Education Rule

TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS TO SIT FOR THE EXAM: 120 semester or 180 quarter

TOTAL UPPER DIVISION ACCOUNTING HOURS:  24 semester or 36 quarter to include the following:  Taxation, Auditing, Financial, and Cost.

TOTAL UPPER DIVISION GENERAL BUSINESS HOURS:  24 semester or 36 quarter to include three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours business law.

Other important information:  Staff cannot determine if courses taken meet education requirements via telephone conversation, fax or email. CPA Board staff determines eligibility by conducting an official evaluation which includes submitting an application, transcripts, and other required documents and paying the required fee.

Applicants sitting for the exam must have completed 120 semester or 180 quarter hours from an accredited college or university, unless one is using the provisions of the unaccredited institutions rule, as explained below.  The accounting education program must include 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of upper division accounting to include coverage of taxation, auditing, cost/managerial, and financial.  The business education program must include 24 semester hours of upper division general business courses with some exceptions. One microeconomics, one macroeconomics, one statistics, one business law, and one introduction to computers course may be lower division. As part of the general business hours, applicants are required to have a total of three semester hours or four quarter hours of business law courses. Excess upper division accounting courses may be used to meet the general business requirement, but not the business law requirement. However, elementary accounting classes are never acceptable for credit. Neither are courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting.

Applicants who were accepted to sit for (not necessarily passed) the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination in 1983 or earlier may use the “old rule” educational requirements. Applicants who use the “old rule” requirements will need to demonstrate one year of public or governmental accounting experience under the supervision of a CPA or 30 semester hours of graduate school, to include 12 semester hours accounting and 15 semester hours of general business before they can become licensed. The “old rule” requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, unless one is using the provisions of the unaccredited institutions rule as explained below.  The education program must include 18 semester hours of accounting courses, which are above the elementary level, and 27 semester hours of business courses.

Regardless of the educational rule used, elementary accounting classes are never acceptable for credit. Courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting are not accepted. Accounting courses taken a community college or junior college are not accepted towards the accounting requirements.  Courses offered at the freshman and sophomore level are also unacceptable towards meeting the accounting requirement.

The Board accepts degrees from schools accredited by the following associations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association of Independent Schools and Colleges who are regulated by the Commission of Independent Education, and Canadian, Mexican, Irish, and Australian academic accounting programs approved by the provincial educational bodies or the equivalent educational accreditation body for that country. If you have graduated from a school or college which is not accredited by the above mentioned means, then you must use the provisions of F.A.C. 61H1-27.001(5).

Applicants who have graduated from a non-accredited school may still qualify to sit for the CPA examination. The candidate must take 15 semester hours of graduate classes from an accredited institution. The 15 semester hours must include at least nine hours of graduate level accounting courses to include three semester hours of graduate tax.  The applicant must complete the graduate school courses to validate the non-accredited degree. These courses cannot duplicate other courses which the applicant has taken and they cannot be used to satisfy the educational requirements. Applicants must also submit an evaluation of their foreign transcripts, which must be completed by an evaluation service which has been approved by the Board (see Board Approved Evaluation Service).

No credit will be given for courses which duplicate another course for which the applicant has received credit. Review courses are considered as duplicates.

CLEP courses cannot be used toward satisfying the requirements of the Accounting Education Program or the General Business Education Program. CLEP hours may be used toward the 30 semester hours in excess of the degree.

For purposes of satisfying the educational requirements of 61H1-27.001 F.A.C., taxation courses are generally the
only courses for which the Board is able to grant accounting credit. The Board will not grant credit for Wills and Estate or Gratuitous Transfer classes that do not emphasize taxation topics. The Board will not allow credit for law school courses, which duplicate courses for which the applicant has previously received credit. Law School courses, Federal Taxation I and II, are substantially equivalent to Taxation I and II (or Individual Taxation and Corporate, Partnership Taxation) classes taught in accounting programs. They will be considered duplications. The following courses are generally accepted for General Business credit:

  • Consumer Law Corporation Finance & Reorganization
  • Bankruptcy Fiduciary Administration
  • Marketing Real Estate
  • Business Organization Estate Planning
  • Corporations Commercial Paper
  • Insurance Debtor’s Estates
  • Security in Goods Property
  • Torts Contracts
  • Agency & Partnership Anti-Trust
  • Sales Secured Transactions

The above list is not complete, but consists of general categories for courses.

Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Veloria A. Kelly, Director

Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 352.333.2508