Master of Accountancy

A comprehensive graduate degree designed to prepare students for a career as a CPA or CMA certified accountant.


The master of accountancy (MAc) is intended to meet the needs of both career-changers and those already working in the profession who wish to further develop their expertise. For many students, the MAc will satisfy the education requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examinations. In addition to studying several key accounting subdisciplines, they will have the opportunity to customize their degrees by choosing from an extensive list electives. Students also have the option to complete the MAc degree with a concentration in forensic accounting or taxation. Eligible students may earn up to six units of electives through an internship for approved real-world experience acquired during their degree programs.

The MAc can be obtained in person through our evening and full-time day programs in San Francisco and online. The evening and online venues allow students to earn their degrees at their own pace. Online learning offers extraordinary flexibility to those whose obligations or physical location prohibit regular attendance at the San Francisco campus.

Online learning offers extraordinary flexibility to those whose obligations or physical location prohibit regular attendance at the San Francisco campus.

The full-time cohort MAc program allows students to complete the degree in as few as 12 months. The cohort program utilizes a small-class-size learning experience with the same group of future accounting professionals. The cohort begins in late July and completes an intense load of six courses by early December.

Extensive career preparation and job placement activities run concurrently with the course work.

The Accounting Career Fair is held late in September, after which public accounting firms, government agencies and corporations meet and hire Golden Gate University students.

Internship opportunities may be available for eligible* students for up to six units of elective credit. Cohort students can complete the remaining three courses in May to August. Prospective students are strongly urged to contact the School of Accounting for an advising appointment at the earliest opportunity should they wish to participate in the full-time cohort MAc program.

*Eligibility for internship credit is determined by 1) minimum 6 graduate-level courses completed 2) minimum 3.0 GPA 3) no experience in the field (eligibility is confirmed by the Chair).


Graduates of the master of accountancy program will demonstrate:
  • The ability to identify accounting issues, research and effectively communicate the results in writing.
  • The ability to identify accounting issues, research and effectively communicate the results orally.
  • Knowledge and understanding of a diverse range of subjects relevant to a future career as an accountant. A non-exhaustive list of topics includes financial accounting principles and doctrines, auditing,internal controls, accounting information systems, managerial accounting, fraud examination, taxation, business law, economics, finance, international business, forensic accounting and data analysis techniques.
  • An understanding of the business, legal, professional and ethical context for a career as a professional accountant, and will be able to identify and appropriately act when ethical dilemmas are encountered in the activities of a professional accountant.

Requirements for the master of accountancy

The master of accountancy program requires 45 units of graduate coursework. Please refer to our website for the Required Academic Progress and Grade Requirements for Graduation for Graduate Students.


Document Submission

All application materials, enrollment service petition materials, or student documentation (including transcripts and letters of recommendation) should be sent to:

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate University
Office of Records and Registration
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-442­-7200

Office Location:

40 Jessie St., 2nd Floor
Customer Service Reception



Intermediate Algebra
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
FI 100
Financial Management

Proficiencies may be transferred in from a nationally accredited institution with a grade of C- or better.



If you are interested in applying for the MAc cohort program, contact the School of Accounting at 415-442­-7200 or by email at Our enrollment team will be able to answer your questions about the program.

Admission to the full time 12 month cohort program is selective and limited.

Each application is carefully reviewed by the School of Accounting Admission Committee which considers the following:
  • Academic achievement
  • A written statement of purpose that explains your interests, a sense of career direction, and how the MAc degree will benefit you
  • A letter of recommendation. Letters submitted for recommendation should:
    • Be on business or school letterhead with business or school address.
    • Be sent in a business or school envelope directly from the recommender.
    • Include the signature and contact information of the recommender.
    • An e-mail recommendation is acceptable IF, it is sent on a professional business template, electronically signed, and includes the full professional address and phone number of the recommender. The recommendation must be sent from a business or school e-mail address. Please send to:
  • A detailed resume reflecting education, any work experience, interests and awards
  • A personal interview with the committee may be required


Accounting Courses: $2,700 per 3-unit course

Tuition varies for other courses. See Tuition & Fees for details.


This program is offered at the following locations: San Francisco , Online .



The Masters of Accountancy cohort is a full time 12-month accelerated program. Beginning August of each year, the program is designed for students to complete 18 units in the first 5 months followed by an additional 18 units in the next 7 months or 2 terms (spring and summer trimesters). The program is also designed to support and encourage earlier entry into the profession with a goal of part-time or full-time job placement for the students as early as January. Many of the students entering this program are either career changers or recent graduates from undergraduate institutions.

Success rates of fall and summer starts since summer 2009:
  • 89% average retention rate after 4 terms
  • 60% average graduation rate after 4 terms
Factors contributing to the observed high rate of retention are attributable to the following:
  • accelerated nature of the program
  • high job placement rate
  • small class size
  • close student-teacher relationships
  • personalized academic and career advising
  • active engagement of tax and accounting professionals as instructors and guest speakers


The accelerated program design allows students to complete 6 courses before the start of the spring term, ensuring eligibility for internship credit. Most students complete their MAc degree within four terms, although some may benefit from taking fewer courses when employed, extending graduation beyond 4 terms. Once a student is employed, various business obligations may also impact timing of degree completion. International students may postpone their graduation date for another year to extend OPT or CPT.



Master of Accountancy students take evening and online classes, and primarily matriculate on a part-time basis. A majority of these students are working professionals -- both those already in the tax or accounting industry and those seeking career changes. These part-time students typically register for 1 to 2 courses per term, graduating in 2 to 5 years (or up to 15 academic terms). Additionally, international students (required to enroll in 3 courses a term) can complete their degree in as little as 4 terms.

Success rates since the 2009 academic year:
  • 82% average retention rate after 1 year
  • 70% average retention rate after 2 years