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UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program

Your one-stop shop for the UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program guidelines.

Application Period Currently Closed

The Spring 2022 application period is currently closed.

Program Overview

All UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program participants must go through the application process outlined below. Links to UCSD Extension course information is provided for review purposes only -  do not register or pay for courses.

Course Information Format Cohort
Units Hours

Fall 2021

Winter 2022 Spring 2022 Summer 2022 Fall 2022
Starts Week Of October
January 2022 TBD
Pre-requisite Course (Not required if assessment is passed with 80% or more)
Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants Online 40 4.0 40 x x x x x
Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants Live Online 40 4.0 40 x x x x
Core Course (Required)

Elementary Accounting I*

*Prerequisite: Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants or passed assessment

Online 40 4.0 40 x x x x

Finance Management*

*Prerequisite: Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants or passed assessment

Online 40 4.0 40 x x x x
Elective Courses (Choose 1)

Elementary Accounting II*

*Prerequisite: Elementary Accounting I

Online 40 4.0 40 x x

Financial Modeling with Excel*

*Prerequisite: Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants or passed assessment

Online 40 2.0 20 x x
Intermediate Excel Online 40 3.0 30 x x
Effective Leadership and Teamwork in the Workplace Live Online 40 3.0 30 x x
Business Communication Skills Live Online 40 3.0 30 x x

What is the UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program?

The UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program is a comprehensive financial accounting program that offers accounting knowledge at a basic to intermediate level. This program is intended to establish foundational accounting knowledge that is consistent across the UC San Diego staff members who are in finance and accounting roles. Participants will also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of electives that align with specific skills that they would like to further develop.

If you are interested in system specific training such as Oracle, please see our existing training resources here.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use accounting and financial data for more effective and profitable decisions
  • Learn the basics in financial accounting theory and practice
  • Learn the key concepts, terms and tools associated with the financial world


  • Classes are only offered to UC San Diego employees
  • Taught by expert practitioners
  • Practice-based learning 
  • Two online formats available:
    • Asynchronous (Online): instructor-led curriculum with no set meeting times/pre-recorded instruction
    • Synchronous (Live Online): instructor-led curriculum with set meeting times and live instruction
  • Customize your learning by choosing from a variety of electives
  • Provides continuing education units which may be used to meet the California State Board of Accountancy’s educational requirements

Associated Costs

The UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program is fully funded by the Chief Financial Officer and offered to the Individual at no cost for the following year. At the one-year mark, the program will undergo review to determine the efficacy and continuation.

Alignment with UC San Diego Training Programs

The program serves as a complement to any UC San Diego Budget & Finance Training and Research Administrator Training that is currently offered.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

UC San Diego career employees (Campus, Foundation, and Health) with fiscal responsibilities are eligible to apply to the UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program. 

Priority enrollment will be given to staff that support their department as Research Administrators and Fiscal Managers (fund managers). Any remaining seats will be filled with Business Officers and other fiscal staff. Unfortunately, contractors are not eligible at this time.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please email

Application Process

The application process for the UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program is as follows:

  1. Complete the application, including the mandatory program assessment and required forms as referenced in the application. 
  2. Use the application link here to apply:
    1. Application period has closed for Spring 2022
  3. Program Committee members will review applications and make final decisions about individual placement in the program based on a VC seat distribution.
  4. Applicants will be notified of committee decision(s) by the end of the week of March 14 and must accept/register with UC San Diego Extension (details will be communicated to participants).
  5. Spring Quarter classes have begun the week of March 28. 


Application Forms

If you are unable to access the forms within the application process, they are listed below:


Application Review Committee

Andy Koudriavtsev, Finance Manager (VCMS)
Isabella Bryant-Parkinson, Director Business Tech/Ops (VCHS)
Caitlin Chu, Principal Analyst (VCCFO)
Irene Xavier, Business Operations Manager (VCMS)
Nikki Giaquinta, Assistant Director TechPM (VCCFO)
Lisa Russon, JSOE Dean's Office Divisional Business Officer (VCAA)
Kyle Nakanishi, Director Business Operations (VCRA)
Nirvana Navarro, Financial Analyst (VCSA)
Matthew Vanderbilt, Medicine Director Business Analytics/Fiscal Affairs (VCHS)
Jake Guss, Controller (VCRMP)
Susselys Virgil, Assistant Controller (VCCFO)

Attendance & Participation Guidelines

The attendance and participation policy is dependent on the instructor's course syllabus. If participants do not adhere to course participation and attendance guidelines outlined by the instructor, the course grade may be impacted and result in a potential failing grade.

Continued Eligibility

The UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program is fully funded by the Chief Financial Officer and offered to the Individual at no cost. If a participant receives a failing grade, the staff member must re-enroll in the UCSD Extension course using personal or departmental funds. Once the staff member receives a letter grade to 'Pass' the course, the program will fund the remaining courses through the award of completion.

Completion Policy

  • Student must attend and be punctual to all class sessions
  • Students are expected to complete the course requirements, including the project work, in the time frame allotted
  • Student must score 80% or better on final knowledge checks to pass the class
  • Assignment extensions may be granted when sudden serious medical situations, compulsory military service or other extenuating circumstances beyond your control, such as family emergencies, prevent the on-time completion of course requirements
  • Requests for extensions must be submitted in writing to the instructor at the mid-way check-in point for reasonable excuses  - falling behind and poor time management are not reasonable excuses
  • Students may only request an extension one (1) time
  • If you have fallen substantially behind and need to repeat a course, you should drop the course prior to the drop deadline and re-enroll for the next term in which the course is offered. Otherwise, your instructor will assign an appropriate final grade based on the work you complete in the course

Course Drop Policy

Drops are permitted within the first two weeks of a course.  You will need to notify BFS so that you can be added to the enrollment list for a future quarter (which one depends on availability). The fee when re-enrolling will still be covered by the university. Those dropping after two weeks will need to take the course again at their own or department’s cost.  BFS will need to be notified so that you can be added to the enrollment list for the next available quarter offering.  Exceptions to having re-enroll at personal or department cost after the two-week period may be granted on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances.  Please contact or if you have questions. 

Continued Eligibility

The UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program is fully funded by the Chief Financial Officer and offered to the Individual at no cost. If a participant receives a failing grade, the staff member must re-enroll in the UCSD Extension course using personal or departmental funds. Once the staff member receives a letter grade to 'Pass' the course, the program will fund the remaining courses through the award of completion.

Grading Options

  • To participate in this program, accepted participants must choose a “Letter Grade” option or the "Pass/No Pass" option at checkout.  Participants may NOT choose the "Not for Credit" (NFC) option. A passing grade counts toward your earned credit hours or the required number of units for the course and achieving the award of completion for the program. To learn more about grading options, view the Grades webpage at UC San Diego Extension’s website.
  • If you erroneously choose the NFC option, you can change your grading option online in four easy steps:
    1. Log into with your student account credentials
    2. Navigate to "My Courses" and select the course you would like to change
    3. On the right side under "Tools," select "Change Grading Option."
    4. In the pop-up window that appears, click "Submit."

Prerequisite Policy

You must pass the UC San Diego Financial Accounting Program Assessment with 80% or more to bypass the prerequisite course (Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants) and advance to core courses and electives. All other course prerequisites are outlined in the Program Overview table.

Continuing Education Units

The courses included in this program all have continuing education units associated with them. The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a uniform measure of non-credit postsecondary-level study. Employers, licensing agencies and others who require a specific number of hours of instruction for career placement or advancement generally accept this unit of measure. You earn one CEU for every 10 contact hours in a continuing education course. 

This program also provides academic units which may be used to meet the California State Board of Accountancy’s educational requirements.

Award of Completion

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are eligible to receive an award of completion for their participation in this program. To request your Award of Completion, contact

Information Session and FAQ

Q: Why is this program being offered?
A: Through forums like Town Halls, Communities of Practice, and Office Hours many of you have expressed a desire to learn general accounting, build your skill sets in excel, and better communicate with your Faculty/PI.

In response to your needs and as part of our dedication to building a strong financial community, the Chief Financial Officer has agreed to fund this effort with Extension at no cost to the Individual/Department. This partnership will allow internal resources to continue evolving finance and research training programs to meet the needs of our users.

Q: Why should I apply to this program?
A: The UC San Diego Financial Accounting program results in an Award of Completion, and will help you gain a basic understanding of the principles of accounting in order to better interpret financial information. Courses are not Oracle specific, but are comprised of UC San Diego staff, so there will likely be discussion and examples shared that relate to UC San Diego financial business practices.

These courses are relevant because Research Administrators and Fund Managers are responsible for the financial health of the funds they manage and Oracle is an accounting system. Every financial transaction such as a purchasing, travel expenses, billing, cash receipts, etc. gets recorded in the financial system which in return forms part of the financial statements for the University and your specific units. Understanding how these transactions are recorded will better prepare RA/FMs to keep track of income and expenditures, and provide PIs/MSOs/DBOs with relevant financial information which can be used to make business decisions.

Q: Will this help me in my job?
A: IFIS was a highly customized financial system and while UCSD centrally was always doing proper accounting and financial statements, much of that activity was done behind the scenes and not always obvious to departmental financial staff. Now with the purchase of Oracle, the system is much more of a traditional, out of the box accounting system so having some fundamental knowledge of basic accounting will help you better understand how and why your transactions are flowing through the system and how they show up in the campus' financial statements.

As an example, the way we book capital assets is different than in IFIS. Many expected to see assets posted as expenses (not assets), but the way Oracle works today is in alignment with GASB accounting principals. 

Q: What if I know accounting and only need a refresher?
A: In the early stages (quarters) of this program, we will prioritize the 80 seats for fund managers that want to acquire the financial background needed to perform in this new environment (complete 3-4 courses, with an award of completion). For staff that only need a refresher or only need spot training to help them perform in their roles, we will offer an alternative approach in later quarters. 

Q: What happens if I don't get in to the upcoming quarter?
A: Our goal is to place you in a subsequent quarter. As part of the application process, you may also indicate if a different quarter start is better aligned with your personal/professional schedule.

Q: How many hours per week will this take?
A: Instruction time (includes instructor led class time or assigned asynchronous work in the form of videos, readings etc) will take at least 3 hours of work per week. An additional 2-4 hours will be needed to complete assigned work such as homework or readings. This will take about 5-7 hours of time a week to participate in the course.

Q: How will we know if the program is effective?
A: We will periodically offer surveys and feedback sessions to participants to make program adjustments and assess usefulness in terms of applicability to job/duties.

Q: What if I already have a professional certification or CPA and still want to take a program courses?
A: You may still apply for this program and depending on the course, CEUs may be applicable towards your continuing education requirements. For more detail, please contact

Q: What if I want to just take one course to refresh my knowledge?
A:Our initial goal is to meet the fundamental needs of the first wave of students this Fall. During subsequent quarters we will be making adjustments to hopefully provide the support you need in a single course. Please fill out the application form to indicate your interest. This will help inform our future program development.

Q: Will these courses be taught in the context of our new financial system?
A: No, these courses will be focusing on general accounting knowledge to help you better perform within the system.

Q: What if I don’t pass the course. Who will see that?
A: The Program lead will see it to determine what the next steps are. They will reach out to gauge your interest in either re-enrolling with personal or departmental funds

Q: What if I have already taken a course listed through Extension, can I take it again?
A: Extension will address this on a case by case basis. Please indicate all the courses you’ve taken including your student ID number or the U number from Extension (as part of your academic record) in the application. If you do not remember your U number or student ID number, in the application please provide us with the email you used for the class to connect the records or contact

Q: Will any of the courses in the program be included in the research administration training?
A: No, this program is partnered with Extension and we do not intend to replicate this as part of the RA training program since it focuses more on the lifecycle of research and general duties as a RA.

Q: What if I pay for an Extension course on my own? Will the content be the same?
A: Yes and no. The knowledge within the fundamental courses will be similar to other courses. On the other hand, the discussion board questions will likely be customized toward UC San Diego questions because the course will have a private cohort of UC San Diego employees vs being open to the public.

If you do not wish to go through this application process and take the Extension course, these courses are available for the public to take.

Q: Will the cost of the textbooks be covered as well?
A: Everything is fully funded. The cost of the required course textbooks are covered as well but no other additions are covered. 

Q: What is the duration of the course? How long are the classes?
Duration of the course will depend on the # of course units and whether it is live online or self-paced. Course length may be up to 9 weeks per quarter. Class and class work may take anywhere from 2-5 hours per week.

Q: Can you take more than one elective course?
At this time no. If it comes to be that certain elective courses are in high demand, we will look at adjusting for future quarters.

Q: Should the homework be done during working hours? Will it be paid time?
A: This would be a conversation to have with your supervisor to determine if that is a proper use of time (University resources) and if it is helping support the objectives of the department. A 
combination of completing homework during both working hours and non-working hours is likely.

Q: How long does it take for the assessment test?
A: It is 20 questions long, so within about 30 min.

Q: When does my course start and end, and/or what time is the live instruction for the synchronous course?
A: Once you are enrolled, you can find all course details (start and end dates, instruction time, course and section designations, your student ID number etc) at

For eligibility and application related inquiries email