Online Accounting Degrees

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Accountants are responsible for maintaining financial records and ensuring that an organization's bottom line is reflected in the numbers. Because of the crucial role they play in a firm's financial viability, demand for accredited accounting professionals is consistently high, and the job outlook in the field is projected to grow 11% between 2014 and 2024.

Most accountants hold at least a bachelor's degree, but due to increased competition in the field, many professionals seek out master's degrees to get an edge in the job market. Graduates can further boost their job prospects with certifications in specific fields of accounting. Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), for example, can open the door to more job opportunities and higher salaries.

Many individuals in this field work as tax accountants, public accountants, or bookkeepers while earning an advanced degree that will lead to high salary careers, such as budget analysts, auditors, or forensic accountants. An increasing number of busy professionals choose to pursue an accounting degree online as a flexible alternative to traditional classroom learning.


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Degrees

Online Accounting Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $13,412 15.75% 2 years $33,700 $46,700 8.2%
Bachelor's $18,435 11.76% 4+ years $49,050 $80,500 4.6%
Master's $19,748 9.01% 1+ years $55,600 $92,600 3.1%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

An accredited online accounting degree covers skills for a variety of professional roles, including budget analysis, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, auditing, tax accounting, and payroll management. While any candidate for an accounting job will have at least an associate degree, a bachelor's degree or higher will increase both salary expectations and employment prospects.

Online Accounting Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Accounting

An associate degree in accounting provides students with a skillset to pursue entry-level accounting jobs. While it is the lowest level of postsecondary degrees, it is sufficient for a number of professional roles, including bookkeeper, payroll clerk, accounting assistant, billing clerk, and even managerial training. Many professionals work towards an associate accounting degree online, which can be finished in less than two years for an average cost of $13,412.00.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Federal Taxation, Statistical Analysis, Managerial Accounting, Systems Analysis, and Marketing

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Payroll Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Taxation

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Tax Accountant, Payroll Clerk, Bookkeeper, Financial Controller, and Public Accountant

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $33,700

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    6% growth (2014-2024)

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

From the corporate world to governmental bodies, accountants can always find work. U.S. News & World Report ranks accounting third in best business jobs, based on a high median salary, a low unemployment rate, and steady job security. Almost every industry needs accountants and the financial skills they bring to the table. Understanding accounting principles and methods help you make financially sound business decisions both personally and professionally.

The median salary for accountants in 2018 was $70,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For 2016-2026, the BLS projects a 10% job growth for accountants, which is higher than the national average. Accountants can work in many roles, including forensic accountant, tax accountant, accounting information systems specialist, bookkeeper, cost accountant, comptroller, consultant, or financial analyst.

See below for the country's top 25 schools for online bachelor's degrees in accounting. Most entry-level accounting positions require a bachelor's degree. Not only will earning a degree help you find a job, but you will be prepared to sit for the professional exams that most accountants need for their careers, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) exam, certified management accountant (CMA) exam, the certified financial analyst (CFA) exam, or the certified internal auditor (CIA) exam.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Macroeconomics, Business Finance, Corporate Taxation, Auditing, Marketing, and Statistics

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Accounting, Taxation, and Information Systems

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Public Accountant, Management Accountant, Financial Analyst, Internal Auditor, Government Accountant, Budget Analyst, and Purchasing Manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $49,050

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    12% growth (2014-2024)

Accounting
Get Seal
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

Accounting Bachelor’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Golden Gate University - San FranciscoSan Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Founded in 1901 in San Francisco, Golden Gate University is California's fourth oldest private university. GGU caters to adult learners and offers an online bachelor of science in business degree that focuses on real-world knowledge and responsibilities. This program gives practical instruction in many fields, including accounting, finance, international business, and marketing.

GGU's 123-credit major offers 11 concentrations that help students hone the skills they need to achieve their professional goals. The accounting concentration trains students for the CPA and CMA exams, and readies them for careers in financial and managerial accounting, auditing, consulting, and taxation.

This program includes an accelerated path to a one-year master's degree, which can also satisfy the 150-hour requirement for CPA licensure. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or a previous college GPA of at least 2.0 (with 12 transferable credits), a resume with at least three years of professional work experience, and a statement of purpose. Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

2University of Minnesota - Twin CitiesMinneapolis$$$$$100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
(612) 625-5000

A public university founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota boasts five campuses across the state. The university offers a bachelor of science in accounting aimed toward training students for professional life in public, private, or governmental accounting. Graduates often find positions as auditors, financial accountants, tax consultants, or financial analysts.

The fully online degree requires 120 credits. The program delves into accounting topics such as auditing, income tax, and business ethics and law. Coursework also includes classes in finance management, economics, and marketing in order to mold a well-rounded graduate. The university allows students to take CPA, CMA, and CIA exams through the University of Minnesota campus for maximum convenience.

Prospective students can submit applications online or by mail. Applicants do not need previous work experience in order to be considered. The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3Colorado State University GlobalGreenwood Village$$$$$7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723

Colorado State University-Global is the first completely online, independent state university in the U.S. and provides custom learning for each student. CSU-Global's bachelor's degree in accounting takes a holistic approach to accounting courses, covering topics such as business law and ethics, finance, marketing, leadership, and economics.

This 120-credit program has four categories: general education courses (31 credits), elective courses (maximum 38 credits), core degree courses (51 credits), and degree specialization courses (15 credits). Core courses cover accounting fundamentals and general business classes. Degree specialization courses help students tailor their learning experience and prepare for their professional goals.

CSU-Global offers locked tuition rates and alternative credit options for students who wish to finish their degree faster and for less. Students can get credits for AP, IB, and other exams taken prior to admission, through self-study assessments, and through prior learning assessments. There are no set times for the all-online classes, allowing students the flexibility to create their own schedules. Colorado State University-Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis University is a small Jesuit college founded in 1877. It is the only Jesuit university in the Rocky Mountains. The university's online bachelor of science in accounting uses the most cutting-edge technology and accounting methods. Regis prepares students for careers in the public and private sectors, in both large firms and small businesses.

The university offers a traditional 16-week format or an accelerated eight-week format for this major. Both programs require students to fulfill a total of 120 credit hours. Courses include accounting, ethics, economics, and finance. Regis boasts six accounting electives to help students prepare for professional life as auditors, income tax accountants, or government accountants.

Applicants need a high school diploma (or equivalent), transferable credit from a regionally accredited college or university, and a resume or portfolio of professional experience. Regis University allows professional licenses or certificates, military credit, prior college credit, or several years of work experience to count as credit hours towards the accounting major on a case-by-case basis. Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5Brandman UniversityIrvine$$$$$16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800

Brandman University is a private nonprofit university based in Irvine, California. Originally founded as a part of Chapman University in 1958, Brandman is now a fully independent university. Brandman offers an online bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in accounting, which prepares students for a number of professions. The curriculum includes classes on cost analysis, accounting information systems, and financial reporting.

Students must complete 120 credits, which includes the general education requirements and program-specific requirements. Core division courses feature topics such as statistics, business finance, marketing, and ethics. Accounting emphasis courses dive deep into the latest accounting techniques and practices, with classes on auditing, income tax, and accounting information systems.

Applicants need a minimum of 12 transferable baccalaureate-level (or equivalent) credits and a 2.0 minimum GPA. Only credits from regionally accredited institutions will be accepted for transfer. Brandman offers a fully flexible schedule and self-paced courses. Brandman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

6Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City$$$$$4001 East 700 South, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 274-3280

Founded in 1997, Western Governors University is an online university dedicated to using emerging technology to revolutionize education. WGU's bachelor of science in accounting prepares students for CPA certification by teaching Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. WGU's mission is to provide affordable higher education through competency-based programs.

The program consists of 39 courses in total and tests mastery of the core competencies through exams, papers, and projects. Students work with a program mentor each term to build a personalized degree plan, allowing students to take the courses that best prepare them for their career goals. Students must take at least 12 credits for each six-month term and complete a capstone project.

WGU boasts a generous transfer policy to students who have previously attended any nationally or regionally accredited university. WGU charges by term rather than credit, so that all students only pay for the amount of time they spend learning. Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

7Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 434-9595

Liberty University is a nonprofit evangelical liberal arts college. This university prepares its students by teaching both classroom theory and practical applications of material. Liberty's online bachelor of science in accounting targets students who wish to work as accountants, credit or budget analysts, auditors, or financial planners.

This 120-credit, fully online program takes about 3.5 years on average to complete. Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours for this degree. The eight-week courses provide students with a thorough background in accounting, including classes in accounting ethics, taxation, and international business.

Liberty touts frozen tuition rates for all students and provides e-textbooks at no cost to the student body. Students may earn additional credit from life and work experience, including former schooling, time spent in the military, or on-the-job training. Standardized tests and credits earned at other universities can also be counted for credit. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

8University of Maryland - College ParkCollege Park$$$$$
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-1000

Universities at Shady Grove is a partnership made up of nine universities on one campus location in Rockville, Maryland. USG offers an online bachelor of science in accounting through the University of Maryland. The university developed this degree in consultation with employers in order to feature real-world data sets.

This program consists of a set of hybrid courses at USG and online courses. Students take classes on topics including auditing, business law, income tax, economics, and statistics. The BS in accounting requires students to take a minor in business administration in order to complete their degree.

Applicants must have completed the following requirements by high school graduation: four years of English, four years of math, three years of history or social science, three years of science in two different areas (including two lab experiences), and two years of foreign language.

9Athens State UniversityAthens$$$$$300 N Beaty St
Athens, AL 35611
(256) 233-8100

Based in Alabama, Athens State University offers flexible schedules to meet students' needs. ASU's online bachelor of accounting provides the same rigor as an on-campus major through the use of technology and recorded lectures. Students who complete this degree meet all the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Alabama.

Students may pursue this degree with a business minor in a variety of fields. However, choosing a minor excludes students from meeting the CPA requirements for Alabama. Without the minor, this program requires a minimum of 124 credits, including general education courses and professional courses. The latter includes classes on federal tax accounting, auditing, financial management, and cost accounting.

Applicants need prior college-level credit in order to be accepted at ASU. Students need a minimum of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.0 GPA or higher. An associate degree in accounting also fulfills these requirements. Athens State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

10Concordia University - Saint PaulSaint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

Founded in 1893, Concordia University's campus sits in St. Paul, Minnesota. Concordia is a Christian, liberal arts university that offers online degrees at every level. The bachelor of science in accounting degree teaches business fundamentals and prepares students for the CPA and CMA exams.

This 54-credit major curriculum (of the degree's 120 total required credits) is offered on campus and online. Concordia teaches strategic problem solving and an in-depth view of industry trends, rules, and regulations. Classes include topics such as analytics and technology, cost accounting, business strategy, corporate finance, and auditing.

Concordia University survey boasts a 95% employment rate for graduates within one year of graduation. Adult applicants must submit transcripts from a regionally accredited university or college with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer students with fewer than 20 credits must submit official high school transcripts as well. Concordia does not require standardized test scores. Concordia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

11Champlain CollegeBurlington$$$$$246 S. Willard St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 860-2700

Champlain College is a nonprofit, private college founded in 1878 and based in Burlington, Virginia. Champlain offers more than 15 online associate and bachelor's degrees, including the accredited online accounting bachelor's degree program. Geared toward working adults, this degree follows the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Core Competency Framework.

This 120-credit program is completely online and offers a flexible schedule. There are no set class times and students have 24/7 access to instruction. There are two seven-week terms per semester and three semesters per year. Students can finish their degree in one year, depending on the number of transferred credits, test-out credits, and how many courses they take each semester.

This degree helps professionals advance their careers in accounting. Classes focus on foundational skills and lessons that students can apply to their jobs immediately. Champlain offers online accounting certificates for students who want to earn credentials for their resume or portfolio as they work toward their degree. Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

12Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo University is a liberal arts college and the oldest Catholic university in Florida. Saint Leo's online bachelor of arts in accounting prepares students for a variety of industries, including tech start-ups and multinational corporations. This program gives students a foundation in many business practices.

The online degree boasts one-on-one attention for all students from faculty members and mentors. Classes include intermediate accounting, accounting information systems, cost accounting, auditing, and financial statement analysis. This program prepares students to sit for the CPA or CMA exams.

Saint Leo University requires 120 credit hours to complete the accounting degree. The program helps students find internships which will advance their career goals. Saint Leo's faculty members place students in internships with Big Four accounting firms and other firms in the corporate sector. The program helps students understand the importance of accounting in the real world and the ethical responsibilities of a practitioner. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

13Regent UniversityVirginia Beach$$$$$1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 352-4127

Regent is a Christian university based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university's online degree in business with a concentration in accounting is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This program builds on business fundamentals and prepares students for careers in accounting and finance.

Regent offers classes both online and on campus and requires at least 120 credit hours to graduate. Each session is broken up into eight weeks. Classes cover topics such as managerial accounting, auditing, federal tax, business leadership, and international business. This program prepares students to sit for the Virginia CPA exam.

Requirements for online and adult applicants are minimum. Prospective students must complete an online application, submit unofficial transcripts to prove completion of a high school diploma or GED, and show any college credits completed or attempted. Regent boasts that program graduates work in 65% of the top Fortune 100 companies. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

14Thomas Edison State UniversityTrenton$$$$$111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

Based in Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University is one of New Jersey's 11 public institutions of higher education and one of the country's first schools designed for adult learners. TESU offers a bachelor of science in business administration degree in accounting for adult learners seeking careers as accountants and auditors.

This program seeks to instill college-level competence on topics such as financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and financial accounting. The bachelor's requires 120 credit hours total, including general education requirements and a business administration capstone project.

TESU also offers a CPA and master's track for students who want to sit for the CPA or continue on to a graduate degree. This program helps students fulfill the extra-credit hours they need to become a CPA and helps them earn a master's at the same time. TESU's master's program focuses on managerial and leadership theory, and how these skills apply to accounting practices. Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

15Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk$$$$$5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Based in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University is a doctoral research university with more than 120 undergraduate programs. Old Dominion's accounting bachelor of science in business administration offers a broad scope of business training to prepare students for careers in business and accounting firms.

This program requires 120 credit hours, 30 of which must be earned at Old Dominion for transfer students. Courses focus on technical accounting knowledge. Old Dominion University seeks to develop accounting fundamentals, teach analytical thinking skills, and build up students' abilities in communication and technology.

Old Dominion University's program is one of a select group of programs in the U.S. that claims a separate accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business—International. The bachelor's program also allows students to start earning graduate credits while completing undergraduate coursework through Old Dominion's MBA early-entry or early-start programs. Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

16University of South DakotaVermillion$$$$$414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
(605) 677-5301

The University of South Dakota offers an online bachelor of business administration degree designed to cultivate a broad understanding of business disciplines. Students choose an emphasis such as accounting, finance, or marketing in order to tailor the curriculum to suit their needs.

This program is suited for working adults who wish to pursue a degree while continuing their career. Applicants are admitted as general business students and can only select business administration as a major after they have completed all general requirements. This degree requires students to complete a total of 120 credit hours.

Applicants must complete 45 credit hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA in order to be considered. Applicants must also complete the pre-major business core which includes classes such as principles of accounting, economics, business statistics, and several math courses. University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

17Excelsior CollegeAlbany$$$$$7 Columbia Cir
Albany, NY 12203-5159
(518) 464-8500

Founded in 1971, Excelsior College is a nonprofit, regionally accredited institution that caters to adult learners. Excelsior offers a bachelor of science in business degree that is fully online and designed for working adults. This program teaches on-the-job skills such as accounting, communication, and leadership.

Excelsior's 120-credit program breaks down into eight-week courses and provides concentrations in general accounting, finance, general business, logistics management, management of human resources, and marketing. Concentrations make up only 15 credits of the total requirement. Accounting classes target future careers in controllership, corporate or managerial accounting, public accounting, internal auditing, and consulting.

Excelsior boasts an aggressive credit transfer program, allowing students to transfer a high number of credits from previous educational institutions. The median credit transfer is 48 credits, though admissions counselors make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Students may also earn credit for military training or through independent study with credit by exam. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

18Buena Vista UniversityStorm Lake$$$$$610 W 4th St
Storm Lake, IA 50588
(712) 749-2400

Founded in 1891 by the Presbyterian Church, Buena Vista University's main campus sits in Storm Lake, Iowa, with 16 satellite locations across the state. Buena Vista offers a bachelor's in accounting which students can take online or on campus. The degree focuses on problem-solving and analysis and targets careers in public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing.

This major requires 60 credit hours and helps students prepare to sit for the CPA and CMA exams. Buena Vista focuses on business fundamentals and building financial leaders. Courses include classes in financial accounting, spreadsheets, economics, business law, and portfolio management.

Students interested in the CPA and CMA exams can explore additional recommended courses. Those pursuing a CPA should take advanced accounting, governmental accounting, and business communication. Students attempting the CMA should take corporate finance, investments or portfolio management, and enterprise risk management. Buena Vista University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

19Fort Hays State UniversityHays$$$$$600 Park St
Hays, KS 67601-4099
(785) 628-4000

Fort Hays State University hosts an online college with around 7,000 students. This virtual college offers a bachelor of business administration degree with an accounting major that prepares students for careers in governmental and financial accounting, cost and tax accounting, and auditing.

This program requires 124 credit hours, including 55 general education credits, 27 business core credits, and 30 credits for the accounting major. Core accounting classes include cost accounting, income tax procedure, accounting information systems, and auditing. Fort Hays also offers accounting electives, with classes in fraud examination, CPA problems, ethics for accountants, and financial statement analysis.

Applicants must pay small admissions fees. Financial aid is available to students through the FAFSA and the Fort Hays State University financial assistance office. Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

20Northwest Christian UniversityEugene$$$$$828 E. 11th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401-3745
(541) 343-1641

Based in Eugene, Oregon, Northwest Christian University is a liberal arts institution that highlights its regional, national, and global mission trips. Northwest Christian offers an online bachelor of science in accounting for adults working in entry-level positions. This accounting program includes classes in finance, economics, law, and ethics.

There are four prerequisites for the major: two principles of accounting classes, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Within the major, Northwest Christian University offers classes in accounting information systems, federal income tax, writing for the workplace, and statistical applications. The program requires a business minor, with courses in business strategy and policy, marketing, and leadership.

This online degree enables students to have flexibility in their schedules by offering six starting dates a year and 24/7 access to courses. Classes start every eight weeks and prior college, law enforcement, and military training can be accepted for credit. Students can complete an internship, though it is not required. Northwest Christian University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

21Ottawa University - OnlineOttawa$$$$$1001 South Cedar
Ottawa, KS 66067
(785) 242-5200

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University is a nonprofit university that works to serve adult learners through adult centers and online programs. Ottawa University Online offers a bachelor's degree in accounting which focuses on preparing students for careers in finance, auditing, and business administration.

All online programs at Ottawa help working adults maintain a balance between schoolwork and their ongoing careers. Scheduling is flexible in order to meet the students' individual needs. All courses are in eight-week sessions, with no required outside study groups. The accounting major at Ottawa University Online offers concentrations in actuarial science, entrepreneurship, finance, global operations, leadership, management, and social enterprise management.

Students can earn credit for their degree through prior college credit hours, military service, credit by exam, work or life experience, and national registry or national certification. Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

22University of MaryBismarck$$$$$7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-7500

Based in Bismarck, North Dakota, the University of Mary is a Catholic university with professionally focused academic programs. This university offers an online or evening accounting bachelor's degree designed with flexibility of schedule in mind.

The University of Mary's accounting degree offers several formats for learners. Students can meet with instructors face to face in onsite evening classes that meet weekly in learning centers across the Midwest. Students can also take classes entirely online or create a blend of the two options.

This program comes in an accelerated format for students to prepare for the CPA and begin their MBA in accounting. The accelerated CPA format accounts for the extra credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exam and helps students avoid a fifth year of study for their bachelor's degree. Students can complete their bachelor's degree in 3.5 years and finish a master's by the fifth year along with all or part of the CPA.

University of Mary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

23Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Based in Melbourne, Florida, the Florida Institute of Technology is a private, research-intensive institution. FIT's online bachelor of arts in accounting readies students for careers in tax planning, auditing, and accounting for mergers and acquisitions. This program builds on a broad base of business fundamentals, with concentrations in career-specific areas.

The online accounting degree requires 121 credit hours, including accounting classes and foundational liberal arts classes. Core courses for this degree include principles of accounting, strategic management, finance, and business plan research. The program offers several concentrations, including cost accounting, compensation and benefits, and auditing.

Prospective students must complete an online application and have at least 24 credit hours from an accredited university. FIT automatically evaluates credit hours from a regionally accredited school for transferability as part of the application process, though students must have a grade of C- or higher to reach transfer status. Florida Institute of Technology Online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

24University of Massachusetts - AmherstAmherst$$$$$374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111

Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is one of the country's major public research universities. The university's management school offers an online bachelor of business administration with courses in accounting. This degree prepares students to work as auditors, tax specialists, and bank examiners.

Credit requirements include 12 credits for general education, 11 business courses, nine accounting courses, and 21 non-business breadth classes. All students need a minimum of 27 transferable credit hours. The school's business administration degree offers accounting classes in financial reporting, managerial accounting, and information systems. Students can customize upper-level courses to meet their career goals and needs. Classes include CPA law, cost accounting, and corporate taxation.

Most business classes are three credits. UMass-Amherst admissions prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA, though this is not required. University of Massachusetts-Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

25SUNY College at PlattsburghPlattsburgh$$$$$101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681
(518) 564-2000

Founded in 1889, SUNY College at Plattsburgh, New York, is a public, liberal arts college. SUNY Plattsburgh's online bachelor's in accounting boasts passing rates on the CPA exam that are consistently higher than the national average for recent graduates. This program offers a broad foundation in business fundamentals and accounting technique.

Classes for this program include lessons in economics, accounting, finance, and management. SUNY Plattsburgh highlights its internship placement program for accountants. Students can intern with Big Four firms, corporations such as IBM, or other accounting firms such as Bonadia and Abbott. Internships with nonprofits and governmental agencies are also available.

SUNY Plattsburgh touts its credit transfer policy, allowing students up to 67 credits from two-year colleges and up to 84 transfer credits from four-year institutions. Credits must be from a regionally accredited university or college and must have a grade of C or higher to be eligible for transfer. SUNY College at Plattsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Online Master’s Degree in Accounting

A master's degree in accounting offers professional opportunities for individuals aiming to establish careers in upper management finance. Many master's in accounting degree holders find work as chief accountants, auditors, financial analysts, chief financial officers, tax experts, and personal financial advisors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects above-average growth for most of these positions. Moreover, holding a master's degree in accounting can advance responsibilities in the workplace, improve chances for job promotion, and increase earning potential.

Several U.S. colleges and universities offer completely online master's in accounting programs, which busy professionals can pursue while holding down their full-time jobs and personal responsibilities. In addition to the traditional work opportunities mentioned above, the accounting sector has shown robust expansion in recent years, generating fresh career fields like forensic accounting and environmental accounting.

Accounting is a vital component of every business, organization, and agency; graduates with a master's degree in the field enter a dynamic, growth-oriented, and challenging professional arena. The list of schools below offers accredited online master's degrees in accounting that prepare graduates for increased professional opportunities and further studies in the field.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Auditing, Business Law, Corporate Management, Quantitative Analysis, and Financial Reporting

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Financial Accounting, Management, Corporate Strategy, and Auditing

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Compliance Manager, Budget Analyst, Treasurer, Tax Examiner, Actuary, and Auditor

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $55,600

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    3% growth (2014-2024)

Accounting
Get Seal
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

Accounting Master’s Degree Rankings

/
Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Golden Gate University - San FranciscoSan Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Since its founding in 1901, Golden Gate University has maintained a focus on working professionals. The university offers an online master's in accounting consisting of 45 units -- 33 units of core accounting coursework and 12 units of concentration courses. The program offers the following concentration areas: financial accounting and reporting, forensic accounting, internal auditing, management accounting, and taxation.

The core curriculum includes courses in advanced financial accounting topics, professional responsibilities and ethics, federal taxation, auditing, and advanced studies in business law. For most students, the master of accountancy program meets the educational requirements of the certified public accountant and certified management accountant exams.

The online courses for this degree follow an asynchronous delivery format, which allows online students to complete the program at their own pace. GGU holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and Universities Commission.

2University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill$$$$$103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

Founded as the country's first public university in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill comprises 10 schools and colleges and boasts a population of almost 30,000 students from every state and over 100 countries. The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the university holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and offers an online master's degree in accounting that students complete in 15-36 months.

The total required credits to earn UNC-Chapel Hill's online master's in accounting depends on each student's academic background, but it generally ranges from 36-48 credits.

The program offers four start dates each year and requires applicants to submit either GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants need a minimum 2.8 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college or university. Students begin the program by attending a one-credit, three-day orientation and leadership immersion experience on campus.

Courses follow a synchronous delivery format that allows students to actively engage and work closely with their professors and peers. The UNC-Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City$$$$$4001 East 700 South, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 274-3280

Founded in 1997 by the governors of 19 states, Western Governors University is an online institution that follows a competency-based educational model. Students progress through their programs as quickly as they can master the material, rather than advancing only at the end of a term or semester. The Western Governors University College of Business holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and offers a master's in accounting online that consists of 10 courses.

The program requires applicants who do not hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to pass a collegiate readiness assessment test. Before graduating, students must complete a capstone project in which they apply the skills and knowledge they acquired during their program to solve an existing problem in an industry of their choice.

The accounting master's program prepares graduates to sit for professional exams that earn them their certified public accountant or certified management accounting credentials. WGU holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

4University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaign$$$$$601 E John Street
Champaign, IL 61820-5711
(217) 333-1000

Established in 1867 and currently ranking among the top public universities in the country, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation and enrolls more than 46,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The university's Gies College of Business offers a fully online master's in accounting program comprising 32 semester hours. Students can complete the degree in as little as 18 months.

To meet the program's credit requirements, students enroll in 20 core accounting credits and 12 elective credits. At least one elective course must come from a non-accounting discipline. Core accounting classes cover fundamental topics in the field, including audit and control, financial reporting, and U.S. federal taxation. The curriculum prepares students to earn their certified public accountant credential.

Each online course for the degree includes two segments: self-directed asynchronous video lectures and live synchronous sessions. The master's in accounting program at the school ranks among the top online graduate accounting programs in the country.

5Colorado State University GlobalGreenwood Village$$$$$7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723

Established in 2007 as an independent institution and part of the Colorado State University System, CSU-Global offers anonline master's degree in professional accounting that prepares students to earn their certified public accountant credential. The program comprises 36 credit hours, 24 of which must come from the core accounting curriculum. Students enroll in classes covering topics such as corporate finance, fraud and forensic accounting data analysis, financial reporting and analysis, and advanced income taxation.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a concentration in accounting and a minimum of 21 upper-division accounting coursework credits. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in a non-accounting field can still apply for the program if they have at least 15 undergraduate or 12 graduate accounting credits and professional accounting experience. The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

6Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Founded in 1964 and currently enrolling close to 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Nova Southeastern University offers an online master's in accounting through the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The program comprises 33-51 credits, depending on each student's academic background. Students can choose from three concentration areas: public accounting, management accounting, and taxation.

The public accounting and management accounting concentrations prepare graduates to earn their certified public accountant or certified management account credentials. The taxation concentration prepares graduates to take the three-part, comprehensive IRS test on individual and business tax returns.

Applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Prospective students who do not meet these requirements must submit scores from a recognized graduate admission test, such as the GRE. NSU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick$$$$$83 Somerset St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281
(732) 932-1766

Rutgers University currently enrolls approximately 13,400 undergraduate and graduate students and ranks among the top public schools in the country. It offers an online master of accountancy in government accounting through the Rutgers College of Business, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The program consists of 30 credits, meets the 150-hour education requirement needed to earn certified public accountant credential, and does not require applicants to submit scores from a standardized graduate admission exam.

Students enroll in 21 credits of required coursework and nine credits of approved elective courses. The master's in accountancy curriculum includes classes in government budgeting systems, ethical issues in public financial management, public sector auditing, and advanced topics in governmental auditing. Online students pay in-state tuition, no matter where they reside. Rutgers holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

8Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 434-9595

Starting out with an initial enrollment class of 154 students in 1971, Liberty University now enrolls thousands of students and comprises 17 schools and colleges. The School of Business at the university holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and offers a 30-credit master's in accounting online. The program leads to a master of science degree, and most students graduate after just one year of continuous enrollment. Courses follow an eight-week delivery schedule.

