Graduate Certificate in Accounting: Program Summary

Oct 16, 2019

Essential Information

Earning a graduate certificate in accounting can prepare students for advanced accounting and finance careers. The goal of the one-year program is for students to advance their overall knowledge of all topics related to accounting, including financial management, taxation and corporate accounting. Having a bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for this program.

Graduate Certificate Program in Accounting

The courses in a graduate certificate program are focused only on accounting topics and include no general education courses. Students may learn how to analyze and prepare financial documents for business and non-profit organizations and increase their knowledge of accounting systems. Programs generally include 5-7 courses, which may cover:

  • Financial reporting
  • Accounting and finance regulation
  • Auditing
  • Business accounting concepts
  • Cost accounting
  • Tax accounting

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which categorizes accountants with auditors, this field consisted of 1,424,000 million jobs in 2018 ( The BLS reported an expected job growth in this field of 6% from 2018-2028, faster than the average for all occupations. The expected job growth can be attributed to new jobs being developed within the industry due to economic growth and regulation changes. In May 2018, the BLS reported the annual mean wage for this category as $78,820. The 10th-90th percentile range earned $43,650-$122,840.

Continuing Education Information

Students who complete a graduate certificate program in accounting may elect to go into a master's program in accounting. Some schools may allow the credits earned in the graduate certificate program to be applied towards a master's program. Some students may elect to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam upon graduation in order to further their career as an accountant.

A one-year graduate accounting certificate program teaches students how to analyze and prepare financial documents. Accountants and auditors earn a substantive salary and there is moderate job growth in the field.

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