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20 Best Online Schools for Accounting

In this article, we highlight the 20 best online schools for accounting bachelor’s degrees in 2021/2022.

The first step toward an accounting career is earning an undergraduate degree in the discipline. Of course, finding an accredited institution with a top-ranked accounting program also helps.

According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational outlook for accountants is extremely favorable. In fact, employment for accountants and auditors is expected to grow seven percent through 2030. In fact, around 135,000 openings for accountants are projected each year over the next decade. 

This anticipated demand means that colleges and universities are offering flexible programs designed to prepare students for long-term accounting careers. Even some of the top-ranked institutions now offer online accounting degree options so that students can balance their life obligations with their education.

Best online accounting degrees

Our Methodology for Determining the Best Schools Offering Online Accounting Degrees

This ranking is designed to help students identify the best schools for an online accounting degree based on the methodology listed below. We examined over 100 accredited institutions that offer online bachelor’s in accounting degree programs. From the pool of schools, we examined the percentage of admitted applicants, graduation rates, and in-state undergraduate tuition and fees to determine affordability. Our data was taken from NCES College Navigator and used to help create our list of the 20 best online schools for accounting degrees (2021-2022)

Methodology:

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees

Less than $10,000/year- 3 Points

$10,001-$20,000/year- 2 Points

More than $20,000/year- 1 Point

Applicants Admitted

Less than 50%- 3 Points

More than 50%- 1 Point

Graduation Rate

50% or Greater- 3 Points

25%-49%- 2 Points

Less than 25%- 1 Point

SchoolTuition% Admitted% GraduatedPoints
University of Alabama$8,568 81 61 9
University of Memphis$9,912 85 52 9
Indiana State University$9,466 92 41 8
Southern New Hampshire University$9,650 94% 37% 8
Old Dominion University$10,800 95 53 8
Clarion University of Pennsylvania$11,199 94 53 8
Arizona State University$11,338 88 66 8
University of Minnesota$12,014 72 51 8
Washington State University$12,170 80 59 8
University of Maryland$7,560 100% 18% 7
Colorado State University-Global Campus$8400 98% Unavailable7
Liberty University$21,587 50 54 7
Saint Leo University$24,640 73 50 7
Indiana Wesleyan University$28,184 91 72 7
Regis University$38,558 78 67 7
Florida Institute of Technology$12,240 100%  Unavailable6
Colorado Technical University$12,573 100% 23% 6
Pennsylvania State University World Campus$13,988 100% Unavailable6
Tiffin University$37,610 62% 41% 6
Northeastern University$55,452 20 90 5

#1– University of Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $8,568

Points: 9

Our top pick for the best online accounting degree program is from the University of Alabama at Birmington. UAB offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from the UAB Collat School of Business. This AACSB-accredited program is designed to prepare students for the CPA, CISA, CIA, CFE, and CMA exams. It is endorsed by the Institute of Management Accountants for successful CMA exam preparation and will provide a solid base of business knowledge along with conceptual accounting.

The curriculum is rigorous yet relevant, and includes classes like accounting information systems, cost accounting, internal auditing, financial accounting, management processes and behavior, basic marketing, fundamentals of financial management, information systems, and more. The program is designed to be completed in four years.

The faculty consists of the same industry experts who teach on campus and online students can access all of the excellent resources that UAB has to offer. The University of Alabama at Birmingham awards online students the same accredited accounting degrees as those given out on campus. 

#2 – University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $9,912

Points: 9

The School of Accountancy at the University of Memphis offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a major in Accounting, with core classes designed to serve as quality preparation for the CPA certification exam. 

The BBA degree with a major in Accounting requires students to take courses in accounting systems, audit and assurance services, cost accounting, federal income tax, financial statement analysis, information systems auditing and assurance, intermediate accounting, and more. You’ll need a minimum of 120 hours to graduate, but you may be eligible to transfer credits and combine your college-level learning from another program to the School of Accountancy.

Students completing this degree can expect to possess the skills needed to consider the Certified Public Accountants exam (CPA). The School of Accountancy is a department of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics. This business college is highly rated by other publications and is accredited by the prestigious AACSB.

