2018 Top Online Schools for Accounting & Finance

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges offering accounting & finance degrees online.

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1

DePaul University

DePaul University's online Master of Science in Accountancy is designed for students who want to prepare for the CPA exam. Students who take two classes per term can complete the program in two years, and some individuals may be able to waive some classes and finish even faster. Classes are delivered in a completely asynchronous format in 11-week sessions and include a mix of videos, discussions, quizzes, and other assignments. The curriculum for the MSA requires students to complete 12 courses, although students who do not have a business background may have to take four additional courses. The program offers multiple start dates each year, and there is no requirement for GMAT or GRE scores.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

2

Bentley University

Bentley University offers a fully online bachelor's degree in business administration that is designed as a part-time cohort program. There are five sessions each year and students take one 8-week course per session. Students who can transfer 60 college-level credits to the program are required to complete only 16 additional courses in order to earn their degree. Core business courses include the following: global strategy, law ethics and social responsibility, management communications, management of information technology, organizational behavior and leadership, and supply chain management. There is a two-day on-campus experience held once a year. The university offers an alternative opportunity for students who cannot attend this session. With continuous enrollment, most students can complete the program in just over three years.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

3

University of South Carolina-Columbia

University of South Carolina's Palmetto College runs a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a concentration in Accounting. Once students have 45 to 60 credits in general ed areas such as composition, economics and humanities - whether from Palmetto College's four traditional campuses or elsewhere - they can transfer into the online BSBA. Full-time enrollees spend two and a half years learning about financial and managerial accounting, auditing, and foundational business concepts. There is no capstone, but by the end, with a degree issued by USC Aiken, they should be ready to sit for the CPA exam.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

4

The University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas offers all the courses for the Master of Science in Accounting online. However, Texas residents who are preparing for the CPA exam are required to take at least 15 of the required credits on campus under rules established by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. Residents of other states should check their state requirements if they plan to take the CPA exam after completing an MS in Accounting. The MS in Accounting is a 36-credit program, and most students can complete the degree in 18 to 24 months. The program is open to students with any undergraduate major, and applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 95.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,554 Students

5

University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMASS runs BS degree completion programs in Accounting and Finance; students must transfer in at least 27 credits. After satisfying their general education and elective requirements, students in either program take 11 to 12 core business courses. These cover areas such as accounting, management and marketing. Enrollees also branch out into the core courses for the major. For the BS in Accounting, those nine courses cover financial reporting, cost accounting, taxation and information systems. The BS in Finance is more flexible - students have five required upper-level courses and choose another five business or economics classes. Finance is also available as a focus area under the online MBA, which was ranked 12th best by U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

29,269 Students

6

Florida International University

Florida International University's fully online Bachelor of Business Administration program offers a finance track for students who are interested in pursuing a career or further studies in banking, business, corporate finance, or investments. Students are required to complete 60 credit hours of upper division coursework that include business, major (finance), and elective courses. The following core financial courses are required: commercial bank management, financial markets and institutions, financial risk management (financial engineering), intermediate finance, and securities analysis. Students can choose management/banking or finance/real estate courses as part of their elective coursework. FIU pairs each online student with a success coach to facilitate program planning and completion. Students are given the option of beginning the program in the fall, spring, or summer term.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

7

University of Denver

For Accounting or Finance in the Mile High City, look to the [email protected] Entrants who choose either discipline as a concentration merely add eight credits to a 60-credit MBA. The curriculum already includes required courses like Financial Reporting and Accounting as well as Managerial Finance. It culminates with a team-based capstone that asks students to pull from everything they've learned to solve a real organization's challenge. The program recruits working professionals for four start dates per year.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

8

Villanova University

Villanova's Online MBA with a specialization in Finance is a 48-credit program with a short yet intense on-campus residency during the first year plus two practicums interspersed throughout. Students can do the standard capstone at the end or incorporate a weeklong immersion abroad at a global company. Another distance learning option out of the School of Business is the Master of Taxation (MT), which mixes legal and accounting coursework. The school's online graduate business programs, including the MT, were ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

