25 Best Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees for 2020

best undergraduate accounting schools

Accounting is one of those evergreen careers  – as long as there is money, there will be accountants. When asking “is accounting a good job for the future?” a person must consider the wage accountants can earn. Accountants and auditors can make over $70,000 per year, as denoted by statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Even the lowest 10 percent of earners still make more than $40,000 per year. Considering whether accounting is a good job for the future also includes the demand for accountants in the future. According to the BLS, the demand for accountants in the future is projected to grow by six percent over the course of the next decade. 

Additionally, a person should think about what can I do with a bachelor’s in accounting. Accountants are necessary in banks, businesses, tax firms, insurance companies, and more. A person may even work in accounting positions with the government. Moreover, it’s possible to become self-employed as an accountant and even work from home. A person can earn extra money during tax season by offering a tax filing service. 

Methodology: Ranking the Best Bachelor’s of Accounting Programs

To rank the top traditional, on-campus Bachelor’s of Accounting programs, Great Business Schools Editors took into consideration 5 main factors: Cost, Graduation Rate, Job Placement, Salary Potential, and Student Satisfaction, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche. Only accredited programs were considered.

1. University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers a bachelor’s of accounting that provides a solid foundation in statistics, mathematics, finance, economics, behavioral and natural science, and the humanities. The accounting concentration requires accounting 101, accounting 102, and four other accounting classes. Wharton uses a cross-departmental approach to give students a solid foundation in business as well as accounting.

The Wharton School creates leaders with big ideas who revolutionize business in the US and around the world. Wharton graduates meet the world’s biggest problems head-on and solve them. The school emphasizes finance, analytics, leadership, a global perspective, and entrepreneurship and innovation. The Wharton School conducts research on taxes, accounting for financial instruments, and the impact of accounting policy on the economy.

Highlight The Wharton School was the first business school in the world and continues to innovate, meeting the demand for new ideas in business education.
Degree BBA in Accounting

2. University of Notre Dame

The Mendoza College of Business accounting bachelor’s at the University of Notre Dame is ranked fourth in the country by Public Accounting Report. With a 98% placement rate, this accounting bachelor’s degree practically guarantees employment for its graduates. Students in the accountancy program learn to analyze business activities and communicate their recommendations to business leaders. They develop outstanding decision-making, critical thinking, and communication skills in addition to learning accountancy.

The Mendoza College of Business trains the leaders of tomorrow by combining business knowledge with a strong foundation in ethics. Notre Dame gives students the ability to see how organizations impact the world in order to effectively lead and make positive changes in the world. Values are important at Mendoza. The school seeks to produce graduates who see business as a way to do good, not just to make money.

Highlight The Tax Assistance Program (TAP) gives students a chance to put their skills to the test while helping low-income individuals.
Degree BBA in Accountancy

3. University of Virginia

The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia offers a BS in Commerce with a concentration in accounting. The program is recognized as one of the best of its kind in the nation. This bachelor’s of accounting program is built on a liberal arts foundation and gives the student a solid grounding in both business and accounting. Students learn conceptual and analytical accounting skills, along with problem-solving and decision-making skills. The program prepares graduates for careers as financial managers, business consultants, tax advisors, and independent auditors.

The McIntire School of Commerce is one of the world’s leading business schools. The school’s focus is on excellence in research and teaching. It prides itself on developing business leaders who make ethical decisions. The school values innovation, integrity, community, and ambition.

Highlight Students who wish to become CPAs can move on to the school’s graduate program in accounting after completing their bachelor’s.
Degree BS in Commerce – Accounting

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The accountancy program offered by the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the best accounting bachelor’s degrees in the nation. The program provides a top-notch education that prepares students for accounting jobs in the real world. Students are taught by business leaders and innovators. The school works with students to make sure they are career-ready by the time they complete the program.

It’s not just business as usual at the Gies College of Business. At Gies, nothing happens by accident. Each decision is made with purpose. The school is dedicated to innovation and to making business education accessible for everyone. Gies encourages big ideas and collaboration. Students and faculty work together to solve business problems. Gies constantly pushes the status quo to find ways to do things better.

Highlight Gies also has the #2 graduate program in accounting for students who wish to continue their education past the bachelor’s level.
Degree BS in Accountancy

5. Boston College

The Carroll School of Management at Boston College offers a bachelor’s of accounting that prepares students to thrive in the world of finance. The program is designed for students who plan to take the CPA exam and get a job at a public accounting company. Carroll graduates often achieve partner status in accounting firms. Some graduates achieve leadership positions in banking, corporate finance, or investor relations. The school strives to ensure that all graduates are prepared to excel in their accounting careers.

