25 Best Schools with Online Accounting Courses for CPA Credit

Many accountants have long, satisfying careers with just an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, getting an entry-level job in an accounting firm or corporation and working their way up the old-fashioned way – slowly. But for those who want the higher earning of managerial roles, or the independence of setting up their own firm, there’s one main route: CPA licensure. While the regulations for sitting for the CPA exam and earning CPA licensure are slightly different for every state, some things are the same across the board (there’s a reason it’s called the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam). One of those things is how many credit hours it takes to qualify for the CPA exam.

Why Do I Need 150 Credit Hours for CPA Certification?

The trouble, for many accountants, is that there’s a sizable gap between a traditional bachelor’s degree (whether it’s a BBA, a Bachelor’s of Accounting, or BS in Business) and the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam.  A conventional bachelor’s degree is usually only 120 credit hours; however, based on AICPA recommendations, all 50 states and most US territories (except for the US Virgin Islands) require at least 150 credit hours to qualify to take the CPA exam. That’s 30 credits more – 10 courses, at most colleges. That, quite obviously, is a pretty big gap, especially when a full-time course load at most colleges is only 12 credit hours.

Of course, many universities have responded by expanding their accounting bachelor’s programs to 150 credits to begin with, but that creates a question for accountants who only have 120 credits, or working professionals who want to move into accounting: how to get 150 credits for CPA certification? The answer, for many adult learners, is with online master’s certificate programs, online accounting courses for CPA credit, and online completion programs. These kinds of programs vary greatly: some provide all 30 credit hours for CPA licensure, and some just provide part; some are designed just for students with an accounting bachelor’s, and some are designed for professionals with a bachelor’s degree in any field; some even include a transfer option for master’s programs.

Ranking Accounting Courses for CPA Credit

In any case, accountants and prospective accountants who are looking for their 150 credit hours for CPA certification need a convenient, low-cost option that will provide them with a real, measurable payoff. Otherwise, why go to the trouble? That’s why the Accounting Degree Review ranking of the 25 Best Online Accounting Courses for CPA Credit is so valuable.

ADR has ranked graduate certificates, completion programs, and other options that are perfect for the working accountant, career-changing professional, and anyone else who needs those 30 crucial credit hours. Programs are ranked on 3 qualifications:

  • Reputation (Niche student reviews)
  • Cost (IPEDS data)
  • ROI (College Scorecard median earnings)

All of the colleges and universities featured in the 25 Best ranking are regionally-accredited, and many are also accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP. Students should research carefully and ask questions to find the program that fits their own needs. This list spans the US, including some of the best states and best cities to be a CPA.

Frequently named a Public Ivy – the exceptional public universities with the quality and influence of the Ivy League – the University of California, San Diego, is recognized as one of the top research universities in California. Started in 1960, USSD was intended to be a world-class research university from the beginning, rather than growing into one, and was always meant to provide the people of Southern California with the highest level of opportunity. Located on the Mexican border, UC San Diego is one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, with an especially high Hispanic population, and the university has increased its diversity and accessibility with outreach, extension, and online programs.

UC San Diego Extension is the university’s hub for adult professionals who are looking for a career change or continuing education. For students who want online accounting courses for CPA credit, UC San Diego Extension’s Professional Certificate in Accounting does the job. Designed for working professionals who want to move into the accounting field, the professional accounting certificate provides convenient on-campus, hybrid, and online classes that meet the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam in California. Nine courses are required, and only students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field are eligible. It’s a helpful way to earn the credit hours for CPS licensure without a full accounting degree.

Cost: $$$$$

The flagship of the University of California system (and UC San Diego’s system partner), UC Berkeley is also regarded as a Public Ivy, and has long been ranked the top public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Dating back to 1868, Berkeley can’t take all the credit for making California what it is today, but for generations the university has been one of the Golden State’s primary centers for learning and culture. In particular, UC Berkeley has played a major part in shaping business and accounting, with the Haas School of Business ranking as one of the top ten business schools in the US by publishers like the Economist and the Financial Times. Berkeley knows business, in other words.

Berkeley is also known for its outreach to students, and the UC Berkeley Extension Certificate Program in Accounting is a perfect example. Students looking for online accounting courses for CPA credit will find UC Berkeley Extension one of the most accessible and convenient ways to earn credits to become a CPA in California. The program is approved by the Haas School of Business, so it carries the same high quality instruction and reputable content as a traditional program, but can be completed entirely online. The Certificate Program is primarily for working accountants looking to improve their careers, and for professionals with a bachelor’s in another field who want to become CPAs. Some credit hours for CPA licensure can also transfer to an MBA program, if students really want to make the most of their well-spent money.

Cost: $$$$$

A top-tier public research university, and Illinois’ flagship institution, the University of Illinois has been educating and training the Prairie State’s professionals since its founding in 1867. In the century and a half since it began, U of I made Urbana-Champaign one of the most beloved college towns in the Midwest, while also branching out, whether by giving the University of Illinois at Chicago its start, or launching Illinois Online, the online education catalog bringing together courses and programs from all of the University of Illinois system institutions. The Gies College of Business has especially made its name as one of the top business schools in the nation, offering online degrees and influential MOOCs for students all over the world.

The Gies College offers the University of Illinois Online’s Certificate in Accountancy for students preparing for the CPA exam. This fully online program allows students to earn 16 credit hours for CPA in Illinois certification without ever having to attend class on-campus, adding those 16 credits onto an existing bachelor’s degree to meet the 150 credit requirement. The CPA Exam Preparation Course uses the Gleim CPA Review, including video lectures and the largest bank of CPA exam simulation questions available, so students come out of the Certificate in Accountancy program feeling confident that they can handle any question the CPA exam throws at them. It’s one of the best online accounting courses for CPA credit in the Midwest, and it’s available just about anywhere.

Cost: $$$$$

With its system partners UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, the University of California Davis is regarded as a Public Ivy and one of the highest-ranked public research universities in the nation. Beginning as a branch campus of UC Berkeley – the University Farm – in 1909, bringing modern agricultural methods to what was then a rural area. Today, UC Davis is still a leader in agriculture and bioengineering, especially viticulture and enology (the foundations of California’s wine industry), but the university has become known as one of the finest universities in California for professional study – as well as one of the happiest, and greenest, schools in America.

UC Davis Extension, the division of Continuing and Professional Education, offers two possible routes for students who want online accounting courses for CPA credit. Working professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field may take the Accounting Essentials Certificate Program, which provides all of the basic accounting courses necessary to work as an accountant. Those who want to earn further credit hours for CPA licensure can choose the Accounting CPA Exam Track Certificate Program, which specifically prepares students with the courses necessary to sit for the CPA exam. In both programs, three courses can also be transferred to an MBA program, giving students interested in a graduate degree a valuable head start.

Cost: $$$$$

Louisiana’s flagship, and the most comprehensive public research institution in the state, Louisiana State University was founded in 1953 as a military academy before being selected as Louisiana’s land-grant agricultural and mechanical college. Over time, Louisiana State developed into a comprehensive research university, with sea and space-grant programs, crucial programs sponsored by the NIH, National Science Foundation, and NASA. A top 100 public university, LSU is also the Deep South’s leader in business education, with the AACSB-accredited Ourso College of Business ranking as one of the most respected and influential business schools in the region.

With much of Louisiana still rural, and a real need for citizens to adapt to economic and job market changes, LSU is also well known for its outreach, making degrees and certificates accessible to as many as possible. The LSU Continuing Education Certificate in Accounting is a prime example of how LSU, and the Ourso College, are working to transform Louisiana’s workforce. For students looking for online accounting courses for CPA credit, the Certificate in Accounting is available fully online from LSU Distance Learning Programs. Busy working adults can earn credit hours for CPA licensure without having to leave their current jobs, and prepare themselves for advancement or career change at an affordable price.

