Best Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 10/18/2021

An online accounting degree can be a convenient way for students to further their education while balancing life's other responsibilities. Graduates can pursue lucrative careers as accountants and auditors, who earn a median salary of $73,560.

To help students choose the best program to fit their goals, we've ranked the best colleges offering online bachelor's degrees in accounting below. We've also included information on certifications and licensure, accreditation, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Start Your Online College Search:
OnlineU has over 200 partner colleges that advertise on our site. Search results include only our partner colleges, which are marked with the word "Ad." Learn more about how we make money.

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Accounting Degrees

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting Badge

Across the country, the average ROI for a bachelor's degree in accounting is $475,300 over 10 years. The 25 top online colleges for a bachelor’s in accounting all offer ROIs above that average. UMass - Amherst, ranked first, has an estimated ROI of $623,200 for its online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Tuitions for these top-ranked accounting degrees start as low as $6,450 with ROIs of over $480,000.

ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Median Starting Salary Median Debt 10-year ROI
# 1 #1 University of Massachusetts - Amherst $14,250 $63,522 $24,676 $623,200
# 2 #2 Linfield University-Online and Continuing Education $15,840 $57,564 $27,000 $559,000
# 3 #3 Messiah University $12,000 $55,512 $27,000 $537,900
# 4 #4 Mount Saint Mary's University - CA $19,220 $55,286 $27,000 $535,500
# 5 #5 University of Maryland Global Campus $14,970 $54,595 $22,238 $534,400
# 6 #6 Auburn University $16,352 $54,382 $20,893 $533,800
# 7 #7 Arizona State University $19,830 $53,927 $17,750 $533,100
# 8 #8 Colorado State University Global $10,500 $54,752 $25,026 $532,500
# 9 #9 University of South Carolina-Columbia $20,856 $54,315 $24,865 $528,200
# 10 #10 Colorado Christian University $14,070 $54,209 $28,000 $523,200
# 11 #11 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus $15,098 $53,999 $26,937 $522,400
# 12 #12 University of Arkansas $8,756 $52,733 $22,250 $515,200
# 13 #13 Elizabethtown College $17,760 $53,108 $27,000 $513,100
# 14 #14 Maryville University $16,000 $52,733 $26,285 $510,200
# 15 #15 Champlain College $9,540 $52,107 $25,000 $505,300
# 16 #16 DeSales University $15,690 $51,106 $21,250 $499,700
# 17 #17 Temple University $19,040 $51,392 $25,000 $497,900
# 18 (tie) #18 (tie) University of Louisville $14,970 $50,439 $19,500 $495,000
# 18 (tie) #18 (tie) Western Governors University $6,450 $50,012 $15,978 $495,000
# 20 #20 Northwest Nazarene University $18,275 $50,606 $22,960 $492,400
# 21 #21 Regis University $16,650 $50,320 $21,250 $491,600
# 22 #22 Washington State University $11,829 $49,976 $22,640 $486,300
# 23 #23 Franklin Pierce University $12,800 $50,105 $24,185 $485,700
# 24 #24 University of Alabama at Birmingham $20,677 $49,990 $25,000 $483,500

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting Rankings Details

#1

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Amherst (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $623,200
  • Median Salary: $63,522
  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Debt: $24,676

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst is an entirely online program offered through the Isenberg School of Management. This AASCB-accredited degree completion program prepares students for careers in accounting, auditing, and tax and consulting. By taking the required 20 courses in business and accounting foundations,... students will also learn financial reporting, managerial accounting, taxation, and information systems.

Classes are taught in an asynchronous format through the Blackboard Learn online platform, which can be accessed remotely 24/7. All students pay the same per-credit tuition fee for online courses, regardless of their state of residency. Online students are eligible for many types of financial aid, and the Isenberg School of Management awards more than $450,000 in undergraduate scholarships each year. Accounting majors have access to the Chase Virtual Career Center where they can schedule career appointments, interact with peers, participate in career events, prepare for interviews, and more.

Applicants must have earned at least 27 college credits before submitting an online application to this program. Online students have full access to support services, library resources, technical support, academic advising.

Cost per Credit: $475
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 82%
Acceptance Rate: 58%
Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
Average SAT Scores: 1190 - 1390
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,217

#2

Linfield University-Online and Continuing Education

McMinnville (OR)
  • 10-Year ROI: $559,000
  • Median Salary: $57,564
  • Annual Tuition: $15,840
  • Median Debt: $27,000

Linfield University's online Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree prepares students for the CPA exam. Online students take courses in advanced accounting, auditing, management, and marketing. Accounting majors can expand their studies with a study abroad program or an internship.

Online courses are delivered primarily asynchronously through the Blackboard... Learn online system. Students use Blackboard to access reading materials, engage in practice assignments, and participate in class discussions. Several institutional scholarships are available based on merit or need, such as the Robert J. and Vivian A. Bull Endowed Scholarship for online students with a GPA of 3.0.

Prospective students can obtain more information through Linfield's webinars before submitting an online application. Online learners have access to academic advising services.

Cost per Credit: $495
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 215

#3

Messiah University

Grantham (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $537,900
  • Median Salary: $55,512
  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Median Debt: $27,000

Messiah University online Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting degree is offered fully online. Students in the program take courses in accounting, management, business law, leadership, and marketing. The university requires that students complete general education requirements in the Christian faith. Students in the accounting concentration take additional courses in intermediate... accounting and taxation.

Online classes are delivered on the Canvas platform, where students participate in discussion boards and group projects and view interactive web-based activities and presentations. Messiah University's per-credit tuition rates do not include any additional fees. Online students can participate in on-campus opportunities, such as the Impact Venture Challenge and Bloomberg Trading Challenge and 6-8 business networking per year.

There are several course start dates throughout the year. Prospective students should submit their online application to apply. No fee is required. Students have access to advising, counseling services, and library resources.

Cost per Credit: $400
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 79%
Acceptance Rate: 77%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1090 - 1310
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1

#4

Mount Saint Mary's University - CA

Los Angeles (CA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $535,500
  • Median Salary: $55,286
  • Annual Tuition: $19,220
  • Median Debt: $27,000

Mount Saint Mary's University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Accounting degree. The curriculum emphasizes leadership and decision-making skills through courses in global business, communication, business ethics, and management. Students typically complete the program in four years, and can choose to study full-time or part-time.

Students can select... from two formats: a fully-online program option or a hybrid format that blends in-person classes one day a week with online courses. Asynchronous coursework is delivered through the Canvas learning management system. MSMU accepts transfer credit for prior coursework and offers credit for prior work experience and military training. Merit- and need-based scholarships are also available to students.

Prospective students can submit the Common Application to apply. Once enrolled, students have access to an academic advisor.

Cost per Credit: $620
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 124
Graduation Rate: 65%
Acceptance Rate: 81%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 920 - 1170
Accreditation: WSCUC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 162

#5

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi (MD)
  • 10-Year ROI: $534,400
  • Median Salary: $54,595
  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Debt: $22,238

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. This program emphasizes theory and practice, covering topics in managerial accounting, accounting systems, financial reporting, and more. Students are prepared for accounting and finance roles at corporations, nonprofits, governmental organizations, and graduate school.UMGC's... vertical pathway allows graduates of this program to reduce their coursework for a master's degree in accounting.

Online coursework is asynchronous with no set log in times. Students participate in discussions, work on group projects, and interact with wither peers and faculty on the LEO learning management system. Online learners are provided with electronic textbooks for their courses at no additional cost. UMGC offers several scholarships, a monthly tuition payment plan, and military and veteran benefits. Students have access to the Accounting and Finance Community Hub that provides career exploration services, resources, and job listings.

Students must submit an online application to be considered. Once enrolled, students have access to tutoring services, the writing center, and library resources.

Cost per Credit: $499
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 15%
Financial Aid Recipients: 46%
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 35,971

#6

Auburn University

Auburn (AL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $533,800
  • Median Salary: $54,382
  • Annual Tuition: $16,352
  • Median Debt: $20,893

Auburn University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accountancy second degree. The program is suitable for adult learners seeking a second business degree or needing additional credits to sit for the CPA exam. The 30-credit program is offered in both full-time and part-time formats. Students working full-time can graduate in five semesters while taking... six credits per semester.

Coursework is delivered asynchronously through Canvas, where students can view recorded lectures or stream live lectures. The AACSB-accredited program has the same instructors and level of academic rigor as the on-campus program. Online students are paired with a Student Success Coordinator (SSC) from orientation through graduation. The SSC provides support to students during the program and connects them to various other student services available.

Applicants to the program must have earned an accredited bachelor’s degree in business or an MBA and meet specific business prerequisites. Prospective students should submit a completed online application to apply. Enrolled students have access to academic advising, proctoring services, and career resources.

Cost per Credit: $511
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 79%
Acceptance Rate: 84%
Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
Average SAT Scores: 1150 - 1320
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 398

#7

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • 10-Year ROI: $533,100
  • Median Salary: $53,927
  • Annual Tuition: $19,830
  • Median Debt: $17,750

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Business - Corporate Accounting through the W.P. Carey School of Business that is AACSB-accredited. This 120-credit program prepares students for careers in corporate accounting and to take the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) exams. Classes run for seven-and-a-half... weeks, and there are two terms each semester. The degree can generally be completed in four academic years if students enroll full-time; however, part-time study is also available. To graduate, students must complete 41 courses with topics in intermediate accounting for corporate accountants, management accounting, financial statement analysis, and more.

Online coursework is asynchronous and delivered through the Canvas learning management platform. The business school boasts award-winning faculty, including a Nobel laureate and National Academy of Science members. Online students have access to career and development services such as virtual career and internship advising and career events. For 2018-19 graduates, 89% were employed with a median salary of $54,000.