The Carroll School is a Jesuit Catholic university that combines a multidisciplinary approach with hands-on learning and a rigorous business curriculum. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves to achieve their full potential. The school focuses on providing a well-rounded liberal arts education that prepares the student for the real world.

Highlight The school offers three concentrations: accounting for finance and consulting, accounting for CPAs, and accounting and information systems.
Degree BS in Accounting

6. University of Wisconsin

The accounting bachelor’s degree offered by the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin—Madison prepares students for careers that involve analyzing the use of money. Graduates of the accounting program go on to become accountants, controllers, tax advisors, auditors, consultants, and systems experts. Upon graduation, students will be competent at forecasting profit and loss and able to manage annual budgets and audits. Students develop communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills in addition to learning about accounting.

The Wisconsin School of Business was one of the first schools in the US to establish a business program. The school is committed to public service and believes that public research universities have a responsibility to solve the world’s biggest problems. The Wisconsin School of Business has developed strong relationships with leaders in the business community.

Highlight There are three graduate program options for students who wish to continue their education in order to take the CPA exam.
Degree BBA in Accounting

7. Texas A&M University

The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University offers a bachelor’s of accounting that teaches students to use financial data to analyze every area of business. The program is designed to spark creativity and foster student-faculty relationships in order to encourage innovation and help students reach their goals. The accounting program at Mays Business School has been recognized as one of the best in the nation.

The Mays Business School has a big goal: to increase the wealth of the world. The school’s mission is to create transformational leaders who will bring about change that increases the world’s prosperity. Mays is one of the leading business schools in both research and academic excellence. The school has an alumni network that is more than 62,000 strong.

Highlight Students who plan to pursue graduate-level education should consider the professional program, which allows students to earn a BBA in accounting and a master’s degree at the same time.
Degree BBA in Accounting

8. Wake Forest University

The accountancy program at Wake Forest University’s School of Business is one of the top accounting bachelors degree programs in the country. The program gives students a solid grounding in business and accounting principles and practices and prepares them for the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program. Students who complete the MSA program will be ready to sit for the CPA exam. The Wake Forest School of Business has received the #1 ranking for CPA pass rate 13 times since 1997.

The Wake Forest University School of Business is a liberal arts college at heart. The faculty is dedicated to helping students achieve their own personal best. The school is guided by ethics and integrity and values community interaction, personal growth, and personal honor. The School of Business seeks to make the world a better place by creating ethical leaders who will make positive changes in the business world.

Highlight The Master of Science in Accountancy program is a five-year, integrated program that combines the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Degree BS in Accountancy

9. University of Washington

The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) with a concentration in accounting. This bachelors of accounting program uses communication, research, and problem solving to teach students to think critically about the impact of financial transactions on an organization. The program prepares students for positions in taxation, auditing, management, and finance.

The Michael G. Foster School of Business is one of the top business schools in the US, and its mission is to become the best. The school seeks to provide transformational experiences to help its students learn. It emphasizes strategic thinking, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Its graduates are skilled team leaders who are prepared to get down in the trenches to help solve the world’s problems.

Highlight Students who want to do public accounting need to complete the Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) and pass the CPA exam.
Degree BABA in Accounting

10. University of Florida

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSAc) offered by the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business gives students a foundation in both business and accounting. The University of Florida’s accounting bachelor’s degree gets students ready to participate in the workforce or continue on to graduate school. Students who enroll in the BSAc program have the option of applying to the school’s 3/2 program, which results in both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in accounting.

The Fisher School of Accounting is one of just a few accounting schools in the country. The school was established in 1933 and is AACSB accredited. The school’s faculty members hold Ph.D.s from top universities. The Fisher School is committed to advancing the field of accounting.

Highlight Students who wish to sit for the CPA exam in Florida must complete a master’s level of education in accounting.
Degree BS in Accounting

11. University of Southern California

The BS in Accounting offered by the University of Southern California’s Leventhal School of Accounting provides students with the resources they need to be successful in their accounting careers. This bachelors of accounting program offers an immersive experience that fully prepares students for jobs in the real world. Graduates receive a balanced education that includes business courses as well as accounting and finance courses.

The Leventhal School of Accounting is dedicated to developing knowledge through research and publishing the results in academic journals. The school provides a challenging environment for students and pushes them to reach their full potential. The Leventhal School uses innovation to make advances in the areas of education, research, and accounting.

Highlight The USC Career Center provides resources such as workshops and career fairs to help students find internships and job opportunities.
Degree BS in Accounting

12. University of Texas at Austin

The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program offered by the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin is available as a finance major with an emphasis in accounting. UT Austin’s accounting bachelor’s degree program requires 21 hours of accounting courses, and there are two concentrations available: financial institutions or corporate. Some of the courses included in the program are financial statement analysis, auditing and control, intermediate accounting, managerial accounting and control, and the fundamentals of taxation.

At the McCombs School of Business, people are at the center of every decision. The school is a public research university that is focused on the future but revolves around its people. At McCombs, students and faculty develop lifelong relationship that enrich the lives of both. The school creates ethical leaders that change the world through their innovative ideas. Students receive a top-notch education paired with hands-on experience that prepares them to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Highlight The McCombs School of Business also offers the #1 Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) in the US.
Degree BBA in Accounting

13. University of Maryland

The bachelor’s of accounting from the University of Marylands‘ Smith School of Business prepares students to be able to analyze, classify, and record financial data within a business or organization. Students learn to use financial systems to control, plan, and evaluate an organization’s performance. The program includes accounting systems, auditing, budgeting, financial planning, financial analysis and reporting, and taxation. Graduates will have a strong foundation in both management and public accounting.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is known for its management research and education. Its mission is to promote creativity and learning, to increase knowledge, and to prepare the leaders of the future to use innovation to solve complicated problems. The school is AACSB accredited.

Highlight There are two specializations to choose from: management accounting/consulting or public accounting.
Degree BBA in Accounting

14. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia’s Tull School of Accounting offers an accounting bachelors degree (Bachelor of Business Administration, BBA) with a concentration in Accounting that meets the education criteria for those students aiming for a Certified Public Accountants (CPA) license or planning to further their education by attaining a Master of Accountancy (MAcc). Coursework for this bachelors of accounting degree program includes Financial Statement Preparation, Risk Assessment, Budgets & Cost projections, and Taxation. 

The University of Georgia was established in 1785. UGA operates its main campus in Athens and two satellite campuses in Griffin and Tifton, GA. UGA is a land-grant, space-grant, sea-grant, and sun-grant university. The small-time main campus covers more than 750 acres and serves more than 38,000 students.

Highlight The University of Georgia is recognized among the oldest public institutions of higher education in the country.  
Degree BBA in Accounting

15. Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business offers a BA in Accounting. Degree graduates from Michigan State’s accounting bachelors degree program are regularly recruited by the BIG Four national accountancy enterprises. Coursework for MSU’s highly-regarded undergraduate program includes Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Commercial Transaction Law, and Auditing, to name a few. Students graduate prepared for rewarding careers as an actuary, a financial advisor, a controller, or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 

Michigan State University is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1855 and became a model school when the government implemented the Morrill Land Grant Act seven years later in 1862. The school’s suburban campus covers thousands of acres and serves a student population among the largest in the country. 

Highlight Michigan State University holds the distinction of being among the oldest universities that taught scientific agriculture. 
Degree BA in Accounting

16. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers an accounting bachelors degree program from a top ten accounting program, as recognized by LinkedIn statistics. Santa Clara University’s bachelors of accounting program has received accreditation from the AACSB oversight organization. The undergraduate accounting degree program is also available with an Accounting & Information Systems specialty. This Bachelor of Science degree program generally requires students to participate in some form of an internship.

Santa Clara University is a private school that was established in 1851, one year before California was adopted as a state. The school and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit Church). Santa Clara University’s suburban campus is home to more than 8,500 students. 

Highlight Santa Clara University has remained in its Silicon Valley location for more than a century and a half. It is the oldest university operating in the Golden State of California. 
Degree BS in Accounting

17. Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers a bachelor’s of accounting through the university’s Business School. Rutger’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting degree program prepares degree candidates for careers as a tax auditor, actuary, credit analyst, or an IRS investigator. Rutgers University’s accounting bachelor’s degree program is offered on the New Brunswick campus. Coursework for Rutger’s exceptional baccalaureate degree program in accounting includes Advanced Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Income Tax Accounting, among others. Recent graduates have found employment at PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York Life, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and Johnson & Johnson, to name just a few.

Rutgers University was established as the Queen’s College in 1766. The school is a space-grant, sea-grant- and land-grant institution of higher education that serves nearly 69,000 students across its three campuses and online. 

