Top 30 Best Value Online Accounting Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Accounting is one of the most reliable, stable career paths there is, and an online undergraduate accounting certificate program can be the fastest, most convenient way to get there.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for accountants and auditors is growing a steady 10% – faster than average, and with no sign of decreasing anytime soon. As the tax code gets continually more complicated, and new technologies create so many different revenue streams for businesses, accountants are more important than ever.

Businesses need good, qualified accountants. There's a gap in the market; good math skills are essential, but so is strong organization, management, and cooperative abilities. That combination doesn't come around often, but those who have it, owe it to themselves to go into accounting.

Whether you are a working professional looking to add credentials for a promotion or planning a change in your career, more and more colleges and universities are adding online programs to speed up the process. An online certificate in accounting can be a way to get into the field in short order. It's less of an investment (in money and time) than a bachelor's degree, but can open the door to a rewarding and satisfying job in accounting.

Accounting Certificate Differences

There are several types of certificate programs, depending on where the student is starting. Some are simply standalone accounting certificates that cover the basics of accounting, qualifying students for an entry-level job in a human resources or accounts receivable office, but not for a CPA license. Other online accounting certificate programs are designed for people who already have a bachelor's degree in another field; these can qualify graduates to sit for the CPA exam (which requires a bachelor's degree, in most states).

For the Accounting Degree Review Top 30 Online Accounting Certificate Programs, we chose only regionally accredited colleges and universities with a proven track record of quality in online education. For this ranking, we focused mainly on certificates offered at the undergraduate level. Most (but not all) are AACSB or ACBSP accredited. We used three evenly-weighted metrics to rank the best online certificates in accounting:

  • Affordability (non-resident tuition rate as published)
  • Graduate Success (College Scorecard reported salary)
  • Student Support (IPEDS graduation rate)

With these stats, we have an idea of which programs are likely to do the most to help students succeed, during and after school, without costing them too much.

Ready to move on to a degree program? Check out our Top 30 Most Affordable Associate's in Accounting Programs.


Northwestern University

Northwestern University is one of the nation’s most selective, most prestigious, and wealthiest universities. Dating back to 1851, when it was founded the serve the Northwest Territory, Northwestern was a force in making Chicago, IL, a business and industry giant. As Chicago grew up alongside Northwestern, the university became a major research university, particularly as a business and professional educator. With an endowment in the national top 10 and one of the lowest acceptance rates in the US, Northwestern combines excellence and reputation.

While Northwestern’s acceptance rate for undergraduates is only 9%, working adults and professionals can get the Northwestern name and quality another way. The Northwestern School of Professional Studies is the university’s adult learning division, providing degrees and credentialing for working professionals. Northwestern’s Online Fundamentals of Accounting Certificate Program prepares students with the basics of the accounting field, either for further schooling, or for taking the CPA exam. The flexible online format allows students to continue their jobs and extracurricular responsibilities while earning life-changing credentials.

Required Credits: 5 courses


University of California, Berkeley

The flagship public research university in California, and a recognized Public Ivy (a public university as esteemed as the Ivy League), the University of California, Berkeley is often ranked the best public university in the nation. And while Berkeley may be the model college for undergraduates, Berkeley Extension is a model of adult education. Bringing all of the educational excellence of Berkeley, along with affordable, flexible online courses taught by experienced, expert practitioners, Berkeley Extension is ideal for working adults who want challenge and support.

Berkeley is also home to the Haas School of Business, one of the world’s most respected business schools. Graduates of the Haas School have an unparalleled level of job market advantage, and Berkeley Extension’s Certificate Program in Accounting has the Haas School stamp of approval. With 6 required courses adding up to 24 credits, the accounting certificate is designed to prepare students to pass the CPA exam. Low cost, flexible online scheduling, and a short time frame make UC Berkeley Extension’s accounting certificate an ideal choice for career-changing professionals and other non-traditional students.

Required Credits: 6 courses


Northeastern University

A top-tier, Carnegie Classification R1 research university, Northeastern University is one of the most admired and imitated institutions in New England. Founded in 1898, Northeastern has always had nontraditional adult education at its heart; in fact, the university began as a night school for working-class students held in the Boston YMCA. Northeastern is known for its cooperative education, combining work experience with classroom education, a system that has been influential in higher education, and is ranked the #40 national university by U.S. News.

Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies is the institutional home of the university’s adult education programs, including Northeastern’s Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting. This convenient online certificate program is intended to help working adults earn the credentials they need to start a new career in accounting. Professionals already working in bookkeeping or other administrative roles may also find the certificate beneficial for skill improvement and advancement. The trusted Northeastern name makes the online accounting certificate a valuable credential for the accounting job market.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Foothill College

Recognized as one of California’s top community colleges – a state filled with community colleges that could outrank many national 4-year colleges – Foothill College is known throughout the Los Altos Hills region as a quality career educator. Dating back to 1957, Foothill rejected the then-standard “junior college” name, dedicating its faculty and resources to higher education on their own terms. Today, Foothill College serves more than 13,000 students and offers a wide selection of highly respected certificates and associate’s degrees.

The Foothill College offers several different levels of accounting certificate online. The Financial Accounting Career Certificate requires 25 credits, while the Tax Accounting Career Certificate requires 27; for the Certificate of Achievement in CPA Examination Preparation, 40 credits (8 courses) are required. These certificate programs give students a broad picture of the elements of accounting for businesses, individuals, government, and nonprofits, and prepare students to sit for the CPA exam (with a previous bachelor’s degree), or to go on to further schooling. Foothill’s well-known quality, experienced faculty, and convenience have made it a solid choice for over half a century.

Required Credits: 25 credits


University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Part of the nationally-ranked and globally-recognized UMass system, the University of Massachusetts Lowell began as two separate institutions: a teacher training school founded in 1894, and a technical school founded in 1895. When the two merged in 1975, Massachusetts had a new public research university, one rooted in practical, career-centered education for working adults. Since the beginning of the 21st century, UMass Lowell has risen to national prominence and proven one of the fastest-rising institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings. That’s a good sign for prospective students.

UMass Lowell is quickly becoming a regional and national leader in areas like engineering, health, and business, and its adult education programs are some of the best examples of their kind. The Division of Online & Continuing Education offers UMass Lowell’s Certificate Program in Accounting, a 5-course, 18-credit curriculum designed for working adults. Applicants should already have a bachelor’s degree in another field; the accounting certificate program enhances a student’s current career with accounting knowledge. The certificate can also fulfill prerequisites for an accounting master’s program, for students who want to change careers. In either case, UMass Lowell is a trusted name on the job market.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Brigham Young University - Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho was founded in 1888 by Mormon migrants settling the Snake River Plain. Like Latter-Day Saints in Utah, the LDS church in Idaho was escaping persecution and seeking to establish their own home, and a frontier academy was an important part of that plan. Through the 20th century, what was then known as Ricks College grew as it expanded programs, especially for working students, and in 2000 it was renamed Brigham Young University-Idaho in honor of the Mormon leader. BYU-I is known for its top-notch undergraduate education, affordability, and student outreach, including online programs.

The BYU-Idaho online accounting certificate program is designed to prepare students for an entry-level accounting job in a corporate, small business, or government setting. The certificate requires at least 15-19 credits, depending on the courses the student chooses, including fundamentals of accounting software, communication, and law. The certificate is designed as an entryway into an accounting bachelor’s degree as well, providing the prerequisites required for acceptance into most accounting programs. BYU-Idaho is widely recognized as a best value for its affordable tuition and strong student support, and it is a trusted name across the west.

Required Credits: 15 credits


Linfield College

Linfield College is one of the oldest private colleges in the Pacific Northwest, founded in 1858 by members of the Christian Church. For many years, Linfield was a traditional small liberal arts college with a Christian worldview, but the founding of the Continuing Education division started a new era for Linfield. Long recognized for academic rigor and excellence, today Linfield is even better known for its top-ranked online degree programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Linfield one of the nation’s best online educators, providing an educational opportunity for residents of Oregon and beyond.

The Linfield online Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate is a fully online program designed for working professionals who want to add accounting credentials to their current bachelor’s degree. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and make up any prerequisites, such as Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting. Students are prepared for careers in accounting, including business, government, and family or individual accounting. The Linfield online accounting certificate can be the start of a new career or enhance a current career.

Required Credits: 24 credits


Framingham State University

Framingham State University is a historic public university dedicated to practical, career-oriented education for Massachusetts’ people. Founded in 1839, Framingham State was the nation’s first normal school – a teacher training program that revolutionized teacher preparation. From those auspicious beginnings, Framingham State set a course for education that meets the needs of society, whether it be the one-room schoolhouses of yesteryear or 21st-century urban life. Known for its excellent nursing, education, and business programs, Framingham State is also a crucial part of education for working adults in Massachusetts.

The Framingham State online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is a 6-course program designed for students with a high school diploma or GED to learn the basics of accounting. Students learn the fundamentals of accounting, from teamwork and the accountant’s role in a company, to the technical aspects of analyzing data and preparing documents. Students are qualified for entry-level accounting positions, or for further schooling, with Framingham State’s reputation for quality and value to guide them.

Required Credits: 6 courses


University of Virginia

One of the most illustrious public research universities in America, the University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by President Thomas Jefferson as an example of his educational philosophy. Through the next two centuries, UVA grew into one of the world’s foremost research institutions, proving as influential in politics, arts, and culture as it is groundbreaking in medicine, science, and entrepreneurship. The UVA name is an advantage on the job market rivaling the Ivy League, and UVA ranks as one of the top 25 public universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The UVA online Undergraduate Accounting Certificate provides UVA quality and reputation in a flexible, affordable format. Part-time students can earn the 30-credit accounting certificate entirely online in less than two years, earning a foundation in accounting basics that can provide access to entry-level accounting jobs. Students need only a high school diploma to apply, but to sit for the CPA exam, students must have a bachelor’s degree in some field (though not necessarily accounting). It’s a UVA credential with all the excellence that name implies, but the convenience of an online certificate.

Required Credits: 30 credits


Penn State World Campus

Pennsylvania State University – regularly cited among the Public Ivies, and one of the most influential public research universities in the nation – has been dedicated to the educational needs of Pennsylvanians since 1855. While Penn State has always made accessibility and practical value part of its mission, the university reached a milestone when it opened the Penn State World Campus in 1998. One of the first fully online divisions started by a top-tier university, the Penn State World Campus is widely ranked as one of the greatest online educators in the world, and is now the second-largest college at Penn State, with more than 18,000 students.

In addition to full degrees, Penn State World Campus offers numerous certificate programs, including the Penn State online Graduate Certificate in Accounting. The online accounting certificate can be a stand-alone certificate designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree to earn accounting credentials. It can also be used as the first step toward a master’s degree in accounting, for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-accounting field. Either way, the Penn State name and reputation, promise the highest level of instruction and success in the accounting job market.

Required Credits: 12 credits


Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University traces its roots back to a small accounting school founded in 1932 as a for-profit training program, so it should be no surprise that SNHU is a national leader in accounting education. However, the SNHU of yesteryear is not the SNHU of today, by a long shot, and it’s all because of online education. From its first online degree programs in 1995, Southern New Hampshire has grown into one of the most prominent names in online education. Using its early adoption of online formats, SNHU has earned recognition from publications like U.S. News & World Report and Fast Company as one of the most innovative institutions in higher education.

The SNHU online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting brings nearly a century of expertise in accounting into the modern age with a flexible online format. Students learn the basics of accounting, from preparing documents to managerial skills, all online. SNHU is known for its quality faculty, student support, and job market reputability; SNHU’s more than 80,000 online students can attest to quality and effectiveness. Students may also use the online certificate as a starting point for a full bachelor’s degree in accounting or simply go right into their accounting jobs with confidence.

Required Credits: 12 credits


Auburn University

Alabama’s foremost public research university, Auburn University was founded in 1856 as a Methodist liberal arts college, but in 1872 was taken over by the state as Alabama’s land-grant research university. That land-grant heritage means that Auburn combines the highest level of research and education with a dedication to accessibility, practicality, and affordability. The Harbert College of Business, in particular, is one of the best-known and most trusted business schools in the south, with well over a century of history and U.S. News & World Report top 100 ranking.

The Harbert College offers Auburn’s online Undergrad Certificate in Accounting, accredited by the AACSB and designed for convenience. Auburn’s distance program uses recordings of on-campus accounting courses alongside electronic assignments to help students get the convenience of online, but more of the classroom experience. Only second-degree students are admitted; applicants must already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and full-time students may be able to complete the program in as little as a year. All the quality and support of an Auburn degree, with flexible online delivery, make Auburn’s undergraduate accounting certificate a top choice.

Required Credits: 24 credit hours


University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was founded as Massachusetts’ public technology school, merging two earlier technical schools in 1962. With its roots in technical education, particularly in textiles (once a main industry in Massachusetts), UMass Dartmouth was perfectly suited to the practical programs in applied science, business, management, and architecture. That tradition continues today, through UMass Dartmouth’s significant outreach to working adult students, and its commitment to accessible, market-ready, career-focused education. UMass Dartmouth’s strong reputation has helped it grow from regional prominence to national recognition in recent years, boding well for graduates.

UMass Online offers the UMass Dartmouth online Certificate in Accounting for second-degree students. This 30-credit, one-year program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to improve their accounting skills, or change careers. The UMass Online accounting certificate qualifies students to sit for the CPA exam in Massachusetts (though non-business degree holders may need some additional accounting credits). This blended hybrid program may also require some campus visits. Whether business, engineering, or some other profession, students may find the accounting certificate a valuable enhancement to their career.

Required Credits: 30 credits


California State University, San Bernardino

Part of the California State University system – one of the largest and most accomplished public higher education systems in the US – Cal State San Bernardino is central to education in the Inland Empire region of California. Founded in 1960, CSUCB has always been focused on the educational needs of the people of the Inland Empire, a highly diverse region; its mission puts inclusivity, social justice, and innovation at the heart of education. Cal State San Bernardino is one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, with a large Hispanic population, and a commitment to social mobility and uplift.

Online degree programs give CSUSB a greater reach than the university could have otherwise, providing opportunity to far more students. That includes the Cal State San Bernardino Accounting Certificate, a fully online certificate program designed for working professionals who want to enter an accounting career. The online certificate gives students the first steps toward a master’s degree in accounting, or to prepare for the CPA exam, with a 36-credit, intensive program. With accelerated terms, students can take 2 courses at a time to finish their certificate in only 6 months, getting a jump on their degree, or into entry-level accounting jobs.

Required Credits: 36 units


Liberty University

Founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell in 1971, Liberty University spent most of its early history as a small bible college, but today, Liberty is one of the largest, most influential and far-reaching Christian universities in the nation. Much of Liberty’s success in the 21st century has been due to its embracing adult education and online degree programs, which helped its student body swell from hundreds to tens of thousands. Today, Liberty has more than 15,000 on-campus students, and more than 100,000 online students, making it the largest Christian college, and a political and educational force.

The Liberty Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is a fully online program from Liberty’s well-known School of Business. The accounting certificate focuses not only on the technical skills of accounting, such as computer software and document preparation, but also on communication, managerial leadership, and ethical decision-making, Liberty’s priority. With a foundation in Bible-based Christianity, the Liberty accounting certificate is part of Liberty’s dedication to developing responsible leaders in business, and to transforming students’ lives for the better.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Champlain College

Champlain College has had practical adult education, particularly in business and accounting, since it began in 1878 as a small business college. Through the 20th century it grew to importance in Vermont’s largest city (which, by national standards, looks more like a small college town), and remained dedicated to preparing students for successful careers. Champlain took on a new era when it began offering its first fully online degree programs in 1993, a time when online education was almost an absurd idea. Building on its enthusiasm for innovation, Champlain is regularly ranked one of the top online educators in the US.

Champlain College’s Online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is a simple, trusted way to enter the accounting profession quickly and conveniently. The Champlain name is respected across New England, and Champlain’s faculty are some of the best business professors in the world. This 15-credit program is designed specifically for busy adult learners, with flexible scheduling that makes it possible to complete the program in just one year. From financial reports and bookkeeping to income tax, graduates are completely prepared for an entry-level accounting job, from one of the most prestigious names in business education.

Required Credits: 15 credits


Lone Star College

Lone Star College is one of the largest and fastest-growing community college systems in the nation, centered around the greater Houston, TX metropolitan area. Founded in 1972, Lone Star now consists of six campuses and two centers throughout the region around Houston, with well over 80,000 enrolled students taking a wide range of degree and certificate programs. As a public community college, Lone Star is committed to affordability, accessibility, and applicability, focusing on the programs that are needed most in Houston and in Texas generally. Lone Star’s reputation is steadily rising, and articulation agreements help Lone Star students transfer easily to any public Texas university.

Prospective accountants can get a quick start on their career, while also preparing for bachelor’s or master’s programs in accounting, with Lone Star College’s Accounting Certificate. Available at numerous campuses and fully online, the accounting certificate is a 1-year program that provides workforce training to get working adults into their accounting jobs faster. The accounting certificate provides the necessary prerequisites for transferring into a bachelor’s program or can be combined with general education courses to complete an AAS degree. Whatever students choose to do with their certificate, it’s an affordable, convenient way to start a whole new life.

Required Credits: 18 credits


University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is one of the oldest universities west of the Alleghenies, founded in 1798 when Kentucky was still rugged frontier, and Louisville was just a growing river town. After more than a century and a half as a local, municipally-owned college, UL joined the Kentucky State University System, using the greater resources of the state to extend its outreach and opportunity. Today, UL is a crucial part of research and professional education, from medicine and engineering to business, and is ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 100 public universities.

The University of Louisville has long made opportunity for working adults one of its priorities, and the online UL Certificate in Accounting makes adult education convenient. This fully online, 21-credit program is designed to prepare students for the Kentucky CPA exam; however, more business courses are required to sit for the exam. The Certificate in Accounting is especially helpful for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, but who want to move into accounting, whether nonprofit, government, or private industry.

Required Credits: 21 credits


University of Baltimore

The University of Baltimore is a comprehensive public university focused on programs essential to urban life, including law, applied sciences, and business. Founded in 1925, UB was intended to provide an opportunity to nontraditional students from its very beginning, when it started offering night classes for working adults in a row house. The heritage of outreach has continued for nearly a century, as night classes grew into a junior college, college, and university. Today, UB is intimately connected to Baltimore’s government, business, and society, and provides a wide range of programs from certificates to master’s and professional degrees.

The University of Baltimore online Upper-Division Certificate in Accounting comes from the Merrick School of Business, which has been ranked one of the best online and undergraduate business schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. This 24-30 credit program is designed for working professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, but want the credentials to move into accounting. The Certificate in Accounting qualifies graduates to sit for the Maryland CPA exam, and to enter the accounting job market with confidence.

Required Credits: 24 credits


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Founded in 1912 by the De La Sallian Christian Brothers – a monastic order dedicated to education and service – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a highly respected Catholic liberal arts university. Originally a small religious school for men, serving just the local area around Winona, MN, Saint Mary’s grew through the 20th century into a student body of nearly 6000 US and international students. Students are drawn to Saint Mary’s reputation for excellence, academic rigor, and religious commitment. Saint Mary’s is ranked in the top 50 regional Midwestern universities by U.S. News & World Report.

The Saint Mary’s Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting online program is designed for working adults who want to add accounting credentials to their current bachelor’s degree. Whether that degree is in business or another field, the 24-30 credit certificate prepares students for careers in accounting, as well as the CMA and CPA exams. Saint Mary’s generous transfer policy can make the process even shorter. With a focus not only on the technical skills of accounting, but also business ethics and law, Saint Mary’s is dedicated to making responsible professionals.

Required Credits: 24 credits


Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s community college system, with 45 locations, 150-degree programs, and more than 1000 online classes. Founded in 1963 during a national boom in technical colleges, Ivy Tech grew quickly in response to the unprecedented need for quality career education for working adults throughout Indiana. From applied sciences and healthcare to business and information technology, more than 150,000 students across Indiana start their education and career at Ivy Tech. Low tuition rates and a wealth of opportunities has made Ivy Tech a critical part of Indiana’s workforce. Tech’s accounting certificate program offers several options for students looking to begin an accounting career online. For students looking for a shorter program, an 18-credit certificate for Bookkeeping, Enrolled Agent, or Fundamental Payroll can get students into careers in human resources offices or business offices in just two semesters. For a more in-depth preparation, the 30-credit Accounting Technical Certificate can take 2-3 semesters of full-time study, but qualifies graduates for higher-level accounting jobs. In any case, the low cost and high quality of Ivy Tech’s online certificates make for a low-risk start to a rewarding career.

Required Credits: 18-31 credits


Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University dates back to a small bible college founded in 1914, but today CCU is better known as Colorado’s foremost private, interdenominational Christian university. That growth and development have been fueled by a reputation not only for the highest quality of undergraduate education, but for exceptional adult education programs as well. With more than 100 degree programs and a reputation for combining academic rigor with Christian faith, Colorado Christian University is regularly ranked among the best Christian colleges nationwide.

The CCU Online Certificate in Accounting comes from the College of Adult and Graduate Studies, one of Colorado’s strongest adult education schools. CCU’s certificate is designed for convenience and speed, with accelerated 5-week terms and just 12 credits required. The certificate is flexible as well, serving either as a stand-alone credential, transferable credits toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or an added credential to a business or non-accounting bachelor’s. Along with technical skills, the CCU accounting certificate focuses on values-based decision-making and ethically responsible leadership. From one of the nation’s leading Christian schools, the CCU accounting certificate is a keeper.

Required Credits: 12 credits


Post University

Founded in 1890 as a secretarial school, Post University is a rarity – a regionally accredited, highly-ranked for-profit private university. Based on its roots, which emphasized bookkeeping, shorthand, and other secretarial skills, Post grew into a business school, then a full university focused on career and professional study. Since the 1970s, when Post began offering accelerated courses for service members, the university has made distance education a priority. Post now stands as one of the finest online educators in the nation, regularly ranked among the top online bachelor’s institutions in the US.

Post University’s online Certificate in Accounting is a post-baccalaureate program designed for working professionals who want to add accounting credentials to an already existing bachelor’s. A thorough 36-credit program gives adult students everything they need to qualify for the CPA exam in Connecticut, as well as enter a satisfying accounting career at a status higher than entry-level. From technical skills to law and management, Post’s accounting certificate covers it all, giving graduates entry to the accounting job market with confidence.

Required Credits: 36 credits


University of Alaska - Fairbanks

Alaska’s flagship public research university, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is a land, sea, space, and sun-grant institution dedicated to learning and discovery for Alaska’s people. Dating back to an agricultural research station founded in 1906, UAF has been at the center of Alaska’s development since well before Alaska was a state, providing degrees since 1917. For a solid century, UAF has not only researched and tended the needs of Alaska’s land, but her people, with academic and professional degrees from engineering to education. Online degree programs have made it even easier for UAF to reach out to Alaska’s far-flung populace.

UAF’s Accounting Technician Certificate provides students with a short, effective foundation for an entry-level position in the accounting profession. For full-time students, the 30-credit program can be completed in just one year, and the flexible scheduling and convenience of UAF’s online format allows students to continue working and tending to family needs. UAF’s accounting certificate focuses on payroll, human resources, bookkeeping, and other basic accounting skills, as well as communication and technology. This broad and effective program allows graduates to find their place in the accounting job market with ease.

Required Credits: 30 credits


University of Alaska - Southeast

A small, public university in Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, the University of Alaska Southeast serves a small population in a large area. That’s because Juneau is one of the largest cities in the nation by area – larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined – but with just over 30,000 residents. UA Southeast has three campuses and offers numerous highly desirable, highly necessary degree programs in the health sciences, technology and computers, business, and so on. With its wide-ranging mission, UAS is also making extensive use of online education and earning national recognition for it.

The UAS online Accounting Technician Certificate program comes from the School of Management, part of UAS’s Department of Business and Public Administration. Students in the accounting certificate program work through a thorough curriculum of accounting fundamentals, from business mathematics to financial, managerial, and payroll accounting. Students also take courses in psychology, writing, and management, as well as computing, to get a well-rounded accounting education. That helps UAS students make the most of their certificate on the accounting job market and in entry-level and higher accounting jobs.

