Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Requirements

Before you start preparing for the CPA exams, you need to check if you are eligible for the CPA license. Even though the CPA exams are the same around the world, the requirements are different in each state. 

On this page, we will list the main requirements that most candidates need to meet, no matter their location, but keep in mind that these are not the only requirements.

Most states have the following requirements:

  1. Education: A Bachelor's degree and 120 - 150 credit hours. Most states require an accounting-related degree, a minimum number of accounting credit hours, or at least some specific accounting courses such as U.S. Taxation.
  2. Work Experience: Most states require work experience under a licensed CPA, although some states accept experience under a non-licensed CPA. Depending on where you are planning to take the exams, you may need either one or two years of experience. 
  3. Citizenship / Residency: Some states require candidates to be US citizens and live in the state where they are planning to take the exams.

Even if you pass all of the exams, you won't get your CPA license until you meet all of the requirements.

Please reach out to your state board of accountancy to check the CPA requirements in your state before you start preparing for the exams.

  1. Education: If your degree is from a University outside of the US, it must be evaluated by an evaluation service.
  2. Work Experience: There are no additional considerations for work experience for non-US candidates.
  3. Jurisdiction / Residency / Citizenship: There is no central professional body in the US that provides CPA licenses. You have to choose a US state and follow its board of accountancy requirements. Be sure that you choose a state that does not have a citizenship or residency requirement.
  4. English: All of the CPA exams and study materials are in English. You must be fluent in English to prepare for and pass the exams.

Even if you pass all of the exams, you won't get your CPA license until you meet all of the requirements.