Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting

A bachelor’s degree in accounting can pave the way for profitable jobs in accounting and auditing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants made a median annual salary of $73,560 in May of 2020, nearly twice the median salary for all occupations.

Graduates can also complete certified public accountant (CPA) requirements. A bachelor’s degree in accounting yields 120 academic credits out of the 150 required to sit for the CPA exam in most states. Many employers hire candidates with a bachelor’s in accounting for entry-level accounting positions, but companies may prefer CPAs for higher-paying accounting positions.

The ranking below provides detailed information about the nation’s top accounting schools online.

Top Online Schools for Accounting


Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
  • Rolling application
  • 120 credits
  • Bachelor of Arts in business (corporate accounting)
$554.92 in-state, $638.67 nonresident per credit (includes fees)
Total: $66,590 in-state, $76,640 nonresident
Colorado State University–Global Campus
Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Rolling application
  • 120 credits
  • Bachelor of Science in accounting
$350 per credit
Total: $42,000
University of Alabama–Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
  • Rolling application
  • 120 credits
  • Bachelor of Science in accounting
$433 per credit for lower-level courses, $667 per credit for upper-level courses
Total: $63,660
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Rolling application
  • 120 credits
  • Bachelor of Science business administration in accounting
$335.53 per credit
Total (tuition and fees): $45,506
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington
  • Rolling application
  • 120 credits
  • Bachelor of Arts in business administration, accounting major
$518 per credit in-state, $578 per credit nonresident
Total: $41,472 in-state, $46,200 nonresident


What Is Accounting?

Accounting involves collecting, processing, and presenting financial data to help with decision-making. Accountants are essential to a business as they oversee regulatory compliance, gather and analyze financial information, and produce quarterly reports for business leaders and shareholders.

A bachelor’s degree in accounting focuses on developing transferable business skills, such as critical thinking, statistical analysis, strategic problem-solving, and business ethics. Bachelor’s in accounting graduates can pursue various careers across industries and occupations. Common jobs include accountant, auditor, budget analyst, and financial advisor.


What to Expect From a Bachelor of Accounting Online

Typical bachelor’s in accounting programs expose learners to an array of foundational and specialized topics in accounting such as financial and managerial accounting, auditing, macro- and microeconomics, business statistics, federal taxation, compliance, business law, and forensic accounting. Each degree-granting institution offers its own bachelor’s degrees in accounting and concentration options.

During the first part of a typical curriculum, students take required foundational courses. During the second part, degree-seekers can choose to complete electives or concentration courses. Some bachelor’s in accounting programs offer an optional capstone or thesis seminar, in which learners can apply the knowledge acquired from their studies to real-world business problems or academic, theoretical problems.

Accounting schools bachelor’s degrees online follow different formats. Some run synchronously, allowing for an immersive experience with contemporaneous online lectures, classroom discussions, and peer collaboration. Other programs provide fully asynchronous courses, in which students listen to prerecorded lectures and complete readings, homework, and tests at their own pace, provided that they meet the deadlines for each course module.

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