#3 – Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $9,466

Points: 8

Indiana State University is one of our top picks for the best accounting schools online. Affordable tuition, a low student-to-faculty ratio, and a relatively high graduation rate earn it a spot on our list. Students at ISU may earn an online bachelor’s in accounting that is designed to serve as preparation for the certified public accountant licensing examination. Also, for those interested in an online MBA or master’s in accounting, the undergraduate program is designed to serve as a gateway into a graduate program.

Classes are delivered entirely online and include accounting systems, auditing theory and practice, cost accounting, financial accounting, introduction to federal income taxation, and more. Major publications like US News and World Report have highly ranked the school and its online bachelor’s programs.

If a student follows the recommended sequence of coursework, they can complete the program in four years. However, for those who are busy with work or other commitments, it can also be completed on a part-time basis. 

#4 – Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $9,650

Points: 8

Southern New Hampshire University is among our top picks for online schools for accounting due in part to the high graduation rate. The online accounting program is designed to equip students for entry-level accounting careers or prepare them for graduate-level programs and certification exams. 

Courses are delivered online and include advanced accounting, auditing principles, cost accounting, federal taxation, financial statement analysis, business valuation, and intermediate accounting. The school and its programs are accredited and ranked by major publications like US News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks as a best regional university in the North.

The school also offers an online bachelor’s in accounting with an Accelerated BS-to-MS Pathway option. If you plan to continue your education beyond your bachelor’s degree, the BS-to-MS pathway option can save you both time and money. Students can take up to two graduate-level courses during their bachelor’s program at undergraduate rates and apply them toward a master’s in accounting. 

#5 – Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $10,800

Points: 8

Old Dominion University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Accounting major that is entirely online. This degree program in accounting combines analytic abilities, computer skills, and communication to give students a rich program that will prepare them to start a career or begin their MBA. You can take the full program or opt for a degree completion program.

If you choose the completion program, you’ll only need to complete at least 30 of your credits online with ODU. As to the rest, the school offers a generous transfer policy. To earn the full degree, you’ll need a total of 120 total credit hours. Accounting courses are delivered online and include accounting information systems, intermediate accounting, managerial accounting, principles of accounting, and many others.

Old Dominion is a nationally ranked institution by major publications. In fact, US News and World Report has ranked the school’s business programs, including accounting, in the nation’s top 200. In addition, the program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

#6 – Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Clarion, Pennsylvania

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $11,199

Points: 8

Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s affordable tuition and relatively high admissions rate earn it a spot on our top accounting schools online list. The school offers three separate BSBA in accounting degrees designed to help students succeed in securing one of many accounting and finance positions. These three programs include:

BSBA Accounting

This is the core accounting program for students who are interested in entering accounting and finance positions. It is also suitable for those who want to continue studying and earn a graduate degree in accounting, law, or business.

BSBA Accounting: Industry Concentration

This program is for students who want to pursue an industry-specific accounting position. Students will work with their advisors to devise a program that helps them meet their goals. 

BSBA Accounting: Internal Audit and Forensic Accounting Concentration

This program is for students who want to become Certified Internal Auditors.

Online classes are small and taught by the same university professors who teach on-campus. Courses explore economics and business statistics, financial accounting, financial management, managerial accounting, and problems in federal tax accounting, among other subjects. Clarion is highly ranked by major publications like US News and World Report and leads the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) system with 28 national accreditations.   

#7– Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $11,338

Points: 8

ASU offers a BS program in accountancy online with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants can choose from two tracks during the senior year—Accounting or Accounting Master’s Internship.

The accounting track is the one followed by the majority of students. Designed to provide a well-rounded educational experience, graduates of this program will learn the valuable skills employers want, such as flexibility, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Students can also choose a fast-track option. With this program, students can complete a three-year path while participating in the same educational experience of a four-year path. With the help of their academic advisor, they can then opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program. 

The Accounting Master’s Internship track is more rigorous and is designed for those students who can commit to a MAcc or MTax program during the second semester of their junior year. They may be eligible to qualify for early consideration for scholarships and a possible GMAT waiver for the MAcc or MTax program.

Students can also obtain a graduate degree in accounting along with their bachelor’s in as little as five years. This program also allows students to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in as little as five years. Acceptance into that program requires a separate application.20 Best Online Schools for Accounting 

#8 – University of Minnesota

Crookston, Minnesota

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $12,014

Points: 8

For those looking for accredited and highly-ranked online schools for accounting, the University of Minnesota provides an affordable option. The online bachelor’s in accounting degree program offers small class sizes and individualized attention. In fact, over a third of the classes have less than 20 students in them.

All classes are delivered online and include accounting systems, auditing, cost accounting, income tax, managerial finance, principles of accounting, and more. The curriculum is identical to the on-campus accounting program, and classes are taught by the same university professors. Plus, students will have access to all the same terrific student resources UMN has to offer. 

The business department at UMN has partnered with Gleim CPA review to offer four CPA review courses totaling 12 credits. These, too, can be completed online. In addition to the standard accounting curriculum, students are also required to take classes in marketing, management, business writing, public speaking, and even general psychology, all of which round out their Accounting BS degree nicely. 

#9 – Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $12,170

Points: 8

 

Washington State University is one of a select group of schools that have earned the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Accounting Accreditation for their highly-rated accounting program. It is offered through WSU’s prestigious Carson College of Business and designed for working or busy students who want to receive the foundation in accounting needed to pursue employment or professional certification.

Classes are delivered entirely online and include accounting systems, auditing, cost accounting, intermediate accounting, introduction to taxation, and more. The program will prepare students to work at national and international accounting firms, private businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, and Fortune 500 companies.

Those who pursue WSU Global Campus’ accounting program will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a major in accounting. This is unique from many other programs since it provides students with a combination of accounting and business skills highly sought after by employees. As a result, not only will you learn business theory, but you’ll gain plenty of practical experience to enter the accounting field with confidence. 

See also: 20 Best Online Schools for Business Administration

#10 – University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $7,560

Points: 7

University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online accounting bachelor’s degree program that is both accredited and highly affordable. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach in the campus classrooms. They include advanced accounting, auditing theory and practice, cost accounting, federal income tax, international accounting, introduction to statistics, principles of accounting, and more.

The program is designed to help students prepare for various accounting certifications like the certified internal auditor (CIA), certified management accountant (CMA), and certified public accountant (CPA). All programs are accredited, and US News and World Report ranks the school as a best regional university in the North.

The school offers a vertical pathway option. Students who complete the online accounting program can become eligible to reduce the total coursework needed to earn a master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management or Management with an Accounting specialization.

#11 – Colorado State University-Global Campus

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400

Points: 7

One of the best online accounting schools on our list is Colorado State University-Global Campus. The institution offers an accredited online bachelor’s degree in accounting designed to equip students for careers as accountants or certification as licensed accountants. In addition, over 25 specialization options are available so that students may customize their accounting degrees. 

Some of the most popular specializations include:

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Human Resources and Organizational Development
  • Marketing
  • Emergency Management
  • Healthcare Management
  • Communication
  • Information Technology Management
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics
  • International Business
  • Public and Non-Profit Management

Specialization requirements include the completion of five upper-division courses (15 credit hours). All classes are delivered online and include federal individual taxation, government and non-profit accounting, intermediate accounting, business legal and ethical environment, and many others. 

#12 – Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $21,587

Points: 7

Liberty University’s 100 percent online bachelor’s in accounting program is specifically designed for working professionals. Flexible course schedules and reasonable tuition rates make the program appealing to those interested in pursuing a career or certification in accounting. Also, the program is ACBSP-accredited. Only three percent of business schools in the world receive this coveted accreditation.

Classes include accounting ethics, accounting information systems, advanced accounting, financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, etc. They are all taught by faculty members who are business people with real-world experience in the public and private sectors. In addition, electronic textbooks are provided to all Liberty undergraduates absolutely free, so you won’t need to worry about the expense of books.  

Liberty’s program has been ranked by major publications like US News and World Report as one of the top online accounting programs in the country. You can complete it in approximately three and a half years. Students may also be able to earn additional credit for military training, prior certifications, or life experience. The school also provides access to online master’s in business programs, like the master’s in accounting degree.

#13 – Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $24,640

Points: 7

Saint Leo University offers an online bachelor’s in accounting degree program designed to equip students with the skills needed to become certified public accountants or certified management accountants. All classes are delivered online and include advanced accounting, auditing, business law, cost accounting, individual federal income taxes, intermediate accounting, etc.

Students will get plenty of one-on-one attention from highly skilled faculty members, who work hard at placing students into internships with Big 4 accounting firms each summer. Graduates of the program are currently employed in high-level positions such as IRS Investigators, CFOs, Tax Accountants, and more. 

There is a strong emphasis on accounting in the real world and your ethical responsibilities as a practitioner with this program. It is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). In addition, Saint Leo University ranks among the best regional universities in the South and one of the best colleges for veterans by US News and World Report.

#4 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $28,184

Points: 7

Indiana Wesleyan offers an accredited bachelor’s in accounting degree program that is specifically designed for working professionals who require the flexible learning options of an online program. The undergraduate degree is also geared toward preparing students for CPA certification and licensing for those interested. 

Courses are delivered online and taught by the same experienced faculty members who teach on-campus. In addition, these instructors have unique real-world experience as forensic accountants, IRS examiners, CPA’s and more. Courses include accounting ethics, accounting information systems, advanced accounting, auditing, federal income tax, managerial cost accounting, and more. 

The accounting program at IWU is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Plus, the school itself is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The DeVoe School of Business at IWU has previously ranked among the top 25 in the United States.

#15 – Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $38,558

Points: 7

At Regis University, students can earn an accelerated online BS in Accounting degree that is designed to prepare students with the most current accounting practices and techniques while building a solid foundation in ethics. Classes are taught online in five and eight-week increments, and students can transfer up to 87 credits. 

There are six program start dates each year, and students will be introduced to a variety of subjects. Some of the standard online courses for this program include cost accounting, intermediate accounting, introduction to statistics, legal environment of business, principles of accounting, and others. However, students can also apply up to four graduate-level courses to the program and earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously.

Students can apply online with an essay, resume, and transcripts. However, there are no application fees, assessment tests, or letters of recommendation required. Classes are taught by faculty members that are experts in the field of accounting, and each has real-world experience to help you grasp complex accounting concepts. 

Because of the flexibility offered with this program, students can complete their degree as quickly as 18 months. 

#16 – Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $12,240

Points: 6

Florida Institute of Technology offers an accredited online bachelor’s in accounting degree that is designed for those who wish to pursue the certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accounting (CMA) examination. Courses are delivered online and include accounting information systems, advanced accounting, advanced auditing, corporate federal income taxes, cost accounting, principles of accounting, and strategic management. 

The online classes at the school are just as rigorous as the campus-based courses, and they are explicitly designed to offer students an interactive, media-rich experience. Plus, all classes are asynchronous, so you don’t need to attend at a particular time. This is great for students who need extra flexibility. 

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It is housed under the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, which is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). FIT is one of our top online accounting schools primarily due to affordability. Also, the school is ranked by major publications like US News and World Report as a top national university. 

#17 – Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $12,573

Points: 6

Colorado Technical University is one of our top online schools for accounting. The program and school are both nationally accredited and ranked. In fact, major publications have ranked the online bachelor’s degree programs at CTU as some of the best in the nation. Students receive online instruction that is designed to prepare them for careers in corporate, government, or private sector accounting. Also, the program provides a strong foundation for those interested in pursuing graduate accounting degrees. 

Online courses include advanced accounting, advanced tax, cost accounting, government and not-for-profit accounting, introduction to international financial reporting standards, and management fundamentals. All courses align with the standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). However, it should be noted that the program does not lead to licensure or certification.

This is a 183-credit-hour program. However, CTU has Fast Track™ exams available. The exams are mini-modules that will test your current knowledge of some of the course’s key objectives. With the Fast Track™ exams, students can earn college credit for concepts they are already familiar with. 

#18 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $13,988

Points: 6

Pennsylvania State University World Campus offers an affordable undergraduate BS in accounting degree that has earned it a top spot on our list of best online accounting schools. Through Penn State World Campus, busy students may earn an AACSB-accredited degree in accounting to equip them with the skills needed to secure a position after graduation.

The accounting program is designed to prepare students for the (CPA) exam and other major accounting certifications like the CIA, CGMA, or CMA. All classes are delivered online encompass topics such as business strategy, marketing, finance, business law, and supply chain management. As you progress through the program, you will have the opportunity to take accounting courses that align with your professional goals.

The program is offered through World Campus in partnership with Penn State Harrisburg and has been ranked among the top 10 online accounting programs in the country by US News and World Report. 

