Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals

Program Overview

The Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals is an intensive five course (15 semester unit) program providing a broad foundation of concepts and practices in financial reporting, managerial accounting, accounting information systems and corporate taxation. Over the course of one summer semester, the program covers essential topics needed both for a career in accounting and for fulfilling the accounting prerequisite course work required for the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at San Jose State University.

Courses include:

BUS 220B – Financial Reporting & Analysis I
BUS 220E – Financial and Reporting Analysis II
BUS 220G – Tax Factors of Business & Investment Decisions
BUS 220F – Management Accounting & Controls
BUS 220C – Accounting Information Systems

The five courses in the Certificate of Accounting Fundamentals are accelerated and will typically run one at a time in a two and a half week cycle. Most courses meet during the day on the main San Jose State University Campus. The five courses must be completed with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (B), with no course grade less than a C (2.0). Only three units of coursework with a grade of C (2.0) can count toward the certificate. In order to be awarded the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals all five courses must be completed at San Jose State University.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants who have earned a degree from a higher education institution outside the United States must take an English-language proficiency exam. SJSU does not accept English-medium of instruction as a substitute for an English-language proficiency exam such as TOEFL, IELTS, or the Pearson’s Test of English. The MSA Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals requires a minimum score of 90 on the internet-based TOEFL, 7.5 on the IELTS, or 75 on the PTE. Please note that these scores are higher than the minimum scores required by San Jose State University for graduate admissions consideration. (The University requires an absolute minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, 7.0 on the IELTS, or 68 on the PTE.) Requests to waive this requirement will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  • 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 3 years of full time coursework in an accredited U.S. institution

The Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals program requires the completion of one prerequisite course, Introductory Financial Accounting, before enrolling. The prerequisite course must have been completed with a grade of B (3.0) or better (on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited college or university within five years prior to enrolling in the program. The prerequisite course must be the equivalent of three semester hours.

The acceptable prerequisite course offered at San Jose State University is Financial Accounting, BUS 20. This course may be completed either online or on campus. We also accept courses offered by other regionally accredited higher education institutions. 

Please refer to http://www.sjsu.edu/lcobssc/concentrations/equiv_courses/ to find the equivalent of BUS 20, Financial Accounting, at local community colleges. 

Program Cost

The total program cost for 2015 is estimated to be:

  • $ 6,975 for California residents 
  • $ 6,975 for non-residents 

The above costs only represent registration costs and do not include books, supplies, etc. Fees are subject to change.

Registration Information

If you are not applying to the MSA program, you may apply to the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals program via CSUMentor. Application deadline is TBA.

If you are applying to the MSA program, please refer to Domestic applicants and International applicants for step-by-step instructions on the application process. Once you have been conditionally admitted to the MSA program, you will enroll in Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals courses through Open University. Instructions will be emailed to you upon your admission.

Contact Information:


Professor Thomas Black

Director of Accounting Certificate Programs
Phone: (408) 924-3420
Email: thomas.black@sjsu.edu