Accounting Schools in California

    This summary of accounting schools in California will provide you with information on your options so that you can make an educated choice in deciding where to study accounting. The education options in California include well-known public schools like the University of California school system, as well as not-for-profit private schools such as Santa Clara University, with a wide variety of accounting majors on offer. As an alternative to traditional on-campus study, busy students may also appreciate the scheduling flexibility, reduced commuting time, and self-directed learning of a hybrid program like those offered at several of the California State University campuses.

    Quick Facts

    Comparison of California Accounting Schools and Programs

    The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in California to help you compare your options. Programs that appear in bold text offer hybrid or online options. For further school statistics, including median SAT, ACT, and GMAT scores, see the tables on our California business schools page, which break out information at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    SchoolAccreditationAccounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate10Grad Rate1Avg Net Price1Median Debt*10Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry**10
    Allan Hancock CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Bookkeeping
    American River CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Antelope Valley Community College DistrictAAS-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Azusa Pacific UniversityIACBEBS-Accounting;
    Bakersfield CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Barstow Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Berkeley City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Biola UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting;
    Butte CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Cabrillo CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    California Baptist UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting63.7%57%$23,494$26,063$56,253
    California Lutheran UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting81.9%74%$24,065$21,669$65,401
    California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoMinor-Accounting33.0%85%$20,708$18,500$85,801
    California State Polytechnic University-HumboldtIACBEBA Business Administration-Accounting91.5%48%$13,904$18,000$46,266
    California State Polytechnic University-PomonaBS-Accounting;
    California State University-Dominguez HillsUG Cert-Accounting;
    California State University-East BayMAcc82.4%48%$12,631$16,544$64,188
    California State University-FullertonAACSBMAcc59.4%71%$4,939$13,750$58,585
    California State University-Long BeachBSBA: Accountancy;
    Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s-Accounting;
    California State University-Los AngelesAccelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s-Accounting;
    California State University-NorthridgeBS-Accounting88.1%54%$8,708$13,872$56,375
    California State University-SacramentoBSBA: Accountancy;
    California State University-San BernardinoMinor-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    California State University-San MarcosBA Business Administration: Accountancy93.3%59%$14,296$17,350$59,495
    Canada CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Entry Level Bookkeeping
    Cerritos CollegeAAS-Professional Accounting;
    AAS-Vocational Accounting;
    UG Cert-Professional Accounting;
    UG Cert-Vocational Accounting
    Chabot CollegeAAS-AccountingN.Av.36%$8,576$9,500$45,099
    Chaffey CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Payroll Specialist
    Chapman UniversityBS-Accounting;
    Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s-Accounting;
    Citrus CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.40%$8,852$7,851$40,046
    City College of San FranciscoAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Claremont McKenna CollegeBS Economics-Accounting11.2%93%$21,663$13,500$97,174
    Clovis Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    AAS-Business Administration: Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Coastline Community CollegeAAS-Bookkeeping;
    AAS-General Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-General Accounting;
    UG Cert-Taxation
    College of AlamedaAAS-AccountingN.Av.30%$12,583N.Av.$42,463
    College of San MateoAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    College of the CanyonsAAS-Accounting;
    AAS-Accounting Technician;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    College of the DesertAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    College of the SequoiasAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Columbia CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Concordia University-IrvineIACBEBSBA-Accounting;
    Contra Costa CollegeUG Cert-Accounting TechnicianN.Av.21%$9,405N.Av.$41,541
    Copper Mountain Community CollegeUG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Cosumnes River CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Cuesta CollegeUG Cert-Accounting Clerk;
    UG Cert-Accounting Concentration
    Cuyamaca CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Cypress CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    De Anza CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Diablo Valley CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Advanced Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-General Accounting
    Dominican University of CaliforniaMAcc92.9%77%$45,001$27,000$71,134
    East Los Angeles CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    El Camino Community College DistrictAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Evergreen Valley CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Folsom Lake CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Foothill CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Fresno City CollegeAAS-Accounting24%$6,391
    Fresno Pacific UniversityBA Business Administration-Accounting68%$15,350
    Fullerton CollegeBS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Gavilan CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Glendale Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Golden Gate University BS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Golden West CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Staff Accountant;
    UG Cert-IRS Enrolled Agent
    Hartnell CollegeAAS-Business AdministrationN.Av.35%$7,721N.Av.$42,992
    Holy Names UniversityMBA Finance95.3%58%$21,515$24,125$67,068
    Hope International UniversityIACBEBA Business Management-Accounting40.0%42%$18,801$23,000$43,659
    Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto CampusesAA-Accounting;
    Imperial Valley CollegeAAS-Accounting Technician;
    UG Cert-Accounting Technician
    Irvine Valley CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    La Sierra UniversityBS-Accounting; MAcc66.1%45%$25,230$27,000$60,858
    Lake Tahoe Community CollegeBBA-AccountingN.Av.38%$7,867N.Av.$33,429
    Laney CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Las Positas CollegeUG Cert-Accounting Technician;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    Lassen Community CollegeAAS-AccountingN.Av.30%$11,495N.Av.$30,529
    Long Beach City CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Los Angeles City CollegeAA-AccountingN.Av.24%$10,898$12,750$32,015
    Los Angeles Harbor CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Los Angeles Mission CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Los Angeles Pierce CollegeAA-AccountingN.Av.37%$12,995$12,936$43,074
    Los Angeles Southwest CollegeAABA-Accounting/General BusinessN.Av.18%$8,651N.Av.$29,508
    Los Angeles Valley CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Los Medanos CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Loyola Marymount UniversityBS-Accounting;
    Madera Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Mendocino CollegeAA-Business:Accounting;
    UG Cert-Business: Accounting
    Menlo CollegeBS-Accounting69.8%55%$35,658$21,750$64,817
    Merced CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Merritt CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    MiraCosta CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Professional Accounting
    Mission CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Modesto Junior CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting: Entry-Level Bookkeeper;
    UG Cert-Accounting Clerk
    Monterey Peninsula CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting/Bookkeeping
    Moorpark CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.44%$4,856$9,500$48,294
    Moreno Valley CollegeUG Cert-Small Business Accounting;
    UG Cert-Small Business Payroll Accounting
    Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting;
    Mt San Antonio CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping

    UG Cert-Payroll;
    UG Cert-Tax Preparation
    Mt San Jacinto Community College DistrictUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.30%$7,704N.Av.$35,871
    Napa Valley CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeping
    National UniversityACBSP;IACBEBBA-Accounting;
    Ohlone CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.52%$12,787N.Av.$54,374
    Orange Coast CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.44%$6,836$9,500$45,809
    Pacific States UniversityBBA-Accounting;
    Pacific Union CollegeIACBEBBA-Accounting57.7%40%$22,767$27,500$67,209
    Palomar CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Pasadena City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Certified Bookkeeper
    Pepperdine UniversityBS-Accounting;
    Point Loma Nazarene UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting;
    Porterville CollegeUG Cert-AccountingN.Av.35%$5,757N.Av.$33,233
    Reedley CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Rio Hondo CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Riverside City CollegeACBSPAAS-Business Administration: Accounting;
    UG Cert-Small Business Accounting;
    UG Cert-Small Business Payroll Accounting
    Sacramento City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Clerk;
    UG Cert-Full Charge Bookkeeper
    Saddleback CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Saint Mary’s College of CaliforniaBS-Accounting70.1%73%$25,022$23,691$71,724
    San Bernardino Valley CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    San Diego City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    San Diego Mesa CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    San Diego Miramar CollegeACBSPAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    San Diego State UniversityAACSBBSBA-Accounting;
    San Francisco State UniversityBSBA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    San Joaquin Delta CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Clerk;
    UG Cert-Tax Preparation
    San Jose City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    San Jose State UniversityBSBA-Accounting84.4%69%$14,603$15,000$72,635
    Santa Barbara City CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Assistant/Bookkeeper (Levels I-IV)
    Santa Clara UniversityAACSBBS-Accounting54.0%91%$48,469$19,162$99,012
    Santa Monica College AAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Business Bookkeeping

