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About the Accounting Program


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Required Courses

Complete all nine courses to receive the certificate.

Elementary Accounting IBUSA-40036

Units: 4.00


Learn the basics in financial accounting theory and practice. Topics include: recording, analyzing and summarizing procedures used to prepare balance sheets and income statements such as payroll, spec...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Elementary Accounting IIBUSA-40037

Units: 4.00


Understand managerial accounting theory and practice to evaluate organizations and execute appropriate business decisions. Learn about budgeting, cost-volume-profit analysis and incremental decision a...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Intermediate Accounting Theory and Practice IBUSA-40094

Units: 4.00


Learn how to prepare the principal financial statements, including the recording, valuation, and presentation: of cash, temporary investments, receivables, inventories, plants and equipment, intangibl...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Intermediate Accounting Theory and Practice IIBUSA-40035

Units: 4.00


This course covers recording, valuation, and presentation of investments, leases, pensions, corporate income taxes, paid-in capital and retained earnings. Statement of cash flows, statement analysis a...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Cost AccountingBUSA-40049

Units: 4.00


Examine current trends in effective cost management and information gathering. Explore traditional costing theories and procedures (developing standards, computing variances, determining process cost...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Federal Individual Income TaxationBUSA-40047

Units: 4.00


Receive an introduction and overview of federal individual income tax law and procedures. Topics include taxable entities and tax calculations, filing status and exemptions, gross income inclusions an...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Taxation of the Business EntityBUSA-40529

Units: 4.00


Explore a comparative overview of the various business entities: the formation, capital structure and tax treatment of the sole proprietor, general and limited partnerships, LLPs, LLCs and S and C Cor...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Advanced Accounting Theory and PracticeBUSA-40034

Units: 4.00


Explore the topics of accounting for wholly-owned created subsidiaries, cost versus the equity method of accounting for subsidiary operations, accounting for partnership formation, operations and liqu...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer


Units: 4.00


Are you an entry-level auditor, accounting student or professional who needs to learn or review auditing objectives and techniques? This course will teach you about internal control processes and proc...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Recommended Courses for meeting CPA Exam or licensing requirements

Check your state's governing board for their guidelines and policies.

Uniform CPA Examination Review Course: Wiley CPAexcelBUSA-70007

Units: 0.00


UC San Diego Extension and Wiley have partnered to provide students in our Accounting Certificate program a special rate for their CPA Exam preparation course. Accounting Certificate Students are el...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Accounting EthicsBUSA-40909

Units: 4.00


This course covers the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Students will discuss the conceptual framework and the necessity of ethics in the application of accounting principles, tax preparation and a...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Financial Statement AnalysisBUSA-40130

Units: 4.00


Financial statement analysis has many applications, including the evaluation of department and senior management performance, accounting compliance, and the profitability of business activities. Accou...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Fraud and Forensic AccountingBUSA-40864

Units: 4.00


This course introduces the tools for identifying and discovering fraud in a business environment. Fraud heuristics, theory and criminal profiles are studied through case studies. Accounting investig...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Internal AuditingBUSA-40958

Units: 4.00


UCSD Extended Studies has received a prestigious status as Internal Audit Academic Awareness Program University by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). This makes us one of the few selected sch...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Taxation: Practice, Procedure and EthicsBUSA-40869

Units: 3.00


Death and taxes are two sure things in life. As a professional working as a CPA or accountant, tax procedure is something that you will encounter frequently in your field. Most taxpayers will rely on ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Summer

Real Estate Tax and AccountingBUSA-40822

Units: 2.50


Gain an overview of tax and accounting methodology requirements, and strategies in relation to the development and management of rental real estate and other real estate transactions. Topics covere...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Healthcare Finance and AccountingBUSA-40998

Units: 4.00


Learn the various strategies related to finance and accounting when applied to healthcare environments. Topics include: insurance reimbursement, accounting statements, cost allocation, compounding and...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Audit and Risk GovernanceBUSA-40993

Units: 2.00


This course provides an introduction to the principles and concepts of enterprise risk management (ERM). Framework from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) and guidelines from the Intern...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Business LawLAW-40001

Units: 3.00


Review the basic legal practice as it applies to business dealings. Topics include formation and interpretation of business organizations including corporations, exposure to commercial law, general an...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Organizational BehaviorBUSA-40922

Units: 3.00


Organizational Behavior will explore human behavior at the individual, interpersonal, and group levels including effects of organizational structure on behavior. The emphasis will be on managerial rol...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Pathway for eligibility to take the Uniform CPA Exam in California

  • Complete a Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university
  • Complete 36 quarter/24 semester units in Accounting Subjects by completing the Accounting Certificate
  • Complete 36 quarter/24 semester units in Business-Related Subjects

Requirements for CPA Licensure in California (See the 'CBA Tip Sheet' for more information)

  • Pass the Uniform CPA Exam
  • Meet the educational requirements (complete a minimum of 225 quarter/150 semester units)
  • Obtain the required accounting experience

Conditions for Admission

UC San Diego Extended Studies programs are designed to best serve college-prepared working professionals. Although programs are open to all adult learners, where program capacity is limited, applicants with this profile will receive preference for admission.

State Board Requirements

UC San Diego Extended Studies' courses in appropriate areas meet educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam and offer credit toward the continuing education requirement for relicensure. For further details, please contact the State Board of Accountancy: (916) 263-3680, or

Career Resources and Services

  • One-on-One Career Coaching Appointment - Graduates who are interested in a career coaching appointment can schedule an appointment to get advice on resume building, applications, negotiation, interviewing, leveraging LinkedIn etc. Graduates will meet virtually with a career advisor for up to one-hour. If you would like to schedule an appointment and you have completed the certificate within five years, contact
  • O*Net - Career resources offered by O*Net , an online portal for career exploration, job analysis and self-assessment tools.
  • The Career Channel  - Brought to you by UCTV and UC San Diego Extension, the Career Channel  provides information, tools and experts to help those in career transition identify emerging areas of opportunity and develop plans for reskilling.
  • Explore Career Tools to Make your Next Career Move - Get help with your career research to find the priority sectors and priority jobs. The San Diego Workforce Partnership looked at all occupations in San Diego County to determine which pay best, have the most openings and are growing quickly. There are 72 priority jobs in San Diego County, ranging from stucco masons to biomedical engineers. Find out more at SDWP - My Next Move.
  • Professional Associations - Professional associations offer a terrific opportunity for career education, professional development and networking. Link to list of associations. 

Next Steps Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

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After I enroll in a course, how can I retrieve a receipt or enrollment verification for my records?

Login to your My Extension account and select “Documents” as the top of the page.

Are courses transferrable?

UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies is not a degree granting institution, however many UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies courses can be transferred to other colleges or universities. The transferability of credit is determined solely by the receiving institution. You should discuss how your individual courses will transfer with the Office of the Registrar at the receiving institution prior to enrolling.

Can I register for the certificate program at any time?

Yes, you may enroll in the program at any time. However, it is recommended that you enroll as soon as possible. The program curriculum may be updated at any time; if certificate requirements change, you must adhere to the curriculum at the time of your enrollment into the certificate. Enrolling in the certificate also gives you access to quarterly, personalized enrollment reminders from the program manager.

Can I take a course without registering for the certificate?

Yes, you may take any course in this program without registering for the certificate, provided you have fulfilled any and all prerequisites for the course.

Can this certificate program be completed entirely online?

Yes, it is possible to complete the certificate online. Although most courses in the program are taught online, the online offerings may vary each quarter. Contact the program manager for additional information at

Do you provide job or internship placement?

No, we do not currently offer job placement assistance or internships. 

How are online classes formatted?

The online courses are asynchronous: they have a start and end date but all the lessons are uploaded on Canvas, our online learning management system, so you can learn at your own pace. However, please be aware that you may have weekly assignments, quizzes, or tests that are due on specific dates. Please click here to view a sample course tour to see if this format suits your learning style.

How do I apply to the certificate program?

STEP 1: If you have a My Extension student account, skip to Step 2. If you do not have a My Extension account, go to, click "Create an account" on the right side of the page, and follow the instructions to create an account. Once you have a My Extension account, continue to Step 2.

STEP 2:  Click on the "Apply Now" button on the certificate page. Complete the required fields on the application. Then click the "Save" button. Once you have saved the application, the "Submit" button will appear. Click on the "Submit" button to submit your application for review and consideration. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed. You can track the progress of your application at My Extension. 

How do I communicate with a course instructor if I have a question during the course?

Each instructor has his/her own preferred method of communication and response policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus. However, most instructors utilize email or the discussion board and will respond within 24-48 hours.

How do I get my certificate once I have completed the requirements?

When you have paid your certificate fee and successfully completed all program requirements, you will need to request an audit by Student Services. To request an audit:

  • In your My Extension account, click on “My Courses.”
  • On the right side of the page under “My Certificates,” click on the name of the certificate.
  • On the right side of the page under “Tools,” click on “Request Certificate Audit.”
  • Complete and submit the form that appears.
Once you have formally submitted your audit request, your certificate will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within ten business days.

How long do I have to complete the certificate program?

You officially have five years from when you begin taking courses in the program to complete all requirements for the certificate.

How long is each course?

Two unit courses run for approximately 6-7 weeks; three unit courses run for approximately 9-10 weeks; four unit
courses run for approximately 10-11 weeks. For exact course dates of upcoming sections, visit the webpage of the
course you are interested in taking on our website.

How many courses are in the program?

There are nine required certificate courses which are 4.0 quarter units each. Students successfully completing all courses will earn 36.0 quarter units (which equates to approximately 24 semester units.) The units from these nine certificate courses are accepted by the CA Board of Accountancy for the purposes of meeting the educational requirements to qualify for the CA CPA Exam.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?

Each student has their own learning style so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in-class. For online courses, students should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week viewing lectures and completing coursework.

How will I receive my final course grade?

Once the course is completed, the instructor has 10 business days to submit your grades. Once grades have been
posted, you can view and print them from your MyExtension account.

If I already have the skills taught in one of the courses, can I skip that course?

If you have taken a course from an accredited university covering the learning objectives of a program course, you may be able to transfer your previous coursework to Extension. If you have not taken a course elsewhere, but already have the skills covered in a course, you may be able to substitute an alternate Extension course in its place. Please contact the program manager at or 858-534-8189 for more information.

If I work full-time, will I still be able to complete the program?

Yes. Our programs are designed to be working-student friendly and most of our students are working professionals. The courses vary between two and three units, which amount to approximately 18-20 hours of class time for a two unit course and 27-30 hours of class time for a three unit course. 

Is financial aid available?

  • UCSD Diego Division of Extended Studies offers continuing education loans through UC Approved Lenders. Each institution offers low competitive interest rates and flexible payment options. You are also encouraged to contact your personal financial institution about possible lending solutions. Direct links to UC Approved Lenders can be found on our website’s Financial Resources page.
  • The Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a comprehensive range of employment and training services in partnership with state and local agencies/organizations. More information is available on their website at
  • Career Centers Located throughout San Diego County offer their communities comprehensive employment and training services benefiting both business and job seekers. More information is available on their website at
  • Please click here for information about Veteran’s Benefits.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) funds are limited to degree programs only, and cannot be used for courses or certificate fees at UCSD Diego Division of Extended Studies.

Is the program accredited?

UC San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies - like all other UC San Diego schools, colleges, and departements - is accredited by WASC through the University. All courses and certificate programs offered by UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies have been developed and are administered in accordance with Extension policy and the regulations of the Academic Senate of the University of California. 

Is there an application fee for the certificate program?

Current application or certificate enrollment fees, if any, are listed under the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page on our website.

Is this certificate program open to non-California residents?

Yes, the program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students. If you have questions about how enrolling in courses may or may not affect your visa status, please contact our International Department at or (858) 534-6784.

Once I have enrolled in a course, when will I get online access to it?

If you have enrolled at least three days before the course begins, you will have access starting on the first day of class. You should receive an email from Student Services with instructions for how to login to the course. If you have enrolled on or after the start date of the course, you will have access to the course within one business day.

What are the grading options for courses?

You may take a course for one of three options: Letter Grade, Pass/No Pass, or Not for Credit. If you are taking a course towards a certificate you must complete your courses for credit (i.e. Pass/No Pass or Letter Grade) and receive a C-/Pass or higher grade. Grades below a C-, No Pass, and Not for Credit will not count towards certificate requirements.

What are the instructors’ credentials?

The program courses are taught by seasoned professionals and overseen by an advisory board of leaders in the field. You can view the advisor list under the “Advisors” section on this certificate page. You can find information about a course instructor, including a biography and credentials, on the course page.

What are the required textbooks for a course?

Instructors will post the current text requirements and recommendations on the course page on our website. Please note the textbooks requirements are subject to change every quarter and different instructors may require different books, even if they are teaching the same course in the same quarter, so be sure to check the textbook requirements for the section in which you are enrolling.

What if I am having trouble with Canvas or My Extension?

Please contact Student Services at (858) 534-3400 or if you experience any issues logging in to any of our systems.

What kind of credit do I earn?

The courses in this program are post-baccalaureate, professional-level, credit bearing courses. Credit earned in these courses may lead to the award of a formal certificate by UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies or may be applied toward an academic degree or professional credential, subject to the approval of the receiving institution.

If you wish to transfer credit, it is your responsibility to confer with the receiving institution before enrolling, as each
individual academic institution decides whether or not to accept Extension’s credits.

When does course enrollment open for each quarter?

Our classes post to our website and become open for enrollment approximately two months prior to the new quarter starting. If you’d like to get an email reminder you can sign up for our newsletter(s) in My Extension, under the “Preferences” tab.

When does enrollment for a course close?

Enrollment in a course may be closed for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The course is at capacity. If the course is at capacity you will only be able to join the waitlist. If space becomes available in the course, students on the waitlist are contacted in the order they joined the waitlist.
  • The course has progressed to a point where students will no longer be able to make-up missed work and be successful in the course.
  • The course is cancelled due to low enrollments.
For all three of these reasons we recommend students enroll early in the courses they are interested in.

When is each course offered?

Please visit the course page on our website to see when courses are typically offered. You can also see a full program schedule by clicking on the “View Schedule” button under the “Courses” section on this page.

When is the refund deadline for courses?

The refund deadline for courses in this program is typically one week after the start of the course. This allows you to enroll in a course and participate in the course for approximately one week to determine if the course is a good fit. Then, if needed, either you may either transfer your enrollment to a different course or submit a drop request by emailing Student Services at The exact refund deadline for each section is listed in the section notes on the course page in our website, and you can also find it in My Extension by clicking on “My Courses” and then the name of the course.

When should I enroll in a course?

We recommend enrolling as soon as possible, as occasionally classes will reach capacity.

Will I be able to order the required textbooks before the class begins?

Yes, you can order the book(s) any time after enrolling in the course. You may order books through the campus bookstore or online retailers, such as

Will I get any hands-on experience in the program?

Most courses combine theory with hands-on exercises. For more information about practical experience in any course, visit the course page on our website.

Will this program prepare me for a certification exam?

This program provides educational units to meet the eligibility requirements for the CA CPA Exam. It is not intended to serve as a "test preparation" type of program. 

In partnership with Wiley, students officially enrolled in our Accounting Certificate program may register for the Wiley CPAexcel ® Gold Review Course at a significant discount.  For more information visit: Wiley CPA Exam Course

Advisory Board

Cris Calsada, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Regulus Therapeutics

Suzan Dennis, CPA

Dennis & Dennis, San Diego

Josh Maxwell, CPA

Tax Attorney

Hone Maxell, LLP

John O'dea, CPA

CPA Consultant

Mark Pong

Director of Finance

Del Mar Union School District

Teresa Reed, CPA

Immediate Past President

California Society of CPAs, San Diego Chapter

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.