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Master of Science in Taxation

A comprehensive graduate degree program designed to train students for a career in the tax field. Ranked #1 by Top 10 MS Tax Programs According to Tax Hiring Authorities.


Golden Gate University's Master of Science in Taxation is one of the most prestigious tax programs in the country, having earned a reputation for providing the most comprehensive and practical education available. Many of the "Big Four" firms hire Golden Gate University graduates and regularly send their employees to the university to update their tax education.

The curriculum stresses real-world content that prepares students to be knowledgeable tax professionals. All classes are taught by tax practitioners and lawyers who are experts in their field. Courses cover general and specialized tax subjects, including: estate and gift tax; partnerships; C corporations; LLCs and S corporations; California and multi-state tax; international tax; retirement plans; tax issues for individuals; and tax research.

Students can choose to complete the degree in-person, as part of a full-time cohort, or take courses online at a pace that convenient for them.

The program provides thorough and current knowledge of tax concepts, trends and practices in an environment that promotes the development of analytic and communication skills.


Graduates of the Master of Science in Taxation program will:
  • Be able to identify tax issues, research and effectively communicate the results.
  • Have a defined body of knowledge of essential tax principles and doctrines, including but not limited to the following, and be able to critically apply these principles to practical situations:
    • Substance over form
    • Common law
    • Business purpose
    • Step transactions tax avoidance
    • Claim of right
    • Assignment of income
    • Realization
    • Constructive receipt
    • Related party transactions
    • Gross income
    • Tax benefit rule
  • Have the knowledge to select and structure a business entity that will provide a client with maximum after-tax profits
  • Have the basic knowledge and understanding of IRS practice and procedure and be able to represent a client in a tax audit
  • Have a basic knowledge of professional ethical responsibilities
  • Be able to provide an individual with an integrated current and future tax benefits plan
  • Have a general recognition of tax forms
  • Have the skills necessary to work in a high-level tax practice
  • Be able to engage in tax planning in an integrated manner


Cohort (full-time) students earning this degree will attend many frequent workshops focusing on career search techniques, including resume writing and interview coaching. Multiple career options are presented by tax and accounting firms and industry leaders. Networking events and interactive sessions with accounting and tax professionals at all levels -- from first year staff members to managing partners -- are convened exclusively for cohort students. Technical panels and hands-on training sessions allow cohort students to immediately leverage their classroom knowledge so they are able to use what they have learned in real-life practice situations during their internship or employment position.


Students in the full-time cohort program are encouraged to participate in an internship for experience and course credit. See School of Taxation Internship FAQs for more information.


All applicants should have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.00 grade-point average (GPA). Individuals with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 are welcome to apply and will be considered for admission based on employment history, professional accomplishments, recommendations, etc. Certificate and open enrollment students must meet the same standards and prerequisites that apply to degree candidates.



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 Admissions
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-442-7200



2015-2016 MST Day Program application deadlines:

Early Action: February 15, 2016
Priority: May 2, 2016
Final: June 15, 2016

All deadlines are non-binding. Note that all application materials must be received by Enrollment Services or the Office of International Admissions and Advising by the final deadline to be considered for the 2015-2016 MST Day Program.

Admission to the full time 9 month cohort program is selective and limited.

Each application is carefully reviewed by the School of Taxation 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 program 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 (please make sure the resume is current)
  • A personal interview with the committee may be required


Note: Admission to the Master of Science in Taxation Cohort Program is only for the fall term.


Taxation Courses: $3,195 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, Seattle, Los Angeles.