Accounting-related occupations are expected to grow around 11% in job numbers between 2014-2024, according to the BLS’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH; http://bls.gov/ooh). Accounting is a key part of any business, as well as a service many Americans seek around federal tax filing time.
There are many accounting-related occupations, some of which are listed below, compiled from the Web pages of the 20 colleges ranked in this article. While some of the occupations require just a bachelor’s degree, some require an advanced degree and/or professional certification. (Note that some specific occupations may be on the decline.)
- accounting clerk
- accounting information systems specialist
- accounts payable office manager
- assurance services
- auditing clerk
- bank examiner
- bank manager
- benefits administrator
- billing coordinator
- bookkeeping clerk
- budget analyst
- budget director
- business analyst
- business consultant
- business manager
- business owner
- certified public accounting firms
- chief cost accountant (CCA)
- chief financial officer (CFO)
- city accounting assistant
- city clerk
- commercial banker
- commodities trader
- consulting services
- consumer credit officer
- corporate accountant
- cost accountant
- cost analyst
- credit analyst
- credit manager
- financial accountants
- financial adviser
- financial aid adviser
- financial analyst
- financial examiner
- financial planner
- financial reporting
- forensic accounting
- fraud analyst
- fraud auditor
- fraud examiner
- fraud investigator
- general auditor
- government agencies
- government auditor
- governmental accountant
- independent auditor
- industrial accountant
- information systems auditor
- insurance agent benefits specialist
- internal auditor
- international accounting
- international business manager
- investment banker
- IRS agent
- IRS investigator
- loan officer
- payroll accountant
- payroll manager
- personal financial analyst
- public accountant
- retail buyer
- revenue agent
- secret service
- staff accountant
- state board of accounts
- tax accountant
- tax advisor
- tax collector
- tax examiner
- tax planner
- tax preparer
- trust accountant
- universities and colleges
If you are interested in a career in accounting or closely-related fields, this rankings list of relevant and affordable online bachelor’s degrees may help you find a suitable college/ university. A summary of metadata / statistics for the 20 schools ranked here follows the NOTES section. The actual college ranking summaries are after the summary.
- In terms of topic categories searched in the NCES.ed.gov database, we queried only for “Accounting”. However, if the final 20 colleges in this rankings article have interdisciplinary accounting programs (e.g., accounting and finance), they may be mentioned in a school’s ranking.
- A college’s tuition for online programs may differ than that quoted for the on-campus program. This could be due to either or both of technology fees and out-of-state-portion waivers. Check with a college if you’re unsure. We have listed the tuition and net price values recorded in the NCES.ed.gov database.
- As accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- NCES data is subject to change and some of these “affordable degrees” guides may use more recent data than described in the Methodology.
- For the full list of programs covered to date, please check our School Rankings page.
- Online programs are strongly self-directed and recommended only for students who are self-driven when it comes to studying and researching.
- Some online program selection tips:
- Spend the time to carefully read the degree requirements.
- Browse the course curriculum and make notes of the courses that interest you most.
- Consider creating a spreadsheet to compare summaries of course/ programs across the schools referenced here. If you are looking for a minimum set of courses, make a list of those courses, one per column. Then list ranked schools vertically in the spreadsheet, one per row. Color code or make an annotation for each course offered by a given school.
- Add other columns to record information about tuition, net price, #credits/ courses required, etc., and color code their cells as suitable.
- This visual approach to online program selection can be quite effective compared to staring at bare numbers.
- The methodology for this series on online bachelor’s degrees is essentially the same as for our 15-school college rankings list. For example, see the “Methodology” section of the ranking list article 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing for an explanation of the process we use to rank colleges in each topical bachelor’s list.
This is a summary of data available for the colleges/ universities mentioned in this college rankings list for Bachelors of Accounting or related degree programs.
|Yearly net price range:||$2,280 – $12,369|
|In-state tuition range:||$5,262 – $20,440.|
|Out-of-state tuition range:||$6,000 – $20,615.|
|Lowest in-state:||#18 GSW.|
|Lowest out-of-state:||#1 WIU.|
|Graduation rate range:||2-46%.|
|Transfer-out rate range:||16-38% (nine colleges did not report).|
|Highest graduation rate:||#10 APUS.|
|Lowest transfer-out rate:||#20 UofM.|
|Student population range:||376 – 57821.|
|Undergrad population range:||376 – 46997.|
|Largest # students:||#5 WGU.|
|Largest # undergrad:||#10 APUS.|
|Oldest school:||#19 UWA (est. 1835).|
|Youngest school:||#5 WGU (est. 1997).|
|# states covered:||19.|
|States covered:||AL, AZ, CO, GA, IN, KY (2), LA, MD, ME, MI, MO, ND, NE, OK, PA, SD, TN, UT, WV.|
Alphabetic list of schools covered in this ranking
The abbreviations used in the table below may not be official and in which case are used here for convenience only.
|NCES Name (abbrev, estdate, rank)||location||$in-state||$out-of-state||$net price|
|Western International University (WIU, 1978, 1)||Tempe, Arizona||$6,000||$6,000||$2,280|
|National American University-Ellsworth AFB Extension (NAU-AFB, 1974, 2)||Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota||$6,075||$6,075||$8,585|
|Cleary University (Cleary, 1883, 3)||Howell, Michigan||$20,000||$20,000||$8,593|
|Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU, 1897, 4)||Alva, Oklahoma||$12,562||$6,112||$8,613|
|Western Governors University (WGU, 1997, 5)||Salt Lake City, Utah||$6,070||$6,070||$8,624|
|University of Maine at Augusta (UMA, 1965, 6)||Augusta, Maine||$16,688||$7,448||$9,136|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD, 1965, 7)||Denver, Colorado||$20,057||$6,420||$9,145|
|Peirce College (Peirce, 1865, 8)||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||$14,184||$14,184||$9,302|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU, 1884, 9)||Natchitoches, Louisiana||$17,794||$7,006||$9,488|
|American Public University System (APUS, 1991, 10)||Charles Town, West Virginia||$6,880||$6,880||$9,572|
|Dickinson State University (DSU, 1918, 11)||Dickinson, North Dakota||$8,679||$6,172||$10,074|
|University of Maryland-University College (UMUC, 1947, 12)||Adelphi, Maryland||$12,336||$7,056||$10,588|
|Brescia University (Brescia, 1925, 13)||Owensboro, Kentucky||$20,440||$20,440||$10,795|
|Columbia College (CC, 1851, 14)||Columbia, Missouri||$8,240||$8,240||$11,031|
|Morehead State University (MSU, 1887, 15)||Morehead, Kentucky||$20,246||$8,098||$11,373|
|Indiana State University (ISU, 1865, 16)||Terre Haute, Indiana||$18,708||$8,580||$11,525|
|Bellevue University (BU, 1966, 17)||Bellevue, Nebraska||$7,050||$7,050||$11,786|
|Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW, 1906, 18)||Americus, Georgia||$15,518||$5,262||$12,047|
|University of West Alabama (UWA, 1835, 19)||Livingston, Alabama||$15,878||$8,734||$12,350|
|University of Memphis (UofM, 1912, 20)||Memphis, Tennessee||$20,615||$8,903||$12,369|
This rankings article of online bachelors degrees in accounting contains a number of charts, including a tuition summary of all 20 ranked colleges, plus additional charts for each ranked college (stats dashboard). The charts are all interactive with the exception of the circular comparison chart. Here is a summary on how to use them:
- A modern browser is required for most of the charting features.
- For the bar charts, including the rectangular one directly below and the individual ones in each school summary, the vertical Y axis represents cost in dollars, for net price and in-state and out-of-state tuition per college. The horizontal X axis represents the schools ranked.
- The chart directly below shows in-state tuition (blue bars), out-of-state tuition (orange bars) and net price (connected green dots). Hover your mouse over a tuition bar or net price point and a tooltip will pop up that shows the institution name and the two cost values – net price and tuition. Use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in on a section in the main chart. The sub-chart below the main chart will indicate what section you are viewing. Hover your mouse over either of the three labels, “in,” “out” or “net” underneath the sub-chart to visually highlight just the selected chart.
- The circular chart below the grouped bar chart/ line chart combo is an alternative view of tuition info, as well as additional data points. See below for more details.
- Each school ranked also displays two donut charts. The leftmost donut chart is a breakdown of number of students, with the total displayed in the middle, and the blue arc representing the percentage of students that are undergrads. The rightmost donut chart represents graduation rate of undergrads, with the rate displayed in the middle and also represented by the blue arc. Hover your mouse over any arc to get the student percentage or the graduation rate, depending on the donut chart.
Interactive Histogram/Line Chart: Tuition vs Net Price
As mentioned above, this chart compares in-state and out-of-state tuition, as well as net price, for all 20 schools ranked in this article on the most affordable online Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting.
CircosJS Circular Comparison Chart: Multiple Data Points
Want to compare all 20 ranked colleges simultaneously? This circular “Circos” chart (non-interactive) lets you do that. It’s intimidating at first, but by understanding what each “ring” or “track” represents, it becomes fairly easy and quite useful. You can see which colleges cost the most and least, which are the oldest and youngest, which have the most students, and more. See the “Tips for Use” section below, for more information.
Rankings: Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting
McWherter Library, University of Memphis (source)
The University of Memphis (UofM) is a public research university that was established in 1912. Its main campus is located in Memphis, Tennessee. Original name: West Tennessee State Normal School.
UofM offers two online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelor’s and one minor. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting prepares students for accounting and leadership positions in businesses, government departments, healthcare organizations, or nonprofits. The BBA requires 120 semester-hours for graduation, with 42 for business core requirements and 30 for the accounting major. For students in other majors who want to study accounting, UofM has an Accounting Minor with two options: a 12-hour version for students in the College of Business and Economics and an 18-hour one for students in the university’s other colleges. Several financial aid options are available to students, including accounting-specific ones (about 83% of UofM students receive some form of financial aid). While several institutions on this list have earned AACSB International accreditation for their business schools/ departments, UofM is the only one to also have accreditation for its accounting programs.
Sample coures: Audit and Assurance Services; Cost Accounting; Financial Statement Analysis; Federal Income Tax I; Federal Income Tax II; Governmental, Health Care/ Not-for-Profit Accounting
Reed Hall, University of West Alabama (source)
University of West Alabama (UWA) is a public university established in 1835 and located in Livingston, Alabama, about 114 miles roughly southeast of Birmingham, AL. It was originally founded as the Livingston Female Academy and took its current name in 1995.
UWA has two online, Accounting related programs — one Bachelor’s, one minor. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting prepares students for a variety of careers in accounting, business, and management; graduate studies in various business-related subjects; or the final requirements needed to obtain the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) licensure. The BBA requires at least 123 semester-hours, with 40 for the business professional component and 30 for the accounting major. For students in other majors who want to add accounting to their studies, UWA has the 21-hour Accounting Minor. UWA’s online semesters are eight (8) weeks long and five (5) are available per year. A variety of financial aid options are available, and about 80% of UWA students do receive some form of assistance.
Sample coures: Advanced Accounting; Computer Based Accounting Systems; Cost Accounting; Federal Income Tax I; Federal Income Tax II; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Practicum
Recreation center, Georgia Southwestern State University (source)
Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is a public university that was established in 1906. GSW is part of the University System of Georgia (USG) and is located in Americus, Georgia, some 140 miles south and slightly east of Atlanta, GA, and about 130 miles north and slightly east of Tallahassee, Florida. Original name: Third Agricultural and Mechanical School.
GSW offers two online, Accounting related programs — one Bachelors, one minor. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting prepares students for a variety of accounting or business careers. It requires 120 credit-hours, with 60 for main program requirements (incl. 24 for the business core and 24 for the major), and is structured like a completion program. Lower-division courses are completed by obtaining an online or on-campus Associate’s Degree at a partner college; through on-campus or online options at other accredited institutions; or through a combination of GSW’s on-campus and eCore online options. Upper-division courses are available online through GSW. There is also a Fastrac option for the Accounting BBA that takes only three years to complete and starts with Georgia Perimeter College’s online Associate of Science (AS) in Business Administration. Finally, students in other majors can take GSW’s 18-hour Accounting Minor.
Sample coures: Advanced Cost Accounting; Advanced Income Tax Accounting; Contemporary Issues in Accounting; Intermediate Accounting I; Intermediate Accounting II; Intermediate Accounting III; Internal Controls and Auditing; Not-for-Profit Accounting
Bellevue University (source)
Bellevue University is a private, not-for-profit university that was established in 1966 as Bellevue College. Its main campus is in Bellevue, Nebraska, some 10 miles southeast of Omaha, NE, and about 140 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iowa.
Bellevue has two online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelors and one minor. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting prepares students for careers in/ with businesses, corporate accounting departments, financial institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and public accounting practices. Students can also continue on to graduate studies or prepare for the CPA exam. The BS requires 127 credits, with 75 for the major, including 27 for the common professional component and 27 for upper-level accounting requirements. For students in other majors who want to study accounting, Bellevue has its 15-hour Minor in Accounting. Finally, the university also has four Accounting Certificates (Accounting Technology, Advanced Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Financial Accounting) that may be available for online study, as well (please check with the school for details).
Sample coures: Accounting Internship; Advanced Accounting Problems; Advanced Cost Accounting; Advanced Individual Income Tax; Financial Auditing; Taxation of Business Entities; Taxation of Flow-Through Entities; Tax Planning and Strategies; Topics in Accounting
Dede Plaza and fountain, Indiana State University (source)
Indiana State University (ISU) is a public research university established in 1865 as the Indiana State Normal School. Its main campus is in Terre Haute, Indiana, about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis, IN.
ISU has three online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelors and two minors. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting helps prepare students to sit for the CPA and various other professional accounting exams; continue on to graduate studies in accounting or business (incl. an MBA); and/ or pursue career opportunities in corporate accounting, government/ nonprofit accounting, public accounting, or teaching. The BS requires 120 credits/ credit-hours, with 50-51 for the business core and 27 for the accounting major. (While most courses in this program can be taken online, some foundational studies courses may need to be completed on-campus or at another accredited college/ university.) For students in other majors who want a general accounting education, ISU has its 18-hour Accounting Minor. Finally, ISU’s 18-hour Forensic Accounting Minor can also be useful for students in other majors, but is particularly suited for students in criminology and criminal justice.
Sample coures: Accounting Internship; Accounting Systems; Advanced Federal Income Taxation; Auditing Theory and Practice; Contemporary Issues in Cost and Managerial Accounting; Financial Accounting I; Financial Accounting II; Fraud Examination; Special Topics in Accounting
Morehead State University (source)
Morehead State University (MSU) is a public university established in 1887 as Morehead Normal School. Its main campus is located in Morehead, Kentucky, about 140 miles east of Louisville, KY, and around 105 miles southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.
MSU offers one online Accounting program — its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. MSU calls its BBA an “online completer,” as the program’s upper-division courses can all be taken online, but many general education requirements and business prerequisite courses must either be taken on-campus or at another regionally accredited institution (online or on-campus). Career-wise, the BBA prepares students for an array of entry-level accounting, business, or management positions, or for graduate studies in a variety of accounting or business-related fields. The degree requires 120 credit-hours for graduation, with 27 for upper-division BBA core courses and 27 for the accounting track/ major’s upper-division courses. (Students intending to become CPAs can take additional undergraduate or graduate courses to meet the CPA’s 150-hour requirement.)
Sample coures: Accounting Analysis and Financial Decision Making; Advanced Tax Accounting; Auditing; Cooperative Education; Forensic Accounting; Practice in Personal Tax Accounting
14: Columbia College
Downtown Columbia, MO (source)
Columbia College is a private college established in 1851 and is located in Columbia, Missouri, about 125 miles roughly east of Kansas City, MO. It is one of nearly three dozen campuses throughout the U.S., which include military bases. It has an affiliation with the Disciples of Christ, though it is nonsectarian.
Columbia has three online, Accounting-related programs — two Bachelor’s and one minor. Both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Administration – Accounting Major and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration – Accounting Major can prepare students for a variety of career options. This includes entry-level positions in governmental accounting, managerial accounting, or public accounting, or within the specific areas of auditing, information systems, or taxation. Both degrees require 120 semester hours for graduation, with 51 for the core requirements and 18 for the major. The primary difference between the two degree options is that the BA has a foreign language requirement, while the BS has additional electives (which can be used to pursue specific areas of professional interest). Finally, for students in other majors who want to study accounting, Columbia has its two-option, 18-hour Accounting Minor.
Sample coures: Contact Columbia College for information on curriculum courses.
Brescia University chape; (source)
Brescia University is a private, non-profit university that was established in 1925. Brescia is located in Owensboro, Kentucky, about 110 miles southwest of Louisville, KY, and around 135 miles north and slightly west of Nashville, Tennessee. Original name: Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women. Religious affiliation: Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph (Catholic Church).
Brescia offers two online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelor’s and one certificate. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting requires 128 credit-hours with 33 for major requirements and 15 for major electives. The BS prepares students for a range of accounting, business, and management careers. For those students who already have a degree in another field but are looking to advance their careers or change their career focus (incl. qualifying to sit for the certified public accountant/ CPA exam), Brescia has its 48-hour Certificate in Accounting.
Sample coures: Advanced Accounting; Advanced Managerial Accounting; Federal Entity Taxation; Intermediate Accounting I; Intermediate Accounting II
The University of Maryland-University College (UMUC) is a public university established in 1947 as the College of Special and Continuation Studies. UMUC offers both on-campus and online classes and is part of the University System of Maryland. It has multiple locations, including its headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, a little over 10 miles east of Washington, DC, and 35 miles southwest of Baltimore, MD.
UMUC has two online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelor’s and one minor. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting requires 120 credits, with 15 for the mandatory Minor in Business Administration and 36 for the major. The BS provides the foundation that can help students prepare for a number of different professional accounting or finance certification exams, including the CFE, CFM, CGAP, CGFM, CIA, CISA, CMA, and CPA (to sit for these exams or achieve professional certification may require additional studies or qualifications; check with the appropriate state/ governing body). For students in other majors who want to study accounting, UMUC has its 15-credit Accounting Minor.
Sample coures: Accounting for Government and Not-for-Profit Organizations; Advanced Accounting; Auditing Theory and Practice; Federal Income Tax I; Federal Income Tax II; International Accounting; Principles of Accounting I; Principles of Accounting II
May Hall, Dickinson State University (source)
Dickinson State University (DSU) is a public university that was established in 1918 as the Dickinson State Normal School. DSU is part of the North Dakota University System and is located in Dickinson, North Dakota, about 100 miles west of Bismarck, ND, and about 315 miles northeast of Billings, Montana.
DSU offers three online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelor’s, one minor, and one certificate. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting provides requires 128 credit-hours, with 34 for the business core and 37 for the accounting core. The BS provides all the educational requirements needed for to sit for the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), and CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exams (licensing/ certification may require additional qualifications). To sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam requires an additional 22 hours of study (which can be met through additional electives within this program; check with the school for details). For students in non-business majors who want to study accounting, DSU has its 26-hour Minor in Accounting. For those looking to start their accounting careers right away, DSU has the 15-hour Accounting Technician Certificate.
Sample coures: Advanced Accounting; Business Valuation; Computerized Accounting; Cost Accounting; Financial Statement Analysis, Income Tax
Jefferson County Courthouse, Charles Town (source)
American Public University System (APUS), which includes APU (American Public University) and AMU (American Military University), is a private, for-profit system of universities founded in 1991 and based in Charles Town, West Virginia, about 65 miles northwest of Washington, DC. APUS is organized as an entirely online learning institution and has no campus.
APUS offers one online Accounting program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting — in each of its two universities, APU and AMU. This BS prepares students for careers in public, governmental, or nonprofit accounting. It requires 122 credits/ semester-hours for graduation, with 36 for core requirements and 30 for the major (18 for the main courses, 9 for the general concentration, and 3 for final program requirements). Most students complete this program in four years (86% of 2014-15 graduates achieved this time frame). Some of the student-focused benefits APUS offers are book grants; monthly starting points for classes; prior learning assessment opportunities (51% of students receive credit for prior life, school, or work experience); and tuition payment plans. Financial aid is available, with federal loans a being a popular source for Accounting program students (72% of program grads financed all/ part of their education through some kind of loan).
Sample coures: Accounting Information Systems; Auditing; Cost Accounting; Financial Accounting; Individual Federal Tax; Introduction to Payroll; Law for Accountants; Managerial/ Cost Accounting; Senior Seminar in Accounting
Main entrance, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (source)
Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a public university established in 1884 as Louisiana State Normal School. NSU is part of the University of Louisiana System and its main campus is in Natchitoches, Louisiana, about 75 miles southeast of Shreveport, LA, and some 230 miles northeast of Houston, Texas.
NSU offers two online Accounting programs — one Bachelor’s, one minor — through its eNSU Global Campus. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting provides the foundation for students to pursue a range of careers, including, of course, those that are accounting-, business-, or management-related. The BS requires at least 120 semester-hours, with 72 for the major, including about 36 for accounting courses. Students in other majors, meanwhile, can study accounting through NSU’s 18-hour Minor in Accounting. Among the student-focused features NSU offers are: (i) equal tuition costs for in-state/ out-of-state eNSU (online) students; (ii) fast-track classes; (iii) a prior learning assessment option (i.e., a chance to earn credit for prior life, work, or volunteer experience); and (iv) reduced per-credit-hour tuition for eNSU students taking more than 12 hours/ semester. NSU also has a number of financial aid options available, and almost 80% of undergrads receive some form of financial assistance.
Sample coures: Contact NSU for information on curriculum courses.
Peirce College (source)
Peirce College is a private, not-for-profit college established in 1865 as Union Business College, one of the few post-secondary schools of the time to also offer career education to women. Its main campus is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Peirce has one online Accounting program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. The BS prepares students for entry-level careers with accounting firms, businesses, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations; for graduate studies in accounting, business, or finance; or to pursue the additional education and experience required to sit for the CPA or other professional accounting or finance-related exams. The BS requires at least 121 credits, with 78 for program requirements, including 39 for accounting courses. Online programs at Peirce follow the traditional semester format and include 42 hours of asynchronous instruction (although group meetings and telephone conferences may be required). Students who can demonstrate competence, experience, or knowledge in a subject through an exam (test out), portfolio assessment, and/ or previous education can earn up to 90 credits toward a Bachelor’s degree.
Sample coures: Accounting Capstone; Computerized Accounting; Cooperative Work Experience; Financial Accounting; Managerial Accounting; Special Topics in Accounting
Metropolitan State University of Denver (source)
Metropolitan State University of Denver (Metro State or MSU Denver) is a public comprehensive university established in 1965 as Metropolitan State College. Its main campus is located in Denver, Colorado.
MSU Denver has two online Accounting programs — one Bachelor’s, one minor. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting helps students prepare for entry-level careers in government accounting, industry tax, and public accounting. It also provides the foundation for students to pursue additional studies (and gain work experience) that can lead to a variety of professional certifications, including CPA, CMA, CIA, CFP (certified financial planner), CISA (certified information systems auditor), and CFE (certified fraud examiner). The BS requires 120 credit-hours, with 33 for the business core and 24 for the major. Students in other majors can study accounting through MSU Denver’s 18-hour Accounting Minor. Neither program is offered fully online, but several classes in each can be taken online. In addition to the Accounting major being one of the most affordable Accounting programs in the state, eligible students can receive tuition support through the College Opportunity Fund stipend.
Sample coures: Accounting Information Systems; Auditing and Attestation; Cost Accounting; Income Tax; Intermediate Accounting I; Intermediate Accounting II
Bookstore, University of Maine at Augusta (source)
The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is a public university established in 1965. It is part of the University of Maine System and its main campus is located in Augusta, Maine, about 60 miles northeast of Portland, ME, and some 170 miles northeast of Boston, Massachusetts.
UMA offers three online, Accounting-related programs — one Bachelor’s, one minor, one certificate. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a major in Accounting prepares students for a range of accounting, finance, and management positions. The BS requires 121 credit-hours, with 60 for the major, including 12 for the choice of one of three concentrations: Financial Accounting, Governmental Accounting, or Management Accounting. Students in other fields who want to sit for such professional exams as the CPA, CMA, or CFM (certified financial manager) can take UMA’s 30-hour Accounting Certificate. Those who just want to supplement their major have UMA’s 18-hour Accounting Minor. Among the unique features UMA has available are free tutoring, Native American and veterans’ dependent tuition waiver programs, prior learning assessments (which provides college credit for work/ life experience), and a tuition payment plan.
Sample coures: Accounting for Management Decisions; Accounting Information Systems; Accounting Seminar; Advanced Accounting; Business Internship (in Accounting); Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting; Taxation
Western Governors University Administration Building (source)
Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, not-for-profit university established in 1997 and based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The name comes from the fact that over a dozen U.S. governors of Western states founded the university. All programs available through WGU are online. It awards bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as post-bachelor’s certificates.
WGU offers one online Accounting program — the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This degree suits students with no accounting backgrounds who are seeking careers in this field, as well as those who are already working in the profession but who want to advance their careers. (Combining the BS with WGU’s MS in Accounting can allow students to sit for the CPA/ certified public accountant exam in most states or prepare them for other professional exams, incl. the CMA/ certified management accountant and CIA/ certified internal auditor.) The BS requires 121 competency units (equivalent to credit hours), with 39 for accounting-specific courses. Completing the BS normally takes 2-2.5 years for those with an associate’s degree, and 4-5 years for those with little/ no college experience. Among WGU’s unique features are assigned mentors, flat-rate tuition per term (no course limit), and a competency-based education (you get credit for proving what you already know).
Sample coures: Accounting Capstone; Accounting Information Systems; Business Law for Accountants; Cost and Managerial Accounting; Managerial Accounting; Taxation I; Taxation II
Herod Hall, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (source)
Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) is a public university that was established in 1897. Its main campus is located in Alva, Oklahoma, about 150 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, OK, and around 115 miles southwest of Wichita, Kansas. Original name: Northwestern Territorial Normal School at Alva.
NWOSU offers three online Accounting programs — a Bachelor’s, a minor, and a certificate. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting prepares students for entry-level accounting, business, or financial-related positions, or for advanced accounting studies (incl. the additional study required to sit for the CPA exam). The BS requires about 121 credit hours, with 76 for the major, including 30 for upper-level accounting courses. The program’s major courses can all be taken online, but general education requirements must either be taken on-campus or at another regionally accredited institution (online or on-campus). Non-accounting majors who want to qualify for the state CPA exam can take NWOSU’s 30-hour Certificate in Accounting. Business Administration majors, who must complete a minor, can take the 21-hour Minor in Accounting. To help with affordability, NWOSU has both specific (i.e., the GO OK! tuition waiver for non-Oklahoma residents) and general financial aid options available.
Sample coures: Advanced Business Law/ Ethics; Auditing; Cost Accounting; Governmental/ Non-Profit Accounting; Individual Income Tax; Intermediate Accounting I; Intermediate Accounting II; International Accounting
Johnson Center, Cleary University (source)
The third most-economical online Accounting degree on our list is offered by Cleary University, a private, non-profit business university established in 1883. Cleary’s main campus is in Howell, Michigan, about 5 miles northeast of Ann Arbor, MI; and around 40 miles roughly west of Detroit, MI. Original name: The Cleary School of Penmanship.
Cleary has two online Accounting programs — both Bachelor’s programs. The first is the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Public Accounting, which enables students to sit for the CPA exam (although licensing requires an additional 30 semester hours of study and one year of work experience). This degree requires 120 credits/ semester-hours, with 36 for the major. Cleary’s other Accounting program is the 120-credit BBA in Accounting and Finance, which is for students who want to obtain the CMA designation. Both BBAs provide a mix of on-campus and online classes, but are not fully online programs. In addition to having several key affordability features — including experience credits, the START loan repayment program, and scholarship/ financial aid options (almost 85% of students receive some form of financial aid) — Bridge magazine, in 2015, ranked Cleary as the 2nd best school in Michigan for return on investment/ value.
Sample coures: Contact Cleary for information on curriculum courses.
Aerial view of Ellsworth AFB (source)
Second on our list of cost-effective, online Accounting degrees is National American University-Ellsworth AFB Extension (NAU-Ellsworth, est. 1974). NAU-Ellsworth is a campus of National American University, a private, for-profit university established in 1941 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Located in Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, the campus is some 10 miles northeast of Rapid City, and about 395 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado. Several other NAU campuses also offer online Bachelor’s Accounting programs (please check with NAU/ their website to determine what offerings are available in your state of residence).
NAU-Ellsworth offers two Accounting-related online programs — both Bachelor’s programs. The main offering is the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting, which provides students with the skill and knowledge needed to pursue careers in public and private accounting (professional designations may require additional study and/ or work experience). The BS requires 180 credits for graduation, with 54 for the major core and 51 for the support core. For those looking to combine budgeting and financial management knowledge with a study of business management, NAU-Ellsworth has its 180-credit BS in Business Administration – Emphasis in Accounting. Some of the unique, student-focused features offered by NAU include year-round classes and multiple start dates (making it easier to begin a program and to complete it sooner); earned credit potential (to turn experience and other training into college credit); and an inverted curriculum (so students can start taking major courses in their first year).
Sample coures: Accounting Case Analysis; Accounting for Governmental Entities; Auditing I; Auditing II; Cost Accounting; Federal Income Tax I; Federal Income Tax II; Intermediate Accounting I; Intermediate Accounting II; Intermediate Accounting III
Western International University (source)
Our most-affordable online Bachelor’s degree in Accounting is offered by Western International University (West). West is a private, for-profit university established in 1978 and is located in Tempe, Arizona, some 10 miles southeast of Phoenix, AZ.
West offers three Accounting-related, online programs — a Bachelor’s degree, a minor, and a certificate. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting can be completed in 189 weeks (about 39% of 2014-15 graduates achieved this time frame). The degree provides the foundation for students to pursue graduate study and/ or CPA, CMA, or other professional accounting or financial certifications (some states/ governing bodies require additional studies and/ or work experience). The BS requires 120 credit-hours, with 15 for the accounting core and 33 for the major. For students in other programs, West has a 15-hour Accounting Minor. For those preparing for the CPA exam, West has a 30-54 hour Accountancy Certificate (although it’s currently not accepting new students). Financial aid is available and West also offers a risk-free trial for a student’s first course.
Sample coures: Accounting Information Systems; Advanced Accounting; Business Taxation; External Auditing; Governmental and Non-Profit Accounting; Individual Taxation; Managerial Accounting and Decision Making; Accounting Capstone