Best Accounting Programs in the US

Want to pursue a career in an accounting field, if so then you should know each and every detail of what programs are in the market, which university offering which program, does that program is worth able? So many questions comes to student mind, most of the time student gets confused and puzzled and unable to take a correct decision of what and which program in which university I have to go for.

Therefore to make it easy for the student here is a quick guideline of the best accounting program in the US, and what you can expect from this program after passing are in detail.

There are 5 types of accounting programs

  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master degree
  • Doctoral Degree
  • Certificates

If you want to know which accounting school in the United States is the best, then this article will provide you with a comprehensive list of specialized accounting degrees along with detailed instructions

These are the list of Best Accounting Programs in the US

Associate degree

An associate’s degree is a two-year program that can prepare you for a career in accounting. Traditional four-year universities, community colleges, technical colleges, and online institutions all offer associate’s degrees. If a university offers a bachelor’s degree, you might be able to obtain an associate’s degree there as well.

When you enroll in an associate’s degree program you’ll have several options regarding how you want to complete it. Most institutions offer students the choice of finishing their degree in a one-year accelerated program, a two-year standard program, or a longer, more flexible part-time program.

Associate’s degrees typically need 60 semester hours of academic time. Depending on the institution and program, required courses may contain a mix of core subjects and lower-level accounting classes.

An associate’s degree can give a good foundation of fundamental accounting knowledge, albeit it is less thorough than more advanced degrees.

An associate’s degree isn’t enough to qualify students to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam, but it can be enough education to get a job as a bookkeeper, administrator, or assistant in an accounting firm. The average salary for jobs that an associate’s degree would cover hovers at around $40,000 per year.

Students holding an associate’s degree in accounting should be familiar with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (GAAP). They should exit the curriculum with a firm understanding of the ethics and standards that govern the accounting profession’s integrity. They should be able to keep meticulous financial records with precision and care.

Associate’s Degree Example Courses:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Invoicing
  • Payroll
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable

An associate degree in accounting typically entails 60 to 65 credits or around 20 courses. Depending on the degree program, the types of courses will differ. More broad courses will be found on a transfer degree track created for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

After Passing

Associate degrees created for students to secure entry-level positions upon completion of the degree will have more specialized courses.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

For those who wanted to join more of a traditional degree in accounting then an undergraduate degree in accounting is good to start and can open various paths towards accounting career enhancement, either you can pursue a master’s in accosting or can join CPA.

A student needs to get 120 semester hours of classwork. This generally consists of a core group of well-rounded topics, including English, history, social sciences, and electives. Students are also required to take a group of business core classes along with their general education requirement, which includes classes like lower-level accounting and business courses.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting must complete the major’s course load in addition to their general education and business prerequisites. These classes include advanced accounting courses as well as courses that cover taxation, auditing, information systems, and ethics in greater depth.

This bachelor’s degree normally takes four to five years to complete.

The course of bachelor’s degree

  • Auditing
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Tax
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Accounting Software 
  • Auditing 
  • Business Law 
  • Economics 
  • Ethics 
  • Financial Accounting 
  • Statistics

After passing

Despite the fact that many accounting businesses demand their workers to have a graduate degree, a bachelor’s degree might be sufficient in several industries. You might be able to get a job as one of the following after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Accounting professionals with a bachelor’s degree may expect to earn between $45,000 and $60,000 per year after graduation, depending on the role. Due to the greater experience, you’ll have under your belt, this compensation tends to climb throughout the first five to ten years; but, salary growth generally plateaus at that time until more qualifications are obtained.

Job position

  • Accountant 
  • Analyst (budget and finance) 
  • Bookkeeper 
  • Credit examiner 
  • Financial consultant 
  • Payroll administrator 
  • Risk assessment advisor 
  • Tax advisor 
  • Financial analyst

Master’s Degree in Accounting

If you want to pursue accounting as a profitable career, you’ll almost certainly need a master’s degree to get there. A bachelor’s degree, which does not have to be in accounting, is usually required of students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in accounting.

However, to make sure you possess at least a fundamental understanding of the subject, your school may require you to take supplemental accounting courses prior to master’s enrollment.

A GMAT or GRE exam may be required prior to admission. Most business students are required to take these standardized examinations before being admitted to a graduate degree program. Letters of recommendation and undergraduate university transcripts may be needed for master’s degree candidates.

With a full-time workload, master’s degrees in accounting typically take one to two years to finish. Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA), Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in accounting are some of the accounting degrees available.

A master’s degree is often necessary for the management and top careers in accounting, as well as to be able to complete certified public accountant (CPA) licensure. CPA licensure usually requires the completion of 150 credit hours; however, one can take the exam after 120 hours in some states. While a bachelor’s consists of around 120 hours, the extra 30-36 hours you earn during a master’s degree can help you meet the educational requirements for licensure.

The course of Master Degree

  • Applied Statistics for Business Decisions 
  • Contemporary Issues in Accounting 
  • Corporate Financial Reporting 
  • Federal Taxation 
  • Financial Statement Analysis

After Passing

Master’s degree holders may expect to make a minimum of $50,000 per year, with earnings potentially exceeding $130,000 depending on their focus. If you opt to take the CPA test after earning your master’s in accounting, you’ll be prepared. Although difficult to get, this qualification can increase accountants’ annual earnings by five to ten percent.

A master’s degree is frequently required for management and top accounting positions, as well as certification as a certified public accountant (CPA). In most states, 150 credit hours are required for CPA licensing; however, in certain states, the exam can be taken after only 120 hours. While a bachelor’s degree takes about 120 hours to complete, a master’s degree takes 30-36 hours.

Job Position

  • Actuary 
  • Appraisal specialist 
  • Auditor 
  • Budget analyst 
  • Compliance manager 
  • Forensic accountant 
  • Internal auditor 
  • Risk assessor 
  • Tax examiner 
  • Treasurer

Doctoral Degree in Accounting

The highest degree of accounting education available is a Ph.D. This degree is typically completed in four to seven years of full-time study. Students will study advanced accounting theory and research topics courses, culminating in a final dissertation assignment that makes a significant contribution to the global accounting discipline.

A Ph.D. in accounting might require between 70 and 120 credits. The number of credits is dependent upon the college or university’s program. Some students will have to complete original research relevant to the industry of accounting and/or a dissertation.

The course of Doctoral Degree

  • Auditing 
  • Accounting Information Systems 
  • Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance 
  • Managerial Accounting 
  • Microeconomic Theory

After Passing

Ph.D. accounting students generally go on to work in the sector as academics or researchers. Careers such as postsecondary professors, industrial researchers, and government consultants are examples of this.

Accounting Certifications

A certificate in accounting may be a great tool for people who are attending school part-time and seeking appropriate job experience to keep them financially afloat. It can also be beneficial for business owners who do not have an accounting background but wish to be able to manage their own money legally and correctly.

  • Certificate in Accounting
  • Bookkeeping Certificate
  • Accounting Clerk Certificate
  • Payroll Accounting Certificate

Other certificates are available as post-graduate certificates for those who have already completed higher-level degrees.

In any postsecondary program, the three main degrees described above, as well as doctorate degrees, are the most prevalent levels. However, depending on your accounting career aspirations, you may choose a post-graduate certification rather than an advanced degree.

Certified Public Accountant

A CPA is one of the most prominent and well-respected accounting certifications in the United States. CPA-certified accountants are frequently regarded as among the finest in the industry. It offers accountants a unique position, as well as education and training.


  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree
  • 150 semester hours of college credit

College plus master hours of credit = 150 hrs


$300 to take the exam (each part) and takes 16 hours to complete all parts.

Chartered Global Management Accountant

A CPA is one of the most prominent and well-respected accounting certifications in the United States. CPA-certified accountants are frequently regarded as among the finest in the industry. It offers accountants a unique position, as well as education and training.


You must be an AICPA member with at least three years of work experience in a relevant area.


$2,500 for one year and $4,400 for three years and includes all exam fees.

Certified Management Accountant

A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) has the ability to specialize in accounting management for almost any organization. Accounting management is a specialty that a CPA qualification does not cover. Individuals with this degree are likely to pursue executive positions like COO or CFO, as well as internal management jobs.


A bachelor’s degree in a related subject and a minimum of two years of relevant work experience.


Exams cost up to $1,200 and take several hours to complete each of the two tests.

Chartered Financial Analyst

A Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) program may not be around for much longer as the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has decided to phase out this certification. The IIA is replacing the CFSA designation with a CIA designation.


Only for those individuals who hold CFSA designation


CIA exam takes nearly 16 hours to complete and costs roughly $2,000.

Certified Internal Auditor

A Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a designation designed specifically for individuals who are or wish to become an auditor or a compliance officer. A CIA holder is typically hired by large corporations or enterprises to assist external auditors and to perform internal auditing procedures.


  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or
  • Hold an active Internal Audit Practitioner designation, or
  • Possess five years of internal audit experience, or
  • Be an active student in your final year of college, or *
  • Be an active student with an approved Internal Audit Education Partnership (IAEP) school.*


The exam takes nearly 16 hours to complete, costs roughly $2,000

Certified Fraud Examiner

A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is in charge of making sure financial transactions and accounting processes are lawful and proper. A CFE is essentially a global economy guardian. A CFE’s days will be spent on deterrent, detection, and fraud prevention.


  • Be an Associate member of the ACFE in good standing 
  • Meet minimum academic and professional requirements 
  • Be of high moral character 
  • Agree to abide by the bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners


CFE exam costs $400 and takes 8 hours to complete.

Certified Government Auditing Professional

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has chosen to phase down the Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) program, thus it may not be available for much longer. The CGAP designation is being replaced with a CIA designation by the IIA.


  • Education. Candidates must hold an Associate’s degree or higher to be approved into one of The IIA’s certification programs. …
  • Character Reference. …
  • Work Experience. …
  • Proof of Identification. …
  • Eligibility Period. …
  • Confidentiality. …
  • Code of Ethics. …
  • Continuing Professional Education.


The exam takes nearly 16 hours to complete and costs roughly $2,000.

About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an experienced technical writer with an ACCA qualification. I have written on various topics including finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I am skilled in using infographics and diagrams.

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