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CPA Examination Requirements

By Eric Anderson

CPA Examination Requirements: The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) writes and scores the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (UCPAE), which you may know as the CPA Exam. (Pass the exam and you can become a CPA!) However, AICPA does not set the CPA Examination Requirements: that is done at the state level.

There are 54 Boards representing the 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C, and the territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. (The Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands is not yet accepting applications.) Each of the 54 jurisdictions or State Boards of Accountancy has its own set of requirements which you must meet before you qualify to sit for the exam at a Prometric CPA Exam testing site.

As of March 2010, most jurisdictions require that you complete 150 semester hours (or about five years of college or university academic work) prior to sitting for the exam.

One state, Connecticut, allows you to sit for the exam having completed 120 hours (a bachelor’s degree) but required that you complete the additional 30 semester hours before you were granted a license to practice. New York will allow years of work to suffice for a college degree. Only a few states allow for testing and licensure with only a bachelor’s degree.

In many states, you not only have to meet an educational requirement but also a work experience requirement: you need to have worked a specific number of years in the accounting field either before you sit for the exam OR before you are granted your license to practice in that state.

There are additional requirements if you wish to sit in Idaho or Puerto Rico: you need a letter of good conduct from the police department stating that you have not been in trouble with the law. For more on the more interesting requirements to sit for the CPA Exam, see “Little Known Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam.”

Little Known Requirements to Qualify to Sit for the CPA Exam

While most states ask for a combination of these factors to meet the state requirements to sit for the exam: * ethics, * experience, * education, and * the ability to pass the exam,

there are states which ask that you meet some rather interesting requirements before you sit for the exam. These include but are not limited to:

Education: Fifteen years of experience in lieu of a college degree: New York.

At least an associate’s degree: Delaware.

Bachelor’s degree in progress: Alaska and Michigan. At least a bachelor’s degree: Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Kansas requires that you have at least 11 semester credit hours in written and oral communications.

North Carolina: Requires that you have * a bachelor’s degree OR * having started a master’s degree OR * that if you have scored in the 50th percentile rank or higher on each part of either the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test.

Ohio requires: * 150 semester hours of general college education, OR * a minimum combined score of 1200 on the GRE, an associate’s or baccalaureate degree, and 30 semester hours of specified accounting courses and 24 semester hours of business courses.

Puerto Rico requires at least 2.0 GPA in your accounting and business courses during your 150 semester hours of college education.


Some of the states with no minimum age requirement are: California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Residency:

You must be a resident, or regularly employed, or working in the state within the 90 days preceding or following the date of the CPA Exam: Minnesota.

You must be a resident or regularly employed or have a business in Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.

You must be a resident of or regularly employed in Missouri and Nebraska.

You must be resident of Idaho or plan to become one. You must be a resident of the state for a period of 120 days, within one year prior to the CPA Exam date in Louisiana.

Guam: charges an extra $100 per section if you are a non-resident of Guam.

Social Security Card:

You need a valid Social Security card in: Virginia Letters of Reference or Good Conduct:

You must submit three Character Reference Letters in Arkansas.

You must submit a Letter of Good Conduct from the police department in Idaho and Puerto Rico.

Application Variations:

Florida State Board of Public Accountancy requires that if you are a first time candidate, that you begin the application process by submitting your initial application to the Board directly.

When you are approved by the Board, the rest of your application process is handled by CPA Examination Services (CPAES).

Fees: Kentucky has an initial application fee of only $30.00 but the fee to test for a single section of the exam can be as high as $256.28.

Texas has a very interesting fee structure:

Texas Application Fees: First Time Application of Intent: $50.00 Eligibility Application: $15.00.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Anderson, Eric "CPA Examination Requirements." CPA Examination Requirements. 25 Jul. 2010. 24 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Anderson, E (2010, July 25). CPA Examination Requirements. Retrieved September 24, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Anderson, Eric "CPA Examination Requirements"

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