35 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting

If it's true that the only constants in life are death and taxes, then there will always be a need for accountants! Seriously though, accountants don't just deal with taxes and helping you figure out what individuals or businesses owe the government. In fact, there are numerous careers and opportunities where the ability to deal with economic data is imperative. Careers like corporate accounting, investment banking, and management consulting are all high demand and high reward employment options.

If you are interested in working for the government or in law enforcement, guess what, there is a need for accountants there as well – if you can't beat ‘em, why not join ‘em, right? Forensic accounting is a growing field where you track economic and financial information to see if discrepancies or criminal activity have happened. You can also work in a government agency, like the Treasury Department, as an examiner helping to keep track of where taxpayer money is going, how it is being allocated, and whether expenditures have been properly recorded.

Of course, the most popular profession associated with the study of accounting is to work as a public accountant or CPA. You may be surprised to know that CPA's do more than help individuals and businesses prepare their federal or state income tax forms. They can also offer services in asset management, risk assessment and management, and financial compliance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for an accountant or auditor was around $69,350.

Why Become an Accountant?

Accountants interpret financial and economic data for businesses and individuals, and since the US is the world's largest economy with trillions of dollars flowing around, it shouldn't come as a surprise that accountants are in demand. I mean, someone has to track all that money! According to the Department of Labor, the accounting profession is expected to outpace other sectors in terms of growth significantly. From 2016 to 2026 job openings are expected to grow 10 percent, a fact that is tied to the overall health of the US economy, the pace of globalization, and ever more complex taxation and regulatory environment. In 2018 alone, that number was expected to double.

The median income for an accounting job is around $69,000, but several professions can pay much higher. Unsurprisingly, jobs in corporate accounting which require oversight of corporate financial records are highly paid. Some chief accounting officers or chief financial officers can make many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The median income for a CAO or CFO position is around $179,000. Other organizational positions like comptroller can also make a decent living. According to the Economic Research Institute, comptrollers can start off making $76,000 year, and more experienced accountants can earn upwards of $134,000 annually.

If you are interested in studying accounting, but you don't know if you want a career focused solely on accounting, there are also other unique career paths. Some more non-traditional positions include business analyst, entrepreneur, investor relations specialist, business manager, and IT specialist. Business analysts work not only with economic data, but other types of data to create a composite and a synthesized picture of a given business. This kind of data can help companies make important business decisions. Investor relations specialists are folks who are good at translating the economic data of a given company to the various stakeholders or company investors. Because technology has been so central to accounting practices, many folks trained in accounting have also found it easy to transition to opportunities in information technology. These and many other options are out there – but first, you need to get your education!

Methodology

Accounting Degree Review aims to provide online readers with independent and objective content as an authoritative source on accounting and finance degree programs. To provide each ranking or news publication, ADR collects information from sources such as the United States Department of Labor, the National Center for Education Statistics, or even resources provided by Forbes and U.S. News & World Review.

Each degree ranking features individual degree scores based upon student success, satisfaction, and overall financial payout after graduation. We are financial experts, after all. For more information about ADR content and methodology, please visit our About Us page.

Located in central Illinois, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champagne campus offers a great location for students to enjoy their college education. And when it comes to Accounting, there is nowhere that comes close. Housed in the Gies College of Business, the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy offered by the U of I is hands down the best on the market. With an established history of research and world a class that focuses on auditing, financial, managerial, and tax accounting the UI offers one of the most comprehensive accounting programs in the country. Core requirements include courses in marketing, management, business policy and strategy, management, as well as microeconomic and macroeconomics, and public speaking. This suite of courses offers a well-rounded educational experience preparing you for the workplace and for success in the wider world.

In addition to the basic liberal arts core requirements, students are required to meet mathematics requirements to graduate from the College of Business, which includes passing one of three classes in calculus – either Calculus for Business I, or Calculus, or Calculus I. The College of Business and the Accountancy program also sponsors a Forum Series which brings leading thinkers and professionals to campus to discuss important and cutting-edge issues in the field. There are also Symposia on a variety of topics relevant to the field, including auditing research, management, and tax research. Of special note here is the VK Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting, which leads the nation in the study of international topics related to accounting practices. The center also oversees the International Journal of Accounting. There is, hands down, no better environment in which to study the science of numbers!

Affordability: $16,638

The North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC has an excellent reputation for offering an affordable, flexible, and relevant Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. The department offers five different specialized focuses, as well as a more general degree. Students can focus on Financial Analysis, Information Systems, Internal Auditing, Managerial Accounting, and Government or Nonprofit accounting, or they can choose no concentration to have as broad a degree as possible. In addition to basic liberal arts requirements that are delivered through the general education curriculum, student are also required to hit a number of targets for the major. The general education requirements offer flexibility for students to take classes in calculus, economics, statistics, or business analytics.

The major itself includes a series of business-related courses that deal with topics like business processes, marketing, law, operations, human resources, and policy and strategy. Majors are then given a firm grounding in basic accounting practices, skills, and theory in courses that focus on financial accounting, taxation, and risk management. After completing these courses, you can then choose additional courses in your chosen concentration so that your degree is tailor-made to fit your interests and the kind of market you wish to engage. Total hours for graduation is 120. The Pool College of Management where the degree is housed also has an established international studies program so that you can take your skills globally and broaden your horizon. This includes options for travel and study abroad, as well as two-year partnering programs in the US and two years at institutions across the globe.

Affordability: $13,442

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an outstanding program of study for a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in a world-class city where much of modern economic theory has been generated over the past 50 years. The program offers an excellent combination of real-world application and practice, alongside exposure to the significant theory so that you can not only be effective in the present but also have the tools to think about how to make an impact as the marketplace – and the tax code – evolves! The degree aims to prepare generalists in the field of accounting so that any graduate will leave with multiple skills in their toolbox, including business auditing, tax preparation, analysis and preparation of financial reports, oversight of financial records, auditing, and financial evaluation.

Requirements include courses in financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, tax code analysis, business ethics, and accounting information systems. There are also several business electives as well as courses that specifically recommended for students who intend to take the CPA exam. The department also offers featured courses, like the Accounting Cases course which is a deep dive into recent SEC filings and company financial statements allowing students to see the accounting practices of major companies in the US. The urban setting of Chicago also offers an excellent environment in which to study, as well as ensuring numerous potential internship opportunities for students. The department has worked with many leading companies to place graduates, including Deloitte, True Partners Consulting, Warady & Davis LLP, and KPMG, among many others.

Affordability: $11,884

Binghamton University is the number one ranked public university in New York and is part of the SUNY system. The School of Management, which was founded in 1970, offers bachelors and advanced degrees in a variety of business-related fields including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting that has consistently been ranking among the best in the nation. The program offers a great mix of theory and real-world practice. BU emphasizes experiential learning. They strongly encourage and help to facilitate internships, community engagement, case competitions, and various networking experiences that are hosted on and off campus. For instance, in their media strategy course, they have partnered with ZenithOptimedia – the largest media company in the world – and ask students to pitch a media strategy campaign to the agency’s top executives.\

There are numerous opportunities for internships in New York City during the summer or winter breaks. BU emphasizes their liberal arts core – which all students are required to take – because it provides a well-rounded educational experience. Students are expected to take 12 courses in general education. In the Accounting major, students are required to take courses in management theory, calculus, microeconomics, macroeconomics, law, and statistics. The program has a great rate of placement for students after degree completion. Students are required to complete 126 credit hours to graduate. There is also a five-year program at BU that allows you to fold in a master’s degree with your bachelor’s degree. This means that instead of taking six total years to receive both a bachelor’s and master’s, you save a year through program and degree integration.

Affordability: $16,775

The University of Maryland is a public research university and the flagship school of the state university system in Maryland. It is located College Park, Maryland not far from Washington, DC. Housed in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the Accounting and Information Assurance department offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, as well as a Plus one program that allows students to obtain a Master of Science degree in Accounting in only one year through program integration. The degree at the U of M exposes students to theory and practice in financial planning, accounting systems, budgeting, financial management controls, financial analysis, financial reporting, auditing, and taxation. Students are required to complete 120 credits to qualify for graduation.

For students who are seeking to become Certified Public Accountants in the state of Maryland, additional credits are required – upwards of 150 credits are required for licensure. The U of M has a comprehensive study abroad program which includes short-term and long-term study options, giving students an opportunity for exposure to the international business context. Students can also pursue in-semester internship credit through the “Individual Study in Business and Management” course. The program will also allow a limited number of credits to be transferred in for summer internship experiences, and there is a no-credit seminar that is designed to complement various internship opportunities. With proximity to Washington, DC – as well as Baltimore – means there are numerous opportunities for internships that students will find valuable and degree enhancing.

Affordability: $17,241

 

Located in Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University is a public research university and is the flagship school of the Indiana University system. The Kelley School of Business houses the Accounting department, where they offer several degree options, including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The IUB program has consistently been ranked among the top programs in the United States. IUB’s top-notch faculty guide students through the program offering mentoring and exposure to both the theory and practice of accounting. Students who are accepted into the Kelley School experience a unique curricular experience. The curriculum is designed to give students time to think about their major, or if the student already has a firm focus, to turn immediately towards their chosen field of study.

The 120 credits required to graduate include exposure to general education requirements, as well as careful integration of basic business courses and exposure to the larger global context of finance and business. Accounting majors are required to take courses in a variety of related subjects, like business communication, taxation, auditing, accounting systems, macroeconomics, and business ethics. There are also electives in financial analysis and management, among others. Students are also required to take nine credit hours – typically three courses – in non-accounting business classes, which is meant to give students a broad business base. Internships are strongly encouraged and available through the Undergraduate Career Services office. Since licensure for a CPA in Indiana requires 150 hours, the school also offers a five-year BS/MBA degree focusing on accounting.  

Affordability: $12,488

Located in Newark, Delaware near historic Wilmington, the University of Delaware is a public research university offering over 135 undergraduate degrees. The Lerner School of Business and Economics houses several departments, including the Accounting and Management Information Systems department, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The Accounting program at UD offers a carefully curated program of study that integrates students into the business school from the very beginning. In the first semester, students are encouraged to take courses in microeconomics and calculus. As the degree progresses, students are introduced to the basic foundations of business, finance, banking, and information systems. During their junior and senior years, students engage in more advanced studies where they learn the nuts and bolt of accounting practice and theory, as well as business and finance law, tax accounting, information systems, and auditing among other subjects.

Delaware’s location is unique in the country. The state legal code is very business friendly so that over one million of the nation’s businesses – which accounts for roughly 50 percent of all publicly traded companies and 64 percent of Fortune 500 companies – are located in the state. This context offers a multitude of opportunities both for study and for internships. Lerner graduates are sought after by KPMG, BDO USA, and Deloitte, among others. They posted a 97 percent employment rating for their graduates in 2017. The department is also well aware of the requirements for licensure and can work with students to prepare them for CPA certification. Because certification requires more than the 123 credit hours required for your BS degree, they also offer an accelerated Master of Science in Accounting that can be paired with the BS. Taking this path will get students up to the required 150 credits needed for CPA certification.

Affordability: $16,286

The University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City and is the flagship university of the Utah state system. The institution is a public research university and includes the David Eccles School of Business. The business school offers several degrees in related business fields, including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program exposes students to both theory and practice in subjects like business transaction tracking, financial management, information systems development, tax strategy, wealth management, and merger and acquisition strategy. Students also take courses in marketing, strategic management, and business law so that they are prepared for a variety of real-world challenges. The school also offers a mentoring program for undergraduate and masters level students, which pairs each student with an individual mentor in their field of study.

The business school offers a Master of Accounting program that will qualify and prepare you to take the CPA exam. There is a robust study abroad program which offers students valuable global business exposure. If you are interested in putting your accounting skills to work in the world of start-up companies, then the U may be the place for you – it ranks number one in the nation for start-up companies that come from university technology. The location of the university offers world-class outdoor adventure – especially if you enjoy skiing. And the university has an established record of excellence in Division I college athletic sports. There is plenty to do and enjoy as a student while you are pursuing your degree in accounting!

Affordability: $12,363

 

Northern Arizona University is located in Flagstaff, Arizona and is a public research university with over 30,000 students enrolled at its various campuses. NAU offers over 158 bachelors and advanced degrees. Housed in the W. A. Franke College of Business, the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree is designed to prepare students for careers in accounting, auditing, credit management, and financial analysis. As with most business majors, the degree includes 42 credit hours in business core requirements, with an additional 30 credits focused on the theory and practice of accounting. Core classes in mathematics, business ethics, information systems, statistics, finance, and management ensure that you will have a solid base for a variety of business careers.

Major courses further refine the focus with offerings in accounting systems, cost accounting, business law, financial reporting, auditing, income tax accounting, and other courses. The College of Business offers a Business Communication Center which is specifically designed to help students refine their communication skills both for success in college and in the business world. They offer to tutor and will work one on one with students not only to help with academic assignments but also to develop and refine resumes and cover letters that you can use when applying for a job. Unique to NAU is the Veteran Student Center which works with veterans who have already served the country and are looking to go to school to retool or refine skills they have already gained in the military.

Affordability: $14,901

Located on the north side of the leafy southern city of Charlotte, NC, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is part of the University of North Carolina system, offering 140 bachelors degrees and an excellent setting for study. The Belk College of Business offers a variety of business-related degrees, including the Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The degree is designed to give students technical and conceptual knowledge in accounting and business as well as a well-rounded foundation for other pursuits. The program builds on the robust general education requirements of the larger university, ensuring that students have a broad educational foundation. It also includes 24 credits in core business courses, on subjects like business law, communications, financial management, information systems, marketing, and management.

There are additional 18 credits in the major, which includes courses in financial accounting, cost accounting, accounting information systems, income tax, and auditing. Overall, students will have 120 total credit hours, which places them within striking distance for CPA certification, which is 150 credit hours. UNCC recommends completion of their Master of Accountancy program to obtain these final credits. The program will also give credit for internships that meet the standards set by the Accounting Internship Coordinator, with whom they should check before beginning their experience. The city of Charlotte is also an excellent place for students who are interested in business-related fields of study. Boasting one of the largest banking sectors in the US, it offers students several options for potential internships, as well as placement after degree completion.

Affordability: $14,811

The State University of New York at Albany – also called University at Albany, SUNY – is located in the capital of New York and is part of the SUNY system. It is a public research university with almost 18,000 students and 50 different undergraduate majors. The School of Business houses several business and finance related degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The degree is designed to prepare students for a variety of career paths into the worlds of financial and managerial accounting. The program is helpfully organized around five core competencies: financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, and accounting information systems. Progressing through the program ensures that you will have at least 24 credit hours focused on the science and practice of accounting, as well as additional knowledge of in complementary areas of study.

The department also maintains close ties to the leading accounting firms of Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG, so that their teaching and research is up to date. These relationships also translate into job placement after graduation. When students complete their degree, they will have 120 of the required 150 credits needs for CPA certification in New York. The additional 30 credits can be obtained through a Master’s Degree in Accounting. The MS in Accounting allows for additional concentrated study so that students can choose to focus on taxation, professional accounting, or forensic accounting, depending on their career goals. You can also gain valuable knowledge by participating in one of the four centers housed in the business school such as the Center for Advancement and Understanding of Social Enterprises, Center for Institutional Investment Management, or the Small Business Development Center.

Affordability: $16,100

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has established itself as an important institutional center for vocational and pre-professional degrees and training. The Joseph M. Bryan School of Business & Economics houses the Department of Accounting and Finance which awards an outstanding Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The major is designed to prepare students for immediate entry into the workplace or to enter on a further path of graduate study. UNC’s common business core of courses are designed to introduce students to theory and practice, giving them exposure to real-world scenarios and case-studies in business strategy, taxation, and auditing. Required in the major courses include exposure to financial statement preparation, management, and ethics. There are also courses in federal tax concepts, accounting systems, and upper-level research courses on government and nonprofit accounting.

Students can also get degree credit for internships that they pursue during the school year or over the summer. The degree includes 122 credit hours which also approaches the 150 required for CPA certification in North Carolina. Students can complete this via the Master of Science in Accounting, which UNCG has now made available through an accelerated program that enables qualified students to obtain the MS quicker by receiving credit from specific undergraduate courses. In addition to a required global course that can be taken on campus, students can also study abroad for short or long-term stints with one of UNCG’s 40 different partner institutions. The Spartan Investment Club and Beta Alpha Psi are also great ways to gain experience and develop your burgeoning network!

Affordability: $10,496

Located in beautiful Pensacola, Florida, the University of West Florida is a member of the State University System of Florida and is a mid-sized research university. The size of the school matters because it means that students can expect smaller class sizes, more personalized attention, and greater faculty availability and mentoring. The Department of Accounting and Finance is housed in the College of Business. Graduates from the program currently rank 3rd in the nation for passing the CPA exam. UWF offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting with a curriculum that includes core business classes as well as accounting specialization courses. The core courses include instruction in typical topics like management, finance, business law, and marketing, as well as unique courses in e-business systems.

The major courses include 30 credit hours of instruction in a variety of facets of accounting theory and practice including financial accounting, cost accounting, information systems, accounting theory, tax accounting, auditing, and government and non-profit accounting. In addition, students can take electives in other areas of specialization, like forensic accounting, corporate income tax, or commercial law. Like other states, Florida also requires 150 credit hours, so students have the option of pursuing a Master in Accountancy degree to fulfill the additional 30 credit hours needed over the BSBA degree. In addition to the various curricular opportunities, the College of Business offers other opportunities like an “elevator pitch contest” and presentations, workshops, and networking experiences through the Center for Entrepreneurship, which is a major asset of UWF meant to enhance student experience and to support local, national, and international ventures in business and entrepreneurship.

Affordability: $11,550

The University of North Texas is located in Denton, Texas, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. UNT is a public research university with 97 bachelor degree programs, 81 masters, and 38 doctoral degrees. The Department of Accounting is located in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, which offers a Bachelor of Business Accounting, which is a Bachelor of Science degree focusing on quantitative computation. The degree requires pre-business and business foundation courses in economics, calculus, business computers, accounting, data analysis, business law, ethics, marketing, finance, and business communication. This is followed by an additional 25 credit hours in various aspects of accounting including cost accounting, accounting systems, accounting principles, federal income taxation, and auditing. The degree includes 12 additional credit hours of broader field study.

UNT sports impressive numbers among its alumni with 700 alumni who are accomplished CEOs or corporate presidents. They have also developed relationships with over 700 companies that offer paid internships which students can take advantage and for which they can receive college credit. There are also significant study abroad opportunities which students can take advantage of to gain invaluable international experience. Students receive 124 credit hours. The state of Texas requires 150 credit hours to qualify for CPA certification. Like many other programs on our list, UNT also offers a combined BS/MS degree in Accounting. The College of Business hosts numerous events for networking and professional development. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area is filled with opportunities in business and finance and presents an excellent context in which to begin your journey to meet your goals and dreams.  

Affordability: $12,053

Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU is a nationally recognized research university and was ranked 21st among public schools in 2016-2017 on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings list. The Department of Accounting and Information Systems is located in The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management and offers a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. This is a 120-credit degree with courses in a variety of subjects relevant to accounting theory and practice, including financial accounting, auditing, federal income tax accounting, and a helpful course for preparing for an accounting career. These courses are built on top of general education requirements, as well as a suite of business core courses that students take with other business majors.

The business core courses include subjects like macro- and microeconomics, financial management, business law and ethics, analytics and information systems, management, business communication, as well as a course focused on the global or international context which can also be taken through the study-abroad program. As with several other programs on our list, there is a linked bachelors/masters degree path which brings together your BA and combines it with a Master of Science in Accounting, so that you meet the required 150 credits needed for CPA certification. The College of Business also offers numerous complementary minors to pair with your BA in accounting, like, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Information Technology, and International Business. MSU has an extensive alumni network, with over 560,000 alumni worldwide.

Affordability: $16,684

Located in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University was originally founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but became a public research university when it was taken over by the State of Utah in the 1930s. WSU offers over 250 certificate and degree programs. The School of Accounting and Taxation is located in the Goddard School of Business & Economics and offers undergraduate degrees in both finance and accounting. The Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a 120-credit degree which can be completed in a variety of ways – in the traditional day school, online, or via night courses. Building on the liberal arts curriculum, the GSBE offers 16 credits of foundations courses which include introductions to accounting, economics, statistics, and business computer skills.

In the major students are introduced to a whole array of subjects relevant to the field of accounting, including the standard topics of cost accounting, taxation, information systems, auditing, business law, and accounting for multi-national or global entities. There is also an oral communications elective course that is meant to hone speaking and communication skills for business. The SAT also offers several educational enhancements with different clubs, department awards, networking and publication opportunities, study abroad experiences, and social media events. Significant scholarships are available – like the Discover Accounting Scholarship – and the SAT boasts a 90 percent job placement rate for graduates. The SAT also offers a Master of Science in Accounting if you decide to head towards CPA certification.

Affordability: $11,098

Colorado Mesa University is located in Grand Junction, Colorado – the hub of Colorado wine country – just east of the beautiful Colorado National Monument. CMU changed its name from Mesa State College in 2011. The Department of Business offers several business-related majors and minors, including several options for accounting degrees. There is both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting as well as a BS in Public Accounting. The latter is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming Certified Public Accountants. In addition, there is a thee+two BS in Accounting and Master of Business Administration that enables you to graduate with both degrees in five years. Most of the students in the CPA track wind up having job offers before they even graduate.

Overall, the program is 120 credits spread between general education, business foundation, and degree-specific courses, with additional electives. The foundation courses in economics, business analytics, communications, and business information technology give students a broad business base. Within the Public Accounting degree, courses focus on the theory and practice of accounting through courses on cost accounting, accounting information systems, business law and ethics, and marketing, and upper-level courses on auditing, individual income tax, and tax research. You can also pursue an internship experience by working with the Departmental Internship Coordinator. If you are thinking about a career as a CPA in Colorado, and you want to attend a medium sized school, then CMU is a great choice. In 2016 their graduates ranked number one in the CPA exam and were ranked No. 16 nation-wide for medium-size schools.  

Affordability: $14,309

The University of Texas at Arlington is the largest producer of graduates in North Texas, an area filled with institutions of higher learning. UT Arlington offers over 180 baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral level degree programs. The College of Business houses the Accounting Department, which is the second largest accounting program in The University of Texas System. The program boasts over 6,000 alumni. UTA offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. The BS degree is meant to prepare students who are interested in pursuing CPA certification, while the BBA gives a broader foundation for students interested in bringing accounting practices and theory to bear on industry and government problems. Both degrees are 122 credit hours, which breaks down to a combination of general education, business core, accounting, and advanced business courses.

With exposure to marketing, economics, management, finance, business law and ethics, as well as federal income tax, cost accounting, auditing, and managerial planning, students are given an excellent grounding in accounting practices. There are also electives in monetary policy, data mining for business, and professional selling, among many others. In fact, students in both degrees are required to take electives in three broad areas of Finance, Information Systems, and Sales and Marketing. The department also offers the Professional Program in Accounting, which is specifically designed for students who want to pursue careers in public accounting. This is a five-year program which combines either the BBA or BS with either a Master of Science in Accounting or Taxation. This combination meets the minimum educational requirements for certification as a CPA.

Affordability: $12,533

Towson University is a public institution and is part of the University System of Maryland. It is located in Towson, Maryland a northern suburb of Baltimore. The school enrolls over 20,000 students and is especially known for its pre-professional programs. The College of Business and Economics houses the Department of Accounting which grants, both graduate and undergraduate degrees in accounting. The Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a 120-credit hour degree that is specially designed to prepare students for public accountancy. The program builds on Towson’s liberal arts core, with additional business core classes which include classes in economics, business, marketing, business law, and strategic thinking. Advanced courses in accounting round out the degree and give substantial exposure to finance, financial accounting, accounting information systems, auditing, and management.

Towson also stresses practical experience. All students are required to have at least one professional internship experience to graduate. These can be paid or unpaid. Within the CBE, The Student Launch Pad offers various workshops, competitions, and other networking experiences meant to equip students for the workplace and to enhance their educational experience. There are also several student organizations that work closely with the departments in the CBE – including Beta Alpha Psi, National Association of Black Accountants, and the Towson University Society of Accountancy – which offer mixers, community service events, networking and resume building exercise and events, and contexts in which students can build strong friendships with fellow students, faculty, and alumni. There are also an array of scholarships available both for incoming and current students to help finance your accounting degree.

Affordability: $15,250

Located in sunny San Diego, California, San Diego State University is a public research university with a student body of over 34,000. SDSU offers over 200 graduate and undergraduate degrees and has ranked in the top 10 universities in the nation for ethnic and racial diversity among the student body. The Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy is located in the Fowler College of Business and offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The degree is meant not only to ground students in the basic competencies of accounting but also to give them complementary tools and competencies so that they will have multiple options after graduation. Alongside courses in auditing, financial accounting, cost and managerial accounting, federal income tax, and accounting information systems, students receive additional valuable training.

This includes helping students in their written and oral communication skills, technology fluency, critical thinking skills, commitment to life-long learning, and team building and leadership. SDSU also offers a combined BSBA/MS degree in Accountancy, which satisfies the 150 educational credits required for certification in the state of California. Students can also take advantage of opportunities hosted by Beta Alpha Psi and the Student Accounting Society, both of which host mixers and networking events in conjunction with student services organizations on campus. SDSU only recently announced the creation of the Center for Advancing Global Business which is aimed at enhancing teaching, research, and service for SDSU as a whole and which students in FCB will undoubtedly benefit from.

Affordability: $13,363

The University of Kentucky is a land-grant institution located in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky. The school offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees and enrolls over 30,000 students annually, making it the largest university in Kentucky. The Douglas J. Von Allmen School of Accountancy is located in the Gatton College of Business and Economics and offers a 120 credit Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program builds on the innovative UK Core program of liberal arts courses, as well as several business core and pre-major courses. Then 30 credit hours are dedicated to accounting courses which include topics like financial accounting, accounting information systems, auditing, cost management, income tax, non-profit and government accounting, as well as advanced classes in various accounting topics.

Unique among the schools on our list thus far, UK offers a four-year professional Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Accountancy. The program is specifically designed for students to complete their degrees in professional accounting and to pass the CPA within three-years. Students can be admitted to this program if they have a 3.4 GPA and have no less than a B in any accounting class they have taken. Meeting these criteria also ensures that the student doesn’t have to take the GMAT exam for entrance to the MS level program. The CBE also offers numerous opportunities to hear from experts and leading figures in a variety of business fields through the many colloquia and workshops sponsored on campus. Students are also mentored and given the opportunity to present research papers both on campus and at regional and national conferences.

Affordability: $19,361

Sunny Tampa, Florida is the location of the University of Southern Florida. USF is the fourth largest school in the state, with an enrollment of over 50,000 students and is part of the State University System of Florida. The Muma College of Business houses the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy which offers a 120 credit Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program offers a well-rounded degree for students interested in accounting careers in non-profit, government, industry, or public accounting. Students take required courses in financial accounting, cost accounting and control, accounting information systems, auditing, and federal income tax. There are also additional elective courses in a variety of subjects like government and non-profit accounting, as well as internships in accounting. The latter is highly recommended by the program.

Because of excellence and high-demand, the MCB has additional requirements for admission to their various programs, so be students should be sure to check on the GPA requirements and find out how to apply for admission to the school. Students who are interested in CPA certification will also have the option of taking the Master of Accountancy which, when combined with the BS in Accounting, fulfills the required 150 credits needed for licensure in the state of Florida. In addition to internships, the MCB offers numerous opportunities for networking and other experiences. For instance, the Center for Entrepreneurship is nationally ranked and recognized as a leader in education, training, and research. There is also a corporate mentor program, business “case competitions” – in which students weigh in on “live cases” facing real companies – and the 25 under 25 awards given to 25 exceptional MCB students each year.  

Affordability: $11,766

The University of Tulsa is a private research university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Home to the famed Gilcrease Museum of American Western Art and the Bob Dylan Archive, the school offers significant cultural opportunities in a smaller urban setting. You can obtain a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration in Accounting in the School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems which is located in the Collins School of Business. In addition to a liberal arts core, there are several broader business courses in statistics, economics, business law, management, and marketing, among others, which are meant to give students a good business foundation. Major courses hit all the key topics, such as financial accounting, cost accounting, accounting information systems, and auditing. 

Students can also take advantage of the four + one degree which combines the BSBA with a Master of Accountancy. This path will satisfy the 150 credit hours required for CPA certification. Alongside student organizations like Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors society, UT also hosts the Conference of Accountants, which was originally founded in the 1950s. The Conference is an annual meeting held on campus that draws together accountants from around the country to discuss accounting policy. Featured speakers have come from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Institute of Internal Auditors, as well as recognized experts from local, regional, and national accounting firms. The Conference represents a major opportunity for networking and for students to be exposed to the larger world and discourse of accounting practice, theory, and policy.

Affordability: $25,086

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale is located in Carbondale, Illinois which is near Giant City State Park and Cedar Lake, which includes 12,000-year-old sandstone bluffs that resemble city streets, offering an ideal place to study and relax away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. SIU is a member of the Southern Illinois University system and offers over 100 bachelor’s degrees. Located in the College of Business, the School of Accountancy offers a Bachelors of Science in Accounting designed to prepare students for careers in accounting and finance. The course of study is similar to other programs, with classes in cost accounting, auditing, and taxation as core requirements for every accounting major.

There are also more advanced courses in forensic accounting, internal auditing, and government, and non-profit accounting which can give additional pathways for students to consider as they contemplate their career choices. As with most states, Illinois requires 150 credit hours for CPA certification, so SIU offers a fifth-year Master of Accountancy so that students can meet that criteria. Though the general education requirements at SIU are not as robust as other schools, the curriculum does ensure a well-rounded experience through classes in communications, science, humanities, and fine arts. This lower threshold means, however, that students get more courses which are aimed at business and accounting topics. SIU also works hard to connect students to their network of alumni already working the field so that they can both learn from current practitioners, but also build vital networks as they enter the post-graduate workforce.

Affordability: $16,431