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Accounting Certificate

Why get a Certificate in Accounting?

  • Fast-track your next career step
  • Add a focus to a degree or in-service experience
  • Advance with your current employer
  • Earn required Accounting course units to sit for the CPA exam
  • Complete prerequisites for an MS in Accountancy degree 
    • (click the green button at the bottom of this page go to our ONLINE MSA program) 

Why now?

There’s no time like the present. If you’re visiting this site, you’re already thinking about your career. This 100% online certificate program was created for you. 

Who should enroll?

  • Bachelor’s degree holders who need prerequisites for the Master of Science in Accountancy
    • Students may take any number of program courses to fulfill the prerequisites still needed
  • Professionals in the field who need coursework units to sit for the CPA exam
  • Business majors or graduates with a BA or BS  who have decided to focus in the Accounting field
  • Community college students/graduates with intro Accounting courses already done
  • Anyone who wants or needs just a few Accounting classes to enhance their skills
  • High school graduates looking to prepare for an accounting career

See yourself here? Keep reading…


smiling student standing by a window
Kimberly S. balances her family, work and Accounting Certificate classes with her career goals in mind.

"After earning my Bachelors, I was nervous and hesitant to join the post-baccalaureate program at CSUSB. I contacted the extended program and Jolene was thorough in explaining the details and answering all my questions. I started the program in Summer and have already completed two classes. The program is beneficial to me because it allows me to set my own class schedule which still allows me to balance school and personal life as long as time management is put to use. The professors were very supportive, responsive and readily available to explain any concepts or questions students may have. Many doors opened for me because I utilized the resources available in the courses and on campus to build networking. I am elated to see what is in store for me after this program is completed."

- Kimberly S. 

How does it work?

100% online, accelerated classes get you through and on your way to your goal. Courses include additional CPA study materials that help prepare you for the CPA exam and solidify course concepts. Digital options give you immediate access to study materials.

Courses are delivered in asynchronous format. You study in your own time and follow the course syllabus for readings, assignments, and exams. You never attend a virtual or live scheduled class, but instructors are available by email and virtual office hours to support your learning.

You can finish in as little as 5 months, or take more time to balance your schedule. It’s your program – how you navigate it is up to you!

We have an easy admission process. After you submit the application, you'll receive an invitation to send in your official diploma or official transcripts for review, and get an admission reply within four days.

Retraining and workforce students are welcome. Contact the Program Specialist for details on how to use your benefits.

Read a few more details on funding, loans, employer tuition reimbursement and more.

How much does it cost?

Accounting Certificate Program course fees are set at $450 per unit, and each course is 3 units. The total for all 8 required courses is $10,800. Note one optional elective course is additional. Tuition fee does not cover cost of textbooks or CPA study  materials. Find more information about payments on the Procedures and Policies page.

When can I start?

Accounting Certificate introductory classes start in Fall and Spring Semesters with Introductory Accounting I and II.  A customized Program Plan will guide you through your courses.

Your start date depends on:

  • Your career goals
  • Your course level needed
  • How many accounting classes, if any, you’ve already taken

Introductory classes start in Fall (late August) and Spring (late January) semesters. Intermediate courses are offered in mid-Fall and mid-Spring, as well as over Summer and Winter sessions.

Go to the Course Schedule page for session dates and course cycle.

Transferrable Courses

Up to two equivalent courses taken previously (either at CSUSB or at other colleges or universities) may be substituted for courses in the program as transfer units. This can reduce the number of courses you will need to take to earn the Certificate. Official transcripts are used to determine if your previous courses are equivalent to Program courses and will transfer in. 

Length of Program

5 months - Students are expected to take two classes each session in order to complete the program in five months. You may also extend the program over one year or more to balance your finances and schedule. 

Is this program for me?

The 5-week accelerated course format is challenging and rewarding. Like face-to-face courses, online courses require good time management skills and attention to your course content. The asynchronous format of the program means you have reading, class assignments, quizzes and exams at scheduled times. You do not have regular, weekly class meetings. Instead, content is delivered in prerecorded format through Canvas, our learning management system. Your instructors are available to respond to inquiries, react to your assignments, and answer your questions. 

While the asynchronous format allows you to study on your schedule, completing assignments on time is essential. Your instructors want you to succeed, and good communication is also important. They may schedule extra live help sessions as needed.

While students can complete the program in 5 months, you may also customize it to fit your budget and schedule. You can take one class per session, or wait out sessions if your schedule is demanding. It's up to you; we're here to help you create a schedule that meets your needs.

Planning to take the CPA exam?

If you're thinking about or planning to pursue your CPA license, visit the Master of Science in Accountancy page to learn how an MS in Accountancy will benefit your journey.

CSUSB MS in Accountancy homepage

I'm ready! What's next?

Complete the one-minute program application and start a future you can count on!