The 25 Most Affordable Online Accounting Degree Programs
Compiled and Written By Accounting.com Staff
Last Updated: March 2020
Accountants are always in demand. Employed in nearly every industry, accountants prepare financial records, file taxes, and review budgets for organizations, companies, and nonprofits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting jobs are projected to grow 10% by 2026, with accountants bringing in an average salary of $69,350 a year. Earning an online accounting degree is a great way to enter the field and land a lucrative job. After obtaining a bachelor's in accounting, many graduates pursue careers as auditors, budget analysts, and personal financial advisers.
As distance education grows increasingly popular, prospective students enjoy a variety of cheap online accounting degree programs to choose from. In this guide, we examine some of the most affordable online accounting degrees and the best online colleges for accounting. Read on to learn more about financial aid opportunities, resources for accounting students, cost-cutting tips, and how to choose an affordable online accounting degree that fits your lifestyle and budget.
Is a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting Worth It?
Accounting graduates enter the workforce with a versatile professional degree and a variety of lucrative career options. Students who enroll in a bachelor's in accounting program online acquire valuable skills in business accounting, taxation, and auditing. Many accounting majors also complete specialized coursework in fraud examination, financial management, and public accounting, which may help graduates obtain high-demand certifications such as the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.
Entry-level positions in many careers, including auditor, budget analyst, and accountant, require a bachelor's degree. While pursuing a degree requires a significant financial investment, an accounting degree opens up many career advancement opportunities and qualifies graduates for numerous lucrative positions. Accounting students may further improve their post-graduation job prospects by networking with program faculty and taking advantage of their school's job placement assistance services. In addition, many programs include an internship component. Along with building hands-on experience, internships can enhance a candidate's resume and broaden their industry network.
An online accounting degree's total cost ultimately depends on the program, school, and format. Some schools provide discounted tuition and financial support to help students pay for a bachelor's degree in accounting, while others specialize in offering flexible, affordable online accounting degrees. As you research cheap online accounting degree programs, keep in mind that scholarships, grants, and loans can also reduce educational costs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Accounting Programs
- How long does it take to get an accounting degree online? Typically, a bachelor's degree requires four years of full-time study. However, students with transfer credits or those who choose an accelerated program may be able to complete a degree in less time.
- Are online accounting degrees respected? Yes; online accounting degrees from accredited institutions meet the same academic and professional standards as on-campus programs. In most cases, online students receive an identical degree to students who complete the program in person.
- Is an online accounting degree right for me? Bachelor's in accounting programs online make it easy for working professionals, prospective students with family obligations, and motivated learners to succeed. Web-based degrees offer flexibility and accessibility, making them ideal for many learners.
10 of the Most Affordable Bachelor's in Accounting
- Western Governors University - Salt Lake City, UT
- Bellevue University - Bellevue, NE
- Colorado State University - Global Campus - Greenwood Village, CO
- Brandman University - Irvine, CA
- Golden Gate University - San Francisco - San Francisco, CA
- University of Colorado Denver - Denver, CO
- Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, FL
- Walsh College - Troy, MI
- Thomas Edison State University - Trenton, NJ
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Accounting?
Many graduates go on to pursue careers in auditing, accounting, and budget analysis. An online accounting degree also provides valuable training for those interested in becoming personal financial advisors or financial analysts. These positions typically require a bachelor's degree in accounting or a closely related field. After completing an online accounting program, some graduates earn a master's in accounting and become CPAs or earn certified fraud examiner or certified management accountant credentials. The best bachelor's in accounting programs provide the knowledge and skills needed to excel in roles like the following.
- Accountant: Accountants prepare financial records for private businesses, government agencies, and individuals. They also create accounting systems and analyze financial information. Individuals applying to entry-level accounting positions are usually expected to hold a bachelor's degree.
- Auditor: By examining financial reports, auditors increase company efficiency, identify problems, and ensure that businesses and organizations pay their taxes. Internal auditors review financial operations within a particular company, while external auditors review other companies. Most positions require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting.
- Budget Analyst: Budget analysts create budget reports, review spending, and organize finances for public and private organizations. They also project financial needs, ensure compliance with regulations, and recommend budgeting plans. Most budget analysts hold at least a bachelor's degree, and work for government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.
- Personal Financial Adviser: Personal financial advisers help individuals plan their investments, savings, and taxes. They provide clients with guidance on meeting financial goals, help people plan for retirement or save for college, and research financial investments. Most personal financial advisers are self-employed and hold a bachelor's degree.
