The field of accounting touches all aspects of business and management. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, accounting salaries exceeded the average salaries for positions in business in 2015. There has never been a better time to explore the professional possibilities afforded by an online graduate accounting certificate.

Requiring less than a year to complete, graduate certificate accounting online programs provide an advanced, focused background in accounting without the long-term commitment of a degree. The online format allows students the flexibility to quickly apply learned skills to their career goals. Below, we'll discuss the educational and professional opportunities available to graduate certificate accounting online students.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 96%

One of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers distance learners the chance to earn a graduate certificate in accounting online from an Ivy League research institution. The Harvard Extension School program teaches students how to analyze, compile, and prepare financial information for businesses and other organizations of all kinds. Graduates gain a foundational understanding of accounting and practical skills useful in many professions and industries.

Most distance learners take roughly 1.5 years to finish the accounting certificate, but Harvard allows up to three years. The program requires completion of four courses with a grade of 'B' or higher. Students must take either financial accounting principles or financial accounting and can choose any three accounting electives. Elective accounting classes include nonprofit and governmental accounting, concepts of income taxation, and financial statement analysis.

The curriculum covers issues like cost behavior, budgeting, cost terminology, and variance analysis. Students can apply some courses taken for the graduate accounting certificate toward Harvard's master's programs in finance or management. They learn to communicate financial information to shareholders, employees and lenders and evaluate financial performance in different organizations.

Students pursuing a graduate certificate in accounting from Harvard pay a flat fee for each course. Harvard does not charge out-of-state tuition. Learners pursuing certificates do not qualify for federal financial aid. Certificate students receive access to resources and support including academic advising, library access, and alumni association membership. Distance learners can also use Harvard's writing center, math question center, and computer labs.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $11,000
Credit Requirements: 4 courses
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (617) 495-4024
Email: inquiry@extension.harvard.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

San Francisco, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

Distance learners can pursue two different graduate accounting certificates from Golden Gate University-San Francisco: one in financial accounting and reporting and the other in forensic accounting. GGU offers more than 60 academic programs online. Students can pursue both accounting certificates as hybrid or fully online programs. They must earn a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA and a grade of 'C-' or higher in each class.

Catering to accountants and attorneys working in the forensic accounting field, the graduate certificate in forensic accounting online program gives students technical knowledge necessary for the certified in financial forensics credential. Learners can also use forensic accounting courses as credit for continuing professional education. The 15-credit certificate includes nine required credits and six elective credits. Students take classes like fraud auditing, role of the expert and the expert report, and damages.

The financial accounting and reporting graduate certificate also requires 15 credits. Students who complete the certificate qualify to sit for the certified public accountant exam. Required courses make up the entire 15-credit certificate, including federal taxation, intermediate accounting I and II, and auditing.

Admission requirements for both certificates may include completing prerequisite courses. GGU certificate programs do not accept transfer credit. Students may apply credits earned for the accounting certificates to some master's programs at GGU. The university's open enrollment program allows applicants to begin taking up to nine graduate credits prior to admission. Prospective nonnative English speaking students must meet GGU's English language proficiency requirements.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting; Graduate Certificate in Financial Accounting and Reporting
Tuition: $1,050/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 448-4968
Email: info@ggu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of California-Irvine

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

The University of California-Irvine's graduate certificate in accounting online program takes 12-24 months to complete. The program meets the California Board of Accountancy's educational requirements for accounting subjects. Certificate holders qualify to sit for the uniform certified public accountant examination. Students learn fundamental accounting principles and practices necessary to prepare, analyze, and verify financial documents.

UCI's certificate program in applied accounting requires ten courses (45 quarter units). Students must earn a grade of 'C' or better in each class. Required courses include intermediate accounting theory and practice, corporate federal income taxation, and accounting information system. The program offers one optional course: ethics in accounting. Graduates solve complex accounting problems and hold a set of comprehensive accounting competencies.

Learners who hold a bachelor's that includes accounting coursework may qualify for waiver of up to three required courses. They must submit a "petition to transfer" form and copies of transcripts to receive the waiver. Applied accounting candidates must complete the certificate within five years of starting the program. To become an official candidate in the applied accounting program, students must submit a declaration of candidacy no later than after completing their third course.

UIC created its program for professionals considering the CPA exam, college graduates who need accounting subject educational requirements to take the CPA exam, and other professionals who want to expand their accounting knowledge. Nonnative English-speaking applicants must demonstrate English proficiency as part of UIC's application process.


Program Overview
Program Name: Certificate Program in Applied Accounting
Tuition: $9,175
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (949) 824-4661
Email: FinancePrograms@uci.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Learners interested in online graduate accounting certificate programs can earn a graduate certificate in accounting fundamentals from the School of Business at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. The fully online, primarily asynchronous program includes some synchronous activities that require learners to log on to class at specific times. These include required class project group meetings or exams that students must complete within a specific window of time.

The 12-credit program takes two semesters, or less than one year, to complete. Students take four courses: financial reporting I and II, assurance services, and federal income tax. UConn invites prospective students like non accounting majors who work in accounting, full-time professionals who need to complete prerequisite courses to apply to a master's in accounting program, and individuals from other fields who want to work in professional accounting roles.

Students can earn UConn's advanced certificate in business analytics at the same time they earn the accounting fundamentals certificate. Certificate graduates can also apply for UConn's master of science in accountancy program if they earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in the accounting fundamentals courses. Six certificate credits can be transferred to the master's degree.

Applicants must submit GMAT scores, transcripts from previously attended colleges, one letter of recommendation, a current resume, and answers to four short essay questions. Some prospective students receive GMAT waivers. The program typically admits learners for the fall semester. Before beginning the accounting fundamentals graduate certificate, students must complete two prerequisite courses: introduction to managerial accounting and introductory financial accounting.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals
Tuition: $850/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact
Phone: (860) 486-0334
Email: erika.durning@uconn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

City University of Seattle

Seattle, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

The City University of Seattle offers flexible, accessible undergraduate and graduate programs in areas like business and management, professional leadership, and computer and information systems. The graduate certificate in accounting online program caters to working adults and prepares students to take the uniform certified public accounting (CPA) exam. The Washington State Board of Accountancy recognizes all CPA review accounting certificate courses for credit.

The 15-credit accounting certificate requires courses such as CPA review: financial accounting and reporting, managerial accounting, and CPA review: business environment and concepts. The curriculum also explores issues like financial accounting and reporting, regulation, and auditing standards.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's in accounting to qualify for admission to CityU's accounting program. They must submit an online application, transcripts from all previously attended colleges, and proof of English proficiency, if necessary. International students must meet additional admission criteria. Students in the accounting certificate program do not qualify for financial aid.

Student services for distance learners at CityU include a career center, counseling center, and student clubs. CityU's library offers full-text journal articles, e-books, online databases, and librarian assistance with research projects. The university's student portal system connects learners with learning management system support, announcements, program information, and scholarship forms.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities provides regional accreditation to CityU. Although based in Seattle, Washington, the university also offers programs in China, Canada, Switzerland, Vietnam, and Mexico. 40-year-old corporate partnerships program connects students with professional learning opportunities at companies like Boeing, U.S. Bank, and the Seattle Latin American Chamber of Commerce.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $698/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2-4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 422-4898
Email: info@cityu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of St. Francis

Joliet, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Distance learners can earn a flexible, affordable graduate certificate in accounting online from USF. A Catholic, liberal arts university located in Joliet, Illinois, USF emphasizes academic excellence, justice, and compassion. The Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate started USF in 1920. The university holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

USF's accounting graduate certificate explores issues like variance analysis, fraud examinations, and responsibility accounting. Graduates can analyze, compile, and prepare financial information for organizations and use their advanced accounting skills in high-level positions across industries.

The 12-credit program requires four courses: international accounting and reporting, financial statement analysis, taxes II, and fraud examination. Students must earn a grade of 'B' or higher in each course and complete the certificate within three years. Learners can apply all courses from the certificate program to a USF master's degree.

Online courses feature the same syllabus, coursework, and books as on-campus courses. USF does not require distance learners to log on for set class times. Instead, students can complete coursework anytime it suits their schedules. Instructors and learners communicate via discussion boards, email, and chat.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a subject like business, business administration, accounting, or management and submit official transcripts. Admitted students can register for classes in spring, fall, or summer. The program's affordable tuition includes a flat rate per course, and USF does not charge out-of-state tuition.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (815) 740-5026
Email: ssloka@stfrancis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Auburn University

Auburn, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

The graduate certificate in accounting online program from the Harbert College of Business at AU takes students roughly 18 months or three semesters to complete. Students who work full time can take a maximum of two courses per semester. AU's accounting programs hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The flexible, online graduate certificate in accountancy helps students expand and update their accounting skills and knowledge. The program includes courses required to sit for the certified public accountant exam and certification. Distance courses include lectures recorded on campus, streamed for live viewing, or available for download later. Online discussion boards supplement the lectures and encourage student interaction with classmates and instructions.

In the last semester of the certificate program, high-performing students can apply to AU's master of accountancy program. AU gives learners credit for their certificate courses, so they only need to complete four additional classes to receive the master's degree.

The graduate accountancy certificate program does not require applicants to take the GMAT or meet a specific minimum GPA. The competitive program reviews each candidate's application using a holistic approach that considers academic and professional experience. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all prior universities, and a completed application with fee.

A public land-grant research university located in Auburn, Alabama, AU enrolls more than 30,000 students. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accountancy
Tuition: $875/credit
Credit Requirements: 18 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (334) 844-6207
Email: andee.hodo@auburn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

A public land-grant research university founded in 1867, WVU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The WVU system enrolls more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 U.S. states and 118 nations.

WVU's College of Business and Economics offers a 12-credit graduate certificate in forensic accounting online program. Students take four courses: fraud investigation, data analysis, fraud criminology, and advanced fraud investigation. The program requires two case investigations and two investigative engagements that students present and defend to practicing fraud and forensic accounting professionals.

The primarily online program requires two 2-day on-campus residences at WVU's Morgantown campus. These in-person sessions typically occur on Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday. Students meet classmates and experts in forensic accounting and fraud industries during the required on-campus class meetings, expanding their professional networks.

The graduate certificate in forensic accounting and fraud examination trains students to fight white collar crime, fraud, and the illegal international transfer of money. The Department of Accounting holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Online students pay the same flat fee per course, regardless of where they live.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. They also need a minimum 2.9 GPA and a GMAT score of at least 500. The program waives the GMAT for prospective students who hold a law degree or have been accepted to law school, a certified public accountant credential, or two years or professional experience in anti-fraud or fraud-related auditing work.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
Tuition: $1,023/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.9 minimum
Standardized Tests: GMAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 253-2762
Email: wvuonline@mail.wvu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Concordia University-Wisconsin

Mequon, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Distance learners can pursue a flexible, faith-based graduate certificate in accounting online from the Department of Business at Concordia University. A Lutheran university, Concordia integrates faith and learning and prepares students to pursue careers that serve Christ. Students choose from dozens of online programs at Concordia, which holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Students seeking careers as certified public accountants complete the 15-credit certificate and explore topics like advanced auditing, systems management, and global productions and operations. The program's five courses fulfill the required credits for the national CPA exam, and graduates qualify to sit for the exam.

Students can tailor the self-paced certificate to their own interests and career goals, choosing five required classes from a selection of ten. Available courses include systems analysis and design, mergers and acquisitions, and fraud management. Practitioner faculty members with real-world expertise teach in Concordia's graduate accounting certificate program.

The university supports distance learners in the accounting graduate certificate program by offering each individual their own online student success adviser, a go-to person for everything related to online learning. Students also receive access to online tutoring, a writing center, and career help. Concordia boasts more than a dozen full-time staff members who work exclusively to support distance learners.

Applicants to Concordia's accounting graduate certificate program must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a one-page essay that explains their reason for pursuing the certificate.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $719/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (262) 243-5700
Email: admissions@cuw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

The CPA training certification at the University of Arizona prides itself on fast-tracking students into the accounting profession. The university's accounting online graduate certificate prepares students to sit for CPA certification or complete the prerequisites necessary for an accounting master's program.

Students at the University of Arizona participate in 9-18 credits of coursework relevant to accounting, including advanced accounting principals on the methodologies underpinning financial statements and legal due process, IT auditing of systems development and control, and managerial accounting in healthcare for students who want to enter the healthcare industry. Learners with prior experience in accounting, business, or related fields can finish this certification in as little as five months.

Regardless of degree background, all students should enter with the following prerequisites: two introductory courses on financial accounting and managerial accounting (both may take place at a community college), plus two terms of intermediate financial accounting and one course on federal taxation (all must take place at the University of Arizona or another pre-approved school). All classes at the University of Arizona cost a flat $1,000 per course credit.

The university accepts application submissions on a rolling basis, with six start dates each year. The school does not require most applicants to submit test scores, but international students must demonstrate English competency with TOEFL or IELTS scores.

In addition to the accounting certificate, University of Arizona students can pursue related certificates in business intelligence and analytics and enterprise security. They may also translate their certificate coursework to a master of science in accounting program.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $1,000/credit
Credit Requirements: 9-18 credits
Program Length: 5-12 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (520) 621-4455
Email: GradAcctPrograms@email.arizona.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of Michigan-Flint

Flint, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

The University of Michigan campus in Flint, Michigan operates a hybrid graduate certificate in accounting online, which works around certificate students' busy work and life schedules. Learners can access 60% of their coursework online, but they must complete 40% of each course on-campus during two campus visits each term. These weekend meetings increase student interactions through group discussions, debates, and collaborative presentations.

Learners can complete this 12-credit certificate in four courses, totaling eight campus visits. Participants can complete this certification in approximately one year.

Courses address subjects including financial reporting, federal income taxation, forensic accounting, contemporary accounting systems, auditing and assurance services, and financial statement analysis. Tuition rates vary depending on state residency: in-state tuition costs $741 per credit, and out-of-state costs $924.

Applying for the graduate certificate program requires no GMAT scores. The University of Michigan's School of Management requires a $55 nonrefundable application fee, plus a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose explaining applicants' professional aspirations. Candidates must possess an MBA or equivalent post-secondary education to apply.

The university accepts applications four times per year. Fall semester applicants should submit by August 1st, winter students by November 15th, spring starters by March 15th, and summer enrollees by May 15th. This program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $741/credit in-state; $924/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (810) 762-3171
Email: graduate@umflint.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Pennsylvania State University's World Campus is an online educational forum, bringing students together from around the world. The university offers its graduate certificate in accounting online through the business administration department. The 12-credit certificate includes one required course on auditing theory and practice and three electives.

Students may tailor their degree to fit their personal and professional interests, like business tax planning, strategic cost management, financial statement analysis, or governmental and nonprofit accounting. Classes cost $930 per credit regardless of residency, with supplemental financial assistance for military servicemen, veterans, and families.

This AACSB-accredited program exclusively serves students with prior accounting experience. Applicants should hold a bachelor's in accounting or a related field, since the degree builds upon students' knowledge of accounting theories and practices. Applicants without a formal accounting degree should complete the following prerequisites: principles of accounting (two courses), federal taxation, cost accounting, intermediate financial accounting (two courses), and auditing.

Penn State University's world campus accepts applications three times per year: July 15th for fall students, November 15th for spring, and March 15th for summer.

Through the Canvas platform, students access the program's predominantly asynchronous coursework. The only scheduled dates revolve around quizzes, exams, and occasional group discussions. Learners can complete the certificate in as little as one year. Students enjoy access to academic advisors, career counseling, and tutorials.

Since CPA exam requirements vary by state, make sure to check your state's regulations at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $930/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (814) 865-5403
Email: pennstateonline@psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 28%

Southern New Hampshire University's online graduate certificate in accounting qualify towards the 150 training hours required for the CPA exam. This certification provides 21 credits in financial reporting, auditing, and federal taxation. These classes cover the various concepts, procedures, and practices underpinning ethical accounting. Students engage with asset and liability claims, pensions and consolidations, and questions of income taxation to compete effectively on the job market.

Southern New Hampshire's graduate classes take place in five, 10-week terms over the academic year, allowing participants to complete the program in just one year.

At Southern New Hampshire University, courses cost $627 per credit for regular graduate enrollees and $470 per credit for active military service members, veterans, and their families. Program applicants are not required to submit general test scores, but they must provide official transcripts from previous programs.

Strong graduate applicants demonstrate a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA, though students with as low as a 2.0 GPA may apply for provisional acceptance and transfer into regular enrollment pending a strong first-term performance in the accounting program. The application incurs a nonrefundable $40 fee. Southern New Hampshire University accepts transfer credits and professional experience credit on a case-by-case basis.

Southern New Hampshire University online students enjoy access to several online resources, including an online writing center, tutoring services, and career services. The school's online wellness center increases awareness of mental and emotional health, linking to health services to promote positive lifestyles.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 21 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 327-7648
Email: enroll@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Champlain College

Burlington, VT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Champlain College is a private, nonprofit institution based in Burlington, Vermont. The online graduate certificate in accounting at Champlain approaches modern financial reporting from an international perspective. This prepares participants to contribute to the growing multinational marketplace. Champlain holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

The online certificate requires four courses, totaling 12 credits. Classes include business analysis using financial statements, which trains students to diagnose financial reports and forecast probabilities. In risk and performance measurement, they study financial strategies, including controls, critical success factors, and performance metrics.

International dimensions of accounting takes learners' education to the global level, informing them on international financial reporting standards and cultural influences in world economics. Finally, advanced accounting information systems focuses on the advanced business technologies integral to professional CPA careers. All courses fit within eight-week terms, allowing students to complete the certification in one year.

Applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. The university makes exceptions for some students with lower GPAs, depending on their demonstrable dedication to the program and professional aspirations. As a school dedicated to adult education, this program expects all applicants to hold at least two years of post-college professional experience.

At $795 per course credit, Champlain College offers a more competitively priced private education. The school does not accept transfer credits for certificate programs.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $795/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (888) 545-3459
Email: champlainonline@champlain.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Brescia University

Owensboro, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Another program designed to qualify participants for the CPA exam, Brescia University's graduate certificate in accounting online serves students without a bachelor's degree in accounting. The 48-credit program spans two courses on the principles of accounting, two on intermediate accounting, and other classes on financial and management concepts, business law and statistics, and federal taxation and auditing.

Participants often complete this certification in two to three years, and classes cost $425 per credit. For students unsure about embarking on an online program, Brescia offers an orientation demo to familiarize learners with the online format.

Brescia classe can accommodate a full-time work schedule and family commitments, following an asynchronous format using the Moodle platform. Participants can contact professors and classmates on class discussion boards, and meet for pre-scheduled Skype conversations. Most classes offer weekly discussion sessions, in which students can ask questions of professors and fellow classmates.

Learners submit all assignments, quizzes, and tests online by set due dates. Though asynchronous, these courses coincide with their on-campus counterparts over two semesters each year, plus during summer terms.

Brescia University applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. The Catholic institution based in Owensboro, Kentucky holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Brescia University participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which standardizes tuition costs across participating states.


Program Overview
Program Name: Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (270) 686-4252
Email: catherine.horn@brescia.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Davenport University

Grand Rapids, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

The forensic accounting graduate certificate online at the Michigan-based Davenport University centers around identifying and prosecuting accounting fraud. The program consists of four predetermined courses, totaling 12 credits, which include managerial accounting, forensic accounting, fraud examinations and fraud schemes, and fraud investigation and certification.

Managerial accounting explores the architectural frameworks of complex professional corporations and institutions. The forensic accounting course covers the primary white-collar crimes impacting modern business accounting today, including an introduction to criminology, profiling, and crime causation theories. The subsequent class on fraud examination builds from the criminological foundation to address investigative processes and special interview training.

The fraud investigation and certification course gets up close and personal with examples of fraudulent tax and bank documents, teaching students to identify evidence of misappropriations.

With classes in 15-, 10-, seven-, and four-week formats, learners can build their educational program around their work schedule and personal commitments. With access to Davenport University's tutoring and career services, students can hit the ground running as certified fraud examiners after finishing the certificate and sitting for the licensing exam.

Davenport University, a multi-campus university spread across Michigan, features locations in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland, and Traverse City. Courses at this private, nonprofit institution cost $841 per credit hour, with a 20% tuition discount for military service members and their dependants. Davenport University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and the Donald W. Maine College of Business is approved by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting
Tuition: $841/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 686-1600
Email: info@davenport.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

The graduate certificate in accounting online at Upper Iowa University is a streamlined, five-course program intended to help students work toward the 150-credit minimum for the certified public accountant exam. The program's four core classes cover taxation for corporations, forensic accounting, advanced managerial accounting, and advanced accounting information systems.

Students must complete one additional elective class to graduate. They have five years from the date of enrollment to complete certificate requirements.

With eight-week classes offered six times per year, Upper Iowa University students can complete this certificate in only one year. All classes are 100% online and asynchronous. The university provides multiple online resources to its distance learners, including consultations to discuss student objectives and certificate progress and a tutoring center dedicated to improving student work. Likewise, the writing center makes online appointments with students interested in discussing the quality of their course submissions.

Applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA from all previous institutions. This certificate serves students with prior post-secondary education, so all applicants should hold a graduate degree. Learners may transfer in credits on a case-by-case basis.

Upper Iowa University is a small, private, nonprofit, nondenominational institution. With a limited graduate student body, program participants enjoy increased access to dedicated instructors and resources. Tuition at Upper Iowa costs $564 per credit for regular online students, and $250 per credit for active military service members, veterans, and their families. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Upper Iowa University, and the institution is a member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.


Program Overview
Program Name: Postgraduate Certificate in Accounting
Tuition: $990/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 553-4150
Email: info@uiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

The curriculum for each online graduate accounting certificate is different, which allows students to choose the curriculum best suited to their interests and goals. Most accounting certificate programs include courses covering fundamental principles of accounting, along with specialized coursework. Here are a few courses common to most programs:

  • Intermediate Accounting: Students learn basic practice and theory of financial accounting. Coursework covers accepted practices in the industry, accounting information systems, cash controls, receivables, and related problem-solving skills.
  • Auditing: This course explores concepts and procedures involved in auditing financial statements. Students learn theories of audit evidence, legal responsibilities, professional and ethical standards, and audit planning, often examining these in the context of economic and political change.
  • Federal Taxation: This course introduces students to income taxation and related compliance issues, liabilities, planning, and reporting. The course may focus on taxation for individuals, businesses, or both and prepares students for careers in tax preparation.
  • Research and Communication: Students learn the types of research certified public accountants (CPAs) perform, how to use research databases, and basic communication practices, including proper use of grammar and punctuation. This class prepares students for specialized careers in accounting research management, which involves monitoring the quality of other accountants' work.

Due to the depth and scope of post-baccalaureate accounting programs, graduates pursue a variety of career opportunities, including advancement and specialization. Some professionals pursue certification to boost salary potential. Professionals in accounting should be detail-oriented with good analytical, organizational, and communication skills. Below are three career paths for professionals with an online graduate accounting certificate.

Accountant or Auditor

Accountants and auditors prepare and review financial records, ensure taxes are paid properly, and assess the financial operations of companies. They ensure all documents are accurate and compliant.

Median Annual Salary: $68,150
Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts assist individuals and businesses with investments. They assess investment types, economic and business trends, and other factors to evaluate the profitability of ventures. Experienced financial analysts may become portfolio or fund managers.

Median Annual Salary: $81,760
Projected Growth Rate: 12%

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors provide guidance on investments, insurance, college savings, mortgages, taxes, and retirement — although some specialize in certain areas. Most complete a year of work under supervision before pursuing self-employment.

Median Annual Salary: $90,530
Projected Growth Rate: 30%

Certificate in Accounting Salary

Salaries vary by career path, geographic location, and experience level. The following table shows the average salaries of five of the most common accounting-related positions at different career stages.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Entry-Level Salary Mid-Career Salary Late-Career Salary
Accounts Payable Clerk $37,231 $35,839 $38,081 $37,861
Bookkeeper $41,096 >$37,396 $41,205 $45,016
Office Manager $45,272 $40,872 $45,082 $50,071
Financial Accounting Manager $76,841 $68,314 $76,942 $73,848
Financial Controller $80,108 $66,209 $78,717 $85,443

Before applying to a program, verify that the school is regionally or nationally accredited. Accreditation indicates that the online graduate accounting certificate program meets high standards of quality. Before awarding accreditation, accrediting agencies evaluate curriculum development, student achievement, and faculty, academic, financial, and support services. Accreditation is not mandatory for certification programs, but many employers and educational institutions only recognize credentials awarded by accredited schools.

Regional accreditation is generally regarded as more prestigious than national accreditation. Online accounting graduate certificates may also earn specialized accreditation from accrediting bodies specific to accounting or business, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations help students and recent graduates maximize the value of their online accounting graduate certificate. Members network with accounting professionals from across the country to learn about the field, share ideas, and stay updated on business and accounting trends. Membership benefits often include networking opportunities, online job boards, career services, and continuing education programs.

Though a prestigious credential, an accounting certificate is significantly cheaper than a graduate degree. Still, many students need financial support to attend a graduate certificate accounting online program. Take advantage of employer sponsorships, private loans or scholarships, and federal funding, which may include scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study programs. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine your eligibility for federal funding.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.