best online accounting schools in california

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

There are many reputable accounting schools in California that provide students with a valuable and for those considering an accounting career, a new beginning. It is important to note that each school has its own course offerings, campus environment, programs for students in the military and other factors to consider. The most common types of degree programs one can expect to find are bachelor’s degrees in accounting and master’s degrees in accounting or business finance. However, there are other advanced degrees like doctorates in accountancy and business administration with an accounting concentration.

According to the Los Angeles Times, California’s economy is expected to outpace the national economy this year. Add to that the fact that the country’s third-largest state is home to some of the three of the world’s biggest companies by revenue—Chevron, Apple, and McKesson—as well as one of the largest economies anywhere in the world, and you’ve got a recipe for success!

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The good news doesn’t stop there. California is also an epicenter of finance, business services, tech startups, and entrepreneurship, and for those on the hunt for a good business education, a network of schools that rivals that of any other state!

Online Accounting degrees are available at a variety of different schools with as many as 171 degrees earned at the most popular school.

What Are the Best Online Business Programs in California?

We’ve based our list on a few important sources. The first source is actual college freshman polled during a nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. These students rated academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost of school, and the survey also took into account graduate success rates ono the post-college job market. These factors were weighed equally alongside data from other publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and

Top 10 Best Online Business Schools in California

1San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, CA
2California State University-East BayHayward, CA
3California State University-FullertonFullerton, CA
4Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusa, CA
5California Baptist UniversityRiverside, CA
6Brandman UniversityIrvine, CA
7University of La VerneLa Verne, CA
8Hope International UniversityFullerton, CA
9Concordia University-IrvineIrvine, CA
10Golden Gate University-San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA

San Diego State University

Location San Diego, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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San Diego State University has grown and developed through its 119-year history into one of the nation’s major public research institutions. Its 35,000 students and 300,000 alumni are proud to live the ethos Leadership Starts Here. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. SDSU is committed to diversity and to excellence. The university has nearly 400 education programs in 52 countries and is among the nation’s leaders in the number of students who study abroad. Led by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad, SDSU is recognized as one of the top universities in the nation for entrepreneurship.

The College of Extended Studies will offer an online bachelor’s degree completion program in business administration in fall 2017, and it currently offers several master’s degree programs that are structured for working adults. We include it here because of its existing reputation as one of the leading business programs in the state. These programs provide the flexibility needed by adults who combine a workforce commitment. The online bachelor’s program will be tailored to both full- and part-time students. SDSU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration online degree completion program is designed so that students who satisfy all eligibility requirements can graduate with as few as 49 units (18 courses) or as many as 55 units (20 courses), depending on writing proficiency. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be awarded the same degree as on-campus students — the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

California State University-East Bay

Location Hayward, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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California State University-East Bay is fast becoming the San Francisco East Bay area’s high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with two scenic campuses—one in the Hayward Hills overlooking beautiful San Francisco Bay and the other in the picturesque Concord foothills. With a growing enrollment of more than 13,000, the University attracts students from throughout the region and state, as well as from more than 80 countries around the world. Named a “Best in the West” college and a “Best Business School” by The Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay offers an award-winning curriculum, small classes, personalized instruction, and expert faculty.

CSU East Bay’s Bachelor in Business Administration (BSBA) degree completion program enables students to develop a clear understanding of the tools, technologies, communication techniques, and ethics required to succeed in business today. It is the first AACSB-accredited Online Business Administration Degree Completion Program offered by a California university. It is designed to last two years, and it is offered through the College of Business and Economics. The program is structured around a set of core courses, enabling you to develop general business perspective and skills. The program currently offers options in Finance, General Management, Information Technology Management (ITM), and Operations and Supply Chain Management . The major consists of 97-105 units.

California State University-Fullerton

Location Fullerton, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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California State University-Fullerton plays a major role in Southern California’s intellectual, cultural and economic life. The University’s 216,000 graduates occupy key positions in business, government, and the nonprofit sector. With its main campus in Fullerton, a branch campus in Irvine, and satellites in Garden Grove and Santa Ana, the University is home to nearly 38,000 students each fall and more than 3,700 faculty and staff members. Cal State Fullerton’s faculty members are outstanding scholars in their disciplines who work in close collaboration with students and staff. One hundred seven high-quality degree programs, including 50 master’s degrees plus two doctorates, are offered in eight colleges: The Arts; Communications; Education; Engineering and Computer Science; Health and Human Development; Humanities and Social Sciences; Mihaylo College of Business and Economics; and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at Cal State Fullerton builds on a tradition of excellence in business education and combines it with the latest in distance learning technology. It is a degree completion program and caters to students of all backgrounds, including working professionals looking to complete their degrees, those with non-business degrees seeking to add a second bachelor’s degree, and community college and other transfer students who want the convenience of learning online. The program covers all aspects of business and is targeted toward students who wish to gain a solid understanding of fundamental business disciplines, rather than specializing in one area. It will prepare you for careers such as general management, international business, financial operations, general consulting and government by exposing you to core elements of business, including Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, Business modeling, Data analytics, and Research modeling.

Azusa Pacific University

Location Azusa, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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Azusa Pacific University is a private institution that was founded in 1899. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,883. It is an evangelical Christian community of disciples and scholars who seek to advance the work of God in the world through academic excellence in liberal arts and professional programs of higher education that encourage students to develop a Christian perspective of truth and life.

A Bachelor of Arts in Management degree is offered through APU’s University College. It equips learners with the theoretical framework, practical skills, and ethical values essential for success as a Christian business professional. Multiple emphasis area are available, and the program prepares all students in the areas of strategic leadership, management, production, marketing, finance, technology, human relations, and business law. Emphasis areas include Accounting, Business Psychology, Cultural Psychology, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Health Care Management, Human Resource Management, Human Services, Information Systems Management, Organizational Leadership, and Public Administration.

California Baptist University

Location Riverside, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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California Baptist University (CBU) is a private institution that was founded in 1950. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,630, and it is one of the top private Christian colleges and universities in Southern California. CBU offers bachelor’s master’s and credential programs in Riverside, Online, and through educational centers in Brea, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula. CBU offers a wide range of degree choices, with 75 bachelor programs, including 159 concentrations and 50 minors; 30 master degree programs, with 46 concentrations; and two doctoral programs.

The online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree program is designed to take students through a journey that embraces personal, professional, and spiritual transformation. Students graduating from the program will be equipped to address issues in a global context with the ethical standards of the Christian heritage. In addition, students will leave the program with the capacity to self-reflect, think critically, lead and engage others, and make effective decisions. Consistent with the University student outcomes, upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree, graduates will be able to effectively present information orally and in writing and demonstrate proficiency in the use of information technology; exercise the use of business concepts related to micro and macroeconomics; apply business concepts related to financial accounting; apply communication theory and strategy to business leadership and management; apply business concepts related to business finance; integrate business concepts related to international business; apply business concepts related to human resource management; integrate business concepts related to law; exercise business concepts related to quantitative analysis and statistics; analyze business concepts related to business and organizational management along with associated integration of Biblical Principles; explain and apply business concepts related to policy and strategy; and integrate business concepts related to marketing.

Brandman University Location

Irvine, CA Tuition

$$$$$ View School Profile

Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System, is a private, non-profit institution serving 12,000 working adult and military students. Founded in 1958 on a military base in Southern California, Brandman has evolved into a non-profit leader offering more than 50 degree programs at 26 campus locations throughout California and Washington, and nationally through its top-ranked online campus. U.S. News & World Report named Brandman No. 8 in the nation on its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list for 2013, and Brandman graduate programs in business and education were named among the top online programs for 2013. Brandman again made the list in 2014 and for the second straight year has been named to the list of Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Academic quality is the hallmark of a Brandman education, which combines the rich legacy of Chapman University values, a diverse faculty who are experts in their fields, and industry-leading student support services.

Brandman’s program is led by accomplished faculty with strong academic credentials and real-world industry experience. Its courses are available fully online and in a blended format at many of our campuses, giving students the flexibility needed to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace while achieving their educational goals. Students will learn to communicate effectively in professional settings, understand cultural differences, evaluate ethical issues and apply critical business competencies both in the classroom and in the office. Students will develop business fundamentals while focusing on their customized area of specialization. Emphasis areas include: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Business, Human Resources, Information Systems Management, Marketing, Organizational Communication, Organizational Leadership, and Supply Chain Systems.

University of La Verne Location

La Verne, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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The University of La Verne offers a distinctive and relevant educational experience to a diverse population of traditional-age, adult, and graduate learners preparing them for successful careers and a commitment to life-long learning across the liberal arts and professional programs. The University affirms a value system that actively supports peace with justice, respect of individuals and humanity and the health of the planet and its people. Students are reflective about personal, professional, and societal values that support professional and social responsibility. The University also supports a diverse and inclusive environment where students recognize and benefit from the life experiences and viewpoints of other students, faculty and staff. It also promotes intellectual curiosity and the importance of lifelong learning. It teaches students how to learn, to think critically, to be capable of original research, and to access and integrate information to prepare them for continued personal and professional growth.

La Verne’s program is designed to enhance the knowledge and effectiveness of students by linking theory with work experience and industry practices for a successful career in business. The themes of critical thinking skills, ethics, interpersonal skills, the impact of cultural differences on business practices, learning to work in group settings and lifelong learning skills are woven throughout the program. Emphasis areas include Business Statistics, Applied Quantitative Analysis, Economic Theories and Issues, Financial & Managerial Accounting, Business Finance, The Legal Environment of Business, Principles of Marketing, Management Information Systems, Business Seminar, Principles of Management, and Leadership in Organizations.

Hope International University Location

Fullerton, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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Hope International University is a regionally accredited private Christian university enrolling approximately 1700 students representing more than 40 states and 20 countries. The institution is comprised of five colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business & Management, College of Education, Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies, and College of Psychology & Counseling. Hope was founded in 1928 as Pacific Bible Seminary. The University provides students with a leadership and ethics focused education in service-based professions through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, education, ministry, music, psychology and counseling, human development and other social sciences. In addition, certificate and degree completion programs for working adults are offered. A significant number choose programs delivered via the Internet, as the University has developed a strong track record of delivering online education.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is offered entirely online. The program is designed for working professionals seeking management and leadership skills for applications in for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and government settings. The coursework promotes personal and spiritual growth by emphasizing Christian values, ethical principles, and effective interpersonal communications in diverse settings. Some examples of careers students pursue upon completing their education include Entrepreneur, Finance Manager, and Marketing Manager.

Concordia University-Irvine Location

Irvine, CA Tuition

$$$$$ Graduation Rate


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Concordia University-Irvine is a private institution that was founded in 1972. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,939. It is a Lutheran university that is guided by the Great Commission and the Lutheran Confessions, and empowers students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service, and leadership. This mission is pursued through focus on seven educational targets: Systematic Inquiry, Clear Communication, Health and Well-Being, Sociocultural Responsiveness, Aesthetic Responsiveness, Christian Literacy and Life, and Servant Leadership. In accomplishing this mission, Concordia seeks to produce graduates who are wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens.

Concordia’s online Business Administration and Leadership (BAL) program positions graduates for success in today’s competitive business world. More than ever, businesses need adaptable leaders and visionaries who deliver results in dynamic and challenging environments. Its program is designed to last nineteen months and prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle the toughest business demands. The program is offered entirely online, and there is no on-campus requirement for the degree.

Golden Gate University-San Francisco Location

San Francisco, CA Tuition

$$$$$ View School Profile

Golden Gate University (GGU) is a small, private school in the financial district of San Francisco that’s designed for students who are also working adults. GGU offers more than 80 degrees to undergraduate students, and master’s programs in the Edward S. Ageno School of Business and in the fields of information technology, taxation, and law. To accommodate students who work, GGU has weekend and evening classes in San Francisco and at the school’s regional campuses in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. Students can earn a degree without going to any of those campuses by enrolling in GGU’s Cyber Campus online learning program.

GGU’s B.A. in management provides a solid foundation in essential management concepts, techniques, communication, and organizational behavior through its Cyber Campus. Students will learn to organize, motivate, and lead individuals in diverse public and private business enterprises. The bachelor of arts provides preparation for success at the master’s level in programs, such as the master of science degrees in human resource management, integrated marketing communications, the master of arts in psychology, and the master of public administration. With an emphasis on developing skills for leaders in the business environment, the bachelors in management provides a solid foundation in essential management concepts and techniques, communication, and organizational behavior.

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13 Best Accounting Schools in California

Basically, California is home to the most prestigious universities in the US. At this point, I will let you know 13 schools in California that is best for an accounting degree. Majorly, our ranking factors are tuition fees, acceptance rate, graduation rate, faculty to students ratio, and employment outlook for graduands of this university.

