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Program FAQs

What makes the Rady Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) unique?

The Rady faculty are ranked among the top in the world, they are leading experts in their field, both academically and professionally. As a student in the MPAc program, you will learn from cutting-edge research as well as from current and former senior executives from industry and global accounting giants.

Faculty and staff are with you every step of the way, providing individual career support, academic advising, as well as tutoring, and extracurricular options to expand your experience outside the classroom. You can also expect hands-on experience with major firms within the capstone project. As a student, you have the flexibility to take electives in the program across the Rady Campus. Students in our program have up to 40 percent of the electives from other Rady programs in finance, data, leadership, and industry focus (e.g. energy). We are constantly evaluating our curriculum, based on marketplace changes and industry feedback

How long will it take me to complete the MPAc program?

The Master of Professional Accountancy program is designed as a full-time, nine-month immersive program. Currently, there is no part-time, evening, or weekend format available in the MPAc program. The curriculum consists of seven, four-unit core courses, two, one-unit professional seminars, and 20 units from a set of elective courses. This program is comprised of 40 percent electives which allow you to customize your program to support your career and academic goals.

Will I be getting hands-on experience in the MPAc program?

Yes, the capstone project is a requirement for all students and will provide you with real-world experience working on a company project. This is a key differentiator for Rady, where all of our students graduate with hands-on experience, working on real business problems. Accountants build trust and confidence in capital markets all over the world. You will be asked to support decision-makers as they navigate the complex business demands of a growing number of stakeholders. The capstone will allow you to work with industry or professional firm sponsors to analyze and address a complex issue facing them. The topics are current and will change with the environment.

Is the Master of Professional Accountancy STEM certified?

Yes, the MPAc degree has been recognized as a STEM-designated field of study. Students who complete the MPAc degree will have the opportunity to qualify for an additional two-year STEM extension of their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permission. The Rady School MPAc degree is one of only 24 percent of specialized master's programs in the U.S. to earn STEM designation. Students take several classes that focus on managerial decision-making using new technologies and approaches with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Will I receive personalized academic advising?

Yes, each student will receive personalized support from their academic advisor. Your MPAc advisor will be guiding you throughout your entire program.

What are housing options for graduate students?

Graduate students at UC San Diego have a variety of housing options, including on-campus and off-campus accommodations. Visit the UC San Diego HDH Graduate and Family Housing webpage for on-campus housing information. On-campus housing is limited; students wishing to live on-campus are encouraged to submit a housing application as soon as they receive an admissions offer. All on-campus housing is managed by UC San Diego Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH); the Rady School is unable to answer on-campus housing-related questions or request prioritization of housing applications.

Please visit the UC San Diego off-campus housing webpage for more information about off-campus accommodation options.

How can I learn more about the Rady MPAc program?

Contact our Rady Graduate Admissions Department if you would like to schedule an Advising Session with our Assistant Director of Admissions. We also offer the option to audit a course or speak with former students.

Do I need an accounting background to apply to the program?

No, neither a Bachelor’s degree (major or minor) in accounting nor accounting-specific work experience is required for the MPAc program. Meeting all of the accounting prerequisite courses is highly encouraged.

If I do not have previous experience in accounting, would I need to complete additional coursework and gain relevant experience prior to applying?

You may apply for admission before completing the required pre-requisite coursework, but they must be completed before the start of the MPAc program in order to enroll in classes.

What does the graduate admissions committee look for in an applicant?

Applicants are reviewed on a holistic basis, meaning the admissions committee looks at the overall competitiveness of your interview and application as it relates to your prior academic work, professional experience, fit or alignment with the Rady School values and mission, and more. There are many specific factors that go into admission decisions, including previous education performance, recommendations, the GMAT/GRE (if applicable), TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable), work experience, essays, and passion for the program. All of these components are carefully reviewed once your application is completed. The graduate admissions committee will balance the diversity of education, work experience, background, and leadership potential to build a diverse cohort of the high caliber of students.

I am a Junior at a UC school, can I apply early?

Yes, we offer a unique opportunity for Juniors actively attending a UC (UCSD, UCR, UCI, UCSB, UCSC, UCD, UCB, UCSF, UCLA) to apply for Graduate admissions early. There are several benefits to becoming a Jr. Applicant. Please see our website for additional information on eligibility or contact Stacy, our MPAc Assistant Director of Admissions at