Start dates are available throughout the year. Students must submit online applications to be considered. Online learners have access to counseling, tutoring, technical resources, success coaching, student wellness services, and military student support.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 54%
Acceptance Rate: 76%
Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
Average SAT Scores: 1091 - 1301
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 33,410

#8

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $532,500
  • Median Salary: $54,752
  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Median Debt: $25,026

Colorado State University Global's Bachelor of Science in Accounting offers students various specializations in organizational leadership, project management, human resources and organizational leadership, and more. The curriculum emphasizes problem-solving skills and covers accounting, marketing, data analysis, auditing, and information systems. To graduate, students must complete... a capstone in accounting research and analysis and a practicum.

Online coursework is asynchronous and accelerated courses may be available. CSU allows students to earn academic credit through examination, self-study assessments, and prior learning assessment (PLA). The school notes that completing PLAs save students 75% on overall tuition costs and may allow them to graduate faster. CSU also offers fixed tuition rates and additional opportunities for students in the armed forces or employed by affiliates. Online learners also have access to career services that include access to a career coach, resume help, and interview preparation.

New classes begin monthly. To apply, students must submit an online application. Once enrolled, students have access to tutoring, the writing center, and technical support.

Cost per Credit: $350
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 64%
Average SAT Scores: 950 - 1140
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,114

#9

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia (SC)
  • 10-Year ROI: $528,200
  • Median Salary: $54,315
  • Annual Tuition: $20,856
  • Median Debt: $24,865

University of South Carolina-Columbia's (USCA's) Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Accounting is an AACSB-accredited online degree completion program. Students prepare for careers in tax, auditing, advising, forensic accounting, or risk management. Students also develop strong business skills in oral and written communication, teamwork, ethics, and technology. Full-time... students can complete the program in two and a half years; part-time enrollment is also available for working professionals.

Students are taught by the same faculty that instruct the on-campus program. USCA offers exclusive tuition rates for online degree programs. There are also various scholarships available for resident and nonresident students. The career center provides students with tools to help plan for their career, including resume and interview assistance, and job and internship listings through Handshake,

Prospective students must submit an online application to apply. A college representative is available to assists students in determining whether they meet the prerequisites for the program.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 77%
Acceptance Rate: 72%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 1180 - 1370
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 454

#10

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $523,200
  • Median Salary: $54,209
  • Annual Tuition: $14,070
  • Median Debt: $28,000

Colorado Christian University (CCU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The program focuses on various accounting competencies, including financial reporting, auditing, and regulation. These subjects are aligned with sections of the CPA examination. Online students typically take one course at a time for five or seven-week blocks.

Asynchronous online classes are... delivered on the Blackboard learning management system. Students participate in discussions and submit weekly assignments. CCU's generous credit transfer policy allows students to transfer up to 90 credits towards their bachelor's degree. Students may also earn credit for previous life or military experiences through the Prior Learning Credit program. Students may be able to save money by completing general education coursework through Straighterline, a CCU partner. Various scholarships are available for transfer students.

To apply, prospective students must submit an online application. Once enrolled, students attend new student orientation.

Cost per Credit: $469
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 55%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,040

#11

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

University Park (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $522,400
  • Median Salary: $53,999
  • Annual Tuition: $15,098
  • Median Debt: $26,937

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus offers two online degrees in accounting: a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in accounting. Both degrees are 120 credits and cover core business concepts such as finance, business strategy, marketing, and supply chain management. The AACSB-accredited BS in Accounting covers a range... of accounting disciplines and prepares students for several certification exams in the field.

Online courses are asynchronous and delivered on the Canvas platform. Online students complete course assignments, quizzes, group work, and participate in discussions. Qualifying students are eligible for scholarships, payment options, and military benefits. Students can take advantage of career services that include counseling services, online career fairs, internship search assistance, and career planning resources and support.

Online applications are accepted during the summer, fall, and spring. Once enrolled, students have access to tutoring, academic advising, and 24-hour technical support. and career advising

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 29%
Acceptance Rate: 67%
Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
Accreditation: MSCHE

#12

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville (AR)
  • 10-Year ROI: $515,200
  • Median Salary: $52,733
  • Annual Tuition: $8,756
  • Median Debt: $22,250

The University of Arkansas offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting through the Sam M. Walton College of Business. This AACSB-accredited program is designed to prepare students to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The university offers traditional 15-week semesters in the fall and spring, with five-week sessions in... the summer term.

Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, where students can communicate with professors via email, chat, and one-on-one meetings. Students are required to submit assignments and take exams according to weekly deadlines. Online students are eligible for financial aid, including state- and school-sponsored scholarships. Military service members and veterans are eligible for a number of scholarships and other benefits.

