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A bachelor’s in accounting prepares students for lucrative careers as certified public accountants (CPAs) and meets the minimum education requirement for employment as an auditor, financial manager, or financial advisor. Accounting program graduates also qualify to work as bookkeeping clerks and chief financial officers (CFOs).
We ranked the nation’s most noteworthy accounting degrees to guide students toward programs that align with their career aspirations. Accountants and auditors enjoy steady job growth and relatively high salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that these professionals earned a median annual wage of $71,550 as of 2019, projecting a 4% increase in employment for accountants and auditors from 2019-2029.
Read on for more information about the nation’s best accounting degrees.
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
What Is Accounting?
Accountants play a crucial role in nearly every type of business. These critical thinkers helped shape ancient civilizations’ economies and continue to serve this necessary function today. Organizations of all sizes require skilled accountants, sometimes with specialized expertise in fields like healthcare or forensics, to maintain operations.
Any accountant who files reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must hold CPA licensure, which also increases employment and earnings potential. Nationally, accountants see the highest employment rates in California, Texas, and New York.
BLS data indicates that the highest concentrations of accountants and auditors work in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
Accounting program graduates may also qualify for fast-growing, high-paying jobs in finance. BLS data indicates that the highest concentrations of accountants and auditors work in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
Why Get an Accounting Bachelor’s?
A bachelor’s in accounting meets the minimum education requirement for most jobs in accounting and financial management. Accounting schools typically develop their programs to provide fundamental business leadership skills and prepare graduates for CPA licensure.
Though programs vary, many accounting programs allow students to tailor their degrees to pursue work as accountants, tax examiners, or financial advisors. Benefits of these bachelor’s degrees include:
Professionals equipped with bachelor’s degrees in accounting earn salaries of $70,000-$130,000 in accounting and finance positions. One of the most common career paths for accounting program graduates, accountants often earn higher salaries as CPAs, and they can further increase their earnings as financial managers and CFOs.
The best accounting degrees cover broad skills and offer diverse applications across business and finance sectors. While most students complete bachelor’s in accounting degrees on the path to becoming CPAs, many accounting programs offer niche concentrations in particular types of accounting.
Accounting degrees typically stress CPA certification preparation, as most accounting students pursue CPA licensure post-graduation. A bachelor’s in accounting offers a sensible starting point for aspiring CPAs — qualifying for the exam requires more credits (150) than the typical 120-credit, four-year accounting degree.
Based in Omaha, Creighton offers an on-campus bachelor's degree in accounting in an accelerated format. The program grounds students in modern accounting practices through an innovative curriculum that provides an overview of financial history and discusses serious business decision-making.
Creighton's bachelor of science in business administration in accounting features 21 credits in the major. The university also offers an accelerated master's that results in both a bachelor's and master's in just four years. More than 90% of business students pursue an internship while at Creighton.
Students can join several clubs on campus, including Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and the Heider Business Senate. A survey of 2018 alumni revealed that the average bachelor's degree in accounting salary is $50,000. Applicants need junior status and a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Students in SLU's bachelor's in accounting develop strong skills in communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Coursework explores topics in tax law, business analytics, and financial reporting. The program at the Jesuit institution also readies graduates for the CPA exam.
The curriculum includes 45 credits in the university's general business core, 48 credits in arts and sciences, 21 credits in the major, and six credits of electives. Many degree candidates intern with companies in the Saint Louis metropolitan area to gain valuable work experience.
SLU's program boasts a pass rate on the CPA exam that sits well above the national average. The Chaifetz School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
A Jesuit school located in Spokane, Washington, GU imbues its undergraduate accounting program with a strong sense of ethics. The 128-credit curriculum examines the fundamentals of accounting, including financial reporting, auditing, tax preparation, and basic business principles. It also provides opportunities for volunteering in the community and helping provide justice for fraud victims.
GU students can select a CPA track to ready them for the CPA exam or a non-CPA track that leads to a certified internal auditor or certified managerial accountant credential. Learners can also enroll in a fast-track master's program, add minors, or pursue a double major. The accounting program itself requires 27 credits or nine classes.
GU's College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university claims a 95% success rate for its BBA program across the past four years and a 90% career placement rate within 3-6 months of graduation.
The program prepares graduates for managerial careers in business. The curriculum includes 64 credits in general business coursework and 32 credits in the accounting major. Drexel's co-op opportunities give degree candidates real-world experience and help meet the work requirements for CPA certification.
The university's Bennett S. LeBow College of Business carries AACSB accreditation. Drexel graduates find work in their field 88% of the time. Candidates for the CPA exam should check local requirements.
The Villanova School of Business hosts a bachelor's in accounting that offers a broad foundation in business. Boasting accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the program readies graduates to enter the workplace, pursue CPA certification, or move on to graduate-level education.
Many participants elect to enroll in the master of accounting with data analytics program, which allows learners to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in four years. The dual degree program also gives graduates the 150 required credits to sit for the CPA exam. Internships and co-op opportunities provide other resume enhancements.
The university hosts its own Villanova Accounting Society, Beta Alpha Psi, and the Multicultural Business Society. Nearly 100% of VSB accounting students find employment before graduation. The average starting salary of those leaving VSB undergraduate programs is nearly $65,000.
One of the nation's largest research universities, UF boasts some of the top academics in the nation. Housed within the Warrington College of Business, the Fisher School of Accounting offers a bachelor of science in accounting that prepares learners to stay up-to-date in the rapidly evolving business world. Courses include financial reporting, accounting information systems, cost and managerial accounting, auditing, and tax preparation.
The 120-credit degree includes 13 courses in the accounting major. As a well-established accounting school, Fisher hosts its own student council, recruiter fair, speaker series, and other career-building extracurricular activities.
Students in the program can migrate into the university's three-plus-two program and earn their master's degree with only one year of additional study. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better to earn their diploma. More than 56% of UF students graduate with no student debt.
One of the nation's oldest universities, W&L hosts a bachelor's degree in accounting through its Williams School of Business. The Lexington, Virginia, institution is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and combines a liberal arts education with concrete business skills.
The degree plan typically includes two years of study to complete general education requirements, as well as introductory business and accounting courses. The 45-credit accounting major follows in the remaining two years.
A bachelor's at W&L requires 120 credits, but many students opt to overload and take 150 credits to meet the standards for the CPA exam in most states. Available options include credit for prior learning, master's-level classes, credit from advanced placement classes, or transfer courses from other accredited universities.
More than 75% of 2018 W&L graduates reported employment within six months of graduation.
Undergraduate students at Penn's Wharton School of Business all leave with a bachelor's in economics. The Philadelphia institution's accounting program serves as a concentration within the economics curriculum. Degree candidates at Wharton take at least a third of their classes through Penn's 11 other schools, providing them with a well-rounded education.
Wharton's 37-credit accounting program includes coursework in cost analysis for decision-making, tax planning, accounting for mergers, valuation, and predictive analysis. Some students elect to add a second concentration, minor, or even double major to broaden their appeal to employers.
Most learners declare their concentration at the end of their sophomore year, having completed the majority of the business core curriculum. Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in their concentration courses.
A top small liberal arts school based just outside of Los Angeles, CMC has established a national reputation for its economics and leadership programming. The college's undergraduate degree in accounting draws from those traditions. The bachelor of science in economics and accounting emphasizes management and decision-making in the pursuit of business excellence.
The 11-course curriculum includes three classes each in accounting and economics, one class in econometrics, and four electives. Students choose from among eight elective options in areas such as auditing, tax planning, ethics, business law, and financial analysis. All degree candidates must write a senior thesis on an approved topic.
More than 90% of students at CMC complete internships and half study off campus. CMC partners with six other schools in the Claremont Colleges consortium to provide unique cross-institution opportunities.
A Catholic institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, SJU offers a degree-completion program in accounting. Students can pursue their bachelor's degree in accounting online, in a hybrid format, or on campus. With an emphasis on professional and personal ethics, the program prepares graduates for careers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, as well as for the CPA exam.
Hosted by SJU's Haub School of Business, the bachelor of business administration in accounting requires degree candidates to earn 120 total credits. They must complete extensive coursework in general education, business foundations, and the accounting major. Students can take advantage of flexible scheduling and attend classes at night or on weekends.
All learners must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. More than 95% of graduates from the class of 2017 held employment or entered graduate school within six months. Haub School of Business carries accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
A private liberal arts institution in Richmond, Virgina, UR offers a bachelor's in accounting that features uniquely personalized instruction. The Robins School of Business features small class sizes, individual attention, and rigorous coursework. The program also emphasizes experiential learning and holds close ties with academic and corporate partners.
Candidates must pass an online exam in Excel. The program features eight classes in the business core and seven courses in accounting. UR requires 35 units for a bachelor's and awards credits only if students earn a 2.0 or better in each class.
Within a year, 96% of UR graduates looking for work found a job. UR boasts that alumni of the program rank in the top ten among all business schools on national accounting exams. Roughly 70% of graduates go on to work in public accounting. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The curriculum features 122 credits in the bachelor's in management and 30 in the master's in accounting. Participants can add an area of specialization in taxation, analytics, energy, entrepreneurship, risk management, strategic and innovation management, or structured finance.
The New Orleans university works with major recruiters to place students in accounting internships in firms or areas of their choice. It also allows for exciting opportunities to study abroad while still earning the requisite credits.
The accounting bachelor's degree at Purdue's Krannert School of Business combines a rigorous curriculum in auditing, taxation, and financial reporting with a strong set of management courses. The 120-credit program at the Indiana university provides ambitious students with the background they need to move into leadership roles in business or to sit for the CPA and CMA exams.
In Krannert's course of study, students must earn a minimum of 48 credits in general studies. The major itself accounts for 52 credits. The remainder of credits include electives learners can use to tailor their degree. Some pursue the certificate of advanced accountancy, which helps meet the credits required for professional exams.
Students can also add concentrations in data analytics, management consulting, innovation management, and hospitality and tourism at Krannert. The school's undergraduate alumni boast a 98% professional employment rate within six months of graduation. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The GW School of Business offers a bachelor of accountancy that takes a broad view of accountants as managers of financial information. The program allows students to add a minor in business analytics or creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It also lays the groundwork for learners to sit for the CPA and CMA exams.
The 120-curriculum features nine core business courses, ten major classes, and ten electives. Degree candidates must maintain a 2.0 GPA or better in major coursework and complete a capstone in financial accounting.
The GW School of Business also features several overseas international business opportunities. Undergraduates interested in accounting may also consider the university's bachelor of business administration with an accounting concentration or the 4+1 bachelor/master's program. The school carries accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Lehigh's College of Business and Economics revamped its core curriculum in 2018 to better align with the modern world of business. Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh's programs now emphasize data analytics, communication, and leadership. This focus on management and technology translates to the school's bachelor's degree in accounting.
The major curriculum features a 12-credit accounting core and a nine-credit concentration. Options include public accounting and tax assurance, financial services and corporate accounting, and information technology. Sophomore prerequisite classes for the major include managerial and financial accounting.
