Certificate in CPA Licensure: Accounting Study and Ethics

The CPA Licensure: Accounting Study and Ethics Certificate of Achievement is designed for students who satisfy the California Board of Accountancy Baccalaureate degree or higher requirement and need to satisfy the additional 30 semester hours Accounting Study and Ethics Study educational requirement to apply for licensure.

Upon completion of the program, students will meet the California Board of Accountancy’s 20-unit accounting study educational requirement and the 10-unit ethics educational requirement for licensing purposes. 

Certificate of Achievement Level Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the CPA Licensure: Accounting Study and Ethics Certificate of Achievement will:

  1. Understand the obligations of accounting professionals and apply the rules and standards of professional practice for auditors and accountants. 
  2. Satisfy the 20 semester unit Accounting Study educational requirement for CPA licensure.
  3. Satisfy the 10 semester unit Ethics Study educational requirement for CPA licensure.

Students receiving this Accounting Study and Ethics certificate must meet the following requirements:

Completion of a minimum of 30 semester units

  1. Completion of a minimum of 20 semester units of Accounting Study course work.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 10 semester units of Ethics Study course work.

Note: For CPA licensure purposes, any previously earned accounting units in excess of the 24 units needed to fulfill the 24-unit accounting requirement can applied towards satisfying the 20 unit Accounting Study requirement.

Accounting Study: Twenty (20) units minimum

Select at least six (6) units from the following courses:6
Income Tax Accounting4
Taxation of Business Entities4
Computerized Income Tax Preparation2
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance I1
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance II2
Tax Practices and Procedures3
Payroll Accounting3
Intermediate Accounting I3
Intermediate Accounting II3
Cost Accounting 3
Fraud Examination3
To fulfill the remaining fourteen (14) required units, coursework can be selected from the following lists:
Any course(s) not selected above
Introduction to Business3
International Business3
International Marketing3
Fundamentals of Importing and Exporting3
Principles of Money Management3
Business Communications3
Business Law and the Legal Environment I3
Small Business Management3
Human Relations in the Workplace3
Human Resources Management3
Introduction to Management3
Elements of Marketing3
Principles of Macroeconomics3
Principles of Macroeconomics - Honors
Principles of Microeconomics3
Information Technology4
Network Technology4
Network Operating Systems4
Network and Computer Security4
Computer Information Systems3.5
Cybersecurity: Ethical Hacking3
Microcomputer Applications I4
Introduction to Database Concepts3
Database Principles Using SQL3
Introduction to Cloud Computing3
Introductory Statistics4
Introductory Statistics - Honors
Calculus for Business and Social Sciences4
Other Academic Work Relevant to Accounting and Business
(No more than 3 units from each elective area below will count towards the fourteen required units)
Skill based elective
Reading and Composition4
Reading and Composition - Honors
Composition and Critical Thinking3
Composition and Critical Thinking - Honors
Foreign language/cultural & ethnic studies elective
American Sign Language I5
Chinese I5
French I5
German I5
Italian I5
Japanese I5
Spanish I5
Spanish I - Honors
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology - Honors
Sex and Gender in Cross Cultural Perspectives3
Sex and Gender in a Cross Cultural Perspective - Honors
Introduction to Ethnic Studies3
Latin American Culture and Civilization3
Industry-based elective
Real Estate Principles3
Real Estate Practice3
Real Estate Finance3
Legal Aspects of Real Estate3
Real Estate Property Management3
Real Estate Economics3
Escrow I3
Appraisal I: Principles and Procedures3.5
Appraisal II: Residential Real Estate Appraisal3.5
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies2
Total Units20-26.5

Ethics Study: Ten (10) units minimum

Required course:
ACCT 208Accounting Ethics4
Select two (2) of the following courses:
Fraud Examination3
Business, Ethics and Society3
Business Law and the Legal Environment I3
Business Law and the Legal Environment II3
Human Resources Management3
Introduction to Philosophy3
Introduction to Philosophy - Honors
Total Units10
Total Certificate Units30-36.5

Note 1: Some of the courses in this certificate are also included in the CPA Exam Preparation: Accounting Subjects Requirement Certificate and CPA Exam Preparation: Business-Related Subjects Requirement Certificate. For purposes of satisfying the course requirements for this certificate, only select courses that have not been counted towards the CPA Exam Preparation: Accounting Subjects Requirement Certificate and/or the CPA Exam Preparation: Business-Related Subjects Requirement Certificate.

Note 2: To sit for the CPA Exam, you must have a baccalaureate degree or higher, including 24 semester units of accounting subjects and 24 semester units of business-related subjects. The education requirements for CPA licensure requires an additional 20 semester units of accounting study and 10 semester units of ethics study. 

Note 3: For any questions, please see the Accounting department and/or counselor. 

Students should visit the California Board of Accountancy website at https://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/index.shtmlfor more information regarding the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam and the requirements for CPA licensure.


1-Year Curriculum Map Example
This map represents one possible pathway through the program and is only for reference.

*It is highly recommended that you make an appointment to create a customized education plan that fits your needs.

Note: Co-requisite MATH course (2 units) and/or substitute ENGL 101E (5 units) may be needed based on placement.

Plan of Study Grid
Fall Term 1Units
ACCT 110 Income Tax Accounting 4
ACCT 115 QuickBooks 2
BUS 132 Business, Ethics and Society 3
ACCT 207 Fraud Examination 3
ACCT 113 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance I 1
Winter Term 1
ACCT 111 Taxation of Business Entities 4
Spring Term 1
ACCT 208 Accounting Ethics 4
ACCT 112 Computerized Income Tax Preparation 2
ACCT 116 Tax Practices and Procedures 3
ACCT 118 Payroll Accounting 3
Summer Term 1
Math 065/165 combo results in 6 units  
BUS 160
Business Law and the Legal Environment I
or Reading and Composition
or Reading and Composition - Honors
or Introductory Statistics
or Introductory Statistics - Honors
 Total Units33

Career Opportunities

There are a variety of careers you can do with this major.


To explore more about this major, schedule an appointment with a career counselor.