9

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois' on-ground Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) was ranked third-best in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2018. The online version is an 18-36 month program aimed at working professionals with a baccalaureate in any discipline, provided their undergraduate transcripts feature a few business and accounting courses. In addition to five required courses, students choose three electives. One of them must be from outside the field of accounting. There is no capstone or thesis requirement. The program's core curriculum integrates financial reporting, auditing and taxation. To focus exclusively on the latter, enroll in the online MS Tax degree.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

45,842 Students

10

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

With new federal requirements for financial planners, earning the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is all but necessary to advance in the profession. The Master of Science in Family Financial Planning (FFP) will help graduates stay in the game. Designed as a part-time program that takes several years to complete, the 36-credit graduate degree is made up of 10 core courses, including a practicum, and two electives. For those who need the CFP on their resume right away, the 18-credit FFP certificate pulls six of the most essential courses from the core curriculum. It covers topics ranging from estate planning and retirement planning to investing and income tax.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 95.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

25,930 Students

11

Missouri State University-Springfield

Missouri State's College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science degree in finance that can be pursued online. Students accepted to the program complete general education and College of Business requirements, in addition to taking 32 to 33 units within the major. The finance curriculum includes courses such as intermediate financial management, investments, international financial statement analysis, and business enterprises, rights, and liabilities. Students are trained for careers in a variety of financial fields including investment management, personal financial planning, banking, and corporate and public finance. Missouri State University is recognized by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. Finance majors are prepared to sit for the CFA Level I exam, which is the first step in receiving their CFA Charter.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 92.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

22,273 Students

12

Auburn University

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree that can be pursued online. This is the same AACSB-accredited program that is available to on-campus students. The program is designed for students who already have a non-accounting undergraduate degree who wish to shift to an accounting career. The program also completes the educational requirements for the CPA exam. On the graduate level, the university offers Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and Master of Science in Finance degrees online. The MAcc program can be pursued on a part-time (five semesters) or full-time basis (three semesters). Online and on-campus students are required to participate in a three-day onsite residency during their final spring semester.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

13

St. John's University

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John's University offers an online Master of Science in Accounting degree. The program satisfies the educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in the State of New York. Students applying for admission to the program must have completed an undergraduate business degree from an accredited institution. The 30- to 33-credit program is designed to be completed in one year and students have the option of following a part-time or full-time plan of study. The curriculum includes coursework that train students to analyze exposures and risks, identify and measure financial information, use technology to leverage accounting strategies, and understand the impact of national and global issues on local business.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

14

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alaska in Fairbanks offers an online Associate of Applied Science degree in applied accounting that provides students with a gateway to a four-year Bachelor of Arts program in accounting. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in bookkeeping, payroll accounting, and in payables and/or receivables. A one-year certificate in accounting technology is also available online. The university offers a 15-credit occupational endorsement as a financial services representative that can be pursued online in one semester. Students who complete this program will have 50 percent of the required credits for the applied business management certificate in finance. After earning the endorsement, students have the option of enrolling in an internship course in order to gain practical, hands-on experience in the field.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

15

University of Connecticut

The online MS in Accounting at UCONN is one of the top 10 non-MBA business programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. To get in, applicants need at least eight accounting courses on their transcripts and a 500+ score on the GMAT. Those who make the cut typically start on campus in May with a month-long about professional responsibilities. They take the remaining nine courses online over two to three semesters, or enroll part-time as they work. Aside from the residency course and one other, all classes are electives, allowing students to delve into issues of taxation, data analytics, ethics, fraud and information systems. There is no capstone.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

