COVID-19 Symptom Attestation

College of Business & Economics

Qualifying to Take the CPA Exam

Qualifying to Take the CPA Exam

To become a CPA, an accountant must meet specific education and experience requirements. The additional education requirements beyond those needed for a bachelor's degree are commonly referred to as the student's "fifth year" of study.

Options to Pursue Required Credits

According to the Washington State Board of Accountancy, to qualify for the CPA exam, you must complete 150 semester (225 quarter) hours of college education including a baccalaureate degree or higher in any field with a concentration in accounting.

  • A concentration in accounting consists of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in accounting subjects of which 15 semester (22.5 quarter) hours must be at the upper or graduate level and 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in business administration subjects.

When considering your options for earning additional credits, think about it from the perspective of your future employer:

Master's of Professional Accounting degree:

The Master of Professional Accounting is designed with two options: A 3+2 Integrated MPAcc and a 4+1 Traditional MPAcc

Master's of Business Administration degree:

The MBA Program is full-time 68 credit daytime program offered in 5 quarters over 14 months. Starts annually in September 

Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree:

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting curriculum of 160 credits (minimum) provides an integrated coursework approach to prepare students to take the CPA exam

Choose a second major:

Choose a second major within the College of Business and Economics or another college within Western

Additional Resources

For more information on professional examinations, these external organizations serve as an excellent resource: