Golden Gate University

Today’s Tax and Accounting Leaders Teaching Tomorrow’s

Golden Gate University is where tomorrow’s brightest tax and accounting professionals go to learn from those at the peak of their field today.

This nonprofit institution is professionally based, says Mary Canning, dean of the Braden School of Taxation and the School of Accounting. She oversees graduate curricula in these disciplines, and she has built them into highly respected, real-world programs with a total of about 2,300 students.

The schools of taxation and accounting offer four strong graduate degrees: a master of science in taxation; a master of accountancy; a master of accountancy with a concentration in taxation and a master of accountancy with a concentration in forensics – essentially, investigative accounting. “Forensic accounting is just a fascinating business,” Canning says. “And the Department of Labor has said it’s one of the growth industries over the next five years.”

The international tax certificate is another highlight. Seven international tax courses are offered – the most extensive class listing of any such program in the world. Students must take five of the seven to complete the certificate.

This all fits well with Golden Gate’s mission to ready people to launch or advance prestigious careers. Evening programs are available for those who work, and the university offers a one-year full-time daytime curriculum that even includes lunchtime seminars with visiting professionals. The programs are also offered online, so they fill the need of people across the nation who may not have such quality programs readily available to them.
“We prepare students to lead and serve by providing high-quality, practice-based educational programs,” Canning says. “Our programs are particularly innovative, relevant and current.”

That’s because her instructors are professionals who not only know the material, they live it in their working lives. Many have been involved in investigating and/or testifying on the accounting issues in large and noteworthy cases – such as Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth and many of the banking scandals that arose from the near collapse of the banking system in 2008. “Many of our instructors are full-time professors who have had a long-term career in the profession, they’re published, and they consult, so they stay current,” says Canning. “And the others are adjunct professors who are at high levels in their profession, so they’re bringing the most current application of skills and knowledge. And I think that’s where the magic happens in our classrooms.”

The schools of taxation and accounting actually discourage people from overloading their coursework – better to take fewer classes and excel. Students must maintain a “B” average. “We make them job-ready,” Canning says. “It’s known to be a really tough and rigorous program, and I’m proud of that.”


Golden Gate University Schools of Taxation and Accounting 536 Mission Street, Room 5314
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 442-7885 |