16

Oregon State University

The BS/BA in Economic Studies at the OSU Ecampus has two concentrations, one of which is Managerial Economics. That track builds upon the 32 credits within the Economics core curriculum by adding courses such as Financial Accounting and Introduction to Financial Management, so graduates should be able to snag jobs in the business sector. For a resume boost, Oregon State's Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is a one-year hybrid program that meets twice per term in Portland. Four of the seven required courses within the 27-credit program contain "financial planning" in the title, with the others dedicated to Corporate Finance, Investments, and Personal Selling. Graduates are qualified to sit for the Certified Financial Planner exam.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

17

University of Houston-Clear Lake

The online Master of Science in Finance degree at the University of Houston in Clear Lake (UHCL) is a 36-graduate-hour program offered through the School of Business. The curriculum includes required coursework in key financial topics such as: management science and operations, security analysis, economic policy and applications, international finance, financial administrative policies, financial policy, and the structure of financial statements. Accounting and business elective courses may be taken with the approval of the student advisor. Students are given the option of completing a capstone project or writing a thesis in order to graduate from the program. UHCL is authorized to offer online programs to students residing in all states except for the following: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Wisconsin.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

18

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University has a fully online program for a Graduate Certificate in Charitable Financial Planning, which is designed for professionals who work in fields such as financial advising or in fundraising for nonprofits. This is a four-course, 12-credit program, and credits earned for the certificate can be applied to the Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, but there are no other application requirements for the certificate except for proof of English proficiency from international students. Undergrads at Texas Tech can complete a minor in personal finance through online classwork. The minor requires six specific classes for 18 credits.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 93.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

35,859 Students

19

Washington State University

Washington State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree through the Carson College of Business. Students accepted to the program must first be certified in business administration with a concentration in accounting before taking upper-division business and accounting classes. The following courses must be completed for advancement in the program: financial and managerial accounting, business statistics, finite math and business calculus, and law and the legal environment. Once eligible to take upper-division courses, students enroll in classes that fulfill the business and accounting requirements such as the principles of management and organization, business strategy and policy, intermediate accounting, taxation, and auditing. Finance is offered as an area of concentration for the university's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

CAG Score 94.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

29,686 Students

20

Creighton University

Creighton University has an online Master of Finance program that students can complete in as little as two years. Students can take all their classes online or mix online coursework with classes delivered on campus. The 33-credit program requires students to complete 11 courses, including eight core classes. Students can enter in the fall, spring, or summer semester, and applications are considered on a rolling basis. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and must submit GMAT scores, resume, personal statement, and two recommendations. Students who want the depth of a master's in finance with the breath of an MBA program can earn both in the 48-credit MBA + MFIN dual degree program.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

21

University of Miami

University of Miami's Master of Professional Accounting (MPrA) and MS in Finance degrees were ranked in the top 40 of online graduate business degrees by U.S. News and World Report in 2017. The former is a 32-credit program for current professionals. Those new to accounting can ease into the field with the 16-credit Accounting Practice Certificate. Alternatively, students can take a slightly longer MPrA with a CPA track or even pursue Accounting as a focus area under an MBA degree. The MS in Finance is also 32 credits with certificate programs in Corporate Finance and Financial Decision Making for those wanting to specialize. Miami's MBA program also offers a focus in Corporate Finance.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

22

University of Alaska Fairbanks

The University of Alaska in Fairbanks offers an online Associate of Applied Science degree in applied accounting that provides students with a gateway to a four-year Bachelor of Arts program in accounting. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in bookkeeping, payroll accounting, and in payables and/or receivables. A one-year certificate in accounting technology is also available online. The university offers a 15-credit occupational endorsement as a financial services representative that can be pursued online in one semester. Students who complete this program will have 50 percent of the required credits for the applied business management certificate in finance. After earning the endorsement, students have the option of enrolling in an internship course in order to gain practical, hands-on experience in the field.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

