Skilled accountants are an asset in all businesses and organizations, ensuring that a company’s financial records are accurate and organized. To have a successful career in accounting, you’ll need to develop a diverse skill set: excellent math, organizational and communication skills are required, and you must be detail oriented. Students looking to enter the field should pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting, along with CPA certification, which many employers require.
Online distance education continues to expand, and the accounting major is well-suited to the online format. In most programs, coursework can be completed remotely, allowing working professionals an opportunity to obtain their degree without disrupting their other obligations. Schools with online programs offer identical curriculums for their residential and nontraditional students, guaranteeing distance learners access to a robust program.
Below, we’ve ranked the best online bachelor’s in accounting programs around the country. Each school offers a well-rounded education, with excellent distance learning support services to help students acclimate to the online format. If you’re interested in accounting, consider jumpstarting your career with a bachelor’s in accounting online.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Golden Gate University - San Francisco||San Francisco||$$$$$||536 Mission Street|
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
Founded in 1901 in San Francisco, Golden Gate University is California's fourth oldest private university. GGU caters to adult learners and offers an online bachelor of science in business degree that focuses on real-world knowledge and responsibilities. This program gives practical instruction in many fields, including accounting, finance, international business, and marketing.
GGU's 123-credit major offers 11 concentrations that help students hone the skills they need to achieve their professional goals. The accounting concentration trains students for the CPA and CMA exams, and readies them for careers in financial and managerial accounting, auditing, consulting, and taxation.
This program includes an accelerated path to a one-year master's degree, which can also satisfy the 150-hour requirement for CPA licensure. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or a previous college GPA of at least 2.0 (with 12 transferable credits), a resume with at least three years of professional work experience, and a statement of purpose. Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
|2||University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis||$$$$$||100 Church Street SE|
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
A public university founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota boasts five campuses across the state. The university offers a bachelor of science in accounting aimed toward training students for professional life in public, private, or governmental accounting. Graduates often find positions as auditors, financial accountants, tax consultants, or financial analysts.
The fully online degree requires 120 credits. The program delves into accounting topics such as auditing, income tax, and business ethics and law. Coursework also includes classes in finance management, economics, and marketing in order to mold a well-rounded graduate. The university allows students to take CPA, CMA, and CIA exams through the University of Minnesota campus for maximum convenience.
Prospective students can submit applications online or by mail. Applicants do not need previous work experience in order to be considered. The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|3||Colorado State University Global||Greenwood Village||$$$$$||7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200|
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
Colorado State University-Global is the first completely online, independent state university in the U.S. and provides custom learning for each student. CSU-Global's bachelor's degree in accounting takes a holistic approach to accounting courses, covering topics such as business law and ethics, finance, marketing, leadership, and economics.
This 120-credit program has four categories: general education courses (31 credits), elective courses (maximum 38 credits), core degree courses (51 credits), and degree specialization courses (15 credits). Core courses cover accounting fundamentals and general business classes. Degree specialization courses help students tailor their learning experience and prepare for their professional goals.
CSU-Global offers locked tuition rates and alternative credit options for students who wish to finish their degree faster and for less. Students can get credits for AP, IB, and other exams taken prior to admission, through self-study assessments, and through prior learning assessments. There are no set times for the all-online classes, allowing students the flexibility to create their own schedules. Colorado State University-Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|4||Regis University||Denver||$$$$$||3333 Regis Blvd|
Denver, CO 80221-1099
Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis University is a small Jesuit college founded in 1877. It is the only Jesuit university in the Rocky Mountains. The university's online bachelor of science in accounting uses the most cutting-edge technology and accounting methods. Regis prepares students for careers in the public and private sectors, in both large firms and small businesses.
The university offers a traditional 16-week format or an accelerated eight-week format for this major. Both programs require students to fulfill a total of 120 credit hours. Courses include accounting, ethics, economics, and finance. Regis boasts six accounting electives to help students prepare for professional life as auditors, income tax accountants, or government accountants.
Applicants need a high school diploma (or equivalent), transferable credit from a regionally accredited college or university, and a resume or portfolio of professional experience. Regis University allows professional licenses or certificates, military credit, prior college credit, or several years of work experience to count as credit hours towards the accounting major on a case-by-case basis. Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|5||Brandman University||Irvine||$$$$$||16355 Laguna Canyon Road|
Irvine, CA 92618
Brandman University is a private nonprofit university based in Irvine, California. Originally founded as a part of Chapman University in 1958, Brandman is now a fully independent university. Brandman offers an online bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in accounting, which prepares students for a number of professions. The curriculum includes classes on cost analysis, accounting information systems, and financial reporting.
Students must complete 120 credits, which includes the general education requirements and program-specific requirements. Core division courses feature topics such as statistics, business finance, marketing, and ethics. Accounting emphasis courses dive deep into the latest accounting techniques and practices, with classes on auditing, income tax, and accounting information systems.
Applicants need a minimum of 12 transferable baccalaureate-level (or equivalent) credits and a 2.0 minimum GPA. Only credits from regionally accredited institutions will be accepted for transfer. Brandman offers a fully flexible schedule and self-paced courses. Brandman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
|6||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City||$$$$$||4001 East 700 South, Suite 700|
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
Founded in 1997, Western Governors University is an online university dedicated to using emerging technology to revolutionize education. WGU's bachelor of science in accounting prepares students for CPA certification by teaching Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. WGU's mission is to provide affordable higher education through competency-based programs.
The program consists of 39 courses in total and tests mastery of the core competencies through exams, papers, and projects. Students work with a program mentor each term to build a personalized degree plan, allowing students to take the courses that best prepare them for their career goals. Students must take at least 12 credits for each six-month term and complete a capstone project.
WGU boasts a generous transfer policy to students who have previously attended any nationally or regionally accredited university. WGU charges by term rather than credit, so that all students only pay for the amount of time they spend learning. Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
|7||Liberty University||Lynchburg||$$$$$||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Liberty University is a nonprofit evangelical liberal arts college. This university prepares its students by teaching both classroom theory and practical applications of material. Liberty's online bachelor of science in accounting targets students who wish to work as accountants, credit or budget analysts, auditors, or financial planners.
This 120-credit, fully online program takes about 3.5 years on average to complete. Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours for this degree. The eight-week courses provide students with a thorough background in accounting, including classes in accounting ethics, taxation, and international business.
Liberty touts frozen tuition rates for all students and provides e-textbooks at no cost to the student body. Students may earn additional credit from life and work experience, including former schooling, time spent in the military, or on-the-job training. Standardized tests and credits earned at other universities can also be counted for credit. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|8||University of Maryland - College Park||College Park||$$$$$|| |
College Park, MD 20742
Universities at Shady Grove is a partnership made up of nine universities on one campus location in Rockville, Maryland. USG offers an online bachelor of science in accounting through the University of Maryland. The university developed this degree in consultation with employers in order to feature real-world data sets.
This program consists of a set of hybrid courses at USG and online courses. Students take classes on topics including auditing, business law, income tax, economics, and statistics. The BS in accounting requires students to take a minor in business administration in order to complete their degree.
Applicants must have completed the following requirements by high school graduation: four years of English, four years of math, three years of history or social science, three years of science in two different areas (including two lab experiences), and two years of foreign language.
|9||Athens State University||Athens||$$$$$||300 N Beaty St|
Athens, AL 35611
Based in Alabama, Athens State University offers flexible schedules to meet students' needs. ASU's online bachelor of accounting provides the same rigor as an on-campus major through the use of technology and recorded lectures. Students who complete this degree meet all the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Alabama.
Students may pursue this degree with a business minor in a variety of fields. However, choosing a minor excludes students from meeting the CPA requirements for Alabama. Without the minor, this program requires a minimum of 124 credits, including general education courses and professional courses. The latter includes classes on federal tax accounting, auditing, financial management, and cost accounting.
Applicants need prior college-level credit in order to be accepted at ASU. Students need a minimum of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.0 GPA or higher. An associate degree in accounting also fulfills these requirements. Athens State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|10||Concordia University - Saint Paul||Saint Paul||$$$$$||1282 Concordia Ave|
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
Founded in 1893, Concordia University's campus sits in St. Paul, Minnesota. Concordia is a Christian, liberal arts university that offers online degrees at every level. The bachelor of science in accounting degree teaches business fundamentals and prepares students for the CPA and CMA exams.
This 54-credit major curriculum (of the degree's 120 total required credits) is offered on campus and online. Concordia teaches strategic problem solving and an in-depth view of industry trends, rules, and regulations. Classes include topics such as analytics and technology, cost accounting, business strategy, corporate finance, and auditing.
Concordia University survey boasts a 95% employment rate for graduates within one year of graduation. Adult applicants must submit transcripts from a regionally accredited university or college with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer students with fewer than 20 credits must submit official high school transcripts as well. Concordia does not require standardized test scores. Concordia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|11||Champlain College||Burlington||$$$$$||246 S. Willard St|
Burlington, VT 05401
Champlain College is a nonprofit, private college founded in 1878 and based in Burlington, Virginia. Champlain offers more than 15 online associate and bachelor's degrees, including the accredited online accounting bachelor's degree program. Geared toward working adults, this degree follows the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Core Competency Framework.
This 120-credit program is completely online and offers a flexible schedule. There are no set class times and students have 24/7 access to instruction. There are two seven-week terms per semester and three semesters per year. Students can finish their degree in one year, depending on the number of transferred credits, test-out credits, and how many courses they take each semester.
This degree helps professionals advance their careers in accounting. Classes focus on foundational skills and lessons that students can apply to their jobs immediately. Champlain offers online accounting certificates for students who want to earn credentials for their resume or portfolio as they work toward their degree. Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
|12||Saint Leo University||Saint Leo||$$$$$||33701 State Road 52|
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
Saint Leo University is a liberal arts college and the oldest Catholic university in Florida. Saint Leo's online bachelor of arts in accounting prepares students for a variety of industries, including tech start-ups and multinational corporations. This program gives students a foundation in many business practices.
The online degree boasts one-on-one attention for all students from faculty members and mentors. Classes include intermediate accounting, accounting information systems, cost accounting, auditing, and financial statement analysis. This program prepares students to sit for the CPA or CMA exams.
Saint Leo University requires 120 credit hours to complete the accounting degree. The program helps students find internships which will advance their career goals. Saint Leo's faculty members place students in internships with Big Four accounting firms and other firms in the corporate sector. The program helps students understand the importance of accounting in the real world and the ethical responsibilities of a practitioner. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|13||Regent University||Virginia Beach||$$$$$||1000 Regent University Dr|
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Regent is a Christian university based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university's online degree in business with a concentration in accounting is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This program builds on business fundamentals and prepares students for careers in accounting and finance.
Regent offers classes both online and on campus and requires at least 120 credit hours to graduate. Each session is broken up into eight weeks. Classes cover topics such as managerial accounting, auditing, federal tax, business leadership, and international business. This program prepares students to sit for the Virginia CPA exam.
Requirements for online and adult applicants are minimum. Prospective students must complete an online application, submit unofficial transcripts to prove completion of a high school diploma or GED, and show any college credits completed or attempted. Regent boasts that program graduates work in 65% of the top Fortune 100 companies. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|14||Thomas Edison State University||Trenton||$$$$$||111 W State St|
Trenton, NJ 08608
Based in Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University is one of New Jersey's 11 public institutions of higher education and one of the country's first schools designed for adult learners. TESU offers a bachelor of science in business administration degree in accounting for adult learners seeking careers as accountants and auditors.
This program seeks to instill college-level competence on topics such as financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and financial accounting. The bachelor's requires 120 credit hours total, including general education requirements and a business administration capstone project.
TESU also offers a CPA and master's track for students who want to sit for the CPA or continue on to a graduate degree. This program helps students fulfill the extra-credit hours they need to become a CPA and helps them earn a master's at the same time. TESU's master's program focuses on managerial and leadership theory, and how these skills apply to accounting practices. Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
|15||Old Dominion University||Norfolk||$$$$$||5115 Hampton Blvd|
Norfolk, VA 23529
Based in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University is a doctoral research university with more than 120 undergraduate programs. Old Dominion's accounting bachelor of science in business administration offers a broad scope of business training to prepare students for careers in business and accounting firms.
This program requires 120 credit hours, 30 of which must be earned at Old Dominion for transfer students. Courses focus on technical accounting knowledge. Old Dominion University seeks to develop accounting fundamentals, teach analytical thinking skills, and build up students' abilities in communication and technology.
Old Dominion University's program is one of a select group of programs in the U.S. that claims a separate accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business—International. The bachelor's program also allows students to start earning graduate credits while completing undergraduate coursework through Old Dominion's MBA early-entry or early-start programs. Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|16||University of South Dakota||Vermillion||$$$$$||414 E Clark St|
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
The University of South Dakota offers an online bachelor of business administration degree designed to cultivate a broad understanding of business disciplines. Students choose an emphasis such as accounting, finance, or marketing in order to tailor the curriculum to suit their needs.
This program is suited for working adults who wish to pursue a degree while continuing their career. Applicants are admitted as general business students and can only select business administration as a major after they have completed all general requirements. This degree requires students to complete a total of 120 credit hours.
Applicants must complete 45 credit hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA in order to be considered. Applicants must also complete the pre-major business core which includes classes such as principles of accounting, economics, business statistics, and several math courses. University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|17||Excelsior College||Albany||$$$$$||7 Columbia Cir|
Albany, NY 12203-5159
Founded in 1971, Excelsior College is a nonprofit, regionally accredited institution that caters to adult learners. Excelsior offers a bachelor of science in business degree that is fully online and designed for working adults. This program teaches on-the-job skills such as accounting, communication, and leadership.
Excelsior's 120-credit program breaks down into eight-week courses and provides concentrations in general accounting, finance, general business, logistics management, management of human resources, and marketing. Concentrations make up only 15 credits of the total requirement. Accounting classes target future careers in controllership, corporate or managerial accounting, public accounting, internal auditing, and consulting.
Excelsior boasts an aggressive credit transfer program, allowing students to transfer a high number of credits from previous educational institutions. The median credit transfer is 48 credits, though admissions counselors make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Students may also earn credit for military training or through independent study with credit by exam. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
|18||Buena Vista University||Storm Lake||$$$$$||610 W 4th St|
Storm Lake, IA 50588
Founded in 1891 by the Presbyterian Church, Buena Vista University's main campus sits in Storm Lake, Iowa, with 16 satellite locations across the state. Buena Vista offers a bachelor's in accounting which students can take online or on campus. The degree focuses on problem-solving and analysis and targets careers in public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing.
This major requires 60 credit hours and helps students prepare to sit for the CPA and CMA exams. Buena Vista focuses on business fundamentals and building financial leaders. Courses include classes in financial accounting, spreadsheets, economics, business law, and portfolio management.
Students interested in the CPA and CMA exams can explore additional recommended courses. Those pursuing a CPA should take advanced accounting, governmental accounting, and business communication. Students attempting the CMA should take corporate finance, investments or portfolio management, and enterprise risk management. Buena Vista University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|19||Fort Hays State University||Hays||$$$$$||600 Park St|
Hays, KS 67601-4099
Fort Hays State University hosts an online college with around 7,000 students. This virtual college offers a bachelor of business administration degree with an accounting major that prepares students for careers in governmental and financial accounting, cost and tax accounting, and auditing.
This program requires 124 credit hours, including 55 general education credits, 27 business core credits, and 30 credits for the accounting major. Core accounting classes include cost accounting, income tax procedure, accounting information systems, and auditing. Fort Hays also offers accounting electives, with classes in fraud examination, CPA problems, ethics for accountants, and financial statement analysis.
Applicants must pay small admissions fees. Financial aid is available to students through the FAFSA and the Fort Hays State University financial assistance office. Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|20||Bushnell University||Eugene||$$$$$||828 E. 11th Ave.|
Eugene, OR 97401-3745
Based in Eugene, Oregon, Bushnell University is a liberal arts institution that highlights its regional, national, and global mission trips. Bushnell University offers an online bachelor of science in accounting for adults working in entry-level positions. This accounting program includes classes in finance, economics, law, and ethics.
There are four prerequisites for the major: two principles of accounting classes, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Within the major, Bushnell University offers classes in accounting information systems, federal income tax, writing for the workplace, and statistical applications. The program requires a business minor, with courses in business strategy and policy, marketing, and leadership.
This online degree enables students to have flexibility in their schedules by offering six starting dates a year and 24/7 access to courses. Classes start every eight weeks and prior college, law enforcement, and military training can be accepted for credit. Students can complete an internship, though it is not required. Bushnell University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
|21||Ottawa University - Online||Ottawa||$$$$$||1001 South Cedar|
Ottawa, KS 66067
Founded in 1865, Ottawa University is a nonprofit university that works to serve adult learners through adult centers and online programs. Ottawa University Online offers a bachelor's degree in accounting which focuses on preparing students for careers in finance, auditing, and business administration.
