Graduate Certificate in Accounting

General Information

The graduate-level academic Certificate in Accounting is offered to those wishing to reach the eligibility requirement of 150 credits of coursework to practice as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California.

This may also appeal to individuals working in accounting who wish to update their knowledge and skills. Students in this program will be able to test the waters before committing to a longer program of study such as the Master of Science in Accountancy (M.S.A.) degree. This program is also appropriate for individuals with accounting degrees from other countries who wish to prepare for the CPA exam by taking courses specific to American accounting regulations.

Who Can Apply

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and a basic knowledge of financial accounting provided by courses like ACCT 100 or ACCT 780 taken at San Francisco State University are eligible to apply for the Certificate in Accounting.

Program Features

The certificate offers students flexibility in choosing from a variety of courses in different areas of accounting. The program is held at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, close to the Financial District, with plenty of opportunities for part-time and full-time work.

Program Learning Outcomes

Develop key skills to prepare students for the certified public accountancy examination and a professional career in accounting, including:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Auditing
  • Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Taxation
  • Cost Accounting
  • Accounting Information Systems

Certificate in Accounting — 9 units

Select one course from each category: 

Financial Accounting Focus (3 units)

ACCT 800Financial Accounting I3
ACCT 801Financial Accounting II3
ACCT 808International Accounting3
ACCT 814Seminar in Accounting Data Analytics3
ACCT 831Financial Statement Analysis3
ACCT 851Advanced Financial Reporting3

Tax and Managerial Accounting Focus (3 units)

ACCT 802Strategic Management Accounting3
ACCT 811Introduction to Federal Tax3
ACCT 812Advanced Federal Taxation3
ACCT 848Seminar in Cost Accounting3

Audit, Business Law, Accounting Information Systems, Ethics, and Not-for-profit (3 units)

ACCT 803Auditing Principles and Practice3
ACCT 804Legal and Professional Responsibilities in Accounting3
ACCT 807Seminar in Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 818Advanced Accounting Ethics3
ACCT 823Advanced Topics in Not-for-Profit Accounting3
ACCT 835Corporate Governance and the Design and Testing of Internal Controls3

How to Apply

Applicants will need to complete the online application for San Francisco State University's graduate programs (through Cal State Apply).  Select "Certificate of Accounting" as the program of choice from the pull-down menu. As part of the application process, applicants will need to submit a resume as well as unofficial transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. 

We’re Here to Answer Your Questions

Graduate Advisers

Professor Theresa Hammond

Professor Katie Hetherington

Professor Su-Jane Hsieh

Professor Jung Hoon Kim