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 units of Accounting Subjects
  3. 24 semester units of Business-Related Subjects

Core Course Requirement

The core course requirement consists of 24 semester units in Accounting Subjects and 24 semester units of Business-Related Subjects. Courses in excess of the required 24 semester units of Accounting Subjects may be counted toward the Business-Related Subjects unit requirement. Courses may be completed in any of the subjects listed below.


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


Business Administration, Business Management, Business Communications, Economics, Finance, Business Law, Marketing, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science & Information Systems, Business Related Law Courses offered at an accredited law school. Any accounting subjects in excess of the 24 units needed to fulfill the accounting requirement.

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 – 4 Hours
  • Business Environment & Concepts - BEC – 4 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).

California Board of Accountancy