To apply, students should submit an online application through the school's website. Distance learners have access to the Online Student Liaison Office, library resources, individualized career coaching, virtual forums, and the Handshake job and internship platform.

Cost per Credit: $292
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 66%
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Financial Aid Recipients: 76%
Average SAT Scores: 1120 - 1300
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 934

#13

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $513,100
  • Median Salary: $53,108
  • Annual Tuition: $17,760
  • Median Debt: $27,000

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree at Elizabethtown College is designed to help students pass the CPA exam. The program is offered fully online and in a blended format. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking skills and social responsibility. Coursework covers accounting and business ethics and law. To graduate, students complete a capstone course in corporate strategy....

Online courses are mostly asynchronous but may require synchronous live chats. Coursework requires that students participate in discussion boards and submit assignments. Elizabethtown College offers several undergraduate scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. The college also accepts transfer credit from other institutions and awards credits for prior work and military experience, CLEP or DANTES examinations, and direct course equivalency proposals (CEP). Students can access various career services such as job search assistance and planning, career advice, and access to Handshake.

Applicants must submit an online application. Once enrolled, students have access to academic advising, library resources, and tutoring.

Cost per Credit: $555
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 69%
Acceptance Rate: 74%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1080 - 1290
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 170

#14

Maryville University

St. Louis (MO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $510,200
  • Median Salary: $52,733
  • Annual Tuition: $16,000
  • Median Debt: $26,285

Maryville University (MU) offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program prepares students for the CPA exam and emphasizes analytical and foundational skills in accounting and business. MU's early access program allows students to complete graduate courses that apply to their undergraduate and master's degrees. Students can complete the program in two and a... half years.

Online coursework is asynchronous with no required login times. Classes are small to allow for networking and development opportunities with peers and faculty. Transfer credits are accepted from accredited schools. Marysville University was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for its technological leadership and innovation. Smarthinking services are available to all online students, including resume and cover letter review, interview practice, and business writing support.

The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, or summer. Prospective students must submit an online application. No application fee is required. Enrolled students receive support from academic advisors, tutoring services, and technical assistance.

Cost per Credit: $500
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 71%
Acceptance Rate: 92%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 1040 - 1250
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,326

#15

Champlain College

Burlington (VT)
  • 10-Year ROI: $505,300
  • Median Salary: $52,107
  • Annual Tuition: $9,540
  • Median Debt: $25,000

Champlain College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. The 120-credit program prepares students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Online classes run for seven weeks, with two terms per semester and three semesters per year. The curriculum covers topics in financial accounting, forensic accounting, auditing, business law, critical thinking,... writing, and financial decision-making. Students can enroll full-time or part-time and must complete an accounting capstone to graduate.

Online courses are delivered in an asynchronous format and students have 24/7 access to coursework. Students may transfer up to 90 credits into the program. The university also offers a reduced cost-per-credit rate for military students, credit for prior knowledge, and exclusive partner pricing for students working for specific employers. Champlain students have access to the Fast Start Formula Career Course taught by an executive career coach that teaches students tips for getting hired.

Classes are offered in the fall, spring, and summer terms. Prospective students should submit an online application to be considered. Enrolled students have access to career services such as cover letter and resume advice and job and internship resources.

Cost per Credit: $318
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 65%
Acceptance Rate: 75%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1110 - 1320
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,669

#16

DeSales University

Center Valley (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $499,700
  • Median Salary: $51,106
  • Annual Tuition: $15,690
  • Median Debt: $21,250

DeSales University offers an online, accelerated Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. The ACBSP-accredited program is delivered fully online. Students can select a concentration in forensic accounting or data analytics. As a Catholic university, students are required to complete three courses in Christian values and theology.

Online courses may be synchronous, asynchronous,... or a blend of both formats. Students access course materials on the Blackboard platform. DeSales University offers special tuition rates, financial aid, and tuition deferment programs for qualifying students, including military students through the Yellow Ribbon program. Students may transfer up to 75 credits to the degree and earn credits through their prior learning assessment program. This program awards credit for previous life experience, military training, examinations, and portfolio assessments.

Prospective students must complete the online application to apply. Online learners have access to personal advisors and a career development center.

Cost per Credit: $523
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 69%
Acceptance Rate: 74%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1030 - 1260
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 319

#17

Temple University

Philadelphia (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $497,900
  • Median Salary: $51,392
  • Annual Tuition: $19,040
  • Median Debt: $25,000

Temple University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting through the Fox School of Business. The AACSB-accredited program focuses on accounting information systems, auditing techniques, cost analysis and control, data analytics in accounting, financial accounting and reporting, and taxation. Online students can choose from a traditional 15-week semester... or dual, accelerated six- or seven-week semesters. Accounting majors can apply for internships through the Center for Student Professional Development.

Courses are delivered through Canvas, and some use WebEx conferencing technology to connect students with their peers and instructors during live weekly sessions. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rates for online courses, regardless of where they reside. Online students are eligible for financial aid, and about 79% of first-year Temple enrollees receive financial assistance. There is also a Fly in 4 program that guarantees students graduate on time. Continuing education and career development courses are among the many benefits available to Temple alumni.

