From family-owned business to Fortune 500 company, every single enterprise depends on skilled accounting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial operations employment is expected to grow 8% through 2024, adding about 632,400 new jobs to the economy. Of those business openings — which include roles like financial and management analysts — accountants and auditors are predicted to fair particularly well, with 11% job growth — much faster than average, and equaling about 142,400 jobs, with a $68,150 median salary.
Depending on the level of work you’re interested in, aspiring accountants and auditors may need to pass the CPA exam to become Certified Professional Accountants. The best prep tool? A bachelor’s in accounting, which covers all aspects of private, public, and non-profit accounting, in addition business management fundamentals.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of accounting degrees, and with the advent of online education, numerous excellent online bachelor’s in accounting combine rigorous training with flexible and affordable education. If you’re interested in a career in accounting or auditing, keep reading to find the best online bachelor’s in accounting program for your needs!
1) Central Methodist University
Central Methodist University, founded in 1854, is located in Fayette, Missouri, with a total enrollment of about 5,500, and ranks 26th in the region according to US News. Though much of the school is built upon a liberal arts foundation, CMU emphasizes practical, career-driven education that prepares graduates for real-world challenges, and the university’s innovative, flexible online programs are designed to accommodate a variety of working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students. Most importantly, the 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a personalized instruction and small class sizes: over 65% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
For students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s in accounting, CMU offers a business-focused program featuring 54 major credits in classes like Fraud Examination, Cost Accounting, Information Systems, Business Law Contracts, Business Finance, Production Operations Management, Marketing, and Governmental and NFP Accounting, among others. In addition to integrated hands-on learning projects – marketing campaigns, completing tax returns, financial statement preparation, professional presentations – all students must complete a senior capstone that demonstrates mastery of material and real-world applied knowledge. Accelerated options may be available, including via transfer credits, and mixed mode delivery is offered, as well.
- Tuition Per Credit: $210
2) Colorado State University – Global Campus
Colorado State University’s Global Campus, founded in 2007, has a total enrollment of about 12,000 students. US News ranks Colorado State among the top colleges in the country for value and high school counselor rankings, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, and Consumers Digest rank CSU highly, as well. Thanks to an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the university balances a vibrant, collaborative atmosphere with personalized instruction to create a tight-knit learning community; over a third of classes have fewer than 20 students and less than 20% have 50. Financial aid is available, too: 45% of full-time undergrads receive some form of tuition assistance, and the average need met is 75%.
CSU Global’s online BS in Accounting consists of 17 three-credit core courses, including Applying Leadership Principles, Principles of Accounting, Quantitative Business Analysis, Business Law, Principles of Finance for the Private Sector, Business Taxation, Government and Nonprofit Accounting, Auditing, and Information Systems for Accounting, among others. In order to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest, over a dozen specializations are offered, from Criminal Forensics and Emergency Management, to Information Technology Operations and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Further, all students must complete both a practicum and senior capstone to gain hands-on experience in real-world settings. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate unique schedules, and self-paced options allow you to complete course work on your time. The degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs.
- Tuition Per Credit: $350
3) Southern New Hampshire University
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the worldwide leaders in distance education, with over 70,000 students enrolled in online classes and 200+ degrees that emphasize practical, professional-oriented learning. US News ranks it 1st in the country for innovation, and Fast Company, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and New Hampshire Business Review have all recognized SNHU for ed tech initiatives, as well. Top-ranked faculty have years of online teaching experience, and the 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio promotes an intimate, tight-knit community, despite the university’s size; more than of classes contain less than 20 students. For students interested in financial aid opportunities, 70% of full-time undergrads receive some form of tuition assistance.
SNHU’s online BS in Accounting consists of 9 major course requirements: Cost Accounting, Intermediate Accounting (three-part module), Federal Taxation, Financial Statement Analysis/Business Valuation, Advanced Accounting, Auditing Principles, and Business Law. In addition to the accounting core, students take business fundamentals, though students who have earned previous undergraduate credits (including through an associate’s) can transfer up to 90 credits into the program, accelerating degree completion time and qualifying for eligibility in the accelerated master’s in accounting track. All students have access to personalized academic advising, a writing center, career services, 24/7 tech support, and e-library services. This program is accredited by both NEASC and ACBSP.
- Tuition Per Credit: $320
4) Bemidji State University
Founded in 1919, Bemidji State University is a public institution in Minnesota with a total enrollment of about 5,000, including students from 38 countries around the world. Forbes, Washington Monthly, and US News each rank BSU among the best public schools in the Midwest. With a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Bemidji State ensures a tight-knit educational setting, combining personalized instruction with collaborative peer-to-peer learning. Over 40% of classes have fewer than 20 students and less than 8% have 50. Further, for students interested in financial aid, 60% of full-time undergrads receive some form of aid.
Bemidji State’s 71-credit online BS in Accounting is designed for students with an associate’s degree or transfer students who have completed general ed requirements, and can be completed in as little as 2 years. Major classes include Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Business Law, Accounting Systems, Financial Management, Auditing, Taxation, and more. Courses are built to accommodate non-traditional students, adult learners, and working professionals, and all online classes guarantee in-state tuition rates regardless of a student’s residency. Among the many available student resources include career services, tutoring, a writing center, library assistance, and personalized academic advising to develop study plans and academic goals. The program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) .
- Tuition Per Credit: $266
5) Western Governors University
Western Governors University, founded in 1996, is a global leader in distance education, with 100% online classes that emphasize flexible, self-paced learning through competency-based credit programs that offer students credit for previous life and work experience, accelerating completion time, increasing affordability, and waiving redundant course work. Fast Company, TIME, NBC, and CNN have recognized the the university’s innovation in educational technology, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded WGU $4.5 million in funding. It is a multiple winner of the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association.
Western Governors’ BS in Accounting features a 38-credit major block and covers Principles of Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Taxation, Cost and Managerial Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Auditing. With the help of a student mentor, a capstone project allows students to gain hands-on experience in a realistic setting and demonstrate mastery of material. Students will also learn how to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), ledgers, and journals to perform essential accounting tasks for business’s and individual’s financial assets and liabilities. Designed for maximum flexibility, more than 70% of students complete the degree on accelerated track in 1-3.5 years, and students average 38 transfer credits. According to a Harris Poll survey, 100% of WGU employers said graduates were prepared for their jobs, and 93% said WGU grads’ job performance as very good or excellent.
- Tuition Per Credit: $250
6) Indiana State University
Founded in 1865, Indiana State University has an enrollment of about 13,500. The Carnegie Foundation classifies it as a Doctoral/Research University, and the Princeton Review, US News, Forbes, and Washington Monthly rank it among the best schools in the Midwest. With a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio, ISU combines individualized teaching with collaborative learning opportunities to create a vibrant educational community; nearly 65% of classes at 30 students or less. Indiana State also offers excellent financial aid: 71% of full-time undergraduates receive some form of tuition assistance, and the average need met is over 75%.
ISU’s online BS in Accounting features 72 credits in business and accounting, including major classes in Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Accounting Systems, Federal Income Taxation, and Auditing Theory and Practice. To customize the curriculum, a variety of electives are available as well, like Fraud Examination, Not-for-Profit Accounting, Contemporary Issues in Cost and Managerial Accounting, Occupational Fraud, and Business Administration and the Law. Thanks to ISU’s generous transfer policy, students can transfer up to 90 credits into the program (either from an associate’s track or general education requirements), rapidly accelerating degree completion time. For those interested, ISU offers minors in forensic accounting, finance, and insurance and risk management. The program is accredited by the AACSB International.
- Tuition Per Credit: $316
7) Brescia University
Founded in 1950, Brescia University is a private Roman Catholic university in Owensboro, Kentucky, with a total enrollment of under 1,000 and a 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio to create an intimate, collaborative, and religious-oriented educational community. Ranked among the top 30 schools in the region, US News also places the school 16th for value. Over 90% of classes have fewer than 20 students, and students enjoy a uniquely personal classroom experience, with individualized instruction and peer-to-peer course work. Financial aid is another point of emphasis: 76% of full-time undergraduates receive some form of tuition assistance.
Brescia’s online BS in Accounting (33 major credits) has been recognized for both academic prestige and affordability. Core requirements include Principles of Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Advanced Accounting, Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, Federal Individual Taxation, Federal Entity Taxation, Auditing, Business Policy, and Management Information Systems, among others. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students, and the university’s generous transfer policy allows up to 67 credits from a community college and 86 from a four year college or university.
- Tuition Per Credit: $425
8) University of Minnesota Crookston
Founded in 1966, the University of Minnesota – Crookston ranks 3rd in the region among public schools according to US News. Forbes, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review highlight its academics, and Yahoo! has ranked it #1 on its Most Wired College in America” list. (In 1993, Crookston became the first college in the country to issue laptop computers to every full-time student and faculty member.) The school’s 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports small, intimate classes and a collaborative educational setting. Over 60% of classes are less 20 students and just 1% have over 50. UMC also emphasizes an experiential learning approach, and many students complete applied internships, research projects, and service learning activities.
As a widely praised program, UMC’s online BS in Accounting features 63 major credits, including classes in Accounting Systems, Cost Accounting, Auditing, Managerial Finance, Legal Environment in Business, Business Ethics, Principles of Management, and more. In addition to technical course work, students will learn analytical, theoretical, communication, and leadership skills, all of which will help advance their careers in public, private, or government accounting. Course work can be completed 100% online, and students’ curricular schedules are highly flexible. Additional benefits include one-on-one instruction opportunities, 24/7 access to course material, independent study and research availabilities, a generous transfer policy, and zero out-of-state tuition. Most important, UMC has a 93% job placement for students in their field of study within six months of graduation.
- Tuition Per Credit: $393
9) Colorado Technical University
Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University is located in Colorado Springs, with a satellite campus in Denver. Total enrollment stands at 20,000, many of which include online students, and there are over 70,000 alumni worldwide, providing graduates with an extensive professional network. With a range of undergraduate, graduate, and associate’s degrees, all CTU programs emphasize a career-oriented, practical curriculum that prepares students for real-world experience. The 28:1 student-to-faculty ratio encourages collaborative learning, and CTU’s M.U.S.E. program (My Unique Student Experience) allows students to create a tailored delivery method, including 100% online, hybrid, and blended options for maximum flexibility. The university has been rated “Best of the Best” in the Education and Academia category of the Computerworld Honors Program.
Colorado Tech’s BS in Accounting is designed to develop students’ skills in corporate accounting, taxation, governmental and not-for-profit accounting and auditing, in addition to essential business skills like communication, critical and analytical thinking, and management. Core requirements (117 quarter credits) include Auditing, Advanced Accounting, Cost Accounting, Global Managerial Economics, Organizational Behavior Principles, Business Policies and Strategies, Career Planning and Management, and Introduction to International Financial Reporting Standards, among others. All students must also complete an accounting capstone to demonstrate applied knowledge and expertise, but note that CTU offers a experiential learning credits which may waive course requirements for students with previous academic credits or life experience. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and accounting courses align with the educational standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
- Tuition Per Credit: $325
10) Walden University
Walden University, founded in 1970, developed one of the first fully online universities and now offers more than 140 degree programs – including bachelors, masters, certificates, and doctorates – with than 300 specializations and concentrations. Further, with an enrollment of over 47,000, Walden boasts a highly diverse, well-represented student body from all 50 states and more than 150 countries. The 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio balances a collaborative learning environment with personalized instruction to create a tight-kit community. For adult learners and working professionals, Walden has a number of affiliations with school districts, healthcare centers, corporations, and nonprofits, helping to reduce tuition costs and emphasize career-oriented curricula.
Walden’s online BS in Accounting 20 core classes, including Financial Accounting, Business Statistics, Microeconomics, Business Law, Auditing and Internal Controls, Accounting Information Systems, Government and Nonprofit Accounting, Organizational Communication, and a Strategic Business Management capstone, which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of course material and apply accounting concepts to real-world scenarios. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to fit non-traditional students’ schedules, and accelerated courses may be available on an individual basis. Walden also offers a generous transfer policy: students with previous credits (from undergraduate, associate, or community college course work) can transfer up to 135 credits into the program. Additional student support services include personal academic advisors, 24/7 tech support, library and research support, and career services. The degree is accredited by the ACBSP.
- Tuition Per Credit: $335