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Accountants are always in demand because companies and organizations need people to keep track of financial information, run reports, devise financial strategies, and manage federal, state, and local tax liabilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for accountants in the future is projected to grow by 6% by 2028. It’s also a career field that allows you to blend business acumen with financial management skills in order to keep a business operating at its best. Last, but not least, if you’re still asking “what can I do with a bachelors in accounting”, you can always open up your own accounting firm and work for clients of your choosing.

The demand for accountants in the future is not going to diminish any time soon, and the starting salaries for accountants upon graduation are very good. Specialization in specific accounting fields help increase the potential for higher income as well. And, as you gain experience and grow in your career, your income will grow accordingly. Accounting as a job may not have a high profile image, but it is a highly respectable field that is full of challenges and keeps your mind occupied as you work out the puzzles that comprise a client’s financial profile.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Traditional Accounting Degrees

To rank the best traditional, on-campus accounting bachelor’s programs in the US, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors exclusively researched accredited, reputable institutions. From the initial pool, programs were ranked according to practical factors including Tuition, Salary Potential, and Reputation. Data comes from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche.

1. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s BBA in Accounting provides a rich blend of subjects. Students in this program become well-rounded, well-educated individuals with a wide range of accounting expertise. As a result, this program is a top choice among those who are seeking the best degree in accounting. This program starts with a foundation in math, science, psychology, and the humanities, and then it adds statistics, tax information, auditing, and other specific accounting skills.

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the top business schools in the country. Students come here to get a deep dive into their educations. Classes here are both well-rounded and relevant, providing a challenging blend of topics that students can bring into their post-graduation lives. This school also blends academics and research. Learners in this community find a great place to explore their own ideas and contribute to a broader conversation.

What We Like: The Wharton School was the world’s first business school, and it has led the way in innovation since it was founded.

Degree: BBA in Accounting

2. University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s BS in Commerce comes with the option of an accounting concentration. With this option, students gain plenty of general business knowledge on top of focused and specific accounting skills. This program provides one of the best degrees for accounting because of its challenge and focus on the most current practices. Once students graduate from this program, they become valuable assets to the business world, and many move on to exciting and high-paying jobs.

Founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia has always been a leader in public higher education. This school thrives in both academics and research. It’s not afraid to innovate and push past existing barriers. While getting a challenging academic experience, learners also discover their own leadership skills and hone those skills along the way. UV has a strong focus on the greater good, and it’s always looking for ways to make the world better.

What We Like: UV was ranked as the #4 Best Public National University by US News and World Report.

Degree: BS in Commerce – Accounting

3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

To many students, the BS in Accountancy at the University of Illinois is the best degree in accounting. That’s because this program has a close relationship with some of the top leaders in the business. UIUC accounting students are well sought after once they graduate. The teachers in this program are some of the top teachers in the field, too, and they help students connect with real-world opportunities outside of the classroom. As a result, students get unique preparation to succeed as accountants after graduation.

As a land grant university, the University of Illinois is dedicated to improving lives. The school focuses on serving its community, state, and the world at large. Students get lots of opportunity to participate in this vision. This public university blends learning and discovery, and it applies its discoveries to its mission of global improvement. At UIUC, students can expect to be challenged, encouraged, and empowered to find creative solutions.

What We Like: UIUC has the #2 ranked undergraduate Accounting program.

Degree: BS in Accountancy

4. University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame’s BBA in Accountancy provides one of the best degrees for accounting in the US. This degree empowers students to sharpen their analytical skills, leadership skills, and decision-making skills. The program has an excellent reputation in the accounting world, which means that those who graduate from this program gain a competitive edge in the field. This program also deeply values ethics, and students who have an ethical financial vision find themselves at home here.

Notre Dame is a Catholic school that remains deeply rooted in its faith-based tradition. This school values community and challenging education, and it’s one of the top teaching universities in the country. As a matter of fact, this school is highly ranked in several academic areas. As a result, students here are empowered to reach higher than they’ve reached before, discovering their highest potential.

What We Like: Notre Dame’s Accountancy program is ranked #4 in the nation by the Public Accounting Report.

Degree: BBA in Accountancy

5. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin has a great BBA in Accounting program. As a matter of fact, this BBA is one of the best degrees for accounting in the US. The degree is a Finance major with an Accounting emphasis, and it lets students take either a corporate track or a financial institutions track, depending on where they want to take their careers in the future. In any case, students gain a deep understanding of accounting, taxes, critical thinking, and decision-making.

UT Austin is committed to providing an excellent public education with a focus on innovation and an affordable cost for students. This school boasts of many top-ranked programs, and its research has made changes both in Texas and around the world. Students get to participate in this innovation, sharpening their own skills along the way and becoming part of a diverse and vibrant community.

What We Like: UT Austin is ranked as the #14 Top Public School by US News and World Report.

Degree: BBA in Accounting

6. University of Wisconsin

The BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin is one of the best degree in accounting options available to students today. The program offers lots of opportunities for students, including study abroad opportunities. More importantly, it instills the business and accounting skills that students will need in this field, and it helps them connect with ways to dive into their careers after they graduate.

The University of Wisconsin is a top-ranked public university that helps students realize their fullest potential. Its business programs are ranked especially high. UW’s programs are designed to prepare students for their careers from day one on campus. Students build up experiences that pad their resumes and get them ready to enter their fields right away.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin’s business school has more than 600 corporate partners, which means that students get unique opportunities to build valuable connections.

Degree: BBA in Accounting

7. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland’s accounting degree program helps students build up their management and financial skills. The program takes a highly practical approach that makes it one of the best degrees for accounting in the US. Students here are prepared to take on accounting responsibilities in all kinds of sectors. The degree plan gives students a roadmap from beginning accounting classes to highly relevant career experiences, making it one of the best degrees for accounting.

As one of the top research schools in the nation, the University of Maryland address specific needs and issues facing the world today. Many students choose this school because they want to make a difference in the world, and UM gives them a clear pathway to do so. The school provides plenty of challenge in all areas from the arts to the sciences.

What We Like: UM is one of the top 50 global universities.

Degree: BBA in Accounting

8. Rutgers University

The Rutgers University BS in Accounting is a top choice for many future accountants. The program is designed to teach students a broad range of accounting and analytical skills so that they can thrive in all kinds of actuarial work. Those who graduate from this program move on to work in various businesses and firms. As a matter of fact, the “Big Four” accounting firms all recruit from Rutgers, so students who are seeking high-achieving careers should check out this program. For many of these students, Rutgers provides the best degree for accounting.

Rutgers University thrives, both in academics and in research. As a matter of fact, this school has hundreds of research centers all dedicated to innovation and improving the surrounding world. This school is both well-ranked and well-established, and it leads the way in a lot of innovative areas. Students here get an education that is both well-rounded and extremely relevant.

What We Like: Rutgers University is the #1 public university in New Jersey according to the US News and World Report.

Degree: BS in Accounting

9. Boston College

A BS in Accounting from Boston College can certainly take students places. As a matter of fact, this program is one of the best degree in accounting options for students in the United States. Many students in this program move on to work in one of the nation’s top accounting firms. The program prepares students to take the CPA exam, so learners here can rest assured that they’re getting a relevant education. The program is challenging, and support from talented faculty helps students excel in their work.

Boston College is a highly ranked school that helps students reach excellence as they work toward their goals. This Jesuit Catholic school provides a great education in both the liberal arts and the sciences, providing a fully-formed educational approach that helps students succeed in a wide range of fields. Students here don’t shy away from a challenge. That’s why Boston College takes its motto from the sixth book of The Illiad: “Ever to Excel.”

What We Like: Boston College has a top 50 ranking from US News and World Report.

Degree: BS in Accounting

10. Wake Forest University

A BS in Accountancy from Wake Forest University can help a person succeed in all kinds of financial careers. Students who graudate from this program move on to work in accounting, taxation, business advising, and more. This Accountancy program is designed to prepare students for the first few years of their careers as well as provide a foundation for a Master’s degree if they should choose that route. On the whole, it’s certainly one of the best degrees for accounting in the country.

Wake Forest University is a private school that empowers students to use their knowledge for service. Wake Forest engages in service for humanity. As a matter of fact, their motto is “Pro Humanitate,” or “For Humanity.” Students here find no shortage of volunteer opportunties or community engagement opportunities. All the while, they also get a challenging education that can help them move their careers forward.

What We Like: The business school at Wake Forest is ranked #1 in the US for career opportunities.

Degree: BS in Accountancy

11. Ohio State University

A BS in Accounting from Ohio State University provides plenty of skill development. The program sharpens analytical skills and covers a range of accounting topics that prepare students to succeed in the field. Through this program, students can also connect to internship opportunities so that they can get a head start in the field. As one of the top-ranked accounting programs in the US, this particular program provides an excellent starting place for goal-oriented students. That’s what makes this particular BS one of the best degrees for accounting.

OSU is a highly ranked university with strong academics and research. It’s a well-recognized school, both among employers and the general public. With many excellent programs, OSU helps students find their path from freshman year to career success. As a large institution, OSU provides plenty of resources for learners, including connections to internship opportunities.

What We Like: The OSU accounting program was ranked #10 in the nation in 2018.

Degree: BS in Accounting

12. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California has a strong accounting program. For many students, it’s the best degree in accounting available. Why? Because USC provides more than strong academics. It also provides accounting students with the tools and resources that they’ll need to succeed in the business world outside of school. As a result, students get a career head start that can put them on the pathway to long-term sucess.

The University of Southern California is a top-ranking private research university. It’s a well-recognized school, and the top recruiters in many fields actively seek out USC students. That’s because recruiters know that USC students can handle a challenge. Classes here encourage students to dive deeply into their subjects, and world class faculty members help students become the best that they can be.

What We Like: USC’s accounting program is ranked #7 in the United States.

Degree: BS in Accounting

13. Florida State University

A BS in Accounting from Florida State University can help a student go places. Those who graduate from this program move on thriving careers in both public and private accounting, which makes this degree one of the best degrees for accounting when one wants some flexibility and variety. The program covers a range of accounting topics. Students hone their math, business, analytical, and communication skills through this program.

Florida State University students thrive all across the board. FSU is one of the top schools in the nation, which means that students here get a challenging education from a school that looks great at the top of a resume. As a research school, FSU takes part in cutting-edge innovation, a lot of which ends up in the classroom. Overall, this school turns goal-focused students into high achievers in their careers.

What We Like: FSU has been designated as a preeminant research university.

Degree: BS in Accounting

14. St Joseph’s University

St Joseph’s University offers a BBA in accounting. This degree gets students ready for success in all sorts of fields, especially those in the business world. These classes impart skills that turn students into business world assets, helping them become competitive as they start looking for jobs. Many say that this BBA is one of the best degrees for accounting because of its well-rounded yet up to date approach to accounting education.

Founded by Jesuits, St Joseph’s University combines academic challenge with a commitment to social justice. Not only do students learn how to take their skills to the next level, they also learn how to use those skills to help the world around them. St Joseph’s has a unique approach to education, blending broad topics with pinpointed career learning. As a result, students become well-rounded individuals with a relevant pathway to career success.

What We Like: 97% of St Joseph’s class of 2018 had either found employment or a spot in grad school within six months of graduation.

Degree: BBA in Accounting

15. Miami University (OH)

Miami University in Ohio has one of the best degrees for accounting. Miami University’s BS in Accountancy provides specific accounting knowledge as well as broader business knowledge. This way, students succeed in their own careers while gaining the knowledge that they need to communicate effectively with people who will work alongside them in related fields. Students deepen their skills in analytics, leadership, and more. For a lot of aspiring accountants, this school is a top choice.

Named for the Miami tribe of western Ohio, Miami University is one of the most challenging, innovative public universities in the US. This large university provides the personalization of a small school. Professors work closely with their students to help them succeed. Being a larger school, however, Miami University also provides lots of resources and opportunities for students to move forward.

What We Like: Miami University is ranked as a top 50 public university for 2020.

Degree: BS in Accountancy

16. University of Alabama

The BS in Accounting from the University of Alabama is one of the best degrees for accounting because of its approach. Of course, this program teaches mathmatical, analytical, and business-oriented subjects. However, it also emphasizes people skills, communication, and ethics. This way, the learners in this program pursue all of the necessary skills that it takes to succeed in accounting. After all, accountants work in all kinds of businesses. This program helps future accountants succeed no matter where they go after graduation.

The University of Alabama is a widely-recognized school with top-level academics. As the first public college in the state of Alabama, UA has a reputation for excellence. It also has lots of resources for students to learn and move forward in their careers. Faculty members here are talented and supportive. Students grow both as community members and as individuals. From their first day on campus to the day that they graduate, UA learners get to maximize their potential.

What We Like: The University of Alabama is one of the Top 50 national public universities according to US News and World Report.

Degree: BS in Accounting

17. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University’s BS in Accounting is a highly ranked program designed to help students become competitive in an exciting field. In fact, major accounting firms seek out graduates from this prograrm because they know that it provides a relevant, skill-focused education that serves graduates well from their first day on the job all the way to retirement. It ranks among the best degree in accounting options for students in the US, and it prepares students for CPA certification.

