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MPAc Program FAQs
The most frequently asked questions about the MPAc program

About the Master of Professional Accountancy Program

What is the MPAc program?

The UC Davis MPAc program offers a comprehensive degree that covers all areas of accounting. Our 9-Month program provides you with the knowledge, technical skills and career preparation to thrive in one of the hottest job sectors in California–and beyond. It is a time and cost efficient way to compete all necessary accounting and ethics units to qualify to take the CPA exam in California.

The UC Davis MPAc program is one of the first accounting master’s program in California to embed Data Analytics into its curriculum. In combination these embedded courses will provide a student with the essentials of how Big Data statistical techniques and computer programs can be used in auditing and tax consulting. 

Students are able to pick from two concentrations, Tax and/or Analysis, depending on their career goals and educational background.

How long does it take to complete the UC Davis MPAc program?

Students complete the MPAc program in 9-months. Incoming students arrive on campus in late August and begin with a comprehensive Orientation. Classes start in late September. The degree concludes in early June with graduation shortly thereafter.

How many courses / units will I take?

Students complete 48 units (16 units per quarter) to meet the requirement for graduation.

None of the MPAc classes are offered online. The program is designed to be a traditional, classroom format, and all classes are held here at the Graduate School of Management on the UC Davis campus.

Will I qualify to sit for the CPA exam after graduating from the MPAc program?

The MPAc program at UC Davis fulfills the California Educational Requirements for CPA Licensure for the 24 semester units in “Accounting Subjects”, the 20 semester units in “Accounting Study” and, the 10 semester units in  “Ethics Study” (see the California Board of Accountancy Tip Sheet). Depending upon your undergraduate coursework, you may need to take additional courses outside of the MPAc to fulfill the 24 semester units in “Business-Related Subjects”. Students with undergraduate degrees in business, economics, mathematics, computer science, or related areas will most likely have met the “Business-Related Subjects” requirements, whereas a student whose undergraduate major was in the humanities may not have acquired enough “Business-Related Subjects” units even after completing the MPAc program and may need to make arrangements to make up those units in order to qualify for CPA licensure. 

To determine how your completed and projected coursework corresponds with the CPA requirements, please consult the California State Board of Accountancy.

Are there any opportunities for internships?

The MPAc program admits a select group of students in their junior year of college.  These students enroll in the MPAc upon completing their undergraduate degrees.  Individuals admitted into the MPAc in their junior year and that are eligible to work in the United States can apply for a pre-MPAc internship in the summer before the program starts. Interviews for summer internships typically occur in the early fall of a student’s final year in their undergraduate program.

About MPAc Admissions

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is U.S $125.00. If applying online, you may pay with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or electronic check. If you are using the paper application, you must pay by check or money order made payable to UC Regents.

Apply to the MPAc program online

Why did UC Davis add questions pertaining to gender identity and sexual orientation to our Graduate Application?

On October 8, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 620, which includes a request that UC provide the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to report their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on any forms used to collect demographic data.

In 2012, then UC President Mark Yudof created and charged the Task Force & Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion (LGBT Task Force) with developing priorities, strategies, and expected resource requirements to advance recommendations submitted by the LGBT Working Group of the President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate and Inclusion. On May 30, 2014, the LGBT Task Force presented a report to UC President Janet Napolitano with a recommendation to implement AB 620.

In September 2014, UC President Janet Napolitano formed the President’s Advisory Council on LGBT Students, Faculty, and Staff, which is comprised of faculty, LGBT Center staff, students, and community experts. They were charged with making the UC system a gold standard for LGBT issues, and to provide recommendations for the implementation of AB 620 by collecting data on gender identity and sexual orientation through the admission application. 

Providing the LGBT community with the option to self-identify supports the University’s priorities of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment across the UC system. Including these questions on the graduate application will signal to applicants that UC is an inclusive environment and that the LGBT community is part of it. As with all other demographic questions on the admission application, providing gender identity and sexual orientation data will be voluntary, optional, and as required by law, not impact admission decisions.

What is the wording of the gender identity and sexual orientation questions?

Gender Identity

1) How do you describe yourself?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Trans Male/Trans Man
  • Trans Female/Trans Woman
  • Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming
  • Different Identity (please specify)

2) What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Decline to state

Sexual Orientation

Do you consider yourself to be:

  • Heterosexual or straight
  • Gay or lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Not listed above (please specify)

How were the gender identity questions developed?

The Transgender Health Advocacy Coalition in Philadelphia, PA developed the two-step question protocol for gender identity data collection in 1997. The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and UC San Francisco began advocating the use of the two-step protocol in 2007, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted it in 2011. The two-step method was also cognitively tested by two research teams as part of the Williams Institute’s research on best practices to identify transgender people and other gender minorities through population-based surveys.

Why is the gender identity measure comprised of two questions?

The two-step question protocol for gender identity data collection involves first querying the respondent’s current gender identity, followed by a second question that asks the respondent to state their sex assigned a birth. Research has shown that together, these two variables work well in identifying transgender and other gender minority respondents. The two items are cross-tabulated to identify those who currently identify with their assigned sex (non-transgender) and those who do not currently identify with their assigned sex at birth (transgender and other gender minorities).

How was the sexual orientation question developed?

The Williams Institute at UCLA recommended the question regarding sexual orientation after a five-year study of sexual orientation measures. The question has been thoroughly tested and is currently in use in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and other state-level surveys. In keeping with approaches employed by NHIS and CHIS, respondents are provided a space to self-identify if the available answer options do not suit them.

How will UC Davis use responses?

Data collected on gender identity and sexual orientation will provide UC Davis with meaningful population data necessary for targeting resources and other student support services (e.g., scholarships and themed housing). These data will also enable campuses to develop curricular and co-curricular offerings that reflect students’ diverse perspectives, and that promote a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students.

As a recipient of federal Title IV financial aid funds, UC Davis is required to gather and report demographic data for undergraduate and graduate students, including gender data. For federal reporting purposes (i.e., IPEDS), it is recommended that Trans Female/Trans Woman be reported as Women, and Trans Male/Trans Man be reported as men. In addition, genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals should be reported as their sex assigned at birth.

Data collected should be included on the student record, unless the student opts for “only aggregate” reporting. If a student opts for exclusion from their personal record, these data should be maintained in aggregate form at the campus and student classification levels.

Students will be provided with an avenue to update or change their gender identity or sexual orientation data through online campus student portals or an alternate method determined by the campus.

What is the definition of the terms used in the data collection questions?

  • Bisexual – A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or toward people regardless of their gender.
  • Gay – A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender.
  • Gender – A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity.
  • Gender Expression – How one expresses oneself, in terms of dress, mannerisms, and/or behaviors that society characterizes as “masculine” or “feminine.”
  • Gender Non-Conforming – People who do not subscribe to gender expressions or roles expected of them by society.
  • Gender Queer – A person’s whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant social norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of them
  • Heterosexual/Straight – A sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of a gender other than their own.
  • Lesbian – A woman whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender.
  • Transgender – Used most often as an umbrella term; some commonly held definitions: 1) someone whose gender identity or expression does not fit within dominant group social constructs of assigned sex and gender; 2) a gender outside of the man/woman binary; 3) having no gender or multiple genders.
  • Trans Man/Trans Male – A female-to-male (FTM) transgender person who was assigned female at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a man.
  • Trans Woman/Trans Female – A male-to-female (MTF) transgender person who was assigned male at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a woman.

For additional terms, visit the UC Davis LGBT Resource Center website at:

What factors are considered in admissions decisions?

The Admissions Committee evaluates your academic potential, professional promise and personal qualities. These factors are not listed in order of importance, and we look at each candidate individually. The Admissions Committee’s goal is to assemble a class of students who will bring diverse perspectives to the learning environment.

What is required for application to the MPAc program?

  • Application, which can be found on our website
  • Current résumé
  • List of outside activities, awards and honors
  • Personal statement of 250 words
  • Official transcripts in sealed envelope (with English translation if needed)
  • Two recommendations in sealed envelopes or submitted online
  • Official GMAT or GRE test score taken within the past five years unless you meet the  requirements for the GMAT/GRE waiver policy
  • Official TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS (for international applicants)
  • $125 application fee

What are the GMAT/GRE requirements?

The GMAT requirement may be waived for US domestic applicants, and international applicants who completed their undergraduate degree (all four years) from a US institution, with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or above.  All applicants with a GPA less than 3.2 will be required to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in accounting or business. Can I still apply to the UC Davis MPAc? 

The requirements to qualify for the MPAc program are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Successful completion of the following four courses, or their equivalents:
    • Introduction to Financial Accounting
    • Introduction to Managerial Accounting
    • Business Law
    • Statistics

The prerequisite courses may be “in progress” at the time of applying, but must be completed before beginning the MPAc program in the fall. Prerequisites cannot be taken concurrently with the MPAc curriculum.

What are the admission requirements for international applicants?

Applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS examination scores unless they have earned or will be earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from either: 

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, OR 
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. UC Davis Graduate School of Management will only approve waivers for foreign colleges and universities which list English as the sole language of instruction in the IAU World Higher Education Database. No other documentation will be reviewed or accepted.

Minimum score requirements for the TOEFL are 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computer based test, or 100 on the internet-based test. The minimum score for the IELTS is 7.0 out of 9.0. Although candidates who do not meet the score requirement are welcome to submit an application for admission, it is rare that someone with a score below the minimum is offered admission to the program.

International candidates must have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree or the equivalent. We do require a degree equivalent to a 4-year US bachelor’s degree — 16 total years of education.  We see a large number of international applicants with 3-year undergraduate degrees and generally speaking, those applicants usually need to complete a 1-year post graduate diploma to meet the degree requirement. There are a number of organizations that perform academic credential evaluations. We recommend utilizing one of these services to determine the exact standing of your degrees. For example, you may want to visit World Education System at

What is the current student profile for the UC Davis MPAc program?

Please visit MPAc Class Profile.

Is work experience required for admission to the MPAc program?

Work experience is not required for admission, but will certainly be considered as part of your overall applicant profile if you do have an employment history. The UC Davis MPAc program admits students with a range of experience as well as students who enroll directly from an undergraduate program without traditional work experience. Not having work experience will not put an applicant at a disadvantage for admission.

What prerequisite courses are required for admission to the UC Davis MPAc program? 

There are four prerequisites required for the MPAc program:

  1. Introduction to Financial Accounting
  2. Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  3. Business Law
  4. Statistics

Because there is no mandatory undergraduate major requirement for admission, it is essential that incoming students have these accounting fundamentals in place before beginning the MPAc program.  Prerequisites can be “in progress” at the time of applying for the MPAc program but must be successfully completed prior to enrolling in the fall. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Prerequisite courses can be taken at any accredited institution. If classes are planned or in progress at the time of applying for admission, please indicate where courses are being taken and expected date of completion on your application. For more information about accredited institutions, see the US Department of Education Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Do I need to submit official copies of my transcripts and test scores along with my MPAc application?

You can submit unofficial copies with your application — transcripts and test scores can be electronically uploaded with your online application. In the event that you are offered admission, UC Davis will require official, sealed copies of transcripts from all institutions attended (including coursework taken after applying to the MPAc program) and official score reports sent from the testing service.

What is the institutional code for UC Davis so that I can have score reports submitted?

For GMAT: B1S-VF-54
For GRE: 7887
For TOEFL: 4834 (Department Code 02)

What is the mailing address for MPAc Admissions?

Graduate School of Management – Admissions
Gallagher Hall, Suite 1101
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Is it possible to apply for admission in the winter or spring? Can I attend part time?

Admission is only offered in the fall of each academic year on a full-time basis.

About MPAc Career Development

What kind of career development opportunities does the Graduate School of Management offer?

The Career Development department at the GSM has a long history of successfully assisting MBA students with their career search. This experienced team is now a resource for MPAc students as they plan their entry into the accounting profession.

Services include:

  • Meet the Firms networking events
  • Individual counseling to sharpen job search strategies
  • Career Development workshops
  • Group meetings with Career Development staff
  • Mock interviews
  • Access to national and international job listings
  • Participation in national conferences
  • Site visits, guest speakers and information sessions with industry leaders

What is the placement rate for MPAc graduates?

See most recent placement report

About International Students and Opportunities

What resources are available for international students?

Visit the UC Davis Services for International Students & Scholars Office (SISS) or call (530) 752-0864.

When is the last deadline that international students can apply?

We encourage our international applicants to apply early. If admitted, this helps to ensure that student visas are properly processed prior to joining our program. The final deadline for international student applications is Round 3 (February 13, 2019).

What are the chances of working in the U.S. after I receive my MPAc degree?

It is extremely challenging for international students to secure employment post-graduation due to the cost of sponsoring a working visa (H-1B visa). That said it is possible for highly-qualified international students to be offered positions in the US.

The most successful candidates:

  • Demonstrate a very strong fluency in English, both written and spoken
  • Are comfortable with and have a clear understanding of American culture and way of interacting in a professional setting
  • Take advantage of all resources offered by the GSM and UC Davis career services, and are flexible and open-minded with regard to their opportunities for employment

What percentage of MPAc students are international?

Please see our MPAc class profile.

What is the TOEFL or IELTS requirement for applying to the MPAc program?

If your native language is not English, you must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within two years of your projected enrollment date. If you completed a degree in an English-speaking country, the TOEFL or IELTS is not required.

The minimum score requirements for the TOEFL are 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the Internet-based test. The institution code is 4834. For more information on TOEFL, please contact: Educational Testing Service (ETS) at (609) 771-7100.

The minimum band score requirement for the IELTS is 7.0. You must request that the testing center send your official scores directly to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management; no code is required. For more information on the IELTS, please contact IELTS International at (323) 255-2771.

About Financing the MPAc Degree

Does the Graduate School of Management offer scholarships or grants?

Both the University of California and the Graduate School of Management have financial aid available for students, including grant funding. GSM scholarships are merit-based and are offered at the same time as offers of admission. Every student is given scholarship consideration when applying; no additional application is required. You will be notified by Student Affairs if you have been selected for a GSM scholarship.

For more information about financial aid, please see: UC Davis Financial Aid for Graduate & Professional Students.

Are there other scholarships or grants available from other sources?

There are a range of scholarships offered from both public and private sources. You are ultimately responsible for securing funding for your MPAc degree, however there is an abundance of information about scholarships available for accounting students. Students should explore general scholarships as well as scholarships from affinity groups; consider what kind of package best fits both your needs and your unique qualities.

Some places to start:

Are international students eligible for financial aid from UC Davis?

Most types of financial aid are not available for students with the following Visa types: F-1 or F-2 Student, G Series, H Series, J-1 or J-2 Exchange Visitor. International students may be eligible for scholarships, alternative loans and short-term loans.

For more information, visit the UC Davis Financial Aid website.

About the City of Davis

What is the City of Davis like?

Ecologically aware and socially progressive, Davis has a small town friendliness and strong community participation. Davis is a true “college town” with students comprising nearly half of the city’s population of 64,400. There is a widespread appreciation for open space and community recreation as evidenced by the numerous greenbelts and landscaped parks, tennis courts, playgrounds and swimming pools, and Davis’s celebrated Farmers Market. Davis boasts over 50 miles of bicycle and jogging paths linking all parts of town and campus. Sacramento, the state capitol, is located 12 miles to the east and affords all the amenities expected in a major metropolitan area. Davis is a modest drive from San Francisco and world-famous destinations like Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe.

What is the housing situation in Davis?

There is a range of housing options close to campus, but apartment living is the most common option for graduate students. For more information on apartments in Davis, see Davis Wiki.

Graduate students may apply to live in apartments and cooperatives on campus. See the UC Davis Student Housing website for eligibility requirements and application information.

Students with families are eligible to live in campus apartments; first priority goes to students with children. For more information, refer back to the UC Davis Student Housing office.

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