Students can pursue a general program in accounting or choose from six areas of specialization: audit and financial reporting, business, forensic accounting, financial services, leadership, and taxation. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Those who do not meet minimum requirements must hold an undergraduate certificate in accounting.

Liberty holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

9The University of Texas at DallasDallas$$$$$800 West Campbell Road
Dallas, TX 75080-3021
(972) 883-2111

Approximately 27,000 students enroll at UT Dallas, which offers more than 140 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university grants an online master's accounting degree through its Naveen Jindal School of Management, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program leads to a master of science degree and comprises 30 credit hours.

All students enroll in five core classes: advanced financial reporting, ethics, taxation fundamentals, advanced external audit, and accounting communications. The remainder of credit requirements come from prerequisite courses and electives. The curriculum for the master's in accounting prepares students to earn the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.

Though the program offers several courses for the degree online, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires that at least 15 of the 30 graduate hours required to take the state CPA exam to come from on-campus courses. UT Dallas holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

10University of the SouthwestHobbs$$$$$6610 North Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-6561

Starting out as a private junior college in 1956, the University of the Southwest attained university status in 2008 and now enrolls more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university's College of Business Administration offers an online MBA program with 10 concentration options, including one in accounting. The MBA in accounting comprises 36 credits and prepares students to earn their certified public accountant credential. Most students graduate from the program in one year.

Students enroll in 21 core course credits and 15 concentration credits. The accounting concentration includes the following courses: accounting and auditing research, internal audit theory and practice, accounting and professional ethics, small business accounting, and organizational design and strategy (a capstone course).

Courses follow an eight-week delivery schedule. Tuition covers all digital textbooks and includes a personal laptop for each student. The USW holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

11Bentley UniversityWaltham$$$$$175 Forest St
Waltham, MA 02452-4705
(800) 523-2354

Bentley University started in 1917 as the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance and achieved university status in 2008. Its McCallum Graduate School of Business offers a partially online master's in accounting program consisting of 36 credit hours. Students who graduate from the program earn a master of science in accounting (MSA) degree.

Bentley's MSA program is the first of its kind in Massachusetts to earn a separate accountancy accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Students work with advisors to craft individualized programs of study supporting their long-term professional objectives. However, the program requires all students to enroll in the following classes: business process and systems assessment, financial statement auditing, federal income taxation, and professional accounting research and policy. It also mandates that applicants submit GMAT or GRE scores.

Bentley ranks among the top universities in the North and holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

12Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

Founded in 1877, Regis University enrolls more than 10,500 students and offers over 130 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's Anderson College of Business offers a 30-credit master's in accounting online. Courses follow an asynchronous format in eight-week terms. The program maintains six start dates throughout the year in January, March, May, June, August, and October.

Students can select from four optional specialization areas: financial accounting, fraud/forensic auditing, managerial accounting, and IT accounting.

The curriculum prepares students to earn the certified public accountant credential. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and evidence of undergraduate completion or mastery of the required business foundation courses. The program may require some applicants to submit standardized graduate admission test scores. Regis holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

13University of ConnecticutStorrs$$$$$352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000

Starting in 1881 as an agricultural school, the University of Connecticut now comprises 14 schools and colleges and offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's School of Business offers an online master's in accounting program that requires 30 credit hours, or 10 courses. The school's graduate accounting programs hold specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and ranks among the top online business programs in the country.

All students begin the program by enrolling in one course: understanding the responsibilities of the accounting professional. To complete the program's foundation requirement, students choose another course from the following options: taxation of business entities, financial reporting and analysis, and managerial accounting issues. After completing their foundation courses, students may enroll in classes supporting their professional objectives.

UConn holds accreditation from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Commission of Higher Education.

14Mississippi CollegeClinton$$$$$200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000

Founded in 1826 as Hampstead Academy, with facilities for around 200 students, Mississippi College boasts a current student population of 5,000 and offers over 80 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs, plus three doctoral degrees. The School of Business at Mississippi College holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and grants a 30-credit online MBA program with a concentration in accounting.

Students enroll in 15 credits of core graduate business courses, 12 credits of accounting coursework, and a three-credit elective course. Accounting coursework consists of the following: accounting theory, federal tax accounting, auditing concepts and applications, and advanced accounting. Applicants should demonstrate a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements must submit GMAT scores or possess 3-5 years of related professional experience. MC holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

15University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham$$$$$Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011

The University of Alabama in Birmingham resulted from the 1969 merger of two schools: the Medical College of Alabama and the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. Today, the university ranks among the top public schools in the country and offers an online accounting master's degree through its Collat School of Business.

The program comprises 30 credits and covers core accounting concepts such as corporate governance, advanced auditing and attestation, business law for accountants, and governmental and nonprofit accounting.

The school offers a bridge program for students who lack the business and accounting fundamentals for graduate study in the field. The bridge program includes coursework in the principles of accounting, income taxation, cost accounting, and accounting information systems. The master's in accounting program prepares students to sit for professional certification tests, including the certified public accountant exam.

UAB holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

16Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton$$$$$777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000

Chartered in 1961, Florida Atlantic University enrolled an initial class of 864 students. Today, the university boasts a population of more than 30,000 students and offers over 170 undergraduate and graduate programs, including two online master's degrees in accounting (MAC). FAU's Flexible MAC program follows a hybrid delivery system, while students can complete the Executive MAC entirely online.

Both programs comprise 30 semester hours and include coursework in advanced financial reporting and accounting concepts, accounting information systems, concepts of federal income tax, and advanced auditing theory and practice. The curriculum prepares graduates to sit for professional examinations, including the Certified Public Accountant Exam.

Program admission is competitive, and applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a minimum 500 GMAT score or 300 GRE score stand a good chance. FAU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

17University of MiamiCoral Gables$$$$$University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 284-2211

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami opened with 646 students and three academic units. Today, it consists of 11 schools and colleges and enrolls approximately 17,000 students. The university offers over 180 programs, including two online master's in accounting programs: a 32-credit master of professional accounting and a 40-credit master of professional accounting certified public accountant (CPA) track.

Courses for both programs follow seven-week delivery schedules, and students enroll in one class at a time. All students enroll in eight courses, covering topics such as intermediate accounting, taxation, auditing and assurance, and advanced cost accounting. Students pursuing the CPA track enroll in two additional classes: fraud and forensic accounting (ethics and the legal environment) and issues in accounting with a focus on international financial reporting standards and governmental/nonprofit entities.

UM holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The online business programs at the university rank among the country's best graduate online business programs.

18Syracuse UniversitySyracuse$$$$$900 South Crouse Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-1870

From its 1870 founding, Syracuse University admitted both women and men into all of its programs -- an uncommon policy among higher education institutions at the time. Today, the university enrolls more than 22,000 students and offers more than 400 undergraduate and graduate programs, including a 30-credit master's in accounting online through the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. This department holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Applicants with strong academic foundations in accounting typically complete the program in 12-15 months of continuous enrollment. Applicants who do not meet those criteria follow an individualized program of study, including foundation courses. This may increase program length. Applicants with five years of relevant professional experience do not need to submit standardized graduate admission test scores.

Syracuse holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school's online graduate business programs ranks 50th.

19DePaul UniversityChicago$$$$$1 E Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-8000

Starting out in 1898 as St. Vincent's College with a student population of 70, DePaul University now enrolls close to 23,000 students and offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs, including an online master's in accounting. The program consists of 48 quarter credit hours and leads to a master of science in accountancy (MSA) degree. St. Vincent's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

To meet the MSA program's credit requirements, students enroll in 36 quarter credits of accounting coursework, including classes in financial accounting, cost and managerial accounting, auditing, and business law for accountants. The remaining 12 quarter credits comprise business courses.

The MSA curriculum prepares graduates to sit for the certified public accountant exam and does not require applicants to submit standardized graduate admission exam scores. DePaul holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

20University of Missouri - ColumbiaColumbia$$$$$105 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2121

Founded in 1839 as the first public institute of higher learning west of the Mississippi River, the University of Missouri now enrolls over 30,000 students and offers more than 300 bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and professional degrees. The School of Accountancy at the Trulaske College of Business offers a master's in accounting online composed of 30 credit hours. Full-time students can complete the degree in one year of continuous enrollment.

Students begin the program by enrolling in two foundation courses: auditing theory and practice and accounting and business strategic analysis. The remaining credit requirements comprise 15 accounting elective credits and nine business credits. The program requires GMAT or GRE score submissions.

Mizzou holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation and ranks among the top public universities in the country. The Trulaske College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

21University of St. FrancisJoliet$$$$$500 N Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435-6188
(815) 740-3360

The University of St. Francis began in 1925 as the Assisi Junior College, a school for members of the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. Today, the university enrolls nearly 4,000 students and ranks among the top universities in the Midwest. The university's School of Business offers an online MBA with a concentration in accounting. It comprises 36 credits, and students can complete the degree in 12-18 months.

Students enroll in the following accounting courses: international accounting and reporting, financial statement analysis, taxation, and fraud examination. Applicants need a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA and at least two years of relevant work experience in a management position. The program considers an adequate Peregrine Inbound Exam score in lieu of the two-year work experience requirement.

The USF holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

22University of South DakotaVermillion$$$$$414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
(605) 677-5301

Founded in 1862, the University of South Dakota represents the state's oldest university. More than 10,000 students attend the university, which offers more than 275 undergraduate and graduate programs, including an online accounting master's degree. The university's Beacom School of Business offers the program, which comprises 30 credit hours and leads to a master of professional accountancy (MPA) degree.

Students can specialize in accounting analytics or pursue the general MPA program. Students must submit GMAT scores, unless the school grants them a waiver based on certain qualifications -- such as a minimum 3.25 undergraduate GPA, a professional degree (such as an MD or JD), or a professional license. The program meets the educational requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam.

The University of South Dakota holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation, and the Beacom School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. According to U.S. News & World Report, the University of South Dakota offers one of the country's top online graduate business programs.

23Seton Hall UniversitySouth Orange$$$$$400 S Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ 07079-2697
(973) 761-9000

Seton Hall University began in 1856 with an initial enrollment of five students. Today, the university's 11 colleges and schools offer a variety of programs to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Stillman School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and offers an online master's in accounting program. The program comprises 30 credits, and full-time students can complete it within 18 months.

The curriculum meets the educational requirements for business administration graduates to take the Certified Public Accountant Exams in New Jersey and New York. Students can focus their program in one of three areas: financial accounting, taxation, or enterprise resource planning systems. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and they should submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Seton Hall holds accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and ranks among the top universities in the nation.

24Emporia State UniversityEmporia$$$$$1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415
(620) 341-1200

With an initial enrollment of 18 students, Emporia State University began in 1863 as a training school for teachers. Today, the university enrolls approximately 5,800 students and offers several undergraduate and graduate programs, including a master's in accounting online through its business school. The program comprises 30 credit hours, and students can complete it in one year. Courses follow an accelerated, seven-week delivery schedule. The curriculum prepares graduates to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam.

Students enroll in 15 core accounting credits, covering topics such as information systems and accounting practice, policy setting and financial reporting regulations, taxation, and advanced management accounting issues. The program does not require applicants to have work experience, but those with at least three years of relevant professional experience can request for a GMAT waiver.

ESU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

25Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Starting out in 1889 with 32 students, Saint Leo University currently enrolls more than 5,000 students and ranks among the best universities in the South. The university offers a master's in accounting online that prepares graduates to sit for professional exams, including the Certified Public Account Exam and the Certified Management Accounting Exam. The program consists of 30 credit hours.

Students who do not possess an appropriate academic background in accounting, business, or auditing may need to enroll in foundation courses. These courses do not count toward the degree.

Students enroll in classes covering core human resources topics, such as federal taxation for business entities, managerial economics, fraud examination, and fund accounting for government agencies and nonprofit accounting. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum 500 GMAT score. Saint Leo holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online Doctorate Degree in Accounting

A doctorate in accounting is the terminal degree for the field. Doctorate degree-holders stand out among their peers as exceptionally skilled finance and accounting experts. A doctorate online accounting degree is also an ideal objective for professionals wishing to teach or enter the world of academia. These programs are usually completed in four years.
  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Global Economics, Quantitative Research, Data Mining, Linear Algebra, Empirical Research, and Mathematical Statistics

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Accounting Theory, Auditing, and Accounting Research

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Forensic Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Business Researcher, and Consultant

Online Accounting Choose Your Career

Average Accounting Salaries

$102,750
$65,940
$78,620
$36,430
$36,260

Management Accountant

Salary: $102,750
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 2,467,500 Bachelor's MBA / CPA / MAcc / CMA recommended; not required

A management accountant is a high-level position in a business or professional organization, responsible for overseeing and managing a wide range of financial activities. They are expected to monitor spending, explain financial outlooks, cut unnecessary expenses, and even formulate growth strategies. Because management accountants are expected to fill a variety of roles, they are usually equipped with several licenses, certifications, and online accounting degrees. Many will be Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Some earn their accounting degree online while working.

Certified Public Accountant

Salary: $65,940
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
11% 1,332,700 Bachelor's CPA Exam

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accredited title given to professionals who have completed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. This authorizes accounting professionals to prepare, evaluate, and consent to the viability of financial statements. CPAs are also certified for the process of auditing clients' financial statements. Many accountants strive to become CPAs to improve their employment prospects and diversify their skillsets. They are usually required to complete a five-year degree program, which may be obtained through an online accounting degree.

Financial Analyst

Salary: $78,620
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
12% 227,600 Bachelor's FINRA often required, most employers will sponsor licensure

Financial analysts provide insight on matters related to investment activity. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, acquisitions, and other ventures, and offer financial guidance to managers and executives. They may work independently on a contract basis, or as salaried employees of a large corporation. Financial analysts are usually required to be certified by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to work with securities, although many employers will sponsor the licensing process. Online accounting degrees help working financial analysts advance their professional standing and salary expectations.

Accounting Clerk

Salary: $36,430
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-8% 1,760,300 Bachelor's None

Accounting clerks typically specialize in one area of the accounting department, such as billing, payroll, or compliance. Successful accounting clerks will have at least a bachelor's, master's, or other accredited online accounting degree. While the growth rate for accounting clerks is expected to decline in coming years, many in this job position set their sights on a more general professional accounting role, such as a bookkeeper.

Billing Clerk

Salary: $36,260
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 1,426,500 High School Diploma or Equivalent None

Billing clerks create and send invoices to clients and customers. They are also expected to calculate and keep records of any data related to billing and invoicing. Billing clerks are not always required to have an accounting degree, but a higher degree typically results in a higher salary.

Online Accounting Professional Requirements

CPA Exam

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA Exam) is taken by accounting professionals who wish to become certified public accountants in the U.S. CPA-certified workers are equipped with a range of accounting skills, including technical know-how, commitment to procedure, analytical skills, and communications. The exam is divided into four sections: business law and professional responsibilities; auditing; accounting and reporting (taxation, managerial, and governmental and nonprofit organizations); and financial accounting and reporting (business enterprises). Some states require CPAs to maintain and improve their skills through continuing education and professional development courses.

Is it required?

Varies by state

How long will it take?

2 days

CMA Exam

The Certified Management Accountant is taken by professionals who are seeking accreditation for financial and accounting management skills. Those who are qualified to sit the exam have experience in financial planning, business decisions, analytics, and control. The exam itself emphasizes financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. CMA candidates must complete a number of educational and professional experiences, including a bachelor's degree, two years of continuous professional/workplace experience, and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Two 4-hour sections

CIA Exam

The Certified Professional Auditor (CIA) is the professional designation administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and is taken by accountants who plan to specialize in the field of internal auditing. CIAs are required to take continuing education courses to maintain their IIA certification.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

3 parts totaling 6.5 hours

CFE Exam

The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) Exam is taken by accounting professionals looking to specialize in the field of fraud prevention, detection, and investigation. It is administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. CFEs demonstrate a wide professional skillset relating to fraud, including deterrence, scheming, investigation, and law. Those wishing to take the CFE Exam must be ACFE members and have approved CFE Exam applications on file.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Four sections totalling 500 questions

Enrolled Agent

Enrolled Agents (EA) are federally licensed tax practitioners who are authorized to represent taxpayers at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). EAs advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals and organizations. Enrolled Agents must pass the Enrolled Agent Exam, which assesses the candidate's knowledge of all areas of U.S. tax code, or they must have worked at the IRS for at least five years in a position heavily involved in tax code application and regulation. To renew their license, EAs must complete 72 continuing education (CE) credit hours over the three-year renewal period.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

1 day (three parts)

Certified Government Financial Manager

Certified Government Financial Managers (CGFM) are accounting professionals who have been accredited by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). These professionals have experience in government accounting and financial management. CGFMs must pass three examinations: Governmental Environment, Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting, and Governmental Financial Management and Control. To maintain their certification, CGFMs must renew annually and complete 80 continuing professional education credits every two years.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Three parts (2 hours, 15 minutes each)

Certified Financial Planner

Certified Financial Planners (CFP) are granted their certifications by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Those who pass demonstrate for employers that they are equipped to practice as independent financial planners. To maintain their certification, CFPs must complete 30 credit hours of continuing education every two years. This process also involves a renewal application and fee.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

1 day (170 multiple-choice questions)