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Accounting Information > CPA Guide > Education
CPA Education

The education requirement in order to be licensed as a CPA is normally a minimum of a Bachelorís degree in accounting. The requirements are determined by the board of accountancy for the jurisdiction you wish to be licensed to practice in. The accounting degree program normally includes some liberal arts courses, as well as many accounting, economics, and business courses. Usually some finance and information technology courses are also required. A standard number of credit hours required for a Bachelorís degree is 120 credit hours.


The standard lower-level courses are normally taken in the freshman and/or sophomore years of college. These courses usually include accounting principles parts one and two, microeconomic principles, macroeconomic principles, statistics, and business law. Often, a communications course and an information technology course are also required.

The standard upper-level courses are normally taken in the junior and senior years of college. Some of the courses normally required are marketing principles, management principles, accounting information systems, intermediate accounting parts one through three, advanced accounting, cost accounting, tax accounting, and auditing. Most colleges and universities also require at least one international business course, a business ethics course, and either an anthropology, psychology, or sociology course.

The majority of colleges and universities gear their accounting major requirements to ensure that students will have the necessary required education to sit for the uniform CPA exam. Some colleges also require accounting majors to pass an achievement test in order to graduate with an accounting degree. Students normally must have at least a GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.

Some accounting students choose to go beyond the Bachelorís degree. They may continue on to receive a masterís degree in accounting or business administration (an MBA). Some of the higher level accounting jobs now require an MBA or masterís degree in accounting in order for a candidate to be considered qualified for the position.

An optional form of CPA education is a CPA exam review course. There are many excellent courses currently available in order to prepare a CPA candidate to sit for the CPA exam. Also available are self-study review books, tapes, and online programs. If completed properly, these review courses can fully prepare you to sit for the exam and pass all portions of the exam within just a few tries, if not the first try.

Once someone becomes a CPA, the education does not end there. A CPA is required to complete a certain number of credit hours of continuing professional education each year. The number of hours required and the reporting period may vary by the licensing jurisdiction. The CPA completes their CPE in order to meet the licensing requirements, but also to keep up their professional knowledge and expertise.

If you are looking for a CPA or Accounting Firm to assist you with your general accounting, income tax reporting, bookkeeping, or financial planning needs, then you have come to the right place! Use the CPA Search feature on this website to find a qualified professional in your area to meet your needs.

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