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California CPA Exam Requirements

Are you planning to take the California CPA exam? Are you aware of some of the big changes coming to California CPA requirements now and in the coming years? California requirements for CPA exam takers and for licensing currently hold to two paths, one of which will become obsolete in 2014. So, before you dive into the California CPA review process, make sure you’re not just prepped for the study side of success, but you also qualify for what comes after you pass.

Education Requirements
Minimum Degree: Baccalaureate degree or higher
Unit Requirements: Minimum 24 semester units in accounting (excluding introductory courses) and 24 semester units in business-related courses.
Additional Requirements: Courses earned at college and universities on a quarter unit calendar must be multiplied by a factor of 2/3 to convert to semester units.  For example, 4 quarter units is equivalent to 2 2/3 semester units.

Residency Requirements
Citizenship: U.S. Citizenship not required.
Minimum Age: None.

Additional California CPA Licensing Requirements
Path 1(only for persons who will practice solely in California)

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • 24 semester units in accounting-related subjects
  • 24 semester units in business-related subjects (accounting courses beyond the 24 required units may apply toward the business units)
  • Passing the Uniform CPA Exam
  • Two years of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license
  • Passing an ethics course

This path expires Dec. 31, 2013

Path 2 (the only available option after Jan. 1, 2014)

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • 24 semester units in accounting-related subjects
  • 24 semester units in business-related subjects
  • 150 semester units (or 225 quarter units) of education
  • Passing the Uniform CPA Exam
  • One year of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license
  • Passing an ethics course


California State Board Contacts
California State Board of Public Accountancy
2000 Evergreen St., Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815-3832
Phone: (916) 263-3680
Fax: (916) 263-3675

California CPA Exam Fees
Initial Application Fee per Section: $100
Reapplication Fee per section: $50

Examination Fees
AUD - $195.35
FAR - $195.35
BEC - $176.25
REG - $176.25

CPA Exam Resources
CPA Examination Review Materials
California Society of CPAs
California CPA Application Forms
NASBA – California
CPA Requirements in Other State