Highlight Rutgers University is New Jersey’s flagship higher learning institution and the largest in the Garden state.
Degree BS in Accounting

18. Ohio State University

Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business offers an accounting bachelors degree program on the university’s Columbus campus. Ohio State’s BS in Accounting degree program requires the completion of 121 credit units to graduate. Most bachelors of accounting students complete an experiential internship experience, although the curriculum does not mandate it.  Coursework includes Business Law, Economics, Tax Accounting, Finance, and Logistics, to name a few. US News and Report recognizes Ohio State University’s accounting among the top ten in the nation and eleventh in the nation for being a school of innovation. 

Ohio State University was established in 1870 as the 9th school created under the Morrill Land Grant of 1862. The school’s total enrollment exceeds 68,000 students; however, about 61,000 students study at the Columbus campus. 

Highlight Ohio State University operates several satellite facilities in Newark, Wooster, Marion, Lima, and Mansfield, OH.
Degree BS in Accounting

19. Indiana University

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business offers a bachelors of accounting degree program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Accounting major degree. Coursework for IU’s accounting bachelors degree program covers topics of taxation, auditing, and systems management, plus a comprehensive knowledge base in basic business divisions like Ethics & the 21st Century Business Leader. Indiana University’s BS in Business with a specialty in Accounting offers potential year-round internships to degree candidates. Students enrolled in IU’s undergraduate accounting program must complete 120 credit units to graduate. 

Indiana University was established in 1820. The school serves its student population with two primary campuses and seven additional campuses across various regions of Indiana; however, the Bloomington campus is recognized as the flagship campus. 

Highlight The student enrollment at Indiana University exceeds 100,000 students and a staff of approximately 8,500.
Degree BS in Accounting

20. St Joseph’s University

St Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business offers a bachelor’s of accounting degree program that has received accreditation from the AACSB – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Degree graduates from St Joseph’s University’s Accounting BBA are prepared for careers in the government, private and public sectors, or in the legal field.  St Joseph’s University’s accounting bachelor’s degree program prepares students to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. 

St Joseph’s University was established in 1851 and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church. St Joseph’s University operates with four divisions – Business, Professional/Liberal Studies, Health Studies & Education, Arts & Sciences. The school serves more than 8,000 students each semester. 

Highlight St Joseph’s University’s student to faculty ratio is an impressive 14 to 1. 
Degree BBA in Accounting

21. CUNY Baruch College

The City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch College’s Zicklin School Business offers an accounting bachelors degree program that provides a comprehensive liberal arts program with a business emphasis that Highlights accounting theories and concepts. Baruch College’s bachelors of accounting degree program provides a Bachelor in Business Administration degree in Accountancy that prepares degree candidates for careers in local, state & federal government, in the private sector or nonprofit entities. Coursework includes Business Policy, Federal Income Taxation, Business Law, and Financial & Cost Accounting, to name a few. 

The City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch College was established in 1961. CUNY operates with more than 25 campuses and serves nearly 275,000 students university-wide. 

Highlight The City University of New York is recognized as the largest university city within an urban setting. 
Degree BBA in Accountancy

22. Florida State University

Florida State University’s College of Business offers a bachelors of accounting degree program where students earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting when a student completes the degree’s requirements. Florida State’s accounting bachelor’s degree program provides students with many learning opportunities outside a traditional classroom by way of externships and international study programs. Coursework for the accounting major Advanced Accounting, Tax Accounting, The Law of Accountancy and Financial Reports, to name a few. Business coursework includes Macro/Microeconomics, Business Statistics, and Business Law. Many undergraduate accounting degree graduates often pursue their Masters in Accounting (MAcc). Program to further their education and their potential salary.

Florida State University was established in 1851. FSU is recognized as a senior member school of the University System in Florida, with sixteen colleges/schools serving nearly 42,000 students. 

Highlight Florida State University is considered one of the Sunshine State’s most preeminent institutions of higher education and recognized among the top public schools across the country. 
Degree BS in Accounting

23. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business offers a bachelor’s of accounting degree program that prepares graduates for rewarding careers as a Financial Planner, Risk Manager, Auditor, or Forensic Accountant, among others. SLU’s BS in Accounting requires degree candidates to complete 120 credit units, of which 30 credit units must be taken from the integrated accounting curriculum. Many of the accounting bachelor’s degree program candidates undertake an internship (most are paid internships, some offer academic credit) from the many choices available in the school’s urban location. 

Saint Louis University was established in 1818 as a private institution of higher learning affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church. SLU’s urban campus covers more than 270 acres and home to more than 12,000 students studying from the more than 170-degree programs offered by the school.

Highlight Saint Louis University is the oldest higher learning institution that sits west of the Mississippi River. 
Degree BS in Accounting

24. Miami University (OH)

Miami University’s Farmer School of Business offers an accounting bachelor’s degree program that prepares degree candidates an opportunity to improve their accounting knowledge, problem-solving skills, data analytics, and communication skills, to name a few. Coursework for the bachelors of accounting degree program includes Financial, Cost & Managerial Accounting, Business Modeling, Auditing, Business Valuations, and Financial Leadership, to name a few. The Farmer Business School of Business has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Miami University (OH) was established in 1809. Miami University operates with its Oxford main campus, and three other regional satellite facilitates in West Chester, Hamilton and Middletown, OH. Together, these four campuses serve nearly 22,000 students.

Highlight Miami University is recognized as the tenth oldest public institution of higher learning in the country.
Degree BS in Accountancy

25. Fairfield University

The Dolan School of Business offers Fairfield University’s accounting bachelor’s degree program that provides a BS in Accounting to program graduates. Students of the bachelors of accounting degree program learn to measure, analyze, and confirm financial data. Coursework for the accounting major includes tax accounting, accounting information systems, cost management (including lab work), auditing, and advanced accounting principles, to name a few. Additionally, accounting degree candidates must complete internships and an independent culminating senior project regarding the concept of accounting. 

Fairfield University is a private institution of higher education that was established in 1942. Fairfield University was founded and remains affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church. The school’s 200-acre is home to more than 5,000 students studying from Fairfield University’s five colleges/schools. 

Highlight Fairfield University is a member school of the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities. 
Degree BS in Accounting

How Do I Choose a Good Accounting Degree?

First and foremost, it’s vital when choosing a good accounting degree for a person to look into the accreditation of the school. Additionally, programs may receive accreditation as well. The two major bodies that provide accreditation for accounting programs are the ACBSP and the AACSB. By choosing between schools with one of these accreditations, a pupil may find the best colleges for accounting majors. A prospective student may also want to look into the major accreditation association, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Next, it’s important to compare the different programs. A person must take into account the fact that there are different types of accounting degrees, in particular, if a person has their associate’s in accounting already. The accounting types vary, so a person must look at all the best colleges for accounting majors to find the ideal one for him or her. Some examples include forensic accounting, internal auditing, and public accounting. 

What is the Difference Between the AACSB and the ACBSP?

The acronym “AACSB” stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. On the other hand, ACBSP stands for Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. When comparing ACBSP vs AACSB, both help a student to determine which schools are accredited accounting schools online. Both are highly reputable.

AACSB accredited online schools receive acknowledgment from the AACSB — a nonprofit organization consisting of students, businesses, and educators dedicated to molding the future generation into leaders in accounting. It’s the most well-known accrediting organization for accounting. AACSB accredited online schools undergo a rigorous evaluation process to achieve their status with this association. If a person compares ACBSP vs AACSB, it’s important to note that AACSB has a long history dating back to 1916. They’re known for high standards and currently have more than 1,700 members in their organizations and have accredited over 840 business schools throughout the world. 

ACBSP accredited schools receive acknowledgement from the ACBSP. This association also evaluates and accredits schools. They strongly believe in accredited schools that take a student-centered approach. It’s a global group that recognizes accredited accounting schools online as well as traditional schools. ACBSP accredited schools may receive recognition for associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. ACBSP accredited schools are known for their quality. Although the school started giving recognition to accredited accounting schools online within the past decade, the organization began in 1988.  

Can I Become a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree?

As mentioned above, CPAs can make a lucrative living. To earn this type of wage in a public accounting career path, a person usually has to have a bachelor’s degree. For entry-level positions for a public accounting career path or to be an auditor, a person has to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers, however, prefer a person have a master’s. 

The individuals who want management positions in accounting will need to have a master’s or doctorate in most cases. A student may find degree programs that are business management programs, but the student can focus on the accounting aspect of the major. Generally, a school offers this type of program at a master’s degree level. 

Since obtaining careers in public accounting is competitive, it helps to have a degree from a well-known educational institution. Additionally, a student who is searching “career plan for accountant” should evaluate what type of accountant they want to become. Some programs, for instance, such as a career in forensic accounting may require a person to have a master’s degree that specializes in forensic accounting. Basically, before a person determines the level of education he or she should have based on a search for “career plan for accountant” must figure out the requirements for that type of accounting and compare it to the available options. 

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl