Interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant?
You must go through two steps: 1) apply for & pass the CPA exam 2) apply for licensure
It’s important to note that taking the exam and applying for the CPA license are two different processes, and passing the CPA exam doesn’t automatically translate into getting the license.
While this blog post aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information on the eligibility requirements, it is crucial to note that each US state has its own eligibility criteria for the CPA exam.
The three Es of Education, Exam and Experience will open a world of possibilities for you.
CPA Exam & License Eligibility Criteria
At least 150 semester hours of college education. For applicants in India, each semester is approximately 30 semester hours, so for 150 semester hours, one would need to have completed at least first year of Master’s Education to be recognized as the four-year bachelor equivalent in the US.
Some states boards in the US allow a candidate with 120 semester hours to take the CPA exam, but for the licensure, one needs to get the additional 30 credits. However, since July 2015 the trend is toward requirement of 150 semester hours for a candidate to be able to sit for the CPA exam.
The CPA exam is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that requires a minimum score of 75 to pass. To be eligible for the CPA licensure, one must successfully complete the four-part exam that includes Auditing & Attestation, Business Environment & Concepts, Financial Accounting & Reporting, and Regulation.
Most states require at least 2 years of work experience in public accounting to obtain the CPA license. Some states allow the candidate to obtain a certificate after passing the CPA exam, but the license is issued only after completing the experience requirement.
Since the requirements are different for different states, it is recommended to make sure you check with the state board you’re applying to.
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