Bachelors in Accounting Online Degree Programs for 2022

Bachelor's Degree in Accounting Career Options & Salary

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A four-year bachelor's degree in accounting is a fantastic launchpad for a stellar career. During your college years, you will receive the training necessary to join an accounting firm, a financial team, or any sort of business and gain career advancement. After all, nearly every business needs an accountant. If your program meets your state's standards, you can also attain licensure to work as a certified public accountant (CPA), though some states might require at least some courses from a master's degree program, which could be finished after you leave your bachelor's degree or online while you are finishing your bachelor's. Certified public accountants can sign off on tax filings and audits. Public accountants and auditors are some of the best paid in the accounting field in general. Accounting students looking to complete a bachelor's program can expect to see some of the following courses in their accounting curriculum, on top of the expected general education.

  • Financial Accounting, including multiple financial accounting topics
  • Financial Statements, such as a balance sheet and other financial records
  • Cost Accounting
  • Tax Accounting, including learning how to prepare tax returns
  • Accounting Principles
  • Managerial Accounting, including leadership skills that can be used in accounting and financial management
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • And More


    The positive aspects of a Bachelor's degree in Accounting are numerous. The first benefit is that you can start your career above the bookkeeping level, and you might even land a six-figure job straight out of school. After all, you'll have the knowledge and skill to work on audits, land a position as a financial analyst in an investment bank, or even start out in managerial accounting if you already have leadership skills. You should also qualify to sit for the CPA examination in most states.

    Even if you don't wish to become a CPA, a degree in accounting will open the door to countless other specialty areas. You might wish to pursue forensic accounting, which is a growing field, or you might prefer auditing IT systems instead, or working on accounting and information systems. Beyond that, your baccalaureate degree will pave the way to an MBA. After all, there is no way to apply for a graduate accounting degree program without a four-year diploma.


    Though a bachelor's in accounting degree is a tremendous accomplishment, it has limitations. For starters, you may need to one day return to school for an MBA. That is, if you exit college and start your career, you will later need to enroll in a graduate program on a full-time or part-time basis. Without a graduate degree, you are likely to hit a glass ceiling on your career advancement, especially when it comes to accounting and financial management, and your career may begin to stagnate. You should have a plan that allows you to save for your eventual graduate school enrollment, especially as online programs for accountants and auditors become so easily accessible through a variety of colleges and universities. Online programs still take up a significant amount of time and money, but online courses can be completed when you have the time and spread out so that you aren't hit with the cost all at once.

    Further, depending on your state's requirements, you might need additional, graduate-level coursework if you would like to sit for the CPA exam. In fact, regardless of state mandates, you should consider coursework above and beyond your accounting bachelor's degree program to ensure that you are fully prepared for the rigors of the CPA exam. You will also find that many firms require a graduate degree for jobs above a certain level. For instance, it is very rare to rise to the associate level in investment banking without an MBA.

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What are the Best Online Bachelor's in Accounting College Programs?


University of South Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,410
    • Out-of-state: $17,324
  • Net Price: $10,004
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,626
  • Undergrad Students: 38,582
  • Graduate Students: 12,044
  • Diplomas Awarded: 321
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 22:1
  • University of South Florida

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,898
    • Out-of-state: $36,476
  • Net Price: $25,548
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 89,816
  • Undergrad Students: 74,446
  • Graduate Students: 15,370
  • Diplomas Awarded: 504
  • Grads Salary: $77,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • The Pennsylvania State University

Regis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $39,610
    • Out-of-state: $39,610
  • Net Price: $27,785
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,310
  • Undergrad Students: 3,197
  • Graduate Students: 3,113
  • Diplomas Awarded: 46
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Regis University

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,568
    • Out-of-state: $20,400
  • Net Price: $16,978
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,563
  • Undergrad Students: 13,878
  • Graduate Students: 8,685
  • Diplomas Awarded: 113
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $28,960
    • Out-of-state: $28,960
  • Net Price: $21,827
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,108
  • Undergrad Students: 2,677
  • Graduate Students: 431
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Indiana Wesleyan University

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $27,166
    • Out-of-state: $27,166
  • Net Price: $28,087
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,979
  • Undergrad Students: 5,504
  • Graduate Students: 5,475
  • Diplomas Awarded: 25
  • Grads Salary: $74,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Maryville University of Saint Louis

American Public University System

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,360
    • Out-of-state: $7,360
  • Net Price: $11,503
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,047
  • Undergrad Students: 40,362
  • Graduate Students: 9,685
  • Diplomas Awarded: 60
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 23:1
  • American Public University System

University of Mary

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $19,830
    • Out-of-state: $19,830
  • Net Price: $18,167
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,799
  • Undergrad Students: 2,535
  • Graduate Students: 1,264
  • Diplomas Awarded: 13
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • University of Mary

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,248
    • Out-of-state: $21,384
  • Net Price: $10,778
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,813
  • Undergrad Students: 5,850
  • Graduate Students: 963
  • Diplomas Awarded: 23
  • Grads Salary: $74,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $15,240
    • Out-of-state: $15,240
  • Net Price: $15,638
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,366
  • Undergrad Students: 8,299
  • Graduate Students: 3,067
  • Diplomas Awarded: 118
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
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Accounting Certificate Vs. Accounting Bachelor’s Degree

Students who have graduated from an online or traditional business bachelor's degree program, but did not major in accounting, might later consider a certificate. The reasons for this are many. You might need the courses to get a new job at your firm, you could be considering a CPA license, or you might wish some other credentials. While a bachelor's in accounting would be an ideal preparation, a certificate should help you meet the requirements you need to start on this path. However, make sure you double-check the coursework needed to achieve your goals against those needed for the certificate. You should also check to see what, if any, accreditation standards are held for your academic program. AACSB accreditation is the gold standard for accounting coursework, whether it is found online or on-campus.

What Accounting Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?

  • Bachelor of Arts in Finance (BFin):
    Since the study of finance covers both strict mathematical analysis as well as qualitative factors, universities offer a BA in the field. That is, degrees that are strictly mathematical or scientific almost always receive a Bachelor of Science degree. In fact, some schools may offer the BS as an option for finance majors.
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BS):
    A BS degree indicates that your studies were primarily math and/or science oriented. Colleges and universities often offer you the option of putting either the BS or BA designation on your diploma.
  • Bachelor of Accounting (BAcc):
    Your BAcc degree is a great foundation for a career in accountancy or business, if not both. This degree is not so different from a BA or BS, but make sure that the program is adequately accredited so that you are prepared for the CPA examination.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (BBA):
    A BBA degree likely indicates that you have rounded out your accounting courses with other work in economics, finance, or marketing, for example. If your curriculum is rounded out in this way, you are more likely to be granted permission to sit for the CPA exam.

Admission Requirements

Each accounting department has its own requirements for joining their program, whether that program is found online or on-campus. Common requirements include courses such as Calculus for Business, Introduction to Accounting, Microeconomics and even having completed your associate's degree in accounting online or on-campus. You should expect to be held to a fairly high GPA standard. Often a 3.0 will suffice but consult the department's literature to be certain.

Some Business/Accounting programs are quite competitive, so be prepared to bolster your application with things like internships, community work, or references. You might also find that some Accounting programs have dress codes to ensure that you are acclimated to the cultural rigors of the business world.

How long does it take to earn an Accounting Bachelor's?

While an online Bachelor's Degree in Accounting is considered a four-year degree, many students take up to six or more years. However, you should strive to complete your studies in four years if possible. This might entail certain sacrifices to your lifestyle, but it will pay off in the long run. When you have a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting (or the equivalent), your earnings and career outlook will be far more appealing than what you are able to do without those credentials. If you need to free up time for more work, consider taking a few courses online so that you can work a few extra hours when necessary.

Potential Careers in Accounting with an Online Bachelor’s

  • Financial Analyst:
    This is a great first job if you intend to pursue investment banking. Many corporate finance teams have analyst programs that will work you very hard for two years, but which will pay very well. Once you complete the two-year program, you can head to graduate school and then a stellar career thereafter.
    Average annual salary: $61,400
  • Tax Accountant:
    In this position you will help individuals, or your company file their tax returns. With a CPA license you can prepare and sign off on tax documents. To succeed, you'll need a thorough working knowledge of the United States tax code and a specialty in either individual or corporate tax accounting.
    Average annual salary: $57,400
  • Logistician:
    This profession is not often listed as one for accountants, but it is a perfect fit. In this position, you will need to find the most efficient ways to ship goods around the globe. Accountants are particularly good at auditing systems and finding ways to make them more efficient.
    Average annual salary: $58,500
  • Forensic Accountant:
    If you love accounting but also love detective shows, this might be the job for you. You'll work with investigators or attorneys to uncover white collar crime. In the case of divorce, you might be called in to untangle a complex financial portfolio, or to determine how certain assets were hidden from a former spouse.
    Average annual salary: $69,300
  • Credit Analyst:
    A credit analyst works for banks or other lenders to determine how credit worthy a potential borrower is. While most consumer credit is determined by a credit score, corporate credit is a bit more involved. That is, there are far more hard assets involved as well as a complex equity picture to account for.
    Average annual salary: $51,800

Options to Advance

If you wish to advance as an accountant and/or a business person, you will need added credentials. For most, this will involve a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting. However, accountants can also opt for a Masters of Accountancy program. If you wish to work in healthcare, you might apply your business and accounting acumen to a Master of Healthcare Administration. Graduate school is not the only recourse for an ambitious accountant, however.

If you have an online bachelor-level degree in accounting, you might first consider achieving a CPA license, or certification. The CPA examination is said to be the hardest professional test in the nation. With a CPA license you can pursue a fruitful career with no pressing need for a graduate degree. Consider, too, that the CPA exam is comprised of four parts. If you only pass one, that is considered a significant accomplishment and can help you advance quite far.

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