Best Accounting Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Become a confident, fluent speaker in the language of business through one of the nation’s best accounting degrees.

Don’t let the stereotypes fool you. Accounting jobs are at once exciting, secure, high-paying, challenging, and flexible. Whatever the industry or sector, accountants are the cornerstone of viable, thriving organizations.

They secure financial solvency while brainstorming effective solutions to complex business problems. 

Whether you envision yourself in corporate finance and banking or in non-profit, government or healthcare, a degree in accounting can help you realize your vocational goals.

Recommended Online Programs

What kind of Accounting degree should you get?

First off, if you’re considering accounting, but want more affordability and flexibility, think about studying online. College Choice has even ranked the top online accounting degrees for you.

Though most undergraduate programs in accounting will introduce you to the fundamental concepts, theories, and applications of accounting, no program is alike. So while you can count on (pun intended) classes covering taxation, auditing, finance, and information systems, you’ll still want to find a program best suited to your career plans.

Some of these programs require internships and others offer the opportunity to participate in community service, helping low-income families file their yearly returns. Some focus more on business and leadership and others on consulting and analysis. Investigate, and find what’s best for you.

How much money do people make with an Accounting degree?

With a bachelor’s degree in accounting you’re looking at a median salary of at least $68k a year. And that’s just for tax consultants and auditors. Say you want to go into financial analysis? That number jumps up to over $81k annually.

The numbers get even better when you consider the rate of employment and projected job outlooks. The need for tax consultants, public accountants, and auditors is expected to rise in employment of around 11 percent in the next few years alone. Financial analysts have similar prospects: the need for them will rise another 12 percent.

Learn more about accounting degree salaries.

What can you do with a degree in Accounting?

The options for accountants are nearly endless. First, you have your choice of sectors. Healthcare, non-profit, education, media, corporate finance—they all need savvy accountants.

Second, you have your choice of specialization. You can become a tax consultant and help people file the best possible tax return. Or you can become a financial analyst and help save your company loads of money.

Whichever route you take and whatever role you fulfill, accounting can lead to infinite, rewarding career opportunities. And all of these programs will fully prepare you for advanced education in accounting or business.

 
 

What are the requirements for a degree in Accounting?

When looking into accounting programs you’ll want to find out if they prepare you for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. If so, great! You can also look into whether they prepare you for additional accounting certifications.

Once you’ve completed your general education core, you can expect a curriculum steeped in accounting fundamentals. That means classes on taxes, auditing, and finance. But you’ll also be introduced to business basics, including leadership development, management, and business ethics.

What are the best Accounting degrees?

With thousands of accounting programs at elite research universities and small liberal arts colleges around the country, how did we find the best?

To arrive at such comprehensive and definitive list, we started first with the academic reputation of each program in the nation. From there, we delved into student retention—a reflection of student satisfaction—affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.

What we concluded with, after such extensive research, are those programs that are the best in the nation at training and educating future accountants, auditors, and tax consultants.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Brigham Young University-Provo
    Location

    Provo, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The famous Mormon university based in Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University (BYU) is also a top-notch research school. It is, hands downs, the largest religious university in the country. Over 30k students attend BYU.

    Features

    The Marriott School at BYU offers a BS in Accountancy degree that not only provides a solid foundation in accounting principles, but gives you plenty of social opportunities. In fact, BYU hopes you’ll join one of the many accounting clubs, take on an internship, and attend accounting cohort events. Some of the BYU courses you’ll take include:

    • Accounting Information Systems
    • Financial Statement Auditing
    • Managerial Accounting
    • Fundamentals of Taxation

    Notables

    Among all colleges and universities in the U.S., Brigham Young is ranked 61st by U.S. News & World Report. It is also included on the “Great Schools, Great Prices” ranking. Specifically, the Marriott School of Management is 5th in the nation according to BusinessWeek.

  2. The University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Texas System is a renowned network of schools. The Austin campus is no different. It is the flagship university and a member of the elite Association of American Universities.

    Features

    UT Austin’s McCombs Business School offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with specialization in Accounting. Whether you want a career in the business, government, healthcare, or nonprofit sectors, this program introduces you to everything from financial analysis to auditing and control. You’ll be encouraged to choose among two tracks—corporate or finance—and you’ll take classes such as:

    • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
    • Managerial Accounting and Control
    • Fundamentals of Taxation
    • Financial Statement Analysis

    Notables

    An active research hub, UT Austin has graduated Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer recipients, and holders of the National Medal of Science. It is ranked 56th among all National Universities. And it is considered a Public Ivy.

  3. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A top-of-the-line research institution, and one of the best in the Midwest, Ohio State university enrolls over 65k students. It is located in Columbus but has campuses throughout the state. OSU is a land-grant research university.

    Features

    Like some of the other schools on our list, OSU offers a business administration degree through their business school that can be paired with a specialization in accounting. This program will prepare you for the CPA exam and licensure while helping you develop crucial leadership and communication skills. OSU’s curriculum includes classes such as:

    • Legal Business Issues
    • Financial Accounting
    • Cost Accounting
    • Tax Accounting

    Notables

    OSU is a member of the Association of American Universities, a Public Ivy, and a flagship university. It is ranked 56th in the country by U.S. News & World Report. OSU is the most active research university in Ohio.

  4. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) was founded by Benjamin Franklin. It is a sprawling, private Ivy League university and the site of notable research activity. Penn is located in Philadelphia and has 25k students.

    Features

    The accounting undergraduate degree at Penn is a blend of math, statistics, economics, and finance foundations. Offered through the prestigious Wharton School, you’ll learn the ins and outs of everything from tax planning and auditing to financial and cost accounting. For example, some Penn classes you can anticipate taking include:

    • Managerial Accounting
    • Financial Systems
    • Accounting for Complex Financial Structures
    • Taxes and Business Strategy

    Notables

    Founded just after the American Revolution, Penn is one of the nine original colonial colleges. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities. A top-ten school, Penn is ranked 8th among all schools country-wide.

  5. Indiana University-Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Indiana University (IU) is one of the state’s finest public universities. Specifically, its Kelley School of Business is one of the best in the world. IU enrolls just under 50k students and is based in Bloomington.

    Features

    IU’s Kelley School of Business offers a BS in Accounting that is considered one of the best in the country by many. At IU you will learn how to engage in critical analysis, how to implement strategic financial plans, and how to be a leader in your industry. In addition to participating in an engaging internship or study abroad opportunity, you will take classes such as:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Taxes and Decisions
    • Investments
    • State and Local Taxes

    Notables

    IU is a Public Ivy and a flagship university. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and holds many strong rankings across departments and fields. IU is ranked among the top 100 best universities in the country (currently 75th).

  6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Michigan (UM) is located west of Detroit in Ann Arbor. It is one of the most elite research universities in the country with notable contributions in the STEM fields. Over 44k students, undergraduate and graduate alike, attend UM.

    Features

    The University of Michigan offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree that can be supplemented with an array of accounting electives. You can even further specialize by concentrating in finance, management, tax consulting, or public accounting. Some of the classes comprising these focus areas include:

    • Federal Taxation and Managerial Decisions
    • Intermediate Financial Accounting
    • Cost Accounting
    • Financial Statement Analysis

    Notables

    The University of Michigan is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and a Public Ivy. It is well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and ARWU, among others.

  7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) is a public research school. It is the leading member of the University of Illinois System and home to 44k students. Organized into 17 colleges and schools, with over 150 programs of study, UIUC is a large university.

    Features

    UIUC’s College of Business has a BS in Accountancy degree program that is at once broad and exhaustive. While gaining crucial skills in corporate accounting and accounting information systems you will also learn how to implement savvy taxation strategies. And you will graduate prepared to immediately enter a career in accounting, or to go on to earn an advanced degree. Classes include:

    • Understanding Financial Statements
    • Accounting for Business Decisions
    • Measurement and Disclosure
    • Accounting Control Systems

    Notables

    UIUC is a member of the Association of American Universities and a flagship university. It is also a member of the Big Ten Conference. UIUC is praised by U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

  8. University of Notre Dame
    Location

    Notre Dame, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Though known for its affiliation with the Catholic Church, the University of Notre Dame is also a prominent research facility. It is based in South Bend, Indiana and organized into six colleges. Around 13k undergraduate and graduate students attend the University of Notre Dame.

    Features

    The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business has a renowned undergraduate degree in accounting. Students develop skills in analytics, communication, and decision-making. They are also introduced to the theory and applications of financial reporting, management, tax planning, and more. Sample Notre Dame classes include:

    • Corporate Financial Reporting
    • Strategic Cost Management
    • Data Analytics in Accounting
    • Federal Taxation

    Notables

    Newsweek includes the University of Notre Dame among the top 25 best “New Ivies.” It is well-ranked holistically, but many of Notre Dame’s individual departments and programs are also top of the line. For example, its business, engineering, and computer science programs are among the best in the country.

  9. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    New York University (NYU) is located in the hub of commerce, culture, and business. It is a private, nonprofit research institution located in Greenwich Village. It also has campuses around the world, from London and Madrid to Paris and Abu Dhabi.

    Features

    Not only can you earn one of the best accounting degrees in the nation from NYU, you can earn it alongside a master’s degree for an accelerated academic experience. The dual BS/MS in Accounting program takes approximately 4.5 years to complete, but it ensures you are fully qualified for licensure. This degree is offered through NYU’s Stern School of Business. Classes include:

    • Financial Statement Analysis
    • Advanced Managerial Accounting
    • Taxation of Individuals and Business Income
    • Financial Reporting and Analysis

    Notables

    NYU has graduated numerous Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Olympic medalists, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. NYU is known for its research in healthcare and medicine, business, engineering, and more. It is ranked 36th among all National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.

  10. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Southern California (USC) is located in Los Angeles. It is the oldest private research university in the state of California and one of the best on the West Coast. Around 43k students attend USC.

    Features

    The USC Leventhal School of Accounting is world-renowned. It offers a BS in Accounting degree that provides a business foundation. Students build upon that foundation with specialization in taxation, auditing, financial planning, and more. This program will prepare you for graduate work or to get licensed and start your career. Classes include:

    • Financial and Managerial Accounting
    • Concepts of Accounting Information
    • Communication Strategy in Accounting
    • Applied Business Statistics

    Notables

    USC is an elite research university and is known for its strengths in entrepreneurship. Campus is home to the Information Sciences Institute. USC has graduated numerous Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars as well as Nobel Laureates and MacArthur Fellows.

mini icon

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

July 30, 2021   |   CollegeChoice.net Staff

A law degree can increase earning potential and career opportunities. Here, we list the best online programs available.

Best Online Colleges and Universities

Best Online Colleges and Universities

June 3, 2021   |   Staff Writers

According to the , 6,932,074 students enrolled in at least one distance education course at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018. The year 2021 marks an ideal time to pursue...

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.