Santa Clara University is a small, challenging Jesuit school in Silicon Valley. With a low student to faculty ratio, this school provides an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to work closely with one another. This school honors the Jesuit value of blending faith and scholarship. For a small school with academic rigor and the chance to dive deeply into complex subjects, many students prefer SCU.

What We Like: LinkedIn ranks SCU’s accounting program #8 in the nation based on graduate success rate.

Degree: BS in Accounting

18. John Carroll University

The Bachelor of Accountancy degree from John Carroll University takes a different approach to the actuarial sciences. It has earned a reputation as one of the best degrees for accounting, largely due to this approach. This program values proactive accounting and advisement, showing students how to take leadership roles and communication roles as future accountants.These skills make John Carroll graduates assets to their employers.

JCU is a Jesuit school that combines faith with strong educational practices. It instills leadership skills in its students as they learn from talented faculty members. As a top private school, JCU consistently challenges its students to reach new heights. It also challenges them to find ways in which to serve their communities. For a lot of students of faith, JCU provides a great blend of faith, tradition, academics, and action.

What We Like: JCU’s business school is ranked #1 by Bloomberg for work readiness.

Degree: Bachelor of Accountancy

19. Saint Louis University

The BS in Accounting from Saint Louis University is one of the best degrees for accounting, and that’s because it acknowledges how accountants’ roles have changed in the past several years. In the past, accountants showed up after a problem happened. These days, accountants make proactive team members, helping businesses to make the best, most economical decisions. Saint Louis University empowers students to step into these roles by teaching them accounting, leadership, and communication.

SLU is a Catholic research university that values complete education. This school doesn’t just focus on the mind. Instead, its learning opportunities encompass the mind, body, and spirit. As a Catholic school, it invites students to dive deeply into their studies as they become leaders, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners. At SLU, students also take part in service hours, building a better world for their communities with both their minds and with their social justice work.

What We Like: SLU is one of the nation’s oldest Catholic universities, and it has a campus in Spain.

Degree: BS in Accounting

20. Creighton University

Creighton University offers a BSBA in Accounting. For many, this program provides the best degree in accounting for those who want a focused but well-rounded accounting education. Students gain a foundation of mathematics and business, and then they study the more specific aspects of accounting. From this program, students move on to choose from any number of roles in the accounting world.

Creighton University is a Jesuit school that invites students to combine their educational pathways with service for their communities. It’s one of the oldest schools in its region, and as such, it carries some deeply held academic traditions. Among those traditions is a focus on excellence and lifelong learning. Students here get a strong, multifaceted education that prepares them for leadership roles.

What We Like: 98% of Creighton students are employed, volunteering, or attending graduate school within six months of graduating.

Degree: BSBA in Accounting

21. Fairfield University

Fairfield University’s BS in Accounting is one of the best degrees for accounting students who also want a broad liberal arts education. These days, accountants have to do much more than just crunch numbers. They have to communicate effectively, provide insight, and work as team members. Fairfield’s approach helps future accountants do just that. Students learn from a range of core classes as well as from more specific accounting classes. Students also gain knowledge about the business world as a whole.

As a Jesuit university, Fairfield values its deep intellectual traditions. It instills ethical values in addition to its challenging education pursuits. This school is deeply devoted to personal growth in all areas, not just academic life. This means that students get a rich experience from their lives at Fairfield, whether they’re serving other people, studying in the classroom, or having fun with other students.

What We Like: In 2019, Money Magazine ranked Fairfield #9 among the best schools for business majors.

Degree: BS in Accounting

22. Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University’s BBA in Accounting is, for some, the best degree in accounting. The reason is in its flexibility. Upon graduation, students in this program are ready for careers in private business, the public sector, or to move on to graduate school. In any case, this program builds a strong foundation for whichever accounting path students choose. The school connects students with real-world learning opportunities, often helping them jumpstart their business careers.

Gonzaga University is a Jesuit Catholic school that has a deeply inclusive approach to its student body. It welcomes students of all faiths, has several LGBTQIA organizations, has specific initiatives to serve underrepresented students. From an educational perspective, this school is challenging, engaging, and focused on helping students become well-rounded people. This school is committed to helping students turn their passions into roadmaps.

What We Like: GU’s Accountancy program was ranked #26 in the nation by US News and World Report.

Degree: BBA in Accountancy

23. Seattle University

Accounting is often called “the language of business,” and Seattle University’s BABA in Accounting helps students learn that language. This program boasts of a high CPA pass rate thanks to its highly challenging program and support for its students. It provides a highly focused education around accounting, business, and professional development. As a result, those who graduate from this program are uniquely prepared to begin thriving accounting careers.

Seattle University is one of the most innovative and tech-savvy universities in one of the most innovative and tech-savvy cities. The environment is rich in opportunities for students, including internship and employment opportunities. SU itself is a rigorous school that challenges students and takes them to new academic heights.

What We Like: SU’s connections throughout the Pacific Northwest helps students forge connections and carve out their own career pathways.

Degree: BABA in Accounting

24. University of Scranton

A BS in Accounting from the University of Scranton prepares students to take on a lot of roles. After all, accountants have to take on a lot of roles in the business world. The program takes financially-savvy students and helps them to hone their skills and become effective leaders and advisors in the workplace. Students move on to work in business, nonprofits, and government positions. Because it gets results, it’s one of the best degrees for accounting students.

The University of Scranton is a private Catholic school. It’s a Jesuit institution, which means, among other things, that it values academic excellence, community service, and wholeheartedness. Scranton has strong and thriving academic programs, high levels of student support, and a focus on personal gratitude. This school makes a great choice for those who value contemplative traditions and service.

What We Like: Scranton’s accounting program has won several national and international awards and recognitions.

Degree: BS in Accounting

25. Xavier University

Xavier University offers one of the best degree in Accounting options for those who value the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Xavier’s BSBA in Accounting program gets students ready for careers in taxation, financial advice, information systems, and a wide range of other topics. As a Jesuit program, it is also deeply rooted in ethics. The program prepares students who want to make a positive impact, whether they go on to work in the public or private sector.

Xavier is an academically rigorous university, but it comes with plenty of support for its students. It helps students develop compassion as they learn how to thrive in their future careers. This school combines learning and spirituality for a well-rounded and contemplative experience. With its big city location, Xavier helps students connect with real world career development opportunities.

What We Like: Xavier has a 98% student success rate.

Degree: BSBA in Accounting

How Do I Choose a Good Accounting Degree?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a good accounting degree. They include the college of choice, the structure of the accounting program, and the career success of the graduates. You should also look at the general electives that are required by the school as part of the degree program. The best colleges for accounting majors usually have a general course program that supports the accounting degree coursework.

Don’t discount colleges and universities that aren’t in your state. Some of the best colleges for accounting majors have online courses that are accredited and carry the same weight as a degree earned on campus. The classes and education offered through online courses have the same curriculum as the on-campus version. That means students are held to the same standards no matter where they happen to be physically located.

Always research a school’s program for accounting degrees no matter where it’s located. Look into the graduation rate for students attending campus and online classes, the employment rate, and where most students wind up being employed after graduation. These details help when it comes to selecting one of the best colleges for accounting majors.

What is Accreditation for Accounting Programs?

Accreditation for an accounting program means the school and educational program meet or exceed standards set by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. When comparing ACBSP vs AACSB, it’s quickly apparent that both have built a reputation for high educational standards and making sure that the schools they accredit are always seeking to improve their curriculum.

AACSB accredited online schools and ACBSP accredited schools demonstrates that the school offers an excellent education, is using the latest technology for teaching students, and keeps abreast of the latest changes in accounting standards and practices. However, when taking a closer look at ACBSP vs AACSB, you might find that you prefer to go to one of the AACSB accredited online schools over the ACBSP accredited schools. AACSB has been around for over 100 years and accredits more of the well-known business schools while ACBSP was founded in 1982 and focuses on the quality of the faculty teaching at the schools. Ultimately you should pick the college you want to attend based on how well it fits your needs as opposed to the reputation of the school. A highly desirable school may not have the “right” accreditation, but still offers a quality education that leads to a great career.

What Can I Do with an Accounting Degree Other Than a CPA?

The traditional accounting career path usually leads to employment in businesses that need a team of people managing the financials. However, there are multiple career opportunities in accounting profession that don’t require a graduate to work as an accountant. A CPA can become a hedge fund manager, financial analyst, financial consultant, and budget analyst just to name a few. The career opportunities in accounting profession are multitude and the fact you can focus on a specific accounting career path during your education helps you broaden your employment horizons. Make sure to look at all options when investigating accounting career information

Accounting career path planning begins at the educational level. For example: Look into public accounting vs corporate accounting and compare the two in order to determine which type of career path best suits your desires for a satisfying career. Keep in mind that career opportunities in accounting profession center around the processing of numbers for financial purposes. The core skill of accounting is easily parlayed into positions that require financial math skills and the ability to apply those skills to the benefit of the employer.

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