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CPA Exam

The Illinois Board of Examiners has recently changed its education requirements to sit for the CPA exam. Candidates who complete the program before July 1, 2013, are eligible to sit under the old requirements. Candidates who complete the program after July 1, 2013, will need to follow the new guidelines.

For students who have a bachelor's degree in any field, or for students who have a master's degree in a field other than accounting, see the requirements below:

Candidates who apply to sit for the CPA exam before July 1, 2013, must have the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in any field
  • 150 semester hours of college credit
  • 24 hours of accounting credit (as part of the 150 total hours)
  • 24 hours of business courses other than accounting (as part of the 150 total hours)

Candidates who apply to sit for the CPA exam after July 1, 2013, must have the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in any field
  • 150 semester hours of college credit
  • 30 semester hours of accounting credit (as part of the 150 total hours)
  • 24 semester hours of business courses other than accounting (as part of the 150 total hours)
  • Within the 30 accounting semester hours, there must be 2 semester hours of accounting research and analysis
    • At Waubonsee, students who take ACC 252 Accounting Research and Analysis will meet the research and analysis requirement
  • Within the 24 business semester hours, there must be 2 semester hours of business communication and 3 semester hours of business ethics
    • At Waubonsee, students who take COM 121 Communication in the Workplace and BUS 215 Business Ethics will meet these requirements

It is highly recommended that students submit their transcripts to the Illinois Board of Examiners at least one year before they plan to sit for the exam. The Board will inform students whether previous coursework and degrees will count toward the education requirements. Then, when the final courses are completed, students can submit the final transcripts and sit for the exam. The early application will help students avoid any last-minute surprises in the credentialing process.

To submit an application, go to the Illinois Board of Examiners website. Once the application is submitted, the candidate has three years to complete his/her education on that application. 

There are two main resources to find out more about the CPA Exam:

The Illinois Board of Examiners website has information about the education requirements for the exam, credentials evaluation and the  exam itself.

Please visit the Illinois Board of Examiners website or call (217) 531-0950.

The Illinois CPA Society website has information for students interested in the CPA exam as well as careers in accounting.

Please visit the Illinois CPA Society website.

If you have additional questions about the CPA exam, please contact the Business and Information Systems division at (630) 466-7900 ext. 2263.