Required Credits: 30 credits


University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is Arkansas’s urban, public research university in the state’s capital city. Founded in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College, UALR has always been committed to providing the best education to the most students possible. That was as true in its first years, offering two-year general education programs, as it is today, with more than 11,000 students and more than 200 programs. UA Little Rock is especially known for its professional and online programs; the business school has been ranked as one of the best in the nation for undergraduate education by U.S. News & World Report.

UA Little Rock offers numerous online business programs; the BBA in Accounting is available fully online. But for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, the UALR Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting offers all of the courses necessary to move into a career as an accountant. Certificate graduates are also qualified to sit for the CPA exam in Arkansas. Business degree holders may already have some of the necessary credits, making the 18 credit program even shorter. Whether enhancing a current career or starting a new one, UA Little Rock has all the aspiring accountant needs.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University is a highly respected, business and law-centered university in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 1901, Golden Gate began with night classes for working adults at the San Francisco YMCA, primarily secretarial and accounting-related. Demand grew quickly, and Golden Gate outgrew the YMCA, establishing a law school and business school before reaching university status. Today, Golden Gate retains its commitment to adult education, and to business – located in the Financial District, graduates can literally walk right into accounting jobs from Golden Gate.

Golden Gate’s online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is another route, better suited in many ways for working adults than the on-campus version. This condensed, accelerated certificate prepares students who already have a bachelor’s degree for CMA or CPA exams, as well as for graduate schooling in accounting. With only 18 credits required, it’s a quick way into the field. Golden Gate has been ranked a top national online educator by Washington Monthly, a solid indication of their quality and student support.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Thomas Edison State University

Named for one of New Jersey’s favorite residents, Thomas Edison State University is a unique sort of public college. Founded in 1972, TESU was one of the first colleges established especially for working adult students, developing a vision for educating motivated, self-directed adults in Thomas Edison’s self-taught tradition. With its focus on adult education, TESU is known for its generous acceptance of life and work experience for credit, and for its accessibility.

Thomas Edison State was also an early adopter of online education, earning recognition from publications like Forbes for its excellent online options. Thomas Edison State’s online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is a convenient choice for students looking to add accounting credentials to their existing bachelor’s degree or to enter TESU’s accounting bachelor’s program. This 18-credit program covers the basics of accounting, including financial and managerial accounting, taxation, and other more advanced fields. With TESU’s reputation for quality online education, the online accounting certificate is a way to a new career.

Required Credits: 18 credits


Capella University

Founded in 1993 in Minneapolis, MN, Capella University is a private, for-profit institution offering mainly online degrees. Capella has been regionally accredited since 1997, making it a rare for-profit college with that status, and its competency-based curriculum has been influential both on other online educators, and traditional schools. Capella has also been acclaimed for its commitment to diversity. While the majority of students are graduate students (Capella was founded as a graduate school), Capella offers online certificate programs and undergraduate degrees as well.

Capella University’s online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting can be completed in just one and a half years. Students may choose to apply credits to a further accounting bachelor’s degree, add the certificate to an existing bachelor’s degree in another field (to qualify for the CPA exam), or enter the workforce on a standalone certificate. The program is 45 competency units in Capella’s unusual competency-based curriculum; students take 2-3 accelerated courses during each 10-week term. Capella’s reputation for speed and affordability make it a popular choice for working adults.

Required Credits: 45 units (approximately 1.5 years)


Colorado State University - Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus – CSU-Global – is one of the most innovative, pioneering higher education institutions today. Founded in 2007, CSU-Global is the first accredited, public, fully-online state university – no campus anywhere. Unlike other state universities’ online programs, CSU-Global is an independent campus in the CSU system. CSU-Global’s entire reason for existence is bringing convenient, affordable, high-quality online education to nontraditional students, with an emphasis on professional development, career readiness, and innovative thinking and leadership.

The Foundations of Accounting online certificate program gives students a full outline of an accounting education in just 5 courses. Added on to an existing bachelor’s degree, or taken concurrently with a bachelor’s program, Foundations of Accounting prepares students for a career in accounting. Students may choose a standalone certificate as well, but CSU-Global makes it easy to choose accounting as a specialization in many of its bachelor’s programs, including Business Management, Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership, and more. Whatever path, CSU-Global is a way to a successful future.

Required Credits: 15 credits