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Certified Public Accounting Requirements

The State of Washington requires that people who want to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination have completed five years of post-secondary education.

The specific CPA post-secondary requirements are as follows:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • At least 225 total college-level, quarter credit hours (150 semester hours)
  • At least 36 quarter credit hours (24 semester hours) in business courses
  • At least 36 quarter credit hours (24 semester hours)inf accounting courses, of which 22.5 quarter credit hours are at the upper level or graduate level.

DO THE REQUIREMENTS MEAN A MASTER'S DEGREE IN ADDITION TO A BACHELOR'S DEGREE?

Not necessarily. There are several ways to satisfy the fifth-year requirement. The Accounting Department at Eastern Washington University (EWU) has a variety of programs that can help you obtain your goal of qualifying to take the CPA examination. Match yourself with one of the following categories and see some of the different paths that enable you to meet the fifth-year, post-secondary education requirement.


STUDENT JUST GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL WITH NO PRIOR COLLEGE-LEVEL CREDITS

Complete a bachelor's degree in professional accounting plus a master's degree at EWU (total time five years).


STUDENT WITH PRIOR COLLEGE-LEVEL CREDITS BUT NO BACHELOR'S DEGREE

Finish a bachelor's degree in professional accounting at EWU plus additional courses at the undergraduate level to total 225 credit hours. If you have taken more than 90 credit hours at a community college, those additional credits count toward the 225 credit hours requirement even though EWU does not count them toward the 180 credits required to obtain a bachelor's degree:
or
Finish a bachelor's degree in professional accounting plus a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at EWU.


STUDENT WITH A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN ACCOUNTING

Take additional undergraduate credits to reach the required 225-credit hours;
or
Complete a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at EWU.


STUDENT WITH A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN BUSINESS

Take accounting classes to meet the required 36 credit hours plus additional undergraduate classes to meet the required total 225 credit hours;
or
Take accounting classes to obtain a second bachelor's degree with a major in professional accounting (plus additional hours if necessary to meet the required 225 credit hours)


STUDENT WITH BACHELOR'S DEGREE (OR MASTER'S DEGREE) NOT IN BUSINESS

Take business and accounting classes to meet the two required 36 credit hours in accounting and business subjects.


WORKING FULL-TIME AND CANNOT GO TO SCHOOL DURING THE DAY?

EWU offers programs to meet the needs of both full-time and part-time students. Both the undergraduate professional accounting major and the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program are offered in downtown Spokane (U-District) in the evenings.


DID NOT SEE A CATEGORY THAT SEEMED TO FIT YOUR BACKGROUND? OR MAYBE YOU FIT ONE OF THE CATEGORIES BUT YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT WHETHER THERE ARE MORE AVENUES?

Give us the opportunity to meet with you to examine additional paths not listed. Please contact our Undergraduate Business Advisor Lane Hopkins at lhopkins@ewu.edu or at 509.359.2345.


Requirements to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination vary from state to state. Experience requirements for the certificate also vary from state to state. Therefore, students must obtain current information from the Board of Accountancy within the state from which they seek licensure. To contact the Washington State Board of Accountancy, email customerservice@cpaboard.wa.gov or call 360.753.2586.

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