CPA exam requirements are set by individual state boards and thus vary by state jurisdiction. Although every state board of accountancy has slightly different requirements to sit for the CPA examination, most states have the same core set of qualifications that candidates must meet in order to be eligible.
Let’s take a look at what qualifications you need in order to be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in most states and what additional hoops you will have to jump through in order to become a Certified Public Accountant after you pass the exam.
- 1.Becker CPA Review Course Endorsed by Big 4 Accounting Firms
- 2.Surgent CPA Prep Course Best Technology + Save $1,200
- 3. Wiley CPAExcel Review Course Best Instructor Support
- 4.UWorld Roger CPA Review Courses Best for Engaging Video Lectures
- 5.Gleim CPA Review Course Most Task-Based Simulations
What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam?
CPA Exam Qualifications
Here’s the eligibility checklist that you need to review before you even try to send in your application to your state board.
Do you need to be a US citizen to take the CPA exam? Although the traditional CPA candidate is a US citizen, most applicants don’t think about this requirement. However, it appears that most American states will allow non-citizens to become CPAs. That being said, there are a few states that will only certify citizens, such as North Carolina.
Ultimately, if you’re an international candidate, you’re likely to have a much easier time applying for certification than you might expect!
Social Security Identification
Do you need to have a Social Security number to take the CPA exam? The majority of states require a valid social security number for identification purposes. This does seem rather ironic since the original SS cards say “not for identification” right on them.
Again, most people don’t think about this requirement because the traditional applicant is a US citizen with an SS number. International candidates are rarely involved in the US SS system, so they don’t typically have social security numbers. If this is you, don’t worry. Illinois, Montana, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin do not have a Social Security requirement. You are safe to apply in those states.
All 55 licensing jurisdictions have a minimum age requirement of 18-years-old to apply for the CPA exam.
Sorry minors; you will have to wait a few years in order to start your career.
I’m sure none of the requirements thus far have been an issue for you. Most candidates don’t even realize that these qualifications in place, but they are. Let’s move on to the main requirement that you are probably most interested in: education.
Get Discounts On CPA Review Courses!
10% off McKissock Real Estate Continuing Education
Save $1,200 off Surgent CPA Ultimate Pass
Save $800 off Wiley CPAexcel Platinum Review Course
Gleim CPA Premium Review Discount – Save $500
Save $465 – Fast Forward Academy CPA Discount
Save $700 on the Becker Premium CPA Review Package.
Save $400 off Wiley CMAexcel Platinum Review
Becker CPA: Payment Plans for the #1 Rated CPA
UWorld Roger CPA Review Save $570 off Premier!
UWorld Roger CPA Review Save $400 off Premier!
Save $150 Off Surgent CPE Unlimited Packages
Save $300 off the Becker Advantage Bundle. #1 Rated
Lambers CPE: 20% off 2-Year & 10% off 1-Year
Surgent EA Ultimate Pass Review Coupon – Save $250
Surgent EA Premier Pass Coupon – Save $140
$509 off Surgent CMA Ultimate Pass Review!
$50 Off Single Part Becker Review Courses. #1 Rated
Gleim CMA Premium Review Discount – Save $560
New Year Sale! Save 22% OFF PPI2PASS SE Review
New Year Sale! Save 22% OFF PPI2PASS PE Review
New Year Sale! Save 22% OFF PPI2PASS FE Review
Save $300 off School of PE PE/SE/FE Engineering Courses
Save 30% OFF Aceable Agent Premium Real Estate School
Up to 30% OFF Mbition Real Estate Appraisal, Home
Save 25% off The CE Shop Real Estate
Save 40% OFF Prep Agent Real Estate Course!
10% Off AYPO Real Estate
Save $1,000 off Surgent CPA Premier Pass!
Save $700 off Surgent CPA Essential Pass!
PM PrepCast CAPM Discount
$200 off Surgent CMA Review Premier Pass
$150 off Surgent CIA Review Course
New Year Sale! Save $200 off Wiley CIAexcel Review
Get $400 OFF CMA Exam Academy!
Save 70% on Grey Campus Self-Learning Courses
Save 10% on Grey Campus Self-Learning Courses
Save 10% on Grey Campus Live-Online and Live
Save 20% on Grey Campus Live-Online and Live
The Agile PrepCast Elite for PMI-ACP Discount
Surgent EA Premier Pass Coupon – Save $140
Get Gleim EA Review
Lambers EA – Save $300 & 1-Year FREE CE
Lambers EA 1-Year FREE CE
Brain Sensei $50 OFF PMP Course!
