Accounting Bachelor's Degree

Those interested in financial management can earn an accounting bachelor's degree in-person or online to get started in a career as an accountant. Learn about online options, course topics and the educational requirements for becoming a certified public accountant (CPA). Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn an Accounting Bachelor's Degree?

You can find accounting bachelor's degree programs at colleges and universities throughout the country. Some programs are geared toward incoming freshmen, while others are intended for returning students who have already earned some college credits. There are also online accounting bachelor's degree programs, which allow you to complete your degree on your own time. Most accounting bachelor's degree programs award a Bachelor of Science (BS) upon completion, but you can also earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Some options are called accountancy or accounting and finance programs.

Accounting bachelor's degree programs take about four years to complete. While most bachelor's degree programs only require a high school diploma, you might need an associate degree if you want to enroll in an online fast-track program. Some programs designed for working professionals may require prior work experience.

Common CoursesFinancial reporting and management, business and financial strategy, international business, law, investments, taxation
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or equivalent; associate's degree for some online programs; work experience sometimes necessary
Additional Requirements30 credits beyond a bachelor's degree often required for CPA credential

What Courses Will I Take?

Your core major courses in an accounting bachelor's degree program are taken early in your course of study and tend to cover financial statements, cost-benefit analysis, cost-volume relationships and inventories. Other courses and topics of study include:

  • Financial and managerial accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Business law
  • Capital management
  • International business
  • Business strategy

Higher-level accountancy bachelor's degree courses teach you how to plan tax strategies for individuals and corporations, work with financial tracking software, understand the stock markets and prepare financial reports. These courses usually cover the following:

  • Taxation
  • Investment management
  • Information systems
  • Financial strategy
  • International finance

Will I Need More Education?

Typically, an accounting bachelor's degree is enough to get you entry-level positions in the field. You often must work under supervision before an employer promotes you to a senior accountant, and many employers seek accountants with master's degrees.

You may want to become a CPA at some point during your career. If you want a position as a senior accountant, representing a large firm and filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you're required to be a CPA. In most states, you need at least 150 credit hours to be a CPA, which means you need to earn about 30 credits beyond a bachelor's degree to earn the designation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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