Accounting professionals play critical roles in both public organizations and private enterprises. They track revenues and liabilities, prepare and examine financial statements, and generate strategic insights.
Professional designations such as certified public accountant (CPA) require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a business discipline with an accounting concentration. Affordable online accounting degrees are a crucial first step for those aspiring to join this practical, in-demand, and well-paid field.
Read on to explore the most affordable online degree programs in accounting.
The following rankings chart highlights the best and most affordable online bachelor's degree programs in accounting. Use it to launch your search for a high-quality accredited program.
|Rank||University||Location||Score||Annual Tuition||# of Online Programs||Financial Aid %||Student-Teacher Ratio||Grad Rate||Credit for Experience||Placement Services||Counseling Services||University Information|
|1||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||99.82||$6,423||1||43%||14:1||90%||no||yes||yes||
Graduate students who earn an online degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill not only learn facts and figures from textbooks — they get to see how accounting concepts are applied in the real world. While there isn’t an undergraduate accounting degree available, UNC’s master of accounting degree program provides activities that are informative and, in some cases, entertaining. For example, students may be asked to calculate CEOs’ pay based on the structure of incentives they receive; participate in role-playing exercises to learn how to communicate effectively with clients, bosses, peers and subordinates; or determine a company’s value by examining assets, liabilities, potential for growth and strength of the economy.
To further drive home the content students learn, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives them the opportunity to get hands-on work experience through its Global Immersions program. This unique opportunity allows students to learn from the leaders of the field while traveling to destinations such as Mumbai, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Istanbul. They also get valuable information from featured speakers, such as experts from companies like Pandora, Proctor & Gamble and Google.
To lay the foundation for these kinds of activities, students in the online master of accounting (MAC) program take core coursework in areas including federal income tax, managerial and cost accounting, financial reporting, data analytics and auditing. Students can choose electives in economics, governmental accounting, law, leadership and negotiation skills. UNC also allows those earning an online degree in accounting to focus their studies on tax or auditing concentrations.
Prospective students are able to apply and upload supplemental application documents online. After an initial screening of the applicant pool, finalists are selected for an in-person interview with the MAC admissions committee.
|2||University of Saint Mary||Leavenworth, KS||99.40||$23,750||1||96%||8:1||53%||yes||yes||yes||
Although the University of Saint Mary doesn’t offer an online undergraduate degree in accounting, the on-campus accounting major is an option. Additionally, students with a mind for numbers can enroll in a related distance program. For example, the University of Saint Mary offers a finance concentration in its online MBA program, which can prepare students for jobs as finance managers, analysts, economists and personal financial advisers. To that end, those who enroll in the program are required to take courses in areas including financial decision-making techniques, financial and capital issues and managerial finance.
In this accelerated curriculum, finance students learn advanced concepts including how to decide when to hedge risk, determine the value of assets and find solutions for cash flow problems within an organization. The finance concentration provides students with a strong background in business administration as well as the skill to gauge and grow investments. For example, the advanced financial topics course covers global markets and leases, IPOs, hybrid financing, risk management, mergers, derivative securities and pension plans.
In addition to finance courses, students in the University of Saint Mary’s online MBA program are required to complete core classes in a variety of subjects to get a holistic picture of business management. The school’s organizational management course familiarizes students with employee motivation; organizational culture and socialization; conflict resolution; negotiations; and decision making. The marketing management course covers micro and macro marketing principles, branding, customer loyalty, market segmentation and product development. Students are also required to take classes about human resources management, managerial economics, operations management and business law and ethics. USM offers multiple start dates throughout the academic year for its online programs.
|3||Mississippi College||Clinton, MS||99.28||$14,670||2||98%||15:1||53%||no||yes||yes||
Mississippi College — which is the state’s oldest college and its largest private college — was founded with the goal of meeting students’ academic needs while instilling in them the teachings of Christ. The liberal arts and sciences-focused Christian university is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. MC offers an on-campus BSBA degree in accounting and an online MBA degree in accounting. Graduate students who earn an accounting MBA degree online learn how to tackle financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing and taxation.
As part of the BSBA program, students cover accounting core topics while also developing valuable skills like critical thinking, teamwork, ethics and management, all with a Christian context. In the MBA program, accounting courses include accounting theory, federal tax accounting and auditing concepts. During their studies, students also learn increasingly advanced concepts and gain an understanding of areas including the analysis and use of corporate financial reports; bankruptcy and restructuring; fraud examination; and estate and gift taxation.
For those seeking an alternative to the accounting MBA, Mississippi College offers a certificate in accounting. The accounting certificate is typically popular for students who plan to take the CPA exam, or those who want to switch to a career that calls for a more extensive accounting background.
Aside from holding a bachelor’s degree, there are a few foundational courses in elementary accounting that are required for the certificate program. Certificate course requirements include business law and ethics, governmental accounting, cost accounting, federal tax accounting, introduction to auditing and a handful of other topics. Students must also select two courses from the electives list to round out their certificate; options include CPA Review I and II, accounting information systems and advanced accounting.
|4||Freed-Hardeman University||Henderson, TN||98.85||$20,468||1||100%||13:1||52%||yes||yes||yes||
Freed-Hardeman University was founded in 1869 based on the principles of the church of Christ. The university prides itself on providing an education to its students that “integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service.” What that means for students who want to earn an on-campus degree in accounting is that they get the quality education they need for a successful career while also building their faith and learning how to do business in an ethical way — whether they want to practice auditing or forensic, tax or managerial accounting when they graduate. Students in the accounting program have access to faculty members with invaluable experience in private and public accounting, as well as the professional certifications that students aspire to obtain — such as Chartered Global Management Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Public Accountant credentials.
To prepare students for the rigors of the field, Freed-Hardeman University’s accounting program provides courses in a range of essential concepts, from taxation principles to beginning and intermediate accounting, and auditing to fraud examination and economic thought. In addition, the school requires courses that provide students with an understanding of how the business world works. This is covered through courses such as business communication, marketing principles, statistical and quantitative analysis, business strategy and managerial finance.
The BBA in accounting consists of 150 hours, and students who complete the program will earn a BBA and MBA degree. The program is divided into four sections - liberal arts requirements, common professional components, major requirements and electives. Certain courses serve as a capstone for the program and must be completed just before graduation. Select courses are also highly recommended for CPA licensure, such as fraud examination. These recommended courses are offered at the Henderson campus location, but video streaming is available for students who can’t attend in person.
FHU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Schools and Colleges.
|5||Huntington University||Huntington, IN||98.63||$23,976||1||99%||10:1||62%||no||yes||yes||
Huntington University was founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in order to provide students with a spiritual atmosphere and quality education. However, this experience is not limited to just traditional, on campus students. The school offers online degrees for adult learners who need a great deal of flexibility to complete their undergraduate degrees. For example, those who want to earn an online BS in accounting are not required to log on at a specific time, so they can easily view lectures and complete coursework on their own schedule. In addition, classes are provided in an accelerated five-week format so students can complete their degrees quickly.
Huntington University’s online bachelor’s degree in accounting combines industry concepts with real world experience. In order to provide this balance, courses are taught by working certified public accountants. Students see first-hand how professionals apply textbook concepts to challenges professionals encounter on a daily basis. Requirements for the accounting major include courses on business math, income taxes, cost management, business law and ethics, managerial finance, organizational communication and accounting principles. In addition, students must take core general education courses such as history, fine art, social science, college writing, and natural science. In order to reinforce the Christian values the school was founded on, Huntington University provides courses about the Bible.
Those who want to advance in their education can also enroll in a hybrid MBA program, which covers advanced financial management topics such as cost-volume-profit analysis, portfolio management, budget projections, financial performance reporting, cost analysis and budgeting. The degree can be completed in two years. Students will need to be onsite one night a week, but all other requirements can be completed online. The program also includes an educational trip to Europe.
|6||University of Charleston||Charleston, WV||98.50||$18,600||1||80%||14:1||46%||yes||yes||yes||
The University of Charleston’s undergraduate programs have gained attention for more reasons than just academics. An important program at UC is their First Year Experience, a method of aiding new students as they adapt to college life and UC’s curriculum. The classes through the First Year Experience combine normal curriculum with residential activities, helping students gain a stronger sense of community while completing courses necessary for their undergraduate degree. All students, including accounting students, are allowed to be a part of this program.
In addition to the First Year Experience, accounting students are required to take courses related to business and finance. Because accounting is a popular option at UC, different options are offered for students in the degree program. For example, students have the option to minor in cyber security, giving them a competitive edge in an increasingly technological world. Another interesting option for accounting majors is their fast-track program. If you’re planning on continuing your education and earning an MBA in accounting—which many current employers look for—the fast-track program fulfills all needs to earn both a bachelor’s and MBA in accounting. The program can take five years, but some students are able to complete all their studies in a shorter amount of time. For those studying accounting on campus, UC also connects students with different local internship opportunities as well as potential careers after graduation.
Another option to earn a bachelor’s in accounting is to study online. While students cannot choose the fast-track option if studying remotely, they do have the opportunity to study at their own pace. Both part time and full time options are available, and the cost of the program is a flat rate per course, regardless of state residency. The total cost can be further reduced for military and law enforcement.
|7||Viterbo University||La Crosse, WI||98.49||$23,200||1||99%||11:1||47%||yes||yes||yes||
For many students, some of the most important parts of earning a degree are ensuring that it will lead to a career while studying at an affordable school. Viterbo University, located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, does its best to prepare students for their future career while also giving them access to resources to help them get a job after graduation. Viterbo has an impressive 99 percent placement rate after graduation, and it is among the top schools in the nation in terms of students earning quality jobs. Also, 98 percent of Viterbo students receive some form of financial aid. The average Viterbo student pays less than the average student for the 2017–18 academic year.
Perhaps the best undergraduate degree in terms of preparing for a career is their bachelor’s in accounting. Viterbo has a strong reputation with Wisconsin employers, helping graduates land a position upon earning their degree. Also, students in the undergraduate accounting program are guaranteed paid internships, giving them the real world experience that many employers look for. This can also help pay for college expenses, on top of any financial aid received. For anyone looking to begin a career immediately after earning a college degree, this accounting program checks off all the squares.
There are other options at Viterbo for accounting as well. Their online degree completion program works for accounting, and while it doesn’t guarantee a paid internship, students are able to study at their own convenience. This is ideal for students with some accounting education who are currently busy with work. Another option is their five-year BBA-MBA program. While Viterbo doesn’t offer an MBA in accounting, students who earn a bachelor’s in accounting will fulfill the minimum credit requirement for the CPA after earning their MBA. Along with Viterbo’s impressive professional network, an MBA will only open more doors throughout any business-related career.
|8||Webster University||Saint Louis, MO||98.35||$24,500||1||95%||13:1||59%||yes||yes||yes||
Webster University is a top-ranked Missouri school that offers a unique global student experience. Thanks to their location in St. Louis, Webster facilitates immersion in the city through their vast network of local alumni and friends. This helps students find valuable internship opportunities and build connections that can eventually turn into careers. However, many students find that their college experience extends far beyond St. Louis regardless of what they choose to study, including business degree options like accounting.
The four-year bachelor’s degree in accounting is designed to prepare students for a career specific to accounting. The majority of the coursework focuses on accounting, and the curriculum is structured specifically to prepare students to take, and pass, the CPA upon graduation. This straightforward style is best for students that know they want a future as an accountant and would like to avoid attending graduate school right after earning their bachelor’s degree. There are four certificates that undergraduates can use to help specialize their education: a certificate in data analytics, entrepreneurship, marketing or paralegal studies. Each of these is easily compatible with an accounting degree and career, giving students more distinctions when they apply for positions after graduation. There are also many minors offered that can help students specialize their accounting and business knowledge.
