This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit



The Master of Science in Taxation program is a demanding, competitive and rigorous course of study that develops an understanding of the tax practice. It focuses on building research, communication, compliance and critical-thinking skills that are vital to becoming a successful tax practitioner in public, private, government and not-for-profit organizations.

This program is administered through The Tseng College. It is entirely funded by student fees and is offered in the cohort format.

Program Requirements

Program Eligibility and Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Taxation

To earn the M.S. in Taxation, students must be classified as graduate students. Classified graduate students are those who have met all criteria for classification in the program. The criteria for classification is listed below.

Students must fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • A graduate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Appropriate scores on GRE, GMAT, MAT or other acceptable examinations as required by the department.
  • The student obtains a “B” or higher in the first three courses in the M.S. in Taxation program; and obtains at the time of admission to the program either: (a) a professional credential of CPA or Enrolled Agent (EA); or (b) has at least 5 years of experience performing progressively more complex and sophisticated tasks in the field of taxation in a public accounting, government or private industry setting.
  • A passing score on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination is required for classification.

Finally, candidates must complete the 30 units of coursework as described below with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Candidates who fail to attain a 3.0 or higher average in the first 15 units attempted will be disqualified from the program. The maximum time allowable to complete the degree is 5 calendar years from the date of admission.

1. Core Skills (3 units)

ACCT 509 Tax Ethics, Research and Communication (3)

2. Core Knowledge (24 units)

These eight courses provide the students with an in-depth knowledge in key areas in the field of taxation. Each course integrates into its curriculum and pedagogy written-communication skills, tax-research skills and critical-thinking skills. Some courses also integrate compilation and analytical review and oral communication skills, as well as ethics and professional responsibility.

Foundational Knowledge (15 units)
Students must take all of the following five courses:

ACCT 520 Income Tax Concepts and Their Business Applications (3)
ACCT 629 Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders I (3)
ACCT 633 Income Taxation of Partnerships (3)
ACCT 640 Accounting Methods and Periods (3)
ACCT 645 Federal Tax Procedure (3)

Fields of Specializations (9 units)
Students must take a cluster of three specialized topic courses. Clusters may vary from cohort to cohort. Specialized topic courses include the following:

ACCT 631 Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders II (3)
ACCT 635 Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts (3)
ACCT 637 Taxation of Foreign Transactions and Taxpayers (3)
ACCT 661 State and Local Taxes (3)
ACCT 668 Selected Topics in Taxation (3)

3. Tax Planning Focus (2 units)

ACCT 650 Contemporary Tax Planning Issues Seminar (2)

4. Culminating Experience (1 unit)

As part of their culminating experience, students have the option of participating in either a Tax Challenge Project or a Federal Tax Clinic.

ACCT 698A Tax Clinic (1)
or ACCT 698B Tax Challenge Project (1)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 30


Chair: Rafi Efrat
Juniper Hall (JH) 1111
(818) 677-3952

Staff: Sherry Manavi
(818) 677-3952

Staff: Jesse Knepper
(818) 677-4415

Staff: Hermine Tsaroukian
(818) 677-7707

Student Learning Outcomes

Our graduates are able to:

  1. Apply their conceptual understanding of tax to both structured and unstructured problems.
  2. Effectively communicate their analysis of complex taxation problems in writing.
  3. Research tax literature for both structured and unstructured problems.
  4. Apply critical-thinking skills when analyzing and solving tax problems.
  5. Recognize and analyze ethical and professional responsibility issues in the tax practice.
  6. Conduct analytical review of tax returns.