Overview of CPA Exam Education and Work Experience Requirements in Pennsylvania

To become a licensed CPA, candidates need to have graduated with a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree and completed a total of at least 150 credit semester hours, with 36 credits in accounting subjects acceptable to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Candidates can sit for the exam with less than 150 credit semester hours; however, they will be required to complete all 150 before they are eligible to apply for a CPA license.
To sit for the CPA exam candidates must meet these requirements:

  • Received a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • Completed at least 24 semester credits in accounting subjects including accounting and auditing, business law, finance, microeconomics, macroeconomics, or tax subjects sanctioned by the State Board of Accountancy.

Candidates have 18 months to pass all four parts of the exam, beginning when the first section is passed.
To become a licensed CPA, candidates need to:

  • Complete a total of at least 150 credit semester hours which can be accomplished through a combination of undergraduate credits (bachelor’s degree) and graduate credits (Master of Accountancy) or all undergraduate credits.  Of the 150 credit hours, 36 semester credits must be in accounting, auditing, or tax subjects acceptable to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.
  • Complete one year (1,600 hours) of work experience, to qualify for the CPA certificate. Qualifying work experience includes providing any type of service or advice involving the use of: Accounting; Attest; Compilation; Consulting; Financial advisory; Management advisory and Tax.  All experience must be of a caliber that is satisfactory to the State Board of Accountancy and verified by an individual who is currently licensed to practice as a CPA in Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction.

How to Earn the 150 Credits for CPA Licensure at the Fox School

Accounting majors can meet the requirements by completing a bachelor’s degree, e.g. the current accounting major in the Fox School’s BBA, and the Fox School’s Master of Accountancy Program (MAcc) or take additional undergraduate credits to meet the 150 semester credit hour requirement. Students who choose to complete their 150 credits with all undergraduate semester credits should select courses, a double major, or minor(s) relevant to their future career. Students enrolled in the Fox School’s undergraduate accounting program are eligible to apply for the Fox School MAcc Program after completing 90 semester-hour credits or at the completion of their junior year.


The CPA Exam Education & Experience Requirements in States Surrounding Pennsylvania

New Jersey
For information regarding the education and experience requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become certified in New Jersey please refer to:

New York
For information regarding the education and experience requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become certified in New York please refer to:

Maryland
For information regarding the education and experience requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become certified in Maryland please refer to:


Other CPA Exam Information Links