Available entirely online!


Certificate Program in Accounting

Learn the fundamentals of accounting with a certificate program offered through UMass Lowell's AACSB-accredited Manning School of Business.

Get Information:

Please see our Privacy Policy.
Please see our Privacy Policy.
Online Certificate in Accounting Software
Alarm Clock Next Start Date: September 4

Online Certificate in Accounting

Build in-demand skills and position yourself to succeed in this respected and rewarding business profession with UMass Lowell's online Certificate in Accounting. Designed for individuals who have earned a bachelor's in another discipline, this 6-course certificate reflects the required undergraduate-level courses that are needed to apply to most graduate-level accounting degree programs. The courses from this certificate program fulfill the prerequisite course requirements for the Master of Science in Accounting. Upon completing our online accounting certificate, you will have completed the necessary accounting courses to sit for the CPA exam in Massachusetts.*

*Other business courses may be required.

Just 6 Courses

Just 6 Courses

hand and coin

One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

Career Outlook

Jobs (2022)
% Change (2022-2023)
Median Earnings
Annual Openings
Source: Lightcast (2023) Target Occupations in New England


  • Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Internal Auditors
  • Budget Analysts
  • Credit Analysts
  • Revenue Agents
  • Tax Collectors
  • Tax Preparers
"Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records."
— U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021

Key Takeaways

Deepen your professional knowledge of a range of topics, including:

  • Principles related to the preparation of financial statements
  • Managerial control of the elements of product costs
  • Rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Professional auditing standards, ethics and legal responsibilities

AACSB Badge This program is offered through UMass Lowell's Manning School of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) — an elite distinction earned by less than five percent of business schools worldwide.

Learn more about AACSB accreditation »

One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

Curriculum Outline

- 6 Courses / 18 Credits

Note: Accounting/Financial (ACCT.2010) and Accounting/Managerial (ACCT.2020) are prerequisite courses and should have already been taken as part of your undergraduate degree program. If you have not already taken these two courses, you are required to take them before you can take any of the following ACCT.3000/4000 level Accounting courses.

Required Courses (6 / 18cr)

Course Descriptions

ACCT.3010 Intermediate Accounting I (3cr)

Examines the generally accepted accounting principles relating to the preparation of financial statements. The student will study, in depth, the valuation and disclosure problems associated with the assets of the enterprise. The accounting framework and pronouncements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board are emphasized.


ACCT.2020 pre-req

ACCT.3020 Intermediate Accounting II (3cr)

Presents the in-depth study of the valuation and disclosure issues associated with corporate liabilities and stockholders' equity. Emphasis is placed on the statements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.


ACCT.3 ( 'C' or above) pre-req

ACCT.3030 Accounting Information Systems (3cr)

Presents accounting as a system designed to meet the needs of external and internal users. Accounting information system concepts are emphasized. Topics include accounting transaction cycles, internal controls, and systems development processes.

ACCT.3210 Cost Accounting (3cr)

An examination of the manufacturing function from the view of the cost accountant. Managerial control of the elements of product costs will be studied with an emphasis on cost accumulation systems both historical and estimated. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Quantitative Literacy (QL).


ACCT.30 with 'C' or above pre-

ACCT.4210 Auditing (3cr)

An examination of the purposes of financial statement audits. The following topics will be examined in depth: auditing standards, professional ethics, legal responsibilities, internal control, audit evidence, financial statement disclosures and audit reports.


ACCT.3030 with ('C' or above)

ACCT.4310 Federal Income Taxes (3cr)

Deals with the basic rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Code as it affects the individual and the corporation. An understanding of the code is developed through lectures, assigned readings, research, and the solution to a wide variety of problems. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Information Literacy (IL).


ACCT.2020 pre-req

Undergraduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in UMass Lowell certificate programs must complete all courses and maintain a grade point average of 2.000 or better to earn the certificate. All certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period.

Certificate Completion

Students who successfully complete the certificate program should submit a Certificate Petition Form to have their certificate mailed to them.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.

Fall 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*


Online and On Campus $385 $1,155
*Tuition is priced on the listed credit hour unless the contact hour is different. Tuition is then based upon the listed contact hour.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Returned Check Fee $30

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Tuition Calculator

Online Tuition Calculator

Estimate the cost of this program with our online tuition calculator

hand and coin

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The job prospects for individuals with a certificate in accounting are promising as the demand for skilled accountants continues to rise in every industry. With a certificate in accounting, you'll qualify for a wide range of entry-level occupations in accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, budget and credit analysis, financial management, payroll clerking, tax collecting and preparing and more. These positions offer competitive salaries and opportunities for career growth. An accounting certificate will equip you to evaluate and prepare financial records and statements, counsel others on accounting matters and record budget data.

    The accounting certificate at UMass Lowell will also position you well for graduate studies. The upper-level courses completed in the accounting certificate curriculum satisfy the prerequisite requirements for the Master of Science in Accounting. If you pursue graduate studies in accounting, you'll be prepared for in-demand upper-level accounting careers in the private and nonprofit sectors.

  • Before you can enroll in an online accounting certificate program, many schools, including UMass Lowell, require you to have already earned a bachelor's degree in a different field. When you apply, you'll need to submit transcripts from all other higher education institutions or you can request help from admissions to obtain your transcripts. There is no fee to apply to the accounting certificate program.

    After your acceptance into the program, you should complete the FAFSA to be eligible for Financial Aid. The six required courses in the curriculum can be completed online each week as your schedule allows. See our video on How Online Courses Work to learn how to navigate UMass Lowell's online learning platform, Blackboard.

  • You can complete UMass Lowell's online Accounting Certificate program in as little as nine months if you take advantage of the courses available in the Summer semester. However, you have 5 years to complete a certificate at UMass Lowell.

  • A certificate in accounting is worth it if your goal is to gain specialized knowledge and enhanced job prospects in this lucrative professional field. Accounting professionals are in high demand across various industries, and the need for these professionals continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031.” Accounting continues to be the backbone of every business. Every organization, from small startups to large corporations, requires accurate and reliable accounting practices to ensure financial stability and compliance with regulatory requirements.

    Whether you want to work in finance, auditing or taxation, a certificate can give you a competitive edge. It demonstrates your commitment to stay on top of industry trends. It can open doors to new job prospects and career advancement opportunities. If your goal is to change careers or take your current accounting career to the next level, a certificate in accounting is worth the investment.

  • One of the primary motivations for pursuing a certificate in accounting is the potential for higher earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national “median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $77,250 in May 2021.” However, individuals with accounting certificates often earn salaries above the median due to their specialized knowledge and skills. Your salary potential will vary depending on location, industry, work experience and the level of education you choose to obtain.

    For example, in 2023, Labor analytics firm Lightcast reported the median average salary for those with a certificate in accounting in New England as $52.6K per year. That said, students who complete UMass Lowell's online certificate in accounting can anticipate higher median earnings because they will already possess bachelor's degrees in a different discipline. Lightcast reports that accountants in New England who obtain a Masters in Accounting double the salary of certificate holders, with median earnings of $101.8K per year.


Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree from United States institution in something other than accounting or undergraduate degree from a non-United States institution in any field.
  • Prerequisites: Financial Accounting (ACCT.2010) and Managerial Accounting (ACCT.2020)

In addition to completing the Application for Admission, students interested in this program must contact their prior institution of higher education and have their official college transcripts forwarded directly from that institution to UMass Lowell at the address below.

Applying into an Undergraduate Certificate Program

Apply to an undergraduate certificate program using the Online Application Form or by printing and completing the Undergraduate Certificate Application Form in .pdf file format. Applicants will be required to have either their official high school transcript, HiSET®, GED® or their most recent college transcript if applicable, sent to Graduate, Online & Professional Studies at the address below. Applications, transcripts, and other correspondence should be sent to:

University of Massachusetts Lowell
Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies
Undergraduate Admissions
839 Merrimack Street, 2nd Floor
Lowell, MA 01854

Undergraduate certificate applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and there is no fee to apply. You will be notified upon acceptance.

Apply Now

Questions Regarding Your Undergraduate Application?

Email OCE_Admissions@uml.edu or call 978-934-2474.

For General Assistance:

Call the Advising Center at 978-934-2474 or 800-480-3190. Our academic advisors are here to help!

Already Applied?

Check the Status of Your Application

Take Your Career to New Levels with a Public, Nonprofit University and a Trusted Leader in Online Education

Apply Now Request Info