Accounting (Graduate Diploma)

The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics’ Graduate Diploma in Accounting builds upon your undergraduate accounting program and provides a structured and comprehensive path for those working toward the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

This 12-week program, offered every summer and fall, enhances your knowledge of the technical and enabling competencies required by CPAs (such as financial reporting, tax, auditing, professionalism and problem solving), and prepares you to complete the Common Final Examination (CFE). Upon completion of the program, you will enter the CPA’s Professional Education Program (PEP) at Capstone 1, thereby bypassing the first four modules of the PEP.


Program Highlights

  • This program is designed to be completed in one term, full-time. Students who have finished their undergraduate degree will complete this program in order to prepare for the CPA examinations (the CFE).
  • This program, designed to facilitate CPA preparation, will provide you with advanced and integrated knowledge in financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation.
  • You'll gain technical and practical skills that will benefit your future career advancement.
  • All of the program's courses are designed to address the competencies outlined in the CPA Competency Map.

Let's Talk About Your Future

We understand that pursuing further education is a big decision. We’re here to help you work through your options to choose the program that is right for you.

We offer information sessions and one-on-one consultations to help you make the best decision. The sooner we connect with each other, the closer you are to realizing: it’s what’s inside that sets us apart.

Program Details


The Graduate Diploma in Accounting program consists of five courses and has been specifically designed to build upon undergraduate courses to ensure comprehensive coverage of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) competency map. Integrated within the graduate courses is coverage of the CPA Way.

Upon completion of these five courses and the required courses from your undergraduate program in accounting, you'll enter the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) at Capstone 1, thereby bypassing the first four modules of the PEP. These courses have been designed to help you further develop the technical and enabling skills required to complete the Common Final Examination (CFE) and become a CPA.

In order to successfully complete the program and gain advanced standing in the first four modules of the CPA PEP, you must attain a minimum grade of 70% in each of the five graduate diploma courses.

Set Yourself Apart

The best place to start your path to the CPA designation is in Laurier’s Graduate Diploma in Accounting program, and here is why:

  • The program is accredited by Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) and enables you to obtain advanced standing in the first four modules of the CPA PEP. Successful students will be qualified to take any combination of paths for the CFE (financial accounting, management accounting, audit and assurance or taxation).
  • Benefit from university-based instruction by outstanding faculty who have CPA designations and experience session leading and facilitating for CPA Ontario.
  • Leverage the strengths of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and Laurier’s longstanding commitment to high-quality accounting education.
  • Complete a substantial proportion of the PEP modules before you begin full-time employment, alleviating the stress of studying while working.
  • Face-to-face instruction for the full term, ensuring that you understand the material as you go – with help just a hand raise away. You are also able to take advantage of office hours or connect with instructors anytime throughout the term.


The graduate diploma courses are designed and delivered by a combination of research faculty and experienced industry professionals.

Instructors and course developers are professional accountants with CPA designations, with strong ties with CPA Ontario including both sessions leading and facilitating CPA PEP modules including Capstone 1 and 2.

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“With an excellent pass rate on the CPA Examinations (the CFE) and exceptional instructors, the Graduate Diploma in Accounting at Laurier provides students with the tools they need for success in their pursuit of the CPA designation.”

Bruce McConomy


Take the first step in your graduate education and apply to one of our graduate programs. Follow our three-step admission process — we’ll walk you through how to apply and prepare for your first day as a graduate student.

Application Information

  • Start: Fall and spring
  • Format: Full-time
  • Application deadline:
    • Spring intake: Jan. 15 for first consideration; March 15 is the final deadline.
    • Fall intake: May 15 for first consideration; June 30 is the final deadline.

Qualifying Course Lists

Applicants must have completed the courses as listed below and meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum overall average of 70% on all qualifying courses other than “CPA non-core courses” as discussed below;
  • A minimum grade in each individual course of 60%, except for the following “CPA non-core courses” which require a minimum of grade of 50%.
  • A minimum grade of 50% on “CPA non-core courses.” CPA non-core courses are BU127; BU247; EC120; EC140; BU255/EC255/ST260/STAT231 or equivalent statistics course; and BU231. To reiterate, these courses with a minimum 50% grade are not included in the overall minimum average of 70%.

Course required by CPA Ontario (organized by Laurier degree) are as follows:

Waterloo Campus

This program is available on Laurier's Waterloo campus.

Laurier's Waterloo campus is home to more than 19,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Tucked into several city blocks, this campus is walking distance to your classrooms, food, and various campus amenities.

Laurier is a leading force in research among Canadian universities, and many of our research centres and institutes are housed in Waterloo.

Learn more about Laurier's campuses.

Tuition and Funding

Regardless of the type of graduate degree program you intend to pursue, financial planning is important. At Laurier, we want to provide you with as much information as possible about a variety of scholarship and funding opportunities and equip you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

Students with offers of employment from accounting firms or approved training offices should inquire with their employer about potential tuition subsidies.

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"With contributions from several university-based partners, ASPIRE provides graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with informative, hands-on professional skills training essential for degree and post-degree success."

Brent Wolfe, Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


The Graduate Diploma in Accounting prepares students for careers as Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) working with CPA firms, public and private companies and government through development of excellent accounting, audit and tax related skills. The program brings together managerial accounting, financial accounting, taxation and auditing.

Your Path to Post-Degree Success

ASPIRE is Laurier's professional skills development training program for graduate students. The program helps you craft an individualized, extracurricular learning plan tailored to your professional journey and entry to the workplace.

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