Accounting Online Graduate Certificate

Accounting Online Graduate Certificate

Fast-track your accounting career.


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The accounting world is evolving rapidly, and our certificate program will help you keep pace.

Take the additional accounting courses you need to sit for the CPA exam or jump into the field of accounting—and move ahead with your career.


In our program, you’ll take the coursework you need to sit for the CPA exam or to complete prerequisites for one of our accounting master’s programs. Working with the same renowned faculty who teach our on-campus accounting programs, you’ll gain advanced skills in auditing and taxation.  Additionally, graduate courses taken in the Certificate program can later be counted towards our master's program.

What You'll Learn

You’ll choose nine to 18 units of online graduate-level accounting coursework tailored to your specific educational needs. From auditing principles to accounting ethics to business law, you’ll dive deep into topics specific to your goals and career path, whether you plan to work in an industry like healthcare or climb the leadership ladder at a Big Four accounting firm.

Your Return on Investment

With a 100 percent online format and the ability to earn your certificate in as little as five months, our program puts you on the fast track to earning your CPA license or finishing prerequisites for master’s-level accounting programs. Equipped with advanced skills and certification, you’ll be prepared for a career as a CPA, auditor, controller or analyst.


The Online Graduate Certificate in Accounting has allowed me to return to school after 15 years and to get back to my CPA goals. As a working mother of three young children, the flexibility of an online program is a must.

Celeste Mariscal

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Accounting Certificate Courses

To obtain a graduate accounting certificate a minimum of three 3-unit online graduate level accounting courses (9 units total) must be completed. Additional prerequisites may be necessary.

Certificate Courses

Courses in the certificate are selected from:

This course begins with an overview of the theoretical basis of financial accounting and a review of the four principal financial statements. The course then examines valuation, measurement and reporting issues related to selected financial statement items, with an emphasis on assets and revenues. Students are expected to understand the accounting theory and concepts that underlie the accounting issues covered in class as well as to become technically proficient with respect to the accounting principles governing the reporting of financial statement items.

Units: 3
Offered: Summer I and Fall II

This course is an intermediate accounting course that examines the valuation, measurement and reporting issues related to selected financial statement items, with an emphasis on liabilities and stockholders' equity. It is assumed that students have a strong accounting background since this is a 2nd Intermediate class. There are two main goals of the class. The first is to become technically proficient in financial reporting. The second is to understand how, why and where any given transaction affects the firm's financial statements.

Units: 3
Offered: Summer II and Spring I

This course examines the theory and methodology involved in the preparation of consolidated financial statements, accounting for mergers and acquisitions, translation of foreign currency financial statements, accounting for multiple currencies, accounting for derivatives and hedging, accounting for partnerships, governmental accounting, debt restructuring, corporate organizations and liquidations.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Spring II
Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Accounting I and Intermediate Financial Accounting II

This course is designed to assist students in enhancing awareness of ethical dilemmas that arise in both personal situations and in the Accounting profession. It will expose students to the AICPA Professional Code of Conduct as it relates to ethical issues such as independence, integrity and objectivity, and to provide students with a structure for making ethical decisions.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Spring II
Prerequisites: Introductory Financial Accounting

This course covers the principles of federal taxation, with an emphasis on how individuals are taxed. The course integrates tax compliance, tax planning, financial accounting, economics and finance. Mastering the material in this course will allow students to apply the framework learned to personal and business decisions, assess potential compliance and planning ramifications of current and prospective tax rules, understand tax computations for individuals and business entities and devise strategies that minimize taxes and maximize after-tax wealth.

Units: 3
Offered: Summer II ONLY

This course provides a broad overview of the following areas of law, as related to business: ethics, the court system, alternative dispute resolution, the Constitution, torts, intellectual property, criminal law, contracts, negotiable instruments, creditors' rights, secured transactions, bankruptcy, agency, employment discrimination, labor law, corporations, securities, insider trading, and professional liability.  Note: This course is not an accounting topic and state boards of accountancy may count it as other business credits as opposed to accounting credits.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall II
Prerequisites: None

This course focuses on federal tax laws primarily related to regular C corporations. However, coverage will also include S corporations, Accounting for Income Taxes (ASC 740), Partnerships, Estates, Trusts and Gifts. We will follow the life cycle of a corporation and discuss the tax issues and business decisions at each stage (formation, operations, distributions to shareholders and liquidation). Throughout the corporate segment of this course, there will be an emphasis on understanding how taxes relate to business decisions and planning. In the Partnership, Gifts, Estates and Trusts segment of this course, we will look at these topics from an overview perspective to give you a general idea about the tax issues involved.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall I
Prerequisites: Introductory Financial Accounting and Principles of Federal Taxation

