Let me guess: You’ve been working as an accountant for a few years. You love the work, don’t mind the pay, but you’re itching for more. You’re the kind of person who wants to find ways in which the field of accounting can be more efficient, more user-friendly, and more accessible.
But who has the time to get a graduate degree in accounting?
Lucky for you, we’ve mapped out the Best Online Doctorate in Accounting for you. Or if you’re considering other online programs, take a look at our ranking of the Top Online Colleges and Universities.
What kind of Online Doctorate in Accounting Degree should you get?
Here’s one distinction to make right off the bat: the difference between a PhD in Accounting and a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) in Accounting.
A PhD in Accounting is usually reserved for folks who want to become a fulltime business professor. A DBA in Accounting, on the other hand, is for business-minded people who want to use research to benefit their business.
The five schools on our list are specifically aimed toward Doctorate’s in Business Administration. It won’t take you long to sort through these programs and get a sense for how they differ.
For instance, George Fox University and Liberty University integrate Christian teachings into their program’s business ethics and practices. If that’s important to you, then those are two fantastic schools to choose.
Ultimately, all of these programs shine in their ability to boil down the intricacies of a graduate program into an accessible online format.
How much money do people make with an Online Doctorate in Accounting Degree?
As with any terminal degree, you’re going to be the highest paid and most respected members of your field. Most DBA graduates end up become accounting executives and CFOs.
Guess what? If you stay in the field of accounting and financial management, you’ll be making upwards of $121,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Even more, you don’t have to worry about the longevity of your job. Accounting work isn’t disappearing anytime soon! The demand for top-tier financial executives and researchers is on the rise and expected to increase by an impressive 19% between now and 2026!
What are the requirements for an Online Doctorate in Accounting Degree?
Getting into graduate school is not a walk in the park. Online graduate programs are just as picky about admission requirements as on-campus programs. For most of these programs, you’ll need to prepare the following:
- Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree
- Statement of Purpose
- Transcripts (ideally with a solid GPA and relevant coursework)
- TOEFL (for non-English speakers)
The programs differ in their requirement of background experience.
Some ask that you have at least 5 years experience in a professional or teaching role. Others require the completion of a master’s degree in accounting or an MBA in accounting.
But here’s the bottom line: make sure your passion for accounting and research shines through in your application.
What are the best Online Doctorate in Accounting Degree programs?
Our data team sorted through all of the online Doctorate in Accounting programs in the nation. They then compared the reputation, graduation rates, retention rates, affordability, and the early salaries of graduates of all the programs.
Our sources and information come straight from program websites, as well as PayScale, U.S. News & World Report, and The National Center for Education Statistics.After all of that, we’ve come up with 5 fantastic programs that will give you a leg-up in the world of accounting. If you’re ready to count yourself (pun intended) among the accounting elite, then you’re definitely ready for your online doctorate in accounting!
See our rankings methodology page.
George Fox University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $27,935
Founded as a Quaker institution in 1885, George Fox University is a Christian liberal arts school in Newberg, Oregon. Though its on-campus enrollment is relatively small (around 2,500 students), George Fox also hosts a thriving online adult education sector. In fact, it holds the #1 spot on our list of the Best Online Doctorate in Accounting.
The online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at George Fox is designed to give students a faith-based curriculum for business at the highest level. The program blends together business, research, and teaching elements, as well as the chance to specialize in Accounting. Those courses include:
- Seminar in Accounting
- Advanced Applications of Ethical Reasoning and Compliance in Accounting
- Advanced Topics in Accounting
Despite being an online program, students also attend yearly residencies at the Oregon campus. Each 4-day stay re-orients the students to their cohort and their faculty members. It gives them a chance to connect and collaborate on research projects and ideas in person.
College Choice Score: 95.95
Average Net Price: $24,794
Liberty University is the largest evangelical Christian university in the world. Through LU Online, the school enrolls almost 100,000 students each year. Liberty University is also known for its political and religious conservatism. It consistently ranks in the top 10 most conservative colleges in the nation.
Liberty University’s online Doctor of Business Administration branches into 12 concentrations, Accounting being one of them. The curriculum encompasses a total of 60 credit hours, though you can apply up to 12 credits from a previous MBA program. In addition to a dissertation, students take highlight upper-level accounting courses such as:
- Financial Accounting Theory
- Accounting Ethics
- Tax Research and Jurisprudence
This program includes an optional residency at Liberty University’s Virginia campus. The first two come in the form of 1-8 week-long business classes (Business Administration Orientation and Business Administration Colloquium). The final residency is intended for you to defend your dissertation.
College Choice Score: 92.42
Average Net Price: $16,538
Capella University is a for-profit university that offers its courses almost entirely online. Its main campus is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now enrolls close to 36,000 students through over 1600 online courses. The majority of the students (74%) at Capella University are graduate students.
The program at Capella University is integrated, collaborative, and wholly designed to fit your career goals. The curriculum revolves around three dissertation research tracks. These each involve an online class, an in-person residency, and engaging assignments in between. You’ll take a wide range of courses in the meantime, such as:
- Research Processes, Theory, and Practice in Global Business
- Quantitative Research Techniques
- Financial Reporting
- Advanced Accounting Theory
Capella University knows that online learning—especially at this specialized level—can sometimes be isolating. Because of that, students are provided a tight-knit network of support, from enrollment counselors to doctoral advisors to dissertation mentors. Relax! You won’t go it alone!
Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division
College Choice Score: 89.70
Average Net Price: $26,205
Through its seven-college system, Argosy University delivers hundreds of online degrees at all levels of academic rank. The university is owned by the Dream Center Education Holdings and has 28 locations throughout the country. As of 2012, Argosy University housed over 24,800 students throughout its many campuses, both online and in person.
Students in the Doctor of Business Administration degree at Argosy University fulfill a total of 60 credit hours. These are divided over a number of categories: research courses, core courses concentration courses; and a doctoral research requirements. Within the Accounting concentration, you’ll take some of the following classes:
- Contemporary Accounting Theory
- Accounting in a Global Financial Community
- Accounting Control Systems
- Financial Reporting Theory
One of the great things about Argosy University’s online program is the variety of electives you can take within the degree. The DBA program encourages students to customize their electives according to their career goals. This could range from education to consulting to global innovation.
Trident University International
College Choice Score: 86.98
Average Net Price: $13,175
A 100% online institution, Trident University International is a for-profit university. It is known for being an affordable and military-friendly school. In fact, it is the most affordable program on our list with an average net price of $13,175!
Most students complete Trident University’s Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration coursework in 2 years. The next 2-4 years, then, is reserved for a series of courses and requirements aimed toward your dissertation. The Accounting/Finance concentration incorporates three 4-credit classes:
- Financial/Managerial/Behavioral Accounting
- Studies in Corporate Finance
- Strategic Management
Defending a dissertation isn’t the only hurdle students need to cross to earn their PhD at Trident University. After your coursework is completed, you’ll need to take the Qualifying Exam, which approves you to begin the proposal and research stage. But ultimately you’ll end up with a 5-chapter dissertation and a Doctorate of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance!