Many professionals begin an accounting career at the entry-level, with an associate’s degree or certification like bookkeeping. But when they hit the ceiling on pay and advancement, many choose to go back to school and complete their bachelor’s online. Online programs for accounting can teach a student just as well as an on-campus degree. Often, the online program is the same as the on-campus one for colleges that offer both degree paths. The curriculum for both programs is the same, but it’s altered to fit the online platform. Online programs for accounting offer teacher support and are guided just like a traditional college. Students gain independence by being able to work at their own rate.
Besides looking at the accounting degree options, a person should also consider the convenience of accounting schools online. Even though when a person searches accounting colleges near me he or she can find local schools, they still have to commute. This can be a pain and just add to the stress. No matter which of the account degree options a person chooses to complete online, the hours are flexible. A student can attend school outside of his or her work schedule.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Accounting Degree Programs
Great Business Schools’ editors know that readers are looking for practical choices for their online accounting bachelor’s – programs that will help them advance, get better jobs, and make more money. Our ranking is based on 5 real-world factors: Alumni Salary, Graduation Rate, Job Placement, Student Reviews, and Tuition Cost. Data comes from College Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.
1. University of Mary (ND)
The University of Mary offers a BS in Accounting degree program that can be completed entirely online. UMary’s program is among the best online accounting degree programs and can be finished in as little as 3 1/3 years (based on transferred credits) and has received accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Students graduate prepared for careers as auditors, analysts, accountants, tax preparers, and budget experts. UMary’s online accounting degree is the first step for those students reaching for a CPA license.
The University of Mary (ND) was established in 1959 and initially named Mary College. UMary is closely affiliated with the Order of Saint Benedict Catholic church. The school’s 325+-acre rural campus is home to more than 3,800 students and located a few miles from downtown Bismarck and overlooking the Missouri River Valley.
Highlight The University of Mary holds the distinction of being the largest institution of higher education awarding degrees.
Degree BS in Accounting
2. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota offers a BS in Accounting degree program that is available 100% online. UMN’s program is recognized among the best online accounting degree programs and requires students to complete 120 credits, of which 60 credits must be classes within the accounting curriculum. Coursework includes Cost Accounting, Auditing, Managerial Finance, and Business Ethics, among others. UMN Online also offers a variety of accounting-related certifications/certificates. UMN Online is recognized among the best online baccalaureate degree program in the country.
The University of Minnesota is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1851. UMN’s campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul are situated a few miles from one another and together serve nearly 48,000 students. UMN is organized under 19 colleges/schools.
Highlight The University of Minnesota holds the distinction of being a flagship, space-grant, land-grant university that is considered a Public Ivy school.
Degree BS in Accounting
3. Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies offers a BS in Finance and Accounting Management degree program that can be completed entirely online. Northeastern University offers one of the best online accounting degree programs that prepare degree candidates to manage budgets, mitigate expenses with the implementation of financial efficiencies, and to appropriate leverage assets. Northeastern University’s distance learning baccalaureate degree meets F1 Visa requirements. NEU allows for transfer credits from a number of sources and will consider each student’s situation separately.
Northeastern University is a higher learning private institute located in Boston, MA. The school was established in 1898 and operates satellite campuses in Seattle, Toronto, Charlotte, and San Jose provided graduate degrees exclusively. NEU’s urban campus spans 70+ acres and services more than 27,000 students.
Highlight Northeastern University is best known for its cooperative education program, which facilitates paid internships for NEU students.
Degree BS in Finance and Accounting Management
4. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers an Accounting BS in Business Administration (BSBA) degree program that is available 100% online. Saint Joseph’s, among the best online accounting degree programs, requires the completion of 128 credit hours to graduate. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine allows for the transfer of up to 25% credits to any degree program. Business administration core courses include Business Law, Financial & Managerial Accounting, and Business Ethics, to name a few. Students select up to 15 credit hours towards the accounting specialty.
The Sisters of Mercy established the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in 1912. Saint Joseph’s College of Main remains affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine boasts an impressive student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. The school has been honored among the school’s providing community service.
Highlight Saint Joseph’s College of Maine holds the distinction for being the state of Maine’s only Catholic college.
Degree BSBA in Accounting
5. Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus offers an online BS in Accounting degree program that has had accreditation bestowed on it from the AACSB – The association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Penn State Online’s curriculum is considered among the best online accounting degree programs available and has been recognized by US News & World Report among the top ten distance learning degree program in accounting. Penn State Online’s undergraduate accounting degree program requires the completion of 120 credit units.
Penn State World Campus is essentially the online extension of the Penn State University that was launched two years before the new millennium, although Pennsylvania State University began offering distance education more than 100 years earlier. Penn State Online offers more than 150 graduate and undergraduate programs to the nearly 13,500 distance learners.
Highlight More than ten degree programs offered by Penn State Online were recognized by US News among their best ranking categories.
Degree BS in Accounting
6. University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management offers an Accounting Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program that can be completed entirely online. Coursework includes taxation, financial reporting, and managerial accounting, among others. UMass Amherst Online’s course is recognized among the best online accounting degree programs that prepare degree candidates for careers as treasurers, auditors, financial managers, and tax specialists, to name a few. Accounting coursework includes nine major classes.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass Amherst) was established in 1863 under the Morrill Land Grant Act. UMass Amherst 1,400+-acre campus serves more than 30,000 students studying from the school’s nine colleges/schools.
Highlight The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is the flagship member campus of the University of Massachusetts system and a member of the 5-College Consortium (in the Pioneer Valley) that includes Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke & UMASS.
Degree BBA – Accounting
7. Auburn University
Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree program with a specialty focus in Accountancy that has received accreditation from the AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Auburn University, one of the best online accounting degree programs, requires students to complete 30 credit units to complete an accountancy major. AU offers the same lectures online as the students attend on-campus, online exams are proctored to determine that a student completes the exam in accordance with established school guidelines.
Auburn University was established in 1856 as a result of the Morrill Land Grant Act.; the first in Alabama. In addition to a land grant university, Auburn University is a sea-grant and space-grant university as well. Auburn University services more 30,000 students studying for degrees from AU’s thirteen colleges/schools.
Highlight The history of Auburn University is an integral part of Civil War history.
Degree BSBA – Accountancy
8. Washington State University Global
Washington State University, Global’s Carson College of Business, offers a distance-learning degree option in Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) with a concentration in Accounting that is available entirely online. These best online accounting degree programs prepare students with a comprehensive exploration of business theory and its practice. Washington State University Global’s online accounting bachelor’s program has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Coursework for this undergraduate distance learning accounting program includes Auditing, Business Ethics, Cost Accounting, and Taxation, to name a few.
Washington State University Global was established in 2012 as the online extension of Washington State University. The Washington State University Global serves more than 3,000 students by connecting the quality degree programs through a cutting-edge distance learning platform for students who have busy schedules, with a preference for the convenience and flexibility distance-learning offers.
Highlight Washington State University Global was created to allow the university to offer its degree programs to a larger audience.
Degree BSBA in Accounting
9. Colorado State University – Global
Colorado State University Global offers a BS in Accounting degree program that is available 100% online. CSU Global provides one of the best online accounting degree programs, which requires students to complete 120 credit units to graduate; however, the school allows for the transfer of up to 90 credits. CSU Global’s undergraduate accounting degree has received accreditation from the ACBSP – the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
CSU Global is the online distance learning campus of Colorado State University system, established in 2007. The school was created to reach adult working and non-traditional learners who could not attend on-campus programs. CSU Global serves more than 18.900 online students studying for the many baccalaureate degree programs offered online.
Highlight Colorado State University – Global holds the distinction of being the first legislatively approved online state school in the country.
Degree BS in Accounting
10. Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University’s College of Adult & Professional Studies/DeVoe School of Business offers a BS in Accounting degree program that is 100% online, with no campus trips required. These best online accounting degree programs have been created to help working learners by providing convenient and flexible distance learning degree options. Indiana Wesleyan University’s undergraduate degree program in accounting requires degree candidates to complete 120 credit units to graduate, of which 30 credit units must be chosen from the accounting curriculum. Coursework includes Business Law, Accounting Ethics, Applied Microeconomics, and Auditing, to name a few.
Indiana Wesleyan University was established in 1920. This institution of higher learning is affiliated with the Wesleyan Christian Church. The school serves more than 7,500 online students and a total student enrollment that exceeds 13,500 for all campuses.
Highlight Indiana Wesleyan University holds the distinction of being the largest private institution of higher education in the state of Indiana.
Degree BS in Accounting
11. Linfield College
Linfield College offers an online BS in Accounting or an online Post-Bachelor Certificate in Accounting. Coursework for Linfield College’s course, one of the best online accounting degree programs available, includes classes in financial reporting, the theory of accounting, auditing & taxes, and the control of budgets, among others. Linfield College’s distance learning platform offers working learners and busy adults a flexible schedule and convenient way to complete the degree to meet a student’s scheduling needs.
Linfield College was established in 1858 as a private institution of higher education. Linfield College is the oldest institution of higher education on the US west coast. The school’s rural campus covers nearly 200 acres and is home to nearly 2,300 students. Linfield College has two primary campuses (independent of its online school), one in Portland and another in McMinnville.
Highlight US News has recognized Linfield College among the top western regional schools.
Degree BS or Post-Bachelor Certificate in Accounting
12. University of Minnesota Crookston
The University of Minnesota Crookston offers a BS in Accounting degree program that can be completed entirely online. These best online accounting degree programs prepare degree candidates for careers in Accounting Management, Finance, Taxation, Public Accounting, and Banking, among others. UMN Crookston’s undergraduate accounting program has been recognized by the Best Schools and College Choice.
The University of Minnesota Crookston was founded as a public institution of higher learning in 1966. UMN Crookston’s rural northwestern Minnesota campus is situated in the Red River Valley and home to more than 1,800 students, of which approximately half study through the school’s distance learning platform.
Highlight UMN Crookston is a member school of the University of Minnesota System. Other member schools are located in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Morris, and Duluth.
Degree BS in Accounting
13. Maryville University
Maryville University offers a BS in Accounting that can be finished 100% online. Maryville University’s best online accounting degree programs have been accredited by the ACBSP Global Business Accreditation– the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Additionally, Maryville University’s online undergraduate degree program has been recognized by Forbes and Kiplinger. Coursework includes Business Law, Marketing, Finance, and Ethics, plus 21 credit units dedicated to the accounting major.
The Society of the Sacred Heart established Maryville University as a private institution of higher education that was established in 1872. Maryville University’s suburban campus serves more than 6,400 students studying for the 90+ degrees offered by the university.
Highlight Maryville University operates facilities in Sunset Hill and Lake Saint Louis in Missouri.
Degree BS in Accounting
14. SUNY Plattsburgh
SUNY Plattsburgh offers an online BS in Accounting degree completion program designed for those who currently hold an associate degree when applying. Curriculum for SUNY Plattsburgh’s best online accounting degree programs includes economics, accounting, management, and finance. The undergraduate accounting degree program offers exceptional internship opportunities for online accounting students. SUNY Plattsburgh’s online baccalaureate accounting degrees have been recognized by Study.com and Successful Student.
The State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh was established in 1889 as a normal school dedicated to training teachers. The school’s small-town campus covers more than 275 acres and is home to more than 5,600 students.
Highlight SUNY Plattsburgh is a member school of the State University of New York system.
Degree BS in Accounting
15. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School Business offers a BS in Accounting degree program that can be finished completely online. UAB’s best online accounting degree programs have received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Coursework for the baccalaureate degree program includes Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Income Taxation, and Auditing, to name just a few.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham was founded as a public institution of higher learning in 1969, and a member school of the University of Alabama system. UAB is organized into twelve academic departments offering more than 135-degree programs to nearly 22,000 student enrollments.
Highlight The health system operated by the University of Alabama at Birmingham is recognized among the largest university-led medical center.
Degree BS in Accounting
Should I Get an Accounting Degree Online or On-Campus?
When searching for accounting schools online and accounting schools near me, a person must consider the types of account majors the schools offer. The types of accounting degrees a person can earn include associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate online or on-campus. Although a person may find specialty programs like forensic accounting both online and on-campus, not all schools offer these programs. Some accounting majors focus on auditing, which educates a student on how to assess the finances of businesses and organizations.
Keep in mind, many schools have accounting degree options that are the same online and on campus, only in different formats. Therefore, if a person looks for bachelor’s in accounting near me, he or she can take programs similar to those online.
Will Employers Trust an Online Accounting Degree?
Employers trust online degrees for accounting. Nowadays, earning an online education is becoming a much more popular option. More and more schools are offering online degrees, including highly reputable colleges and universities, both private and public. Unless a person attends a college only known for online degrees or shares that information with an employer, the hiring manager may never know a potential candidate for a job attended college online.
When a person is comparing online accounting programs, a prospective pupil needs to look for accredited online accounting degrees. These schools’ degrees receive acknowledgement from a respected organization that evaluates the programs for their comprehensiveness and ability to prepare a student for a job in accounting.
Additionally, a person should also look into accounting school accreditation because the school can receive accreditation as well as the program. For instance, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is responsible for determining if a school provides a high-quality education or not. Some schools receive specialized accreditation as an accounting school. The two most well-known organizations for accounting school accreditation are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Besides searching the “best online colleges for accounting degree,” a student should also look into the reputation of the school. A prospective employer will look at the reputation of the college rather than if a student attended online or on campus. It helps to read reviews from previous students once a person search “best online colleges for accounting degree.”
What Will I Learn in an Accounting Bachelor’s Program?
Although no specific account degree requirements exist, a student wants a comprehensive program that adequately prepares him or her for a job in accounting. While basic accounting and mathematics classes are a start, once a person has an associate’s degree, he or she may want to continue and earn a bachelor’s degree. These courses are beyond basic accounting classes. At this point, a person may choose to specialize in a specific type of accounting, such as forensic accounting, at this level.
Generally, if a person is considering a degree in this field, the accounting degree requirements will include a business class focusing on law as well as a taxation course. Additionally, if a person is wondering “what classes to take for accounting degree,” the general accounting classes are essential. Since it’s at a bachelor’s degree level, these courses will be at an intermediate level. They educate students on topics like using appropriate ratio analysis techniques.
Additionally, when a student looks for “what classes to take for accounting degree,” he or she will find that the program includes an auditing course. This allows a student to gain an understanding of how to examine finances and evaluate for errors. Usually, the course teaches pupils about assurance services in addition to ethical and professional standards within auditing.
Students also have to take general education courses at bachelor’s degree level. These courses are in math and English. Students get to pick the courses they think are most appropriate for them or what interests them based on several options in each category.