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Accounting Principles FAQs

Prerequisites, Requirements and Accreditation

  • Is there a recommended order to take the courses in?
  • The Principles of Financial Accounting course is the required pre-requisite for all other courses in the certificate. Following completion of that course, it is recommended to take the remaining courses in the following sequence: Intermediate Accounting: Part 1, Intermediate Accounting: Part 2, and Principles of Cost Accounting. Students should consult with the Program Representative if they have questions about course availability or taking the courses in a different sequence.
  • I don't have a background in accounting. Am I qualified to start this certificate?
  • The Accounting Principles Certificate is designed for those with little to no experience or education in the field of accounting. Only a high school diploma, access to a stable Internet connection and basic computer skills are needed to qualify for the certificate.
  • Is the certificate accredited?
  • Our Accounting certificates are approved by UC Davis faculty.  University of California, Davis is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • What are the requirements to earn the certificate?
  • You must earn a grade of C or higher in all four courses to earn the Accounting Principles Certificate. You have five years from the date of enrollment to complete the certificate.
  • Do courses provide academic credit and/or continuing education units?
  • All of the courses in the Accounting Principles Certificate Program offer academic credit. Each course is worth 4 quarter credit units.
  • What is the recommended course of action for students intending to sit for the CPA Exam?
  • If you are planning to sit for the CPA exam, taking both the Accounting Principles and Accounting Specialist Certificate Programs will provide enough credits to fulfill the 36 credit hours in Accounting Subjects required to be eligible for the exam. Please visit the California Board of Accountancy website for more information regarding the CPA exam.

General Questions

  • May I enroll in individual courses without completing the certificate?
  • Yes, you may enroll in individual Accounting courses without completing the certificate. Some professionals look for particular topics that will improve their skills in specific areas or allow them to brush up on topics they haven’t studied in some time.  Please be aware that many of the accounting courses have pre-requisite course requirements.
  • Is there a limit to how many people can enroll in each class?
  • Class size varies from course to course. In an online environment, we generally allow for upwards of 30 students in a class, although this number may vary.  Please contact Student Services for questions about enrolling in classes that are full/have a waitlist.
  • How does the “Fast Track model” work?
  • The Accounting Principles Fast Track Certificate format is a convenient way to accelerate your course plan. Students can complete the certificate in just 12-15 months and save on the overall certificate cost with our pre-pay pricing option.
  • Can I receive an extension on the discounted price for Fast Track if I cannot complete the program in the scheduled time frame?
  • No, the 15% discount is only offered to students who complete the Fast Track program in the time allotted.  Fast Track students who fail to meet the terms of the program incur additional fees and charges.
  • I’ve taken previous Accounting courses from UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. Do they count toward my certificate in the new program?
  • UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education provides evolving educational opportunities to help working professionals advance in their careers, and we offer students up to five years to complete a certificate program. Courses taken within the last five years can be transferred to the newer certificate. Please speak with a Program Representative to discuss your personal path to certificate completion.
  • Who are the program instructors and what is their accounting experience?
  • UC Davis only hires accounting instructors who have years of experience and advanced degrees in their respective industries. Our instructors must also meet the stringent academic standards established by the University of California, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. Detailed instructor biographies are included on each course page.

Time and Cost

  • How long will it take me to complete the certificate?
  • Students in the Fast Track Certificate Program will finish in 12-15 months. Students not enrolled in Fast Track can complete the program in anywhere from 12 months to five years.
  • What is the cost of the program?
  • Students who take courses a la carte will pay $880 per course, for a total cost of $3,520, plus the cost of books and the certificate candidacy fee of $125.
    Fast Track Certificate students will pay a total cost of $2,992, plus the cost of books. The candidacy fee is also waived for Fast Track students.
  • Are there program discounts for which I might be eligible?
  • There are numerous discounts available, including group discounts and discounts for Cal Aggie Alumni Association (CAAA) members. Please note that discounts cannot be combined.  This includes the Fast Track discount.

Online Learning

  • Are all of the courses available online? Do I need to log into my courses at a particular time?
  • All of the courses are held online and you can access the material 24 hours a day. There are no synchronous sessions requiring students to attend at a specific time.  Assignments are due on a weekly basis.
  • How does online learning work?
  • Online courses have real instructors, students, course materials, assignments, tests and grades. They also have the same academic rigor and quality that you expect from our traditional, face-to-face courses. Our online learning courses require the same commitment and effort that you would bring to a classroom experience.

    The most obvious difference with an online learning format is that you don't have to travel to a classroom. In most cases, the entire course is taken online. You'll enjoy more flexibility with online learning courses because you work at a time and place convenient to you. However, without the demands of a specific time and place for a course meeting, you will have to use more self-discipline to ensure your timely progress through the course. If you do not set aside time each week for the course, you may quickly find yourself behind and overwhelmed. Our most successful students schedule themselves as they would for a classroom course, only on their own schedule.
  • What support is available if I have technical problems with a course?
  • You can access technical support through the Online Learning Campus.

How is the Accounting Principles Certificate different from the Accounting Specialist Certificate?