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California CPA Exam Requirements


For Candidates in California that have not Taken the Uniform CPA Exam

The California Board of Accountancy, a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs, is responsible for protecting consumers through accounting regulations that involve holding CPA applicants to a rigorous licensing process.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a full 30 percent of the nearly 140,000 accountants and auditors working in California hold a CPA license.

California is expected to see an estimated 26,900 new accountants join the private sector over the next several years, the majority of which will hold graduate degrees.

*Today’s CPAs are expected to look beyond the numbers and serve as strategic leaders in business. Capella University offers online programs at two levels that provide a business education while also giving you the accounting skills you need to prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam:

*Accredited online master’s programs in accounting are helping to make the 150 semester hours required for a CPA license more accessible than ever. The AICPA recognizes Master of Science in Accounting programs as providing bachelor’s degree holders with the most direct path to earning the additional credit hours required for CPA licensure.

Education Requirements
Applicants in California DO NOT need to complete 150 hours of college credit in order to sit for the exam.
California is one of four states that require only 120 semester hours of college credit to sit for the exam. Credits must be obtained from a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency and result in a bachelor’s degree consisting of:

  • At least 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) accounting courses
  • At least 24 semester hours business courses

Accounting courses should include the following subjects:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • External/Internal Reporting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Taxation

Business courses should include the following subjects:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Law
  • Business Communications
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Statistics

General Requirements
California has no age or residency requirements to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

Examination Fee Requirements
In addition to an initial application fee of $100, candidates must pay a separate fee for each of the exam’s four sections. Candidates are permitted to take one, two, three or all four of the exam sections in one sitting. Section fees in California are:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – $192.03
  • Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) – $172.51
  • Finance Accounting & Reporting (FAR) – $192.03
  • Regulation – $172.51

There is an application fee of $50 to re-take the exam.

The computerized Uniform CPA Exam is offered at Prometric testing centers located in these cities:

  • Alameda
  • Anaheim
  • Arcata
  • Camarillo
  • Chico
  • Culver City (2)
  • Diamond Bar
  • Fair Oaks
  • Fresno (2)
  • Gardena
  • Glendale (2)
  • Lake Forest (2)
  • Rancho Cucamonga (2)
  • Redlands
  • San Bruno
  • San Diego (5)
  • San Francisco (5)
  • San Jose (2)
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Rosa
  • Van Nuys

Already passed the CPA Exam and looking for additional licensing requirements in California? – Click Here