If you’re searching for a prominent business career that provides long-term job security and excellent salary potential, accounting could be the answer. Accountants are skilled financial professionals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree to expertly handle the cash flow for small to large organizations. Budgeting, auditing, bookkeeping, and taxes are all within an accountant’s robust wheelhouse. Advanced positions go to Certified Public Accountants who can legally file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
We formed our ranking by narrowing down the business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Each prospective university had to offer an accounting degree or concentration that significantly broadened students’ industry knowledge. We consulted with the U.S. News and World Report to determine the best undergraduate business schools based on prestige. Extra brownie points were given to those mentioned in the Public Accounting Report. The average annual net price was recorded from the NCES to judge affordability. Other important factors were financial aid, specializations, global opportunity, retention, class size, internships, and recruitment.
Here are the Top 15 Bachelor of Accounting Degree Programs:
1. University of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1740 by the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin as one of America’s colonial colleges, the University of Pennsylvania is a private, non-sectarian institution pioneering a multidisciplinary teaching model. With the country’s ninth highest endowment at $10.1 billion, Penn educates approximately 10,400 undergraduates from a 302-acre urban campus in Philadelphia’s University City district. Graduating the most billionaires nationwide, the AACSB-accredited Wharton School of Business was the United States’ first. The U.S. News and World Report ranked UPenn as the eighth Best University with the #1 Best Undergraduate Business Degrees. College Factual placed the University of Pennsylvania first for a “high earnings boost.” Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) named Penn the 18th Best College Worldwide overall too.
Renowned for rigor and relevance, the campus-based Bachelor of Business Administration program offers UPenn students an Accounting Concentration. Taught by 225+ accomplished professors rather than teaching assistants, the innovative curriculum trains students to implement creative, efficient solutions to fiscal matters. Several instructors have won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Ideal for those planning to take the CPA exam, the courses will range from tax planning to corporate valuation. Undergraduates can select from over 20 Wharton study abroad options from China to Italy. Its collaborative environment also fosters cutting-edge research experience through the Joseph Wharton Scholars (JWS) program. Accounting majors benefit from joining clubs like the Penn International Impact Consulting and Black Wharton Undergraduate Association.
Bachelor of Business Administration with Accounting Concentration
2. New York University
Attracting more than 57,200 diverse students, New York University is a private, nonprofit RU/VH research institution divided into 20 schools, including the AACSB-accredited Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Recognized among the most sustainable on EPA’s Green Power Challenge, NYU’s 230-acre urban campus occupies Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan with extensions in Brooklyn, Wall Street, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi. According to the U.S. News and World Report, this Association of American Universities (AAU) member is the nation’s 36th Best University with the fifth Best Undergraduate Business Degrees. The Princeton Review placed New York University #4 for “College City Gets High Marks.” Thomson Reuters Corp. also noted NYU for the Most Improved international ranking to 30th globally.
Conferring a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Undergraduate Program in Accounting at NYU capitalizes on the Stern School’s resources on business management enterprises. Students prepare for today’s professional market by perfecting their financial analysis skills. Highly prized by corporate recruiters, the 120-credit program ensures graduates can provide useful fiscal reports for management decision-making. Although there’s a general accounting focus, electives branch off into statement fraud, entertainment accounting, acquisitions, internal controls, and more. There’s also an accelerated B.S./M.S. in Accounting to fulfill New York’s 150-hour CPA requirement in five years. Majors could join the active Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society chapter, attend the NYU Accounting Summer Camp, and network with 105,000+ global alumni.
Undergraduate Program in Accounting
3. Carnegie Mellon University
Named for the wealthy steel industrialist who established it in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University educates over 6,300 undergraduates. Holding AACSB accreditation, the Tepper School prestigious private, non-sectarian research institution affiliated with 19 Nobel laureates. With satellites in Silicon Valley and Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University encompasses a B43-acre urban campus in Pennsylvania’s of Business has its own $113 million endowment to be America’s 17th Best Business School according to Financial Times. The U.S. News and World Report noted CMU as the sixth Most Innovative College nationally with the sixth Best Undergraduate Business Degrees. Forbes also graded Carnegie Mellon University A+ for the 57th Most Grateful Grads.