Global experience plays an important role in education at Webster, and many students are urged to study abroad during their time at the school. Even accounting students are able to study abroad, and degree outlines provided by Webster suggest they take a semester abroad during their sophomore year. Studying abroad shouldn’t push students back, and it’s normal for accounting students to study abroad and still complete their degree in four years. Because studying abroad is an important part of the school culture, Webster offers financial aid and awards to students for their time abroad.
|9||Colorado Christian University||Lakewood, CO||98.34||$20,435||1||98%||15:1||36%||yes||yes||yes||
Colorado Christian University is home to one of the top-ranked traditional undergraduate programs in the nation. With over 100 degree programs offered, CCU has options for all students, including adult learners, at an affordable price. Also, over 90 percent of students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants, helping reduce the cost of a traditional undergraduate education.
One popular degree option at CCU is their bachelor’s in accounting. This four-year program prepares students for future careers in accounting and finance, particularly in the booming field of corporate finance. However, students often find positions outside of the corporate sphere as well. One way students bolster their education is through one of the emphases offered with the program. While studying toward a BS in Accounting, students can add computer information systems, economics, finance, international business, management, marketing or pre-law as an emphasis. Each of these can help open different doors for future careers, or it can prepare students to further their education. While there is no fast-track option available for an MBA in accounting, CCU does allow accounting undergraduates to add up to 18 additional credits that go directly toward an MBA at no additional cost. This requires extra schooling and busy schedules, but students that are interested in an MBA in accounting will essentially complete a semester’s worth of schooling without paying for it.
CCU also offers online accounting degree options. A BS in accounting is offered entirely online—however, student’s won’t be able to take advantage of the perks included with a traditional accounting degree. Courses for the online program are offered in five, seven and ten week blocks, and most students can complete the program in four years. Either BS in accounting, in conjunction with the advanced accounting MBA program (which is also offered entirely online), gives students the required 150 credits to be able to take the CPA exam in Colorado.
|10||Brescia University||Owensboro, KY||97.95||$19,500||1||96%||13:1||30%||no||yes||yes||
Brescia University is a private, Catholic institution based in Owensboro, Kentucky that’s known for its low tuition costs despite being a private school. Although it’s primarily a liberal arts school. Brescia has been providing quality education in every field it offers, including their diverse accounting program.
Undergraduate students that want to study accounting have a few options. First, there’s the traditional route to earning a BS in accounting. This consists of earning a degree in four years while attending Brescia in-person, all while studying toward a bachelor’s in accounting. Second, students can study in any business-related field and then bolster their education with a certificate in accounting. This certificate in accounting is post-baccalaureate, and students typically complete this certificate in just over one year. After earning the certificate, students will have taken the required courses to be able to sit for the CPA exam in Kentucky. This certificate is also available entirely online.
Many students that do choose to study accounting at Brescia find that a different option works best—an online degree in accounting. Brescia’s online BS in accounting is ranked among the top in the nation for online accounting degrees, and it more than satisfies the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam. Transfer credits are accepted for this program, and all courses are offered entirely online, so no commuting is necessary. Also, students are allowed to study at their own pace. For some students, this means completing their bachelor’s in accounting in less than four years; however, plenty of students still study in the traditional method, only via the online portal.
Studying online at Brescia also further reduces the costs of education. Tuition and fees for online courses have been frozen until 2022, so any student that begins learning soon should be able to complete their degree while budgeting the total cost ahead of time.
|11||Brenau University||Gainesville, GA||97.64||$24,380||3||85%||11:1||45%||yes||yes||yes||
While the Women’s College makes up the majority of the student body at Brenau University, their goal is to create a school without borders. Both women and men are invited to attend Brenau, and people from around the world are also able to study, whether it be on-campus in Gainesville, Georgia or online. Brenau is also looking to involve students at all levels of education, and there is nearly a perfect split of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. Depending on the school and degree you choose to study, tuition can vary—however, the majority of students receive financial aid, cutting the estimated costs of attendance.
Students that are interested in an accounting career would want to study toward a bachelor’s of business administration: accounting. While this isn’t a traditional accounting degree, the goal of the four-year program is to prepare students for a career in accounting. The program requires 120 credits to graduate, and it prepares students to continue their education. Anyone interested in taking the CPA exam in Georgia will need to continue their education as well, since there are a required 150 credits to take the exam, 30 of which must be from upper-level courses.
For those who want to take the CPA, Brenau offers a unique BBA–MBA program. Any undergraduate student who maintains a 3.0 GPA throughout the undergraduate program is allowed to seamlessly enter one of two master’s programs: the master’s of accountancy or the MBA in accounting.
The MBA in accounting is available on campus, and the end result is preparation to take and pass the CPA as well as a certificate in either public accounting or management accounting. The master’s of accountancy is available only online, but this allows students to study at their own pace. After either program, students will be prepared to begin their career as an accountant.
|12||Lakeland College||Plymouth, WI||97.38||$23,050||2||100%||15:1||51%||no||yes||yes||
Lakeland College, located about midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, began as a school for traditional students looking to earn a degree. While many traditional students do attend Lakeland, the majority of their students are non-traditional, studying at night, on weekends or online. Regardless of how students choose to study, the outcome is the same: over 95 percent of their graduates are working within 6 months of earning their degree.
There are over 30 majors available at Lakeland, but perhaps their most well-respected is their bachelor’s in accounting. Regularly recognized as one of the top programs in the nation, their bachelor’s in accounting doesn’t just teach the material. All students enrolled in the traditional program are required to job shadow local accountants, coordinated by the school. This gives students real-world experience that employers look for. Lakeland also provides three separate course plans for students that study accounting: a four-year track, a co-op four-year track and an accelerated three-year track. The co-op option has students work full time for one of the school’s accounting partners, earning wages and school credit at the same time while earning over a year’s worth of real-world experience. The three-year track is meant to save students money while also giving them the full breadth of the accounting program.
Lakeland’s accounting degree is also available entirely online, but it doesn’t offer the same benefits as the traditional program. Nonetheless, the online program allows students to study at their own pace, and this can mean a quicker degree. The online option is also more affordable than the traditional program, part of the reason why it’s one of the top-ranked online accounting programs in the nation. Students studying accounting at Lakeland will be required to take a few additional courses after graduation if they plan on taking the CPA.
|13||Madonna University||Livonia, MI||97.34||$17,250||1||86%||10:1||40%||yes||yes||yes||
Located in Livonia, Michigan, Madonna University has become best known for their nursing program. However, over the past 70 years, Madonna has also been educating students in other fields, some of which are among the top programs in the nation. They’ve done this by providing students with some of the best resources, as well as maintaining small class sizes and adding Christian values to all their degree programs. Even non-religious programs, such as their undergraduate accounting program, draws upon these values to create leaders in the workplace.
The bachelor’s in accounting at Madonna combines the practice of accounting and the ethics of business law, educating students for a variety of professional fields upon graduation. To make sure that students are prepared to begin a career after graduation, internships in accounting are offered through the school, giving students additional experience. Also, students can earn a certificate in forensic accounting alongside their degree, further separating themselves from other job applicants. One unique aspect of the accounting program is that it keeps both CPA and non-CPA majors in mind, providing a more well-rounded education of accounting. Students who are interested in accounting but aren’t sure about graduate school or becoming a CPA are often drawn to this program.
For those that want to study for the CPA exam, Madonna offers a master’s of science in accountancy, a program that can be completed either on campus or online. This master’s program gives students the additional credits they need to become a CPA while also teaching new skills. Specialization is available through this program – all it takes is three extra courses to earn a certificate in financial crimes compliance. While most students who study toward a master’s in accounting have already earned a bachelor’s in accounting, any student that has an undergraduate in business or a related field is welcome to join the program, so long as they’ve completed the prerequisite courses.
|14||Aurora University||Aurora, IL||97.22||$21,120||1||100%||17:1||58%||no||yes||yes||
What began as a small seminary in 1893 is now Aurora University, home to over 5,500 students located on various campuses. The average cost of Aurora University is well below the national average, making it one of the more affordable private schools. That, along with their location near Chicago, are a few of the big draws that attract students to campus. The close proximity to Chicago is particularly important since Chicago is one of the most important business cities in America. Aurora has built a close connection with many of these businesses and applied them to their accounting program.
The bachelor’s in accounting is similar to other accounting programs, except for two main difference. First, the undergraduate students take courses that emphasize managerial and financial accounting. Second, students are required to have a professional internship or research project in the field of accounting. Thanks to Aurora’s strong connections with dozens of firms, students have an easy time finding an internship that fits them. Combined, these two factors more than prepare students for a career in accounting as they give students a leg up on most competition. Aurora also offers a degree completion program in accountancy for students that work full time. This program is fast-paced, so students can still earn their degree in a reasonable amount of time.
Upon earning their bachelor’s degree, students will be on their way to taking the CPA exam. However, taking the CPA exam requires more credits than the bachelor’s program requires. That’s why Aurora also makes sure that their bachelor’s degree prepares students to continue their education. The master’s of accountancy program comes in two forms: the daytime or evening program. The daytime program is a one-year, full time program while the evening program is more flexible, typically taking students two years to complete part time. Both formats culminate in a master’s of accountancy and eligibility to take the CPA exam in Illinois.
|15||Campbellsville University||Campbellsville, KY||97.17||$22,342||1||97%||13:1||41%||yes||yes||yes||
Campbellsville University strives to give students a Christian-based education that strengthens both their skills and faith. While many of the programs offered at Campbellsville are based on Christianity and Biblical studies, there are plenty of non-religious programs offered as well. But students in any undergraduate degree program should still expect Christian faith to play a large role in their education regardless of their major.
While Campbellsville University doesn’t directly offer an undergraduate degree in accounting, students can get a similar degree by earning a bachelor’s in business administration with a focus on accounting. This program provides all the courses necessary to satisfy a typical undergraduate accounting education, preparing students to begin their career or advance to graduate school. The undergraduate accounting program is only offered at the main Campbellsville, Kentucky campus, so online options are not available. For students that don’t want to earn a four-year degree in accounting, an associate degree is offered, as well as a minor.
Students that want to become CPAs should note that Kentucky has a minimum credit requirement in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. Unfortunately, an undergraduate degree in accounting does not satisfy the requirements. To be eligible to take the CPA exam, students will have to earn a master’s degree in accounting. At Campbellsville, this can be done through their master’s in business administration with a focus on accounting. Courses in this program are completed in eight-week terms, and there are six terms each year. Students studying full time should be able to complete this program within a year, but that is not required by the university. For non-traditional graduate students, an online option is also available for the BSBA in accounting. Regardless of whether students study on-campus or online, they’ll earn the credits necessary to be able to sit for the CPA—and they’ll be prepared to pass.
|16||The University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson, TX||97.16||$10,864||1||71%||23:1||63%||no||yes||yes||
College affordability is one of the largest concerns for many incoming students, especially since budgeting for four years can be difficult. That’s why the University of Texas at Dallas created a guaranteed tuition plan. Under the plan, students will be locked in on a flat rate for the entire four-year period they attend school. Tuition is charged for the cost of taking 15 credit hours per semester—but that doesn’t mean students can only take 15 credits. Any additional credits taken above the paid 15 hours are essentially free since students won’t have to pay extra for the hours.
Flat rate tuition could be particularly useful to accounting majors that want to become CPAs. In Texas, a minimum of 150 credit hours is required to be able to sit for the CPA exam, so students will have to start by earning a bachelor’s in accounting. The undergraduate accounting program is comprehensive and prepares students for both a career and graduate school. Also, UT Dallas requires that students have an accounting internship at some point in their undergraduate careers, and the school helps connect students to resources to make this happen. After earning their bachelor’s degree, students are eligible to apply for the master’s in accounting program, setting them up to take and pass the CPA.
