Certificate in Tax Practice

Program Overview
Admission Requirements
Program Cost
Registration/Application Information

Program Overview:

The Certificate in Tax Practice provides nine units of graduate level tax research and tax foundation skills and knowledge to students who already have either an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting. This certificate can also assist someone seeking nine units to help meet the required 150 units to become a CPA. It can help with career advancement and passing the CPA examination. The nine units can be applied to the MST program (if within the required time limits for degree completion).

Courses include:

BUS 223A Tax Research and Decision Making (3 units)

In addition to six units from:
BUS 223F Tax Accounting Methods/Periods (3 units)
BUS 223G Taxation of Business Entities (3 units)
BUS 225F State Taxation Fundamentals (3 units)
BUS 225H Taxation of Property Transactions (3 units)
BUS 225L Accounting for Income Taxes (3 units)
BUS 225W Introduction to International Taxation (3 units)
BUS 227A Individual Tax Compliance (1 unit)
BUS 227B Ethics for Tax Practitioners (1 unit)
BUS 227C Tax Symposium (1 unit)
BUS 227D Employment Taxation and the Modern Workforce (1 unit)
BUS 227E Foundation for Understanding Taxation (1 unit)
BUS 227F Personal and Business Leadership Skills for Tax Practitioners (2 units)

You will need to complete all courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 (B), with no course grade less than a C (2.0). A C- grade or below in any class is considered failing. Only three units of coursework with a grade of C can count toward the certificate.

You must complete all courses at SJSU to earn the Certificate in Tax Practice.

The class schedule can be found here.

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Please note: San Jose State University cannot issue an I-20 to secure an F-1 visa to enter or remain in the United States for this program.

Admissions Requirements:

Educated Within the United States

You must have completed a four-year bachelor's degree in accounting from an accredited college or university in the United States. If your undergraduate degree is in a different area, you can apply if you have completed the following undergraduate accounting courses in the U.S.: Intermediate Accounting I and II and introduction to income taxation.

Your GPA should be 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units of study, with an absolute minimum overall GPA of 2.5. There is no conditional admission to the certificate program.

Educated Outside the United States

If you earned an accounting degree from a higher education institution outside the United States, you must take an English-language proficiency exam. You must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a recognized institution if you earned your degree outside the United States. SJSU does not accept classes taught in English as a substitute for an English-language proficiency exam such as TOEFL, IELTS or the Pearson’s Test of English.

The Certificate in Tax Practice requires a minimum score of:

TOEFL (internet-based ): 80, or

IELTS: 6.5, or

SJSU will consider waiving this requirement if you:

  • Received a bachelor's or master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution
  • Received a bachelor's or master’s degree from an accredited institution for which English is the official and primary language of that country
  • Completed three years of full time coursework in an accredited U.S. institution

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Program Cost:

The estimated total program cost for 2020:

  • $5,805 for California residents 
  • $5,805 for non-residents 

The above do not include books, supplies, etc. Tuition fees are subject to change.

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Registration/Application Information:

Pre-Enrollment Instructions:

  1. Submit the pre-screening form, as early as possible.
  2. We will evaluate your form and notify you of the results.

If you are notified that you are eligible, please continue following the Registration Instructions (below).

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Registration Instructions:

Educated within the United States

Complete and submit the Open University Registration Form (PDF) each term for each class. If you take two classes during the term, you do not need to register for both at the same time. (Please note, you may not take classes through Open University if you have previously been denied admission to any SJSU graduate program.)

As soon as you are registered, the tuition fee will be due in 21 days. 

Please scan or take a picture of the form and email it to catherine.dougherty@sjsu.edu at least one week prior to the beginning of the class you wish to take. 

  1. The Lucas Graduate School of Business will screen your form and forward it to the Registrar's Office.
  2. You will be notified by email when you are officially registered in the course. We will give you your SJSU ID number, as well as the due date for the tuition fee.
  3. Pay the tuition fee, which runs $645 per unit or $1,935 per three-unit class. See the Registration Form for payment methods.

If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinator.

Educated Outside the United States

If you were educated outside the United States, you must apply for the Certificate in Tax Practice through Cal State Apply. Your application to begin classes in the fall semester must be submitted by June 1, and your application to begin classes in the spring semester must be submitted by November 1. After your application is approved, you will receive instructions for registration.

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Contact Information:

Catherine Dougherty
Program Coordinator
Phone: (408) 924-3424
Fax: (408) 924-3426
Email: catherine.dougherty@sjsu.edu

Annette Nellen
Program Director
Email: annette.nellen@sjsu.edu