Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

An accounting career can give you stability, income, and upward mobility — all of which feel increasingly out of reach for today's young workforce.
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Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Accounting

Looking for an accounting degree from a reputable online program? Here are the 10 best online accounting programs of 2024 — with University of Massachusetts Amherst topping the list.

We assessed schools based on their affordability, student outcomes, reputation, diversity, and social mobility. UMass Amherst ranked the highest on our list for its track record of helping students complete their degrees while offering greater affordability than most programs:

  • UMass Amherst boasts the highest student retention and graduation rates (91% and 84%, respectively).
  • The net cost (what you can expect to pay after scholarships, grants, and financial aid) sits at $16,200, well below the average net cost of $20,780 for all schools we analyzed.

Students of all backgrounds tend to do well at UMass Amherst. In fact, Pell Grant recipients have an 80% graduation rate at this school.

Want to become one of the 1.4 million people gainfully employed as number crunchers? Keep reading to find the best online accounting degree programs of 2024.

Featured Online Accounting Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#1 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Amherst, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $691

Out-of-State | $1,605

Credits to Graduate: 120

UMass Amherst's online accounting major delivers a resource-rich student experience. Learners in this flexible, 100% online degree completion program can also interact with academic advisors and career services via Zoom.

The curriculum balances coursework in financial accounting and auditing with a well-rounded general business sequence. Core accounting classes also cover information systems, corporate and individual taxation, and accounting law.

You'll need at least 27 transferable credits to qualify for entry. UMass Amherst requires online accounting transfer students to complete all major requirements at the school.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$15,791
Out-of-state
$36,316
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,014
Out-of-state
$30,572
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
32,045
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#2 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

University of Arkansas

  • Fayetteville, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $340

Out-of-State | $340

Credits to Graduate: 120

In U of A's online BSBA in accounting, you'll engage with a flexible 100% online format. The program combines regular 15-week fall and spring semesters with five-week summer terms, which helps students move quickly through coursework.

As a top-ranked public college, U of A's program delivers excellent coverage of accounting and business topics. You'll have flexibility in your electives, giving you the chance to build targeted knowledge in economics, finance, or accounting information systems. 

If you're planning to become a certified public accountant (CPA), this program can help you meet your pre-licensure educational requirements.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,666
Out-of-state
$24,482
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,875
Out-of-state
$21,420
Retention Rate
87%
Acceptance Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
29,068
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

  • Utica, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $295

Out-of-State | $353

Credits to Graduate: 125

SUNY Poly's online BS in accounting is an efficient and flexible degree completion program. The BS in accounting is offered in a convenient, self-paced, self-scheduled format. You can apply if you've completed at least 45 college credits or have at least three years of relevant full-time work experience.

Accounting and business courses combine to make up half of the degree's total credit requirements. Upper-level accounting classes cover advance, cost, and financial accounting, along with auditing and taxation. You'll also build a sound understanding of business strategy, operations, and accounting information systems. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$17,830
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,310
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
2,850
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#4 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

Walsh University

  • North Canton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $500

Out-of-State | $500

Credits to Graduate: 124

Walsh's 100% online accounting BBA program emphasizes accessibility. You can study from anywhere and earn your degree quickly with compact eight-week terms and generous transfer credit allowances. Ohio students can transfer up to 92 of the required 124 credits.

Coursework emphasizes both financial and managerial accounting. As a result, you'll be academically qualified for both the CPA and certified management accountant (CMA) licensing exams when you graduate.

Walsh also emphasizes the strong local job market for accountants. According to Walsh's analysis, accountants in Ohio earn about 8% more than the national average.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$30,205
Out-of-state
$30,205
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,410
Out-of-state
$13,410
Retention Rate
71%
Acceptance Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
2,440
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#5 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $525

Out-of-State | $525

Credits to Graduate: 128

Maryville's online BS in accounting enables enrollees to study virtually in an accelerated format. This 100% online program does not require campus visits, and you can graduate in as few as two and a half years.

Covering a rigorous 128 credits, the curriculum includes both business and accounting courses. Accounting classes focus on CPA proficiencies, and you can get a jump start on your master's through "early access" upper-level courses.

Maryville also offers virtual job fairs and other strong career-focused student support. According to Maryville, 96% of online bachelor's students go on to rewarding career placements after graduation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,766
Out-of-state
$24,766
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,346
Out-of-state
$14,346
Retention Rate
82%
Acceptance Rate
92%
Students Enrolled
10,596
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#6 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

Temple University

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $665

Out-of-State | $665

Credits to Graduate: 124

Temple's online accounting BBA program offers both regular and accelerated tracks. An academic advisor can help you plan a path to graduation in just three years.

You can focus on general accounting or earn a concentrated degree in data analytics. The data analytics track emphasizes technology, data management, and data visualization skills for next-generation accounting professionals. 

Graduates emerge with a strong academic foundation for pursuing CPA licensure. You can also proceed into graduate-level coursework to fulfill Pennsylvania's 150-credit requirement for taking the Uniform CPA Examination.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$16,488
Out-of-state
$29,712
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,388
Out-of-state
$23,922
Retention Rate
86%
Acceptance Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
35,626
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#7 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Term: $3,755

Courses to Graduate: 41

WGU's online BSBA in accounting is an online asynchronous program that suits students with busy lifestyles. The school's unique competency structure allows you to take performance assessments as soon as you feel ready. As a result, you can move through courses at whatever pace feels right.

Your accounting coursework will cover essential proficiencies in cost, financial, and managerial accounting. You'll also study auditing, taxation, and accounting information systems alongside business management.

WGU notes that 70% of students complete the program within 42 months. Internal data indicates that WGU business management alumni enjoy average salary increases exceeding $15,000 per year.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,162
Out-of-state
$7,162
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,500
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
150,116
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#8 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

Mercer University

  • Macon, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $525

Out-of-State | $525

Credits to Graduate: 120

Mercer's online BBA in accounting makes it easy to launch your journey toward an accounting career. You can choose from five start dates throughout the year and make rapid progress toward program completion with eight-week terms.

Your major coursework emphasizes financial accounting, tax accounting, and auditing. Electives allow students to customize their degrees, and they also benefit from a well-rounded business curriculum.   

Mercer takes pride in its student outcomes. According to the school, 95% of 2021 graduates were employed within six months of finishing their degrees.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$29,024
Out-of-state
$29,024
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,244
Out-of-state
$15,244
Retention Rate
86%
Acceptance Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
9,009
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $530

Out-of-State | $530

Credits to Graduate: 120

UArizona's online BSBA in accounting features an appealing combination of flexibility and support resources. Online learners have full access to personalized career coaching and virtual job recruitment programs. You'll also benefit from mentorship opportunities from UArizona's renowned Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy faculty.

If you're planning to pursue an accounting license, this program might be a good match for you. UArizona identifies its BSBA in accounting as a licensure-track degree. Required courses cover cost, financial, and managerial accounting, along with taxation, financial statement analysis, and accounting technologies.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,990
Out-of-state
$33,739
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,106
Out-of-state
$32,290
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
48,274
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024

University of Mary

  • Bismarck, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $480

Out-of-State | $480

Credits to Graduate: 124

By maximizing transfer credits, you can graduate from Mary's online BS in accounting program in fewer than three and a half years. Mary delivers the program in an accelerated 100% online format, making it both easy and efficient to attend.

The program's 124-credit profile builds a strong foundation for CPA licensure. If you plan to pursue a license, Mary will match you with a program advisor who can guide your completion of the Uniform CPA Exam's academic requirements.

The well-rounded coursework covers core accounting proficiencies as well as more niche topics like fraud examination, statistics, and accounting software.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$18,340
Out-of-state
$18,340
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,244
Out-of-state
$12,244
Retention Rate
77%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
3,794
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Benefits of Earning an Online Bachelor's in Accounting

Accounting is a dynamic field suitable for anyone with a knack for numbers. Graduates can pursue many career paths, most of which are quite lucrative. The median pay for accountants in 2023 was $79,880, according to the BLS.

In certain industries, accounting majors have particularly high earning potential. For example, the top-paying industry for accountants in 2023 was media streaming distribution services, social networks, and other media networks and content providers, with workers earning an average salary of $133,140. Other top industries include computer and peripheral manufacturing and software publishers.

Accounting is a stable career that is relatively recession-proof. The BLS projects 4% job growth for accountants from 2022-2032, which is as fast as the average across all occupations. The organization projects roles for financial managers to grow by 16% during the same period. These workers earned a median annual wage of $156,100 in 2023.

What Can I Expect From an Online Accounting Degree Program?

Online bachelor's in accounting programs often appeal to students with strong math and analytical skills. However, the field requires communication and organizational skills as well. An online bachelor's degree typically requires learners to complete 120 credits over four years.

Some online accounting programs deliver coursework asynchronously, which allows learners to study during the hours that suit them best. Online students may still need to complete practical components, such as practica or internships. Distance learners can often meet these requirements at approved sites in their communities.

Undergraduate accounting programs usually award bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees. Humanities-focused BA degrees may lead to more interdisciplinary careers, whereas BS degrees focus more on business and accounting management. Some BS programs offer additional credits that can contribute to the requirements needed to become a certified public accountant (CPA).

While degree type may influence their eventual career paths, students can often choose concentrations in areas like management and financial, forensic, and tax accounting. Concentrations can lead to specific employment opportunities and certifications after graduation.

What Are the Online Accounting Courses I Will Take?

  • Minus

    Accounting Ethics

    This course examines professional standards and ethical frameworks for accountants. Coursework may look at common dilemmas in the field and how accountants can apply professional principles to manage difficult situations.
  • Minus

    Managerial Accounting

    This course teaches students how to use financial information and planning to make better managerial decisions. Learners look at ways of applying these lessons and activity-based management tools to costing, budgeting, and estimating.
  • Minus

    Auditing

    In this class, learners examine the processes and reasons for auditing financial statements. They also learn about auditors' legal and ethical responsibilities, how to plan an audit, and how to communicate its findings.
  • Minus

    Taxation

    Students in this course learn about accounting for income taxes and how to handle taxes on corporate financial statements. They learn best practices for tax planning and gain an understanding of disclosures and compliance requirements.
  • Minus

    Business Law

    In business law courses, students learn common legal terminology and processes. Covered topics may include employment, corporate, sale, and consumer protection laws.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Admission requirements vary by school and program, but prospective students can still get a general idea of what to expect. For example, many schools require students to possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and a strong GPA. The following section details some other common requirements.

Application

The typical undergraduate application requires prospective students to include their personal information and pay a processing fee. Applicants can submit their applications individually through a school website or apply to multiple schools through The Common Application, typically known as the Common App.

Test Scores

Students' college entrance exam scores can indicate their preparedness for higher education. Many schools that suspended test score requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to waive entrance exam requirements in 2024. When ACT or SAT scores are required, strong scores usually lead to higher acceptance rates.

Letters of Recommendation

Most colleges require up to three letters of recommendation from former teachers or employers who can speak to the applicant's readiness for higher education. These letters allow schools to gain insight into the student's past experiences and qualifications.

Essays

College application essays give prospective students room to discuss their personal journeys and reasons for applying to a program. Most applications request personal essays, which give the applicant freedom to write on any topic. However, some accounting programs may ask specific questions about the field.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts highlight the applicant's prior studies. Transcripts may help schools identify a student's readiness, prerequisites, and outstanding courses. Transcripts can also lead to transfer credit.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degree?

Career Outlook for Accountants and Auditors

Median Annual Salary (May 2023)
$79,880

Career Growth (2022-2032)
+4%

Graduates with bachelor's degrees in accounting can expect a decent job outlook. The BLS projects 4% growth for accountants and auditors between 2022 and 2032, roughly on par with the rate for all occupations.

Like many of the most popular college majors, accounting offers great career flexibility. In addition to accounting positions, graduates can pursue various business and finance careers. Possible industries include business management and government.

Financially, accounting graduates often perform well. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $79,880 in May 2023. The highest 10% of earners in the field made more than $137,280.

Career Paths

Management analysts identify ways to make organizations more efficient, competitive, and profitable. They often specialize in a specific area or industry, where their expert knowledge makes them invaluable consultants.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $99,410 Learn More

Financial managers work to keep institutions and organizations financially honest. They conduct reviews and inspections to ensure compliance with financial laws, consumer regulations, and industry standards.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $84,300 Learn More

Financial managers supervise the financial activities of an organization, looking for ways to improve financial health and meet goals. They may manage budgeting, planning, and legal requirements. They also use financial information to make decisions, manage risk, and seek future opportunities.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $156,100 Learn More

Budget analysts work with organizations to develop and review budgets. They may help consolidate, check for compliance issues, optimize spending, and analyze proposals. They also break down funding requests, provide budget forecasts, and offer alternatives or adjustments.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $84,940 Learn More

Financial analysts help people and organizations improve their financial decisions. They may look at investment opportunities, study spending habits, review performance indicators, or evaluate financial statements to gather information. They then present reports and plans for the future, along with risk assessments and financial strategies.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $99,890 Learn More

These professionals specialize in estimating the costs of projects, including labor, materials, and time. They often work in specific industries and collaborate with engineers and manufacturing managers to create the most accurate estimates.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $74,740 Learn More

Tax examiners review tax returns and perform audits to determine the amount of taxes owed by individuals and organizations. They ensure tax returns follow the law and regulations, investigating any issues they identify.

Source: BLS
Median Salary (2023): $58,530 Learn More

Common Questions About Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

What is the best degree to get for accounting?

A bachelor's degree in accounting is a great way to enter the field and start your career. Getting additional licenses (including CPA, CFA, and CFP licensure) can increase your earning potential and work opportunities along the way. A master's degree in accounting can prepare you for leadership and management positions.

An accounting major requires several upper-level math courses, which some students may find difficult. However, if you have met the admission requirements, you manage your time well, and you employ your best study skills, you can succeed in this major.

The difficulty of each major varies based on personal preferences and strengths. Both accounting and finance require a solid foundation in mathematics and analytical thinking. Accounting, however, may be perceived as more rule-based and technical, while finance can involve a deeper understanding of economic concepts and a broader view of financial markets.

While accounting degrees can be expensive -- up to $34,000 a year in tuition and fees -- accounting majors may earn competitive salaries that justify the cost. Financial risk specialists, for example, earn over $100,000 a year and enjoy a high level of job security.


Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed Jan. 18, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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