- Financial Analyst: Financial analysts provide businesses and individuals with investment advice. They analyze stock and bond performance, project investment changes, and manage investment portfolios. Depending on their position, financial analysts may work for a single company or many individuals. Most financial analysts work full time and hold at least a bachelor's degree.
Salary Potential for Online Accounting Graduates
Obtaining an accounting degree online can help increase earning potential. However, numerous factors may influence graduates' salaries, including professional experience, the industry in which they work, and their degree level. According to PayScale, accountants earn above-average salaries, with entry-level workers bringing in more than $50,000 annually. Salaries increase with professional experience and educational level, and accountants with ten years of experience earn roughly $70,000 a year. Industry and individual workplace policies may also affect earnings.
|Experience||Average Annual Salary|
|Less than 1 year||$45,781|
|Industry||Average Annual Salary|
|Accounting, Auditing and Tax Services||$61,576|
How to Choose an Affordable Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program
Prospective undergraduates can be easily overwhelmed by the number of available accounting schools online. By considering several factors, including cost, location, and program length, students can find cheap online accounting degree programs that meet their needs without accruing significant debt.
Individuals looking for an affordable online accounting degree can start by researching and comparing program costs: many institutions cost less than $10,000 per year. In addition, financial aid opportunities such as scholarships, grants, and tuition waivers lower degree costs. Many students find that location plays an important role in both cost and program structure. Public universities provide lower tuition rates for in-state students, which can save learners thousands of dollars each year. Residents of neighboring states may also qualify for in-state tuition if their state participates in a reciprocity agreement, and some online accounting programs offer in-state or discounted tuition for distance learners.
Program length also influences cost. Students who can fulfill graduation requirements by applying transfer credits may trim years off their bachelor's accounting degree online, while programs that require internships or senior projects may be somewhat longer than those that do not. Candidates considering certain specialties, such as fraud examination or forensic accounting, may prefer a program with concentrations in their focus area. Finally, students should select an accredited online accounting degree.
Programmatic Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs
Accredited colleges, universities, and programs meet the highest standards for academic excellence. Schools and programs seeking accreditation voluntarily submit to review from an independent, nonprofit accrediting agency, which assesses their student learning outcomes and graduation requirements. Regional and national accrediting agencies evaluate entire colleges and universities, while programmatic accrediting agencies specialize in particular programs and departments, such as social work programs, teacher training colleges, or counseling programs.
Most online accounting degree programs operate within a college or university's business school. Thus, accounting programs undergo programmatic accreditation from one of three business accrediting agencies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). The best online colleges for accounting hold both institutional and programmatic accreditation, which ensures that they meet certification and licensure standards and qualify to receive federal financial aid.
How Much Does an Online Accounting Degree Cost?
The most affordable online accounting degrees offer lower tuition rates, with many charging under $10,000 a year. Along with tuition, prospective students must consider fees and technology expenses, which can increase total costs. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep educational expenses at a minimum. For example, choosing an in-state, public university usually results in paying lower tuition rates. Many colleges and universities also offer tuition discounts for distance learners. In addition, online students save on commuting and parking costs, and often find it easier to work while completing a degree.
Transfer students with previously-earned college credits may further reduce costs by using their transfer credits to fulfill general education requirements. When researching online accounting programs, it is important to study each institution's transfer credit policy or request a transcript review. Candidates looking for cheap online accounting degree programs should also explore financial aid opportunities, such as federal grants, scholarships offered by private organizations, and work-study arrangements. Financial aid can help prospective students afford any of the best online colleges for accounting.
In-State Vs. Out-of-State Tuition for Online Accounting Students
Tuition costs at public colleges and universities vary depending on a student's residency status. In-state students benefit from much lower tuition prices in most states. To obtain in-state status, students must declare their residency, live in the state for at least a year, and demonstrate financial independence. However, some schools offer scholarships that provide in-state tuition to out-of-state students, and some states have a reciprocity agreement with nearby states to offer in-state tuition to residents. Many institutions charge distance learners a flat, per-credit rate, regardless of residency status.
Public Vs. Private Tuition for Online Accounting Students
Private schools typically charge higher tuition rates than public institutions, even for in-state residents. Public schools charge lower tuition rates because they receive government funding, which partially covers operating expenses. However, most private colleges and universities offer generous scholarships, grants, and fellowships to attract prospective students. Those considering earning their online accounting degree from a private school should research that institution's financial support opportunities and compare potential expenses with the cost of attending a public school.