Here are the best accounting schools in California:

  • University of Southern California
  • Santa Clara University
  • University of San Diego
  • Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of California -Santa Barbara
  • Pepperdine University
  • Chapman University Orange
  • Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego
  • National University LA Jolla CA
  • Biola University
  • Azusa Pacific University School of Accounting Azusa
  • California Lutheran University Thousands Oaks

#1: University of Southern California

Net Price; $32,892
Faculty to Students Ratio: 9:1
Acceptance Rate: 17%
Graduation Rate: 92%

Well, the University of Southern California always ranks number one in this or that. Currently, it is ranking number one for Best colleges for design in America, the best colleges for Film and Photography in America and colleges with the best student life in America.

It is one of the best schools for undergraduate accounting programs and calls its accounting school the Leventhal School of Accounting. Actually, amongst its series of rankings, USC ranks 28 in Bloomberg’s rankings and 6 in Linkedin rankings for business schools.

Also, USC offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in accounting and truly, above 83% of the students agree that the professors are doing a great job.

However, they don’t have evening programs for this course. Interestingly, 64% of students at USC receive financial aid.

Well, graduates from this faculty get employment at most 2 years after graduation and their median earning is about $74,000 a year after six years.

So, following the quality of education USC offers, alumni earn about $53,000 upon graduation. Little wonder it ranks number one in our rankings for best schools.

Furthermore, the application deadline for this university is on 15 January.WEBSITE

#2: Santa Clara University

Net Price; $38,900
Faculty to Students Ratio: 11;1
Acceptance Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 90%

This university currently ranks number 6 best catholic Colleges in America and number 13 in the best colleges in public health in America. It is a private, catholic university and requires a high GPA to get an admission.

Actually, the university holds accreditation in business and accounting accreditation from AACSB. It calls its school of accounting Leavey School of Business and it offers accounting programs like Bachelor’s in accounting and a certificate program on Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency.

Located in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Universities accounting programs ranks number 19 in the world on US news.

Interestingly, 71% of students receive financial aid and alumni proceed to start earning a salary of about $61,100.WEBSITE

#3: University of San Diego

Net Price;$38,592
Faculty to Students Ratio: 14:1
Acceptance Rate: 50%
Graduation Rate: 82%

Basically, the University of San Diego offers one of the best accounting degree programs in California.

Similarly, USD is a catholic university like SCU. Currently, it ranks number 8 in best colleges food in America and 11 out of 1,417 in best college campuses in America.

Interestingly, 85% of their students get student financial aid and its alumni graduates to start earning a median salary of $50,100.

The University of San Diego calls its accounting school of business and offers programs that award a bachelor in accounting upon graduation from the undergraduate accounting education program.

Furthermore, this university offers accounting programs in specializations like:

  • Accountancy suppl and Management
  • Accountancy and Finance/Real Estate
  • Information and Systems Technology(Accountancy)


#4. Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles

Net Price; $42,459
Faculty to Students Ratio: 10:1
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 70%

Well, Loyola Marymount University ranks best colleges for film and photography in America and number 23 out of 247 best colleges for performing arts in America.

Also, it a private catholic university and it has its accreditation from AACSB. Currently, it is one of the best universities in the Western United States according to US News.

In addition, this university offers an accounting education program that awards a bachelor of science degree in accounting.

Its curriculum covers reporting standards, auditing principles, accounting information systems and important provisions in the tax code.

Interestingly, 90% of students here receive student financial aid and students graduate colleges to start earning $61, 300 annually as most of them get employment 2 years after graduation.WEBSITE

#5: University of San Francisco

Net Price; $35,270
Faculty to Students Ratio: 13:1
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 77%

Among other rankings, USF ranks 6 for best college locations in America, most diverse colleges in America and 13 in best catholic colleges in America.

Interestingly, 83% of students receive financial aid and 92% of its students agree that professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes

Also, 91% of their graduates get employment after 2 years of graduation and proceed to earn about $62,300.

The application fee for this university is $70 and requires a high school GPA. Well, evening programs are available. So, this university offers a bachelor of science degree in accounting and certificate programs in accounting.Website

#6: University of California -Santa Barbara

Net Price; $16,154
Faculty to Students Ratio: 18:1
Acceptance Rate: 33%
Graduation Rate: 81%

UC Santa Barbara is a public university in Isla Vista and has been existing since 1909. Actually, USC Babara alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $39,00.

Interestingly, 64% of its students receive financial aid and with a graduation rate of 81%, about 91% of their graduates get placement after 2 years of graduation.

More importantly, this university offers a bachelor and certificate program that awards a bachelor of science degree upon completion of coursework.WEBSITE

#7: Pepperdine University

This a private Christian university n California. They are known for their distinction and excellence in business and finance degrees.

Actually, the university offers a bachelor of science program in accounting and alumni of this school proceed to the job world to earn approximately $47,800 upon graduation.

The application attracts a $65 fee and the deadline is on 5 January. Interestingly, 86% of students receive financial aid in this university.WEBSITE

#8: Chapman University Orange

Net Price; $40,053
Faculty to Students Ratio: 14:1
Acceptance Rate:57%
Graduation Rate: 79%

Chapman is a Christian university in Orange. It is a mid-size institution and has an excellent reputation in accounting and business.

You can apply with an application fee of $70 but you must have a good high school GPA. Actually, the university boasts that 91% of its students get employment upon 2 years of graduation.

Also, evening programs are available too. Interestingly, 88% of students receive financial aid. Well, Graduates from Argyros School of Business and Economics will have the skills to find professional opportunities in public accounting in industry, government, and not-for-profit organizations.WEBSITE

#9: Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego

Net Price; $31,349
Faculty to Students Ratio; 14:1
Acceptance Rate:76%
Graduation Rate:74%

Application to this university attracts a fee of $55 and requires a good high school GPA. Basically, this Christian private university ranks 24 out of 358 best Christian colleges in America.

Also, this university grants about 92% of its student financial aid. Interestingly, graduating 74% of students from this university earn a starting salary of $40,800.

Importantly, accounting programs available are the bachelor of science programs in accounting and business administration.WEBSITE

#10: National University LA Jolla CA

Net Price; $23,232
Faculty to Students Ratio: 19:1
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 42%

Well, National University is an above-average private university in San Diego California. Alumni students go on to earn a starting salary of $48,000. Also, the application attracts a fee of $60. However, its accounting school is one of the best accounting schools in California

Additionally, we are proud to be San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university founded in 1971 by retired U.S Navy Capt. David Chigos. This university offers a bachelor’s and a master’s degree program in accounting.

Furthermore, online degrees and evening programs are also available at National University.WEBSITE

#11: Biola University

Net Price; $33,206
Faculty to Students Ratio: 14:1
Acceptance Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate; 73%

Similarly, Biola University is a nationally ranked Christian University in beautiful Southern California. This university is consistently among the nation’s foremost Christian universities by U.S news and world report. Also, it has one of the best accounting chools in California.

Actually, Biola’s nine schools offer more than 150 academic programs at the bachelor’s levels. Application into this university attracts a fee of $55 and a high school GPA.

Interestingly, 99% of students receive financial aid and 92% of their graduates get employment after 2 years and earn a total median earning of $44,500 after 6 years of graduation.

Furthermore, this university offer accounting programs that award a bachelor of science degree in accounting and a master of professional accountancy.WEBSITE

#12: Azusa Pacific University School of Accounting Azusa

Net Price; $28,784
Faculty to Students Ratio: 10:1
Acceptance Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 67%

Azusa Pacific is an above-average private non-denominational university in Azusa California. It has one of the best accounting schools in California. Well, the university posits that 67% of graduating students go to earn a starting salary of $42, 000 upon graduation. Application to the university attracts a fee of $45 and requires a high school GPA. and application deadline usually is on the 1st of June annually.

Interestingly, 100% of the student receives financial aid. However, the university offers accounting education programs that award a bachelor’s degree, masters and professional certificates.WEBSITE

#13: California Lutheran University Thousands Oaks

Net Price; $28,241
Faculty to Students Ratio: 16:1
Acceptance Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 71%

Actually, this university works with small classes of undergraduates who have an open mind and seek to grow as individuals while they pursue their passions and discover their purpose.

In fact, the university posits that with a Cal Lutheran degree, a killer resume and the right contacts you will compete on a global scale. Nevertheless, 97% of their graduating students find a job or enroll for graduate schools within nine months of graduation.

Application to this university attracts a fee of $25 dollars and requires a high school GPA. Also, 97% of their students receive financial aid and they offer evening programs.

However, Cal Lutheran offers accounting programs for undergraduate majors, bachelor of science degree in accounting and graduate programs in professional accountancy.

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