate, Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, as well as a Master of Business Administration in Accounting. The curriculum gives students a comprehensive understanding of the technical and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in professional roles in the industry of their choice-from government and business to finance and banking. Online degree programs are also available using the Canvas delivery platform, some of which can be completed in as little as two years.

23 Immaculata University 95.499:1100%

The Bachelor of Science in Finance degree program from Immaculata University provides students with a comprehensive liberal arts education covering topics such as economics, accounting, management, finance and law. Students can choose to earn their degree either on-campus or online. Online degree programs are offered in a 7-week format. When earned online, Finance majors may complete their degree in as little as two years. All courses are self-paced and delivered using advanced technology.

24 Upper Iowa University 95.4617:185%

Upper Iowa University offers several distance degree and certificate programs, including online and self-paced bachelor's degree programs in accounting.

The online accounting program is held through asynchronous courses that follow an eight-week term schedule. Students can complete classwork and participate at any time during the week, with no set log-on times. Assignments and coursework have due dates throughout the term. Students communicate frequently with their classmates through online discussions.

The self-paced degree program can also be completed fully at a distance. Students in this program interact closely with professors while completing work at their own pace, with no set terms or semesters. Instruction is delivered through texts, study guides, and other course materials. Students submit assignments and communicate with professors through mail, email, or a web-based classroom.

Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours from other academic institutions towards their bachelor's degree. The school also has articulation agreements with local community college to facilitate the transfer of credits earned at these schools.

The university states that the average online student spends 15-20 hours per week on each online course. Those considering distance learning can take a demo course on the university's website to determine if they would like to pursue a degree online instead of on-campus.

25 University of Alabama at Birmingham 95.4018:190%

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers an online bachelor's program in accounting through its Collat School of Business.

The program focuses on accounting principles from a global perspective with a practice-oriented educational experience to prepare students with both conceptual and practical business knowledge. Course choices include accounting information systems, income taxation, international accounting, macroeconomics, and microeconomics.

Additionally, the program prepares students for many professional certification exams, including the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam, the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exam, and the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Students will be prepared for careers in many areas of accounting, including:

  • Tax accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Cost/Managerial accounting
  • Governmental accounting
  • Forensic accounting

The program is fully online, although some courses may include on-campus orientations, exams, or presentations. However, if a student is unable to come to campus, alternate arrangements may be possible. Course materials are delivered through a variety of means, including video and audio lectures, online readings, slideshow presentations, and other forms of media. Students have access to a 24/7 help desk for technical issues, as well as electronic access to library resources.

26 Mercy College 95.3818:195%

The Business Administration program at Mercy College allows undergraduates interested in a career in finance to earn their Bachelor of Science degree along one of two specialization tracks offered fully online. The Finance and Accounting track prepares students with specialized skills necessary to work in health care, government and non-profit organizations, whereas the Finance and Economics track prepares students to work in any financial industry. Students will learn from expert faculty that has worked for Fortune 500 companies and may have the opportunity to collaborate with high-profile companies such as the Strategic Consulting Institute.

27 University of the Incarnate Word 95.3314:1100%

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), accounting concentration provides graduates with technical skills, comprehensive understanding, and hands-on experience for success in any business field or organization. A dynamic collection of course topics include accounting, management, business, and economics, such as business law, principles of financial management, cost accounting, auditing, and principles of macro/microeconomics. The BSBA and MBA degree programs can be earned entirely online, with asynchronous courses, free textbooks for undergrads, accelerated learning in 8-week formats, and no proctored exams. Other concentrations are available in eBusiness Management, project management, information systems, general business, social marketing, and general management.

28 Regis University 95.328:198%

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program at Regis University is offered on-campus or online and teaches students analytical and quantitative skills, accounting techniques and ethical practices for real-world application. Graduates will be prepared to work for private businesses, public accounting firms or government/non-profit agencies. While earning their B.S. degree, students will have the option of dual enrollment with a graduate degree program from the School of Business along an accelerated track. A Bachelor of Science in Finance degree program is also offered by Regis University, which is available through the university's online program.

29 Briar Cliff University 95.3212:197%

Briar Cliff University prides itself in its online program in preparing students for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam. The school offers CPA-preparatory classes, as well as an additional CPA review program, through its online bachelor's degree in accounting

BCU's online accounting degree allows students to work at their own pace through its flexible curriculum. Students gain real-world experience and have the opportunity to connect with professional faculty members and peers working toward similar goals.

