CPA Exam Requirements 

Education Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree or a higher degree from a degree-granting college or university accredited by a U.S. regional institutional accrediting agency or a national accrediting agency.
  2. 24 semester (36 quarter) units of accounting subjects.
  3. 24 semester (36 quarter) units of business-related subjects.

Core Course Requirement

The core course requirement consists of 24 semester (36 quarter) units of business-related subjects and 24 semester (36 quarter) units in accounting subjects. Courses in excess of the required 24 semester (36 quarter) units of accounting may be counted toward the business-related subjects unit requirement. Courses may be completed in any of the subjects listed below.

Accounting Subjects:

Accounting, Auditing, External or Internal Reporting, Financial Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Taxation. 

Business-related Subjects:

Business Administration, Business Communications, Business Law, Business Management, Business Related Law Courses offered by an accredited law school, Computer Science/Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Mathematics and Statistics.

Transcripts detailing completion of all required courses and conferral of the degree must be sent directly to the California Board of Accountancy from the college(s) or university.

CPA Exam Contents

The CPA Exam consists of four subjects:

Auditing & Attestation – AUD – 4 Hours
Financial Accounting & Reporting - FAR – 4 Hours
Regulation - REG – 3 Hours
Business Environment & Concepts - BEC – 3 Hours

CPA Examination content refers to CPA Examination questions – multiple-choice, written communication, and simulations – reflecting the subject matter eligible to be tested, as specified in the Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSOs).

Download: CSOs/SSOs Effective January 1, 2015

For further information on the CPA exam: