An international candidate or a student with foreign education can become a CPA if they meet the educational requirements listed by one of the 55 US jurisdiction Boards of Accountancy. All state boards of accountancy – with the exception of the U.S. Virgin Islands – require a minimum of 150 hours of post-secondary education from a regionally accredited institution. This rule ensures that all CPA exam candidates have a total of 150 semester hours of education before they can be licensed as a CPA. Most bachelor degrees typically only give students 120 semester hours-meaning they have to obtain an extra 30 semester hours to meet the licensure requirement.
However, states vary on the amount of educational hours required to sit for the exam. Some only require 120, while others require 150. Some states only require 120 hours to sit for the exam, but 150 hours for licensure. There are also a host of other requirements specific to each state. You should carefully read through the requirements in the state where you intend to take the exam, and contact the Board of Accountancy in that state with any specific questions.
To see the exam requirements on a state-by-state basis, and obtain contact information for all state Boards of Accountancy download our free State Requirements eBook.