Students at BCU can transfer up to 90 credit hours from other institutions and apply these to the 124-credit accounting degree program. Those interested in sitting for the CPA exam are encouraged to take several additional classes to obtain more extensive background knowledge.

30 Chadron State College 95.3221:187%

Chadron State College has different choices for online degrees in accountancy. A bachelor's degree completion program in business administration offers an accounting option, which also is available with a Certified Public Accountant path. In addition, online students can choose the accounting option and CPA path combined with a master's degree in business administration. Transfer students must take at least 50 percent of the required business courses from Chadron State.

The online bachelor's degree program in business includes a series of core and general education courses, in addition to the classes for the chosen concentration. The accounting track is structured according to the educational requirements needed to sit for the Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner exams. Studies for the accounting emphasis with the CPA path are designed around the educational requirements necessary to take the professional CPA exam in Nebraska.

A learning management system provides access to course materials as well as discussion groups, lectures, and tools for communicating with instructors and peers. Courses are typically condensed into 8-week sessions, and in-state and out-of-state students currently pay the same tuition rate for online classes. Students have full access to the learning center, tutoring, 24-hour help desk and student services through CSC Online.

31 Saint Leo University 95.3115:194%

For a curriculum that is centered on providing students with the necessary skills and experiences to allow them to succeed in the rapidly-evolving world of accounting, undergraduates can enroll in the BA in accounting online degree program. Courses thoroughly teach the fundamentals and concepts of accounting, including cost accounting, auditing and federal income taxes, as well as financial business practices and principles, including business law, management and macro/microeconomics. As one of the first Catholic colleges in Florida, and one of the first throughout the country to offer online learning programs, Saint Leo offers students with a myriad of educational opportunities and experiences that prepare them for both present and future success. Graduate level students can also earn a MBA degree with an accounting concentration.

32 University of West Alabama 95.2516:195%

The University of West Alabama offers an online bachelor's degree program in accounting.

Coursework in the program is divided into a business professional component and an accounting major degree component. Classes include:

  • Business Professional Component: Accounting I&II, Business Law and Legal Environment; Finance; Management; International Business Seminar; Marketing
  • Accounting Major Degree Component: Intermediate and Advanced Accounting; Computer-Based Accounting Systems; Cost Accounting; Federal Income Tax; Auditing

Online courses at the University of West Alabama use the Blackboard Learning Management System. This learning platform serves as an online classroom, allowing professors to post course materials, students to participate in discussions and submit assignments, and students and instructors to communicate with one another.

Within Blackboard, the University offers several technical resources for online students. This includes contact and support information, and technical tips for success in online classes. There is also a simulated exam that students can take as a practice test. This familiarizes students with the process of taking tests on Blackboard before having to take a real exam for a class.

There are no residency requirements for the university's online programs. Scholarships for active military members are available.

33 Canton State University of New York 95.1819:196%

Students attending SUNY College of Technology at Canton to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance will study a wide range of topics including load and mortgage amortization, stock bond valuation and hedging options and risks. The comprehensive degree program includes a one-semester internship at a financial services center, online offerings, independent study options, hands-on projects and an investment club. SUNY's online degree plan allows students the flexibility to earn their degrees on their own time.

34 Granite State College 95.1611:170%

Granite State College is one of the four institutions of the University System of New Hampshire. It is a public, higher education institution, established in 1972. Granite State College offers fully online degree programs, and their bachelor's degrees have been ranked among the top 50 of U.S. News and World Report's "Best Online Degree Programs." In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education ranked Granite State College as the second least expensive four year college in New England.

Undergraduate students can obtain their Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance in Granite State College's online degree program. The program prepares students to excel in several business career fields:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • CPA
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Planner
  • And more

120 credit hours must be completed for this degree. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma, or G.E.D equivalent, and official transcripts.

Granite State College also offers a Degree Completion Pathway Program for students who already have an associate degree to earn their bachelor's degree in just 15 courses. All Granite State College online degree programs are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

35 Florida International University 95.1227:191%

FIU offers a 120 credit hour degree program for the Bachelor of Business Administration Finance track. This fully online program prepares students for graduate study or careers in investments, corporate finance, accounting, banking or related fields. The business curriculum teaches theoretical and practical knowledge skills to those interested in financial risk management, financial engineering or portfolio management. FIU Online is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and consists of interactive courses that allow students to engage in a quality, collaborative learning environment via Blackboard Learning Management system.

36 New England College 95.1214:195%

New England College (NEC) is a private, four-year liberal arts college accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Established in 1946, NEC offers 36 bachelor's degree programs, including an online Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Business Administration in Accounting. Through this online program, students will have access to downloadable and streaming lectures, interactive discussion boards, and professor-led live chat rooms.

Distance students will learn how to record, prepare and examine financial transactions and statements in private industry, government, and non-profit entities, as well as how to apply business analytic techniques and methods. The program will give students the necessary skills and knowledge required to be a budget analyst, financial analyst, tax examiner, FBI Special Agent, and more.

To earn a BA in Accounting, the degree requires a total of 120 credits:

  • 40 in liberal arts foundation
  • 44 in business core courses
  • 16 in concentration courses
  • 20 in elective courses

Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. There is no minimum G.P.A requirement or ACT/SAT score requirement. However, students must take a minimum of 30 of the required credit hours at NEC.

37 Northern State University 95.1219:197%

Northern State University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has two online programs available to students interested in becoming an accountant. The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program prepares students for accounting jobs in science-based industries. The 150 hours Professional Accountancy program focuses more on personal finance and traditional business environments. Courses cover topics including auditing and preparing taxes, analyzing financial statements and conducting forensic investigations. Students can also earn a A.S., B.S. or M.S. degree in Banking and Financial Services. Online courses use the Desire2Learn management system, providing flexibility to non-traditional students.

38 Troy University 95.0917:178%

Troy University offers Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degrees that students can pursue online with a concentration in either Forensic Accounting or Public Accounting.

Students in both concentrations must complete two courses in Intermediate Accounting, as well as courses in Governmental Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, International Accounting, Professional Development, Income Tax Accounting, Auditing and Computer Applications for Accountants.

From there, public accounting majors must pass Managerial/Cost Accounting along with Advanced Accounting and Income Tax Accounting II.

Forensic accounting majors, on the other hand, must pass Internal Auditing, Fraud Examination, Administrative Law, and Investigation and Evidence.

Troy University's Sorrell College of Business is nationally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). It is authorized to offer baccalaureate degree programs in accounting as well as several other degree concentrations.

Students will enter as General Business students with a major declared. Only after they have completed 66 credits in general studies courses and received approval from their adviser will they be allowed to take upper-level business and accounting courses. Accounting majors must maintain at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA throughout this period. Students must have maintained a C average in all courses that they wish to transfer for credits that will be applied to major courses

39 Old Dominion University 95.0620:182%

At ODU, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting or a Bachelor of Science in Finance. The ODU program is one of the few in the U.S. that has accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. While earning the 120 credit hour degree, students will be able to access their course materials online and have the option of attending courses live (streamed in real time with web conferencing) or asynchronously. Accelerated formats are also available.

40 Northwest Christian University 95.0312:1100%

NCU is a private, liberal arts university located in Oregon that is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top 25 baccalaureate colleges in the western United States.

Through its School of Professional Studies' Business and Management Department, undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree. The online program covers courses in:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Cost Accounting
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Intermediate Accounting
  • Managerial Finance
  • Principles of Accounting
  • Statistical Applications

Graduates of the program will learn how to apply an integration of accounting theory and practice to prepare them for professional, entry-level positions in the field.

First time freshman applications will need to provide their official high school/GED transcripts, have a cumulative G.P.A of 2.5 or higher, a combined math and reading SAT score of 850, or at least a 17 ACT score. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 transferable G.P.A and 24 transferable semester credits, or 36 transferable quarter credits. For those interested, a CPA track is also available for an additional 26 credits.

Search Online Accounting Degrees

Colleges and universities across the country have added online accounting degree programs to their academic catalogs. While many of these programs have self-paced courses and award-winning faculty, only some may have the cost structure, resources and support services a new online student needs. The following tool provides a quick and easy way to filter through hundreds of colleges and find the online accounting degree options that work for you.

Degree Level:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map
Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia Four or more years TUITION
Private not-for-profit
  • Associates of Arts in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Financial Planning
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems - Accounting Information Systems
  • Master of Of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Science in Accounting
Miami Dade College Miami, Florida Four or more years TUITION
  • Associate in Accounting Technology
  • Associate in Financial Services - Financial Management
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, Minnesota Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, Texas At least 2 but less than 4 years TUITION
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Assistant
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Information Management
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, New Jersey Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting
Florida International University Miami, Florida Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Finance
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Science in Finance
Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah Four or more years TUITION
Private not-for-profit
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Accounting
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus University Park, Pennsylvania Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance
  • Master of Finance
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A Complete Guide Online Accounting Degrees

Accountants serve as the gatekeepers of financial records. They examine records for accuracy, processes for efficiency, and practices for compliance with state and federal laws. Types of accountants include public, management, government and internal (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accountants and Auditors). Becoming an accountant, no matter which type you choose, requires at least a bachelor’s degree in the field, although some begin with an associate degree and/or move on to advanced study – usually a master’s. Let’s start by taking a closer look at the most common online accounting degrees and how they fit into an overall higher educational timeline.