    UG Cert-Small Business Tax Practice;
    UG Cert-Staff Accountant
    Santa Rosa Junior CollegeUG Cert-Account Clerk and Payroll;
    UG Cert-Accountant Assistant;
    UG Cert-Bookkeeper;
    UG Cert-Enrolled Agent
    Santiago Canyon CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Shasta CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting Clerk/Bookkeeper
    Sierra CollegeAA/AS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Skyline CollegeACBSPAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Solano Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Southwestern CollegeAA/AAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    The Master’s University and SeminaryMinor-Accounting;
    BS-Business Administration: Accounting;
    BS-Business Administration: Accelerated 2.5-Year Hybrid Accounting Track;
    BA/BS-Interdisciplinary Studies: Accounting
    Touro University WorldwideAA-General Studies: AccountingN.Av.57%$18,121$25,000N.Av.
    University of California-DavisMAcc48.8%87%$16,640$13,000$74,305
    University of California-IrvineMinor-Accounting;
    University of California-RiversideMAcc65.4%76%$13,502$17,500$63,645
    University of La VerneBSBA-Accounting;
    University of RedlandsBS-Accounting83.0%69%$21,578$26,000$68,726
    University of San DiegoAACSBMAcc52.7%80%$34,155$22,940$78,234
    University of San FranciscoBSBA-Accounting;
    University of Southern CaliforniaAACSBBS-Accounting12.5%92%$26,021$18,000$89,884
    University of the PacificBS-Accounting;
    Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaBA-Accounting69.0%61%$20,427$22,000$53,394
    Ventura CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    West Hills College-CoalingaAA/AAS-Business Bookkeeping;
    UG Cert-Business Bookkeeping
    West Hills College-LemooreUG Cert-Business BookkeepingN.Av.38%$13,571$9,500$37,988
    West Los Angeles CollegeAA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    West Valley CollegeUG Cert-Accounting ClerkN.Av.41%$6,890N.Av.$44,681
    William Jessup UniversityACBSPBA-Accountancy77.8%60%$27,823$23,700$52,890
    Woodbury UniversityACBSPBBA-Accounting63.0%59%$32,293$26,960$58,971
    Woodland Community CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Yuba CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting

    Table Notes:
    *Median Debt: The median debt is the cumulative federal loan debt, excluding PLUS loans, at the time of graduation for students who completed an undergraduate program (certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree) as reported by College Scorecard for academic year 2020-2021 based on ​​National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) data.
    **Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry: Median earnings are the middle value of earnings, at which half earned more and half earned less, measured 10 years (2020-2021) after the first year of study (2010-2011) for all students, institution-wide, who received federal loans and who are employed but not enrolled in school. Note that this value includes those who completed their program of study as well as those who discontinued study without receiving an award.

    Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in California

    College rankings can be a useful tool to measure the overall reputation of a school or program. Weighing multiple rankings when evaluating your college choices can be helpful because different publishers may use different ranking factors in their methodologies. While the best program for your goals may rely on a combination of factors not typically considered in overall rankings, such as location or funding, seeing a program ranked on multiple lists can be a strong indication of reputation and academic quality.

    College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023

    • University of Southern California (#6)
    • Santa Clara University (#14)
    • Loyola Marymount University (#81)
    • University of San Diego (#87)
    • University of San Francisco (#107)
    • Saint Mary’s College of California (#108)
    • San Diego State University (#146)
    • Golden Gate University (#151)
    • California State University-Northridge (#153)
    • University of California-Davis (#155)
    • Chapman University (#167)
    • California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (#221)2

    Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2023

    • Pepperdine University
    • University of Southern California3

    US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2023

    • Stanford University (#6)
    • University of Southern California (#9)
    • University of California, Berkeley (#22 tie)
    • University of California, Los Angeles (#34 tie)4

    US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023

    • California Baptist University (#98 tie)
    • University of La Verne (#141 tie)
    • National University (#170-214)
    • Hope International University (#170-214)
    • The Master’s University and Seminary (#170-214)5

    US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023

    • University of Southern California (#9)
    • University of California, Berkeley (#20 tie)
    • Santa Clara University (#26 tie)
    • Loyola Marymount University (#44 tie)6

    Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rates With a Bachelor’s Degree

    Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.11 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in California in 2019 (the most recent report available*) for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall pass rate for first-time test-takers in California being 54.5%:

    1. Pepperdine University 83.3%
    2. Claremont McKenna College 75.0%
    3. University of Southern California 73.6%
    4. Fresno Pacific University 66.7%
    5. University of San Diego 63.7%
    6. University of California Berkeley 63.0%
    7. Diablo Valley College 63.6%

    *As NASBA makes significant changes to the CPA Exam as part of the CPA Evolution initiative, new candidate score reports by state are not anticipated until at least mid-2024.

    Schools in California with Accounting Degrees

    To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in California, we have profiled select programs below. Be sure to visit the websites of programs of interest for more detailed information on courses, admissions requirements and deadlines, and faculty.

    Undergraduate Accounting Programs

    Chapman University

    Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics, located in Orange, offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSA) degree. Chapman’s program takes four years to complete full-time, with an option to study abroad. The BS in Accounting prepares students to sit for the CPA and CMA exams. The curriculum includes a mix of management and accounting courses including Management of Organizations, Intermediate Financial Accounting I and II, Individual Taxation, Business Policy: An International Perspective, and Accounting Information Systems. Chapman’s intensive curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of accounting careers, including tax accountant, internal auditor, consultant, or fraud examiner. Alternatively, students can opt to complete an Integrated Master’s of Science (MS) in Accounting, which allows students to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years.

    University of Southern California

    The University of Southern California’s (USC) Marshall School of Business, located in Los Angeles, offers a four-year undergraduate accounting degree through the Leventhal School of Accounting. The program produces confident students who are well-versed in the ever-changing field of accounting. Students in the undergraduate accounting program typically take accounting courses during the last two years of the program. Courses include Accounting Information Systems, Advanced External Financial Reporting, and Auditing. USC Leventhal aims to develop technically savvy, analytical graduates who are capable of ethical decision-making and thrive in collaborative business environments. The entirety of the undergraduate degree consists of 128 units, including 68 to 70 courses in Accounting and Business.

    Graduate Accounting Programs

    California State University, Los Angeles

    California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) offers a Master of Science degree in Accountancy (MSA) degree. Its College of Business has a curriculum consisting of business and accounting courses as well as several “option courses.” Core courses include Accounting Information Systems; Auditing; Financial Accounting Theory; Leadership and Professional Skills for Accountants; and Case Studies and Research in Accounting. Optional courses include Accounting Information Systems; Financial and Public Accounting; and Taxation. Cal State LA’s program features flexible scheduling options, CPA exam preparation, certification preparation in fraud examination and internal auditing, and guest lecturers. GMAT or GRE scores are required, as well as a professional resume and a minimum of three years of professional work experience. Students can also choose from one of several specialized options including accounting information systems, financial and public accounting, and managerial and cost accounting.

    University of California, Davis

    The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Graduate School of Management offers a one-year Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree program that meets California’s requirements for CPAs. The program is designed to be completed in an accelerated, full-time nine-month format and consists of 12 courses, totaling 48 units, which are spread over the school’s year’s three quarters. The program includes advanced courses in auditing, financial reporting, international accounting, and ethics. Students can also apply to waive the courses in financial reporting if they have previously completed a similar course, and instead take more specialized coursework.

    Online and Hybrid Accounting Programs

    California State University, Long Beach

    California State University (CSU) offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accountancy in a hybrid format, a combination of on-campus classes at the Long Beach campus and online coursework. The BSBA degree comprises 120 units, which are divided into five parts: Lower Division, Ethics Course Requirement, Critical Thinking Course Requirements, Computer Literacy and Competency, Upper Division, and Electives. The Lower Division provides an overview of basic accounting principles, including required courses such as Elementary Financial Accounting; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics; and Intro to Business Statistics. The Upper Division covers more advanced and specialized courses such as International Business; Management Information Systems; Business Statistics; and Principles of Marketing. A Capstone course is also required for all BSBA in Accountancy students, called Business Strategy and Policy.

    California State University, Sacramento

    The College of Business Administration at California State University, Sacramento, also known as Sacramento State University, offers an online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program that can be completed fully online. Sacramento State’s MSA comprises 150 credit hours, which meets the requirement set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for CPAs, and it adequately prepares graduates to sit for the CPA and CMA exams, specifically focusing on exam areas. Sacramento’s online format uses online materials, video streaming, and instant messaging to deliver the course content and to communicate with other students and professors. Full-time students can complete the MSA in just 18 months, with each six-week course meeting once per week online. Coursework includes classes like Financial Reporting I and II; Cost Analysis and Control; and Advanced Accounting Information Systems Analysis and Controls. GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission.

    National University

    National University offers online programs for both a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting and a Master of Accounting (MAcc). The BS in Accounting requires 180 quarter units, including 76.5 major-specific quarter units, and is designed to prepare students for the CPA exam. The MAcc requires at least 45 quarter units of graduate work and prepares students to implement current technologies to analyze and evaluate financial information while addressing practical and ethical issues within the industry. All courses at National University follow a 100% online, four-week format, with year-round enrollment available for both accounting programs.

    California CPA Requirements

    The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) requires CPA aspirants to hold a bachelor’s degree with at least 24 units in accounting-related subjects, 24 units in business-related subjects, 20 units of accounting study, 10 units of ethics study, and 150 total semester units of higher education. They must also pass the Uniform CPA Exam, the Professional Ethics Exam for CPAs, and accumulate 12 months of CPA-supervised general accounting experience. This Step-by-Step Guide to First-time CPA Licensure in California is a good place to start.

    Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in California

    In addition to seeking jobs with major California employers like Apple, Bechtel Group, Google, and Williams-Sonoma, graduates can seek employment with major accounting firms in the state, including Deloitte, Hood & Strong, and Large & Gilbert. Graduates may also choose to start their own businesses, be independent consultants, or obtain employment with the government. Government accounting jobs include positions with the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS, and the State Department.

    California Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

    Metro AreaAccountants & Auditors Employed12Average Annual Salary12
    Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim61,220$92,380
    San Diego-Carlsbad11,790$77,990
    San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward20,790$91,230
    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara12,740$116,320
    San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande760$82,140
    Santa Maria-Santa Barbara1,340$90,750

    Popular Articles:

    California Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    California Polytechnic State University
    1 Grand Ave
    San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
    (805) 756-1111

    Student Review: “For those of you who are unaware, the accounting program at Cal Poly SLO is outstanding. I feel adequately prepared to work in an accounting field once I graduate in June. One of my favorite aspects about the program is that students are trained to conduct original research in all different areas of accounting. These areas can include financial, managerial, tax or audit. This really gave me a broad range of diverse experiences that I was exposed to, and I think this is the best preparation I could have asked for when preparing for a career in accounting. In addition we also received training in statistics, economics, behavioral science and finance. Depending on our senior projects, we would pick one of these programs as our focus. Lastly, I really felt like my professors were excellent resources during my time at Cal Poly as well. I felt very comfortable speaking with them during office hours and they were always open to hearing what I had to say. I would never trade my experience at Cal Poly for anything.” -Jocelyn D., student at California Polytechnic State University

    California State University, Fresno
    5241 North Maple Avenue
    Fresno, CA 93740
    (559) 278-4240

    Student Review: “The experience I had at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) was a mixed bag. The curriculum was not much different than you would find in most other MBA or accounting programs but the enjoyment and enrichment of the experience was based on the professor. One professor in particular was very condescending toward students and impatient if the material did not register with the students the first time it was explained. She drew upon her real-world experience; however, it felt more like she used that information to make sure we knew her previous position prior to teaching rather than relating it to the material being discussed. She almost completely ruined the experience for me in my first semester in the MBA program. Fortunately, I did stick it out and every other professor was wonderful, patient, and encouraging. But the reason why I rated the experience a 2 rather than a 3 or 4 is that while there is a network set up for future opportunities in the field, the department is not particularly helpful in assisting you seek employment opportunities.” -Student at California State University, Fresno

    California State University, Fullerton
    800 N State College Blvd
    Fullerton, CA 92831
    (657) 278-2011

    Student Review: “One of the best parts of the accounting program at California State University Fullerton was the faculty involved. All of my professors were very supportive when it came to additional counseling. They always held extra office hours, and promptly replied to emails (within 24 hours). The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics also offered great career counseling and job opportunities. They provided excellent contacts to major and local accounting firms. Events were also hosted on campus that allowed recruiters and students to network and build relationships. Although the professors and faculty were always immediately available, there was always a shortage of courses to choose from. This often led to students competing for spots to take certain courses, or having to graduate at a later date.” -Gilbert V., student at California State University, Fullerton

    California State University, Long Beach
    1250 Bellflower Blvd
    Long Beach, CA 90840
    (562) 985-4111

    Student Review: “My experience with the Accounting program at California State University, Long Beach was much better than I had initially anticipated. I had spent a good deal of my early years in college debating whether or not I wanted to follow through with Accounting, but the professors and peers I met throughout my studies helped solidify my decision and I have yet to look back with any sort of regret. CSULB did a wonderful job providing an ample selection of courses to accommodate my changing lifestyle (going from jobless to working during the days made things harder, but luckily they provide night classes) over the years. And, while I may not have made use of them myself, I have heard great things about the Accounting Society from my peers. They do an excellent job providing themselves as a resource to anyone and everyone in the Accounting major. I went into college nervous, but I exited feeling like I was part of a greater family and my future will be that much better for it.” -Student at California State University, Long Beach

    California State University, Northridge
    18111 Nordhoff Street
    Northridge, CA 91330

    Student Review: “The California State University, Northridge Accounting program is treating me quite well. I still have one more year to go. But so far, I’m doing pretty well. The classes are challenging, but having great professors like Professor Basmadzhyan really help me stay on course. He’s always helpful during office hours and he has a great way of engaging students in his lectures. There are many other wonderful professors, but he’s the one that really stuck out to me. Classes range from 20-30 students to 100-150 students per class. The giant lecture hall type of classes make it harder to really engage with your professor, but CSUN has handled it well so far.