Undergraduates with strong quantitative skills could enter CMU’s B.S. in Business Administration program to declare the Accounting Concentration. This bachelor’s option boasts small classes that foster an ideal environment of high-performance analytics. From day one, students develop real-world analytical reasoning skills for managing organizational finances. The innovative curriculum features 364 units, from liberal arts breadth to business core courses. Within the concentration, students specifically study managerial accounting, corporate financial reporting, and financial statement analysis. Multiple capstone possibilities are available from Proseed-funded projects to internships. The School emphasizes student engagement with Wednesday Night Insights, Tepper Venture Challenge, case competitions, and more. Although tuition is high, Carnegie Mellon awards over $90 million in annual financial aid.
B.S. in Business Administration – Accounting Concentration
4. University of Texas at Austin
Inducted as the South’s third Association of American Universities (AAU) member, the University of Texas at Austin is the system’s flagship public space-grant institution with research expenditures exceeding $550 million. From its main 434-acre urban campus just one mile from the Texas State Capitol, the University of Texas – Austin educates more than 39,600 undergraduate Longhorns and offers 900+ student-run clubs. The Public Ivy’s McCombs School of Business is AACSB-accredited to produce leaders like Donald Evans, Bill Gurley, and James Mulva. The U.S. News and World Report recognized the University of Texas at Austin as America’s 56th Best University with the sixth Best Undergraduate Business Programs. Poets & Quants also lauded the University of Texas at Austin for the 19th Best B-School nationally.
Noted for Kiplinger’s 13th Best Public Value, the University of Texas at Austin established a leading-edge BBA program that offers a Finance Major with Accounting Emphasis. The 21-credit concentration follows a Corporate Track or Financial Institutions Track for further focus. Around 1,700 students are admitted annually from 6,900+ applicants. This selective BBA accepts undergraduates who achieve an average SAT score of 1361. Degree candidates learn from stellar faculty to gather the inquiry and reporting skills required for overseeing business transactions. Recommended courses include taxation, auditing, managerial accounting, and financial statement analysis. Each year, McCombs students benefit from attending BBA Career Week for mock interviews, networking, and etiquette dinners. First-generation college freshmen could participate in the Target Your Future (TYF) mentor program too.
BBA Finance Major with Accounting Emphasis
5. University of Virginia
Chosen as the United States’ first collegiate World Heritage Site in 1987, the University of Virginia is a flagship public-private, research institution originally governed by Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Sitting proudly atop a 1,682-acre urban campus in Charlottesville just three miles southeast of Monticello, the University of Virginia enrolls over 15,600 undergraduates. The McIntire School of Commerce delivers top-notch, AACSB-accredited education rooted in entrepreneurial spirit. For 2017, Virginia was distinguished as America’s 24th Best University with the sixth Best Bachelor’s Degrees in business disciplines. Twice, Forbes crowned the University of Virginia the second-highest-ranking public college from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Only after Stanford, the University of Virginia landed second for “Most Satisfied B-School Graduates” also.
Centered on an Integrated Core Experience (ICE), the Bachelor of Science in Commerce program is carefully designed for UVA undergraduates to view business from multiple strategic angles. Cohorts of 40 to 45 students work together in small teams with corporate leaders to facilitate real-world business learning. Declaring the Accounting Major is possible after two years for superb financial expertise that extends from the public to nonprofit sector. It’s the perfect springboard for fulfilling the 150-hour CPA license requirement. McIntire takes classes global by offering a Third-Year Core Semester-Abroad program from Brussels to Auckland. Those who become Global Commerce Scholars can complete an independent research thesis. There’s also a 10-course Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting online.
Bachelor of Science in Commerce – Accounting Major
6. Cornell University
Established by the New York State Senate on land donated by Senator Ezra Cornell in 1865, Cornell University is a private, doctoral land-grant institution in the prestigious Ivy League. Noted for its large cooperative outreach program, Cornell educates over 14,300 undergraduates from its sprawling 4,800-acre suburban campus in Ithaca near the Finger Lakes. The U.S. News honored Cornell as the 15th best national university and 16th top value with America’s ninth-best bachelor’s degrees in business. Cornell University had the country’s 24th best study abroad program according to the IIE Open Doors report. Graded A+ by Forbes, Cornell also placed 18th in the Times Higher Education’s global rankings.
