CPA Information

 

State Authorization Licensure Disclosures
Wake Forest University: Master of Science in Accountancy

Licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States is governed by 55 separate jurisdictions (50 US states, four US territories, and the District of Columbia). There are three pre-requisite categories for licensure: Education, Examination, and Experience. Broadly speaking, candidates must:

  • Earn a requisite amount of post-secondary education (the “education” requirement);
  • Pass the Uniform CPA Exam (the “examination” requirement);
  • Gain experience working under a supervising CPA (the “experience” requirement).

While each jurisdiction has these three categories of requirements and they are generally similar, the details can vary quite a bit. For example, in some jurisdictions, candidates are allowed to begin taking the CPA Exam before educational requirements are fully met. Accordingly, these jurisdictions have a limited set of educational requirements for ‘sitting’ and additional educational requirements for licensure. Additionally, some jurisdictions require content-specific credit hours earned in Accounting and some jurisdictions require content-specific credit hours earned in Business Administration. Some require a certain amount of communications, ethics, and research.

Given recent employment location history, we have made the following determinations for six specific jurisdictions. We have not made a determination for other jurisdictions.

  • Combined with 120 credit hours of undergraduate coursework, the coursework required for the Wake Forest MSA (30 credits hours plus foundational coursework or waivers for equivalent undergraduate work) meets the educational requirement for Certified Public Accountant licensure in the following state:
    • North Carolina
  • Combined with 120 credit hours of undergraduate coursework, the Wake Forest MSA degree is sufficient to meet the educational requirement for Certified Public Accountant licensure in the following states:
    • New York
    • Massachusetts
  • Combined with 120 credits hours of undergraduate coursework, the Wake Forest MSA degree is not necessarily sufficient to meet the educational requirement for Certified Public Accountant licensure in the following states. In these states, a requisite number of specific general business courses (as well as careful course selection during the MSA course registration process) is also required.
    • California
    • Florida
    • Georgia

Notwithstanding the state-specific information above, it is recommended that each student research the board requirements for the jurisdiction in which they plan to work. Each jurisdiction’s accountancy board compares the applicant’s coursework against board standards and evaluates each application in its entirety to make a final decision regarding certification. A great place to start in understanding CPA educational requirements is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy: https://nasba.org/. In addition to general information about the examination procedure and licensure requirements, this site includes links and contact information for each state board: https://nasba.org/stateboards/.