Online applications are accepted at any time, and students can enroll in the spring or fall semester. Distance learners will also have access to virtual resources like the university library and campus bookstore.

Cost per Credit: $595
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 74%
Acceptance Rate: 57%
Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 490

#18 (tie)

University of Louisville

Louisville (KY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $495,000
  • Median Salary: $50,439
  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Debt: $19,500

University of Louisville (UL) offers a fully online Bachelor of Business Administrations in Accountancy (BSBA). The AACSB-accredited program focuses on preparing students for the CPA exam and emphasizes accounting information systems in addition to general business knowledge. Students can graduate in four years and must complete a co-op course where they gain work experience in... an approved accounting position.

Online courses are asynchronous and hosted on the Blackboard program, where students interact with peers and faculty with experience in the field. Online tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students; Reduced tuition rates are available for military students. UL offers various need- and merit-based scholarships to online students. They also accept transfer credits so students can graduate faster. The career center offers virtual appointments through Handshake, job postings, virtual workshops, resume and cover letter reviews, and interviewing tips.

Online applications are accepted for the fall, spring, and summer start dates. Online learners have access to an online enrollment counselor and a program director. Other resources available include access to online exam proctoring, tutoring, a writing center, and library services.

Cost per Credit: $499
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 58%
Acceptance Rate: 75%
Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
Average SAT Scores: 1070 - 1290
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 460

#18 (tie)

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City (UT)
  • 10-Year ROI: $495,000
  • Median Salary: $50,012
  • Annual Tuition: $6,450
  • Median Debt: $15,978

Western Governors University (WGU) offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Accounting degree. Students in this 41-course program learn about financial accounting, auditing, financial recording, taxation, payroll, organizational behavior, IT fundamentals, and more. In addition to the degree, students can earn a micro-credential in business, human resources,... or management. Students must complete 12 competency units per term (six months). To graduate, students must complete a business core capstone, which requires students to apply their knowledge to a simulated business environment. As the program is self-paced, students may be able to graduate faster.

Online coursework is flexible and competency-based: students progress through their degree by demonstrating that they've mastered the subject matter, whether as a result of the program or through life experience. WGU courses are developed with input from nationally recognized experts in the field. Tuition is calculated as a flat rate per six-month term in addition to textbooks and course materials. The average WGU student graduates with less debt than half the national average. There are also several scholarship opportunities available to students, such as the New Start Scholarship.

Start dates are the first day of every month. Prospective students must submit an online application to apply and have access to an enrollment counselor. Online students have access to the writing center, student success center, learning communities, wellness services, and helpdesk support.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 21%
Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 98,630

#20

Northwest Nazarene University

Nampa (ID)
  • 10-Year ROI: $492,400
  • Median Salary: $50,606
  • Annual Tuition: $18,275
  • Median Debt: $22,960

Northwest Nazarene University offers an accelerated online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that can be completed in as little as 20 months. The program provides students with a general overview of accounting principles and prepares them for careers in public, corporate, nonprofit, or governmental accounting. Students progress through the program in cohorts with the same... group of people.

NNU online programs are specifically designed for working professionals, who use the Canvas learning management system to access course materials, readings, assignments, and discussion forums. At NNU, 99% of undergraduate students receive financial aid, and 1 in 4 graduates complete the program with no debt. Students have access to career development services that provide assistance in career exploration, resume help, and internship and job search.

To apply, prospective students must submit an online application and will be connected with a business program coordinator. Enrollees also have access to academic advising and library resources.

Cost per Credit: $425
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 172
Graduation Rate: 61%
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 990 - 1190
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 287

#21

Regis University

Denver (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $491,600
  • Median Salary: $50,320
  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Median Debt: $21,250

Regis University offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Accounting available online or on campus. The curriculum emphasizes ethical practice and real-world scenarios. Students take courses in accounting information systems, forensic and fraud auditing, and accounting ethics. Classes are available in 5- or 8-week terms.

Students can choose a fully online format or attend classes... on-campus in the evenings. Regis accepts transfer credits, including those earned from an associate degree. Online students who are transferring from a community college can apply to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Scholarship that awards $3,500 towards tuition. Accounting students can earn both bachelor's and master's degrees in five years to reduce their overall tuition costs and the number of credits that are typically needed for two degrees.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The university recommends that students apply four weeks before their desired start date. Prospective students can contact an admissions counselor and submit an online application.

Cost per Credit: $555
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 64%
Acceptance Rate: 60%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 1030 - 1240
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,061

#22

Washington State University

Pullman (WA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $486,300
  • Median Salary: $49,976
  • Annual Tuition: $11,829
  • Median Debt: $22,640

Washington State University (WSU) offers an online, AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration-Accounting. Students develop a broad understanding of the business field in addition to core competencies in accounting. The program offers accelerated 7-week courses. Students take courses in taxation, accounting, auditing, and accounting systems and complete an international... experience requirement to graduate.

Online courses are flexible and available on the university's learning management system. WSU's Carson College of Business boasts award-winning accounting faculty that teach both online and in-person programs. Students must complete the Carson Career Amplifier Program that encourages students to apply what they've learned through practical, hands-on experiences.

Prospective students can submit an online application to apply. Start dates are available in the spring, summer, and fall. Once enrolled, students have access to career counseling services.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 60%
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
Average SAT Scores: 1020 - 1230
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,437

#23

Franklin Pierce University

Rindge (NH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $485,700
  • Median Salary: $50,105
  • Annual Tuition: $12,800
  • Median Debt: $24,185

Franklin Pierce University (FPU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program emphasizes core business competencies and communication and critical thinking skills. The curriculum includes courses in intermediate and advanced accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and taxation. Students can finish the program in 18 months and have the option to study full-time... or part-time.

FPU offers a generous transfer credit policy that allows students to receive credit for prior life experiences, including military training, job experiences, and professionals licenses or certifications. FPU students are eligible for grants, loans, and scholarships. Career services available to students include virtual coaching, career fairs, and video workshops.

To apply, students must submit an online application. Once enrolled, students have access to library resources, a writing center, and academic advising.

Cost per Credit: $400
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 49%
Acceptance Rate: 76%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 180

#24

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham (AL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $483,500
  • Median Salary: $49,990
  • Annual Tuition: $20,677
  • Median Debt: $25,000

The University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program. Graduates are prepared for careers in public, private, or governmental accounting positions. The AACSB-accredited program covers areas in the Certified Management Accountant examination and is endorsed by the Institute of Management Accountants. Students can complete their... degrees in four years.

Students can transfer credit from previous college coursework. Tuition for online programs is the same for residents and non-residents. Students in the program have access to career services offered through Handshake and networking opportunities.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered. There are three start dates per year. Once enrolled, students have access to academic advising, counseling services, tech support, and a tutoring lab.

Cost per Credit: $667
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 124
Graduation Rate: 63%
Acceptance Rate: 92%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 1090 - 1365
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,398

Overview of Online Bachelor's in Accounting

Bachelor's degrees in accounting offer in-depth study in accounting principles, including cost accounting, managerial accounting, financial statements, and auditing. In addition, some bachelor's programs allow students to focus on a specific subspecialty, such as tax or forensic accountancy. An online bachelor's degree in accounting prepares students to take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam . The degree also equips students with the necessary skills to become accountants and auditors, analysts, and financial planners. Graduates work for the government, private industry, major accounting firms, and even for themselves as tax preparers, consultants, and personal financial planners.

Bachelor's accounting programs are designed to be completed in four years for full-time students and are worth approximately 120 credit hours. Most students take four to five years to complete a program. However, schools may offer accelerated online programs that may take students about two years to complete. Some online programs may require that students complete accounting internships or externships, while other degree programs may be completed exclusively online. We have found many online bachelor's accounting degree programs available, with tuition ranging from $7,000 to $21,000 per year. With so many options, you can find an affordable program that fits your budget and helps you meet your professional goals.

Bachelor's degrees in accounting offer in-depth study in accounting principles, including cost accounting, managerial accounting, financial statements, and auditing.

Is an Online Accounting Degree Worth It?

Our research shows that an online accounting degree is worth it. The earnings potential is high, and companies need employees skilled in accountancy. For example, accountants earned a median annual salary of $73,560 in 2020, while the median yearly salary for all other occupations was $41,950. The job growth in this field is on par with the national average at 7%. Employers value people who have accounting skills, are good with technology, and have strong communication skills.

Potential Benefits:

  • An accounting program can prepare you for many business careers. Whether you want to be an accountant, an entrepreneur, or a CEO, it always helps to understand financial regulations, reporting, and responsibility.
  • You can find work just about anywhere. Any business that handles finances needs accounting professionals. This career path can lead to positions in virtually any industry, or you could even open your own accounting, consulting, or financial planning firm.
  • Completing an accounting program online may pair well with a busy schedule. Attending classes online can be convenient, especially if you are trying to balance work and other responsibilities. You can set your schedule and work in the comfort of your home.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Accounting work can be stressful. Accounting work requires a lot of focus and concentration. It can be intense at times, especially during tax season or at the end of a fiscal year. The demands placed on you may be high when working with a company's finances.
  • Accounting work can seem dull. Day-to-day work can require a lot of research and math, which some may find tedious. It can also mean you'll be doing a lot of work independently and quietly, which may not be appealing for some.
  • It can be difficult to network with others when not attending classes in-person. Making meaningful connections with peers and instructors when attending online courses can be hard, especially if a school doesn't provide engagement opportunities.

Common Bachelor's in Accounting Courses

While course titles may differ from school to school, accountancy programs are designed to meet similar learning objectives and outcomes. Courses and programs are designed for students to become CPAs and earn other certifications. The core courses, such as those listed below, will help you hone critical and analytical thinking skills, financial, and organizational skills, as well as general business and communication competencies.

  • Auditing: Through case studies and problem sets, instructors will demonstrate how to design, apply, and evaluate an audit. Topics may include common audit standards, tests and controls, and statistical samplings.
  • Corporate taxation: The content in this course focuses on the theories, policies, and procedures behind federal income taxation and how taxation applies to corporations, estates and trusts, gifts, and partnerships.
  • Cost accounting: Students will become familiar with the roles of accountants in areas such as decision-making, cost behavior, cost planning, and cost methods. They'll learn to see how to apply basic cost accounting concepts using technology to develop financial deliverables, evaluate data, and communicate findings.
  • Financial management: Students are instructed on how to apply financial management analytical techniques for decision-making. Content may include formulating financial objectives and policies, planning and control, asset management, capital budgeting, and securities valuation.
  • Fraud and forensic accounting: This course introduces students to the tools used to detect fraud and understand why fraud occurs. Instructors discuss how public, internal, and private accountants can create detection and prevention plans.

Specializations

Some schools allow you to specialize by focusing your accounting program studies in your area of interest, which may increase your growth potential and give you a competitive edge.

  • Tax accountancy focuses on taxes rather than public financial statements. Tax accountants prepare and file tax returns for businesses and individuals by following the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Assurance and auditing accountancy focuses on reviewing and investigating accounting work. Professionals look for and correct accounting irregularities.
  • Analytics accountancy focuses on financial analysis and decision-making. Analysts take complex data and make it more easily accessible to stakeholders. This data helps business leaders make informed decisions to meet an organization's goals.

Accreditation for Online Accounting Degrees

According to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), accreditation assures students and potential employers that a program meets the requirements for academic quality. Students must be enrolled in an accredited school to receive federal financial aid, and degrees from accredited programs are widely accepted in the accountant job market.

Accrediting agencies are either state, regional, or national in their focus. An entire school may be accredited for all of its programs, and specific programs within a particular institution may also be accredited, referred to as specialized or programmatic accreditation. For those who would like to become CPAs, it is highly recommended they complete a program with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation .

Accreditation assures students and potential employers that a program meets the requirements for academic quality.

To determine whether a particular online accounting program is accredited, check with the USDE’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


Careers with Accounting Degrees

Accounting graduates often become accountants and auditors who prepare and examine an individual's or company's financial records. They ensure accuracy, look for discrepancies, and evaluate risk. They may also prepare tax returns. Auditors identify potential risks for fraud. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual median salary for both professions at $73,560, with a projected 7% job growth. Once you learn the basics, there are many different accounting career paths you can take. Some may require additional certification or credentials.

Budget Analyst
Media Annual Salary: $78,970
Job Outlook: 5%
  • Budget analysts help organizations plan their finances. They often work with program and project managers to develop, implement, and manage budgets.
Controller
Media Annual Salary: $134,180
Job Outlook: 17%
  • Controllers are financial managers responsible for the financial health of a company and may supervise accounting staff. They help company leaders make financial decisions that impact the organization and seek ways to reduce costs.
Financial analyst
Media Annual Salary: $83,660
Job Outlook: 6%
  • Financial analysts help businesses and individuals decide how to spend their money to increase profitability. They study business and economic trends, financial statements, and historical financial data.
Personal financial advisor
Media Annual Salary: $89,330
Job Outlook: 5%
  • Personal financial advisors work with clients to help them meet their financial goals. They monitor clients' financial accounts for performance and educate their clients about investment options and potential risks.

How to Become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Many accounting jobs require the work of a Certified Public Accountant, especially if you'll be working with taxes. Certification requires passing the Uniform CPA Examination. The exam is broken down into four parts, which need to be completed within 18 months. You also need a bachelor's degree and 150-semester credit hours before applying for your license. Some states may waive certain education requirements in favor of work experience.


Once you've passed the exam, have completed a total of 150 credits, and have one year of approximately 2,000 hours of CPA-verified work experience, you can apply for your state license.


States may also require the completion of other exams, such as an ethics exam. However, every state requires continuing education courses to keep your license active and your skills relevant.

How to Become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Unlike CPAs, CMAs rarely work with the public. Instead, they work specifically with businesses and organizations to offer financial advice. CMAs serve as counsel on all financial matters, including corporate spending, taxation compliance, planning, and budgeting. With the increasing number of industries turning to CMAs for financial help, the earning potential and job prospects for CMAs are very promising.

The Institute of Management Accountants offers the CMA program and examination to candidates with an accredited bachelor's degree and at least two consecutive years of experience in management or financial accounting. CMAs have above-average skills in risk analysis, financial decision-making, and internal controls.

The CMA exam is administered in two parts. Applicants are required to complete both parts of the exam within 36 months after enrolling in the CMA program. Once certified, you'll need to meet continuing education requirements to keep your skills and certification current.

Other Accounting Certifications

There are many other certifications available to help accounting professionals specialize and demonstrate competency. Here are just a few of the popular certifications that accounting professionals can earn.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified financial planners help individuals manage their finances and plan for future financial security. You can apply to become a CFP from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards once you've met education and work experience requirements. These include a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and the completion of coursework from a CFP Board Registered Program in such practices as education planning, risk management, and insurance planning. You will also need at least three years (6,000 hours) of financial planning experience. Once you've met these requirements and passed a background check, you may become certified.
Internal Auditor
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors offers the most widely recognized standards of practice and certification. The Certified Internal Auditor credential (CIA) is awarded to those who can demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of internal auditing. To receive the CIA, you must complete program requirements, including a postsecondary degree in any field from an accredited university and at least two years of work experience as an internal auditor. Master's degree holders are only required to complete one year of work as an auditor.
Enrolled Agent for the IRS
  • Enrolled agents are nongovernmental tax professionals who become licensed by the United States Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers in cases brought before the Internal Revenue Service. You'll need a Preparer Tax Identification Number to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE). However, if you work for at least five years as a tax professional within the IRS, you can apply to become an enrolled agent without taking the SEE. Those eligible for promotion to enrolled agent status must specialize in the daily use and interpretation of the U.S. tax code. Educational requirements to become an IRS tax specialist vary but previous work experience in addition to a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration, economics, or a similar field is frequently required.
Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
  • While the CGFM credential is not needed to work as a financial management professional, those who obtain one may have a considerable edge in the job market. To become a CGFM, you must agree to abide by the Association of Government Accountants code of ethics, have your bachelor's degree, pass three CGFM exams, and have at least two years of experience working in government financial management.
Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • A Certified Fraud Examiner is an accountant with specialized examination skills. Their job is part numbers, part investigation, and part criminology. With increased identity theft, fraud, and corporate scandals, the need for CFEs is growing. To become a CFE, you must be a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and pass the CFE exam. The exam tests your knowledge in four main areas: fraudulent financial transactions, investigation methods, legal elements of fraud, and fraud prevention and deterrence.

Further Accounting Education

A master's degree can increase growth potential and requires courses in advanced accounting topics, such as managerial accounting, advanced tax for individuals and businesses, and advanced auditing theory. While many accounting positions require only a bachelor’s degree, some employers may require a master’s degree. These advanced degrees equip students with the skills necessary for managerial accounting roles, such as controller and chief financial officer.

Students may also pursue a master's degree in accounting to complete the 150 credits needed to become licensed after passing their CPA exam. Some schools make it easier to gain those additional credit hours by combining a bachelor's degree with a master's degree — often called a 4+1 program.

Some employers may require their senior accounting executives to hold doctorates. However, graduates who earn their accounting doctorate usually become college professors or researchers. Because of the intense study and research necessary for a doctorate, those with the degree often serve as legal witnesses in cases of accounting malpractice and securities fraud. They may also work as consultants for the government or on criminal cases that need forensic accountants.


Frequently Asked Questions About Accounting Degrees

Can You Become a CPA With an Online Degree?

Yes, you can become a CPA with an online degree, but you also need real-world experience working under a licensed CPA. Typically, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, pass an exam, and have one to two years of experience before you can become a licensed CPA, although requirements may vary depending on what state you live in.

What Are the Four Areas of Accounting?

The four primary areas of accounting are public, private, government, and accounting education. Many of the job functions are similar but are performed for organizations with different purposes, stakeholders, and reporting obligations.

  • Employees in public accounting often work with clients on a contract basis and may work for a dedicated accounting firm.
  • Private accountants perform financial analysis for one company or business.
  • Government accountants, including state auditors, work for government agencies.
  • Accountants who work in education teach, conduct research, and train students to become accountants.

What Types of Accountants Make the Most Money?

According to data from Glassdoor , chief financial officers and controllers make the most money in accounting, with salaries ranging from $78,000 to $286,000 per year, on average. These are top positions that are responsible for overseeing the financial aspects of an organization. Starting your own firm can also be lucrative, depending on the number of clients you have, among other factors.

What is the Fastest Way to Get an Accounting Degree?

While a bachelor's in accounting degree usually takes four years to complete, there may be ways to earn it more quickly. You may be able to transfer credits from community colleges and other postsecondary schools to apply towards your bachelor's degree. Sometimes, schools give credit for prior learning, including work experience, equating hours to credits earned. You may also be able to take an exam that measures your competency in a specific course for credit.

Many schools also offer accelerated degree programs to accommodate students with busy schedules. Accelerated bachelor's in accounting degree programs take approximately two years to complete.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.