Online Accounting Degrees

Become an Accountant

More Info from Purdue University Global Online


A.A.S. / B.S. / M.S.

Purdue University Global - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's. Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, they make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.
More Info on Purdue University Global.
Colorado Technical University


A.S. / B.S. / M.B.A.

Colorado Technical University - Associates, Bachelor's & Master's. A popular choice amongst students from the midwest and online, Colorado Technical University offers fully accredited campus-based and online courses.
More info on Colorado Technical University.
Liberty University


A.A. / B.S. / M.B.A.

Liberty University - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's. Liberty University offers affordable online degrees. They offer a Christian-based learning opportunity suitable for students at any stage of their career.
More info on Liberty University.
Virginia College


Accounting Specialist
Private Sector Acctng

Virginia College - Associate's & Bachelor's. Virginial College offers courses taught by professionals with real-world experience and expertise. Their programs are set up to quickly get you from student to career.

More info on Virginia College.
More Info from Post University


A.S./ B.S.
Forensic Accounting Cert.
CPA Prep. Cert.

Post University - Certificates, Associate's & Bachelor's. Post University offers popular online options for students. In addition to associates and bachelors degrees, they also offer certificates for CPA preparation and forensic accounting.
More info on Post University.

Start Your Career

A degree in accounting prepares you to analyze and record financial transactions for a business, a government, a not for profit organization or an individual. Accountants organize and record financial information to provide relevant information for decision makers, managers, investors, creditors, government regulators and others trying to understand the financial status of the entity. They prepare financial statements and interpret financial data for the development of budgets, the determination of tax liability and tax planning, audits of financial activity, and the development of systems to verify financial activity and provide internal controls.

The field offers many challenging and lucrative employment opportunities and career paths. It is a good career choice if you have an aptitude for analysis, if you are comfortable working with computers and computer programs, if you enjoy working as a member of a team and if you have good people skills.

The Importance of Accreditation

There are a variety of educational options and educational institutions you can consider to begin your study in the field. Before you chose a specific path however it is important to check if the college and course you are considering are accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or a similar professional organization. You can also check with your state accountancy licensing board to determine if the board recognizes the school’s accreditation.

Important Questions

Some questions you will want to ask of the educational opportunities you are seriously considering are:

  • What is the program’s recent graduates’ pass rate on the CPA exams?
  • Which firms and businesses recruit graduates?
  • What is the success rate in placing recent graduates in jobs and where were the graduates placed?  
  • How well do the current the students rate the faculty on the student evaluations?
  • How many and what type of internships are offered through the college? Internships are a great way to get on the job experience, professional references and often can lead to full time employment opportunities.

What you are looking for is an opportunity that has demonstrated success with its graduates passing the CPA exam and has a strong record of placing graduates in quality jobs. Taking your classes through a weak school with an undemanding faculty will not serve you well when you sit for the CPA exam or try to find a job.

Studying Part Time or Full Time?

Many academic programs offer full or part time study options. Some may be completed entirely or partially through online classes. The part time and online accounting programs may take longer to complete but they have the advantage of allowing you to work while pursuing your degree. This is not only a financial incentive but may help you obtain the on the job experience many states require you to complete before you are qualified to take the CPA exam.

Degree Options

You can pursue an Associate, a Bachelor’s, a Master’s or a PhD in accounting. An Associate degree can usually be obtained in two years of full time study, and will generally provide you with classes in basic accounting, cost accounting, taxation, financial statement analysis, payroll accounting and accounting technology. An Associate degree will not meet most state’s education requirements for the CPA exam however it prepare you to work as an account clerk in many offices or as a bookkeeper for a small business or not for profit organization. Often some or all of the courses you take to complete an Associate program can be counted toward meeting your Bachelor’s requirements. If you are looking at an Associate program as a first step in your education path check with the institution you are considering for your Bachelor’s studies and see which classes from which institutions they will accept as transfer credit hours and consider as meeting their graduation requirements.

A Bachelor of Science degree in accounting generally takes four or more years of full time study to complete. Be aware however that a 120 credit hour Bachelor’s will no longer qualify you in most states to take the CPA exam. Most states have raised the credit hour requirement to 150 hours. Some schools offer both a 120 and a 150 hour track. If you are entering the Bachelor’s program with additional credit hours from high school AP credits or credit hours from other college courses that will transfer you may be able to meet the 150 hour requirement without taking additional courses. Any Bachelor’s degree will prepare you to compete for higher level positions but if your goal is to sit for the CPA exam check out your state’s accountancy board’s educational requirements and plan accordingly.

A Master of Science in Accounting or a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree with an emphasis on accounting generally requires an additional year of study following the completion of your Bachelor’s degree.  A Master’s further refines your skills and exposes you to more sophisticated and complicated techniques and concepts.  A Master’s in Accounting or an MBA with an emphasis on accounting will enhance your competitive advantage when applying for positions, sitting for the CPA exam and expand your career path opportunities immensely.

The highest level academic degree you can receive in accounting is a Doctoral Degree or Ph.D. These programs involve more in-depth study and research and it often takes several years of additional study to complete. Once you have your Ph.D. however there are few limitations as to the type of position for which you will be prepared to compete. A PhD will also qualify you to teach courses in a college or university.

This article is meant to provide you with an overview of the academic choices available. Each individual has different educational goals and objectives so do your homework. Look at all the options; carefully evaluate the quality of those options of interest to you and take advantage of the opportunity that best fit your lifestyle and goals.

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