Program at a Glance


Taxation, MS



Total Units



No GMAT or
GRE Required

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Taxation stresses real-world skills that empower students to be exceptional tax professionals. Many of the “Big Four” firms hire Golden Gate University graduates and send their employees to GGU to update their tax education.

Our taxation courses are taught by tax practitioners and lawyers who are experts in their field — in an environment that promotes the development of analytic and communication skills. Our Master of Science in Taxation is one of the most prestigious tax programs in the country, having earned a reputation for providing the most comprehensive and practical education available. Our taxation program’s current rankings include Best Master’s in Taxation Degrees (College Choice), 2024 Best Taxation Master’s Degree Schools (College Factual), and Best Online Master’s in Taxation Programs of 2024 (Forbes Advisor).

The curriculum stresses real-world content that prepares students to be knowledgeable tax professionals. Courses cover general and specialized tax subjects, including: estate and gift tax; partnerships; C corporations; LLCs and S corporations; California and multi-state tax; international tax; retirement plans; tax issues for individuals; and tax research.

GGU provides the option for a self-paced online format or in-person as part of an accelerated MST cohort format.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution, and provide official transcripts.
  • Master’s degree holders only need to submit transcripts from previous graduate programs. However, applicants are encouraged to submit all transcripts to maximize transfer credit.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements.
  • Applicants who earned a CPA license can waive the English Language requirement.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 should submit a statement of purpose and a resume. The statement of purpose should address the circumstances that may have led the applicants to poor academic performance, what had changed and why they think they’ll be successful now.

Day Cohort Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements for the Master of Science in Taxation, the Day Cohort program also requires the following:

  • A personal interview is required.
  • Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose and a resume.

Check with the Enrollment Coordinator for application deadlines.

Proficiency Requirements

Writing Proficiency

Students are expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they can be successful in their course of study. Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement.


The Master of Science in Taxation program requires a total of 30 units, including 21 units of core courses and 9 units of elective courses.

Select 9 units of coursework with the TA prefix that are not a part of the program’s core course requirements. The elective courses cover topics in data analytics, state, international, and estate taxation. The following is a selection of the elective courses offered:

If eligible, students may take TA 398 Internship: Taxation (3-6). Up to 6 units of course credit may be obtained throughinternship experience. Eligibility is determined by the Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation.

As an alternative to taking only taxation electives, students have the option to select up to three of their elective units from the following list:

Alternatively, students can select up to three units of coursework from LLM Taxation or LLM Estate Planning programs. (Note: All course prerequisites must be satisfied and tuition will be assessed on the rate applicable to the school or program that offers the course. Students interested in registering for LLM program course should seek the assistance of their advisor.)

Students transferring credit from accredited law schools, colleges, and universities may be granted as many as 6 units of credit toward the Master of Science in Taxation requirements for graduate tax courses successfully completed at those institutions.

Internship Opportunities

Students are encouraged to participate in an internship for experience and course credit. Visit our Taxation Internship FAQ page for more information.


The Master of Science in Taxation with Technology and Analytics Concentration requires completion of 36 units in the graduate program with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better in courses taken at Golden Gate University that are applicable to the program’s requirements. Courses listed carry three semester units of credit unless otherwise noted. For further information regarding graduation requirements, see Academic Requirements for Graduate Programs.


The undergraduate Path2CPA option makes the journey to an advanced degree quicker and less expensive. Students can earn a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) in as little as one year after completing GGU’s BS in Accounting. The Path2CPA option can also satisfy the 150-hour education requirement for CPA licensure. Pursuing this option eliminates the requirement to apply for the MST program and no GMAT/GRE test score is required.

The Path2CPA includes the following graduate-level courses: TA 318 Advanced Federal Income Taxation and TA 329A Tax Research and Writing. The graduate-level courses will be included in the unit totals and GPAs for both applicants’ undergraduate Accounting and graduate Taxation degree programs. Students whose average GPA in these two graduate courses falls below a 3.00 GPA will be conditionally admitted to the Master’s programs.

Program Format

Earn the MS Tax degree in-person and / or online — at your own pace or on a fixed schedule with a group of peers.

Non-Cohort Program
  • Courses are offered online or hybrid
  • The non-cohort program is self-paced and courses can be taken part- or full-time
  • Students may enroll in the program during any term
  • Completion time for non-cohort students is typically 2-4 years
Cohort Program
  • Courses are primarily offered in-person in San Francisco and via web conference
  • Cohort program students take courses full-time on a fixed schedule
  • Students must enroll in the Summer C term
  • Students in the cohort program will complete the degree in 12 months


Cohort (full-time) students earning this degree will attend many frequent workshops focusing on career search techniques, including resume writing and interview coaching. Multiple career options are presented by tax and accounting firms and industry leaders. Networking events and interactive sessions with accounting and tax professionals at all levels — from first year staff members to managing partners — are convened exclusively for cohort students. Technical panels and hands-on training sessions allow cohort students to immediately leverage their classroom knowledge so they are able to use what they have learned in real-life practice situations during their internship or employment position.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Science in Taxation program will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify tax issues, determine the applicable relevant primary authority, analyze relevant primary authority and apply the authorities to reach well-reasoned oral or written conclusions.
  • Demonstrate technical tax knowledge in the areas of individual, corporate and partnership taxation.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge and understanding of IRS practice and procedure and be able to represent a client in a tax controversy.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethics and standards of professional responsibilities applicable to tax practitioners.
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