Qualify & Apply for the CPA Exam
In order to take the CPA Exam, you must first meet a specific set of requirements. We’ll walk you through the necessary qualifications you must have to sit for the Exam. Then, once you’re well-versed in what’s required of you, continue on to learn your state’s CPA Exam application process.
How to Qualify for the CPA Exam
To sit for the CPA Exam, you’ll need to ensure you’ve covered the qualifying requirements for sitting for the CPA Exam. Each state and jurisdiction have its own educational requirements to take the Exam so be sure to check your jurisdiction’s specific CPA Exam requirements.
Typically, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Accounting is required and if your degree isn’t in accounting, most states require an additional 15 credit hours or less to sit for the Exam. Also, it’s important to note that most State Boards of Accountancy require a minimum of 150 hours of post-secondary education.
A bachelors’ degree normally provides 120 credit hours, so in order to obtain an extra 30 hours some CPA Candidates choose to complete a Master’s in Accounting (MAcc) program or take additional classes from an accredited university. (If you are in a provisionary state you may be able to sit for the exam a few months before completing all education units but will have to prove that you are close to completion).
Knowing what you need to do to schedule your first CPA Exam section can be overwhelming. But we're here to help! Get step-by-step guidance on how to qualify & apply to the CPA Exam here.
How to Apply for the CPA Exam
In general, the application process for the CPA Exam follows a few basic steps:
- Apply to sit for the CPA Exam. Navigate to the NASBA website and choose your jurisdiction to begin the Exam process. Depending on your location, this is done through either your State Board of Accountancy or NASBA CPA Examination Services (CPAES): http://nasba.org/stateboards.
- Submit transcripts and application fee. Based upon the requirements of your state board of accountancy, you will submit your University transcripts and pay the associated application fees.
- Receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) or approval to take the CPA Exam. Your ATT is only valid for 90 days, so make sure to register for your exams promptly.
- Choose the CPA Exam section(s) you’d like to start with and pay required CPA Exam fees to NASBA. It’s important to note that once you sign up to sit for a section with NASBA, you’ll have 6 to 12 months access before access and fees are forfeited.
- Apply Online
- Send transcripts to State Board
- Receive Authorization to Test (ATT)
- Select Exams and pay NASBA Fees