Financial Aid for Online Accounting Students
Many online accounting students receive financial assistance from the federal or state government, colleges and universities, and private organizations. Most students enrolled in an accredited online accounting degree qualify to receive federal funding through grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. To determine eligibility, candidates must fill out the FAFSA and provide the government with their financial information. The Federal Student Aid office then calculates the student's financial need and offers a financial aid package. Some states also offer financial aid programs for residents.
In addition to state and federal financial aid, many colleges and universities support learners through scholarships and grants. Employed accounting students may also qualify for tuition assistance programs offered through their workplace. Finally, many private organizations, nonprofit groups, and businesses sponsor scholarships for distance learners pursuing an online accounting degree. Prospective students can learn more by researching scholarships and financial aid for accounting students.
Scholarships for Online Accounting Students
Scholarships are a great way to cover tuition costs and related educational expenses. Unlike federal student loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid. Professional organizations, companies, and government agencies sponsor accounting scholarships, with some awards providing up to $10,000 a year. Scholarships like the following examples can help candidates limit costs and avoid accruing debt.
Ritchie Jennings Memorial
Who Can Apply: Full-time students at accredited four-year institutions may apply for this scholarship sponsored by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Applicants must submit an application, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.
Amount: Up to $10,000
AFWA Undergraduate Accounting
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance, this scholarship supports female undergraduate students who have reached junior standing at their school.
for Minority Accounting Students
Who Can Apply: Minority students earning a degree in accounting may apply for this AICPA scholarship, which evaluates applicants based on academic history, leadership, and plans to become a CPA.
Amount: Up to $5,000 per year
Paul S. Mills
Who Can Apply: Both full-time and part-time students are eligible to apply for the Foundation of Financial Service Professionals scholarship. Applicants must be earning a degree in accounting or a financial service field, and must demonstrate financial need.
Resources for Online Accounting Students
- AICPA Scholarships: In addition to the scholarships listed above, AICPA sponsors several other scholarships for accounting students, including those attending two-year colleges who plan to transfer to a four-year accounting program.
- ACFE Career Center: The ACFE's career center offers a job board, career path advice, and interview and resume tips for prospective fraud examiners.
- AICPA Career Guidance: Students earning an accounting degree online can explore job openings on AICPA's employment board, participate in the organization's mentoring programs, and survey different career paths and salary information.
Professional Organizations in Accounting
Joining professional organizations offer students many benefits. Many organizations offer scholarships to help students afford college, and some operate career centers, which feature job boards, career counseling services, and resume assistance. After graduation, many professional accountants pursue certifications such as the Certified Public Accountant or Certified Fraud Examiner credentials by joining a professional organization. The support of a professional organization can help accountants advance in the workforce.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): Founded in 1887, AICPA sets professional standards for certified public accountants by offering the definitive CPA examination. The Institute also provides career guidance and scholarships.
- National Society of Accountants (NSA): Bringing together tax and accounting professionals, NSA offers publications, tax resources, and events. Members receive discounts, access to a resource library, and a page in the NSA professional directory.
- American Accounting Association (AAA): An association for academics and professional accountants, AAA provides updates on new research in the field, publications, and access to a career center. Regular meetings offer opportunities for networking and collaboration.
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE): The ACFE offers certifications, events, and training, as well as academic resources and research. Membership is reserved for certified fraud examiners.
- Institute of Management Accountants (IMA): Founded in 1919, IMA is best known for granting the certified management accountant credential. Membership benefits include training programs, career resources, and publications.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs?
Earning an accounting degree online allows students to earn the credentials and skills needed to start a career on their own schedule. This list gives you the chance to learn more about affordable online accounting degree programs. The schools are ranked by return on investment for the student, and are all regionally or nationally accredited.
|Rank||Logo||School Name||Type||Accreditation||Description||Quick Facts|
Western Governors University
|Private (Non Profit)||NCCU||
Western Governors University offers an affordable online
accounting degree that prepares students for CPA certification.
bachelor of science in accounting
covers topics like Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,
financial planning, taxes, financial records, and payroll.
Students take courses such as business ethics, organizational
behavior, taxation, and managerial accounting.
In addition to holding regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, WGU's accounting program boasts accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
|Private (Non Profit)||NCACS/THLC||
Students seeking an online accounting degree should consider the bachelor of science in accounting from Bellevue University in Nevada. Distance learners pay a flat rate per credit for tuition, and active-duty military receive discounted pricing.
The program provides an overview of accounting principles and teaches the skills necessary for auditing, cost accounting, tax accounting, financial accounting, and analysis. The 127-credit degree requires 36 general education credits, 19 electives, and 72 credits within the accounting major.
Courses include advanced accounting problems, tax planning and strategies, and advanced cost accounting. Learners can also minor in tax accountancy, add a concentration in business finance, and take an accountancy internship. Graduates qualify for entry-level accounting positions and begin to prepare for the CPA exam.
Bellevue's accounting program holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Distance students can pursue an affordable online accounting degree from Colorado State University – Global Campus, which is based in Greenwood Village. CSU's bachelor of science in accounting explores issues like quantitative decision making, legal compliance, leadership, ethics, and organizational management.
The program includes three awards of completion: foundations of accounting; 21st-century accounting; and financial analysis, reporting, and auditing. Students learn the fundamentals of accountancy while gaining skills in time management, mathematical reasoning, complex problem solving, perceptual speed, and inductive and deductive reasoning.
Courses include government and nonprofit accounting, information systems for accounting, and a capstone project exploring accounting research and analysis. Students can also take an optional practicum to gain experience in a real-world accounting organization. Accounting majors can add one of more than a dozen specializations in areas like information technology management, organizational leadership, and project management.
CSU's accounting program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
|Private (Non Profit)||WASC/SCUC||
Brandman University in Irvine, California, boasts an affordable online accounting degree with a focus on financial reporting and analysis, accounting information systems, cost analysis and budgeting, and income taxation. Delivered through its Business & Professional Studies Division, Brandman's program approaches accounting problems from a global perspective, incorporating marketing strategies, business management, and communications.
The 120-credit degree includes core courses in advanced accounting, income taxation, auditing, and leadership in diverse and multicultural organizations. Students can choose either a fully online or hybrid program. Brandman's flat-rate tuition makes it easy for students to plan their budgets while limiting unexpected financial costs.
Applicants to the bachelor's of business administration in accounting must hold at least 12 transfer credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. If students lack the required credits, Brandman offers a four-course program through its School of Extended Studies to complete the 12 required credits.
Brandman is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Golden Gate University - San Francisco
|Private (Non Profit)||WASC/SCUC||
The bachelor of science in business from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, includes the option to add an accounting concentration. GGU's online accounting degree prepares graduates to sit for the CPA and CMA exams and provides them with the technical accounting skills needed for entry-level positions in managerial and financial accounting, consulting, internal and external auditing, and taxation.
Students take courses like cost management, auditing, and federal income tax. Graduates establish foundations in management, economics, finance, quantitative methods, information systems, communications, and law.
GGU offers a $2,000 annual leadership grant to help students complete their undergraduate degrees. To qualify for admission to the program, students must hold at least 12 transferable undergraduate credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Prospective students who do not meet these requirements may receive conditional admission if they hold a high school minimum 3.0 GPA and at least three years of professional work experience.
Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Students searching for online accounting programs should consider the BS in business administration with an emphasis in accounting at the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus. The program focuses on auditing, consulting, taxes, and financial and managerial accounting.
UCD's close ties to Denver's accounting community facilitate a variety of networking, internship, and job opportunities for students. Learners take courses like financial accounting and financial statement analysis; accounting systems and data processing; and accounting and information systems processes and controls. Accounting majors take a mix of general education, business, and accounting courses.
Students can take all courses online or pursue a hybrid format. The same instructors teach classes on campus and online. Online out-of-state students pay higher tuition rates than Colorado residents but receive a substantial discount. UCD's accounting program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Florida Atlantic University
One of the best online colleges for accounting, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton offers a comprehensive bachelor of business administration major in accounting. FAU's accounting program distinguishes itself with its networking and job placement services for students post-graduation.
Students learn the foundations of accounting and gain communication, analytical, interpersonal, and technical skills to help them succeed in the field. They also learn to identify and analyze economic and financial information to inform decision making. The 120-credit degree includes required courses in accounting information systems, federal tax, and intermediate accounting theory I and II.
Students can apply to FAU's honors Accounting Scholars Program, which helps accounting majors prepare for professional accounting careers and graduate work in the field. To apply to FAU's BBA in accounting, students must hold at least 60 credits, satisfy a foreign language requirement, complete FAU's Intellectual Foundation Program, and earn a minimum 2.5 GPA in a variety of pre-business foundation courses.
Florida Atlantic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration
|Private (Non Profit)||NCACS/THLC||
Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration's bachelor of accountancy (BAC) ranks among the top cheap online accounting degree programs. Graduates work at every Fortune 500 company in Michigan and go on to earn certifications as business accountants, CPAs, and CMAs.
Walsh graduates pass the CPA exam at higher rates than the national average. Students must pass 127 credits to earn the bachelor's, taking courses like advanced managerial accounting, intermediate accounting, and financial accounting concepts. Learners also select a concentration in either certified public accountant or certified management accountant.
All students and graduates can join the Walsh Accounting & Taxation Student Organization, which offers valuable networking and volunteer opportunities. Student's may also explore Walsh's accelerated program, allowing them to earn a bachelor's and a master's of accountancy in just five years.
Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey, offers an affordable online accounting degree to busy adults aiming to become accountants and auditors. The bachelor of science in business administration (BSBA) in accounting covers topics like auditing, managerial accounting, cost accounting, financial accounting, and earnings performance analysis.
The 120-credit degree includes 60 general education requirements, 36 professional business requirements, 18 accounting requirements, and six electives. Accounting courses include government accounting, advanced managerial accounting, and analysis of financial statements.
Thomas Edison also offers BSBA in accounting students the opportunity to easily transition into its CPA and master's track, allowing students to earn the credits necessary for CPA certification while simultaneously earning a master's of science in management. Applicants must be at least 21 years old or at least 18 and a member of the military. They must also hold a high school diploma or GED.
Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
The 120-credit bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is among the best online accounting programs. UMN faculty, researchers, and alumni boast three Pulitzers and 29 Nobel prizes.
Of the 120 credits necessary to graduate with the BS in accounting, learners must complete 63 within the major. Courses cover topics like business ethics, income tax, auditing, managerial finance, and accounting systems. Students learn practical skills and gain the theoretical framework to work as accountants in a variety of public and private settings.
Graduates find work as financial accountants, financial managers, and financial analysts. UMN also gives accounting majors the opportunity to complete CPA, CMA, and CIA certification on campus. Because licensure requirements vary by state, online students should determine rules from the licensing board in the state where they want to practice.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Texas Woman's University
It typically takes four years of full-time study to complete the bachelor of business administration in accounting from Texas Woman's University in Denton. Students looking for an affordable online accounting degree should consider TWU's four plus one in accounting program, which lets students earn both a BBA and MBA with an accounting emphasis in just five years.
Undergraduate costs at TWU are 23% lower than the national average. The 120-credit degree includes 66 credits within the accounting major, and TWU accepts up to 42 credits toward the BBA from transfer students. Students can complete the degree completely online, or combine in-person and distance courses. Students, recent grads, and alumni benefit from TWU's Career Connections Center, which provides help with a variety of career planning services, including networking, resume reviewing, and career advising.
TWU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Maryland - College Park
Students take courses like accounting for government organizations, internal auditing, and federal income tax in the online accounting BS program at the University of Maryland – College Park. One of the best online colleges for accounting, UMUC combines theory and practice, helping students develop skills related to taxation, financial reporting, managerial accounting, internal controls, internal and external auditing, accounting systems, and budgeting.
Learners must complete 120 credits to graduate and UMUC accepts up to 90 transfer credits. The distinguished faculty in the program combine academic knowledge with professional accounting experience. Instructors have experience working in roles like systems auditor, certified public accountant, and financial analyst.
UMUC's accounting program helps students prepare to sit for the CPA exam in Maryland. Many other states require completion of 150 credits before candidates can sit for the exam, so students should contact the licensing board in the state where they intend to take the test.
University of Maryland – College Park is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Fort Hays State University
The bachelor of business administration in accounting from the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, prepares students for work in entry-level accounting positions. Students seeking to become certified public accountants must meet additional requirements that this program does not offer.
The accredited online accounting degree requires learners to take courses such as auditing, cost accounting, and income tax procedure. Electives include fraud examination, ethics for accountants, and financial statement analysis. The 124-credit degree includes 30 credits within the accounting major.
Faculty members in the program are experts in their field with valuable connections to the professional accounting world. FHSU's Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting gives accounting majors personalized virtual mentoring and advising. The department also offers numerous scholarships to accounting students each semester and maintains an active internship program that helps learners gain hands-on experience in the accounting field.
Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Hawaii - West Oahu
The University of Hawai'i – West O'ahu offers one of the best cheap online accounting degree programs. Its BA in business administration with an accounting concentration provides a comprehensive overview of the accounting profession. Students learn to evaluate, analyze, and report financial information.
The program explores accounting principles, the double-entry system, and how to use financial data to make business decisions. Students take classes in general education, business administration, and accounting. Course include estate and gift taxation, advanced accounting, and hospitality accounting. All students must complete a senior capstone, which can include either a senior project, administrative practicum, senior case study, or Small Business Institute-supervised field study.
Graduates of UH-West O'ahu's accounting program find careers as tax specialists, auditors, controllers, and bank examiners in public accounting firms, nonprofit organizations, government offices, and private corporations. UH-West O'ahu hosts a student accounting club that maintains an email list with information about accounting news, upcoming events, and opportunities.
University of Hawai'i – West O'ahu is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Maryland-University College
The University of Maryland – University College's generous transfer policy allows online learners pursuing a bachelor of science in accounting to transfer up to 90 of the 120 credits necessary to graduate. All accounting coursework is available online, although some courses may include an optional hybrid format.
Required classes include accounting information systems, ethics and professionalism in accounting, internal auditing, and fraud and forensic accounting. UMUC's accounting faculty develop the program's curriculum in consultation with accountancy employers. Of the 120 credits required to graduate, 51 must be in the accounting major.
Students learn skills in financial reporting, internal controls, taxation, accounting systems, internal and external auditing, and budgeting. Graduates with UMUC's accredited online accounting degree can sit for Maryland's CPA exam. However, many other states require prospective CPAs to complete 150 credits before sitting for the exam, so out-of-state students should consult the licensing board in their state for requirements.
University of Maryland University College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Dickinson State University
The School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota, offers one of the best cheap online accounting degree programs. Its 121-credit bachelor of science in accounting (professional track) includes classes in computerized accounting, business valuation, international finance, and financial statement analysis.
Students can complete the entire degree online, with no in-person requirements. They learn about the foundations of financial accounting and reporting; the role of cost in decision making; international aspects of accounting; and federal tax law as it applies to businesses and individuals. Students also learn the fundamental principles of business and management and gain skills in strategic decision-making, leadership, and professional communication.
Accounting majors at Dickinson can add a marketing concentration to their degree. To graduate with the BS, learners must earn a cumulative 2.25 GPA. The program prepares graduates to sit for a variety of professional exams, including the CPA.
Dickinson State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Missouri State University-Springfield
The bachelor of science in accounting program at Missouri State University – Springfield allows Ozarks Technical Community College students to finish their degrees at MSU. Students can earn an associate degree at OTCC, then easily transfer to MSU for the last two years of school.
Unlike many accounting programs online, this one combines online coursework with some in-person evening classes. MSU offers the program with part-time and full-time options. Students take courses like managerial cost accounting, debtor/creditor rights and remedies, professionalism in accounting, and principles of marketing.
The 125-credit degree requires that students take their last 30 credits at MSU and complete at least 90 credits outside of the accounting major. Of the 125 credits required to graduate, at least 40 must be upper division. Accounting majors benefit from networking events, membership in the accounting student group, and eligibility for a variety of scholarships.
MSU's BS in accounting program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Washington State University
Located in Pullman, Washington, WSU's college of business is home to the online bachelor's degree in accounting, one of the most affordable accounting degrees online. The college of business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and their accounting degree is one of only 165 programs to have separate AACSB accounting accreditation. Courses, taught through the Blackboard platform, are seven weeks long; other courses at the university may be offered in a 16-week format.
To advance to upper-division courses in this accounting degree online, students must become certified in business administration with an accounting concentration through the university. Students who meet the minimum requirements are ranked and certified based on the number of spots available that semester. The program also includes a six-credit international experience requirement that can be fulfilled by study abroad, international internships, or approved coursework.
Old Dominion University
Designed as a degree completion program for students with an associate degree or significant undergraduate coursework, the BSBA in accounting from Old Dominion University is one of the best online accounting degrees. The program provides a strong overview of the principles and practices of accounting, helping students develop communication, analytical, and computer skills.
