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 CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examinations.

Students may pursue the Master of Accountancy degree in person through our evening and full-time day programs in San Francisco or online from anywhere at their own pace. And starting in Fall 2015, students will have the option to enroll in the accelerated online MAc program.

The full-time Master of Accountancy cohort program, available in-person in San Francisco and online starting in Fall 2015, allows students to complete the degree in as few as twelve months. Both of our accelerated options offer extensive support for students to secure employment after graduation. Like the full-time in-person program, the online accelerated option includes career counseling, mentoring, and professional development.

The cohorts begin in late July, and complete an intense load of six courses by mid December. Students can satisfy any key foundation program requirements during the summer months preceding the beginning of the cohort. Job placement activities run concurrently with the course work. The Accounting Career Fair is held in late September, after which public accounting firms, government agencies, and corporations compete for candidates. Online students will be invited to our San Francisco campus to take part in this weekend of professional development and networking with top firms.

Internship opportunities may be available for eligible* students for up to six units of elective credit during the spring and summer trimesters. Remaining course work can be completed with three courses in May and June. Prospective students are strongly urged to contact the School of Accounting for an advising appointment at the earliest opportunity if they wish to participate in the full-time in-person MAc program.

*Eligibility for internship credit is determined by 1) minimum 5 core courses completed 2) minimum 3.0 GPA 3) no prior experience in the specific job offered (eligibility is confirmed by the academic advisors).


Students can expect to learn a range of skills, knowledge and abilities. Graduates will:
  • be able to identify accounting issues, research and effectively communicate the results orally and in writing.
  • have a defined body of knowledge of essential accounting principles and doctrines, including but not limited to the following, and be able to critically apply these principles to practical situations and to adapt to changing work environments: revenue recognition; IFRS; auditing; internal controls; control environment; materiality; ethics, both practical implementation and professional responsibility; and fraud.
  • be prepared to be effective accounting decision makers in an increasingly international business environment.
  • have an understanding of the business, legal, professional, and ethical context for a career as a professional accountant, including the ability to identify and appropriately act when ethical dilemmas are encountered in the activities of a professional accountant.
  • have experience and skill in accomplishing objectives by collaboration.


The Master of Accountancy program requires 45 units of graduate coursework beyond proficiency courses (which depends on each students' background but can range from 0 - 12 units in math, economics, and finance). The core courses make up 33 units and 12 units in either the general, forensic, or taxation concentrations.

Students may be admitted to advanced program courses before the completion of the foundation program, but must complete the foundation by the time 12 units have been earned in the advanced program.



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



If you are interested in applying for the MAc cohort program, contact the School of Accounting at 415-442-6559 or by email at Our enrollment team will be able to answer your questions about the program.

2015 - 2016 MAc Day Program application deadlines:

Early Action: February 15, 2015
Priority: May 1, 2015
Final: June 15, 2015

2015 - 2016 MAc Accelerated Online Program application deadlines:

Early Action: February 15, 2015
Priority: March 31, 2015
Final: April 28, 2015

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 MAc Day and Accelerated Online 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: $2,805 per 3-unit course.

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


This program is offered at the following locations:



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). Beginning in Fall 2015, the accelerated MAc program will be offered online as well. 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 changing careers 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