Certificate in Accounting at San Diego State University

SDSU's Certificate in Accounting program provides professional, post-baccalaureate education to non-accounting professionals in the San Diego community.

The program is intended to provide professional training necessary for candidates to sit for the CPA or CMA examinations. Participants typically include:

  • Non-accounting post baccalaureate students
  • Foreign practitioners, and
  • Non-accounting professionals

Participants enroll in regular SDSU accounting courses on a space-available basis through the Open University program. Currently matriculated SDSU students may not enroll in the Certificate in Accounting. The faculty from San Diego State University's School of Accountancy provides instruction through regular course offerings which provide academic credit.

Completion of the certificate program does not automatically qualify a person to take the CPA or CMA examination. Students should contact the appropriate licensing authority to determine requirements.

CPA examination requirements vary in each state. In California, candidates must complete all educational requirements before applying for the exam. Since 1/1/2005, applicants must complete 24 units of accounting and 24 units of other business or accounting courses. Further information on California requirements may be obtained from The Board of Accountancy at http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/.

Certificate students may enroll in additional accounting and business courses to meet the 48 unit California requirement, if it has not been met through prior coursework. CMA examination requirements can be found at http://www.imanet.org.

The certification program consists of 30-31 units with at least 24 units in accounting as follows:

  • Required Accounting Courses (6 units). (These courses may be transferred in from a community college or prior undergraduate coursework.)
    • Acct 201 Financial Accounting Fundamentals
    • Acct 202 Managerial Accounting Fundamentals
  • Advisor Approved Accounting Courses (18-19 units). The Certificate Advisor should be consulted before starting this work. Depending on prior coursework, this list of courses could vary. These courses include intermediate accounting, cost accounting, advanced accounting, auditing, and tax material. Usually, students take Accounting 620, Acct 625, Acct 626, Acct 624 or 503, Acct 501, and Acct 508.
  • Other Advisor Approved Business or Accounting Electives (6 units)

Note: Acct 201 and 202 are prerequisites for other accounting courses.

  1. Acct 201 and 202 with a minimum grade of C in each course.
  2. 30 units of course work in the program with a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  3. Complete course work within four years of admission to the program.
  4. When the course work is completed, the certificate may be obtained by calling SDSU Certificate Programs, (619) 594-9255.
The program advisor will review transfer credit and accept those courses that coincide with the content of the courses offered in this program. No more than 12 units of transfer credit will be permitted.
The course registration fee will be at the current Open University per-unit rate as listed in the College of Extended Studies catalog. Financial aid is not available for the College of Extended Studies self-supporting programs. Veteran's benefits are available; for information, call the SDSU Veteran's Affairs Office, (619) 594-5813.
Parking Permits may be purchased in person from the main University Cashier parking office or when registering at the College of Extended Studies. The parking fee is determined by SDSU. Parking information and temporary visitor parking permits are available at the information booth on Campanile Drive.
  1. Determine your Admission Eligibility

    Applicants must meet the following criteria:
    • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university; or
    • Degree and/or certificate from a foreign country.
  2. Establish a Course of Study

    Contact the program advisor before selecting courses that require advisor approval.

    Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy
    Program Advisor:
    Hung C. (Leon) Chan, Ph.D.
    Office Location: SSE 3116
    Phone: (619) 594-4304
    Fax: (619) 594-3675
    Email: [email protected]

 Information about registration in Open University courses is provided at:
The Open University program opens almost all SDSU classes to the community on a space available basis. Admission to the University is not required. Students may transfer up to 9 units of Open University credit into the SDSU Masters of Accountancy Graduate Degree Program if they are later admitted to the program.


Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy
Program Advisor:
Hung C. (Leon) Chan, Ph.D.
Office Location: SSE 3116
Phone: (619) 594-4304
Fax: (619) 594-3675
Email: [email protected]

Students may begin coursework in the Certificate Program and apply for admission to the MSA program.

About the MSA Program

The Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy also offers a Masters of Accountancy (MSA) degree. Students may begin coursework in the Certificate Program and apply for admission to the MSA program. Up to 9 units of coursework in the Certificate Program may apply towards the MSA degree if a student meets the requirements for admission to the MSA. Information can be obtained at the MSA website.