The Prestige

In a competitive market for business schools and accounting programs, you need to make sure that you’re going to a school that will help you get a job when you’ve finished your education. To that end, universities and colleges are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the field, to gain a level of prestige that makes their reputation soar. After all, the reputation of a school is an important factor for a student’s decision to attend.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business credential is a standard of quality that adds value to the academics of a school, the faculty, and most important the reputation. When employers consider different graduates to hire, the strength of a school’s academic reputation plays an important factor.

What AACSB adds to a university is a quality metric. The AACSB standards for business academics is a well-recognized standard that is known around the world. These standards help set criteria of excellence that cover nearly every aspect of a school’s program—teaching, curriculum, institutional development, academic research quality, and of course, student learning.

The AACSB standards extend beyond business schools and into accounting programs. In fact, the accounting accreditation is extremely rigorous, and many business schools that are AACSB accredited, don’t meet the requirements of the accounting accreditation. Schools that are accredited are subject to a continuous improvement review process every five years to ensure that the school’s teaching methods are up to their high standards.

To give you an idea of how strict the AACSB standards are 777 business schools in the United States are accredited in business, but only 185 schools hold a specialized accreditation for accounting programs. That list further narrows down when you consider how many schools offer online programs.

Ranking Methodology

Online Accounting Degree Report utilizes a proprietary ranking system that measures the affordability, reputation, and academic quality of accounting schools and programs.

For the Top Online AACSB Accredited Degree Program Rankings, we used the following data from the National Center for Education Statistics database:

  • Net Price
  • Acceptance Rate
  • 6-year Graduation Rate
  • Retention Rate

Each school was given a ranking for each data point and then given a composite score, taking into account each individual data point rank. Wherein a tie occurred, the school with the lower net price was ranked higher due to the fact that cost is one of the determining factors for persons deciding which higher education institutions to attend.

The Best of Online Education

Interestingly enough, five of our nine schools on this list are located in the south (six if you count Virginia, but that’s up for debate). This trend indicates that traditional education experiences are more popular in the rest of the country. Recent studies have shown that many students that show interest in online education are more inclined to enroll in a program within 50 miles of home. Yet, the beauty of many of these online programs is that they are fully 100% online–meaning that as a student you will be able to attend classes from nearly anywhere in the country. Of course, depending on where you are attending class from you will face unique challenges like time zone differences, but the flexibility each of these programs offer should enable you to succeed.

We are pleased to present the top nine AACSB accredited, online accounting degree programs for the 2016-2017 academic years.

Top 9 AACSB Online Bachelor Degree Programs in Accounting

Net Price: $12,728
Acceptance Rate: 71%
4-year Graduation Rate: 53%
Retention Rate: 78%



Score: 100

At the top of our list is Texas State University. This school benefits from a high student to faculty ratio of 20:1 and is home to almost 32,000 students. Many students attend Texas State University for the high-quality education that it offers to residents of the region. In fact, students often praise Texas State University for the flexibility that various degree programs offer students. One thing to note about online programs in the state of Texas is that most programs in the state are not 100% online. This is because the CPA’s requirements in Texas state that at least 15 credit hours be attended by students in a traditional classroom setting. What this means is that students in Texas should consider the distance from home a campus is in making any kind of decision. Regardless of the CPA requirements, students attending TSU earn degrees that are well respected in the industry,


#177 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $21,457
Acceptance Rate: 78%
4-year Graduation Rate: 73%
Retention Rate: 90%



Score: 99

In a close second place is Auburn University. Auburn is ranked nationally as one of the best schools in the country. In fact, Brigham Young University, another well-respected school for its business programs, places Auburn 9th on their Accounting Rankings for Universities list. As one of the largest universities in the south, Auburn is home to more than 27,000 students in more than 140 degree options. Auburn’s online accounting degree stands out among its peers because it is entirely tooled towards helping students who already have a degree, who seek a career change. Auburn’s classes are typically recorded and students in the online program are able to view these classes live or stream it a time convenient to them. What makes this program stand out is its commitment to treat its online and traditional students equally–holding both groups of students to high standards of academic rigor and student accountability.


#9 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $15,236
Acceptance Rate: 83%
4-year Graduation Rate: 53%
Retention Rate: 82%



Score: 95

Landing a spot in our top three is Old Dominion University. This public school in Norfolk, Virginia is home to more than 20,000 students and is traditionally ranked among the best schools in the country. This prestige comes from generation after generation of academic rigor that has lead ODU into becoming a top school in the area. The ODUOnline programs are essentially the same classes that are taught at the Virginia campus–the same instructors and coursework–and are available to all undergraduate students. With more than 12,000 online graduates to date, ODU prides itself on being a flexible program for students that need flexibility. Students are able to turn in assignments online and even take exams online, no matter where they are.


#49 US News Best Online Bachelor’s Rankings
#108 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $15,772
Acceptance Rate: 60%
4-year Graduation Rate: 55%
Retention Rate: 79%



Score: 95

As an education hub of the south, The University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned school with a far-reaching reputation for expertise. UAB has held the distinction of being AACSB accredited for more than 30 years and offers both a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Accounting degree completely 100% online (though the option remains to take classes in hybrid formats as well). Even as online students, students at UAB are guaranteed to be able to interact with a diverse body of students in the various accounting program classes. The program promises to help students build a solid understanding of key accounting concepts and take charge of their careers.


#86 US News Best Online Bachelor’s Rankings
#19 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $11,177
Acceptance Rate: 90%
4-year Graduation Rate: 30%
Retention Rate: 72%



Score: 93

The key to any online program is its ability to provide high-quality education to all of its students, regardless of how they choose to attend. This is especially true of the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, who offers more than 450 courses every semester that students can enroll in and earn their degrees. As an added bonus, students that fully participate in the online program receive a reduced rate on their tuition costs, making online education at UALR a convenient and affordable option.


#49 US News Best Online Bachelor’s Rankings
#109 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $13,154
Acceptance Rate: 40%
4-year Graduation Rate: 45%
Retention Rate: 77%



Score: 91

The University of Memphis is home to more than 17,000 students in the state of Tennessee. UofM is a cutting-edge school that has benefited from the foresight of recognizing the shift to digital education. Because of this, they are among the best schools in the country for online education. With a large selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, UofM knows what it’s like to be an online student and appreciates the sacrifices that online students must make to succeed. Graduates from this program are prepared to work in private, public, or governmental accounting and are ready for the challenges of the marketplace.


#14 BYU Accounting Rankings for Universities

Net Price: $17,929
Acceptance Rate: 80%
4-year Graduation Rate: 64%
Retention Rate: 78%



Score: 91

Students and Alumni talk about the Washington State University difference, and it’s true that WSU students are different. One of the top research universities in the country with faculty that is among the best in their field, WSU’s academic caliber helps its students make a difference in the world that improves the lives of many. All courses in WSU’s accounting program are available online and take advantage of advances in technology to bring expert-level instruction to students wherever they are. A unique part of the WSU curriculum is the Global Learning requirement. This standard requires students to earn 6 credits studying international issues of the global marketplace through international internships, studying abroad, or through approved coursework.


#34 US News Online Bachelor’s Rankings

Net Price: $15,595
Acceptance Rate: 81%
4-year Graduation Rate: 45%
Retention Rate: 68%



Score: 91

Don’t let the rural setting fool you, the Southern Illinois University – Carbondale is one of the top-ranked national universities. Combining the big brains of a big research institution and the heart of a small college, SIU prepares students and helps them stand out among their peers. Beyond the excellent classroom experience, SIU offers a wide variety of online courses to suit the needs of students The final two years of the undergraduate degree (after general requirements) can be completely 100% online through SIU. While the program usually requires 24 month period to complete, students at SIU have been known to accelerate their pace and finish within 18 months.

Net Price: $14,911
Acceptance Rate: 93%
4-year Graduation Rate: 41%
Retention Rate: 72%



Score: 85

Rounding out our list is the University of Toledo in Ohio. With a high acceptance rate of 94.7%, UT is a school committed to helping students achieve their best. This dedication to education is part of the reason why this school is AACSB accredited. With many experts of the accounting field as instructors and lecturers, students have a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best. University of Toledo has been offering online courses since 1998, and part of their success is the commitment that UT shows to its online students. While some schools may dedicate a few resources to helping online students and call it good, UT features an entire department dedicated to helping students. From an eLibrary to eTutoring, online students have the opportunity to succeed at UT.


#34 US News Best Online Bachelor’s Rankings

Final Thoughts

If you’re on the fence about enrolling in an online program, take inventory of your own skills and abilities. If you are a student that is well disciplined and can handle taking classes outside of a “normal” schedule, then online programs are for you. If you do better with more structure in your life then a traditional program or a hybrid program may better suit your needs. Remember, online programs aren’t for everyone. If you want to succeed as a student then you need to play to your strengths as a student.