Everything You Need To Know About CPA Exam Requirements


Different state boards have different requirements for the CPA examination, but most of them have some core qualification requirements that every student must meet if they want to be eligible for the exam.

Citizenship qualifications

Almost every state and their respective licensing jurisdiction require candidates to be a citizen of the United States to take the CPA examination. Since most traditional candidates are US citizens, this shouldn’t be a problem for many. However, international candidates may also appear for the exam if they are from Hawaii, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama as they don’t require candidates to be US citizens for the test.

Age requirements

According to all the 55 licensing jurisdictions, candidates need to be a minimum of 18 years to apply for the CPA examination.

Social security identification

Most of the states ask the candidates to produce their social security number. Since the CPA exam requirements are different in various states, some of them may even allow you to sit for the test without the need to show your SS card.

Education requirement

You need to be careful about all the CPA exam requirements related to education. Although different states will have different rules, one of the standard criteria is for the student to complete either 120 college credit hours or have a bachelor’s degree. Some of the states may be satisfied with a general bachelor’s degree, but some of them may want you to have a degree in business finance or accounting since this is a finance-related examination.

Regardless of the degree you have, most states ask candidates to have at least some knowledge on business-related coursework and accounting coursework. A common requirement prevalent in several states is for the student to complete a minimum of 24 semester hours in any accounting course that includes both intermediate and advanced levels of cost accounting, taxation, and financial accounting. Additionally, you may also need to have at least 20 credit hours in any business-related course, such as business law, management, or finance.

Although some of the states allow candidates to appear for the examination without being a graduate, it is always wise to go through the rules and regulations of your state in detail before filling out the application form. Candidates should also complete their education from a recognized and accredited institution. So, international students attending universities in foreign countries will need to check if their institution meets the requirement for the CPA exam.

Some of the states are requiring candidates to complete at least 150 hours of college credit to become eligible for the examination. However, this rule is not widespread. Only a few states have this rule while the majority only asks for 120 college credit hours. It is best to contact your state board if you are not sure about the educational qualifications required to sit for the CPA examination.

Work experience

You may not have any work experience to appear for this test. This examination is only to get your CPA license. You will gain experience after passing this exam.

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