CPA Info

CPA examination & licensure requirements

Please see the CPA Checklist for more detailed information, including required course work affecting eligibility to work at Public Accounting Firms.
Exam Requirement Overview Timeline Requirements
Education required to sit for the CPA Exam: Coursework completed throughout college Bachelor's degree
36 quarter units of accounting
36 quarter units in business-related
Education Coursework Required for:

CPA Licensing and Eligibility to be hired at a Public Accounting Firm**
All of this coursework must be completed before your first day of work for most accounting firms.

You will need all of this coursework when you are applying for your CPA License.
Including the above 36 units, totaling:
Completion of 45 quarter units of accounting
Completion of 45 quarter units of business-related subjects
Completion of 12 quarter units in additional relevant work
Completion of 15 quarter units in ethics
Evidence of a total of 225 quarter units
CPA Exams: Take the 4 CPA Exams Pass all Four Exams
Licensure Requirement: After passing all four CPA exams One year general experience supervised by a licensed CPA, (including at least 500 attested work hours)

Passing of Ethics Course


For Complete information on the CPA Examination & Licensure Requirements, please visit The CPA Board Webpage and for first time exam takers please check out the CPA Exam Overview Webpage.
If you have further questions, please contact Exam Unit General Information at or Phone: (916) 561-1703.

CPA exam and licensure workshop

There are 3 steps to be completed before getting your California CPA License
  • 1. Check with the California Board of Accountancy if a class qualifies.
  • 2. Fulfill the requirements to take the CPA exam
  • 3. Upon passing the exam, complete the required classes

Make sure your course/units qualifies, by contacting the California Board of Accountancy directly at:

(916) 561-1701

This is the source for all questions related to California CPA licensure. If you wish to get a CPA license in another state, contact that state’s board about its requirements for licensure.


Define the courses you want to qualify 

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, you need to complete:

  • 24 semester (or 36 quarter) units – accounting subjects
  • 24 semester (or 36 quarter) units – business-related subjects

AP units and community college units count!

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university and are within 180 days of completing all educational requirements, you may be approved to sit for the CPA exam. Educational requirements include the conferral of a bachelor's degree and completion of 24 semester units in both accounting and business subjects. 

Once you pass the CPA exam, in order to get your California CPA license, you need to complete: 
  • 20 semester (or 30 quarter) units – accounting study
  • 10 semester (or 15 quarter) units – ethics study

In addition, you need to:

  1. Get a bachelor’s degree (in any field from an accredited university).

  2. Complete a total of 150 semester (225 quarter) units of college classes.
    AP and community college units count.

  3. Complete a take-home online ethics exam. 

  4. Obtain one year of work experience under a CPA.

For questions related to passing the CPA exam, you can contact one of the CPA review courses. Below is a list of popular review courses.

CPA Review Courses

  • Becker CPA Review 
  • Gleim CPA Review
  • Lambers CPA Review
  • Surgent CPA Review
  • UWorld Roger CPA Review
  • Wiley CPAexcel Review
  • Yaeger CPA Review

*The UCLA Accounting Department does not endorse any of these review courses or course materials. Do your own research!

CPA Review Books

  • “Wiley CPAexcel”
  • “At Least Know This – CPA Review”
  • “CPA Exam for Dummies”

Do not ask a professor, college counselor or anyone who works for the UCLA undergraduate minor program to verify if a class qualifies. We do not want to erroneously tell you that a particular class qualifies. Only the California Board of Accountancy has the authority to determine that a class qualifies.