MS Taxation Program Specifics

The MS Tax students enjoy small class sizes led by nationally recognized accounting scholars committed to the success of the entire cohort. This high-touch environment fosters close connections and a deep understanding of taxation. Learn more about Cal Poly’s MS Taxation degree to see if it sounds like the right program for you.



Cal Poly’s Master of Science in Taxation program was recently ranked No. 1 for value among graduate tax programs in the nation. To create its rankings, took into account U.S. News and World Report reputation scores of the university, return on investment metrics from the Department of Education’s College Scorecard data on alumni salaries, and cost per unit.

According to the rankings, Cal Poly’s program stood out due to its strong recruiting relationships with major firms, its U.S. News and World Report rankings, and its Learn by Doing approach, which includes an industry internships for students. Cal Poly’s program was also less costly than more than half the other programs ranked.



MS Taxation Alumni Scott Hoppe, owner of the accounting firm; Why Blue, talks about how the program prepared him for the complex field of tax.


To help students build real-world experience and make connections, we developed the  Graduate Tax Guest Speaker Series. The Speaker Series brings dozens of accounting and industry professionals into the classroom from top companies such as Google, EY, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, and more.

Topics discussed include advanced areas in taxation, ranging from venture capital, private equity and hedge fund partnership allocations and distributions, to the intricacies and complexities of tax provision work.



Each student completes a mandatory internship where they will Learn and Earn by Doing. The internship provides students with a clinical tax experience, thereby enabling them to apply skills and competencies to an employment opportunity in a professional environment.

Students will serve in a full-time supervised work experience at either: (i) a public accounting firm; (ii) an accounting or internal audit department of a private enterprise; or (iii) local, state, or federal government agency.

Generally, the intern will receive compensation from the firm or agency that employs the intern. The internship will conclude on a date that will permit students to resume their studies at Cal Poly during the spring quarter. The location of your internship is dependent upon the firm(s) that you apply with during the fall recruiting season at Cal Poly.



Upon conclusion of the program, graduates have a comprehensive understanding of the Internal Revenue Code, the Treasury regulations and other authorities that they can later apply to various sophisticated transactions. Graduates also have excellent tax research and communication skills, a characteristic that sets Cal Poly’s program apart from others in the field. The MS Tax students leave prepared for today’s dynamic, innovative and changing business environment.



Tax Speaker Series: Click HERE 

Program Ambassadors: Click HERE   

CPAC (Cal Poly Accounting Club): Click HERE   

Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic: Click HERE  

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance): Click HERE   



The MS Taxation program is supported by an extensive advisory board made up of partners and key stakeholders from a variety of accounting firms and corporations.  Their participation keeps our curriculum aligned with industry needs, and creates numerous job opportunities for our graduates. See the list of Advisory Board members HERE.