Why This Matters


    In 2018 alone, 80% of taxpayers made a mistake that negatively impacted their ability to receive a refund, demonstrating the value of accountants.


    The employment rate for accountants is projected to be 4%, which means there will be over 60,000 new jobs available by 2029.

  • EARN $73,560 ANNUALLY

    The average salary for an accountant is just under $74,000, but those with a doctorate in the field are likely to make more. The top 10% of accountants earn around $128,680.

Our Research

This list focuses on the best doctorate in accounting programs. Some programs also offer specializations in topics such as management, marketing, and information systems. We narrowed our focus to programs that are available online.

Many of the programs reviewed are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, which verifies that an accountant has developed the necessary business and research skills to succeed in an advanced position. We also included programs validated by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities. This accreditation ensures the quality of a program and is recognized on a global scale.

  • 62 hours to write this article
  • 28 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 38 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Doctorate in Accounting Programs

Best Online Doctorate in Accounting Programs Badge
Intelligent Pick
Capella University
Best Hybrid Program
George Fox University
Best for Transfers
Liberty University
Best for Working Professionals
Northcentral University
Most Affordable
Atlantic International University

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What You Should Know About This Degree

While the terms “accounting” and “finance” are often used interchangeably, the degrees differ in key ways. Finance is a broad field that examines how companies and individuals invest and earn money. Accounting is more specific, narrowing the field down to budgeting, planning, and preparing financial statements.

Potential students should look out for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities, which is recognized worldwide. Another valuable accreditation comes from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, which is recognized nationally.

The employment rate for accountants is expected to grow 4% between 2019 and 2029. This translates to a need for 61,700 more accountants within the next decade.

One of the most important factors employers consider is whether or not a candidate is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To qualify for the exam, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least 150 credit hours of coursework.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online doctorate in accounting programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most doctorate in accounting programs will require applicants to have a master’s in accounting, although some will accept students with relevant majors. Many programs also expect students to have certain grade point averages (GPAs) or to have completed a specific number of professional work hours. Check the program’s admission requirements before applying.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? To receive a doctorate, students need to earn 90 to 120 credits. This typically takes at least four years, but online students with other commitments may take up to seven years to earn their degree.

While researching programs, you should carefully monitor application deadlines and required materials for each program. This information is usually listed on the school’s website.

Another important factor to consider is cost. Make sure to review your financial aid options and submit applications on time.

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