Brain Sensei $50 OFF CAPM Course!
10% off Exams PM PMP & CAPM Courses
Save $300 off Edumind PMP/CAPM Review
Save $300 off Edumind PMP Review
Save $100 off Dooey.org PMP/CAPM/PMI-ACP/Lean Six Sigma Review Courses!
Edumind ARE Review 65% off
Save $300 off Blueprint LSAT 12-month Self-Paced
Save 10% off Blueprint LSAT Tutoring
LSATmax only $67/month
Save 10% off LSATmax Review
10% OFF Alpha Score LSAT Coupon Code
Princeton Review Ultimate LSAT Coupon – Save $250
Save 10% off Wize LSAT Exam Review
Save 10% off LSAT Lab
Save $120 On Kaplan LSAT
10% OFF ExamsPM Offer (PMP or CAPM Certification)
$87/month Master of Project Academy PMP and CAPM Courses!
Save $320 off Velociteach PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP Classes
Save 10% off Crushendo Bar Prep Products
Save 10% off Bar Prep Hero Bar Review Products!
Save 10% or up to $100 off Quimbee Bar
Princeton Review Ultimate GMAT Test Prep Promo Code –
Save $90 on Kaplan DAT
Save 10% off Wiley CFP Review Course
Save 10% off Wiley CAIA Review Course!
Save 10% off Wiley CMT Review Course
Save $200 off Prep Expert PSAT 4-Week Course!
Save 20% off Analyst Prep CFA/FRM Review
Princeton Review CFA® Coupon – Save $200
Save $300 off Wiley CFA Platinum Review Courses.
$48 Off Gleim CIA Review Discount
10% off Achievable Series 7 Exam Review
Save 20% Off Surgent SIE Essentials Pass
10% off Achievable SIE Exam Review
Save 10% off Series Exam Prep at Securities Institute
Save 20% off Securities Training Corporation
Save 10% off ExamFX Securities Exams
UWorld Roger CPA Financing Offer
Surgent CPA 5-Day FREE Trial Offer
Princeton Review Ultimate ACT Test Prep Promo Code –
Princeton Review Ultimate DAT Test Prep Promo Code –
$400 Off Prep Expert SAT Courses!
$200 Off Prep Expert SAT Courses!
$200 Off Prep Expert ACT Review Course!
$200 Off Prep Expert ACT Review Course!
20% off OnCourse Learning Continuing Education
Save 20% Off All New License and Exam Prep
Save 20% off OnCourse Learning Mortgage Education
Like all CPA exam qualifications, the education requirements vary across states, but there are several consistencies that most states require. The main requirement is that candidates must have completed either a bachelor’s degree or 120 college credit hours in order to be eligible.
Some states require a general bachelor’s degree while others require a degree in accounting or business related field like finance.
Regardless of the degree necessary, most states require a minimum level of accounting coursework and business-related coursework. For example, most states require you to complete at least 24 semester hours in accounting courses including intermediate and advanced financial accounting, cost accounting, and taxation. States typically also require a minimum of 20 credit hours in a related business course like finance, business law, and management.
There are a few states that are cool enough to allow you to sit before you graduate. Check with your state board to see if you are one of the lucky ones who can get ahead of everyone else.
All states require that your education come from an accredited and recognized institution. This can often be a problem for international students who attend university in foreign countries.
Some states are going above and beyond the normal educational qualifications and requiring that their candidates complete a minimum of 150 college credit hours to sit for the exam. This is not typically the case, as most states only require 120 to be exam eligible. Most states do, however, require 150 credit hours to become certified.
If you have any questions about your education and if it is sufficient enough to meet the minimum eligibility requirements of your state, I recommend contacting your state board. They will be able to review your transcripts and tell you whether your academic credits qualify or not.
No states require you to have any work experience to take the exam. This is a requirement to obtain your CPA license. You will have plenty of time to gain experience after you pass the exam.
List of CPA Exam Requirements
- US Citizen
- Valid Social Security Number
- At Least 18-years-old
- 120 College Credit Hours or Bachelor’s Degree
Are You Eligible for the CPA Exam?
So those are the requirements. Are you eligible to sit for the exam? If so, you should start studying as soon as possible. There is no point in putting it off. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be able to call yourself a CPA and move on with your career.
The best way to start your studying process is to get a CPA review course that matches your learning style and works for you. Here’s a list of the top review courses out there right now. Check them out and see which one is right for you.