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 17% by 2031, which is much faster than average. Financial managers help companies and individuals plan, direct, and coordinate their investments.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online accounting degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online accounting programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 50 Online Accounting Degree Programs

Best Accounting Degree Programs 2023
Best Student Support Services
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Best Undergraduate Program
Franklin University
Best Graduate Program
Brenau University
Best Doctorate Program
Liberty University
Most Flexible Start Terms
Utica University
Best Degree Concentrations
Ottawa University
Best Certificate Program
Penn State World Campus
Most Affordable
Southern New Hampshire University
Best Accelerated Program
Maryville University
Best for Transfer Students
Touro University Worldwide

Western Governors University

University of Mary

UAB Collat School of Business

Colorado State University Global

University of Minnesota at Crookston

Davenport University

Central Methodist University

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.