Affordable Online Graduate Certificates in Accounting

An online graduate accounting certificate provides students the necessary credentials for nonprofit, corporate, and governmental accounting positions in fields like tax planning, finance, auditing, banking, and insurance. Most accountants require at least a bachelor’s degree and many need certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure.

Online certificates in accounting are designed for those with accounting baccalaureate degrees and those without, depending on the entry requirements of each program. The curriculum covers accounting principles, demonstrates competencies to potential employers, and may contribute to the 150 credit hours that states require candidates to have before they sit for the CPA. Many individuals interested in pursuing credentials in the field are working professionals juggling busy lives; for some, online learning provides an affordable and accessible way to earn their graduate certificate in accounting. Courses will vary from program to program, but each covers accounting principles, individual and corporate taxation, SEC reporting, auditing, and business law.

The demand for accountants is expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau projects that between 2014 and 2024, there will be an 11% faster than average growth rate for the occupation. This ranking is designed to help those interested in entering or advancing in the field to find an affordable, accredited, and accessible program that addresses their professional goals and enhances their employability. If you’re interested in earning an online certificate in accounting, and you value the flexibility of an online program, be sure to take a look at these top schools.


10 Affordable Online Graduate Certificates in Accounting
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

National University

Value Score 7.79
Average Tuition $10,962
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 66%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $406

NU's school of business and management combines foundational business theory with practical knowledge, including a graduate certificate in accountancy. Although the program does not prepare students for the CPA licensure exam, students who earn their graduate certificate in accounting online gain the credentials necessary for entry-level accounting positions.

The program admits graduate and undergraduate students and comprises six courses, including accounting information systems, accounting for governmental and not-for-profit entities, advanced managerial accounting, financial accounting, and foundations in financial accounting.


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2

Saint Leo University

Value Score 7.74
Average Tuition $8,730
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 85%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $485

The accounting graduate certificate at Saint Leo University prepares students to take the CPA exam in states not requiring a master’s degree for licensure. For those who have already passed the CPA exam, earning a cheap graduate certificate in accounting online satisfies the 150-hour licensure requirement.

The online accounting graduate certificate program requires six courses in areas such as fraud examination, law and the accountant, and fund accounting for government and nonprofits. Before applying, students should have taken principles of accounting I and II.


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3

University of Louisiana at Monroe

Value Score 7.44
Average Tuition $6,106
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44%
Number of Online Programs 3
Part-time cost per credit hour $451

ULM’s post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a different field. This online graduate accounting certificate comprises 21 credits that fulfill the coursework requirements for the Louisiana CPA exam.

The certificate program requires six credits in introductory financial and managerial accounting and three credits in business law. At least 15 credits must be completed while in residence at ULM.


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4

Linfield College-Online and Continuing Education

Value Score 6.85
Average Tuition $12,555
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $465

Students at Linfield's Online and Continuing Education program earn their graduate certificate in accounting online to prepare for nonprofit, public, and corporate accounting careers. The 24-credit program includes courses in intermediate accounting, federal income tax, and auditing. However, it does not prepare students for CPA licensure.

Applying students should have a bachelor's degree in any major and credits in financial accounting and managerial accounting. The affordable online graduate accounting certificate includes support services for online learners, such as tutors and customized academic planning.


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5

Auburn University

Value Score 6.35
Average Tuition $8,802
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 25%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $489

Auburn's accounting certificate involves graduate-level courses and prepares professionals for the CPA exam and certification. Students also use Auburn’s accounting certificate to enter master’s of accountancy programs without taking the GMAT.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a competitive GPA, and accounting foundation prerequisite courses. The 18-credit online accounting graduate certificate is delivered asynchronously and can be completed in as few as three semesters.


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6

Brescia University

Value Score 6.30
Average Tuition $8,000
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 56%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $500

BU offers an accelerated certificate in accounting that meets the educational requirements for the CPA exam and provides professional development for accountants. The 30-credit program includes coursework in federal individual taxation, federal entity taxation, and auditing.

Admission to this affordable online graduate in accounting certificate program requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA. No prerequisite courses are required. Students may apply BU’s discounted tuition rate toward this program.


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7

City University of Seattle

Value Score 5.04
Average Tuition $13,708
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $571

CityU offers a 15-credit graduate certificate in accounting to prepare students for the CPA licensure exam. The program requires a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting.

Coursework is recognized by the Washington State Board of Accountancy and includes focus areas such as individual and corporate tax, auditing, and business law. This online graduate accounting certificate is delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. The program is not eligible for financial aid.


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8

Davenport University

Value Score 4.62
Average Tuition $12,330
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $653

Requiring only 12 credits for completion, the graduate certificate in managerial accounting at Davenport deepens students’ understanding of accounting principles. This online accounting graduate certificate involves classes such as accounting information systems, accounting research, and CMA prep courses.

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree in accounting or an undergraduate course in cost accounting. The certificate requires students to earn a C or better on the final assessment.


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9

Southern New Hampshire University

Value Score 4.41
Average Tuition $18,810
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Online Programs 19
Part-time cost per credit hour $627

One of the largest online colleges in the nation, SNHU offers an affordable graduate certificate in accounting. Graduates may apply the 21-credit curriculum toward the 150 hours required to sit for the CPA certification exam or toward an MS in accounting.

The online accounting graduate certificate is delivered asynchronously and includes courses such as multinational accounting, SEC reporting, and taxation. Graduates pursue careers in tax planning, auditing, and banking.


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10

University of Connecticut

Value Score 4.39
Average Tuition $13,026
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 11%
Number of Online Programs 15
Part-time cost per credit hour $724

UCONN's graduate-level accounting certificate program combines diverse coursework. The program admits students with bachelor's degrees in any field.

Applicants must have taken financial and managerial accounting courses, neither of which are available online at UCONN. The certificate program may be completed in two to four semesters, and admission is for the fall semester only.


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