This course provides a theoretical analysis of the role of accounting and taxation in society. This class examines existing accounting and taxing institutions involved in policy making and standard setting; international issues are included. Upon the completion of this course students should be able to: 1) Critique the underlying concepts and theories that led to existing accounting rules and that guide policy setters in defining or refining those rules, 2) Foresee how changes in the regulatory and business environment will shape and reshape accounting standards and the accounting profession, and 3) Discuss and debate complex accounting issues.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Spring I
Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Accounting I and II

The opinion formulation process of the professional auditor, the auditor's reports, professional standards, internal and operational auditing.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall I
Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Accounting I

The purpose of this course is to build skills related to understanding accounting disclosures and using the information contained in financial statements. Course topics include profitability measurement, credit analysis, footnote analysis, forecasting and valuation. Cases and examples are used extensively to enhance understanding of key issues and concepts.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Summer I
Prerequisites: Financial Accounting (preferably Intermediate I, or relevant accounting work experience)

This course provides an introduction to accounting for governmental and not-for-profit entities, along with the unique accounting issues facing these entities. We will look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that provide a foundation for governmental accounting and financial reporting, the principles of fund accounting and the basic financial statements for not-for-profit entities. We will develop a hands-on understanding of applicable software via a computerized project. Graduate-level requirements include leading presentations, participation in online platform and contributing supplementary articles on current issues for class discussion.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall II
Prerequisites: Intermediate Financial Accounting I and II

This course covers financial and managerial accounting topics relevant to the healthcare industry. Concepts covered include the financial and operational implications of changes in healthcare reimbursement; understanding and analyzing external financial statements for taxable and tax-exempt healthcare entities; usefulness of capital and operating budgets; practical applications of managerial accounting; and decision making tools for managers within healthcare enterprises.

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Summer II
Prerequisites: Introductory Financial Accounting and Introductory Managerial Accounting


Spring I Spring II Summer I Summer II Fall I Fall II
Beginning of January - beginning of March Beginning of March- beginning of May Beginning of May - beginning of July   Beginning of July - end of August End of August - end of October  End of October - end of December 
Application deadline: December 5 Application deadline: February 15 Application deadline: April 15 Application deadline: June 15 Application deadline: August 1 Application deadline: October 1
ACCT 525 Accounting Theory and Institutions ACCT 501 Advanced Accounting ACCT 551 Financial Statement Analysis ACCT 575 Financial and Managerial Accounting in Healthcare ACCT 522 Advanced Federal Taxation *ACCT 521 Business Law for Accountants
ACCT 545 Introduction to Managerial Accounting - PREREQUISITE ACCT 515 Ethics for Professional Accountants ACCT 500A Intermediate Financial Accounting I - PREREQUISITE  ACCT 500B Intermediate Financial Accounting II - PREREQUISITE ACCT 531 Principles of Auditing ACCT 572A Accounting for Not-for-Profit Entities
ACCT 500B Intermediate Financial Accounting II - PREREQUISITE     ACCT 520 Principles of Federal Taxation - PREREQUISITE   ACCT 500A Intermediate Financial Accounting I - PREREQUISITE 
      ACCT 545 Introduction to Managerial Accounting - PREREQUISITE    

*ACCT 521 Note: This course is not an accounting topic and state boards of accountancy may count it as other business credits as opposed to accounting credits.

Certificate Prerequisites

Many of the offered courses have prerequisite course requirements. An Introduction to Financial Accounting course should be completed prior to starting your accounting certificate. For students who only plan to complete the Certificate and do not intend to pursue the online MSA, their prerequisite requirements are determined based on the specific courses that they wish to take in the program.

Introduction to Financial Accounting
Introduction to Managerial Accounting

(optional for Certificate students, but mandatory for students wishing to transition from the Certificate to the Online MSA – can be taken at a community college, or while completing your program during the Spring I or Summer II sessions)

Technology Requirements

Online Graduate Certificate students will be using a variety of online applications including discussion boards and chats. Speakers, a microphone and an external webcam with at least a five-foot USB cord are also required for your proctored exams. Please ensure that your equipment meets the following technical requirements:

Eller College Online Course Technology Requirements


Certificate Cost and Admissions


  • Four-year bachelor's degree
  • 2.75 GPA (4.0 scale)
  • Prerequisite courses (see above)

Certificate Cost

$3,000 + minimal fees for 3-unit course
Certificate is 9 to 18 units.

Program cost subject to change.


With six program starts per year, applications for the program are accepted anytime throughout the year on a rolling basis.  The application deadline is approximately one month prior to each start date.

If you have any questions about how to apply or if you are unsure whether the Graduate Accounting Certificate is right for you, please contact the Program Coordinator at