Are you thinking about growing your career by becoming a CPA? We are pleased to be posting a series of articles detailing the steps necessary to make this happen. This week’s article features the education and eligibility requirements to take the CPA Exam.

Education and Eligibility Requirements to Take the CPA Exam?

Educational Requirements:

To be eligible for the Uniform CPA Examination, you must meet the educational requirements specified by the Board of Accountancy in the jurisdiction in which you intend to apply. There are 55 Boards of Accountancy comprising the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Exam educational requirements vary between jurisdictions and are subject to periodic change. For the most up-to-date exam requirements, fees, and other information, we recommend you visit the NASBA website. (Click on “Exams,” select “CPA Exam,” then select your jurisdiction.)

In general, the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) recommends exam candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and have successfully completed at least 150 semester hours with a concentration in accounting at a college or university recognized by the Board.In many jurisdictions all educational requirements must be met prior to applying for the CPA Exam. All required coursework and degree(s) conferred must be shown on official transcripts and/or evaluations. Prior to requesting official transcript(s), please confirm with your school that all required information has been posted. Note that most colleges and universities take two to six months to post degrees on official transcripts, and ten to fifteen days to process the requests. Although most transcripts include accreditation information, applicants who are unsure if a college or university is accredited should contact the appropriate college or university directly, or visit the AICPA list of recognized universities and colleges offering accounting degree programs.

Applicants who attended or graduated from international colleges or universities may satisfy the CPA Exam education requirements by having their transcripts evaluated by a board-approved international credentials evaluation service. International credentials evaluation services may take from three to six weeks to provide evaluation reports. Visit your jurisdiction’s Board of Accountancy website for a list of accepted international credential evaluation services.


All applicants are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee per exam section to their Board of Accountancy and/or NASBA and must follow the sequence of payment and scheduling steps outlined by that board. The examination costs vary between jurisdictions. The estimated costs for first-time candidates applying to take all four sections is approximately $784.50 – $1,000.00 for the sitting fees. (This does not include the cost of a review course.)

More Information and Questions:

For more information on the application and exam scheduling process, check out the “How do I apply to take the CPA Exam?” page. If you have additional questions, we are here to help you! Please contact us at info@cpaexcel.comor call 888.884.5669 (N. America) or 928.204.1066 (International). We look forward to assisting you.