#19– Tiffin University

Tiffin, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $27,610

Points: 6

Tiffin University is one of our top online accounting schools offering an online bachelor of business administration in accounting. This unique BBA program allows students to focus their studies on accounting and prepares them for various certification examinations. Graduates of Tiffin’s accounting program have secured positions at companies like JP Morgan, the US Treasury, Merrill Lynch, and others.

Students take courses that explore a wide variety of accounting principles and concepts. All classes are delivered online and include accounting information systems, analysis of the accounting process, cost accounting, federal income tax, intermediate accounting, managerial accounting, and more. 

Highly flexible, the school offers several start dates for this program each year. Plus, students who want to continue pursuing a graduate degree in accounting can participate in Tiffin’s BBA to MBA program, which allows you to apply credits toward your master’s degree in business. Tiffin is an accredited institution that has been ranked by major publications like US News and World Report as one of the best regional universities in the Midwest.

#20– Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $55,452

Points: 5

Northeastern University’s Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management degree program consistently ranks in the top 50 accounting programs in the US. This AACSB accredited program is designed to give students real-world skills to meet the demands of employers in an ever-changing business landscape. 

The program offers students an experiential learning experience in the accounting and financial industries. It is ideal for those who desire professional certification as well as students who wish to enter a graduate accounting program. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same experienced professors who teach on-campus. Students can expect to take business strategy, cost accounting, financial statement analysis, investments, principles of taxation, risk management, insurance, and more. 

You will also explore other business disciplines, including organizational behavior, management information systems, marketing, operations, and similar areas in the field. Along with your advisor at Northeastern, you’ll set a course plan that can help you reach your goals, planning your program to align with your strongest skills. An Entrepreneurship Concentration is also available. 

What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting?

If you’re considering pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in accounting, you may be wondering what your job prospects will be in this field after graduation. Accountants are needed across various industries, and they may work in many places, depending on the specific role and the tasks involved. They don’t always work at accounting firms. Instead, you can find accountants in schools, nonprofit organizations, law firms, offices, state or federal entities, and anyplace else where finances are involved. 

Here are a few of the most in-demand jobs you can get with an accounting degree:

People are always looking for someone to help them make sound financial decisions and prepare for the future. Financial advisors help their clients set up IRAs, education funds, retirement accounts, and other accounts. During significant life changes, they may help analyze the client’s financial situation and advise them of their options. Financial advisors should have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a CPA license. They can also be certified through other organizations, such as the Certified Financial Planner Board.

The average annual salary for a personal financial advisor is: $89,330

Accountants with leadership skills may want to consider a position as a management accountant. This field is in high demand in both public and private businesses and involves helping advise the company or organization on business objectives and overall strategy. A management accountant may sometimes be part of a team that supervisors other accountants. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting for this role, plus a Certification in Management Accounting (CMA).

The average annual salary for a management accountant is: $134,180

If you love the environment and have a passion for crunching numbers, you could consider working as an environmental accountant. Demand for these types of accountants will continue to grow as environmental concerns and climate change increase. Environmental accountants analyze the impact a company has on the environment and advise them of the financial implications of their decisions. They may also conduct cost-benefit analyses to illustrate the feasibility of a new project. The credentials needed will depend on the company, but you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting for this role.

The average annual salary for an environmental accountant is: $73,560

Almost every type of financial transaction is online these days, which means that cybercrime is also rising. Forensic accountants are professionals who perform audits for a company, nonprofit, or the government to determine if there has been fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, or some other type of digital crime. It typically takes a graduate degree to work as a forensic accountant, but if you are really interested, you may be able to get your foot in the door with an entry-level position at a firm. Of course, you will also need to get your CPA license and Certified Fraud Examiner license.

The average annual salary for a forensic accountant is: $80,000

Financial analysts analyze data, prepare reports, and make recommendations to their clients on whether they should buy, sell, or hold a particular investment. They also evaluate historic and current data, study business and economic trends, and examine the financial reports of a business or company. A double major like finance and accounting is a great way to get your foot in the door for those who want to get into this role. Financial analysts generally need to be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The average annual salary for a financial analyst is: $83,660

Jobs You Can Get With an Undergraduate Accounting Degree

PositionAverage Annual Salary
Personal Financial Advisor$89,330
Management Accountant$134,180
Environmental Accountant$73,560
Forensic Accountant$80,000
Financial Analyst$83,660

This concludes our ranking of the 20 best online schools for accounting degrees (2021-2022).

BCS Staff

October 2021