Santa Clara University

CAAP Program FAQ's


Can I take the CAAP program while in a master degree program?
Yes. Please keep in mind that students in the CAAP program earn undergraduate units, not graduate units. Units earned in the CAAP program cannot be transferred to replace MBA classes at Santa Clara University. Transferring units to other institutions is at the discretion of the degree granting institution.
Does the CAAP program accept transfer credit?
No, with the exception of undergraduate or MBA accounting course(s) taken at Santa Clara University as credits towards the Certificate. Please contact us at for more specific guidance.
Can I continue to work fulltime and successfully complete the CAAP program?

Summer: We strongly discourage summer program students from planning to work part-time or full-time while in the program. Successful completion of the program typically requires 4 hours per weekday in class, and 6-8 hours of daily study outside class time. This typically precludes working at the same time. We encourage students who plan to continue working while participating in the summer CAAP program to make arrangements with their employer for additional time off or lighter duties.

Weekend: We anticipate that most of the students in the Saturday or Sunday program will be working full time during the program. All classes are held on Saturday or Sunday to limit conflict with normal work schedules. Students should plan on about 20 hours of home work per week.

Are there prerequisites for admission into the CAAP program?
Yes. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or a foreign equivalent. Applicants must submit an official transcript showing the degree has been conferred. Students who have earned a master’s degree may choose to submit their official transcripts from their completed master’s program in lieu of undergraduate transcripts. All international transcripts must be evaluated. Evaluations must show U.S. bachelor degree equivalency and final cumlative gradepoint average.

Students whose undergraduate or graduate GPA is lower than 2.5 must submit both a statement of purpose and a letter of recommendation in addition to transcripts. Low GPA does not disqualify a student from acceptance.
Can a student be admitted and enrolled to the CAAP program if he or she does not have an undergraduate degree?
No. Applicants must earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree prior to being enrolled in the CAAP program.
Do students that have earned a degree in accounting  qualify for the CAAP program?
No. The CAAP program is designed for students who majored in a subject other than accounting.
Do students who did not major in business qualify for the CAAP program?
Yes! The CAAP program is designed for students with a non accounting degree. Students without business backgrounds have been successful in the program.
Do I need to take any test to enroll in the CAAP program?


Are interviews required for admission to the CAAP program?


When is the deadline to apply to the CAAP program?
Students are admitted on a rolling basis, and it is recommended that potential students apply early in the application cycle. The Summer program application cycle begins in annually in January.

The Weekend program application cycle starts in May each year. 

If you would like to be added to our email list to be reminded when the application cycle begins for your program of interest, please email your contact information to
Is there any advantages to sending in my application before the deadline?
Students who meet the academic requirements are admitted on a rolling basis. Applying early in the application cycle maximizes the chances of admission and placement in one’s preferred cohort.
How can I check the status of my application?
Santa Clara University's Executive Development Center processes all the program applications, and will communicate with students as quickly as possible regarding application status. Applications are typically processed within two to four weeks of receipt. Questions can be addressed to the Executive Development Center at or 408.554.4521.
Are there additional requirements for students whose first language is not english?
Yes. Students who completed their formal education in a non-English speaking institution must complete the TOEFL exam and submit the results with their application.
Do I have to get my foreign credentials evaluated?
Yes. International transcripts must be evaluated by any California Board of Accountancy approved agency found at Evaluations must show a U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency and final cumulative grade point average. Applicants must possess the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. No exceptions.
Do I need to submit TOEFL scores if my native language is English?


Do I need to submit TOEFL scores if I received my formal education in English?


My native language is not English and I did not receive education in English. Do I need to submit TOEFL score?


Students whose native language is English, or received their formal education in Englsih need not submit TOEFL scores. Students who completed their formal education at a non-English speaking institution must complete the TOEFL exam and submit the results with their application. 

Note: Applicants whose native language is English need not submit TOEFL scores.

I am an international student, Can I apply for a F-1 Visa?


The Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) program is offered via a part-time weekend schedule.  As such, international students are ineligible to apply since US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements for international students mandate full-time enrollment in academic programs. Visas cannot be issued for the Summer CAAP program.

The Leavey School of Business offers graduate programs which may serve the needs of international students and for which they may be eligible.  International students interested in these programs should contact the Graduate Business area at or 408-554-4539.

How long does it take for my application to be processed once it is received?
Applications are processed two-four weeks after receipt. In order for an application to be processed, applicants must submit transcripts showing that that a minimum of a bachelor degree has been conferred. If the applicant has a GPA lower than 2.5 all additional material must be submitted before the application will be considered complete.
Does admission constitute admission into a degree granting program at Santa Clara University?
Admission to the Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency program does not constitute admission to a degree-granting program at Santa Clara University.
When are students enrolled in classes?
Summer: Students admitted in January-April are enrolled in April. Students admitted after April 30 will be enrolled in May.

Weekend: Students admitted in May-July 31 will be enrolled in August.
Do students that have taken accounting courses in another program still need to take the introductory course?
Each applicant requesting to forego ACTG 180 is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Should SCU MBA students who have successfully completed ACTG 301 enroll in ACTG 180?
SCU MBA students may not need to enroll in the introductory sequence depending on how well they learned and retained the material of ACTG 301, and how long ago the classes were taken. Please consult with the CAAP Faculty Director, Dr. Susan Parker at, for more specific guidance.
How is billing handled?
Admitted students are billed through SCU’s eCampus system.

Summer: Tuition is due, in full, May 21 since the Summer CAAP program takes place over one quarter.

Weekend: Students enrolled in the Weekend CAAP program are billed over three quarters. Billing is subject to the courses in which the student is enrolled. Tuition payments are typically due on August 21, December 21 and March 21.

 If you have questions about billing or financial aid please contact Carol Imper in the Bursar's Office at or by phone at (408) 554-6907.
What types of financial aid options are available for CAAP students?
Ford Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans are available for students who choose to complete the FAFSA application at The lenders will ask for your grade level on the loan application and it is critical that they understand that you are not in a graduate program. For more information regarding financial aid, including instructions for applying, please click here.
Can I apply for a Private Alternative Loan?
Yes. Students can apply for a Private Alternative Loan to cover the cost of the program not covered by FAFSA. For students who would rather borrow the entire amount needed for the program in one loan, you may apply for a Private Alternative Loan up to the Cost of Attendance, through any lender you choose. The lenders will ask for your grade level on the loan application and it is critical that they understand that you are not in a graduate program. For more information regarding financial aid, including instructions for applying, please click here.
Is it possible to fail classes in the CAAP program?
Yes. CAAP is an academically rigorous program and some students may not achieve a passing grade.
What are the consequences of failing a class in the CAAP program?
A grade of F is considered a failing grade, and the units will not be counted toward certificate requirements. If a student receives the grade of F he or she will not be allowed to continue in the program without the permission of the Faculty Director. The decision of the Faculty Director is final. 
Do all professors that teach in the CAAP program have advanced degrees?  Do you use part-time instructors?
CAAP classes are usually taught by regular, full time Santa Clara accounting faculty holding doctoral degrees in accounting. We may invite a similarly qualified faculty member from another accredited University to teach one or more courses.
Does the CAAP program cover all of the accounting units needed for licensure in California?
Yes. The CAAP program is designed to meet all of the requirements for accounting units when all courses are completed (ACTG 180-187).
Are there other requirements to sit for the California CPA exam beyond accounting?
Yes. There is also a business unit requirement that must be met in order to sit for the CPA Exam. The CA Board of Accountancy ( provides more information about the requirements in the Uniform CPA Examination Handbook found at:
How can I evaluate my classes that I have on my transcripts?
The California Board of Accountancy also has a self-assessment worksheet designed to assist you in evaluating the education you have already completed and planning for any future education found here:
Once I pass the California CPA exam will I be a licensed CPA?
No. After you have qualified and passed the California CPA you must then meet licensure requirements. For more detailed information please see
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