The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the median annual salary for accountants at more than $69,000. Moreover, while no degree can guarantee a job, earning an online accounting degree makes sense in the modern work climate, as the BLS also projects the number of available accountant positions to increase by 10% — a rate faster than the national average — over the next decade. (Paragraph Break) The following page provides a ranked list of the best online accounting degrees. All of the programs on this list boast regional accreditation, so you do not need to worry about employers not acknowledging your degree. Each of these programs provides a strong option for individuals looking to begin their professional accounting careers.
What are the best online bachelor’s in accounting degrees?
We’ve crunched the data – weighing factors like reputation scores, program accreditation, tuition costs, and early career earnings of graduates – to come up with a composite score that reflects academic excellence and the all-important return on investment.
A few things to be aware of as you peruse the list:
- The listed average tuition is based on the out-of-state, per-credit tuition taken from program websites – be sure to look into extra fees, which vary widely.
- Accreditation is extremely important. All schools on our list are regionally accredited and most programs have additional accreditation from one of the three main business accrediting bodies: the AACSB, the ACBSP, or the IACBE.
Pennsylvania State University World Campus
College Choice Score: 100.00
Average Tuition: $542.00
Penn State’s World Campus offers an online accounting degree that prepares students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. The program’s curriculum takes a survey approach to the discipline, covering a wide range of topics that includes federal income taxes, financial accounting, auditing, and accounting information system. The curriculum includes 120 credits and requires approximately four years to complete. Aiming for convenience, the program delivers all online coursework asynchronously and eliminates in-person requirements. The program also boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a distinction that less than five percent of business schools worldwide earn.
Colorado State University - Global Campus
College Choice Score: 91.58
Average Tuition: $350.00
CSU-Global’s online bachelor’s degree in accounting opts for a survey approach to the discipline, covering a wide range of topics that includes compliance, ethics, finance, marketing, economics, and leadership in addition to the basics of accounting. The program also strives for flexibility, delivering all coursework asynchronously, eliminating in-person requirements, and allowing students to choose between 20 different specializations. Specialization options include public relations, nonprofit management, marketing, and computer programming, among others. No matter the specialization, the program’s curriculum consists of 120 credits, usually takes four years to complete, and includes courses such as federal taxation, intermediate accounting, and a capstone in accounting research and analysis.
Florida Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 91.28
Average Tuition: $510.00
Florida Tech’s online accounting degree — which aims to prepare graduates for Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant certification — prizes flexibility above all, delivering all coursework asynchronously and eliminating all in-person requirements. The program blends a foundational liberal arts general education curriculum with professionally-focused courses such as auditing, compensation and benefits, and cost accounting. The program’s 121-credit curriculum, which usually takes four years of full-time study to complete, also includes foundational business coursework in economics, human resources, and marketing. The curriculum does not include a capstone or a thesis.
College Choice Score: 90.27
Average Tuition: $475.00
Regis offers an online bachelor’s degree in accounting that allows students to choose between regular and accelerated tracks. In the accelerated track, each course lasts for eight weeks, allowing students to earn their degrees more quickly. In each case, the program’s curriculum consists of 120 credits, and Regis delivers all program coursework asynchronously and without in-person requirements. Core courses include income tax accounting, business finance, business law, and accounting ethics. All applicants to the accounting program must possess at least some previous work experience and at least some previous college credit.
California Baptist University
College Choice Score: 87.73
Average Tuition: $547.00
CBU maintains an extensive distance learning presence, including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. The accounting program offers a curriculum with the goal of preparing graduates to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. The program’s major curriculum consists of 69 credits and includes upper-division coursework in federal income taxation, cost accounting, and governmental and nonprofit accounting. As CBU maintains an affiliation with the California Southern Baptist Convention, all students must also complete an overview course about the Bible before they graduate. Students can generally earn their accounting degrees in three years at CBU.
Washington State University
College Choice Score: 87.18
Average Tuition: $570.00
Washington State’s online accounting degree offers flexibility, allowing students to attend asynchronous online courses either full-time or part-time. The curriculum includes both general education courses — which generally last 16 weeks each — and foundational, accelerated business courses, which last seven weeks each. Accounting coursework includes cost accounting, auditing, and introduction to taxation. None of these courses include in-person or on-campus requirements. Washington State’s program boasts separate accounting accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which awards accounting accreditation to only 165 schools nationwide.
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 85.45
Average Tuition: $470.00
A Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts college based in Florida, Saint Leo also offers several distance learning degrees, including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. The accounting program’s curriculum includes studies in financial statement analysis, cost accounting, auditing, and accounting information systems, among other areas. Full-time students generally finish the program within four years. The program’s faculty members offer each student one-on-one mentoring, advising, and coaching, leading to the program’s strong placement rate with the Big Four accounting firms. In total, the program’s curriculum consists of 120 credits and includes a recommended — but not required — internship in the field.
College Choice Score: 85.44
Average Tuition: $390.00
One of the largest universities in the world, Liberty enrolls over 100,000 students, many of whom classify as online or military students. The university offers an online bachelor’s degree in accounting that requires students to complete 120 credits, a process that usually takes three and a half years. Liberty aims for flexibility in its online offerings, delivering all eight-week online courses asynchronously and without in-person or on-campus requirements. The accounting program’s curriculum includes coursework in financial and managerial accounting in addition to taxation, business law, and auditing. All applicants must submit evidence of a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 in order to earn admission on good standing.
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
College Choice Score: 85.35
Average Tuition: $361.00
UMass Dartmouth offers an online accounting degree completion program with a generous transfer policy, allowing students to bring up to 75 previously earned credits with them. The entire accounting curriculum consists of 120 credits and includes coursework in foundational areas such as cost accounting, organizational behavior, strategic management, and marketing. Students can also complete an additional 30 credits to earn their Certified Public Accountant status. The program caters to many working professionals, so it delivers coursework asynchronously and eliminates in-person requirements in order to best fit into a wide variety of schedules.
College Choice Score: 85.26
Average Tuition: $395.00
A Catholic-affiliated liberal arts school based near Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania, Misericordia excels in distance learning, offering an accelerated online accounting degree that allows students to graduate in 20 months. Students can complete up to 12 credits each semester through asynchronous, online courses that last for seven weeks each. The 121-credit curriculum includes foundational coursework in business policy, intermediate accounting, taxation, and auditing. All students must also complete six credits worth of internships. All applicants must possess a high school GPA of at least 2.5 or a top 50% class rank and an SAT score of at least 930.
Upper Iowa University
College Choice Score: 83.59
Average Tuition: $325.00
UIU’s online bachelor’s degree in accounting allows students to choose between a more typical online track or an entirely self-paced online track. In either case, the program’s curriculum includes courses in federal taxation, financial accounting, managerial cost accounting, and auditing and usually takes full-time students the typical four years to complete. The program aims to prepare graduates for the Certified Public Accountant exam and careers in taxation, financial statement analysis, and public and nonprofit accounting. The curriculum does not include any capstone, thesis, or in-person requirements.
College Choice Score: 82.83
Average Tuition: $480.00
Linfield College excels in offering online programs to working professionals, including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. To best meet the needs of those working professionals, the accounting program delivers all coursework asynchronously and does not include in-person requirements. The curriculum takes a survey approach, aiming to prepare graduates for careers in government, public, and private accounting alike by offering coursework in financial reporting, taxation, auditing, and budget control. The program does not include any thesis or capstone requirements. Linfield prides itself on offering robust financial aid packages to working professionals, so all applicants should make sure to apply for school-specific aid opportunities.
Indiana Wesleyan University
College Choice Score: 82.81
Average Tuition: $424.00
Indiana Wesleyan’s online bachelor’s degree in accounting primarily caters to working professionals, doing away with in-person requirements and delivering coursework asynchronously. The program offers peer support through a cohort model and aims to prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. The program only accepts applicants with at least 60 previously earned college credits, allowing all students to graduate from Indiana Wesleyan with their accounting degrees in 18 to 20 months. The major curriculum includes courses such as federal income tax, accounting information systems, managerial finance, and business law.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 82.66
Average Tuition: $320.00
SNHU offers distance learning programs across all disciplines, including multiple online bachelor’s degrees in accounting. SNHU currently offers a BS in forensic accounting and fraud examination and a more generalist BS in accounting. The generalist program curriculum — which includes 120 credits — offers staple courses such as cost accounting, intermediate accounting, and financial statement analysis/business valuation. The program aims to prepare graduates to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam. SNHU delivers all online coursework asynchronously and does not include any in-person elements in the accounting programs.
St Mary-of-the-Woods College
College Choice Score: 81.80
Average Tuition: $496.00
The first Catholic-affiliated college in Indiana, SMWC now offers several distance learning programs, including one of the best online accounting degrees. The program combines a wide-ranging business core with coursework in economics, management, and marketing with major coursework in auditing, financial accounting, and accounting information systems. Students may also complete either an entrepreneurship or a professional prep concentration, although these are not required. The professional prep concentration includes an internship, a Microsoft Office course, and a preparation course for accounting certification exams. SMWC delivers all program coursework asynchronously and never requires students to visit campus in the titular community of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 81.48
Average Tuition: $240.83
One of the biggest names in online education, WGU offers several asynchronous online programs that offer self-paced education, allowing students to earn competency units (CU) through testing, coursework, and other means. WGU’s online bachelor’s degree in accounting requires students to finish 39 courses, including studies in management, taxation, accounting information systems, and auditing. The program concludes with a capstone project. Students must complete at least 12 CU each six-month term. The average student transfers 38 credits into the program, and 71% of students earn their degrees within 10 to 40 months.
College Choice Score: 81.46
Average Tuition: $474.00
A Catholic-affiliated university based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales specializes in online and hybrid programs for working professionals. The university’s online accounting degree offers an accelerated option, allowing students to graduate more quickly through asynchronous online coursework. Students can also earn prior learning assessment credit and transfer up to 75 credits into the program. All students in the program choose between a generalist track and a specialized forensic accounting track. In either case, the curriculum includes foundational accounting coursework in topics such as auditing and taxation.
Bemidji State University
College Choice Score: 81.02
Average Tuition: $287.35
Located on the eponymous Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State primarily caters to citizens of Minnesota. Nevertheless, the school also offers several distance learning programs, including an online accounting degree. The accounting program allows students who already possess at least 24 general education credits to complete the last two years of their degree,. Students in the program learn about government, cost, intermediate, and advanced accounting in addition to topics such as auditing, business law, and strategic management. The program aims for maximum flexibility by eliminating in-person, capstone, and thesis requirements and delivering all coursework asynchronously.
College Choice Score: 80.40
Average Tuition: $395.00
Founded by Baptist media personality Pat Robertson, Regent University operates a central campus in Virginia Beach and offers several programs online, including an online accounting degree. The accounting program requires students to complete a 120-credit curriculum, a process that typically takes the customary four years of full-time study. The curriculum covers foundational areas in accounting in order to prepare graduates to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam. Each course lasts for eight weeks, and Regent delivers all of its online coursework asynchronously and without in-person or on-campus requirements.
American Public University
College Choice Score: 79.84
Average Tuition: $270.00
Originally opened in 1991 to meet the specific needs of military students, the private, for-profit American Public University now offers several of its programs through distance learning, including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. The accounting curriculum centers around the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and includes coursework in ethics, financial statement analysis, and business law. The program provides a discount to students with military grants. Aiming for flexibility for military members, the program delivers all online coursework asynchronously, does not include in-person requirements, and offers multiple start times throughout the academic year. Most students earn their accounting degrees at APU in four years.
Indiana State University
College Choice Score: 78.94
Average Tuition: $391.00
The alma mater of Larry Bird, Indiana State University also excels in distance learning, offering an online bachelor’s degree in accounting that never requires students to visit campus in Terre Haute and delivers all coursework asynchronously. The curriculum prepares graduates to take the Certified Public Accountant exam and includes 120 credits of courses such as auditing, accounting information systems, and managerial accounting. Students may choose to complete an optional concentration in finance, forensic accounting, or insurance and risk management. Full-time students in the program earn their degrees within four years, although students may also enroll part-time.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 78.59
Average Tuition: $326.00
A public university based in the titular city of Clarion, Pennsylvania, Clarion reaches students across the nation through its online accounting degree. The accounting program offers a broader focus than its peers, offering small class sizes that prepare graduates for further graduate study in accounting, law, or business. All students choose either a Certified Public Accountant concentration — which includes courses such as auditing and federal taxes — or an industry concentration, which requires slightly less coursework. Either way, Clarion delivers all online coursework asynchronously and students in the program do not need to visit campus for any reason.
College Choice Score: 78.46
Average Tuition: $410.00
Nebraska’s Bellevue University offers an online bachelor’s degree in accounting that focuses on hands-on learning, as the school maintains connections with several employers in the field for an optional accountancy internship. Throughout the curriculum, students discuss decision theory and problem solving in the context of accounting, finance, management, and marketing. Students interested in completing Certified Public Accountant licensure must complete the required 150-credit curriculum, which includes major courses in income tax, cost, and financial accounting. Students may also choose to complete a 10-credit emphasis in business finance.
Colorado Technical University
College Choice Score: 78.01
Average Tuition: $325.00
Colorado Tech offers an online bachelor’s degree in accounting with several start dates throughout the academic year. The program allows students to fast track their degrees by passing “mini modules” that give them credit for prior knowledge. The program aims for flexibility, as it delivers coursework asynchronously and never requires students to come to campus in Colorado Springs for any reason. The program’s curriculum consists of 183 credits and includes studies in foundational areas such as auditing, taxation, computerized accounting, and cost accounting. The program does not include a thesis or capstone, but all students must complete a career planning course in order to graduate.
St Joseph's College
College Choice Score: 77.84
Average Tuition: $331.00
SJCME offers several distance learning programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. The accounting program allows students to complete a total of 150 credits while also earning their Certified Public Accountant licensure. The accounting major consists of 15 credits, including coursework in intermediate accounting, federal income taxes, managerial and cost accounting, and auditing. The rest of the curriculum includes foundational business coursework and general education requirements. Students do not complete a thesis or capstone. SJCME delivers all online coursework asynchronously and never requires students to visit campus in Standish, Maine.