Colorado CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: May 23, 2023 You’re our #1 priority.
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Colorado is less strict than most states and does not require 150 credit hours to earn a CPA license. However, if you do earn 150 credit hours your work experience requirement will be waived.

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:

  1. Minimum age: None
  2. U.S. Residency NOT Required
  3. State Residency NOT required

Education Requirements

  1. Bachelor degree or above
  2. Accounting courses: 27 semester hours including 3 hours in auditing 21 hours in specialized courses
  3. Business courses: 21 semester hours (no more than 6 for each subject)
  4. Please see Colorado CPA Requirements for more course details

*CPA applicants who received a bachelor’s degree before July 1, 1993 must adhere to the old CPA requirements.

**International candidates: The State Board no longer accepts Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) certificates to fulfill the educational requirement.

Chartered Accountant (CA) qualifications from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand are accepted as part of the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) MRA agreement. However, those from other jurisdictions are no longer accepted.

Please check out the Information and Application for Pre-Evaluation if you have questions regarding this rule.

CO CPA License Requirements

Important Note: Effective July 1, 2015, Colorado will require the completion of 150 credit hours before applying for a CPA license.

Important Note: Effective July 1, 2015, Colorado will require the completion of 150 credit hours before applying for a CPA license.

There are 2 different options to choose from to obtain a Colorado CPA license:

(1) Education with ExperienceEducation: no additional requirements


  1. Must include 1 year (1,800 hours) in public or non-public accounting as well as in academia
  2. Must have been met within 5 years preceding date of application
  3. Part-time work is acceptable as long as you complete 1,800 hours within 1-3 years
  4. Must be under the supervision of an active CPA or Chartered Accountant from an IQAB MRA country in good standing. (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand)
  5. Please refer to chapters 2 and 4 for more details

(2) Education Only : No Experience Required

  1. Master’s degree, doctoral degree, OR bachelor’s degree with total 150 credit hours
  2. 45 semester hours in Accounting: 6 hours in Audit covering US GAAS
  3. 36 semester hours in General Business related subjects with no more than 9 hours in any one subject
  4. Experience requirement is waived

Ethics Exam

  1. Passing of the AICPA ethics exam is mandatory for both pathways above
  2. Cost of course is $149 or $119 for AICPA members

Colorado Exam Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in Colorado is $743 plus the initial $150 application fee. The re-examination registration fees vary depending on the number of sections.

**Important Note: You should not apply and pay for exam sections that will not be taken within six months because your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in Colorado expires 6 months after issuance.

Additional CPA Requirements

  1. Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
  2. Complete verified accounting work experience (only if pathway 1 is chosen)
  3. Pass AICPA Ethics Exam
  4. Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork
  5. Pay the CPA license application fee

CO Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

1560 Broadway-Suite 1340
Denver, CO 80202
Email[email protected][email protected]
Phone: 303-894-7800
Fax: 303-894-7692

What’s Next?

Now that you have started the CPA exam application process, your next step is to find a CPA review course that fits your budget, learning style and schedule.

It can take several weeks for your application to be processed so don’t waste that valuable time waiting to hear back from your state board.  If you start studying now you will get a nice jump start on the material and will be better prepared to pass your first CPA exam!