Business Accounting Degree Programs

Degree programs in business accounting are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Learn more about the available programs, common course topics, online study options and career prospects. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Undergraduate Degrees Are Available in Business Accounting?

You may consider starting off by earning a 2-year associate's degree in accounting. Associate's degree programs mainly offer introductory classes in financial and managerial accounting, economics and statistics, as well as general education requirements. Often, the credits earned from these programs can transfer to a 4-year bachelor's degree program.

If you wish to choose the more common direction, you can pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting. Some options include a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting, a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in accounting or a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Course requirements for these programs tend to be similar; you can expect to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours consisting of general education, core business and accounting-focused classes. Some of the accounting coursework will cover income tax, auditing, financial principles and accounting information systems.

Programs Available Associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral
Online Options Doctoral online programs are rare
Common Courses Income tax, auditing, cost management, financial reporting
Career Opportunities Certified Public Accountant,
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% growth (for accountants and auditors)*
Median Salary (2018)$70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Graduate Degrees Are Available?

To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you must complete 30 additional coursework hours beyond the typical bachelor's degree requirement of 120 for a total of 150. You can take the additional classes needed separately, or you could pursue a Master of Accounting or Master of Science in Accounting. In these programs, you'd complete advanced study in cost management, auditing, taxation, financial reporting and other subjects. Some schools offer joint programs that combine the coursework from bachelor's and master's degree programs, allowing you to earn both degrees in less time, usually five years.

If you wish to further continue your studies, you may pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Accounting or a Ph.D. in Business Administration program with a concentration in accounting. Your education at this level will usually emphasize research in the field. Besides some coursework, you may also participate in doctoral seminars and workshops and write a dissertation. You can enter a Ph.D. program without a degree in business or management if you're willing to take required accounting, finance and business courses.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

You can generally find online degree programs at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. While online Ph.D. programs aren't as easy to find, you may be able to complete some of your work towards a Ph.D. online. You'll need self-discipline for online courses as you'll be responsible for your own learning. You'll have deadlines for completing assignments and tests, but you'll have the flexibility of choosing when you can study. Expect to devote the same amount of time to online classes as you would to on-campus classes.

Career Outlook

Generally, employers will require you to have a bachelor's degree at minimum to be hired. To be a CPA in 46 states, however, you must fulfill the 150-hour requirement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) gave the employment advantage to accountants who've obtained certification or have a master's degree. PayScale.com noted that, as of July 2019, accounting job salaries ranged from $39,000 - $71,000, while Certified Public Accountants (CPA) earned between $47,000-$108,000.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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