UT Dallas knows that some students are planning on earning their master’s degree early on in their undergraduate career. To help, the school offers the professional program in accounting (PPA), a five-year program that culminates in a master’s degree in accounting. This program, part of the UTD nationally ranked business graduate school, offers students more resources to prepare for and pass the CPA upon earning their degree, including mentorships and workshops. Also, students in this program will have access to unique networking events, giving them a better chance of landing a great career upon graduation, as well as priority access to internships and scholarships.
|17||Davenport University||Grand Rapids, MI||96.99||$14,472||3||92%||11:1||42%||yes||yes||yes||
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport University is a private institution that offers small class sizes and over 50 degree programs. Prospective students looking at degree options are bound to notice that all degrees offered lead to high-demand jobs. That’s because Davenport has focused their academics to prepare students to begin their career after graduating with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
The undergraduate accounting program at Davenport does a particularly good job of preparing students for a future career. On top of their normal curriculum, students are able to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program. This offers real-world experience to students as they help save real people money on their taxes. The bachelor’s in accounting is recognized across Michigan for producing some of the highest quality accountants, and employers know that Davenport educates work-ready accountants.
For specialization, undergraduates might be interested in the unique accounting fraud investment degree. This bachelor’s degree combines the business of accounting with best ethical practices, and it prepares students for a career of investigative accounting. This is also a real accounting degree, and after earning it, students are still on-track to take the CPA exam, if that’s their goal. Both the normal BBA in accounting and the BBA in accounting fraud investment are offered either on-campus or online.
Students will need 150 credits to take the CPA exam in Michigan, so a master’s of accountancy is a natural follow-up to an undergraduate degree in accounting. Davenport’s master’s program has five specialization options: finance, managerial accounting, professional accounting, internal auditing and fraud examination. The fraud examiner focus is best for students that earned the BBA in fraud investment, and students that complete their master’s with this focus are prepared to take the certified fraud examiner (CFE) exam. After earning their master’s degree regardless of focus, students will have the credits and knowledge necessary to take and pass the CPA exam.
|18||Northwood University-Michigan||Midland, MI||96.98||$21,950||2||89%||14:1||53%||yes||yes||yes||
One of the founding principles of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan is to incorporate American free-enterprise into a college education. As a result, Northwood has become a business-minded institution that is nationally recognized for producing high-caliber business students. With their close relationships with businesses both locally and nationally, Northwood succeeds in educating students and ensuring that they have productive careers.
Northwood routinely wins awards for their programs, particularly their undergraduate accounting program. Instead of making students complete prerequisite courses in their first year (as is standard with most four-year institutions), Northwood has students enroll in accounting courses from day one. This allows students an extra year to focus on accounting, giving them more experience and confidence in the field than other traditional students. The accounting program can be completed on one of their many campuses, including their main Midland campus and online, where the accounting program is recognized as one of the best in the nation.
For students that want a master’s degree or are planning on becoming CPAs, graduate school is something to consider. Because Northwood knows that many business students also want an MBA, they created an innovative four-year BBA-MBA program. This program allows students to earn their BBA in whatever field they want—for example, accounting—in just three years, and then earn their master’s degree in business administration in the final year. There are also scholarships specific to this program, so this is an easily affordable program for eligible students. To be eligible, students must have a minimum GPA and minimum ACT/SAT score. Required GPA depends on test scores, and vice versa. Once accepted into the program, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA to remain. For students that might be interested in an MBA at a later time, Northwood also offers an online MBA program that can be completed in just two years.
|19||University of Connecticut||Storrs, CT||96.94||$9,858||1||64%||17:1||83%||no||yes||yes||
A well-known and top-ranked public institution, the University of Connecticut has a reputation for producing high-quality graduates. On top of that, they are considered a valuable college for the price, particularly if you are from the state of Connecticut. Students who aren’t eligible for in-state tuition can still easily reduce the cost of attendance through scholarships and grants.
One of the most recognized programs at UConn is accounting. Degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level, both on-campus and online. The undergraduate degree in accounting places an emphasis on decision-making, leading many graduates to end up in managerial roles. However, most immediate graduates of the accounting program end up as public accountants. This allows students to gain the additional experience they need to eventually become CPAs after passing the CPA exam. Even if students work toward another career (or even graduate school) after earning their degree, they are still on track to be eligible to take the CPA exam. Students can also gain real-world experience through internships, many of which compensate students and can potentially be used for course credit.
To be eligible to take the CPA exam in Connecticut, additional courses are required after earning a bachelor’s degree. Many students choose to earn a master’s in accounting through UConn as it satisfies all course requirements for the CPA exam. This program comes in two full-time options, either over two or three semesters, or a part-time option where students study at their own pace. The master’s program is also available entirely online, and this format is recognized as one of the best online graduate programs in the nation. It is worth noting that all students—including online students—are required to take a mandatory four-day residency course. This must be completed in person.
|20||Saint Leo University||Saint Leo, FL||96.93||$19,740||2||99%||15:1||46%||yes||yes||yes||
Saint Leo University—Florida’s oldest college, established in 1889—provides flexibility through its numerous teaching styles. Students can attend classes on campus in St. Leo, online or at one of the more than 40 education centers in California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting through any of the three delivery methods or a mixture of online and in-person courses. The major sets students up for entry-level accounting positions in for-profit, not-for-profit or government jobs. Saint Leo’s accounting program leads students on a path toward becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA). Because the CPA licensure requirements vary by state, and the university extends its education to learners in multiple states, students should check with their state board of accountancy to check how many hours of credits must be completed to qualify for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam. In Florida, students must have completed 120 credit hours to attempt the exam. Accounting students, including transfers, must keep a C or higher in each accounting class to graduate.
The major’s advisers help place students in Big Four firm internships each summer, giving them real world experience before graduation. After completing courses like advanced auditing, financial statement analysis, cost accounting and forecasting, students will be prepared for certification exams. Examples of jobs degree-holders may land include CPA, auditor, IRS investigator and forensic accountant.
The university library benefits distance education students by granting them access to an online library orientation and tutorials, online journals and e-books, document delivery and interlibrary loan, which allows students to borrow books through their local libraries when they cannot be collected through the university library. In addition, 24/7 online tutoring is offered live through the Smarthinking program, and the Sentenceworks program helps with proofreading and grammar. Students can also take advantage of the Career Services Office, which provides individualized career counseling, resume review, workshops and online information for students and graduates. Navigate the different types of financial aid available through the university, including university-funded or privately funded scholarships, work-study programs and federal loans.
|21||Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||96.86||$14,406||2||82%||14:1||66%||yes||yes||yes||
Temple University, which has scored the number nine position for the top undergrad accounting programs in the nation, boasts the largest, most extensive business school in the Philadelphia region. The university has two accounting-related undergrad majors offered at the bachelor-degree level: a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a Concentration in Accounting or BBA in Finance, both accredited by AACSB International.
The accounting major can be completed part-time or full-time, on-campus, fully online or in a three-year accelerated format aimed at completing a master’s in accounting within four years. The completely online program is geared toward adult learners looking to work around their demanding schedules. Undergrads gain broad knowledge of the field through courses that tackle subjects including transactional analysis, asset management, financial reporting, taxation and International Finance Reporting Standards. The accounting program aims students toward a career path in jobs like public accounting, consulting and government. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA both cumulatively and in the major. The business-focused finance degree is an on-campus degree that also has an accelerated BBA option in which the BBA is earned in three years, and then the student advances into the specialized master’s program. Temple University also has two graduate programs, including Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and a PhD in Accounting, for bachelor’s degree earners who wish to continue their education in the field.
Temple University students score higher than the national average on the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination exam. Those who plan to test for their CPA license must have completed 150 total credit hours and 36 in accounting-related subjects to qualify. Students seeking financial aid may qualify for scholarships, grants, loans, work-study programs, employer programs and veterans benefits. In addition, the Center for Student Professional Development offers online job-preparation through a series of videos on topics such as career awareness, resume development and interview prep.
|22||Keystone College||La Plume, PA||96.78||$21,000||1||87%||11:1||39%||yes||yes||yes||
When Keystone College was first charted in 1868, classes were held in a Baptist church in Factoryville, Pennsylvania with the goal of providing students with an education based on diversity, respect, responsibility, integrity and life-long learning. The school also had the goal of creating a learning environment where students could receive a quality education regardless of social, economic and geographic backgrounds. In order to keep up with this tradition, Keystone College provides an online degree in accounting that allows students to break geographic barriers in order to obtain their education. The Bachelor of Science in Accounting Principles, which can be completed in 18 months, provides students with the foundation they need to prepare for jobs as auditors, cost accountants, financial managers, forensic accountants, tax managers and bank examiners. In order to do this, the program requires students to take coursework in auditing, managerial, financial and cost accounting principles. The program also requires students to take core courses on diversity in the workplace, professional and personal ethics, quantitative decision making, business writing, management fundamentals and organizational behavior.
Keystone College also allows students to earn an accounting bachelor’s degree on campus. In addition to coursework, those who enroll in this program have the opportunity to apply the concepts they learned to real world situations by participating in internships and other field experiences. The school also offers opportunities to study abroad and participate in research projects. Students who have graduated from this program have gone on to land jobs at organizations like Landmark Community Bank, Prudential Financial and Lockheed Martin. With a student to instructor ratio of 11 to 1, students receive individualized attention, which is likely part of the reason the college has a 97 percent placement rate among its accounting graduates.
|23||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff, AZ||96.56||$8,072||1||64%||18:1||49%||no||yes||yes||
Northern Arizona University’s W. A. Franke College of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, is dedicated to providing a rigorous, creative and current education that includes advanced technologies in class curriculum. As a result of this dedication, students who have enrolled in the school’s Bachelor of Science in Accountancy program have been able to pass all sections of the CPA exam at a higher rate than the national average. In fact, Northern Arizona University has a 60 percent passage rate for the financial accounting and reporting portion of the test, which is ten percent higher than the national average. The school also has a 79 percent pass rate on the business environment and concepts part of the exam, while the national pass rate is 64 percent.
Students are able to enjoy this success on the CPA exam because Northern Arizona University’s online degree in accounting is designed to give them strong technical accounting knowledge, professional skills like critical thinking and problem solving abilities, and business acumen that allows them to make responsible decisions based on the legal and ethical principles that guide the field. This is done through coursework that covers financial and managerial accounting principles, accounting systems, regulatory standards, business law and ethics, and cost accounting. In addition, students are required to complete general education classes that round out their accounting coursework and give them a holistic view of the profession.
Northern Arizona University also offers undergraduate accounting certificates, which are geared towards students who have no background in accounting. For example, students studying hospitality can earn an undergraduate hospitality accounting certificate that teaches how to apply accounting skills and concepts to the hotel and restaurant industries. There is also a general accounting undergraduate certificate for non-business majors who want to learn how organizations in different fields keep track of finances.
|24||University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio, TX||96.38||$24,900||1||99%||13:1||40%||yes||yes||yes||
In 1881, the University of the Incarnate Word was founded in order to provide higher education that was based on the Judeo-Christian tradition. The school has become recognized for its academic excellence, low student-to-faculty ratio and variety of available degree programs.
For those pursuing a career in accounting, an online BBA in Accounting is available. This program teaches students how to effectively handle the money that comes in and out of an organization. The curriculum is based on the standards and core competencies developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which ensures that graduates have the most current skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. As a result, students are required to take a variety of core courses such as beginning and intermediate accounting principles, microeconomics, macroeconomics, business statistics, management theory, federal income tax and business law. 45 semester hours of core business classes and 15 semester hours in accounting are required. Undergraduate accounting students also have the option of completing a minor in financial planning.
At the graduate level, UIW has a Master of Science in Accounting program. Prospective students can earn both the bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years and the combination qualifies them to sit for the CPA exam. To qualify for this required exam, the Texas Board of Public Accountancy requires students have an accounting degree plus at least 150 semester hours of upper division accounting and business courses, as well as courses in ethics, business communications and business or tax research. However, requirements may change so for the most up-to-date info, visit TSBPA.