Learners outside of Virginia pay only slightly more per credit than Virginia residents, keeping the program affordable for distance learners. Online courses at ODU include some live classes that meet at scheduled times, as well as asynchronous courses. The 120-credit bachelor's in accounting includes required courses like accounting information systems, taxation, and managerial accounting.
ODU requires students to complete their last 30 credits at ODU. Accounting majors can choose between two concentrations: general or professional. ODU's accounting program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Prospective students looking for cheap online accounting degree programs should consider the University of Alabama at Birmingham's BS in accounting. UAB's Collat School of Business offers the bachelor's degree entirely online with no in-person requirements. If learners encounter any technical difficulties they can access a 24/7 help desk.
The program combines business knowledge with a thorough overview of conceptual accounting. It provides preparation for a variety of certification exams, including the CPA, CMA, CFE, CIA, and CISA. Students take courses like financial accounting, internal auditing, and an accounting capstone.
UAB's accounting program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and an endorsement from the Institute of Management Accountants signifying leadership in CMA exam preparation. Faculty members maintain connections to the local accounting community, giving students the opportunity to network with groups like the Alabama Society of CPAs and the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.
Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University, a public university founded in 1897 in Cedar City, offers a fully online bachelor of science in accounting. Students pursuing SUU's accounting degree online typically complete the degree in four years with full-time study. They take accounting courses like advanced accounting, auditing, and financial accounting, as well as business-focused classes like strategic management, business law, and marketing principles.
The 120-credit degree requires learners to complete 40 upper-division credits, of which only 12 can be transfer credits. For students interested in earning their master's in accountancy, SUU offers a two-semester, fast-track option that allows students to complete both degrees in five years. Almost half of SUU's accounting majors pursue the fast-track master's.
SUU's accounting program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Alaska Southeast
Located in Juneau, the University of Alaska Southeast is among the best cheap online accounting degree programs. Its bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in accounting gives students a solid foundation in business theory and practice while providing a detailed course of study in accounting principles. Accounting majors can also add a dual emphasis in management, management information systems, or human resource management.
The 120-credit degree must include 42 upper-division credits, with at least 24 of those credits completed at UAS. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all accounting and business administration prerequisite courses. Students pursuing a dual emphasis may need to complete more than the standard 120 credits required to graduate. The BBA requires classes like management skills, legal environment of business, financial management, and applied business research.
University of Alaska Southeast is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
from SUNY College at Plattsburgh includes many internship and
co-op opportunities. Unlike some online accounting degrees, which
do not offer real-world experience, SUNY's accounting program
gives students access to internships at successful international
companies like IBM, as well as local, national, and regional
The director of career opportunities and internships at the School
of Business Economics works one-on-one with students to match them
with suitable experiential learning opportunities. Students gain
leadership and team-building skills through their internships. The
program helps students prepare for careers in corporate
accounting, public accounting, and nonprofit and government
organizations. Students complete courses in strategic management,
business law for accounting majors, and a seminar in
SUNY College at Plattsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Ottawa University - Online
|Private (Non Profit)||N/A||
Established in 1865, Ottawa University is a private, nonprofit school that offers a fully online BA in accounting through its school of business. The program gives students the conceptual framework necessary to successfully analyze and report financial information in a variety of public and private organizations. Learners also explore professionalism and ethics in the accounting field and fiduciary responsibility. Students gain skills in systems analysis, decision making, and problem solving.
Students pursuing the accounting degree online take classes such as accounting for business, federal income tax, business statistics, and foundations of finance. A required capstone seminar in applied accounting helps students learn how accounting theories apply to financial accounting in the real world. Accounting majors must complete 124 credit hours. Graduates of Ottawa's accounting program find work as financial analysts, budget analysts, public accountants, and controllers.
Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, offers a fully online BS in accounting that students with an associate degree, or an equivalent amount of credits, can complete in as little as two years. The program does not require any in-person sessions. The 120-credit program accepts transfer students with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Courses cover topics such as accounting systems, strategic management, financial management, auditing, and fraud.
Students seeking cheap online accounting degree programs will appreciate that online students at Bemidji pay resident tuition rates, regardless of residency. Distance learners also qualify for a variety of financial aid services, including distance learning scholarships from the school's Center for Extended Learning.
Online students receive access to resources such as career services, advising support, library services, and technical support. Bemidji's accounting program holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.