All online programs at Ottawa help working adults maintain a balance between schoolwork and their ongoing careers. Scheduling is flexible in order to meet the students' individual needs. All courses are in eight-week sessions, with no required outside study groups. The accounting major at Ottawa University Online offers concentrations in actuarial science, entrepreneurship, finance, global operations, leadership, management, and social enterprise management.
Students can earn credit for their degree through prior college credit hours, military service, credit by exam, work or life experience, and national registry or national certification. Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
|22||University of Mary||Bismarck||$$$$$||7500 University Dr|
Bismarck, ND 58504
Based in Bismarck, North Dakota, the University of Mary is a Catholic university with professionally focused academic programs. This university offers an online or evening accounting bachelor's degree designed with flexibility of schedule in mind.
The University of Mary's accounting degree offers several formats for learners. Students can meet with instructors face to face in onsite evening classes that meet weekly in learning centers across the Midwest. Students can also take classes entirely online or create a blend of the two options.
This program comes in an accelerated format for students to prepare for the CPA and begin their MBA in accounting. The accelerated CPA format accounts for the extra credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exam and helps students avoid a fifth year of study for their bachelor's degree. Students can complete their bachelor's degree in 3.5 years and finish a master's by the fifth year along with all or part of the CPA.
University of Mary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
|23||Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne||$$$$$||150 West University Blvd|
Melbourne, FL 32901
Based in Melbourne, Florida, the Florida Institute of Technology is a private, research-intensive institution. FIT's online bachelor of arts in accounting readies students for careers in tax planning, auditing, and accounting for mergers and acquisitions. This program builds on a broad base of business fundamentals, with concentrations in career-specific areas.
The online accounting degree requires 121 credit hours, including accounting classes and foundational liberal arts classes. Core courses for this degree include principles of accounting, strategic management, finance, and business plan research. The program offers several concentrations, including cost accounting, compensation and benefits, and auditing.
Prospective students must complete an online application and have at least 24 credit hours from an accredited university. FIT automatically evaluates credit hours from a regionally accredited school for transferability as part of the application process, though students must have a grade of C- or higher to reach transfer status. Florida Institute of Technology Online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
|24||University of Massachusetts - Amherst||Amherst||$$$$$||374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive|
Amherst, MA 01003
Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is one of the country's major public research universities. The university's management school offers an online bachelor of business administration with courses in accounting. This degree prepares students to work as auditors, tax specialists, and bank examiners.
Credit requirements include 12 credits for general education, 11 business courses, nine accounting courses, and 21 non-business breadth classes. All students need a minimum of 27 transferable credit hours. The school's business administration degree offers accounting classes in financial reporting, managerial accounting, and information systems. Students can customize upper-level courses to meet their career goals and needs. Classes include CPA law, cost accounting, and corporate taxation.
Most business classes are three credits. UMass-Amherst admissions prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA, though this is not required. University of Massachusetts-Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
|25||SUNY College at Plattsburgh||Plattsburgh||$$$$$||101 Broad Street|
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681
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).
The BLS projects that positions for accountants and auditors will grow by approximately 13% through 2022. A bachelor’s in accounting is the minimum education requirement to enter this profession. Undergraduate programs in accounting help students master intermediate math, while developing their organization and communication skills. Students are also equipped with the technical skills needed to succeed in the field: technological developments in the last decade have changed how accountants work, and online programs provide students a first-hand look at how the field has shifted.
Through the convenience of an online program, students can satisfy degree requirements and learn accounting software online without disrupting their home and professional life. Once they have completed an online bachelor’s degree in accounting, prospective accountants planning to become public accountants should consider pursuing CPA licensure. While technically optional, obtaining CPA certification is required by any accountant filing with the SEC. Generally, this certification demonstrates that the accountant meets national standards, making them more marketable candidates.
Preparing for the CPA exam typically requires students to complete 150 semester hours, which is more than a standard full-time four-year program. Many schools offer additional CPA-prep courses, combined accelerated degrees or degree-completion options to offset the extensive course load for accounting students planning to take the CPA exam. Regardless of how you plan to get ready for the CPA, taking the test is the logical next step for accounting graduates preparing for a career in the field.