Cost: $$$$$

One of Maryland’s largest regional public universities, Towson University began as Maryland’s first teacher training school in 1866, preparing young women for Maryland’s developing school system. Today, Towson still educates more teachers than any other college in Maryland, but in a century and a half, lots of changes have occurred – most notably, Towson has become a regional leader in much more, with eight distinct colleges and more than 20,000 students. Towson is ranked in the top 10 public universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report, and it has achieved its reputation and distinction by reaching out and meeting the needs of Maryland’s residents.

Towson’s CPA review courses are offered to recent accounting graduates who need further learning and preparation for the CPA exam. While Towson doesn’t offer online accounting courses for CPA credit, the university partners with Becker Professional Education to offer a summer CPA review course that shows significant results in helping graduates pass the CPA exam in Maryland. While it doesn’t augment a traditional bachelor’s degree – students can get that from Towson’s 150-credit accounting bachelor’s program – the summer review course can make the difference in helping a recent graduate cross that very high bar – passing the CPA exam in Maryland.

Cost: $$$$$

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute is New York’s only public polytechnic college and one of the premiere STEM and professional higher education institutions in the Northeast. SUNY Poly began in 1966 as a strictly graduate and upper-level school, offering master’s degree and bachelor’s completion programs in areas like technology and applied science. With a 2014 merger with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (formerly part of SUNY Albany), SUNY Polytechnic grew into five colleges, cementing its reputation as a research powerhouse. SUNY Polytechnic is ranked one of the top 20 regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

SUNY Poly’s online MS in Accountancy degree program is a convenient and academically excellent answer to the problem of accounting graduates who need further credits to sit for the CPA exam in New York. As a full, 33-credit master’s degree, the MS in Accountancy fulfills all of the 150 credit hours for CPA licensure, while going above and beyond to give students a master’s level education. Available in a fully online format, the MS program prepares students for the demands of the CPA and CMA licensure exams, and while it is ideal for students who already have an undergraduate degree in accounting, professionals with a non-accounting bachelor’s degree can apply as well. It’s a flexible format for students looking to become a CPA in New York to find online accounting courses for CPA credit, from one of the North’s finest universities.

Cost: $$$$$

The University of Miami is one of the most prestigious private research universities in the South, and has spent the better part of a century helping to make Miami the vibrant, business-driven global city it is today. Founded in 1925, when Miami was in its first big speculation boom, the University of Miami weathered storms – both literal, and financial – to become one of the most influential and powerful universities in Florida. Ranked as a top 50 national university, UM is especially known for business, and the UM Business School is consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation, particularly because of its model online MBA programs.

Accountants, and those who want to become accountants, can also earn credit hours for CPA licensure from the University of Miami’s Master of Professional Accounting Certificates. With the fully online Certificate in Accounting Practice, working accountants can earn 16 credits to complete the course requirements necessary to sit for the CPA exam, while the full 32-credit Master of Professional Accounting program can prepare a non-accounting bachelor’s graduate for the Florida CPA exam in as little as 16-20 months. While the University of Miami’s costs are somewhat higher than other similar programs, the return on investment (ROI) that the UMiami name carries on the job market is hard to beat – and more than makes up for a little extra cost up front.

Cost: $$$$$

Oakton Community College – a 2-year school in Des Plaines and Skokie, IL – serves more than 46,000 credit and non-credit students in Cook County, IL. Since it opened in 1969, Oakton Community College has provided educational opportunity to the suburbs of Chicago, giving working adults and career seekers an affordable, convenient means to improve their job market success and the professional skills. With 80 associate’s and transfer programs, more than 1500 continuing education courses, and more than 700 dedicated faculty, OCC is giving the people of Cook County the means to transform their lives. And with their fully online distance education programs, OCC is more accessible than it’s ever been.

Oakton Community College’s online accounting courses provide all that working accountants need to fulfill their credit hours for CPA licensure. While some courses for an associate’s degree in accounting still has some courses that are only available on-campus, all of the courses for the CPA Preparation Certificate are available fully online. That means that working adults, whether already in accounting, or in another career, can get the online accounting courses for CPA credit that they need on their own schedule and in their own time, without taking away from their current lives. Of course, as a community college, Oakton’s costs are incredibly low, making the return on investment a real value for future CPAs.

Cost: $$$$$

The primary higher education institution in Howard County – part of suburban Baltimore, MD – Howard Community College serves more than 30,000 students annually, providing affordable and accessible opportunity in one of Maryland’s best-educated, most professional areas. Howard offers associate’s degrees and transfer programs in a wide range of fields, and has articulation agreements allowing for easy transfer to the most in-demand and trusted universities in Maryland. A highly diverse student body, well-prepared faculty, and multiple locations ensure that there is a place for every student, and support for every student’s career goals. That includes numerous online and hybrid degree programs for the convenience of working adults.

Howard Community College’s CPA Exam Candidacy Program is one of the only such fully online programs in the area, providing current bachelor’s degree holders in any field with the necessary credit hours for CPA licensure. Whether students are already accountants, or planning to change careers, the online program is fully developed for the needs of every students – whether it’s a pre-exam refresher, or the full 17 courses needed to sit for the CPA exam in Maryland, Howard Community College has it available. Fully online courses help make the process much more convenient for the working adult, and HCC’s low tuition makes it a safe investment in a future as a CPA in Maryland.

Cost: $$$$$

The University of North Alabama has been around nearly as long as there’s been an Alabama, and that’s quite a long time. Founded in 1830, UNA’s first incarnation was LaGrange College, a non-denominational (a rarity at the time) school. The college barely survived the Civil War, and after many years of financial struggle, the Methodist Church turned it over to the state of Alabama to become the state’s normal school – the first public teacher-training school in the Deep South. Today, UNA stands as a comprehensive 4-year university, with a particular focus on useful, career-centered programs that are most needed in Alabama, such as education, healthcare, and social work.

UNA also reaches out to meet the needs of the community through online and distance education degree programs, such as the UNA Accounting Career Completion Program. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree can complete all of the required credits for CPA licensure. Whether they are already working as accountants, or making a career change, the online accounting courses for CPA credit are available in a fully online format, taught by full-time, expert UNA faculty. UNA’s affordable tuition makes it possible for working professionals to enhance their career without going into excessive debt, making UNA a real value.

Cost: $$$$$

The University of Louisville dates back to the earliest years of Kentucky’s statehood, established in 1798 as one of the first colleges west of the Alleghenies. U of L was also the first municipal college in the US, though today it is part of the Kentucky State University System. Though U of L is no longer owned by the city, that doesn’t mean the university has forgotten about the unique needs of Louisville and its people; the University of Louisville is well known for its impact on Louisville’s workforce, job market, and industry, and has made outreach to the people a priority. Online programs are just one way U of L makes education accessible.

The University of Louisville’s online Certificate in Accounting provides a fully online way for working professionals who already have a non-accounting bachelor’s degree to earn the credit hours for CPA licensure they need. These online accounting courses for CPA credit provide 6 credit hours of accounting prerequisites, and 21 accounting-specific credits, providing the full 150 credits required to sit for the CPA exam in Kentucky. Depending on the student’s background, the Certificate in Accounting can be completed in as little as 3 semesters, less than two years, at a tuition rate that makes the University of Louisville a sound investment.

Cost: $$$$$

A private liberal arts college in the picturesque Willamette Valley, Linfield College is one of the top-ranked regional colleges in the West. Founded in 1854, Linfield still retains its historic affiliation with the American Baptist Church, but more than a century and a half later is a fully independent institution. As a regional institution, Linfield is well known for its outreach, operating adult degree programs in eight locations around Oregon, as well as developing a highly regarded online program. Linfield is also recognized for its impact on social mobility, having a reputation for allowing students from low income families to achieve rewarding professional careers.

Linfield College’s Online Accounting Degree is specially designed for working adults who want to complete their degree to advance in their careers, or change careers altogether. All courses are entirely online, allowing students to earn credit hours for CPA licensure without taking time away from their jobs and families. The program provides all of the online accounting courses for CPA credit that a working professional would need to sit for the CPA exam in Oregon, or to enter a career in accounting, finance, or banking that does not require a CPA. Linfield also provides financial aid packages for all students; combined with a high ROI, that makes Linfield’s Online Accounting Degree a smart choice for Oregon accountants.

Cost: $$$$$

Illinois’ oldest college, McKendree University began as a Methodist seminary in 1828, and was named for Bishop William McKendree, the first American-born Methodist bishop. Today, McKendree remains affiliated with the Methodist Church, but has grown well beyond its humble beginnings, with nearly 3000 students and a reputation as a top-tier regional college in the Midwest. McKendree has made its name on practical, service-oriented professional degrees in fields such as nursing, education, and business, providing Illinois with a long line of responsible, ethical leaders and professionals who make a difference in people’s lives.

McKendree University’s Online Accounting Degree is designed as a convenient opportunity for working adults in any field to earn their credits for CPA licensure. Whether they are beginning from a current accounting bachelor’s, and need extra credits to sit for the CPA exam in Illinois, or if they have a bachelor’s degree in another field, McKendree’s program provides online accounting courses for CPA credit. Students can take one or two credits for each 8-week term, and McKendree generously accepts transfer credits to help students with prior college experience complete the accounting degree more quickly, getting out of school and into a rewarding accounting career.

Cost: $$$$$

New York City is known for some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world, from the Ivy League to private research universities to groundbreaking liberal arts colleges. But those elite schools are not accessible to everyone, which is why New York also needs the Borough of Manhattan Community College. New York City’s first community college, founded in 1963, BMCC is also the largest college in the CUNY system, with more than 27,000 students. Originally focused on preparing young professionals for business and finance careers, BMCC is one of the most affordable and accessible institutions in the city for new businesspeople.

BMCC’s Accounting Certificate Program is a 30-credit program designed for working adults who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, but want to become accountants. The ACP provides non-accounting majors with all of the credits they would need to seek an entry-level accounting job, and provides the credit hours for CPA licensure for students who have a 120-credit accounting bachelor’s (students must have an auditing course to qualify for the CPA exam). With a convenient, accelerated format, students can complete the certificate program in as little as three semesters, and be launched on their way to a rewarding career.

Cost: $$$$$

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth began its life as a textile school in 1895, preparing students for Massachusetts thriving manufacturing industry, so UMass Dartmouth has always had the practical needs of Massachusetts’ people at its heart. Today, UMassD is known for its high quality professional and career programs, and for its outreach to the region; the university has even been recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its engagement with the South Coast region. With UMass Online, UMassD takes part in one of the top public online education programs, one dating back to 2001 and offering more than 150 of UMass’ degree programs online.

UMass Dartmouth’s online Certificate in Accounting is intended for busy working adults who already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than accounting. A part-time, 30-credit program, the Certificate in Accounting provides all of the credits for CPA licensure when added to a 120-credit bachelor’s degree. Because it provides students with a thorough grounding in accounting, the certificate program is perfect for professionals from any field who want to advance into managerial careers. Fully online accounting courses for CPA credit also qualify graduates for the CMA and CPA exam in Massachusetts.

Cost: $$$$$

A small, private college in Wilmington, DE, Goldey-Beacom College was founded as a business school in 1886, with just 5 students. Today, GBC remains a tight community, with a student body of just over 2000, the majority graduate students, and while the college retains a focus on the many aspects of business, programs in areas like criminal justice, psychology, and computer science have expanded Goldey-Beacom’s reputation and prominence. GBC is dedicated to excellence, with all faculty holding the highest degrees in their field, and more than 90% job placement rates for graduates. Goldey-Beacom also helps students pay their tuition with scholarships and grants to limit the amount of debt students have to take on.

Goldey-Beacom’s Accounting 150 Certificate Program allows students to earn the extra credits they need to qualify to sit for the CPA exam, no matter what level of education they are starting with. Whether students already have a bachelor’s in accounting or some other field; are current accounting majors, or are working accountants, the GBC certificate program can be tailored to the needs of the student. Some students will only need the last few credits for CPA licensure, while others will need many online accounting courses for CPA credit. Whatever the case, the Accounting 150 Certificate can get students to their CPA goals.

Cost: $$$$$

The University of Hartford began in 1957 as the merger of three smaller Hartford, CT, schools, which joined forces to provide a more comprehensive higher education option for the area. These included an art school, performing arts conservatory, and business and technology school, all of which continue today. Besides acting as a cultural center for Hartford (one end of the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor), the University of Hartford is also known as one of the best colleges in the area for professional careers in areas like engineering, technology, and business.

The University of Hartford’s Accounting Certificate Program, from the highly ranked Barney School of Business, helps accounting graduates and working adults in other fields earn the credits for CPA licensure in Connecticut. UH provides both on-campus and fully online options, depending on the students’ needs. The 4-course online program is two semesters long, using 7-week accelerated courses; this program also prepares students for the MSAT or MBA degree program. All students who complete the certificate program will be allowed request entry into the graduate program without having to reapply, making the Accounting Certificate Program a convenient entry into an advanced career.

Cost: $$$$$

One of the largest community colleges on the East Coast, Central Piedmont Community College serves the city of Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County, and the wider central piedmont region. With Charlotte’s explosive growth in the 21st century, largely tied to a booming banking, finance, and technology industry, CPCC has become a crucial player in higher education, meeting the educational needs of more than 75,000 students every year. With such an expansive demand, CPCC has also put a priority on developing its online programs, including numerous associate in arts, associate in science, and business administration degrees and certificates. CPCC is working hard to meet the needs of Charlotte’s business community.

CPCC’s Professional Accounting Certificates allow students to earn the 30 credits for CPA licensure that they need beyond the 120 credits of a traditional bachelor’s degree. Two certificates, each 17 credit hours, provide the training and background necessary to sit for the CPA exam in North Carolina. The first establishes an emphasis on taxation and ethics, while the second certificate focuses on more specialized areas of accounting like corporate, government, and auditing. Together, they fulfill CPA education requirements, and offer graduates the opportunity to advance in the financial industry of Charlotte, or anywhere else.

Cost: $$$$$

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University is a small, private Christian liberal arts college in Mississippi’s capital city, Jackson. Over its history, Belhaven has become known for its educational excellence, providing students with a low 12:1 student:faculty ratio and strong support; one of the few colleges with full specialized accreditation for its arts and music programs, it is also one of only two Christian colleges recognized by the President’s STEM Initiative. Belhaven is especially known for its adult and outreach programs, though; of Belhaven’s 4500 students, only 1200 are traditional-aged.

Belhaven have made their online programs a distinction in the 21st century, and Belhaven’s Online Accounting Certificate demonstrates the university’s commitment to adult education. This 36-credit, fully online program is designed to help students who already have a traditional 120-credit bachelor’s degree earn the remaining credits for CPA licensure. Online accounting courses for CPA credit allow busy working adults to earn their credits without having to leave their jobs or commute to campus. Belhaven’s reputation is strong throughout Mississippi and the Deep South, so certificate graduates will have an effective route to a professional accounting career.

Cost: $$$$$

One of the best-known, regionally-accredited for-profit online colleges, American Public University was founded in 1991 as a correspondence school for military personnel, the American Military University. After becoming an online college in 1998, AMU added American Public University for non-military adult learners, becoming one of the largest online educators in the world. More than 84,000 students are enrolled in more than 200 degree programs, all entirely online, and APU has become well known for the quality and variety of their offerings, including many business and accounting specializations.

The APU Graduate Certificate in Accounting is intended for mid-career professionals already in the accounting industry, or who want to become accountants, to earn the credits for CPA licensure in a convenient format. APU is all-online, and the accounting graduate certificate is available anywhere in America; it is designed to meet the requirements of sitting for the CPA exam in most states. With a fully up-to-date, advanced curriculum, the graduate certificate can help working accountants advance into higher responsibility, and higher paying, roles, or establish their own CPA practice.

Cost: $$$$$

Southern New Hampshire University began as a private business school in 1932, but the college didn’t really come into its own until much later, when it made a bold and innovative decision. In 1995, SNHU became one of the first universities offering fully online degree programs, establishing its reputation early as a leader in online education. Today, SNHU has more than 80,000 online students, along with more than 7000 traditional on-campus students, With its roots in a business school, SNHU is still a leader in business education.

SNHU’s online Accounting Graduate Certificate gives working accountants and other professionals a start toward their professional certifications. Made up of 7 fully online courses, the graduate certificate credits for CPA licensure can count either toward CPA requirements, or for the MS in Accounting (also offered online from SNHU). Students learn the basics of crucial accounting skills, including SEC reporting, income tax, and auditing, preparing them for the work of an accountant or CPA in New Hampshire and all over the US. While the 21-credit program will not completely fulfill the entire 150 hours, it just a few more courses will reach that goal.

Cost: $$$$$

Pennsylvania State University, one of the most prominent public research universities in the US, is recognized as a Public Ivy and a flagship land, sea, space, and sun-grant institution. Founded in 1855, Penn State was a pioneer in distance education, initiating its first correspondence courses in 1892, to educate local farmers in agricultural science. It was a logical choice, then, when Penn State began offering some of the first online degree programs, and when the university established the Penn State World Campus, the first fully online campus from a major public research university.

In the last two decades, Penn State has become a household name for online education, and programs like Penn State’s Graduate Certificate in Accounting are the reason why. Led by the faculty of Penn State Harrisburg’s AACSB-accredited School of Business Administration, the graduate certificate program is intended for working professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or the equivalent in credits. For prepared students, the graduate certificate provides 12 credits toward CPA licensing, or to transfer to Penn State’s Master of Professional Accounting online degree program. It’s a convenient way to get online accounting courses for CPA credit, from one of the foremost names in higher education.

Cost: $$$$$$

Purdue University has long been one of the more prominent names in higher education, a public research university ranked as a top 20 national public university, and one of the top 100 in the world. Since its founding 1869 as Indiana’s land-grant agricultural college, Purdue has become one of the Midwest’s most influential institutions. Purdue had already begun establishing a reputation as an online educator when it purchased the for-profit online Kaplan University in 2017. This merger has made Purdue University Global one of the largest online educators in the world, giving students the assurance of a top-ranked and reputable name for their online degrees.

Purdue Global’s Graduate Certificate in Accounting provides working accountants with at least 16 credits toward their CPA exam (though more courses are available). The online certificate provides students with skills and knowledge about advanced topics such as financial reporting, auditing, and business law, preparing graduates for mid-level positions within banking, finance, and other industries. With fully online courses, and Purdue Global’s commitment to affordability and quality, working professionals can trust that the online accounting courses for CPA credit that they earn from Purdue Global will be effective and accepted anywhere.

Cost: $$$$$$

Founded in 1890 as a school for secretaries, Post University has a long history of excellence and influence in business education. A long-standing for-profit college, Post is both regionally accredited, and accredited by the ACBSP, one of the leading business accrediting agencies in the world. Post has also become a well-known name in online education, since launching its first online MBA program in 2007. Post has been ranked a top 20 online business educator by U.S. News & World Report, while the university has also been recognized as one of the best schools for military personnel and veterans, and for adult students.

Post’s online Certificate in Accounting (Post-Baccalaureate) is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-business major, but who have decided to pursue an accounting career. The certificate supplements a traditional 120-credit bachelor’s degree with all of the accounting courses necessary to make the big career switch. Online accounting courses for CPA credit provide students with the 150 credits required to sit for the CPA exam in almost any state. The online program is convenient for working professionals who want to earn their credits without leaving their current careers, and prepares students to hit the job market with confidence, qualified to take on positions at any accounting firm.

Cost: $$$$$$

There is one other way to earn some of the credits necessary to reach your full 150 – CLEP (College Level Examination Program) Exams. Offered by the College Board (the same non-profit organization that administered the SAT, PSAT, AP exams, and many other tests), CLEP exams can be used to waive courses at many colleges, helping many ambitious college students get a jump on their required courses. The College Board offers several CLEP exams in business, including Financial Accounting and Business Law – some of the very courses that are required to sit for the CPA exam. You won’t be able to CLEP your way out of all your extra credits, but an $85 exam will save you quite a bit of tuition money. Just make sure you study hard!