"Technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants over the next 10 years. As platforms such as cloud computing become more widespread, some routine accounting tasks may become automated. Although this will allow accountants to become more efficient, this change is not expected to reduce the overall demand for accountants. Instead, with the automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, the advisory and analytical duties of accountants will become more prominent."
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors (January 30, 2018)


What story do numbers tell?
If you are interested in a career in accounting, it isn’t enough to be simply “good with numbers.” Accountants play critical roles in organizations of all sizes, in every industry, and they can help shape a company’s future. Our Accounting program will prepare you to address important questions, from financial to managerial accounting. Pick up skills course by course or declare candidacy for a certificate to secure a competitive edge.

Get the accounting foundation you need in just four courses.

Grad School Prep
Want to apply for an M.S. or an M.B.A. in the Bay Area? Some of our courses are recognized for credit at graduate programs throughout the region.

The Profession
"Globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors."

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors (January 30, 2018)

A Career for the Books
How do you compute and communicate financial needs at your organization? Accountants, CPAs, bookkeepers, and business owners produce financial information so that a company can make wise business decisions. From transaction analysis and financial statement preparation to complex accounting issues, accounting professionals play critical roles at any organization. Our Accounting and CPA programs help you decode important financial data and prepare you for exciting jobs in this field.  

Market Relevance
The year’s in-demand job categories include general accounting, analysis and compliance, according to the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide (December 2017). Hiring trends show that the fastest-growing accounting salaries appear at all company sizes and for workers with varying years of experience.

U.S. News & World Report ranked account executive as the third most popular job for new college graduates and financial analyst as the fifth most popular. (2018)

Job Prospects
Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 10% by 2026. (Occupational Outlook HandbookBureau of Labor Statistics)

"The following is a sampling of the year's hot positions in corporate accounting and their midpoint salary projections. At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements, and the role may be in an industry where competition for talent is moderate," according to the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide (December 2017): 

Accounting Department Jobs:
•  Controller — $115,000 (CPA licensure usually required)
•  Accounting manager — $90,000 
•  Senior accountant — $75,000 
•  Staff accountant — $45,000 (up to one year), $60,000 (one to three years) 
More Specific Accounting Jobs:
•  Payroll manager/supervisor — $71,000 
•  Financial analyst — $50,000 (up to one year of experience), $65,000 (one to three years), $80,000 (senior), $100,000 (manager), $127,000 (director)
•  Internal auditor — $45,000 (up to one year), $69,000 (one to three years), $85,000 (senior), $110,000 (manager), $175,000 (chief audit executive/vice president, internal audit/internal audit director)


Program Objectives
As a graduate of the Accounting certificate program, you’ll have the skills to:
•  Analyze transactions and prepare financial statements.
•  Understand complex accounting issues such as revenue recognition and accounting for investments, leases, bonds, and pensions.
•  Collaborate with management to effectively plan and analyze financial needs at your organization.

Want to become a CPA?
In order to become a CPA in California, you must complete 36 quarter units of accounting and 36 quarter units of general business courses, in addition to possessing a bachelor’s degree. If you’ve already completed the Accounting certificate and want to qualify to take the CPA exam, check out our CPA Preparation courses. We’ve got 11 accounting courses (44 quarter units) and 16 general business courses (38 quarter units) to choose from.


Program Format
UCSC Extension’s Accounting program is offered at UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus, a beautiful facility located on the corner of Scott and Bowers in Santa Clara. Some of our courses are also available online. Choose courses according to your interest or declare candidacy in the certificate for a more comprehensive overview of the field.

Certificate Requirements
4 courses
Required: 4 courses
GPA: 3.0, with a C or better in all courses.
Timeline: To earn the certificate, you must complete all minimum requirements within 3 years of declaring candidacy.
Transferring courses from other institutions: Courses completed within 5 years of your planned date of certificate issuance may be considered to fulfill requirements. Learn more about transferring credit here.

Required Courses
There are 4 required courses:
•  Introduction to Accounting I: Financial Accounting, 4 units
•  Introduction to Accounting II: Managerial Accounting, 4 units
•  Intermediate Accounting I, 4 units
•  Intermediate Accounting II, 4 units

Want to learn more about our curriculum in person? Join us for a free Info Session to learn more about our courses, faculty, and program requirements. Learn more on our Events page.

Want to become a CPA?
Learn more about our CPA Preparation courses can help you satisfy education requirements for the Board of Accountancy.

A rough estimate for the cost of the Accounting certificate is $3,255.



No application is required to enroll in our courses or certificate programs. Information about our open enrollment process can be found on our Enrollment page. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact the UCSC Extension Outreach office by phone at 408-861-3860, or by email at

From the schedule below, click on a course title to see sections available for enrollment. You may view the full course schedule, or enroll in the course, by clicking the respective button. The course type offerings (classroom, online, blended) are guidelines and subject to change. A blended (hybrid) course has both classroom and online components.

Declaring Candidacy

If you intend to pursue a certificate, declaring candidacy establishes program requirements early in your studies, so any subsequent curriculum changes do not affect your progress. It does not limit what courses you can take; and it helps you structure your professional development program for maximum benefit to you. Go the declare candidacy page to establish your requirements for this program. Certificate program requirements must be completed within three years of declaring candidacy.

Course Schedule

1. Required Courses
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ACCT.X403 Intermediate Accounting II 4.0 Classroom Classroom
ACCT.X402 Intermediate Accounting I 4.0 Classroom Classroom
ACCT.X401 Introduction to Accounting II: Managerial Accounting 4.0 Classroom Classroom
ACCT.X400 Introduction to Accounting I: Financial Accounting 4.0 Online Classroom Classroom
2. Required Certificate Review
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
O-CE0096 Accounting Certificate Completion Review Online Online Online Online