CPA Preparation



Want to help people and organizations reach their financial goals?
Already an accountant? Take the leap and study to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs are trusted financial advisors that can take on additional legal responsibilities on behalf of an individual or an organization. Our comprehensive CPA Preparation curriculum offers the accounting and business units you need to qualify for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam. 

Get the Units You Need
​In order to become a CPA, you need to complete 36 quarter units of accounting and 36 quarter units of general business courses. Our CPA Prep curriculum offers a diverse array of accounting and business to ensure that you’ve got your bases covered.

MCLE Credit
Need to earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit this year? Never fear. Many of our CPA Prep courses offer the credit you need—and get you one step closer to your career goals.

The Profession

Your Future as a CPA
What’s the difference between an accountant and a CPA?
Short answer: Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must pass the rigorous CPA exam. In order to qualify for the exam, you must first present transcripts for a number of accounting and business courses. That’s where our courses come in.
As a CPA, you’ll be able to exercise your financial skills in virtually any industry.

Average Earnings
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an accountant was $68,150 in 2016. The best-paid 10 percent earned roughly $120,910, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made approximately $42,140. At $101,070, San Jose accountants ranked second highest paid in the country. California ranked fifth in the country for highest paid accountants ($82,620.)

Market Relevance
Senior accountants, cost accountants and finance managers are the three most in-demand professionals in finance in 2016, according to Randstad U.S. and the Economic Research Institute. –Forbes

Job Prospects
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 140,300 new jobs to open in the accounting field by 2026. Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 11% by 2024. –Occupational Outlook Handbook,


You have to complete a minimum of 36 quarter units of accounting and 36 quarter units of general business in order to sit for the CPA exam in California. In addition to the accounting fundamentals, our CPA Prep courses cover a broad range of business skills, including:

  • Auditing and attestation
  • Corporate income tax accounting
  • Business law
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Project Management
  • Marketing

Benefits of Becoming a CPA

As a CPA you’ll be able to:

  • Prepare audited or reviewed financial statements and file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Represent clients in front of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Provide tax services, including federal, state and local tax returns
  • Provide professional assurance and audit services
  • Provide assistance supervising and managing an organization’s or individual’s daily activities, including budgeting, financial planning, and cash management

Learn more about the differences between CPAs and other accounting professionals at


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.

Declaring Candidacy

You do not need to declare candidacy in order to pursue credit toward the CPA exam. However, you can use your accounting credit toward UCSC Extension’s Accounting certificate.

When you declare candidacy, you set the intention to update your skills and prepare yourself for advancement opportunities. In addition, you benefit by:

  • Locking in program requirements early in your studies, so any subsequent curriculum changes do not affect your studies
  • Subscribing to program updates and special opportunities related to the program

CPA Preparation Courses


  • Advanced Accounting, 4 units
  • Auditing and Attestation, 4 units
  • Corporate Income Tax Accounting, 4 units
  • Cost Accounting, 4 units
  • Financial Statement Analysis, 4 units
  • Income Tax Accounting, 4 units
  • 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


General Business

  • Business Law and Its Environment, 3 units
  • Business Statistics I, 2.5 units
  • Business Statistics II, 2.5 units
  • Business and Professional Writing, 2 units
  • Finance I, Fundamentals, 3 units
  • Finance for the Business Professional, 1 unit
  • Implementing Winning Marketing Strategies, 2 units
  • Integrated Marketing Communication, 2.5 units
  • Organizational Development and Change, Introduction, 2 units
  • Power of Market Research, 2 units
  • Principles of Marketing, 2 units
  • Project Leadership and Communication, 3 units
  • Role of the Project Manager, 1.5 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? BUTTON: Learn more about our CPA Prep courses.



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.

Course Schedule

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
ACCT.X406 Cost Accounting 4.0 Classroom
ACCT.X407 Income Tax Accounting 4.0 Classroom
ACCT.X408 Corporate Income Tax Accounting 4.0 Classroom
ACCT.X404 Advanced Accounting 4.0 Classroom
ACCT.X409 Financial Statement Analysis 4.0 Classroom
ACCT.X405 Auditing and Attestation 4.0 Classroom
Bookkeeper Program
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
BOOK.X400 Certified Bookkeeper Program 7.5 CEU Classroom
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended