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2020 Best Colleges for Accounting

Approximately 107,851 accounting degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Accounting ranking analyzed 621 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in accounting. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for Accounting students.

Choosing a Great Accounting School

Best Colleges for Accounting The accounting program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality accounting program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 18% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 10%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 157 to 12 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

Accounting graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average accounting bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $44,913, graduates of colleges on this list average $59,996.

Starting Salary  ( 56382 to 65017 )
$0
$65,300

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Accounting students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other accounting students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized accounting related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Accounting students.

Best Schools to Study Accounting in United States

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for accounting majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 621 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Accounting Colleges

#1

Bentley University

Waltham, MA

Bentley University is a good option for individuals pursuing a Accounting major. Bentley is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Waltham. A Best Colleges rank of 59 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Bentley is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Bentley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in accounting, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the accounting program state that they receive average early career wages of $58,700.

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University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is a good option for students pursuing a Accounting degree. Located in the small city Champaign, UIUC is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 85th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

For those interested in something more advanced, UIUC also offers 2 different higher degree levels in accounting, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career earnings of $61,400.

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#3

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

University of Notre Dame is one of the best schools in the United States for accounting. Located in the suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Notre Dame is a great school overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Notre Dame offers a Master's Degree in accounting. University of Notre Dame accounting graduates make $4,304 more than the standard accounting grad.

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#4

Bryant University

Smithfield, RI

Bryant University is a great choice for individuals pursuing a Accounting degree. Bryant is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Smithfield. This college ranks 189th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Rhode Island.

There are about 161 accounting undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Bryant. Graduates of the accounting program state that they receive average early career income of $57,900.

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Located in the large city New York, Baruch is a public school with a large student population. This college ranks 306th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are about 865 accounting undergraduates studying this degree at Baruch. Students who complete this program report average early career income of $46,400.

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#6

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Boston College is a great school overall.

There are approximately 226 accounting undergrads enrolled in this program at Boston College. Accounting graduates from Boston College get a earnings boost of about $4,904 over the typical earnings of accounting graduates.

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#7

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Located in the suburb Fairfield, Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 147th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Fairfield U also offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Students who graduate from the accounting program earn around $59,100 for their early career.

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#8

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Binghamton University is a large public school located in the suburb of Vestal. This college ranks 133rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Binghamton University offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, accounting students generally earn about $57,400 at the beginning of their careers.

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#9

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Located in the suburb Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 71 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Villanova is a great college overall.

A favorite major for accounting undergraduates, there are approximately 140 students enrolled in this program at Villanova. Graduates from the accounting degree program at Villanova University get $3,704 above the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#10

Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, MD

Loyola Maryland is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Baltimore. This college ranks 169th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

Loyola University Maryland is a fairly popular school to study accounting in United States with more than 95 graduations last year. Students who graduate from the accounting program make an average of $60,800 in the first couple years of their career.

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USC is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

With 332 undergrads, University of Southern California is one of most popular colleges to study accounting in United States. Accounting students from University of Southern California get a earnings boost of about $3,404 above the average earnings of accounting graduates.

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UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin. A Best Colleges rank of 78 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UT Austin is a great school overall.

There are approximately 573 accounting undergraduates studying this degree at UT Austin. Soon after graduating, accounting students typically make an average of $54,400 in the first five years of their career.

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#13

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

With 73 students enrolled, University of Pennsylvania is one of most popular colleges to study accounting in United States.

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#14

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

Located in the large city San Diego, U of San Diego is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 140th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, U of San Diego also offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Students who graduate from the accounting program earn an average of $61,100 in the first couple years of working.

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#15

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Located in the small city Bethlehem, Lehigh is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 43 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Lehigh is a great school overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Lehigh offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Lehigh University accounting majors make $3,904 more than the standard accounting student.

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Located in the large suburb College Park, UMCP is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 103rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, UMCP offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Graduates of the accounting program make about $60,600 in their early career salary.

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#17

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. This school ranks 120th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

For those interested in something more advanced, Michigan State also offers 2 different higher degree levels in accounting, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the accounting program state that they receive average early career income of $58,700.

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#18

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, VA

U of Richmond is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of University of Richmond. A Best Colleges rank of 60 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means U of Richmond is a great college overall.

With 60 undergraduates, University of Richmond is one of most popular schools to study accounting in United States. Graduates of the accounting program state that they receive average early career earnings of $61,800.

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#19

Fordham University

Bronx, NY

Located in the large city Bronx, Fordham U is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 225th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 331 undergraduates, Fordham University is one of most popular colleges to study accounting in United States. Graduates from the accounting major at Fordham University get $5,304 more than the typical graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#20

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Located in the small city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 79 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Virginia Tech is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Virginia Tech offers a Master's Degree in accounting. After graduation, accounting students generally earn around $60,100 at the beginning of their careers.

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#21

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

JMU is a fairly large public school located in the city of Harrisonburg. This college ranks 186th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, JMU offers a Master's Degree in accounting. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $52,600.

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Located in the suburb Storrs, UCONN is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 97th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

There are about 256 accounting undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UCONN. Graduates of the accounting program earn about $60,600 for their early career.

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BYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Provo. This school ranks 102nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Utah.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, BYU also offers a Master's Degree in accounting. After graduation, accounting students usually make around $60,700 in their early careers.

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Washington and Lee is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Lexington. A Best Colleges rank of 23 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Washington and Lee is a great school overall.

With 60 undergraduates, Washington and Lee University is one of most popular colleges to study accounting in United States. Graduates from the accounting degree program at Washington and Lee University make $2,104 above the average graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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WUSTL is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Colleges rank of 19 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means WUSTL is a great college overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, WUSTL also offers a Master's Degree in accounting.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for Accounting

#28

University of Denver

Denver, CO
#29

DePaul University

Chicago, IL
#31

Elon University

Elon, NC
#32

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
#33

University of Georgia

Athens, GA
#34

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#35

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL
#37

University of Delaware

Newark, DE
#38

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#39

Baylor University

Waco, TX
#40

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
#42

University at Albany

Albany, NY
#44

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#45

Siena College

Loudonville, NY
#50

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Additional Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Colleges for Accounting badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 621 different United States accounting schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
52 George Washington University Washington, DC
53 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
54 Butler University Indianapolis, IN
55 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
56 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
57 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
58 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
59 Lipscomb University Nashville, TN
60 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
61 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
62 Samford University Birmingham, AL
63 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
64 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
65 Auburn University Auburn, AL
66 Seattle University Seattle, WA
67 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK
68 Providence College Providence, RI
69 Clemson University Clemson, SC
70 Pace University - New York New York, NY
71 University of Houston Houston, TX
72 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
73 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
74 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
75 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
76 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
77 Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington, IL
78 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
79 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
80 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
81 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
82 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
83 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH
84 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
85 Drake University Des Moines, IA
86 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
87 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
88 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
89 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
90 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
91 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
92 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
93 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Accounting award.

Rank College Location
94 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
95 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY
96 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
97 University of Mississippi University, MS
98 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
99 Iowa State University Ames, IA
100 Bradley University Peoria, IL
101 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
102 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
103 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
104 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
105 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
106 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
107 Creighton University Omaha, NE
108 American University Washington, DC
109 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
110 Western New England University Springfield, MA
111 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
112 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
113 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
114 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
115 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
116 John Carroll University University Heights, OH
117 Regis University Denver, CO
118 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
119 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
120 Illinois State University Normal, IL
121 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
122 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
123 College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
124 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY

Accounting by Region

View the Best Colleges for Accounting for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 21 majors within the Business, Management & Marketing area of study, Accounting has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 399,810
General Business/Commerce 58,413
Finance & Financial Management 56,960
Marketing 49,179
Human Resource Management 26,853

View All Accounting Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Pixabay.

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