UIW accounting students can participate in the Accounting Society, the Business Club or the school’s honor society, Delta Mu Delta. By joining these organizations, students have access to sponsored projects and events as well as valuable networking opportunities.
|25||Tiffin University||Tiffin, OH||96.31||$21,510||2||89%||15:1||42%||yes||yes||yes||
Since Tiffin University opened its doors in 1888, it has strived to provide students with “an education for life,” meaning the school delivers a student-centered learning experience as well as a strong sense of community. The university prides itself on hiring professors who have years of hands-on experience in their chosen field. As a result, students who earn an online degree in accounting from TU know that earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting will give them a solid foundation, based on research and practical solutions, to help them navigate the day-to-day challenges of the industry. In addition, TU offers this program online and on-campus to ensure students with different needs and schedules can have access to a quality education.
The online accounting bachelor’s degree is tailored for non-traditional students who want to train for a new career as they juggle a full-time job. With these students in mind, the school provides seven-week terms each semester with classes starting in January, March, May, July, August and October. During their studies, online accounting students take the same coursework as their on-campus counterparts, which includes classes on topics such as cost accounting, federal income tax, accounting information systems, auditing and managerial accounting. In the traditional bachelor’s degree program, students are able to have experiences outside of the classroom that can deepen their understanding of course material and allow them to bond with their peers. For example, the school’s Finance and Accounting Club brings expert speakers to campus who discuss workplace etiquette, the problems that arise in the accounting field and graduate school opportunities.
Regardless of the format, TU ensures students are prepared for life after graduation by focusing on practical applications, problem solving and management. All students must participate in an internship during their junior or senior year. This not only gives students real world experience, but it may also lead to a permanent, full-time job after graduation.
|26||University of Mary||Bismarck, ND||96.25||$14,990||2||99%||13:1||5%||yes||yes||yes||
The University of Mary was founded in 1959 by the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, who wanted to provide an academic, religious and cultural experience to students in the Bismarck, North Dakota area. Since then, the school has opened campuses in Arizona, Minnesota, Rome, Peru, Montana and Kansas, as well as online for students to earn their degrees anywhere in the world. One such program is for those who want to earn an online degree in accounting. The University of Mary now has over 25 years of experience providing distance education, so students who enroll in the accounting bachelor’s degree enjoy an educational experience that can be tailored to their unique needs. For example, students have the option of completing courses 100 percent online, on-campus in the evening once a week or a combination of online and evening.
During their studies, students build the foundation of accounting knowledge they need to begin their career after graduation. For example, the accounting principles courses start with beginning skills—like understanding income statement items and balance sheets—then students move on to intermediate courses where they learn about current and long-term assets and liabilities, equity, cash flow statements and types of business transactions. In addition, students take coursework about business and individual income tax, cost management, fund accounting, auditing and fraud examination.
Because the CPA examination requires at least 150 semester hours, many accounting students need to take courses for five years. University of Mary has structured its accounting program so that students earn a bachelor’s degree and an MBA, which is enough credit hours to qualify them for the CPA exam. Tuition for online students is $470 per credit, but financial aid is available to qualifying students. University of Mary’s undergraduate accounting degree holds double accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education.
|27||Bethel University||McKenzie, TN||96.11||$9,600||1||70%||17:1||30%||yes||yes||yes||
When Bethel University was founded in 1842, it was a seminary that prepared students for the day-to-day duties of working in the ministry. In 1847, the school received a charter from Tennessee in order to open up its education options, while still providing instruction based on the school’s Christ-centered roots. Since then, the school has grown exponentially and opened several satellite campuses around the state, as well as online degree programs in a variety of disciplines, including an online degree in accounting. Students in this program take a curriculum that stresses not only accounting theory, but also real world skills that employers need, and Christian principles that enhance their character and guide them to make ethical business decisions throughout their careers. Bethel University’s online degree programs are designed specifically for the adult learner, so students can enroll in sessions every six weeks around their other responsibilities. Also, those who enroll in the program can choose a hybrid format, where they complete most of their work online and participate in some activities on campus.
Students in Bethel University’s online BS in accounting program gain an understanding of the current practices that are used in the field, as well as foundational skills such as writing, problem solving, public speaking, leadership, technology and planning skills. This is done through a curriculum that includes coursework in a range of topics such as corporate auditing, financial accounting, microeconomics, business law, information technology, marketing management and income tax accounting. To help solidify the concepts that students learn in class, Bethel University provides hands-on experiences in its courses, as well as experiential learning through internships. To top that off, the school has mentoring programs to help students make contacts that will open up their job opportunities. As a result of this rigorous training, 95 percent of its graduates work their way up to leadership positions within five years of completing their accounting degrees.
|28||Auburn University||Auburn University, AL||96.06||$8,592||1||57%||19:1||68%||no||yes||yes||
Since Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business opened in 1967, it has provided degree programs based on the university’s creed of hard work, honesty, respect and service. As a result, the school has earned recognition for the education it provides and has been included on various top colleges lists. The College of Business has grown exponentially because of its positive reputation. In fact, the school has doubled in size in the last seven years, thanks to its degree programs in areas such as marketing, finance, supply chain management and accounting. Students who are interested in an online degree in accounting can enroll in the school’s BS in Accounting program, which has the same curriculum as the on-campus version and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Required courses cover areas such as cost accounting, auditing, assurance services, accounting information systems, and business process and internal controls. In addition, students can choose elective courses that cover business law, income tax, and governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Although students in this program can watch their lectures online, they are required to take their exams at a location with an approved proctor. This can be a local librarian, staff member at a testing center or a supervisor or human resources professional at students’ place of work.
Auburn University also offers a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, which is designed for students who want to become proficient in accounting while getting a more general business education. In addition to accounting courses, students study business analytics, small business finance, human resource management, marketing strategy, organizational behavior and logistics management. Those who want an advanced education in accounting can enroll in the school’s master’s degree or graduate certificate programs.
|29||University of Minnesota-Crookston||Crookston, MN||95.97||$10,030||2||85%||17:1||44%||yes||yes||yes||
While the University of Minnesota-Crookston has a small campus with around 1,800 students — half of who take their coursework online — the school benefits from being part of the large University of Minnesota system. Crookston students enjoy the best of both worlds - while they get the diverse, quality education of a larger school, they also get the individualized attention because of the smaller class sizes. For those who want to earn an online degree in accounting, this means access to high-quality education with all of the convenience that an online program provides.
In the online accounting bachelor’s degree program, students get the training they need to work in private, public or governmental accounting jobs. To provide this training, program requirements include coursework in beginning and intermediate accounting principles, auditing, income tax, cost accounting, managerial finance, and business writing. In addition, students are expected to complete a variety of liberal arts classes. After completing the rigorous curriculum, students are qualified to take the Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor exams.
Online students who want to become tax professionals can earn an undergraduate taxation certificate, which requires the completion of 15 credit hours that cover income tax preparation, estate planning, payroll taxes and insurance and risk management. The University of Minnesota-Crookston also offers individual online CPA preparation courses — which are taught by faculty members with industry experience — that cover the regulation, business environment and concepts, auditing and attestation, and financial reporting and accounting portions of the exam. The credits students earn from these classes can be applied to their accounting degree. The school also offers an accounting minor to students majoring in other areas of business.
|30||Hawaii Pacific University||Honolulu, HI||95.91||$20,930||1||89%||13:1||40%||yes||yes||yes||
At Hawaii Pacific University, students are immersed in a postsecondary environment that is set in the rich cultural context of Hawaii. Since the school was founded in the 1960s, it has taught students to embody the values of honesty; morality; concern for all interests, property and people; humility; and patience.
People who want to earn an online degree in accounting can get the education they need from the school’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program, which allows students to concentrate their studies on accounting, finance, general business or marketing, among other options. Those who focus on accounting study areas such as auditing, taxes and financial reporting in order to learn the concepts and theories they need to know to pass the CPA exam and begin a successful career. Also, students are required to take business finance, marketing, managerial economics, management principles and math for decision making. In addition to coursework, students in the program have the opportunity to participate in internship programs that give them hands-on experience to help them land a job at a government agency, nonprofit organization or private corporation.
Students who want to advance in their careers and command higher salaries can continue their education by enrolling in Hawaii Pacific University’s Master of Business Administration program, which allows them to choose among several concentrations, including finance, human resource management, information systems, international business or organizational change and development. Those in the finance concentration take coursework in international finance, advanced derivatives, estate planning, corporate finance and portfolio management. The curriculum also includes core classes in managerial accounting, business economics, marketing strategies for managers, leadership and teamwork principles, and managerial decision making. Paid and unpaid internships are also available to help students apply the knowledge they gain to real-world work problems, while making valuable industry contacts.
|31||Oklahoma Wesleyan University||Bartlesville, OK||95.91||$21,930||2||100%||15:1||57%||yes||yes||yes||
Oklahoma Wesleyan University, which is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, provides education that is firmly rooted in the Christian faith. As a result, no matter what students choose to study, the curriculum is based on Wesleyan thought, which focuses on critical engagement, authentic questions and rigorous study. Each course taught at the school is based on its underlying principles designed to honor Christ, make reading the scriptures a priority, and pursue truth and wisdom.
Although many people separate business from faith, the Chesapeake Energy School of Business at Oklahoma Wesleyan University has degree programs that are meant to create graduates who are academically, professionally and spiritually strong. The school gives students the theoretical and scriptural tools they need to pursue a career in government, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as in the ministry. This means that students who want to earn an online degree in accounting get the quality academic and Biblical education on which the university was built. The bachelor’s degree curriculum includes a business core that covers marketing, finance, business strategy, management and economics. Also, coursework gives students the opportunity to examine accounting principles through the lens of Biblical concepts, so when they are challenged in the workplace they can make decisions based on Christian ethics.
People who want to get an advanced degree that also combines spiritual and business principles can enroll in the MBA program at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Students may choose to focus their studies on finance, marketing, organizational leadership, nursing management or human resources management. Requirements include completing 30 credit hours of a business core curriculum, six hours of the chosen concentration and three hours of a graduate seminar. Also, those who want to become strong leaders in an organization can enroll in the school’s Master of Strategic Leadership program, which teaches management principles and ethics, organizational behavior and personal individual leadership.
|32||Southern Adventist University||Collegedale, TN||95.84||$19,440||1||97%||15:1||54%||no||yes||yes||
Southern Adventist University, originally called Graysville Academy, was founded in 1892 by George and Ada Colcord, who only had 23 students to educate at the time. During subsequent years, the school underwent several transformations until 1996, when the trustees voted to give the college its current name. As the school began offering more and more degree programs and getting increasing enrollments, it solidified its mission to provide a quality education that nurtures Christlikeness among students through Seventh-Day Adventist traditional values. For students who want to study accounting, this means they can get the training they need to land a job, while learning how to apply their faith to their daily work.
Although Southern Adventist University doesn’t offer an online degree in accounting, students can enroll in the school’s on-campus bachelor’s degree program. The degree, which takes four years to complete, provides students with a strong accounting foundation through required core classes that cover areas such as accounting principles, international business and economics, business strategies, microeconomics, business law and ethics, professional communication, leadership and personal finance. After completing the core requirements, students go on to learn intermediate accounting principles, such as earnings per share, pensions, plant assets, receivables, financial statement disclosure requirements and current and long-term liabilities. In addition, students are required to take classes in cost accounting, federal taxation and auditing.
Southern Adventist University also offers an online master’s degree in business administration — which allows students to choose an emphasis in accounting — for those who want to advance their careers and education. The curriculum covers advanced accounting and finance principles, as well as organizational behavior, marketing management, leadership, strategic decision making and integrating faith and business. This program is delivered completely online and can be completed within three years on a part-time basis and one year on a full-time basis.
|33||Southern Illinois University-Carbondale||Carbondale, IL||95.67||$8,198||1||79%||15:1||44%||yes||yes||yes||
Thanks to its strong research focus, comprehensive education and student-centered approach to learning, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale is the flagship school in the Southern Illinois University system. Since it was founded in 1869, the college has been dedicated to creating skilled professionals in several fields, including accounting. As a result, those who want to earn an online degree in accounting at the bachelor’s level can learn the tricks of the trade from faculty members who are experienced practitioners as well as well-respected researchers. Provided by the School of Accountancy, which is part of the College of Business, this four-year degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in corporate, government or nonprofit accounting, as well as business consulting or finance-related positions.
In order to give students the training they need, the accounting bachelor’s degree program has core class requirements that cover corporate capital, liabilities, financial reporting principles and procedures, cost accounting systems, budgeting, inventory models, operations research, data modeling, internal controls, risk-based auditing and direct costing. Also, students can take electives that cover enterprise networks and communication, internal auditing, forensic accounting and governmental and nonprofit accounting. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale also provides support outside of the classroom through internships at prestigious firms, as well as a placement center that provides guidance on how to write a resume that attracts employers, ace a job interview and network with potential employers.
Online students who want to get an intensive education without completing an entire degree program can enroll in Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s undergraduate certificate in accounting program. This program, which is generally completed by students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, is made up of 30 credit hours that include accounting and general business coursework. In addition, the school also offers a master’s and doctoral degree that are available to students on campus.
|34||SUNY Polytechnic Institute||Utica, NY||95.48||$6,170||1||84%||17:1||48%||yes||yes||yes||
SUNY Polytechnic Institute was created in 2014 after the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) merged with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to leverage both schools’ strengths in research, technology and education. This has opened up opportunities for students to access cutting-edge academic programs in several disciplines, including degrees that are available completely online. Through the Open SUNY Blackboard Learn system, students can participate in course activities, communicate with professors and submit assignments. As a result, students who want to pursue an online degree in accounting can conveniently take coursework no matter where they’re located.
The on-campus accounting bachelor’s degree program at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which takes four years to complete, not only focuses on accounting, but also foundational classes in mathematics, science, liberal arts and business. Accounting coursework covers key areas such as financial accounting, taxes, auditing and cost accounting, while the program’s general business classes include areas such as marketing principles, management policy, business law, human resources management and management science.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute also offers an online master’s degree in accounting, which is designed for those who have earned an undergraduate accounting degree and want to deepen their knowledge of the discipline and gain advanced skills. Students in this program take required accounting courses that cover fund accounting, advanced income tax research, financial statement reporting and analysis and advanced auditing and financial accounting theory. In addition, students interested in forensic accounting can enroll in the school’s online forensic accounting and valuation certificate program. The curriculum covers fraud detection and prevention, asset valuation, financial statement investigation techniques and business and forensic valuation.
|35||Alaska Pacific University||Anchorage, AK||95.45||$19,500||2||100%||8:1||40%||yes||no||yes||
Founded as Alaska Methodist University in 1960, Alaska Pacific University was the first private liberal arts college to open its doors in the state. Still a Methodist-affiliated college to this day, the school provides education based on core values that include leadership, strong moral character, faculty-student collaboration, student-centered education and spiritual growth. Just as these tenets are found in traditional degree programs, students who want to earn an online degree in accounting complete a curriculum that is based on the same principles.
Alaska Methodist University’s business administration and management bachelor’s degree program allows students to minor in accounting and finance to get expertise in the accounting field as they obtain a general business education. General business classes that students take in this program cover areas such as business math, personal finance, venture management, labor and employee relations, economics, global marketing, law and citizenship, telecommunications, organizational development, business finance and fundraising and resource development. In addition, students take accounting classes that cover financial, managerial, payroll and cost accounting. During their studies, accounting students learn skills including how to plan and conduct an audit, prepare a balance sheet, analyze a financial statement using ratios, use computerized accounting systems, understand current tax regulations, prepare an operations budget, report finances in an ethical manner and complete double-entry bookkeeping. To further help students specialize their training, the program allows them to also choose a concentration in nonprofit management or health care management.
Alaska Methodist University also offers a master’s degree program in business administration that has a finance concentration. Students who enroll in this program deepen their understanding of finance by taking courses about valuations, investment and portfolio theory, securities markets and raising capital. Graduates of this program have gone on to work as entrepreneurs, policy leaders, corporate managers and executives in the profit and non-profit sectors.
|36||Cleary University||Ann Arbor, MI||95.35||$19,200||3||89%||11:1||36%||yes||yes||yes||
What students can expect when they enroll in a degree program at Cleary University can be summed up in the school’s two word slogan: business strong. Since 1883, the school has offered degree programs designed to make students strong enough to take control of their careers and become the type of candidates that can successfully compete for, and win, the jobs of their dreams. As a result, when students who want an online degree in accounting leave Cleary University, they have a strong understanding of the business principles that guide the field, as well as strong skills that businesses desire in job candidates.
One of the programs that Cleary University offers to hopeful accountants is a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting and finance, which prepares students to obtain a Certified Management Accountant certification, as well as pursue a leadership role in an organization. In order to provide this training, the school offers coursework in governmental accounting, business research and communication, managerial economics, investment and portfolio management, nonprofit accounting, internal auditing and business law and ethics. Students who have completed this program have gone on to enter careers as credit managers, corporate accountants, financial managers, business consultants or risk managers.
Cleary University also offers a bachelor of business administration degree in public accounting, where students train to become a public accountant, tax advisor, business consultant or auditor, as well as receive a Certified Public Accountant credential. Curriculum covers topics such as legal issues for public accountants, principles of accounting, taxation, financial and managerial accounting, governmental and nonprofit accounting, individual and corporate taxation, advanced financial accounting and internal auditing. In addition, students learn how to use the technological tools of the trade, so when they complete the program they are skilled at modeling data, using decision trees, validating a system design and data mining.
|37||University of Massachusetts-Amherst||Amherst, MA||95.30||$1,714||3||63%||18:1||73%||yes||yes||yes||
As the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts, UMass Amherst serves nearly 30,000 students annually and is the largest public college in New England. UMassOnline is the distance learning arm of the school and provides a full range of degree options for students throughout the country and the world. Degree seekers wanting to study accounting can choose from 12 undergraduate and graduate programs. All options are offered online or in a blended format.
The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting is a degree completion program for students who already completed some coursework at a different college or university. To be considered, applicants must have at least 27 transferable credits with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Full-time students can finish the program in three years. Some of the topics covered during the degree include financial reporting, information systems, managerial accounting and taxation.
UMass Amherst’s program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Campus-based and online students alike cane become members of numerous professional accounting organizations and the school also hosts several student clubs and organizations on the topic. After leaving UMass Amherst, newly minted graduates have gone onto roles with top accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young - thanks in part to the excellent career services available at the school.
Distance learners seeking an advanced degree can take advantage of the MS in Accounting, a 30-credit program that’s also available fully online. This program is AACSB-accredited and can be completed in less than two years. Residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Oregon should be aware that the school currently isn’t accepting applications from these states. The Isenberg School of Management is home to numerous discipline-specific scholarships, so prospective students should research these when sorting out their funding options.
|38||Ottawa University-Ottawa||Ottawa, KS||95.27||$24,370||2||99%||18:1||34%||no||no||yes||
In addition to its six campuses throughout Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin and Indiana, Ottawa University also has a thriving online campus for students who want to take advantage of the institution’s well-regarded degrees but don’t live near any of the brick-and-mortar locations. Founded as a private liberal arts college in 1986, the school still maintains affiliation with the American Baptist Church.
Students looking for a quality online accounting program can find numerous options at Ottawa - in addition to a master’s program, the school also has a bachelor of arts in accounting with concentrations available in a range of areas, such as actuarial science, finance and marketing, to name a few. Some of the core coursework required of each concentration includes federal income tax, foundations of finance, auditing and advanced accounting I/II. The program consists of 124 credits and takes three to four years to complete, depending on how many classes a student takes per semester. Graduates of of Ottawa’s accounting program have taken up roles as financial analysts, public accountants and budget analysts.
The master of accountancy is a 30-credit program that helps students meet the 150 credits required for the CPA examination in most states. Advanced coursework ranges from accounting theory and value systems to forensic accounting and advanced income taxation. Students who want to get a taste of what it’s like to learn at Ottawa can sample an online class via the Blackboard learning management system.
Because Ottawa is a private university, tuition tends to be higher than if a student attended in-state at a public institution. Realizing the need for quality and affordable degree programs, the institution offers a range of grants and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit, need or specific degree path.
|39||Morehead State University||Morehead, KY||95.22||$7,866||1||68%||18:1||45%||no||yes||yes||
From its location in the eastern part of Kentucky, Morehead State University provides education to more than 10,000 students each year – either through standard campus-based programs or innovative distance learning options.
The school offers a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting as a degree-completion program. Students applying to this course should have already completed all general education and lower division courses before applying – either at a community college, in-person at MSU or at another accredited campus-based or online institution. Before enrolling, students should ensure all the classes they’ve taken previously will transfer to Morehead.
To be considered, students must have already completed all pre-business core courses and have a GPA of at least 2.25. Once admitted, learners take a range of classes that prepare them for meaningful roles at accounting firms, small businesses, nonprofits, governmental agencies and large corporations. A sampling of coursework includes studies in taxation, auditing, ethics and controllership. The program should take about two years of study to complete.
When nearing the end of the degree, students can work with MSU’s career services to get advice on career planning, resume creation, interview preparation and internship placements. Online students can also participate in Morehead’s accounting club, or one of the numerous honor societies related to business interests. Other services available to distance learners include technology assistance, disability services, access to online library materials, writing and math tutoring, and academic advising. In addition to general scholarships open to all students, those within the school of business administration have four specific funds for which they can compete.
|40||University of Houston-Victoria||Victoria, TX||95.22||$4,151||1||89%||17:1||N/A||no||yes||yes||
Operating as one of the four campuses comprising the University of Houston System, the Victoria campus was founded in the early 1970s and serves more than 4,300 students annually at undergraduate and graduate levels.
UH-Victoria offers a fully online BBA in Finance for students seeking a degree related to accounting. This four-year program requires 120 credits. Classes devoted to the major include intermediate financial management, investment principals, capital markets and international finance. Graduates have gone on to roles as commercial bankers, financial consultants/planners and personal financial advisors.
Those who have easy access to the Victoria or Katy, Texas campuses have access to both bachelor’s and master’s programs in accounting. The baccalaureate degree, which also requires 120 credits, covers material ranging from federal income taxation and auditing to accounting information systems and intermediate accounting. The master’s program requires 30 hours and meets coursework requirements to sit for the CPA examination. A sampling of classes includes corporate taxation, accounting theory, oil and gas accounting, and forensic accounting.
To ensure degree seekers have access to courses that best match their interests, the University of Houston System allows all students to complete the last six hours of their degree though any of the other universities within the system.
To help every student meet their career goals after graduation, the office of career services has a variety of helpful services. Students can arrange for virtual meetings to discuss their resumes, ask questions about the hiring process or receive feedback on a mock interview. The department also plays host to numerous online resources, including workshops, a literature rack, recommended links and books, and a regularly updated job board.
|41||Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Natchitoches, LA||95.18||$4,934||1||58%||20:1||38%||yes||yes||yes||
Northwestern State University of Louisiana has four campuses spread throughout the state, but this mid-sized public school also serves a number of students via eNSU, its online campus. The fully online bachelor of science in accounting is a popular option for aspiring accountants who need a little flexibility.
Comprising 120 credits in total, students enrolled on a full-time basis can graduate in four years. Degree seekers trying to finish the program more quickly may be able to take advantage of some of the accelerated eight-week courses available. Regardless of how long they take to complete, standard courses offered in this program include money and banking, financial policies and practices, international business, and cost accounting. This program is fully accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International.
When not completing coursework, online students can take advantage of numerous remote services. The institution’s counseling and career services center educates students on their options after graduation, helping to tailor resumes and offering best practices for interviewing. The department also maintains relationships with many different companies throughout the country and works to provide internship and job opportunities. Other services offered to online students include academic advising, tech support and access to library materials. Financial aid is available to eligible online students via the department of financial aid. As an added bonus, NSU charges no additional out-of-state fees for fully online students, meaning they pay the same rate as those living in Louisiana.
Using the distance learning platform Moodle, students can interact with peers and professors, observe narrated PowerPoints, read blogs, attend webinars and work on group projects all from the comfort of their homes. A few classes may require students to visit campus and take the midterm or final, but most allow a proctored exam at a local college or university rather than traveling.
|42||Dickinson State University||Dickinson, ND||94.99||$4,891||2||60%||10:1||38%||yes||yes||yes||
Operating as part of the larger North Dakota University System, Dickinson State University serves approximately 2,800 students via campus-based and online learning formats. Because North Dakota is largely rural, access to distance learning is of great benefit to both those living in the state and students further afield.
Options for studying accounting at DSU are unique, with the bachelor of science in accounting offering two tracks: corporate and professional. In addition to general education requirements, pre-major courses and business core courses, distance learners in the corporate track study topics such as computerized accounting, financial statement analysis, income tax and auditing. Those in the professional track move through courses related to government and nonprofit accounting, business valuation, financial institutions and markets, and international finance. Both programs total 121 credits and take four years to complete.
To successfully complete either program, students must have a GPA of 2.25 or higher. Upon graduation, new alumni are qualified to sit for professional exams to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Distance learners who want to sit the exam for Certified Public Accountant must take an additional 29 hours to be eligible.
Even though Dickinson State is a relatively small school, the online education department uses advanced technology to engage students. Most learning takes place via Moodle, but the school also uses Hoonuit (a digital learning platform with more than 50,000 training and tutorial videos), Blackboard Collaborate, NetTutor (an application that allows students to connect 24/7 with live tutors), and Tegrity (a service that records classes so students can review them in their own time). Dickinson State is home to a substantial number of scholarships awarded on the basis of need, merit, leadership skills and/or intended major – all of which are open to online students.
|43||Emporia State University||Emporia, KS||94.97||$4,500||1||74%||18:1||41%||no||yes||yes||
As the third oldest public university in Kansas, Emporia State University has provided education for more than 150 years. In the last handful of years, the university opened a satellite campus in Kansas City and also developed an online learning department.
Offered via its School of Business, the online bachelor of science in business with a focus in accounting requires between 120 and 128 credits and takes four years to complete. After moving through a series of general education and business core courses, distance learners fulfill 23 credits directly related to the study of accounting. Some of the topics include professional development and leadership for accounting majors, income taxation of corporations, and advanced financial accounting.
A master of accountancy is also available online and is made up of 30 credits. To be considered for enrollment, applicants must have a GMAT of 450 or higher or a GPA of 3.5 or higher from an AACSB-accredited program. Coursework included in this degree path includes tax planning and research, information technology project management, and special topics in accounting.
Aside from offering discounted tuition rates to Kansas-based online learners, the school of business also provides an impressive array of 20 different scholarships available exclusively to accounting students. Additional general scholarships are also available. Once enrolled, students can take advantage of top-tier career counseling and support, including assistance finding competitive internships and tips on how to put their best foot forward in a job interview. Other services include tech support, assistance using the learning platform Canvas, disability services, tutoring and access to both textbook and library help.
|44||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS||94.94||$8,223||1||68%||19:1||60%||no||yes||yes||
Kansas State University’s Global Campus has been working to ensure all students have access to quality education regardless of location since the 1960s. This offshoot of the main campus in Manhattan has continually modernized its offerings since its inception and now provides a sophisticated distance learning program that educates thousands of students each academic year.
Students looking to gain skills and knowledge in the world of accounting and business may be interested in the general business bachelor’s degree provided via the Global Campus. Requiring 126 credits in total and offering the possibility to be completed in just four years, Kansas State’s degree program covers many foundational business topics such as finance, information technology, operations management, organizational behavior and marketing, but also provides instruction in accounting. Classes currently required within the realm of the major include accounting for business operations and accounting for investing and financing. Degree seekers may be able to take additional accounting credits as electives but should check with an admissions advisor to confirm which classes are available before enrolling.
The Global Campus also provides a professional master’s of business administration program that includes numerous classes in accounting. Students will take foundations of accounting and finance alongside management accounting. Both the bachelor’s and master’s programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
K-State is known as a transfer-friendly school, requiring as few as 30 credits be completed at the university in order to graduate. Students looking for a traditional accounting program can find one at the school’s brick-and-mortar campus. The college of business administration provides a number of scholarships open to both high school seniors and transfer students, while the school as a whole provides additional scholarships awarded based on financial need and academic excellence.
|45||Dallas Baptist University||Dallas, TX||94.92||$23,250||1||91%||13:1||55%||no||yes||yes||
Dallas Baptist University in Texas started as the first two-year school in the state in 1898 but has grown over its 120-year history to provide associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees to a little more than 5,000 students each year. Today the school functions as a private Christian liberal arts school that takes its biblical heritage seriously. All incoming students, regardless of intended major, are required to take a number of religious courses, including a class known as Developing a Christian Mind.
While DBU doesn’t have any specific online degrees in accounting, the Dallas campus provides both a BBA in accounting and an accelerated dual BBA/MBA in accounting. Learners who aren’t close enough to the brick-and-mortar location to participate in these degrees should review the university’s college of business online offerings as one of the related programs might appeal to them.
At the bachelor’s level, degree seekers can select from bachelor’s of business studies programs in areas of business administration, finance, management, management information systems or marketing. Each program requires a minimum of 120 credits and touches on accounting topics – including principles of financial accounting and principles of managerial accounting. Other classes that may appeal to accountants-in-training are corporate financial management, money and financial institutions, personal financial planning and international finance. Students looking for dual degree options can enroll in the BBA/MBA program in management that includes multiple accounting classes alongside studies in managerial strategy, operations and quality management, and principles of marketing.
Once accepted to the school’s distance learning program, all new learners are immediately enrolled in a new student orientation and training course that familiarizes them on using Blackboard, interacting with faculty and fellow students, and taking advantage of various services. Some of these include tech support, tutoring and access to library materials. The college’s career services office is also on hand to offer advice about how to best prepare for a career while still in school. Students looking for financial assistance can apply for numerous scholarships and grants awarded based on major, academic excellence and/or financial hardship.
|46||University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe, LA||94.81||$4,986||1||58%||21:1||40%||no||yes||yes||
The University of Louisiana at Monroe initially opened in 1931 as a two-year institution; today this public school provides both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in both Monroe and online. Degree seekers wanting to complete a baccalaureate accounting degree must do so at the brick-and-mortar campus; those seeking a related degree can undertake it online. The bachelor of business administration is offered wholly through distance learning so students never have to visit the campus. As an all-encompassing business degree, learners in this major study topics related to accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. The curriculum is made up of 120 credits and typically takes four years to complete. Classes are kept small, making it easier for online students to develop collegial relationships with their fellow students and professors.
A master of business administration is also available to students who score at least a 450 on the GMAT or have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher. Like the undergraduate offering, ULM’s MBA pulls in disciplines ranging from accounting and economics to finance and quantitative methods, to produce a well-rounded course of study.
ULM is a great choice for students seeking an accelerated path, as many of the classes are made available during eight-week sessions. The school offers five sessions each year (two each in the fall and spring and one in the summer) and most students take two to three classes per session. Regardless of location, all degree seekers pay the same flat undergraduate and graduate tuition rates. Students looking to get ahead of the job competition can take advantage of resume writing, mock interviews, mentoring, career counseling, major exploration, career fairs and an online job/internship board while enrolled.
|47||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva, OK||94.79||$4,898||1||65%||15:1||31%||yes||yes||yes||
What started as a school to train teachers in 1897 has blossomed into Northwestern Oklahoma State University – a flourishing institution of approximately 2,300 students participating in undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition to the main campus in Alva, NOSU also has satellite campuses in Enid and Woodward as well as online.
Aspiring number crunchers have at their fingertips a bachelor of business administration in accounting, an interactive degree requiring 121 credits and taking four years. To fulfill all requirements, students complete 45 general education credits, 46 foundation and business core credits, and 30 credits in upper-level accounting coursework. Some of the courses include in the major are intermediate accounting I/II, governmental and nonprofit accounting, advanced business law and ethics, and international accounting. All students must also declare a minor; options include entrepreneurship, management, marketing and general business.
Degree seekers who need a flexible program of study are often drawn to NOSU’s offering as all but one class is taught asynchronously. The exception to this rule is the business policy course, taken in the final semester, which requires students to attend class remotely at set times each week. When not completing assignments or interacting with peers, proactive students can work with the office of career services to receive assistance in launching their professional lives while still in school. The office is home to a regularly updated job board as well as a comprehensive set of information about common occupations and salaries. Students hoping to offset the cost of education with a grant or scholarship should review the wide range of funding opportunities provided by the office of financial aid. In addition to those given specifically to freshman and transfer students, the school provides departmental scholarships to learners who are members of the business school.
|48||Park University||Parkville, MO||94.76||$10,500||1||65%||17:1||43%||yes||yes||yes||
A private institution located in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, Park University offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees to approximately 16,500 students – the majority of whom study online. The school first introduced distance learning more than 20 years ago, with program offerings expanding significantly over time. Today the school has more than 80 fully online degree paths.
Park offers both an on-campus and online bachelor of science degree with an accounting focus. A minor in accounting is also available. There’s an associate of science in management/accounting degree that takes approximately two years to complete, while those who choose to pursue one of the baccalaureate programs need four years to graduate. Some of the classes students should expect to take include intermediate accounting I/II/II, business income tax, individual income tax and accounting information systems. All of Park’s accounting programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, an organization responsible for validating more than 1,000 programs across the world.
Recognizing that pursuing higher education is often an expensive decision, Park offers a tuition rate that’s much lower than other private schools. It also provides a tuition discount as well as a free digital textbook program for students qualifying to receive military benefits. The school also offers several computer discounts to degree seekers who don’t have the necessary technology to enroll. A variety of scholarships are available, and online students aren’t precluded from applying to any of them. As a school that prides itself on meeting the specific needs of adult and military learners, all of Park’s courses are taught asynchronously, meaning students can log in to the learning platform at any time and from any place that has a reliable internet connection.
|49||University of Massachusetts-Lowell||Lowell, MA||94.59||$1,454||1||59%||17:1||54%||no||yes||yes||
As a sister school to the UMass Amherst location mentioned earlier in these rankings, the UMass Lowell campus serves 18,000 students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The school offers both a BSBA and an MS in accounting via the Robert J. Manning School of Business and the Division of Online and Continuing Education. Both programs received full accreditation via the AACSB. Courses are made available year-round, making it possible for motivated students seeking an accelerated degree to graduate more quickly.
UML’s undergraduate offering consists of 120-122 credits and can be completed in four years by students enrolled on a full-time basis. The program is uniquely geared toward adult learners looking to add academic credentials to their resume. Before committing to the school, prospective degree seekers can sample a course to ensure UML is a great fit. Some of the classes included in this program are accounting information systems, individual taxation and managerial accounting. Scholarships specific to accounting students are available via the business school, so students should ask an admissions counselor what needs to be done to apply.
