20 Best Accounting Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

20 Best Accounting Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

It is no wonder you have decided on an accounting degree. A competent, trustworthy CPA is a prize in any industry and to any business. The median pay for accountants and auditors with a bachelor’s degree was $71,550.00 yearly or $34.40 hourly in 2019 with the number of jobs in America at almost 1.5 million.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Business College

It can be difficult to see through the swarm of schools when one is searching for excellence in accounting programs. There are pros and cons with all of them – big and small, well-known and obscure, public and private, expensive and economical. There are good accounting programs across the nation, and they can be found in all types of schools. They should take the time to choose well, as a happy student thrives.

Should I Choose a Big or Small School for My Accountancy Degree?

Students who need personalized attention from their professors and want to form intimate social bonds should choose a smaller school, while those who appreciate collegiate football and want a huge variety of options should choose a bigger school. Because public schools are usually larger and private schools smaller, affordability tends to be the question when deciding between the two. Students may also want to ask themselves questions like this. Accounting or Finance degree? Are there good internship opportunities? Do they offer the master’s or doctoral degree that I desire? What concentrations do they offer? What do I need in a business school?

Top 20 Accounting Programs in the US

1. Oklahoma State University

At the Spears School of Business in Stillwater, Oklahoma sits Oklahoma State University where over half the students graduate with zero student loan debt. Niche ranked Oklahoma State #2 of the “best value colleges in Oklahoma.” They deemed Oklahoma State #50 of the “2021 top public universities in America.” Oklahoma State has the “most Truman scholars for graduate study in public service in Oklahoma”. It was ranked #121 by Forbes of the “top public colleges.” It was ranked #95 by US News and World Report of the “2019 top public schools.” Since the “America’s best colleges” list began in 2008, Oklahoma State University has continued to be a contender in many categories.

  • Yearly Tuition: $6,350
  • Programs: 7
    • BSBAA – External Reporting, Control, & Auditing, BSBAA – Internal Reporting, Control, & Auditing
    • MSA/Tax, MSA/Reporting & Auditing, MSA/Data Analytics & Systems, MSA/Corporate Finance
    • DBA

(90 points)

2. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign

Founded in 1867, the Gies College of Business in Champaign, Illinois boasts 29 Pulitzer prizes. In business school specialty rankings, US News and World Report ranked University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign #23 in a tie for the “best colleges for veterans.” Two of these were received as recently as 2019. Niche ranked Urbana – Champaign #11 of 789 of the “best colleges for accounting and finance in America,” #14 of 676 of the “top public universities in America,” and #74 of 1,572 of the “best value colleges of America.” At the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, students don’t just sit in a classroom, but they travel to sample real-world situations and have case competitions. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $30,594
  • Programs: 9
    • BSA
    • MASA, MAS/Data Analytics, MAS/Financial Reporting & Assurance, MAS/Taxation
    • MSAA, MSA/Data Analytics, MSA/Taxation
    • ACCD

(84 points)

3. University of Arizona

The Eller College of Management at Tucson, Arizona is a “2021 top-40 university,” ranking #97, according to US News and World Report. In 2019, Forbes named the University of Arizona #62 in the nation for “best value colleges.” Several scholarships are available to help students attain their accounting degree. During the final semester, students are required to take part in a capstone experience. Graduates can fill positions with non-profit organizations, government agencies, accounting firms, small businesses, and corporations. The skills one takes away alongside a degree in accounting include critical thinking, teamwork, technical knowledge, technology, ethics, social responsibility, written communication, and verbal communication. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $12,600
  • Programs: 6
    • BBAA
    • MACC/Audit, MACC/Tax, MSA
    • Post-Baccalaureate Accountancy Certificate
    • DMA

(76 points)

4. Delta State University

Delta State University is a public university located in Cleveland, Mississippi. According to Niche, Delta State is in the top 25% of the “colleges with the best professors in America” and the “most diverse colleges in America.” It was ranked #3 of 15 of the “most diverse colleges in Mississippi.” Delta State has an unusually small student to teacher ratio of 11:1. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in Decatur, Georgia. The accountancy program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Upon completion of this 120-hour program, a student may sit for the CMA and CIA exams. To take the CPA exam, however, a student must complete the MPAC program.

  • Yearly Tuition: $3,976
  • Programs: 2
    • BBAA
    • MPAC

(56 points)

5. Hodges University

Hodges University in Naples, Florida is home to the Johnson School of Business, one of the “top 20 business schools in Florida,” according to TopManagementDegrees. The MilitaryTimes ranked Hodges as one of “2020’s best 4-year colleges for veterans”. According to BestAccountingSchools, Hodges’ ranks in the top 37% of accounting programs in the US. It ranks #37 of “Florida’s accounting schools” and #328 of “accounting schools in the south.” A successful completion of the 120 hours it takes to earn a BSA at Hodges enables a student to take the EA, CMA, CFE, CIA, and CPA exams. After passing, an additional 30 credit hours are required for a CPA license. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $7,080
  • Programs: 3
    • AA
    • BSA
    • MACC

(53 points)

6. Oklahoma Christian University

Located in Edmond, Oklahoma is Oklahoma Christian UniversityUS News and World Report ranked Oklahoma Christian #36 of the “best value schools” nationwide. They were #27 in a tie for “best colleges for veterans.” They are also tied for #47 of the “regional universities of the west.”  The accounting program at Oklahoma Christian University is rigorous, but it prepares its graduates to succeed in real-world business. They will understand ethics, social responsibility, critical thinking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, and professional and persuasive communication. Oklahoma Christian University was ranked #5 of “2020’s best colleges in Oklahoma” by BestColleges. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $19,791
  • Programs: 5
    • BBA/Accountancy, BBA/Finance, BBA/Accountancy & Finance
    • MACC

(46 points)

7. Fontbonne University

Eckelkamp College of Global Business and Professional Studies at Fontbonne University in St Louis, Missouri was ranked by Niche as #154 of 1,605 of the “best college locations in America,” #3 of 37 of the “best college locations in Missouri,” #9 of 31 of the “best colleges for business in Missouri,” and #8 of 36 of the “best college campuses of Missouri.” Fontbonne is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has earned accreditation from the ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs) for their accounting programs and others. For a student who has earned their BSA, an MBAA degree can be earned in one year, and for students with a non-accounting Bachelor of Science, an MSA degree can be earned in one year, as well. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $27,290
  • Programs: 3
    • BSA
    • MBAA, MSA

(39 points)

8. Ouachita Baptist University

Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas is where you will find the Frank D Hickingbotham School of Business. Ouachita Baptist was ranked #82 of 978 of the “best small colleges in America” by Niche. It was ranked #84 of 896 of the “best colleges for education in America” and #115 of 789 of the “best colleges for accounting and finance in America.” Ouachita Baptist was ranked #2 of 18 of the “best colleges for academics in Arkansas” and #2 of 10 for “best colleges for accounting and finance in Arkansas.” With a student ratio of 12:1, it boasts the ability to cater to students’ needs. US News and World Report ranked Ouachita Baptist University #5 in “best value schools” in America.

  • Yearly Tuition: $14,740
  • Programs: 1
    • BSA

(38 points)

9. Wilson College

Wilson College is located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Niche ranked Wilson #608 of 1,605 of the “best college locations of America,” #31 of 106 of the “best college locations of Pennsylvania,” and #318 of 1,336 “safest college campuses in America.” US News and World Report ranked Wilson #125 in a tie for “2021’s regional universities in the north” and #104 of “2021’s top performers on social mobility.” Wilson College requires its students to learn critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and verbal, as well as non-verbal communication. Wilson offers a 3+1 degree option which leads to a BSA and a MACC in just 4 years. Prospects must have a minimum GPA of 3.75 overall by the end of their sophomore year or 3.5 by the end of their junior year. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $25,200
  • Programs: 3
    • AA/Communications
    • BSA
    • MACC

(35 points – tie)

10. Spalding University

In Louisville, Kentucky, Spalding University teaches accounting students all aspects of leadership and ethical accounting practices. They will learn how to make good decisions, think critically, solve complex problems, hone writing skills, effectively analyze data, and present any information in a professional manner. They will take classes in auditing, reporting, and business in the global economy, as well as participating in a capstone course. Niche ranked Spalding #162 of 1,605 of the “best college locations in America,” #5 of 28 of the “best college locations in Kentucky,” #5 of 20 of the “best small colleges in Kentucky,” and #5 of 19 of the “top private universities in Kentucky.” ZipRecruiter ranked Louisville as #9 of the “top 10 cities for jobs to jobseeker ratio.”

  • Yearly Tuition: $26,400
  • Programs: 3
    • BSA
    • Post-Baccalaureate Accountancy Certificate
    • MSB/Communications & Accountancy

(35 points – tie)

11. Nichols College

Nichols College can be found in Dudley, Massachusetts. Ninety percent of Nichols’ student body is made up of business students. These students are required to make eight live presentations over the course of a required class on effective speaking. It has been deemed the “2020 best college to get a business education” by Worcester Business Journal’s Best of Business reader’s poll and has held this title four other years. Real-world courses for the MSA include negotiation, communication, data analytics, and creative problem-solving. Nichols’ successful alumni provide a top-shelf accounting internship, as well as employment opportunities. According to the Worcester Business Journal, 92% of Nichols’ business school graduates are working or receiving higher education within 6 months of graduation.

  • Yearly Tuition: $35,290
  • Programs: 2
    • BSBAA
    • MSA

(24 points)

12. The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business in Colombus, Ohio is a land-grant university and one of the largest in the US. The Ohio State University, one of America’s top-20 public universities, is famed as the best and most comprehensive in Ohio. Niche ranked The Ohio State University #16 of 789 of the “best colleges for accounting and finance in America,” #21 of 676 of the “top public universities of America,” and #39 of 1,192 of the “best colleges for business in America.” It ranked #1 out of the “best colleges for education in Ohio,” “best colleges for accounting and finance in Ohio,” “top public universities in Ohio,” and “best big colleges in Ohio”. It ranked #2 of 43 of the “best colleges for business in Ohio” and #3 of 73 of the “best colleges in Ohio.” The Office of Global Business allows Fisher students international business experience opportunities.

  • Yearly Tuition: $33,502
  • Programs: 1
    • BSA

(19 points)

13. Bellarmine University

The W Fielding Rubel School of Business in Louisville, KY at Bellarmine University was ranked #94 of 1,605 by Niche in “Best College Locations in America.” They ranked #177 of 1,192 of “best colleges for business in America.” Bellarmine was ranked #1 of 28 of the “best college locations in Kentucky.” Lastly, Niche ranked Bellarmine #2 of 19 of the “best colleges for business in Kentucky.” The WSJ Times, in their Higher Education rankings, deemed Bellarmine #364 out of the approximately 5,300 universities in the US for “2021’s best US colleges.” Within 6 months of graduation, according to a NACE First Destination survey, while 64% of US graduates are employed or continuing their higher education, this is true of 99% of Bellarmine graduates. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $43,070
  • Programs: 3
    • BAA
    • Post-Baccalaureate Accountancy Certificate
    • MBA/Finance

(18 points)

11. St Joseph’s University

St Joseph’s University’s Erivan K Haub School of Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has made multiple “2021’s best colleges” lists by Niche, ranking #128 of 1,192 of the “best colleges for business in America.” St Joseph’s was ranked #107 of 789 of the “best colleges for accounting and finance in America.” It ranked #172 of 1,572 of the “best value colleges in America.” According to a 2019 Georgetown University study, the university is in the top 3% for national ranking of median 10-year earnings, and within 6 months of graduation, 97% of the 2018 class was employed full-time or in graduate school. St Joseph’s was ranked #8 of the “regional universities of the north” by US News and World Report. Philadelphia, home to major league sports and Fortune 500 companies, offers the possibility of great business experiences for St Joseph’s students. 

  • Yearly Tuition: $47,740
  • Programs: 4
    • BSA, BSBAA
    • Post-Baccalaureate Accountancy Certificate
    • MBA

(17 points)

15. St Mary’s University of Minnesota

In Winona, Minnesota, at St Mary’s University of Minnesota, 97% of students receive financial aid to help pay for their accounting degrees. St Mary’s has several ways in which to meet the requirements of qualification to take the CPA exam. A student can become a CPA or a CMA. They can take their pick of many jobs, like an internal auditor or financial analyst. Also at St Mary’s, students with entrepreneurial aspirations often minor in finance or international business or even pursue a double major. Niche ranked St Mary’s #295 of 1,192 of the “best colleges for business in America,” and #7 of 24 of “best colleges for accounting and finance in Minnesota.”

  • Yearly Tuition: $37,650
  • Programs: 1
    • BSA

(15 points)

The Methodology of Our Rankings

We gathered tuition rates as well as available programs and concentrations from each school’s website. We used the in-state yearly tuition rates. Where tuition was listed by semester, we assumed that two semesters made up one year. 

Points were assigned to each school. A maximum of 50 points for tuition was assigned to each school with more points going to the economical schools and fewer points to the more expensive schools. Also, a maximum of 50 points for total program offerings with different point values for associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates. The total of “tuition” points plus the “programs” points is where we got our final scores for ranking the schools.

If you are with a school we have included in our rankings and find an error in our information, please contact and advise us so we can correct the information.

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