CPA – Certified Public Accountant (USA)


StudySmart understands preparing for the CPA Exam requires an enormous investment of time and energy. Our CPA Exam Review course focuses on important higher-order cognitive skills including analysis and evaluation, following the AICPA blueprint it includes a user-interface that mirrors the exam so you're already familiar come exam day.


Accounting industry professionals and leading firms around the globe count on Becker for the help they need to rise to the challenges of one of the world’s most demanding professions. More than one million people have used the Becker CPA Exam Review to prepare for the exam. StudySmart is the partner to support you.


Why choose Becker & StudySmart? The answer’s easy.

Above all, you want to be ready and feel confident on exam day. Becker exam day advantage is our comprehensive study and coaching system that combines powerful practice tools with expert instructors to promote focused preparation every step of the way.

  • Exam-matching materials

  • Know what to expect on exam day. Our study materials, sample problems, task-based simulations, simulated exams and more are all formatted to mirror how they appear on the exam. The benefit is a more authentic experience for you.

  • Relevant and up-to-date

  • Becker consults regularly with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for guidance on potential exam changes. We use this input to update our materials, so you prepare for the actual content you’ll encounter on the current exam. You won’t study out-of-date concepts or questions that are no longer used.

  • Personalized learning

  • Becker's Adapt2U Technology, powered by Sana Labs award-winning A.I. technology, helps you make the most of your valuable study time. Your course begins with an assessment of what you already know, and where you need the most assistance. Plus, it constantly assesses your knowledge as you study. At the end of every unit, it tailors personalized review sessions based on the areas you need to strengthen.


CPA requirements by state


What are the requirements to become a CPA?

Part of your preparation for the CPA Exam involves understanding the CPA requirements by state. Each of the 55 license-granting jurisdictions (the 50 states plus Washington, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Mariana Islands) maintains its own CPA license requirements, which you’ll have to meet for the jurisdiction you wish to be licensed in.


Educational requirements to become a CPA

All 50 states require a bachelor’s degree in accounting with at least 150 credit hours of coursework to become a licensed CPA. Some states will let you sit for the CPA Exam with 120 hours of study, though you still must complete 150 hours before you can apply for a license (these are called two-tier states). Minnesota, for example, allows provisional approval to take the exam if you have 120 credit hours or are within 90 days of meeting this threshold.


The states also specify how many hours of accounting-specific studies you need as part of their CPA Exam requirements. Illinois, for example, requires 30 hours in accounting-related subjects, including courses in auditing, financial accounting, managerial and taxes. Other states, such as Maine and California, have more detailed accounting coursework requirements, including minimum total hours in upper-level accounting and business courses.


Age requirements to become a CPA

Most states and territories don’t have minimum age requirements to take the CPA Exam. In the jurisdictions that do, the minimum age is typically 18, though you must be 21 in New York and Missouri to eligible for a CPA license.


Residency requirements to become a CPA

While most states allow nonresidents to take the CPA Exam, some stipulate that you must be a resident for at least six months, which can be fulfilled by having a physical residence, permanent place of business or regular employment within the state.


Ethics requirements to become a CPA

Most states require candidates to take an ethics exam covering topics from the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct as part of their CPA license requirements. It’s an open-book CPE program that emphasizes self-study. In most cases, you’re required to pass the ethics exam (usually with a score of at least 90%) within a year of two of passing the CPA Exam.

While many states require only the AICPA’s ethics exam, some also mandate an ethics exam unique to their jurisdictions. Virginia, for instance, requires CPAs to complete an annual state-specific ethics course as part of their CPA license requirements. Ohio requires CPAs to complete a board-approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR) that emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and board rules. Texas and Wisconsin also have their own state codes of professional conduct.


Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia and Michigan are among the states that don’t include an ethics exam as part of their CPA license requirements.


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