Why This Matters


    Globalization, paired with complex regulatory and tax systems, is expected to keep accountants’ demand consistent, with a growth of 4% over the next ten years.


    Workers whose jobs consist of accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services earn, on average, $71,390, which is $31,580 more than the average for all other occupations.


    Demand for accountants means there’s a good chance to find an entry-level position in the field. Accountants work for both the public and private sectors.

Our Research

An accounting degree is earned as part of a bachelor’s program. Our list covers degree programs that award a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, or Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. We cover programs that offer online, in-person, and combined learning experiences.

Degree programs that have a high academic standard received accreditation from local and national accreditors. The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) are two of the primary accrediting bodies for accounting degree programs. Other programs on our list have received local accreditation for their bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate studies.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 74 hours to write this article
  • 206 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 332 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Accounting Degree Programs

The Best Accounting Degree Programs

What You Should Know About This Degree

When considering a degree in accounting, you might also look into earning a finance degree. Finance deals with the movement of money, whereas accounting handles the tracking of money. Both programs include coursework in accounting, economics, and statistics. If you’re interested in budgeting and long-term financial planning, you should consider a degree in finance. If you want to be a certified public accountant, it will be helpful to study accounting because of the additional preparation it gives you for the CPA exam.

Every accountant who files a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission must hold a CPA certification. The certification process includes passing a national exam and meeting state requirements. All states use the CPA exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The certified management accountant designation is awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants and requires passing an exam and pursuing continuing education coursework.

There’s upward mobility in accounting, and entry-level accountants can advance to senior positions. Some high-profile employers prefer that their accountants have a master’s degree in accounting or business administration as well.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching accounting programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most accounting degree programs require students to have at least a high school diploma or GED. You must also show proficiency in mathematics, and previous coursework in statistics and business can provide an advantage.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? An online accounting degree includes 120 credits and takes about four years to complete. Associate degree programs take one to two years to complete and cover basic accounting, taxation, and financial analysis. Although you’ll have the skills for some entry-level accounting positions, you won’t be able to pursue graduate studies with this degree.

While researching programs, be sure to keep track of application deadlines and any additional items that need to be sent along to show your qualifications. Information about deadlines and required documents can be found in the admissions area of the school’s website.

It’s important to consider your accounting degree’s cost and submit any applications for financial aid on time. If you’re looking for financial support, examine other funding opportunities such as scholarships and grants.