Because of its high standing with recruiters, Lehigh hosts major firms for summer and winter leadership programs and externships. Upperclassmen often participate in paid internships. The university reports that the average starting salary for undergraduate accounting majors is $61,000. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Situated in Notre Dame, Indiana, UND weaves its tradition of Catholic ethics into its bachelor's in accounting. Students take classes in ethics and often participate in the Tax Assistance Program, which helps local low-income individuals prepare their taxes. The 42-credit curriculum places a premium on technology and data analytics.
Highlights of the undergraduate program at the Mendoza College of Business include data mining, simulation model building, and optimization, giving graduates a background in technology that other accountants often lack. The school hosts an accounting lyceum, which brings top executives to campus to network and speak about best practices.
UND accounting graduates boasted a 98% placement rate in 2018. Across the past three years, Big 4 firms hired 75% of accounting grads from Mendoza. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
A leading research university based in Los Angeles, USC is home to the renowned Leventhal School of Accounting. Part of the larger Marshall School of Business, Leventhal offers a bachelor's in accounting that ranks among the nation's best. The program develops students' technical, research, ethical, collaborative, and communication skills. USC is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Leventhal designed its 128-credit curriculum to prepare undergraduates for entry into master's programs. Learners must complete nine courses in accounting, along with a dozen business core classes, all the while maintaining a minimum 2.7 GPA. The university accepts a maximum of 64 transfer credits toward the degree.
Each year, Leventhal welcomes recruiters from many of the top corporations onto campus for networking and recruiting events. USC reports that the average starting salary for Marshall undergraduates is $64,000.
NYU's accounting bachelor's degree provides students with several educational options, including a general track, double majors, or a dual BS/MS program. The dual degree program readies participants to take the CPA exam, while the general track features an array of elective options.
NYU's Stern School of Business requires candidates in this program to complete 128 credits. Most states require 150 credits to sit for the CPA exam, and Stern allows undergraduates to take six of the remaining 22 credits at the school. The dual BS/MS program fulfills all educational requirements for CPA licensure.
More of NYU's accounting graduates became senior partners at top accountinag firms than any other business school. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The bachelor's in accountancy at Wake Forest automatically integrates into the university's master's program. The five-year program prepares graduates to take the CPA exam or to enter the workforce at the management level. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Wake Forest's School of Business developed a reputation for small class sizes and individual attention, with an average student-to-teacher ratio of 14-to-1. Other characteristics of the school's business programs include hands-on experience, team-building, and networking opportunities.
Aspiring accountants typically apply to the School of Business during the spring of their sophomore year. The university maintains a 98% four-year graduation rate. Wake Forest also boasts that its students ranked number one on the CPA exam pass rate 13 times since the program began in 1997.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jefferson hosts an accelerated, degree-completion bachelor's in accounting. To enter the program, students must hold at least 30 transferable credits. Intended for working professionals, the course of study features afternoon, evening, and online classes held in fast, eight-week terms.
The accounting curriculum consists of nine classes, including coursework in accounting theory, auditing, and taxation. Jefferson requires 120 credits for a bachelor's degree. The program prepares learners to enter graduate school and sit for the CPA exam.
Classwork in the core curriculum develops student's abilities in leadership, decision-making, statistics, and technology. Jefferson accepts as many as 72 credits toward the degree. According to the university, 97% of graduates secure jobs or move on to further education.
A public research institution in Raleigh, NC State offers a bachelor's in accounting that allows students to specialize in five different areas. Hosted by the university's Poole College of Management, the program provides comprehensive instruction in the fundamentals of accounting, along with problem-solving, communication, team-building, and technology skills.
NC State's 120-credit curriculum includes general requirements and classwork in human resources, information systems, operations management, and other business subjects. Students then complete 21 credits in the accounting core. Learners can also use nine additional credits to pursue a specialization in financial analysis, government and nonprofits, information systems, internal auditing, or management.
Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or better. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Bentley's bachelor's in accounting offers students the choice of a fast track to a master's or a focused path that concentrates on a particular area, such as auditing or IT. Located near the Boston area, the business school carefully constructed its course of study to create well-rounded graduates, with a particular focus on the use of technology in business.
The curriculum features a nine-class general business core and eight classes in accounting. The program places particular emphasis on cost accounting, auditing, taxation, financial accounting, and the use of IT in the field. Many students choose to do an internship, and 44% of recent graduates used that internship as a path to employment.
Bentley's program boasts a 100% job placement rate and a median salary of more than $60,000.
One of the largest colleges in the Christian College Coalition, Bethel offers an accounting degree from a uniquely Christian perspective. General education requirements include classes such as introduction to the Bible, Christianity and Western culture, and Christian theology. Highlights include study abroad options, simulations, and a student-managed investment fund.
Set in Minnesota's Twin Cities, Bethel's bachelor of science in accounting and finance is a technical degree for individuals who want to become CPAs. The program meets the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in the state. Many students use internships to gain real world experience.
Roughly 95% of program graduates report being prepared for their current job. Bethel is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Assumption constructed its undergraduate accounting degree with a liberal arts core. Students learn the principles of accounting, but they also receive a broad-based education in the arts and sciences, business law, management, and marketing. The curriculum sets graduates up to take the CPA or CMA exams or jump into a master's program.
Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, the college requires degree candidates to complete nine accounting classes and nine interdisciplinary courses. Some also add a minor in fraud examination and forensic accounting. Many take advantage of Assumption's accelerated MBA program, applying during their junior year.
Assumption maintains a campus in Rome, and many in the program elect to do a semester abroad. Others opt for internships to gain work experience in the field.
In Drake's bachelor's in accounting, students begin classwork for their major in their first semester. Enrollees learn how to communicate effectively, analyze data, and solve problems. They also enjoy fruitful interaction with the accounting community in the university's hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.
Drake's 124-credit curriculum includes 27 upper-level accounting credits. Many degree candidates also decide to pursue their master's, which they can earn alongside their bachelor's in four-and-a-half years. Others add a double major in a complementary field.
The university also offers a concentration in law and business. Drake students often pursue internships with downtown accounting firms and network with businesses to open pathways to full-time work. Drake claims a graduate placement rate of over 90% from the program.
Founded in 1846, Bucknell took its current name 40 years later to honor its major benefactor, William Bucknell. With a 450-acre campus in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Bucknell enrolls nearly 3,700 students each year.
Offered through Bucknell's Freeman College of Management, the bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and financial management includes 128 credit hours. Students complete courses in general education, a business administration core, and accounting and financial management, as well as an innovative experiential requirement.
Business administration coursework builds foundational knowledge of economics, data analysis, and organizational management. Learners explore finance, marketing, and business ethics, as well.
The accounting and finance management curriculum emphasizes business law, financial decision modeling, and accounting fundamentals. Learners also study financial accounting, federal income taxation, auditing and assurance, and managerial and cost accounting.
Iowa's oldest institution of higher learning, UI traces its origins to 1847. UI houses 12 academic colleges, offering undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 32,500 students each year.
The bachelor of business administration in accounting at UI includes 120 credit hours. Students complete 22-32 credit hours of general education classes, 24 credit hours of business core coursework, and 18-25 credit hours of accounting major courses.
The business core builds comprehensive knowledge and skills in business analytics, financial management, business communication, and information systems. Accounting classes focus on income measurement and asset valuation, accounting for management analysis and control, auditing, and taxation. Students also complete an optional practicum or research elective.
Admission to the accounting program, offered through the Tippee College of Business, requires a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum 2.67 GPA in introductory financial and managerial accounting coursework.
Created by the merger of Western Reserve University and the Case Institute of Technology in 1967, CWRU enrolls more than 11,000 students annually. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs through nine academic schools and colleges.
CWRU's bachelor of science in accounting trains students for accounting careers in corporate, government, nonprofit, and healthcare settings. Students complete 122 credit hours of coursework, including 56-63 credit hours of principle and core courses and 24 credit hours of accounting classes.
Principle courses build a foundational understanding of economics, business statistics, and management accounting. The core curriculum emphasizes corporate finance, business mathematics, business communication, and operations research.
Accounting coursework focuses on accounting analytics technology; corporate reporting; and income taxation concepts, skills, and accounting. Learners also study attestation and assurance services, accounting information systems, and the legal environment of management.
A Dominican Catholic institution, Molloy College opened its doors in 1955. Initially a women's college, Molloy became coeducational in 1982. Molloy offers more than 50 academic programs from its Long Island, New York, campus, through regional educational centers, and online. The school is currently home to roughly 5,000 students.
The bachelor of science in accounting at Molloy includes 128 credit hours of general education and major requirements. Learners can earn their bachelor's in accounting in four years. The 21-credit business core emphasizes principles of management, corporate finance, quantitative analysis, and business law.
Students take 36 credit hours of accounting coursework in cost and managerial accounting systems, taxation, and auditing. Additional courses in forensic accounting, government and nonprofit accounting, and computerized accounting precede an accounting capstone course.
Based in Jackson, Tennessee, Union holds distinction as the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Established in 1823, Union also offers more than 100 academic programs through campuses in Memphis and Hendersonville, Tennessee, and online. Union educates over 3,000 enrollees and maintains a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting includes 130 credit hours of coursework. Students complete general education and business administration requirements, alongside major classes in accounting, management, business law, and finance.
The business administration curriculum, provided through Union's McAfee School of Business, emphasizes business analytics, global business, and business ethics. Major courses build core competencies in managerial, cost, and financial accounting. Students study taxation of individuals and corporations while exploring accounting theory, information systems, and auditing processes and practices.
Illinois Wesleyan, located in Bloomington, Illinois, began as a cooperative endeavor between civic and religious leaders in 1850. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Illinois Wesleyan enrolls nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually.
The bachelor's degree in accounting at Illinois Wesleyan includes 128 credit hours of general education, business, and accounting coursework. Students can earn their accounting degree in four years.
Business foundation classes include accounting for decision-making, economics, and business statistics. Accounting courses build a comprehensive understanding of accounting information systems, financial management, and tax accounting. Learners also study accounting and auditing concepts and theory, cost accounting, and financial reporting.
Illinois Wesleyan's accounting curriculum includes an optional winter internship. As part of the internship program, students engage with professional mentors from local accounting firms. By working alongside their mentors in practical settings, students gain the experience and confidence to embark on careers in the field.
Located in Coral Gables, Florida, UM first offered classes to 646 students in 1926. Now home to 11 academic schools and colleges, UM enrolls more than 17,000 learners each year.
UM provides undergraduates with two accounting degree options. Both the bachelor of business administration and bachelor of science in business administration feature concentrations in accounting, which prepare students for careers in private, public, or government accounting.
Accounting bachelor's degrees at UM include 120 credit hours. Business classes build a comprehensive understanding of business analytics, economics, management, and finance. Accounting classes focus on cost accounting, auditing, fundamentals of taxation, and the law of financial transactions.
UM offers a five-year program to students seeking to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) examination. The five-year curriculum culminates in both a bachelor's and master's in accounting. It also integrates a required internship and meets the CPA exam's 150-credit education requirement.
Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, BU opened its doors in 1858. BU now offers academic programs through a campus in Baldwin City and Overland Park, Kansas, and online, serving more than 3,000 students each year.
The bachelor of science in accounting at BU includes 124 credit hours of coursework. The accounting curriculum blends theoretical content with practical exercises to prepare learners for entry-level careers in the field. Students also gain essential knowledge of economics and finance.
Students complete BU's business common core, exploring business fundamentals such as quantitative analysis, business information systems, management, and finance. Required accounting coursework includes accounting information systems, managerial economics, and intermediate accounting. Learners can choose additional elective courses in auditing and income tax or participate in a 120-clock-hour accounting internship.
A Jesuit institution founded in 1851, SCU offers programs that blend Catholic belief and faith with academic excellence. SCU hosts nearly 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students at its Santa Clara, California, campus and online.
SCU provides two undergraduate degrees in accounting through its Leavey School of Business. Students can earn a bachelor's degree in accounting or accounting and information systems. Both programs include general education, core business classes, and major coursework.
SCU's business core emphasizes business law, economics, data analysis, and information systems. Learners also gain an understanding of financial management, accounting practices and principles, and strategic analysis.
Accounting majors complete classes in financial transactions, tax planning and business decisions, auditing, and cost accounting. Accounting and information systems majors take comparable accounting courses with additional coursework in systems analysis and design, database management, and financial information systems.
Established as a Dominican Catholic institution in 1917, PC emphasizes faith and reason in academics and community alike. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, PC enrolls nearly 5,000 students annually.
The bachelor of science in accountancy at PC trains students to pursue careers as private and public accountants. Learners also study finance, economics, and business, gaining valuable knowledge and skills applicable to positions as auditors and financial analysts.
As part of PC's 120-credit bachelor's in accounting, learners complete a comprehensive core curriculum. PC's undergraduate core fosters critical, logical, and quantitative reasoning skills, alongside proficiency in written and verbal communication.
The accountancy major integrates 55 credit hours of coursework in cost, financial, and managerial accounting; managerial finance and operations management; and organizational behavior.
Established by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in 1878, Duquesne is the only Catholic Spiritan university in the United States. With a main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Duquesne offers undergraduate and graduate programs through nine academic schools.
Duquesne's bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting emphasizes data analysis, strategic thinking, forecasting, and ethical practice. Learners can complete the program in four years or earn both a bachelor's and master's through Duquesne's five-year curriculum.
Offered through the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, accounting coursework includes accounting information systems, auditing, income tax accounting, and corporate and partnership taxation. Students choose from electives such as theory of finance, commercial transactions, and financial management.
Individuals in the five-year program participate in a cooperative partnership experience, fulfilling the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the certified public accountant examination.
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Xavier offers more than 100 academic programs to roughly 6,500 students each year. The Jesuit Catholic institution opened its doors in 1831 and continues to integrate learning and spirituality into its educational offerings and campus community.
Xavier's bachelor of science in business administration with an accounting major includes 120 credit hours of general education and accounting coursework. All students complete Xavier's core curriculum, which explores ethics and religion in society; creative, historical, and scientific perspectives; and English and communication skills.
The accounting major builds understanding of financial and managerial accounting, accounting information systems, and financial reporting and analysis. Learners also study managerial behavior and communications, business administration fundamentals, auditing, and taxation during the four-year degree.
Alongside an accounting major, Xavier offers minors in economics, finance, international business, and information systems.
Emphasizing holistic, research-oriented, and collaborative education, DU began as a Methodist seminary in 1864. DU established one of the first business colleges in the United States, the Daniels College of Business, and currently offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs.
The bachelor of science in accountancy includes 186 quarter credits of coursework. Over the course of four years, students complete 52-60 quarter credits of common curriculum requirements, 52 quarter credits of business core classes, and 48 quarter credits of accounting coursework. An additional 26-34 quarter credits of electives round out the comprehensive program.
Business and accounting courses, offered in a cohort model, emphasize finance, management, and accounting fundamentals. Learners study corporate taxation, government accounting, and accounting for foreign operations, as well.
DU also offers a five-year bachelor's and master's program in accounting, designed to meet the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the certified public accountant examination.
One of Rutgers University's three regional campuses, Rutgers-Camden began as South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey during the 1920s. The university provides nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate programs to over 6,600 enrollees each year.
The bachelor of science in accounting at Rutgers-Camden includes 120 credit hours. Students complete 30-31 credit hours of core classes in business communications, financial principles, operations management, and optimization and spreadsheet modeling, plus 21 credit hours of general education courses.
Prerequisites to the accounting major include statistics, business calculus, economics, and management accounting. Required accounting coursework emphasizes cost accounting, federal tax accounting, concepts of auditing, and international business. Accounting students have opportunities to participate in study abroad and internship opportunities, as well.
The U, founded in 1850, serves as Utah's flagship institution of higher education. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the U also holds distinction as the oldest university in the state. With 17 academic schools and colleges, the U enrolls nearly 33,000 students annually.
The U's bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting includes 122 credit hours. Offered through the David Eccles School of Business, the curriculum combines 24 credit hours of general education coursework with pre-business and business courses. Pre-business and business classes build foundational understanding of business thought, accounting principles, management practices, and organizational behavior.
At least 21 credit hours of major requirements round out the comprehensive curriculum. Accounting major courses include financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, and accounting information systems. Learners also explore global perspectives of accounting through required coursework in international accounting and international finance.
The Citadel hosts a South Carolina Corps of Cadets, which includes roughly 2,300 undergraduate students. Established in 1842 in Charleston, South Carolina, The Citadel houses five academic schools and operates as one of six senior military colleges in the United States.
Provided through the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, The Citadel's accounting bachelor's degree features 123 credit hours of coursework. Designed to prepare learners for careers in business, government, and nonprofit settings, the curriculum emphasizes business and accounting fundamentals alike.
The Citadel's business core focuses on economics, computer application, accounting, and management principles and practices. The 24-credit accounting core explores financial accounting, managerial accounting, and federal taxation. Learners also study commercial law, auditing and assurance services, and accounting information systems.
Established as a regional campus of the University of South Florida in 1975, USFSM became an autonomous institution in 2001. As a member of the University of South Florida System, USFSM offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs through five academic schools and colleges.
With both a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in accounting, USFSM provides two pathways to careers in industry, government, nonprofit, and public accounting. Both accounting undergraduate degrees include 21 credit hours of business foundation courses and 24 credit hours of major coursework.
Business foundation classes emphasize principles of finance, management, and marketing. Learners also study law and business, business economics and statistics, and strategic management and decision-making.
The accounting curriculum at USFSM integrates courses in financial accounting, cost accounting and control, accounting information systems, auditing, and federal income taxation. Students choose electives from options in governmental and nonprofit accounting, valuation of business, law and the accountant, and internal and operational auditing.
Dedicated to its Jesuit Catholic foundations, BC offers undergraduate and graduate programs that blend faith, excellence, and tradition. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, BC occupies locations throughout the state and enrolls roughly 14,600 students annually.
BC's undergraduate accounting program provides concentration options based on students' individual career goals. The general accounting curriculum includes 15 credit hours of coursework in managerial and financial accounting, cost and strategic analysis, and federal taxation. Students complete an additional three credit hours in auditing, financial statement analysis, or accounting information systems.
Learners in the 12-credit finance and consulting concentration can choose from courses in financial statement analysis, managerial cost analysis, forensic accounting, and forecasting techniques, among other options. The accounting and information systems concentration emphasizes systems analysis and design, database systems and applications, and financial accounting standards and theory. Learners can also add a minor in accounting for CPAs.
Formed from the union of the Loyola University and Marymount College in 1973, LMU features Jesuit traditions extending back to the 1860s. A Catholic institution of higher learning, LMU occupies a main campus Los Angeles, California. The school enjoys sponsorship from the Society of Jesus, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.
LMU's bachelor of science in accounting includes 126-131 credit hours. The curriculum blends coursework in business administration, economics, accounting, and finance to prepare learners for careers in public, corporate, or governmental accounting. Learners can complete the bachelor's in accounting in four years.
Students complete classes in financial accounting, accounting information for decision-making, intermediate accounting, cost management, and accounting information systems.
Additional classes in income tax accounting, financial statement analysis, and auditing confer hard skills to accounting students. A course in accounting ethics, professionalism, and the public interest explores professional standards of the discipline.
Founded in 1848, UW serves as the official university of Wisconsin and the flagship institution of the University of Wisconsin System. Located in Madison, UW houses 13 academic schools and colleges, enrolling more than 31,000 students each year.
The bachelor of business administration in accounting at UW builds knowledge and skills applicable to careers in consulting, cost analysis, computer auditing, and accounting systems. Students also develop the acumen to excel as public, private, or government accountants.
The program includes 120 credit hours, including business preparatory, core, and breadth requirements. UW's 24-credit accounting curriculum includes introductory coursework in financial and managerial accounting, finance, and general business. Learners study taxation, cost management systems, and financial reporting before taking advanced coursework in accounting systems, audit and assurance services, and business ethics.
UW also offers an accounting major with an integrated master of accountancy program, which includes an optional summer internship. Students can complete either program in four years.
Established in 1848, Muhlenberg's name honors Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the founder of the Lutheran Church in America. Muhlenberg remains affiliated with the Lutheran Church and occupies 82 acres in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Muhlenberg's bachelor of arts in accounting builds oral and written communication skills, problem-solving competencies, and decision-making acumen for careers in public accounting, law, corporate business, or nonprofit settings.
All undergraduates at Muhlenberg complete general education coursework in writing, reasoning, humanities, and natural science. Students also participate in an undergraduate capstone experience.
The accounting curriculum at Muhlenberg includes 36 credit hours of required courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics, financial accounting, and accounting information systems. Additional courses in concepts of federal taxation, auditing and assurance services, and statistics accompany electives in fraud examination, business law, corporate finance, and money economics.
Located in Ada, Ohio, ONU opened its doors in 1871 and became affiliated with the United Methodist Church in 1899. With nearly 3,000 students, ONU provides undergraduate and graduate programs that embrace Christian values.
The accounting bachelor's degree at ONU, provided through the Dicke College of Business Administration, prepares students for professional examinations in management accounting and internal auditing. The curriculum also sets the foundation for a master's degree in accounting, and it provides a path to meeting the educational requirements for the certified public accountant examination.
Learners in ONU's bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting complete 121 credit hours of coursework in 3-4 years. Classes in economics, business analytics, management, and finance accompany advanced accounting courses in taxation and accounting information systems. The accounting program also features an internship, during which students gain practical experience in the discipline.
Saint Anselm, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, began under the auspices of the Order of Saint Benedict in 1889. Saint Anselm offers undergraduate and graduate programs inspired by its Catholic heritage, enrolling more than 2,000 students each year.
All undergraduates at Saint Anselm complete the core curriculum, which emphasizes humanities, college writing, and core learning. As part of the humanities requirement, students participate in a year-long conversatio course, dedicated to the Catholic Benedectine intellectual tradition.
The accounting major at Saint Anselm builds knowledge and skills applicable to careers as public, private, and government accountants. Learners also gain competencies to work as auditors, tax professionals, and business leaders. Required accounting classes in the four-year degree include principles of microeconomics, business statistics, and financial and cost accounting. Learners study auditing, business law, federal taxation, and financial management in anticipation of an internship at the end of the program.
During the internship, students benefit from assistance provided by Saint Anselm's center for experiential learning. Through the center, learners secure placement with one of the college's many professional and organizational partners.
Established in 1861, UW houses 18 academic schools and colleges on its Seattle, Washington, campus. As the state's flagship institution, UW also maintains campuses in Bothell and Tacoma and enrolls nearly 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year.
The bachelor of arts in business administration with an accounting major introduces learners to accounting principles, practices, and procedures related to auditing, taxation, and public accounting. The curriculum serves as a pathway to UW's master of professional accounting program, which helps learners meet requirements for the certified public accounting examination in Washington.
Students in UW's bachelor of accounting degree complete 72 credit hours of business coursework, including 16 in accounting knowledge and skills. The business core at UW emphasizes statistics, management, economics, and global business perspectives.
TU was initially founded in 1882 as a Presbyterian school for Native American girls located in Muskogee, Indian Territory. After transitioning to a college 12 years later, TU moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1907. Currently, the nondenominational institution offers more than 100 academic programs to over 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
TU's bachelor of science in business administration with an accounting major trains learners for careers in auditing, financial accounting, cost accounting, and taxation. Students can complete the bachelor's degree in four years, or they may add an additional year to the program to earn both a bachelor's and master's in accounting.
The undergraduate accounting curriculum includes coursework in accounting information systems, effective writing for accountants, federal income taxation, and concepts in accounting information. Students also complete a comprehensive business program of study, exploring topics such as the legal environment of business, operations management, principles of marketing, and strategic management.
What To Expect From Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs
Accounting degrees are popular and widely available at most colleges and universities. Though programs vary by school and type, accounting degrees include a bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of accountancy, and bachelor of accounting science. Schools commonly offer BS in accounting or bachelor of business administration (BBA) degrees with concentrations in accounting or other accounting specialties.
Most bachelor’s in accounting comprise 120 credits. Some programs include optional practicums or internships, and many culminate in capstone seminars, exams, or senior projects. While college programs strongly recommend practical experience, many bachelor’s in accounting degrees lend themselves to the virtual learning experience and offer the majority of coursework entirely online.
Most accounting degrees emphasize core business skills, including communication, leadership, and attention to detail. A bachelor’s in computer forensics typically takes four years to complete, though online programs may offer accelerated paths to graduation. Online programs may employ synchronous (live) or asynchronous (pre-recorded) course delivery.
The admission requirements for accounting degrees vary but typically share commonalities. Most bachelor’s in accounting programs require a high school diploma or GED certificate, along with high-school-level course requirements in subjects like English, math, and science. Some require SAT or ACT scores. Like many undergraduate programs, accounting degrees generally prefer applicants with minimum GPAs of 2.0-3.0.
Accounting schools offering BBAs may require applicants to satisfy prerequisites in business or accounting. Completing an associate degree or accounting certificate may cover some general education requirements of the bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s programs may require additional application materials like essays, statements of purpose, or letters of recommendation. While some schools require an application fee, most programs waive costs based on need. Schools increasingly encourage students to apply online through platforms like Common App.
Accounting Degree and Concentration Options
BBAs and business programs commonly offer accounting as a concentration, and some degrees feature specializations like cost accounting, forensic accounting, and taxation. A bachelor’s in accounting typically includes core business coursework emphasizing management, communication, and leadership skills.
Some programs offer sub-concentrations in particular areas of accounting expertise. Enrollees can align their coursework with their career goals by specializing in forensic accounting, mergers and acquisitions, or international tax law. Degree-seekers can also choose electives in specializations like healthcare, construction, or corporate accounting.
The best accounting degrees also prepare students for CPA licensure. At 120 credits, a typical bachelor’s in accounting does not meet the 150-credit requirement for CPAs. However, a bachelor’s program can provide foundational training and introduce students to potential field experience options.
Popular Accounting Classes
Accounting degrees emphasize core concepts in finance and business. A bachelor’s in accounting typically includes business core, major, and elective courses. Though not always required, some programs feature optional internships and may culminate in a capstone or final project. Common courses include:
Typically delivered in multiple parts, this course introduces students to theoretical accounting scenarios and practical financial statement preparation. Topics include accounting cycles, error corrections, and executive communication of financial information.
Most accounting degrees emphasize business law and ethics coursework, preparing students for any occupations involving corporate and personal accounting. This course covers real estate, bankruptcy, estate planning, and government financial regulations. Some accounting degrees, especially BBAs, feature multi-part business law courses.
Critical for aspiring CPAs and tax preparators, this course covers the latest tax laws. Students learn the legal steps to prepare and file tax returns for clients. Some programs require an enrollee to complete a prerequisite in managerial accounting before this course.
This subject requires a working knowledge of standard cost, budgeting, and job order and process. Learners apply cost behavior analysis to management and planning tasks within the accounting process. Students also record, classify, and report cost data.
Financial Statement Analysis
Degree-seekers learn to make predictions regarding future financial prospects by computing free cash flows, interpreting financial statements, and integrating SEC filing information. Coursework explores common methods in accounting for determining the value of publicly traded entities.
How Much Will a Bachelor’s in Accounting Cost?
Students surveyed by The Princeton Review reported “level of debt” as their biggest consecutive worry from 2013-2020. Since aspiring accountants need at least a bachelor’s degree to become CPAs, accounting programs provide a significant return on investment following graduation.
Accounting schools vary their tuition rates based on location, reputation, and public or private status. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees for undergraduates at public, four-year institutions in the 2018-19 academic year cost an average of $9,212 for in-state students and over $26,000 for out-of-state students.
Online learners often enjoy significant financial benefits, including set or in-state tuition rates. Many online accounting degrees offer the same need-based federal financial aid as on-campus programs. Additionally, students can qualify for merit-based scholarships and grants in their accounting specializations. Most enrollees pursue scholarships and grants — which do not require repayment — before loans, which borrowers must repay.
An accounting degree can prepare students to enter finance and business roles. Graduates can pursue CPA licensure to become accountants and auditors or enter the fields of financial planning and management or tax examination. Students may work as accounting clerks to gain experience while earning their bachelor’s in accounting. Seasoned accountants may qualify for positions in private financial management. Common accounting careers include:
Accountants and auditors prepare and inspect financial records, including filing taxes, for individuals and corporate clients. They must understand the latest financial regulations and tax laws to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of their clients’ financial statements and taxes. Any accountant who files a report with the SEC must hold CPA licensure.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree Job Outlook (2019-29):+4% Median Annual Salary:$71,550
Tax Examiner and Collector or Revenue Agent
A tax examiner/collector or revenue agent determines the amount of taxes owed by individuals and businesses and collects overdue tax payments for the IRS and state and local governments. They examine tax returns and conduct audits to identify overdue balances. These professionals typically handle simple tax returns filed by individuals and small businesses, while revenue agents work on behalf of the IRS for complex tax cases.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree Job Outlook (2019-29):-4% Median Annual Salary:$54,890
Financial analysts evaluate the performance and earnings of investments like stocks and bonds. They often work in banks, securities firms, and insurance companies, guiding individuals and businesses in making investment decisions. Sometimes called “securities analysts” or “investment analysts,” most financial analysts hold bachelor’s degrees in accounting, economics, finance, or related fields.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree Job Outlook (2019-29):+5% Median Annual Salary:$81,590
These professionals manage the financial fitness of businesses and organizations. Financial management occupations include controllers, treasurers, and corporate credit managers. Financial managers working in fields such as healthcare or government may require specialized industry-related skills. Employers require each candidate to possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, along with five years of work experience.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree Job Outlook (2019-29):+15% Median Annual Salary:$129,890
Personal Financial Advisor
These advisors guide clients in financial matters, including retirement, estate planning, and investment opportunities. Some PFAs specialize in areas like retirement or risk management. Though flexible, most employers require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many advisors seek professional certification as certified financial planners.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree Job Outlook (2019-29):+4% Median Annual Salary:$87,850
While ranked school lists offer a great starting place for prospective students, enrollees may consider other factors in their selection process. Accreditation should top the list of key considerations. The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize accrediting agencies that bestow this status on institutions across the country.
School Size: Some learners may prefer a more intimate learning experience
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: Some students require more personalized attention than others for an optimal learning environment
Cost/Financial Aid: Many degree-seekers choose programs based on their financial aid packages.
Location: The availability of local career opportunities after graduation is a critical consideration for some learners.
Program Culture: Students commonly pursue bachelor’s in accounting programs for their CPA licensure preparation coursework.
Earning Potential: Prospective enrollees should research student success rates of each school.
Alumni Network: Accounting alumni may help usher in recent graduates to professional networks and members’ organizations.
Required Admission Material: Applicants may prefer schools with test-optional admissions policies or essay requirements.
Future Education Opportunities: Graduates can pursue master’s degrees or assistance in completing additional necessary credits for CPA licensure.
Should You Get Your Accounting Degree Online?
A bachelor’s in accounting features lecture-focused and seminar-oriented coursework, which translates smoothly to distance learning. Many online accounting programs feature the same core courses and faculty as their on-campus counterparts.
Online programs continue to increase in popularity. Schools tend to offer more flexible enrollment and scheduling options, often including a choice of full-time or part-time coursework, fully online or hybrid study, and accelerated paths to graduation. Additionally, many online students pay set or in-state tuition, regardless of their location.
However, online students must adapt to stricter time management requirements and less face-to-face interaction than in traditional programs. Some learners may prefer in-person delivery over distance learning.
Yes. Earning an accounting degree can prepare students for lucrative and enduring careers in finance. A bachelor’s in accounting can lead to CPA licensure and entry-level accountant and auditor positions.
Is an accounting degree hard?
The best accounting degrees challenge students through varied coursework. Driven individuals with strong time management skills can thrive in online accounting programs.
How long does it take to get an accounting degree?
Most bachelor’s in accounting degrees take four years to complete, though many online programs feature accelerated paths to graduation. Additionally, some programs enable students to choose part-time enrollment, which offers added flexibility but extends the degree timeline.
What can you do with an accounting degree?
A bachelor’s in accounting meets the minimum education requirement for occupations such as accountant, auditor, tax examiner, and financial manager. A bachelor’s in accounting can also provide initial CPA licensure training.