What Are the Core Courses of an Accounting Graduate Certificate?

An accounting graduate certificate program is typically designed for students who want to enhance their existing knowledge in the field or need additional coursework to meet Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam requirements. Read on to learn more about the core courses for these programs. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Program Overview

In addition to possessing a bachelor's degree, students applying for a graduate certificate program in accounting usually have to meet a minimum GPA requirement and may need previous coursework in business or accounting. Program length can vary from several months to over a year, and each program has its own number of courses.

It's common for these programs to prepare you for the CPA examination, since additional credits beyond a traditional bachelor's degree are usually needed to qualify. (In most states, students need 150 college credits in order to sit for the exam). In addition, graduate certificate credits may transfer into a master's degree program.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online Availability Courses are commonly available online
Similar Programs Post-MBA certificates, graduate certificates in forensic accounting
Continuing Education Available through master's degree programs in business or accounting
Possible Careers Certified Public Accountant, auditor, financial advisor
Median Salary (2018) $70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% (for accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Core Courses

The specific required courses depend on the school and program length. Some common core courses include:

  • Financial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Advanced financial reporting

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earning a graduate degree or becoming a CPA can improve the job prospects for accountants and auditors (www.bls.gov). From 2016-2026, the BLS expects employment growth of 10%, which is faster than the national average. As economic health improves, demand for accountants should increase.

The median wage for an accountant or auditor was $70,500 in May 2018, reported the BLS. Most worked in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services and earned an average wage of $83,710 annually in this industry. The highest-paid professionals averaged $109,250 working for the school and employee bus transportation.

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