Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals

Program Overview
Admission Requirements
Program Costs
Registration Information
MSA Program Applicants 

Program Overview:

Over the course of one summer term, the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals covers the essential topics you need for a career in accounting and for fulfilling the accounting prerequisite courses required for our Master of Science in Accountancy.

This intensive five-course (15 semester unit) program provides a broad foundation of concepts and practices in financial reporting, managerial accounting, accounting information systems and corporate taxation.

Courses include:
BUS 220B – Financial Reporting & Analysis I
BUS 220E – Financial Reporting & Analysis II
BUS 220P –Taxation of Individuals and Flow-Through Entities
BUS 220F – Management Accounting & Control Systems
BUS 220C – Accounting Information Systems

The courses in the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals are accelerated and 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.

You will need to complete all five 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 five courses at SJSU to earn the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals.

The class schedule can be found here.

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Admissions Requirements:

Educated Within the United States

You must have completed a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States.

Your GPA should be 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) 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 a 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 Accounting Fundamentals requires a minimum score of:

TOEFL (internet-based ): 90, or

IELTS: 7.5, or

Pearson’s Test of English (PTE): 75

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.)

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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Before enrolling in the program, you must have completed the Financial Accounting (BUS 20 course at SJSU) with a grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better. You must have completed this class within five years of enrolling in the certificate program.

Alternatively, we accept equivalent courses offered by other regionally accredited higher education institutions. The same grade and time limit applies.

Please refer to our list of Equivalent Courses and find the equivalent of BUS 20, Financial Accounting, at a local community college. 

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Program Cost:

The estimated total program cost for 2019:

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

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

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Registration Information:

Non-MSA Program Applicants

If you are not applying for the MSA program, and you were educated in the United States, please complete the pre-screening process.

Our staff will review your application and let you know if you are approved. If you are approved, use this form to register for class.

If you were educated outside the United States and do not need a visa, you will need to apply for the program via calstate.edu/apply. The application deadline for Summer is April 1.

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MSA Program Applicants:

If you are applying to the MSA program, please refer to the step-by-step application process instructions for Domestic applicants or International applicants.

Once you have been conditionally admitted to the MSA program, you can enroll in the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals courses using the Open University registration form.

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Contact Information:

Dr. Elizabeth Grace
Director of Accounting Certificate Programs
Phone: (408) 924-3460
Email: msa-certificate-group@sjsu.edu

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