23

University of Toledo

UT Online's associate degree in Accounting Technology can prepare beginning students to pursue either the Bachelor of Business Accounting (BBA) or an entry-level position. The university reports a job placement rate above 90 percent (with $50,000 starting salaries) for students from its BBA degree. That's in part because in 2015, Toledo's student pass rate on the CPA exam was higher than the national and state rates, continuing a decade-long string of outperforming the average. The BBA is structured so that students only have to choose one accounting elective, but to sit for the CPA exam, they'll need to select an additional elective. All electives are also available via the one-year MS in Accountancy, which is partially online.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

24

George Mason University

George Mason University's online Master of Science in Accounting is a part-time program students can complete in as little as two years. Courses are offered in a module format that allows students to enroll in two courses every 10 weeks. The curriculum calls for 30 credits, with half of the courses electives. Students move through the program in a cohort, ensuring they develop a professional network of peers. All students are required to take a one-week global residency class that is led by a GMU instructor. Previous residency locations have included London, Frankfurt, and Prague. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in accounting, business, or a similar field. GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

25

Lehigh University

Students in the Flex MBA program at Lehigh University can concentrate in finance. The Flex MBA can be completed almost entirely online, although students begin the program with a mandatory weekend orientation. Coursework is not always asynchronous; students may be required to attend scheduled live sessions via the internet. This is a 36-credit program that ends with a capstone project. Students may attend part time, which takes about three years, or accelerate the pace by taking more classes each semester. Applicants do not have to have an undergraduate business degree, but they are required to complete prerequisites in financial accounting, statistics, and economics. Students can enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

26

University of Memphis

The distance education program of the University of Memphis (UofM Online) offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy degree that can be pursued completely online or with a combination of online and on-campus coursework. There is also a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance degree available with two areas of concentration - real estate and business finance. Students accepted to this program also have the option of earning the degree 100 percent online or on campus. As programs offered through the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, the online accounting and finance courses are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. The Fogelman College of Business and Economics is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

27

Saint Joseph's University

The Master of Science in Financial Services degree offered by the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph's University is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as well as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. To date, it is the only regional master's program in finance that is both AACSB-accredited and CFP-certified. The degree can be pursued online. Students accepted to the program gain critical expertise in key areas such as portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, financial institutions and capital markets, and international finance. Most students complete the program within two years and six months. Pre-requisite requirements can be satisfied through the transfer of qualified undergraduate credits, challenge exams, or completing the required coursework.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

28

Stetson University

The Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) degree at Stetson University is available online and can be completed after just one year of study. The program is designed as a cohort and offers several starting dates throughout the year. The curriculum includes coursework in essential function areas such as information systems and business law, in addition to graduate-level accounting courses. Students who pursue the program take classes in information technology and business strategy, managerial accounting, contemporary issues in information systems and controls, and tax research. Course content can be accessed asynchronously, at the times when it is most convenient and practical for individual students. However, some instructors require real-time chat sessions or group discussions. The Stetson School of Business is an AACSB-accredited institution.

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - Accounting Accreditation

Evaluating Online Accounting & Finance Degrees

There are a lot of sketchy online programs out there, so make sure the degree is worthy of your money:

  • If the business/accounting program doesn’t have AACSB accreditation, ask about other business accreditations.
  • If the school isn’t regionally accredited, find out why.

Generally speaking, online programs from business schools with strong “brick and mortar” reputations (e.g. University of Minnesota, UMass Amherst, etc.) will have much more credibility than degrees from online schools with no campus. Look for programs where the same professors who teach campus classes are teaching the online courses.

Internships are also important for anyone considering an online degree. Employers are typically suspicious of candidates with no “real-world” experience. Ask your school what kinds of training opportunities they provide.

Read more about How to Analyze an Online School.

Online Degrees & CPA Eligibility

Before you commit to an online program, be sure to check with your State’s Accountancy Board. (View a list of State Accountancy Boards.) Some Boards will not accept certain online programs for CPA eligibility. This is especially important for undergraduates to know. If you’re thinking of taking a bachelor’s degree online, ask if course credits will count towards your 150 credit hours.

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