    Aside from professors, the Accounting Association at CSUN is also really helpful. They provide job fairs and resume reviews to help you stay on track after graduation. The fee is only $20 to join, and you get a lot of benefits from it.” -Student at California State University, Northridge

    California State University, Sacramento
    6000 J St
    Sacramento, CA 95819
    (916) 278-6011

    Student Review: “My accounting program has been very detailed. I feel like my professors have a good grasp on the material they teach. I still learn new aspects of accounting every day that I attend. I liked that I learned information that was relevant – information I will actually use in my career. I strongly disliked forced group projects, due to the lack of professionalism from other students. In order to receive good grades, I usually have to do most of the work in a group project. The fact that most students commute makes group projects very difficult. In a job, those who don’t participate will be terminated. This action is not reciprocated at the university level.” -Student at California State University, Sacramento

    California State University, San Bernadino
    5500 University Pkwy
    San Bernardino, CA 92407
    (909) 537-5000

    Student Review: “CSUSB has one of the better accounting programs around, which is why I chose to go there. All of the classes are very in-depth and the professors take a very hands-on approach to learning. I am currently taking a tax 2 accounting 536 class which is extremely valuable because it involves preparing actual tax returns. This is great hands-on experience that I can take with me into the real world. All of my professors have been very knowledgeable in the subject and have broken down the complexity of accounting so that I can understand it. My cost accounting teacher was one of the most helpful professors I’ve had. He really knew his stuff and took the time to take me step-by-step through the process and made sure that I thoroughly understood the subject. This really laid the foundation for the rest of my accounting classes. The AICPA also comes to our campus, which is a great opportunity to see what is out there in the job market.” -Student at California State University, San Bernardino

    Student Review: “I attended California State University, San Bernardino beginning in 1983. CSUSB was a great school to get an accounting degree for several reasons. I paid my own way through school, so I lived at home, which was close to campus. I worked full time during the day and attended classes in the evening. This was advantageous for me because the class sizes were typically smaller and the students consisted more of older professionals which gave me a more real-life experience. I had two professors in the CSUSB Accounting program who had a significant impact on me: Jerry Langham and John Scribner. Both professors’ classes were usually very challenging, and they continually encouraged and pushed me to excel beyond what I felt I naturally could. Mr. Langham also strongly encouraged me to take the CPA exam before graduating and beginning a career, where I was sure to work 60-hour weeks, leaving no time or desire to study. I followed his advice and passed the entire exam in one sitting. The CSUSB Career Center also arranged several job interviews for me and helped me obtain my first job in public accounting. CSUSB was a great school for me in that it was inexpensive, low teacher-to-student ratio, close to home, had an excellent accounting program and professors who encouraged me, challenged me, and genuinely cared about me and my career development. -Student at California State University, San Bernardino

    City College of San Francisco
    50 Phelan Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94112
    (415) 239-3000

    Student Review: “My Experience with this college was absolutely wonderful. I enrolled in 2007 for their Accounting program and it is extremely helpful in preparing you for the workforce. Most importantly, their program is specifically designed to get you on track in passing the CPA exam. There are a plethora of accounting classes, all of which are sufficiently challenging enough to push you to very high standards. I found that the instructors there are all very knowledgeable and most are CPA qualified, so that helped tremendously when they gave us direction on what to expect on the CPA exam. This program is not easy, and is sufficiently difficult so that I was able to get so much and learn more than I had anticipated initially. I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed at any accounting class that I took here. For CCSF, I have to say that it is the best community college you can attend in the US, being able to get your bang for your buck. I am currently working in finance, and I feel very well prepared having taken CCSF’s accounting program.” -Student at City College of San Francisco

    College of the Canyons
    26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
    Santa Clarita, CA 91355
    (661) 259-7800

    Student Review: “College of the Canyons is not a college that can motivate you when you are a full-time employee or a single mom. Changing your career is not easy when you are juggling being a single mom and a full-time employee. The curriculum was not that challenging but what makes is difficult is the teachers. They don’t think that you have other things going on. It is quite fine if you’re a teenager who doesn’t have to work or think about what to put on the table for your children. I’ve had met several teachers and most of them are same. They don’t think that other things exist in this world except their homework, assignments, projects and reports. The only thing that I like is that grades, comments, assignments, and feedback can be found online.” -Student at College of the Canyons

    Modesto Junior College
    435 College Ave
    Modesto, CA 95350
    (209) 575-6550

    Student Review: “The Modesto Junior College Accounting program was designed to meet the expectations of any UC or CSU. It covers all the basic and some intermediate information needed to gain valuable experience in the field. The professors are all previously or currently professionally employed in their trade of expertise. Most professors will go out of their way to assist you. My overall experience with the Accounting program was pleasant and educational. While the content of the subject lacks excitement at some times, the professors readily make up for it with interesting activities that challenge and motivate students to acquire the information required.” -Gareth L., student at Modesto Junior College

    Palomar College
    1140 W Mission Rd
    San Marcos, CA 92069
    (760) 744-1150

    Student Review: “The accounting classes offered by Palomar College were challenging and beneficial. I took all online courses because I have children and work full time so attending classes on campus was not an option. I took a class that covered Quick Books which was extremely helpful and convenient because I use that program in my current job. The professor gave me the opportunity to earn extra credit by allowing me to submit different reports that pertained to the operation of Quick Books. The online course was very easy to navigate and understand. One thing I liked in particular was that the professor was available almost 24/7. There were a couple times where I would be doing homework at 2 in the morning and had a question. I would email her and one of the times I got a reply in about five minutes! I wish all college professors were so attentive to their students’ needs. Unfortunately her classes fill up very quickly and I was not able to have her as a professor again in my bookkeeping course.” -Christina C., student at Palomar College

    Student Review: “My accounting program has been very detailed. I feel like my professors have a good grasp on the material that they teach. I still learn new aspects of accounting every day that I attend university. I liked that I learned information that was relevant, information I will actually use in my career. I strongly disliked forced group projects due to the lack of professionalism from other students. In order to receive the grades I usually do I have to do most of the work in a group project. The fact that most students commute makes group projects very difficult. In a job, those who don’t participate will be terminated. This action is not reciprocated at the university level.” -Student at Palomar College

    Saint Mary’s College of California
    1928 St Mary’s Rd
    Moraga, CA 94556
    (925) 631-4000

    Student Review: “Overall, I felt as though accounting at Saint Mary’s College of California very well prepared me for the workforce. I am currently working at a local Bank of America and have to say that perhaps the biggest thing that helped prepare me for this career was the internships offered by the school. The ability to network and gain hands on experience outside of school was what allowed me to make my transition from school work to work very easily. Although the coursework was rigorous, I had taken AP Calculus and Statistics in high school that helped smoothen my experience. My junior year, my professors were very helpful when I needed to take on extra coursework or acquire more hours of experience when the California law changed and required more hands on experience for college graduates. Overall, I loved my school, the professors, and the internships I took part in.” -Luis H., student at Saint Mary’s College of California

    Santa Clara University
    500 El Camino Real
    Santa Clara, CA 95053
    (408) 554-4000

    Student Review: “Santa Clara University is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. While local schools like Stanford and Berkeley are more prominent, Santa Clara University has a dedicated accounting major, something even the Haas School of Business at Berkeley cannot claim. The school is small, which allows for close interaction with the professors. Most importantly, the classes required to graduate with an accounting degree prepare you for the CPA examination and fulfill the course unit requirements. The best part of Santa Clara is the close relationships with the Big 4 auditing firms (who all have a presence in both San Francisco and Silicon Valley), smaller accounting firms, and large technology firms. The steady supply of companies seeking accounting graduates gives Santa Clara a high placement rate for graduates, which is important if you have student loans to pay off. All told, I recommend the school for prospective accounting majors.” -Student at Santa Clara University

    Sonoma State University
    1801 E Cotati Ave
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928
    (707) 664-2880

    Student Review: “The accounting program at Sonoma State University has been very helpful for me. I have had amazing teachers that take a not-so-fun subject and make it very interesting. They are very helpful if you ever have any problems. The teachers have office hours to assist you with any problems. If you can not make it to their office hours most teachers are willing to find a time that will work with your schedule. My only complaint is that while most teachers are great I had a new teacher who was less than helpful and hard to understand. While I was taking that class though, I was able to get outside tutoring from other students as well as from a different teacher.” -Student at Sonoma State University

    University of California Davis
    1 Shields Ave
    Davis, CA 95616
    (530) 752-1011

    Student Review: “The University of California, Davis accounting program is located under their applied mathematics field. It is a fairly small program because most professors failed to keep things interesting in class. Most of the professors teaching accounting classes hold two jobs. They should technically be considered more of lecturers than actual professors. The accounting classes always ran late evening to night time. The schedules for these classes are not flexible. They always run from 6:10 pm to 9 pm once or twice a week. The program however did feature plenty of guest speakers that speak of job opportunities in the field. However, not a single person that I know of has gotten an internship or any real experience this way.” -Han L., student at University of California Davis

    University of California Irvine
    Irvine, CA 92697
    (949) 824-5011

    Student Review: “The University of California Irvine accounting program provided me with the tools that I need to go into public accounting. The professors were past employees of Big Four accounting firm and they truly encouraged people to network with current public accountants. The professors were very knowledgeable about the topics and only taught us the material that is going to be part of the CPA exam. The accounting program even provided an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) class. I believe that University of California Irvine is among the first colleges that offer this class. I got an internship with a Big Four accounting firm because my accounting teachers encouraged me to go into public accounting. The only part that I disliked about the accounting program was that the school did not provide enough accounting classes to qualify for the 2013 CPA requirements. I had to go to other community colleges to take two extra accounting classes to fulfill the new CPA requirement.” -Abigail L., student at University of California Irvine

    Student Review: “The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine provided me with a great opportunity to explore different fields, including accounting. One of the great benefits of attending UCI was the career center. The staff was always friendly and helpful, the career website had thousands of job opportunities for students and alumni, and the on-campus interviews were a huge advantage for students who did not have cars at school. The accounting coursework I took was challenging, but the professors made the subject more interesting by applying accounting principles to real-life situations. I would recommend the University of California, Irvine, to any student who is looking for rewarding opportunities in the field of business and accounting.” -Student at University of California Irvine

    Student Review: “I really enjoyed my experience at the UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business. The program allows you to choose between three specializations: accounting, marketing, or general management. I chose accounting and was able to take courses in taxes, auditing and other areas of accounting. The professors were highly knowledgeable, many of which had great real-world experience in Big 4 public accounting firms. They were very helpful in setting me up to succeed in the public accounting sector. In the greater UC Irvine environment, there were many clubs and organizations to join which fostered a community of future accountants. I joined the accounting association and was able to network with like-minded individuals who were pursuing a similar career path. I would highly recommend UC Irvine’s accounting program to anyone who is interested in getting ahead in the world of accounting.” -Student at University of California Irvine

    University of California, Santa Cruz
    1156 High St
    Santa Cruz, CA 95064
    (831) 459-0111

    Student Review: “UCSC Accounting program is well-organized and thorough. Introductory courses are conducted through highly rigorous professors that emphasize strong understanding of the basics before any upper-division electives can be comprehended. Tax Accounting classes are especially thorough and well conducted; Professor Moschetti is extremely knowledgeable in all things tax related. Audit class seems a bit blase and brief, but since this is not a large emphasis of mine I am not concerned. Intermediate and Advanced Accounting classes are extremely rigorous and demand intensive studying and preparation, but are also an invaluable resource as far as CPA preparation is concerned. Recruitment is very heavy through the school as well; the department really emphasizes obtaining internships and hosts numerous job fairs and meet-and-greets. Overall I am satisfied with the program as a whole.” -Matthew T., student at University of California, Santa Cruz

    University of San Francisco
    2130 Fulton Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    (415) 422-5555

    Student Review: “The accounting program at USF certainly prepared me for the rigors of the world of public accounting post-graduation. The continuity of education I received from introductory through intermediate and advanced classes provided me with a solid base of knowledge from which to draw when it came time to sit for the California CPA exam. Although I am no longer pursuing a career in accounting, I can’t help but reflect fondly on the education I received during my four years at USF. Throughout my entire college career, my professors served as more than instructors – they were often friends and mentors who provided invaluable career advice and insight that helped me to get to where I am today. If I were to have one dislike about the program, is that it did little to warn us about what the life of a new accounting grad would be like (that is, starting a career in a major public accounting firm, often right before the start of busy season).” -Dave A., student at University of San Francisco

    Related Accounting Degree State Pages:

    1. National Center for Education Statistics:
    2. College Factual Best Accounting Schools 2023:
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2023 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2022.
    4. US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs:
    5. US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023:
    6. US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs:
    7. Association to Advance College Schools of Business, Accredited Universities and Schools, Business & Accounting:
    8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Accredited Schools, Separate Accounting:
    9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Members:
    10. Department of Education College Scorecard:
    11. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2019 University Edition:
    12. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, California: