Prospective MST Students

                                                        Best Online-Accounting-Degree

Having “MST” after your name is a high distinction in the tax world. It indicates that you are well versed in the area of taxation, skilled at tax research and able to deal intelligently with the complexity of today’s tax rules. MST is a 30 unit program which allows you to enroll full-time and complete the degree in 12 months or part-time and be finished in 24­‑36 months. And talk about flexible, our classes are scheduled to work around the busy tax season. Please see below for all of the essential information and refer to our MST FAQ for more detailed info.

Check out our videos about our MST program, the 150 hour requirement to become a CPA, and what it takes to have a successful career in taxation hereWe also have student interviews of some of our MST alums posted here to help you learn more about our program and what successful tax professionals do. There is also information available from the AICPA on CPA career paths.

Upcoming Events 

Sample Class Schedule

Certificate in Tax Practice (9 unit program)

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MST program is offered each fall and spring semester. Admission requirements include:

  • Four-year bachelors degree (any major) from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution outside the United States.

For transcripts or degrees earned outside of the United States and Canada: Graduate Admissions (GAPE) requires that you submit a WES (Basic or ICAP) evaluation. Directions are available on the WES (World Education Services) website,

  • A preferred GPA of 3.0 
  • GMAT/GRE waived: The GMAT/GRE requirement is waived for the MST program for the Fall 2020 admission cycle. The program director may require an interview with applicants who take advantage of this waiver opportunity.
  • GMAT or GRE (Spring 2021): Scores at the 50th percentile in both the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam are considered competitive. Or, conditional on the approval of the MST Director, the GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived if the applicant has any of following. 

Earned a Master’s degree or Ph.D. from an accredited institution in the United States

Passed all parts of the CPA exam (in the United States)

Passed the Enrolled Agent exam administered by the IRS.

Scored 145 or higher in the LSAT exam

Graduated with honors from the Lucas College of Business Gary J. Sbona Honors Program within the last five years.

A GPA of at least 3.2 from an accredited U.S. university AND completed at least three years of full-time work experience in taxation. An interview with the MST Director and/or a letter from the supervisor attesting to type of work responsibilities may be required.

A GPA of at least 3.75 from an accredited U.S. university. An interview with the MST Director may be required.

For consideration of the GMAT/GRE waiver, you MUST complete the CSU application and the waiver request which requires you to attach documentation. 

  • English Language Proficiency exam may be required if you have earned your degree outside the United States. You may select one of these exams:

TOEFL score of 80 or higher (IBT)

IELTS score of 6.5 or higher 

  • Personal Statement
  • Resume

See the MST FAQ for detailed information on admission requirements, English language proficiency and more.

Pre-requisite Requirements:

If you have earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from an institution in the United States, then you have completed all the prerequisite courses for the MST program. If you have earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from an institution outside of the United States, you will still need to complete a course in Tax (comparable to Taxation of Individuals and Flow-Through Entities) in an institution located in the United States.

If you have not earned an accounting undergraduate degree, you will need to complete the following undergraduate courses (or equivalent) prior to admission. Required accounting courses should be based on U.S. GAAP. We’ve included the course numbers in parenthesis in case you’d like to take them at SJSU:

•    Financial Accounting (BUS1 020)

•    Managerial Accounting (BUS1 021)

•    Intermediate Accounting I (BUS1 121A)

•    Intermediate Accounting II (BUS1 121B)

•    Tax Factors of Business and Investment Decisions  (BUS1 123A) – a comparable course must be completed at an institution located in the United States.

We recommend you take these courses prior to beginning our program:

•    Business Law (BUS3 080)

•    Computer Tools for Business (BUS4 091L)

•    Fundamentals of Finance (BUS1 170)

You can fulfill these requirements at a community college, as well. Our Acceptable Classes list shows comparable courses at local community colleges that will fulfill the above requirements.


The MS in Tax offers admission twice a year, in fall and in spring. Spring applications open August 1-November 1 with documents due by November 1 and fall applications open October 1-June 1 with documents due by June 20. International applicants can apply for spring from August 1-November 1 and for fall from October 1-June 1

For your convenience, please use the tailored step-by-step application and document submission instructions. These include the guidelines for your personal statement, letters of reference and exam scores Choose the link below that applies to you:

Domestic Applicants

International Applicants

Accounting Grads
Seeking more focus on tax or reaching 150 units to become a CPA, consider our 9 unit Certificate in Tax Practice.


Program Overview 

  • Program Type: Full-time or part-time
  • Completion Time: 12 months-36 months 
  • Courses to complete degree: 10 courses (30 units)
  • Course length: 8-10 weeks
  • Schedule: Evening, Saturday, and online
  • Open University: Yes, Fall and Spring 
  • International Students F-1 Visa: Yes
  • Admission: Fall and Spring 
  • Location: SJSU main campus
  • Estimated Costs: $645 per unit, the total cost for the 30 unit program is $19,350.

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