Within the AACSB-accredited Charles E. Dyson School, Cornell undergraduates could earn a B.S. in Applied Economics and Management with an Accounting Concentration. Rated #3 in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, this on-campus bachelor’s has a selective admission rate of seven percent. Students benefit from Cornell’s 100-year legacy producing business leaders who resolve their industry’s most significant problems. Undergraduates become “Big Red” energized with worldwide connections and choices of 4,000+ courses. At least 15 credits are concentrated in intermediate accounting, assurance, taxation, and financial modeling. Students can participate in the CALS Exchange Program in over 70 countries. Accounting majors could also become Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars.
B.S. in Applied Economics and Management – Accounting Concentration
7. Indiana University – Bloomington
Endowed for $1.97 billion, Indiana University Bloomington is the Hoosier State’s largest flagship public, co-educational research institution enrolling over 32,600 undergraduates. Resting on a bed of Salem Limestone, Indiana’s 1,937-acre urban campus in Monroe County was named one of the most beautiful in Travel + Leisure magazine. The U.S. News and World Report distinguished Indiana University – Bloomington as the 86th Best University and 36th Top Public College with the ninth Best Undergraduate Business Education. Washington Monthly selected Indiana University – Bloomington as the 77th Top University for Civic Engagement. Noted for alumni like Mark Cuban and John Chambers, the AACSB-accredited Kelley School of Business is included in Princeton Review’s “Best 295 Business Schools.”
Unlike most schools on our list, Indiana University Bloomington offers a specialized Bachelor of Science in Accounting that’s highly structured for CPA preparation. Students develop the analysis, planning, and internal control skills required to succeed in financial services. The major begins in the freshman year with a basic accounting skills seminar. Coursework then progresses through auditing, accounting information systems, cost accounting, taxation, and monetary decision-making. The Undergraduate Career Services Center arranges internships with business leaders, including Big Four firms. More than 90 percent of Kelley graduates are employed within six months. Joining Beta Alpha Psi or the Student Accounting Society can add to the well-rounded curriculum. Students could also accelerate towards CPA with a 3/2 MBA program in Accounting or Financial Analysis.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
8. University of Notre Dame
Affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University of Notre Dame is a private, co-educational research institution established by Father Edward Sorin CSC in 1842. This Catholic school carries a $10 billion endowment to educate over 8,400 undergraduates from its vast 1,250-acre suburban campus in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame splits into five colleges, including the AACSB-accredited Mendoza College of Business. Public Accounting Report placed Notre Dame fourth nationally. The U.S. News and World Report recognized the University of Notre Dame as America’s 15th Best College and 25th Top Value with the ninth Best Bachelor’s Business Degrees. Notre Dame has the 24th highest mid-career median salary at $110,000 according to PayScale.
Following a holistic, value-added approach, the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program allows Notre Dame students to develop their decision-making vision. Undergraduates go beyond making spreadsheets and ledgers to foster the skills required for changing the business world. Small classes are taught by engaged faculty devoted to innovation in analyzing economic activities. BBA students who transfer AP credits and take course overloads could satisfy the 150-hour Certified Public Accountant requirement. Unique opportunities include the Tax Assistance Program (TAP) where majors help low-income citizens reap profitable refunds. Students could also become inducted in Beta Alpha Psi, study abroad in 40+ locations, and minor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
9. Washington University in St. Louis
Devoted to “Strength through truth,” Washington University in St. Louis is a private, nonprofit research institution that’s employed 25 Nobel laureates since its inception in 1853. Enrolling approximately 7,300 undergraduates, WashU encompasses 2,312 urban acres in Missouri’s inland port on the Mississippi River. Endowed for $213 million itself, the John M. Olin Business School holds AACSB accreditation for Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s fourth-best BSBA. The U.S. News and World Report lauded Washington University in St. Louis as America’s 19th Best College and 10th Best School for Veterans with the 14th Top Bachelor’s Degrees in Business. The Princeton Review also ranked Washington University in St. Louis #15 for “Best Quality of Life” countrywide.
Heavily recruited by Big Four firms, the BSBA with Undergraduate Major in Accounting is designed for high-potential Olin students to edge out the intense market competition. Washington University in St. Louis students are trained to become global change leaders with hands-on experience turning accounting theory into practice. The 123-credit curriculum emphasizes coursework in income tax, financial reporting, cost analysis, auditing, and managerial accounting. Students could add the Master of Accounting (MAcc) for CPA licensing in five years. There’s even an Early Admission 3+2 MBA program concentrated in accounting. Academic credit is extended for semester-long corporate internships. Students could also benefit from close ties to Bocconi University in Milan and FGV in Sao Paulo. Ambitious learners may be nominated for the two-semester Honors Program in Management.
BSBA with Undergraduate Major in Accounting
10. Emory University
Belonging to the NAICU, Emory University is Georgia’s second-oldest private, nonprofit RU/VH research institution maintaining a close affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Ideally situated on a 631-acre suburban campus of Spanish Saltillo tile in Druid Hills outside Atlanta, Emory sees enrollment surpass 14,500. The AACSB-accredited Goizueta Business School stands out among Emory’s nine divisions for the 15th Best BBA Nationwide in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. According to the U.S. News, Emory University is the country’s 20th Best University with the 15th Top Business Programs. With an A+ financial grade, Emory was distinguished for the 79th most grateful graduates. The Princeton Review also selected Emory for the #4 “Best College Dorms.”
Boasting an average starting GPA of 3.65, Emory’s Goizueta Bachelor of Business Administration curriculum offers a primary depth area in accounting. Undergraduates build a significant foundation of financial reporting and conceptual thinking skills for various careers, even investment banking. Students have the freedom to select the Financial Accounting and Analysis Concentration or Professional Accounting (CPA) Concentration. Functional knowledge on business disciplines is supplemented with at least seven accounting electives. Coursework will span from entrepreneurial accounting to global capital market management for key insights on corporate transaction structure. Emory University places accounting majors 15 minutes from Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines. Experiential research is also available at the Center for Alternative Investments.
Goizueta Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
11. University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign
Noted for America’s second-largest library after Harvard, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public, land-grant, and sea-grant RU/VH research institution with expenditures over $640 million. The Big Ten Conference member educates over 32,800 undergraduates from its sprawling 4,522-acre urban campus on the border between Urbana and Champaign. For 2017, the U.S. News and World Report honored the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign as America’s 44th Best University and 10th Top Public College with the 15th Best Undergraduate Business Education. The respected, AACSB-accredited College of Business was acclaimed by Crist | Kolder Associates as the #1 source of Chief Financial Officers in Fortune 500 firms. Illinois Urbana-Champaign also ranked 20th Nationally for producing Peace Corps volunteers.
Housed in Wohlers Hall, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accountancy program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduates entry-level accountants ready to enter public, private, or nonprofit sectors. The COB’s active learning environment places great emphasis on developing methods of inquiry, judgment, and financial analysis. Beginning in the sophomore year, students are introduced to business across its functional disciplines. Accountancy courses are integrated to prepare students for disseminating accurate financial records. The 21-credit major offers specializations like management accounting, taxation, and accounting information systems. Faculty mentors in the Business Career Services Department pair UIUC students with two internship courses at companies like State Farm Insurance and Boeing. Adhering to the Illinois Accountancy Honor Code is required.
Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
Learn more about the University of Illinois – Urbana’s Bachelor of Accounting Degree Programs here.
12. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Classified as an R1 public doctoral-granting research institution with land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant status, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities carries a $3.2 billion endowment to serve over 28,900 undergraduates. With sister locations from Crookston to Rochester, UMN Twin Cities occupies over 2,730 urban acres in the major hub of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The Big en Academic Alliance member is ranked the country’s 71st Best University and 26th Top Public College with the 15th Best Business Bachelor’s Degrees by the U.S. News and World Report. Ranking #1 regionally for National Merit Scholars, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities was crowned Scientist magazine’s “Patent Powerhouse.” The Carlson School of Management achieved AACSB approval and a top 100 Poets & Quants ranking.
Attracting around 550 freshmen yearly, the Bachelor of Science in Business program offers a Carlson advantage for UMN Twin Cities students seeking an Accounting Major. Each student forges a personal journey charting their career in the professional arena of finance. Small classes engage students to weigh in on innovative discussions on the “language of business.” Undergraduates transform into professional leaders on organizational management teams to determine smart money decisions. The 39-credit major spans from contract law to federal income tax to ensure strong CPA preparation. Students sharpen their skills through the Consulting Enterprise Challenge and Carlson alumni have found success with KPMG, Cargill, Baker Tilly, and more with a 97 percent job placement rate.
Bachelor of Science in Business with Accounting Major
13. Ohio State University
As the United States’ third-largest public, land-grant research institution, Ohio State University provides over 51,200 undergraduates with “Education for Citizenship.” Based on a main 1,765-acre urban campus in the Buckeye State’s capital of Columbus, OSU operates regional locations in Wooster, Newark, Mansfield, Marion, and Lima. Boasting 1,000+ student-run clubs, Ohio State is deemed America’s 54th Best University and 16th Top Public School with the 19th Best Business Bachelor’s Programs. The “Public Ivy” holds AAU membership as the 90th Top Global University according to Times Higher Education. With AACSB accreditation, the Fisher College of Business was cited in The New York Times for a 170 percent return on investment.
Offered solely in Columbus, the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program at Ohio State allows on-campus students to learn business skills to ensure financial well-being. Undergraduates are trained to summarize financial data, develop budgets, determine taxes, audit records, interpret economic activity, and more. Freshmen begin the four-year program as pre-majors to fulfill general education. Some may complete the Management and Industry Exploration Program first. The B.S. requires 121 total credits, including a senior accounting seminar and capstone. Over 85 percent of OSU students earn internships that could segue into full-time employment. Honors students may qualify for the Business Scholars Program for added team-building. Graduates’ average starting salary for 2015 was $50,978.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
14. University of Arizona
Chartered in 1885 by the “Thieving Thirteenth” legislature under the Morrill Act, the University of Arizona is a flagship public land-grant research institution that’s educating approximately 40,600 Wildcats. Located on a 380-acre urban campus in Tucson within Pima County’s famous Sun Corridor around 108 miles from Phoenix, UA grants over 330 programs of study. The U.S. News and World Report recognized Arizona as the 124th Best National University, 60th Top Public School, and 19th Best Business Education provider. According to the Council for Aid to Education, the University of Arizona provides the 24th Best Financial Support. The AACSB-accredited Eller College of Management was picked 58th globally by the Mexican magazine Expansion.
Rigorous academics are the cornerstone to the University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program, which confers a Major in Accounting. Here Eller students can focus their business expertise on the collection, organization, and reporting of financial information for organizational decision-making. Graduates won’t satisfy the 150-hour CPA requirement yet, but they’ll qualify for becoming a Certified Management Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor. The four-year plan features 15 units per semester to master everything from microeconomic analysis to quantitative finance management. Arizona’s courses are available on-campus during traditional or evening schedules. International perspective can be added with the Global Business Program to countries like China and France. Students may network with alumni through the Polaris Eller Leadership Honorary too.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Major in Accounting
15. University of Maryland – College Park
Split into 12 academic divisions, the University of Maryland College Park is a flagship public, land-grant, and sea-grant RU/VH research institution serving the Washington Metro. The University of Maryland – College Park is endowed for $283 million to enlighten over 27,400 undergraduates from its 1,250-acre suburban campus of red-brick Georgian style just 20 miles from Fort Meade. The U.S. News and World Report picked Maryland as the 60th Best University and 36th Top College for Military Veterans with the United States 19th Best Undergraduate Business Degrees. Ranked #1 for Boren Scholarship winners, the University of Maryland College Park is Kiplinger’s ninth Best In-State Value. Business Insider also considered the University of Maryland among the “Smartest Public Colleges in America.
The AACSB-accredited Robert H. Smith School of Business established a Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that spans 120 credits over four to five years full-time. Accounting majors are taught how to plan, control, and appraise the financial performance of organizations from world-class faculty. The curriculum lays the groundwork for accounting management careers in private, government, and nonprofit agencies. Students can follow the Public Accounting Track for CPA credentials or the Management Accounting/Consulting Track for CMA designation. The B.S. could also be obtained by cohorts attending UMD’s Shady Grove campus in Montgomery County. After freshmen complete the SmithStart program, they’ll work alongside peers and faculty through the Accounting & Business Association. Ambitious graduates could continue into the Ph.D. in Accounting program.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Why Get a Bachelor’s in Accounting?
Accounting is one of the best careers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the American Institute of CPAs, hiring in accounting has reached a record high after 11 percent increase in 2012. More than 207,000 college students were enrolled in accounting undergraduate programs last year to fulfill growing demand. Studying online isn’t right for everyone, so we’d like to recognize the Top 15 Bachelor of Accounting Degree Programs available on physical campuses across the United States.