Graduate Diploma in Accounting

CPA Accredited

Lakehead University’s Graduate Diploma in Accounting (GDA) is a one semester professional accounting program which prepares students to pursue the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.  The GDA seamlessly integrates with the Honours Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Major) and enhances the technical and enabling competencies of our undergraduate students by further developing critical thinking, analytical, integrative and ethical reasoning, and communication skills.

The CPA Ontario Accredited GDA provides students with advanced standing into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). Graduates of the GDA will receive advanced standing for Core 1, Core 2 and all four elective modules, thereby, entering the CPA PEP at the Capstone 1 module. Students may save time in achieving the CPA designation by completing the GDA.


Learn more about the CPA designation by visiting

Program Learning Outcomes

Learning Goal 1: Our graduates should have comprehensive and integrated technical knowledge of accounting functions.

Learning Objectives:

1.1) Our graduates will demonstrate technical knowledge in the area of assurance, performance management, finance, and taxation as expected from an entry level professional accountant.

1.2) Our graduates will apply technical accounting skills and knowledge in new and unfamiliar circumstances.

1.3) Our graduates will integrate all accounting function areas into a coherent strategic whole.

Learning Goal 2: Our graduates should be analytical decision-makers.

Learning Objective:

2.1) Our graduates will think analytically to identify problems and apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative analysis to develop workable solutions.

Learning Goal 3: Our graduates should be effective communicators.

Learning Objectives:

3.1) Our graduates will deliver clear and persuasive oral presentations to business audiences.

3.2) Our graduates will prepare clear and persuasive written reports to business audiences.

Learning Goal 4: Our graduates should demonstrate the abilities to become effective professional accountants.

Learning Objectives:

4.1) Our graduates will understand the responsibility of a professional accountant, the regulatory regime that the profession lies within and act in accordance with professional guidelines.

4.2) Our graduates will apply ethical resolution techniques and exercise professional judgement to resolve ethical dilemmas and provide recommended course of action.

4.3) Our graduates will exhibit strong leadership skills.

4.4) Our graduates will work well in teams.

Admission Requirements

Graduates of Lakehead’s Honours Bachelor of Commerce Program are eligible for admission to the GDA. To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must have:

1. Graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Lakehead University*.

2. Obtained an overall average of 75%, with a minimum of 60% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

Business 1012 Financial Accounting
Business 1066 Quantitative Analysis in Management
Business 2012 Management Accounting I
Business 2019 Finance I
Business 2033 Management Information Systems
Business 2039 Finance II
Business 2052 Intermediate Financial Accounting I
Business 3012 Advanced Financial Accounting
Business 3019 Corporate Finance
Business 3051 Law
Business 3052 Intermediate Financial Accounting II
Business 3071 Strategic Management I
Business 3072 Management Accounting II
Business 4032 Integrative Analysis of Accounting Issues
Business 4071 Strategic Management II
Business 4072 Advanced Corporate Taxation
Business 4232 Strategic Cost Management
Business 4272 Taxation
Business 4412 Assurance I
Business 4432 Assurance II
Economics 1100 Principles of Economics

*Lakehead University students who graduated in 2017 or earlier with the legacy Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO) 51-credit hour course and grade requirements will be considered for admission into the program.


The Graduate Diploma in Accounting consists of 2.5 FCE’s (or five 0.5 FCE courses) offered in the Fall term, starting September 2017. Students must successfully complete all 5 courses to receive a Lakehead University Graduate Diploma in Accounting.

Business 5412 - Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation

This course is intended to improve a student’s understanding of how business processes, accounting policies, and accounting estimates impact financial statements. Students will be encouraged to view a firm through its financial statements and to carry out the appropriate financial statement analysis to value the firm’s debt and equity instruments. Financial statement analysis will be conducted with consideration for the various users and stakeholders of the financial statements. The course focuses on equity valuation and discusses various asset and earnings based approaches. 

Business 5432 - Performance Measurement and Control

This course is primarily a case based andis designed to develop an understanding of performance and risk management issues. Students learn organisational expectations, successful strategy implementation, risk management and measurement, control and evaluation of individual/organisational performance. The course also highlights differences between control issues related to not-for –profit organisations. The cases used in the course integrate knowledge from business disciplines including, strategy, operations, finance, taxation, human resources and organisation behaviour. Topics include corporate social responsibility, enterprise risk management, organisational and individual performance management and planning for non-profit and government organisations. 

Business 5452 - Ethics, Governance, and Audit Quality

This course examines current issues related to public practice, corporate governance, and business ethics. This course will allow students to better understand the audit risk assessment and risk response through the discussion of the auditing standards and associated theory. The course will be delivered in a seminar format and make use of case analysis, group presentations and classroom discussions. Topics include the role of the assurance in capital markets, risk assessments, internal controls and corporate governance, auditor independence, and ethics and the regulatory environment. The course will focus on developing the students' ability to develop professional judgement while gaining an integrative understanding of assurance, governance, and related business processes.

Business 5472 - Advanced Concepts in Taxation

The primary focus of this course is the advanced topics of Federal taxation as provided by the Canadian Income Tax Act. Reference will also be made to HST. The course will deal with the tax consequences of rollovers, corporate reorganizations, partnerships, trusts, succession plans, and scientific research and development expenditures. This course will make use of comprehensive case analysis, group discussions and research of court cases.

Business 5492 - Integrative Analysis and Professional Judgement in Accounting

The purpose of this course is to help students develop the skill set and judgement required by professional accountants in identifying, prioritizing, and analyzing multiple issues and developing practical recommendations that require a holistic perspective of the entire organization and its stakeholders.  Students will be required to display and utilize their enabling competencies while drawing upon their technical knowledge that spans across all competency areas.  This course will make extensive use of comprehensive, integrative cases and will require students to prepare written reports and make formal presentations in both group and individual setting.


Program applicants are not considered for internal funding sources such as entrance scholarships, minimum funding packages, teaching assistantships, research assistantships or graduate research assistantships. We encourage you to explore external funding opportunities.


Please visit for information about tuition fees.


Dr. Naqi Sayed
Associate Professor, Accounting
Faculty of Business Administration
Lakehead University

To find out more, please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.