CPA Education Requirements

Chances are if you are similar to Asher Roth, you love college 🙂 , and especially your college. Go Tigers! So, I have some great news for you. If you want to become a CPA, you are most likely going to need to return to school for one more year to complete the 150 hours needed to become licensed. However, if you are seeking licensure in the U.S. Virgin Islands, until 2020, you will only need 120 hours.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Andrew, I got it. I need 150 hours to become a licensed CPA, unless I am in the U.S. Virgin Islands. What else could you possibly tell me about CPA education requirements?” Great question! In short, you are right. It is 150 hours or bust for the CPA license, but the real questions that you may be missing are how can I earn 150 hours, are there any specific courses that I need to take, and how many hours do I need to actually sit for the CPA Exam?
 

150 Hours or Bust

Let’s address the first question first: How can you make sure that you have the 150 credit hours necessary to become a licensed CPA? Below you can find three paths of success for you to earn 150 hours.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (120 hours) + Master’s degree in Accounting (30 hours) = 150 hours
  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (120 hours) + Master’s degree in Business Administration (30 hours) = 150 hours
  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (120 hours) + Individual classes, no degree (30 hours) = 150 hours

Now the list above is certainly not exhaustive; however, what is most important is for you to find the path that will work best for you.
 

Classes on Classes

Now, let’s talk about the second question: Are there any specific courses that you need to take to sit for the CPA Exam? With 55 jurisdictions, the answer to this question is very complicated. Some states require a certain number of accounting hours, a certain number of business hours, a certain number of upper division or graduate hours, specific courses, etc. Keeping up with what your jurisdiction requires is very important because otherwise when you apply to sit for the CPA Exam, your specific jurisdiction will probably have the same response as in the video below.

You definitely don’t want to be asked “Do you even go here?” 🙂 To avoid this embarrassment, please visit www.thiswaytocpa.com.
 

Hours to Sit for the Exam

Finally, let’s discuss the third question: How many hours do I need to actually sit for the CPA Exam? Likewise, with 55 jurisdictions, the answer to this question is not straightforward. However, jurisdictions tend to fall into two major categories: (1) Sitting for the CPA Exam upon completing your Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (120 credit hours), give or take a couple of weeks or (2) Sitting for the CPA Exam upon completing your Master’s degree in Accounting (150 credit hours), give or take a couple of weeks. Jurisdictions such as Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania fall into the 120 credit hour category, whereas jurisdictions such as Kansas, Illinois, and Texas fall into the 150 credit hour category. To ensure that you know when you can sit for the CPA Exam, please visit www.thiswaytocpa.com. As always, remember to breathe.
 
 
 
 

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