5 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting

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Updated March 17, 2021

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Financial organization is key to the success of any industry. With one of Grad School Hub's 5 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting, you can help build businesses' economic stability.

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The core of any business is the accounting department. Whether they are tracking incoming and outgoing funds or providing financial advice, accountants hold companies together. Individuals looking to understand and examine advanced aspects of accounting may consider pursuing a doctoral degree in the field. Doctoral degrees are typically research-based, allowing students the opportunity to dive deep into the inner workings of their field. The following five doctoral degree programs in Accounting can be completed fully or partially online. This makes them ideal options for working accountants or those seeking a doctoral degree without having to relocate. The programs listed are all built on business-focused foundations, meaning students can learn about key business principles while exploring advanced aspects of accounting.

Accounting degree holders may work as public accountants, government accountants, or management accountants. They may alternatively work as information technology auditors or internal or external auditors. Generally speaking, accountants and auditors deal with taxes, expenses, and general financial management for individuals, businesses, and governments from the local to national level. Those with doctoral degrees in Accounting may work in roles that are particularly research-based. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants made a median salary of $70,500 in 2018. The demand for accountants and auditors is growing at a projected rate of 10 percent, which is faster than the industry average. One of the following doctoral degrees in the field may significantly boost graduates' job prospects.

Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting

Capella University Minneapolis, MN
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
George Fox University Newberg, OR
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
Trident University International Cypress, CA


The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 5 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:

  • Alumni Feedback: 20%
  • Continued Enrollment: 20%
  • Degree Selectivity: 10%
  • Graduate Expenses: 25%
  • Projected Annual Salary: 25%

A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page.

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These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Here are the 5 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Accounting!

  • Capella University

    Minneapolis, MN



    Capella University offers a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Accounting. The program is offered through the university's School of Business and Technology. The 82-credit degree program is offered in a hybrid format, with primarily online coursework and two required residencies. It is also structured with a set schedule and deadlines. Core DBA courses include Contemporary Issues Impacting Organizational Success; Financial Decision Making; Leading Processes, Technology and People; and Marketing in a Connected World. Specialized courses include Accounting in the Global Era, Financial Reporting, and Forensic Accounting. Each student is assigned a research mentor to guide them through their culminating applied research project. Students must also culminate the program by completing a comprehensive exam.

    Established in 1993, Capella is a for-profit, online, proprietary university. It was co-founded by Stephen Shank, former CEO of toy truck company Tonka. As of 2017, 47 percent of Capella students were enrolled in master's programs. The average student age is reported to be 39 years old, with students ranging in age from 19 to 84.

  • Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton, FL



    Florida Atlantic University offers The university offers an Accounting concentration within its Ph.D. in Business degree program. Accounting students must specialize in financial, auditing, or accounting information systems. The program is designed to prepare graduates for analytical, research-based roles in universities or government agencies. Students can expect to spend two to two and a half years on coursework and one to two years on dissertation work. Foundation courses include Advanced Accounting Theory, Advanced Mathematical Economics, and Advanced Microeconomics. The program finishes with a comprehensive exam and doctoral research dissertation with defense. The degree can be completed in four years of full-time study.

    FAU was established by the Florida state legislature in 1961. It was the first public university in southeast Florida. Today, the research university belongs to the State University System of Florida. It has the most student body ethnic diversity of all 12 institutions in the system. The university conducts significant research in areas such as bioinformatics, marine biotechnology, and ocean engineering. Its research institutes include the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution and the NASA Imaging Technology Space Center. It is designated by the United States Department of Energy as one of three national centers for research and development relating to ocean energy. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 43 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

  • George Fox University

    Newberg, OR



    George Fox University offers a Doctor of Business Administration through its Graduate School of Business. Students can choose a concentration in Accounting. The degree program is designed for business professionals and college faculty members. It is offered in a part-time, hybrid format, allowing students to complete most of their coursework online but also requiring two on-campus residencies per year. The 56-credit curriculum is comprised of a business core, an education core including teaching or consulting practicum, and a research core including a doctoral dissertation. Example courses include Ethics and Moral Decision-Making in Business, Faith and Spirituality in Business, and Human Resource Development. The program spans four years, including three years of course work and one year of dissertation work.

    GFU was founded in 1885 as a school for Quakers. Today, it is a private Christian university affiliated with the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. A member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, GFU offers academic programs with strong theological foundations. The university's graduate studies include the fields of business, counseling, psychology, and seminary. The school is also committed to community engagement and service work. It operates campuses in the Oregon towns of Newberg, Portland, Redmond, and Salem. U.S. News & World Report ranks GFU No. 24 in Regional Universities West, No. 18 in Best Value Schools, and No. 7 in Most Innovative Schools.

  • Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Liberty University offers Grad School Hub's top-ranked doctoral program in accounting. Liberty's online program leads to a Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting where students can to network with peers and professors through online meetings. Students also have the option to participate in on-campus intensive classes, which allow them to interact face-to-face if desired. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses in Accounting for Decision Making, Accounting Ethics, Auditing, and Tax Research and Jurisprudence. Each student culminates the curriculum with a doctoral research project. The degree program takes an average of three years to complete.

    Liberty was founded in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College. It has since grown into one of the largest Christian institutions in the world, and the largest private non-profit institution in the nation, in terms of student enrollment. Many of these students are enrolled in an online capacity. The university began its distance learning programs in the mid-1980s by mailing VHS tapes to students. An evangelical university, LU promotes conservative Christian values and plays an active role in right-wing politics. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the Liberty campus includes a celestial observatory, a shooting range, a synthetic ski slope, and a replica of the Liberty Bell. The university is also home to the National War Civil Chaplains Museum, which is the only museum in the United States that focuses on Civil War-era religious activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks Liberty at No. 98 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

  • Trident University International

    Cypress, CA



    Trident University International kicks off our 5 Best Online Post-Graduate count down with its entirely online Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration. Trident's Ph.D. BA is provided with a concentration in Accounting and Finance, making it an ideal post-grad option for students who enjoy topics such as economics, international finance, taxes, and financial auditing. Online Ph.D. students are given a grueling study schedule consisting of four research seminars, four theory courses, four dissertation courses, and two classes dedicated to student's degree concentration.

    Other provided concentrations include Information Systems & IT Management, Marketing, Leadership, and Management and Organization. To graduate, online students must finish a written and oral comprehensive exam, which begins after their research field notes have been approved by Trident's faculty dissertation committee and the University's Institutional Review Board. According to Trident's website, most dissertations are completed within four years, while core classes are typically finished within two.

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