Why This Matters


    Increasingly complex taxes and regulations, the creation of new investment opportunities, and an aging population that needs to plan for retirement are just some of the factors raising the demand for individuals with degrees and experience in accounting.


    A bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting does more than train you to be an accountant. With this degree, you can apply for a number of other jobs including budget analyst, loan officer, auditor, financial examiner, and financial analyst.


    Projected job growth for financial managers, a position that typically requires a master’s degree, is 19% by 2026, which is much faster than average. Financial managers help companies and individuals plan, direct, and coordinate their investments.

Our Research

On this list, we included both bachelor’s and master’s-level programs. All programs are offered fully online.

As an undergraduate, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), a specialized, technical degree; a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), which offers a general overview of business practices; or a Bachelor of Arts (BA), which includes the most Liberal Arts coursework.

At the master’s level, you can choose a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Science (MS), or a Master of Accounting (MAcc). As with undergraduate programs, the main difference is the level of depth versus breadth in exploring the subject matter.

Regardless of degree title, all of these programs will help you enter or advance in the accounting field. We evaluated each program’s reputation, course strength, and cost. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 60+ hours to write this article
  • 269 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 348 education programs we compared

The Top 60 Online Accounting Degree Programs

Best Online Accounting Degree Programs

What You Should Know About This Degree

If you want to pursue an accounting career but don’t already have an undergraduate degree, a bachelor’s is the logical place to start. Some programs even offer a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program, if you’re planning to pursue an advanced degree.

However, if you have a bachelor’s, even if it’s not in accounting, you should consider a master’s degree. They take less time to complete and will make you eligible for higher-paying jobs faster, but they cover the accounting skills you need to know. Be sure to check with your program of interest if they have any prerequisites, especially for students who don’t have a bachelor’s in accounting.

You should also consider whether a degree in accounting, or a related field like finance, is more suited to your ultimate career goals, as there are key differences between the fields.

Professional certifications and/or licenses, like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), are typically required to work in accounting. To become certified or licensed, you must complete a certain number of accounting coursework credit hours, have professional experience, and pass an exam. Factor the additional time and cost of certification/licensure when deciding if accounting is the right career for you.

What’s Next?

When selecting an online accounting degree, consider the following:

  • What type of degree do I want? Consider if you want a more specialized degree, like a BSBA in Accounting or MAcc, or a general degree with an accounting focus, like a BBA or MBA. Deciding which degree is best for you will help you narrow down your program choices.
  • Does this program have any prerequisites? If you are pursuing your master’s degree, make sure that you have the prerequisite coursework completed. Prerequisites vary by program, but many require students to have some prior coursework in accounting or general business.

Once you’ve found the programs that interest you, research their application processes and requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Financing your education is another important consideration. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.