The 100 percent online MS in Accounting is also available and comprises 30 semester hours. Courses in the graduate school are available year round as well, and some students finish this program in just over a year of study. Aside from core coursework, degree seekers also have the opportunity to specialize their education in areas of advanced auditing, corporate finance, forensic accounting, globalization or governmental and nonprofit accounting. Outside of challenging coursework taught by stellar professors, distance learners have access to tech support, career services, academic advising and library/research assistance. As of the 2018-2019 academic year, UMLowell isn’t allowed to accept applications from residents of Arkansas, Kansas or Minnesota, due to state authorization laws.
|50||SUNY College of Technology at Canton||Canton, NY||94.59||$6,170||1||86%||17:1||29%||yes||yes||yes||
Established as the first authorized two-year school in the state in 1906, CUNY College of Technology in Canton now offers a range of certificates alongside associate and bachelor’s degrees.
Students looking for an online degree related to accounting are best served by the AS/AAS in business administration or the BBA in finance. This second option is a full, four-year degree that introduces online students to topics such as stock bond valuation, efficient diversification and loan amortization. Aside from covering all the topics needed to be successful financial experts, SUNY Canton students also get the opportunity to learn alongside students from across the world. The department maintains a partnership with Moscow State University and students participate in virtual classrooms.
Degree seekers only interested in accounting have the opportunity to undertake an associate in applied science in accounting at the Canton campus. Once enrolled, students cover topics such as budget analysis, governmental accounting, internal auditing and financial and investment planning. Students in each of these programs can rest assured knowing that SUNY Canton is working toward gaining top accreditation credentials. As of 2017, the school of business and liberal arts is a candidate for accreditation by the Board of Commissioners at the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
SUNY Canton recognizes that one of the main reasons to get a degree is employability, and the career services office works diligently to ensure graduates are prepared for the rigors of finding a job. Current students and alumni can take advantage a range of services, including support building a resume and cover letter, assistance when preparing for an interview, resources when looking for a job and mentoring help during the process of deciding on a career path. Students can also seek advice about graduate school.
|Rank||University||Location||Score||Annual Tuition||# of Online Programs||Financial Aid %||Student-Teacher Ratio||Credit for Experience||Placement Services||Counseling Services||University Information|
|1||Lamar Community College||Lamar, CO||99.90||$2,998||2||67%||22:1||yes||yes||yes|
|2||East Mississippi Community College||Scooba, MS||99.60||$2,200||1||66%||13:1||yes||yes||yes|
|3||Western Wyoming Community College||Rock Springs, WY||99.02||$1,992||2||62%||12:1||yes||yes||yes|
|4||Miles Community College||Miles City, MT||99.00||$3,540||1||53%||10:1||yes||yes||yes|
|5||Hutchinson Community College||Hutchinson, KS||98.82||$2,432||3||65%||15:1||yes||yes||yes|
|6||Seward County Community College and Area Technical School||Liberal, KS||98.66||$1,632||1||68%||14:1||yes||yes||yes|
|7||Colorado Northwestern Community College||Rangely, CO||98.18||$3,394||1||57%||12:1||yes||no||yes|
|8||Snead State Community College||Boaz, AL||97.62||$3,390||1||55%||23:1||yes||yes||yes|
|9||Cincinnati State Technical and Community College||Cincinnati, OH||97.31||$3,567||5||9%||13:1||yes||yes||yes|
|10||Casper College||Casper, WY||97.32||$1,992||1||46%||13:1||no||yes||yes|
|11||Highland Community College||Highland, KS||97.14||$2,112||2||62%||20:1||yes||yes||yes|
|12||Cowley County Community College||Arkansas City, KS||97.10||$1,922||1||65%||23:1||yes||yes||yes|
|13||Central Wyoming College||Riverton, WY||97.02||$1,992||1||66%||13:1||yes||no||yes|
|14||Arizona Western College||Yuma, AZ||96.96||$1,824||2||16%||21:1||no||yes||yes|
|15||Kansas City Kansas Community College||Kansas City, KS||96.65||$2,190||1||21%||13:1||yes||yes||yes|
|16||Barton County Community College||Great Bend, KS||96.51||$1,984||2||55%||23:1||yes||yes||yes|
|17||Neosho County Community College||Chanute, KS||96.43||$1,920||1||69%||12:1||yes||no||yes|
|18||Tulsa Community College||Tulsa, OK||96.40||$2,103||1||41%||18:1||yes||yes||yes|
|19||Yavapai College||Prescott, AZ||96.01||$1,896||2||17%||23:1||yes||no||yes|
|20||Williston State College||Williston, ND||95.91||$3,235||1||87%||23:1||yes||no||yes|
|21||Southwest Virginia Community College||Richlands, VA||95.73||$3,060||1||54%||22:1||yes||yes||yes|
|22||Taft College||Taft, CA||95.70||$1,380||2||80%||28:1||no||yes||yes|
|23||Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||Perkinston, MS||95.68||$2,300||2||43%||21:1||yes||yes||yes|
|24||Iowa Lakes Community College||Estherville, IA||95.62||$4,960||5||52%||15:1||yes||yes||yes|
|25||Baltimore City Community College||Baltimore, MD||95.61||$2,288||1||13%||17:1||yes||yes||yes|
|26||North Arkansas College||Harrison, AR||94.96||$2,160||1||28%||15:1||yes||yes||yes|
|27||Allen County Community College||Iola, KS||94.89||$1,824||3||72%||16:1||no||no||yes|
|28||Northwest Mississippi Community College||Senatobia, MS||94.84||$2,550||1||28%||25:1||yes||yes||yes|
|29||Labette Community College||Parsons, KS||94.83||$1,440||1||76%||14:1||no||no||yes|
|30||Southwest Mississippi Community College||Summit, MS||94.60||$2,300||1||43%||22:1||no||yes||yes|
|31||Jefferson State Community College||Birmingham, AL||94.57||$3,390||2||15%||20:1||yes||yes||yes|
|32||Mississippi Delta Community College||Moorhead, MS||94.51||$2,490||1||54%||18:1||no||yes||yes|
|33||Rose State College||Midwest City, OK||94.44||$2,595||1||32%||18:1||no||yes||yes|
|34||Kennebec Valley Community College||Fairfield, ME||94.43||$2,700||1||52%||18:1||yes||yes||yes|
|35||Northeast Community College||Norfolk, NE||94.40||$2,475||2||34%||17:1||yes||yes||yes|
|36||Southwestern Oregon Community College||Coos Bay, OR||94.31||$3,915||3||47%||15:1||yes||yes||yes|
|37||Albany Technical College||Albany, GA||94.18||$4,005||3||4%||16:1||yes||yes||yes|
|38||Arkansas State University-Mountain Home||Mountain Home, AR||94.11||$2,136||1||21%||17:1||yes||yes||yes|
|39||Laramie County Community College||Cheyenne, WY||94.10||$1,992||1||43%||14:1||no||no||yes|
|40||Southeastern Community College||West Burlington, IA||93.79||$4,590||2||21%||16:1||yes||yes||yes|
|41||West Kentucky Community and Technical College||Paducah, KY||93.78||$3,528||2||N/A||18:1||no||yes||yes|
|42||Edison State Community College||Piqua, OH||93.77||$3,610||3||16%||17:1||yes||yes||yes|
|43||Haywood Community College||Clyde, NC||93.71||$2,304||3||28%||10:1||no||yes||yes|
|44||Clark State Community College||Springfield, OH||93.67||$2,912||3||5%||14:1||yes||yes||yes|
|45||Trinity Valley Community College||Athens, TX||93.52||$960||2||31%||24:1||no||yes||yes|
|46||Holmes Community College||Goodman, MS||93.39||$2,000||3||38%||18:1||no||yes||yes|
|47||State Fair Community College||Sedalia, MO||93.34||$3,288||1||15%||17:1||yes||yes||yes|
|48||Asnuntuck Community College||Enfield, CT||93.32||$3,432||1||48%||15:1||yes||yes||yes|
|49||Crowder College||Neosho, MO||93.19||$2,712||1||15%||14:1||yes||yes||yes|
|50||Bellingham Technical College||Bellingham, WA||93.03||$2,645||1||57%||24:1||yes||yes||yes|
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $70,500 in 2018. Many factors influence earnings, including experience, certifications, education level, and geographic location. Professionals who work in or near major metro areas as well as experienced mid-career and late-career professionals typically earn the highest salaries.
BLS projects demand for accountants to match typical growth rates for all professions between 2018 and 2028. Earning an accounting degree is the most direct educational path to becoming an accountant, but you can follow other routes. For instance, you might elect to train in a general business or economics field, then pursue accounting at the graduate level.
Professionals with broader academic backgrounds often find it easier to qualify for the jobs below. For example, personal financial advisors benefit from a wide knowledge of finance-related topics, including accounting as well as investing, insurance, and finance.
Accountants and auditors prepare financial records, review them for accuracy, and ensure that these records comply with laws and regulations. They may work for businesses, government agencies, or individuals. Accountants and auditors also recommend ways to increase revenues and profits. Some specialize in areas such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, or fraud examination, and accountants can also earn the CPA credential.
Budget analysts help companies organize their finances by preparing budget reports, monitoring spending, and making recommendations on funding requests. They analyze budget proposals and suggest changes, oversee the status and availability of funds, and estimate future financial needs. Budget analysts also work with project managers, agency heads, and chief operations officers to oversee the institution's finances.
Personal financial advisors help individuals manage their finances by providing guidance on investments, mortgages, savings, taxes, and retirement planning. They meet with clients to discuss their financial goals, answer questions about financial planning, and recommend investments. Personal financial advisors also work with clients to plan for college savings.
Financial analysts help individuals and businesses make investment decisions. They measure the performance of different investments, recommend investments, and oversee their client's portfolio. Financial analysts may also analyze current and historical financial data, project future earnings, and monitor economic and business trends. They also create reports and examine financial statements.
Tax examiners and collectors determine how much individuals and businesses owe in taxes and collect that revenue for the federal, state, or local government. They review tax returns, conduct audits, and investigate overdue taxes. Tax examiners and collectors may also review tax returns for inaccurate credits or deductions, investigate problems in income tax returns, and evaluate financial reports to ensure they follow tax laws and regulations.
Job growth and salaries vary depending on the location. Demand for accountants and auditors also varies; for example, Washington, D.C., employs a high number of accountants due to professionals working for the federal government. Cost of living also influences salaries, with accountants in D.C., New York, and California earning some of the highest annual wages. Because these factors vary, prospective accounting students should study the data below to learn more about local job demand and salaries.
If you have a keen eye for detail, strong mathematical skills, and an analytical aptitude for business and finance, an accounting career may interest you. Successful online students demonstrate self-starting capabilities, excellent self-discipline, and self-directedness at learning.
Accounting certification requirements vary by state. However, eligibility guidelines for designations such as the CPA line up closely. Most affordable online accounting degree programs indicate that they meet certification requirements by stating the program has a CPA track. A career advisor at your desired school can confirm whether the program meets your state's requirements.
Accounting and finance fields overlap, but there are key differences. Accounting focuses mainly on tracking money as it moves into, through, and out of a business or organization. Finance takes a more abstract, bigger-picture view, examining economic opportunities as a vehicle to achieve future organizational health or growth.
Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers comprise the Big Four accounting firms. These prestigious firms hold stable leadership positions in the accounting industry and account for more than 80% of all audits performed on publicly traded American companies. They also rank among the top employers of newly minted accountants and accounting graduates.
Timelines vary depending on your career path. Affordable online colleges offering bachelor's programs in accounting guide emerging professionals to certification in 4-5 years. If you study accounting or a related discipline with an accounting concentration at the master's level, your timeline could extend to six years or longer. However, you will gain additional credentials, potentially making the tradeoff worthwhile.
When evaluating affordable online colleges, always look for accreditation. To earn your CPA and other standard professional designations, you need a degree from an accredited institution. Most employers and experts prefer regional accreditation, which signifies a school's state-run, nonprofit status, or its focus on traditional academics. Regional accreditors also hold schools to higher standards when analyzing academic quality.
The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation vet and authorize national and regional accrediting bodies. They also maintain comprehensive databases listing the accreditation statuses of higher learning institutions. As a business subject, accounting degrees may also hold program accreditation from agencies such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Many affordable online degrees in accounting offer specialization options. By choosing a specialization, you can distinguish yourself in the job market and potentially boost your earning potential.
Degree-seekers can consider these five valuable accounting specializations:
Forensic accountants determine whether organizations use underhanded or illegal tactics to hide fraudulent activities or engage in other forms of deception or tax evasion. Many forensic accounting specialists go on to work as auditors for governments or private enterprises.
Businesses and organizations of all sizes must meet complex tax compliance requirements. Accountants who specialize in tax-related topics help their employers find hidden savings and ensure that they follow all federal, state, and local tax laws. Tax accounting programs, including those at the most affordable online colleges, feature intensive tax code modules.
Financial accounting specialists focus their attention on preparing, examining, and analyzing balance sheets, financial statements, and mandatory financial disclosures. They track and document revenues, liabilities, profits, and losses, and determine when and how to report relevant information. These professionals play a major role in investor relations. Many work for large, publicly traded companies.
Specialized training in managerial accounting gives individuals the leadership skills and abilities to oversee entire accounting departments. These programs offer a wide-ranging view of business fundamentals and economics, producing versatile, well-rounded graduates with a broad set of job-ready skills.
Managerial or financial accounting specializations often include a cost accounting course, which teaches students how to analyze and forecast profits, create budgets, and produce financial reports.
Since each school offers its own unique take on accounting education, class specifics vary. However, the learning outcomes of accredited accounting programs include a shared fundamental skill set. Degree-seekers often take the courses below in online accounting degree programs.
This foundation course provides an overview of the essential concepts, processes, methods, and systems professional accountants use. Degree-seekers explore the procedures and accounting controls used to track revenues and expenses, payables and receivables, inventory, and other key business assets.
Professional accountants need a strong working knowledge of economic systems and how they function on both the large-scale and small-scale levels. This course introduces key macroeconomic and microeconomic concepts, such as monetary policy, interest, inflation, supply and demand, and household consumer behavior.
These classes expand on foundational courses, helping learners understand concepts such as budgeting, cost flows, and inventory tracking. Students also develop their familiarity with widely used accounting documents such as income statements and balance sheets.
Learners engage with classical and emerging auditing theories and techniques, and they learn how to analyze financial documents and use electronic data processing systems. Coursework also explores auditing standards with regard to evidence, ethics, and documentation. Learners also discover how to plan, follow, and evaluate auditing plans and programs.
Contemporary business practices make extensive use of electronic and digital accounting and information systems. Accountants require strong working knowledge of major accounting programs, software products, and tax preparation systems.
Most affordable online bachelor's programs in accounting offer internship opportunities, either as electives or requirements. Students typically complete internships after they have gained a sound working knowledge of accounting principles to apply them in professional settings.
While your school or department may help you in your internship search, you may need to find an internship on your own. If field placements count as degree requirements, your school will likely maintain active lists of available opportunities. If you live in or near a city with a Big Four accounting office, check for openings. Local firms, small and mid-sized businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies also rank among the leading sources of accounting internships. You can apply directly or find opportunities through networking and internet searches.
Companies frequently schedule internships over summer breaks, but they may also occur over 1-2 semesters. Take time to learn about the company, the people you will be working with, and the overall office culture. You can extract major benefits, including skills development and valuable professional networking contacts.
Online learning offers several compelling benefits, including convenience, flexibility, cost advantages, and individually tailored pacing options.
Most online accounting programs follow an asynchronous format, which means that instructors deliver lectures in pre-recorded formats and allow students to engage with other learning materials on their own schedules. As such, you can complete your work at convenient times instead of commuting to campus for scheduled classes. If you wonder how to afford college, this flexibility offers an excellent solution by allowing learners to continue working while earning their degree.
Online students reduce costs in several ways. For example, they do not incur on-campus or room-and-board fees. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to students in exclusively online classes. Others grant in-state tuition rates to all online learners, regardless of their physical location.
Pacing options is another major advantage for online learning. Motivated students in asynchronous programs can move through coursework faster and graduate sooner. Similarly, you can also slow down if you need extra time to grasp a particular concept or if your schedule demands it.
Learn more about cheap online degrees and how they work.
Nikki Winston, CPA, is an accounting expert, CPA exam review instructor, and host of The WERKin' Mommas podcast. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Nikki advises companies from startups to well-known global organizations on how business decisions impact financial statements. Having worked in corporate America for almost two decades, Nikki has managed a $26 billion portfolio of securitized assets, built a robust operational risk management function for middle-market companies, and created accounting policies and procedures for clients in the post-merger integration phase.
Accounting programs offer a variety of concentrations in areas such as public accounting, auditing, forensic accounting, managerial accounting, and financial accounting. These specializations allow students to focus their coursework on their interests and future professional field. Students who concentrate in public accounting, for example, can pursue the CPA credential with additional coursework after graduation.
I chose accounting because I love numbers, and I have an inquiring mind. Accountants don't make the news but report it. We have to ask lots of questions, slice and dice numbers, and draw conclusions based on the information given. I also knew that pursuing an accounting career would mean my skills would always be in demand.
I grew up wanting to be a doctor. I love babies and was always intrigued by the pregnancy cycle. I even completed a fellowship at a local hospital in high school. When I got to college and saw the amount of science required to become a doctor, I went with my second choice: accounting. I'm glad I made the switch.
I learned how to sift through data. In accounting we often refer to analysis paralysis where you spend so much time examining data that you get lost in it. Data is everywhere. In accounting, you receive lots of data -- payroll, sales, expenses, inventory, interest expense -- that you must sift through and determine what's relevant.
I also learned how to think through scenarios that happen in business every day. I had a professor who taught accounting in a practical sense, taking headlines from The Wall Street Journal. Every day, he'd walk into class with the paper, read a few excerpts from the article, and ask us what the accounting would look like.
I distinctly remember when the Sears & Kmart merger happened. He asked us about intercompany accounting for the transaction. I'm so grateful for that teaching because I learned real-world accounting very early. Even today I find myself reading a news article about a business going bankrupt or merging with another and thinking through what the journal entries would be.
I was fortunate enough to land a job shortly after graduation. I used my school's career services center, created a resume, and completed mock interviews to prepare. I began in manufacturing as a financial analyst but that role quickly morphed into one where I wore many hats. The title was a little misleading because I was not looking at stock markets and checking LIBOR rates all day. I was responsible for journal entries and balance sheet reconciliations, but my curiosity about how things worked led me into other areas such as production, financial statement analysis, and inventory audits.
I thought I was prepared for professional life, but it felt like it happened in a nanosecond. Our payroll manager suddenly went out on extended medical leave, and I stepped into the role. I had no clue what I was doing, and payday was just around the corner. In a matter of days I had to figure out how to pay hundreds of factory workers and the salaried personnel with little guidance. I had to manually process time cards, print check runs, and answer employees' questions. While it was stressful, I'm glad I got that exposure early on. It helped better prepare me for future moments when adapting quickly to business situations and being short-staffed sometimes became the norm.
Learn as much as you can outside the classroom. A large part of what we learn in undergrad is technical. The concepts can be dry and complex at times. Look at what's happening in the business world. Read newspapers, magazines, and join professional associations to help it all make sense.
I also advise students to complete as many internships as possible. Working in accounting firms or industry-related accounting helps you build expertise and develop a network. It gets you exposure to accounting professionals who can guide you through your career and potentially offer you a job.
My graduate degree is in management. I pursued it as a personal goal. I waited several years after undergrad before I returned to school. My career was quickly advancing. I was doing a lot and had managed diverse teams. I learned a ton about organizational behavior, communication, and information systems -- skills that can transfer to any profession. I love to learn so I thoroughly enjoyed my graduate studies.
My career path was atypical on purpose. In undergrad I aspired to work as a staff accountant, senior accountant, accounting manager, and controller. However, I was involved in so many different things in my first job, and I began to see the many options available.
I have friends who went into public accounting with the goal of making partner. The pathway to partnership is laid out as is the one to controller, but I wanted to go outside those lines and see what was out there. I'm proud that I have experience in general ledger work, payroll, operational risk, financial analysis, securitization, joint venture accounting, operational risk, and developing employee engagement programs.
Continuing education is essential to accounting success. As businesses evolve, so does our industry. During tax season we talk about new tax laws. Hiring managers might even ask candidates about these things in interviews to determine how much time they invest in learning. You must continue learning or you will get left behind.
As someone who has earned degrees in both the traditional on-campus format and online, my advice is to do what works best for you. I earned my accounting degree from the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, both inside and outside the classroom. In my graduate program, I was on bedrest and pregnant with my second child so my only option was online learning.
With online learning I did not have to commit to being in a classroom at a certain time or being onsite to meet my instructors. I could start my assignments in the middle of the night if I desired. It requires great discipline, which helped me when I returned to work full time. I had flexibility to get my school work done on my schedule. Online learning also tends to be less expensive. Ultimately it depends where you are in your life and making the decision that best fits your lifestyle.
Even the most affordable colleges require students to make sizable investments in their education. Fortunately, online students enjoy the same access to financial aid, student loans, scholarships, and grants as on-campus students.
If you require financial aid, start by completing the FAFSA. The FAFSA program automatically evaluates your eligibility for federal programs.
Try to finance your schooling with need-based grants and merit-based scholarships whenever possible. Unlike student loans, these forms of financial aid do not require repayment.
Who Can Apply: Members of racial or ethnic minority groups enrolled as accounting majors in U.S. colleges or universities may apply for this renewable award.
Amount: Up to $5,000 per academic year
Who Can Apply: Students holding affiliate membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants may apply for this scholarship by enrolling in an accounting-related undergraduate or graduate degree program.
Who Can Apply: First-year and second-year university students who have achieved high levels of academic excellence in accounting programs may apply.
Amount: $2,500 per year (renewable for up to two years)
Who Can Apply: The National Society of Accountants fosters the success of future accountants with this scholarship, open to U.S. citizens enrolled part time or full time in an accounting program. Applicants need a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in accounting programs who intend to become CPAs may apply for this scholarship.
CPA licensure requires a bachelor's degree at minimum. However, many accounting students advance their credentials by earning their master's or doctorate. With an online master's in accounting, you can enjoy access to a wider variety of jobs and higher salaries. Master's students can also specialize in niche accounting disciplines, preparing them for entry into focused, high-demand career tracks such as forensic accounting and auditing.
By obtaining prestigious Ph.D. credentials, you can maximize your employability by differentiating yourself from master's degree-holders. Professionals with doctoral degrees in accounting also enjoy superior earnings along with career development paths that lead to college-level teaching jobs and professorships.
In the United States, state-level agencies handle CPA licensure. However, the journey to becoming a CPA shows a high level of uniformity from one jurisdiction to the next. In general, the process requires a bachelor's or master's degree, passing the CPA exam, then obtaining the necessary professional experience before applying for full licensure.
To become a licensed CPA, educators often reference the three Es: education, exam, and experience. After completing your degree, you can take the CPA exam and find a job in a public accounting capacity. In most jurisdictions, you are eligible for your CPA license once you complete at least two years of full-time work after passing the exam.
Other professional designations, such as the chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified fraud examiner (CFE), feature similar criteria. However, work experience requirements vary, and aspiring CFEs also benefit from coursework or concentrations in forensic accounting and auditing. You may also need to complete additional training in a specialized CFA- or CFE-track program.
Exact requirements vary by state, so check with your local licensing body for specific details. If you have not yet decided where you would like to practice, use the state where your college or university is located.