California CPA Requirements

To obtain CPA licensure, you must meet the three Es: Education, Experience, and Exam. Please note there are different accounting and business education requirements for examination and licensure in California. See the charts below for these requirements.

 

Education Requirements for CPA Examination

Degree

Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited degree-granting educational institution.

Accounting Coursework

24 semester hours in accounting subjects.

Business Coursework

24 semester hours in business subjects.

Total Credit Hours

120 semester hours

 

Additional Exam Information

Prior to Sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam

Candidates must have met the degree requirement and accounting and business subject requirements.

Application Documents

Application documents found on the board website.

 

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSAC) program alone does not meet the education requirements to be licensed in California. The combination of the BSAC and the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program meet the total semester hour, accounting, and business requirements for CPA examination and licensure but does not meet the ethics requirement. BSAC and MAcc graduates will need to take 3 credits of accounting specific ethics (not general business ethics). In addition to the requirements listed above, students must complete the following to be licensed.

 

Education Requirements for CPA Licensure

Accounting Coursework

20 semester hours in accounting study such as accounting, business, ethics, business law or other work relevant to accounting or business.

Business Coursework

24 semester hours in business subjects.

Ethics Coursework

Candidates must pass the California Ethics exam (PETH) prior to licensure and complete 10 semester hours in ethics study subjects. *

Total Credit Hours

150 semester hours

* BSAC and MAcc graduates will need to take 3 credits of accounting specific ethics (not general business ethics). Please see the Educational Requirements for CPA Licensure Tip Sheet from the California Board of Accountancy.

 

 Experience Requirements for Licensure

Minimum Work Experience

At least one-year of accounting experience plus 500 attest hours.

 

Additional information can be found on the California Board of Accountancy website.

 

Note: Students should contact WGU Business Licensure at licensure@wgu.edu prior to contacting their State Board of Accountancy regarding education and experience requirements. The Licensure team is available to students and alumni for all accounting licensure questions and advisement. 

 

12/2018

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