The Master of Science in Taxation (MST) Program is a 30-unit program designed to provide individuals with the conceptual understanding and sound technical knowledge necessary to compete successfully in the ever-changing tax world. It is appropriate for individuals already working in public accounting, a corporate tax department, a law practice or government service. College graduates with an accounting degree who wish to pursue a career in taxation and/or meet the 150 unit requirement to become a CPA will also benefit from the program. (State fee schedule does not apply.)
More information can be found on the Lucas Graduate School of Business Website: sjsu.edu/lucasgsb/prospective-students/mst.
Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system and meet all the university admission requirements. Applicants apply separately to the department to obtain admission into the MST program.
Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.
Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing
To be fully accepted into the MST in classified standing, an applicant must have:
- Earned a Master’s degree or Ph.D. from an accredited institution in the United States.
- Completed the following undergraduate courses (or equivalent) prior to admission.
- A four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or from a recognized institution if the degree was earned outside of the United States.
- A GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in your last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of course work (Professional Development and Certificate Program course work cannot be included in this calculation).
- A Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) exam. Scores at the 50th percentile in both the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam are considered competitive. Conditional on the approval of the MST Director, the GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived if the applicant has any of following:
- Passed all parts of the CPA exam (in the United States).
- Passed the Enrolled Agent exam administered by the IRS.
- Scored 145 or higher in the LSAT exam.
- Graduated with honors from the Lucas College of Business Gary J. Sbona Honors Program within the last five years.
- A GPA of at least 3.2 from an accredited U.S. university AND completed at least three years of full-time work experience in taxation. An interview with the MST Director and/or a letter from the supervisor attesting to type of work responsibilities may be required.
- A GPA of at least 3.75 from an accredited U.S. university. An interview with the MST Director may be required.
Program of Study Requirements for the Master of Science in Taxation
Core Taxation Courses
Five core taxation courses (15 units) are required of all students. Of the core courses, two must be selected from a list of designated topic areas (business entities and multijurisdictional taxation); see below for details.
Students complete a minimum of 12 units of taxation elective courses.
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. For the MST Program, the required writing course is BUS 223A.
The culminating experience is a comprehensive individual written project incorporated into the capstone course, BUS 223H - Tax Policy Capstone. An oral examination may be included.
Maintenance of 3.0 GPA
Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better on all graduate-level course work. Students who receive grades of “C-“, “D”, “F”, or “U” in any business graduate course must repeat that course to achieve a grade of “C” or better.
Subject to the approval of the MST Program Director, students may transfer a maximum of nine semester units of business graduate course work from another accredited institution to be applied to advanced level course work requirements. Grades in the transfer courses must be “B” or better. MST courses taken via “Open University” are treated as transferred into the MST Program (and thus count toward the maximum of nine semester units of transferable course work).
Other University Requirements
Students must comply with all other graduate requirements contained in this catalog.
Requirements for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy
Students must meet the university requirements for candidacy. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy for the MST degree are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section. Candidacy includes the successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
Special Session Program Information
Academic Programs offered through Special Session are operated by the College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE). Registration and enrollment in a Special Session course or program will follow the special session fees and course schedules. Note that regular session students seeking to enroll simultaneously in a special session course or the program will trigger a separate and additional set of fees. This may require an additional enrollment appointment from the Registrar and it may have implications for financial aid status or requirements. Please visit the CPGE website for more information.