MEET THE Expert: Alice Scarlett Baker

Alice Scarlett Baker is a dual degree Master in Accounting/B.S. candidate at the University of the Pacific- Eberhardt Business School, class of 2016. She is an accountant and industrials analyst for ESB Investment Fund.

My advice for accounting students is very simple. Journal entries are your friend.

The Online Accounting Degree Timeline

Every educational path is unique. Students make degree choices based on where they currently reside in their careers and where they eventually want to be. This means different starting points, different ending points and different in-betweens. To understand their choices, it’s important to examine the full accounting degree spectrum, from the earliest potential starting point to the last possible end. The following timeline details how one student might go from associate degree through doctorate, and discusses the various decisions he or she may need to make along the way.

Associate Degree Online – Two Years

An online associate degree in accounting often serves one of three distinct purposes. The first and most common is the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills needed to transition to an entry-level accounting career. Coursework focuses on general college requirements, but also includes a healthy dose of accounting and finance basics, business law and legal concepts, taxation 101, accounting systems and more. These introductory courses also apply to the second reason for earning an associate degree in the field: transfer. Earning the two-year degree first provides a cost-effective way to complete the initial stage of a full bachelor’s program. Before going this route, however, students should visit with academic counselors at the two-year college and target four-year college to ensure all credits will transfer successfully.

Some associate degrees, albeit relatively few in accounting, allow students to hone in on a certain program or skill. For example, a set of courses might concentrate on managerial accounting only, which could help entry-to-mid level professionals move into a more supervisory role – either with a current employer or with a new one.

Miami Dade College
  • Enrollment: 99,253
  • Tuition: $3,366
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Associate in Accounting Technology
Broward College
  • Enrollment: 61,784
  • Tuition: $2,494
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Associate of Science in Accounting Technology

Bachelor’s Degree Online – Four Years

The online bachelor’s degree in accounting remains the educational benchmark for a successful career in the field. In addition to the core elements learned at the two-year level, the four-year degree dives deeper into critical concepts, expands the knowledge base and skill set, and helps further define the professional path. At this point, students should have at least a rough idea of the type of accounting that interests them, and in which environments (public, private, nonprofit) they’d like to work. Key coursework in years three and four of an online bachelor’s program include:

Financial accounting: Focuses on accounting as a support for economic decision-making. Students learn about and complete basic financial analyses, collect and examine data to make organizational decisions, and learn how to finances work within various public and private entities.

Ledger applications: Introduces students to spreadsheet software and teaches how to complete basic accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This includes entering transactions into organized systems, understanding entries and adjustments, and preparation of official financial statements.

Federal income taxes: In addition to basics of federal income taxes, students get a more detailed understanding of the system and its complexities. Some of the course concentrates on how certain tax decisions affect monetary outcomes.

Accounting information systems: The application of software and other technology to information gathering and record keeping. Focuses on best practices, case studies and sometimes how to develop custom applications to meet specific accounting needs.

Other primary courses:

  • Auditing
  • Business law
  • Cost accounting
  • Macroeconomics
  • Managerial accounting
  • Principles of finance
  • Principles of management

Applying to a Bachelor’s Program

The application process can differ by school and level of degree being sought, but online accounting programs usually ask for five individual sets of materials:

  1. Formal application. Filled out on paper or online, the formal application is designed to learn about a student and his or her family, including where they attended high school, their GPA, extracurricular activities and other important personal and academic information. If applying to an accounting department directly, they may look more intensely at strong courses and grades in math and business.
  2. Academic transcripts. Official transcripts must be delivered to a college in a sealed envelope, and include a list of courses and grades from all years in attendance – both for high school and any previous college.
  3. Test scores. Many colleges still ask for test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. Yet some don’t, opting to place more emphasis on GPA, course rigor and community service. For students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting – either on campus or online – taking the SAT isn’t a bad idea.
  4. Statement of purpose. Why do you want to go to college? And this college? Why do you want to earn an online degree in accounting? Colleges and accounting departments may ask these questions before enrolling or declaring your major.
  5. Essay. Essays may be one of the most underrated elements of a college or program application. Admissions officers and department heads want to hear how the topic connects with you personally.

In addition to these basic elements, online accounting degree programs and the institutions that offer them may require additional materials from applicants. For example, a school may require – or at least strongly suggest – that students take and pass an online learning suitability test. This quiz assesses a student’s likely ability to earn a degree remotely. It looks at self-determination, independence, technical savvy and other traits that successful online students typically possess.

Liberty University
  • Enrollment: 63,128
  • Tuition: $19,968
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Virginia
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
University of Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 44,332
  • Tuition: $13,459
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Minnesota
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Master’s in Accounting Online (MACC) – Six Years

Earning an accounting degree online at the master’s level generally takes two years, although some accelerated programs may take one. Coursework dives deeper into accounting principles but can also follow certain tracks depending on student interest. For instance, some master’s programs offer a management track, complete with courses on business decision making and advanced principles of accounting management. These paths tend to attract those who wish to work in a leadership role after graduation.

Another popular track involves the marriage of accounting and law. Students pursuing advanced study here may take courses in business law, legal issues at business stages and fraud prevention. Degree holders often work for companies on internal matters, to ensure the entity falls in line with legal compliance.

University of Maryland
  • Enrollment: 20,021
  • Tuition: $8,514
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Maryland
  • Master of Science in Accounting And Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Accounting And Financial Management
Western Governors University
  • Enrollment: 14,731
  • Tuition: $6,790
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Utah
  • Master of Science in Accounting

Doctoral Degree in Accounting Online – Eight Years +

In accounting, the doctorate degree prepares students for work in research and teaching. Most doctoral students who take the research path investigate financial or managerial accounting issues, or conduct behavior analyses of auditors and other professionals using statistics, psychology and social sciences. Coursework for the doctorate include topics such as social science research methods, statistical models, econometrics, game theory and qualitative metrics, depending on their focus. In addition to courses, doctoral candidates need to fulfill pre-set research requirements and eventually prepare and defend a dissertation. The teaching track may seem similar, but include courses in accounting instruction and communication and fewer on methods and metrics. Candidates usually need to teach an undergraduate course in accounting.

Although most PhD programs occur on campus, some for-profit institutions do offer the online option. Like many advanced online programs, a periodic visit to a campus may be required, with the remaining 90% of time spent researching, studying and submitting materials via the web.

Capella University
  • Enrollment: 40,539
  • Tuition: $13,338
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Minnesota
  • Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting
Trident University International
  • Enrollment: 5,867
  • Tuition: $3,600
  • College Type: Private
  • State: California
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Ph.D. Ba) - Accounting / Finance

Signs of a Strong Online Accounting Program

Online accounting programs come in all shapes and sizes, and come from a variety of different institutions: junior colleges, state colleges, private universities and for-profit schools. No matter which type of online college, those with quality programs share certain characteristics. Let’s examine four signs of a strong online degree program.


The school or online accounting program should be accredited by at least one of the following: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), or one of the six regional accrediting agencies endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation means an independent agency has reviewed a school to ensure it meets quality academic standards on an ongoing basis and has the financial resources to meet these standards. Accredited online accounting programs have received an official stamp of approval that’s recognized by other schools, employers and the government.

Student Support

All colleges and programs should support their students, so this shouldn’t be a shocker. However, when considering online accounting programs, certain metrics can help you determine if the institution and its accounting department or faculty has what it takes to help you succeed. For example, what percentage of students sit for and pass the CPA exam? A high success rate could be an indicator of curriculum rigor and active test prep. Furthermore, how many companies hire graduates of the program? High placement rates mean that companies and other hiring entities take a degree from the school (and the program) seriously.


For online accounting programs, resources come in two distinct forms. First, does the school have solid tools and tech that make their online programs stand out? It’s important to have communication technology, support, digital libraries and other platforms and materials available 24/7. One major benefit of distance learning is flexibility, and every program should have it. Second, does the school have a faculty with documented professional credentials in both accounting and online learning? Many programs have professors with experience in the field, but they should also have experience teaching students online.

CPA Exam Prep

The program should prepare graduates to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The CPA credential is a requirement for career advancement in the accounting field. It typically requires 150 hours of coursework, so someone with a bachelor’s online accounting degree will still need to complete an additional 30 hours of study. Nevertheless, an undergraduate accounting degree should serve as the foundation for passing the exam. The CPA exam pass rate for graduates of an online accounting degree program should be higher than or align with the national average of around 50%, as reported by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).