Which California Schools Offer Certified Public Accountant Programs?

Learn about Certified Public Accountant (CPA) programs in California. Learn about the programs available and the program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Several public universities in California offer certificate and master's degree programs in accounting and prepare you for CPA licensure exams. You may opt to attend on-campus or online courses such as financial accounting, income taxation, and internal auditing that may also be available in the evenings or during weekends.

What You Need to Know

If you want to study to become a certified public accountant (CPA) in California, there are 4-year public schools in the state that offer certificate and master's degree programs in the field. Each program is designed to give you the educational background needed to take the CPA licensure exam.

Certificate study options include evening, weekend and online courses. A certificate might take up to 5 years to complete, but you can earn it in a shorter time. The master's degree programs in the state are accelerated programs that can be completed in a year. Continue reading for additional information on California schools where you can study to become a certified public accountant.

Certified Public Accountant Certificate Programs in California

University of California - Los Angeles

This certificate program meets the CPA licensure education requirements, allowing students to sit for the exam after completion. Courses are offered online or on-campus in a classroom through the University of California Extension. Course options include federal income taxation, financial auditing, internal auditing, nonprofit accounting and partnership taxation.

  • Program Name: Accounting Certificate
  • Program Length: Five years (maximum); can usually be completed in less time
  • Tuition and Fees: $12,763 per year for residents; $37,471 per year for non-residents (for 2015-2016 school year)
  • Prerequisites: Two courses in principles of accounting
  • School Type: 4-year, public (41,845 total students; 29,633 undergraduates)

University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)

The program satisfies the accounting education core requirements for the CPA licensure exam. Courses include financial accounting principles, intermediate accounting, auditing, analysis of financial statements and corporate taxation. This program is offered through UCSB extension in the counties of Venture and Santa Barbara, and courses are generally scheduled in the evening or on Saturdays.

  • Program Name: Professional Accounting Certificate
  • Program Length: Five years, maximum (most students finish in about two or three years)
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,968 per year for residents; $38,676 per year for non-residents (for 2015-2016 school year)
  • Prerequisites: Course in financial accounting fundamentals
  • School Type: 4-year, public (23,051 total students; 20,238 undergraduates)

Certified Public Accountant Master's Programs in California

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

This master's degree program meets the academic requirements (including the 2014 changes) needed to sit for the CPA exam in California. The tax concentration includes a tax clinic internship. Course options include local taxation, advanced issues in financial reporting, auditing, international accounting and fraud auditing. This is an intensive program usually completed in one year.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Accounting
  • Field of Study Options: Tax; financial accounting
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition: $6,738 per year for residents; $15,666 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree or two years of experience working full-time in accounting (tax concentration only)
  • Admission Requirements: GMAT/GRE scores and resume
  • School Type: 4-year, public (20,186 total students; 940 graduate enrollment)

University of California - Davis

This degree program is made up of classroom instruction only. The program can prepare you to take the CPA exam under the new regulations coming into effect in 2014. In order to enroll in this program, you'll need a degree in economics, engineering, statistics or a related field that fills the prerequisites. This program includes 12 graduate-level courses, and it may be completed in a year of study.

  • Program Name: Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc)
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition: $11,220 per year for residents; $26,322 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree and completion of financial accounting, managerial accounting and business law courses
  • Admission Requirements: GMAT, interview, about five semester hours of accounting courses, about 40 semester hours of master's- or bachelor's-level business courses, resume, personal statement and two recommendation letters
  • School Type: 4-year, public (34,508 total students with 6,943 graduate enrollment)

In California, you could become a certified public accountant by taking a certificate or master's degree program in accounting from different public universities that meet academic requirements of CPA licensure exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Capella University

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