Why This Matters

  • ACCOUNTANTS WILL EXPERIENCE 4% GROWTH IN THE NEXT DECADE

    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.

  • THE AVERAGE ACCOUNTANT SALARY IS $30,000 MORE THAN OTHER OCCUPATIONS

    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.

  • THERE WILL BE 1,497,900 ACCOUNTANTS IN THE UNITED STATES BY 2029

    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 10 Best Accounting Degree Programs

Georgia Southern University

Intelligent Pick

Georgia Southern University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program prepares undergraduates for accounting careers through a variety of hands-on opportunities. In addition to the regular Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, Georgia Southern also offers honors in accounting to those who have been admitted to the honors college, and gives you the option to enroll in the Accelerated Bachelors to Masters Program, where you earn both a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Accounting on an accelerated timeline. As part of your program, you will enroll in internships during the summer and possibly during the school year as well. Accounting students have recently secured internships at companies that include Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and KPMG.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Statesboro, GA
  • Cost per credit: $182.13 (in-state); $642.73 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 124
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $10,136 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 50%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 912-478-2228

Learn more 

Morehead State University

Best Student Organizations

Morehead State University’s (MSU) Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program is divided into prebusiness and business components. Prebusiness majors are admitted to the program after completing the prebusiness core course sequence and maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25 for all courses completed at and transferred to MSU. This gives you the opportunity to form a solid foundation of general education before advancing to higher-level business courses in your junior and senior years. MSU’s Career Services supports you in career planning, interview and resume preparation assistance, internship placement, and services to help you find a job after you graduate. Meanwhile, MSU’s campus abounds with student organizations to help you get involved outside the classroom, offering more than 100 groups to choose from.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Morehead, KY
  • Cost per credit: $4,541 per semester (in-state); $6,863 per semester (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $9,820 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 48%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 606-783-2090

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Georgia Southwestern State University

Best Bachelor’s Degree Program

Georgia Southwestern State University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program contains an even balance of general education requirements (60 credits) and accounting credits (60). This means you can couple a strong liberal arts foundation with specialized accounting knowledge and skills. In addition to the business core course requirements and accounting major requirements, you have 12 credits reserved for elective courses, which gives you room to customize your degree to your particular interests and goals. The curriculum emphasizes the kind of problem-solving skills that will translate to a career in the real world. The small campus community means you can really get to know your peers and professors.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Americus, GA
  • Cost per credit: $169.33 (in-state); $616.07 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $15,088 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 44%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 229-931-2090

Learn more

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Best for CMA Exam Prep

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program has earned many distinctions. This accounting major requires 51 credits, which are divided between core business courses and core accounting courses, such as Principles of Management, Individual Tax Preparations, and Auditing Theory and Practice. The curriculum includes not only the Woods core general education requirements but also a generous 30 credits dedicated to elective courses. This flexibility allows you to pursue an optional concentration in Entrepreneurship or Professional Preparation, or to pursue a minor in another field. The accounting major prepares you for certification exams such as Certified Management Accountant, Certified Financial Management, and Certified Internal Auditor. If you intend to take the Certified Public Accountant exam, you will need to complete some additional requirements.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
  • Cost per credit: $496
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $11,240 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 43%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 812-535-5112

Learn more

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Best for CIA Exam Prep

Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting program offers small class sizes and career-focused courses. Within the accounting major, you can choose a concentration in industry or internal audit and forensic accounting. Courses in the industry concentration include Cost Accounting, Federal Taxes, and Comparative Accounting Systems, whereas courses in the internal audit and forensic accounting concentration include Cost Accounting, Forensic Accounting and Fraud, and Certified Internal Audit Overview. The latter concentration prepares you to take the Certified Internal Auditor exam. Clarion’s accounting department has a high placement rate for accounting internships and careers. You can also connect with peers outside the classroom through the student-run accounting club, which hosts monthly meetings, a yearly student leadership retreat, an annual networking banquet, access to scholarships, and field trips to premier accounting firms.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Clarion, PA
  • Cost per credit: $322 (in-state); $482 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: ​​$12,930 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 49%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 814-393-2600

Learn more

University of Michigan's Ross School of Business

Most Rigorous Curriculum

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business’s Master of Accounting program is the #1 midsized program of its kind in the country, according to the 2019 Public Accounting Report. The program combines a rigorous core curriculum with leadership development opportunities and interdisciplinary electives to give you a well-rounded education tailored to your unique goals. This intensive eight-month degree program prepares you to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam and enables you to take crossover Master of Business Administration courses on topics like data analytics. Ross’s accounting program graduates have some of the highest Certified Public Accountant exam pass rates in the country and are recruited by all major accounting firms. The program begins with a unique program kickoff in Washington, D.C., where students attend the EY Accounting and Public Policy Symposium.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Cost per credit: $50,080 per academic year (in-state); $55,080 per academic year (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $9,100 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 92%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 734-615-5695

Learn more

New York University Stern School of Business

Best for IT Industry

New York University Stern School of Business’s Bachelor of Science in Business program is consistently ranked among the top 10 of the most highly regarded undergraduate programs in the U.S. The department has received feedback from students, recruiters, and alumni that there is a need for graduates who major or double major in accounting and closely related fields such as finance and information systems. For this reason, New York University developed numerous pathways to enable you to combine the study of accounting with the study of fields like finance and IT to make you as marketable as possible when applying for jobs. Graduates of the program are routinely hired by the Big Four accounting firms. In addition to a rigorous, well-regarded accounting curriculum, you have the chance to join cocurricular student groups like the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi.

Things to consider:

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Cost per credit: $58,144 for two semesters
  • Credits required to graduate: 128
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $19,244 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 85%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 212-998-0010

Learn more 

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Best Ivy League Program

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania’s (UPenn) Bachelor of Science in Accounting program, offers a world-class undergraduate education with a concentration in accounting. As a Wharton student, you will build a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, economics, finance, humanities, and behavioral and natural science courses and then specialize in accounting by taking the following classes: Accounting and Financial Reporting, Strategic Cost Analysis, and Financial Measurement and Disclosure, as well as three higher-level accounting courses. Wharton is one of the top business schools in the world, and UPenn is an Ivy League institution, so your degree is highly regarded on the job market. One of Wharton’s differentiating factors is that your degree is about more than business; you take a third of your courses outside of Wharton, in UPenn’s other undergraduate schools and programs. This makes for a well-rounded, multifaceted education.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Cost per credit: $76,000 per academic year
  • Credits required to graduate: 37
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $17,300 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 96%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 215-898-7772

Learn more

University of Southern California Marshall

Best Corporate Partnerships

University of Southern California (USC) Marshall’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program is #7 in the nation and boasts an extensive alumni network across the globe. Due to USC’s location in Los Angeles, California, you have easy access to some of the biggest accounting firms in the world, including the Big Four: EY, Deloitte, KPMG, and PWC. The Leventhal School of Accounting has four vibrant student organizations: Accounting Society, Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting, Beta Alpha Psi, and Student Honor Council. These allow you to take your learning beyond the classroom and network with peers. More formal networking takes place at Meet the Firms, a recruiting event held every semester where members of Big Four and midsized firms, most of whom are USC alumni, come to campus to talk to accounting students about career opportunities and experiences.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost per credit: $30,223 per semester
  • Credits required to graduate: 128
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $16,730 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 92%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 213-740-4838

Learn more

University of Notre Dame

Best Master’s Program

University of Notre Dame’s Master of Science in Accountancy program is one of the top four Master of Science in Accountancy and Master of Accounting programs in the nation, according to the Public Accounting Report. This means the program is of high quality and is well-respected on the job market. The 10-month, full-time, on-campus program begins annually in mid-August. You have the option to differentiate your degree by adding a STEM-designated concentration in data analytics to your studies, keeping you at the forefront of professional industry trends. To further customize your degree, you can choose to pursue either the assurance and advisory services track or the tax services track and tailor your curriculum with a generous number of elective courses. You can even gain global experience by traveling to South Africa, Asia, or South America during your studies.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Notre Dame, IN
  • Cost per credit: $44,900 per academic year
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $16,304 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 96%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 574-631-8488

Learn more

Other Accounting Degree Programs to Consider

The Best Accounting Degree Programs
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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.