Colorado CPA Exam & License Requirements

Colorado CPA Exam & License Requirements

  •  Updated:June 26, 2019
  • Bryce Welker, CPA
  • State CPA Requirements
  • Comments (26)

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
  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.

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

(1) Education with Experience

Education: 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.

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$195.35
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$176.25
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$195.35
Regulation (REG)$176.25
Application Fee:$150

**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

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!

  • Abigail Schuster
    Posted at 8 August, 2016 21:34 PM Reply

    Hi! I have passed 3/4 sections of the CPA exam and am looking ahead to applying for a license. The state of Colorado requires one 'GAAS'-based audit course and an additional 'other auditing' course. I took a Forensic Accounting class that focused on both investigative and fraud auditing. Have you ever heard of someone using a Foresnic Accounting class to satisfy this credit?

    • awad Zawahra
      Posted at 17 February, 2016 01:16 AM Reply

      Hello there,I have passed all the CPA exams in 2013 from the State of Colorado, I also have an MBA with finance concentration from Keller Graduate School of Management of Devry University in New York State, I have 180 credits in finance and accounting, but I have no public accounting experience, am I eligible to get Colorado license? and if yes, how do I apply and send the documents, I am now in UAE,advise please.

      • Ravi Sharma
        Posted at 22 April, 2015 18:18 PM Reply

        Hi I have passed FAR under Colorado Jurisdiction and have 136 credits as per NASBA. I am eligible to take exams prior to 30th June 2015 but am I eligible to give exams post 1st July. if not, what happens to my FAR credit. Can I transfer to any other state. Please guide me. Thanks

        • BWelk
          Posted at 22 April, 2015 20:08 PM Reply

          Does anyone know the answer to Ravi's question or have experience with this same thing? I am not sure how Colorado handles this.

        • [email protected]
          Posted at 18 March, 2015 16:35 PM Reply

          Hi I have passed all the 4 sections of CPA exams from Colorado in year 2009 and would now like to apply for a license. I have over 3 years of work experience in public accounting. But my education consists of B.Com from India with a CA license and CS exam passed. Is there a way to get a license in Colorado with this qualification. I am OK with applying in any other state by transferring Exam Credits as long as a license is given.. Please advise.

          • BWelk
            Posted at 1 April, 2015 22:32 PM Reply

            Hi,You will need to use a foreign credentials evaluation service to know exactly what you need and don't need in order to qualify. Your state board of accountancy website should have some of these services listed on their website.Cheers,Bryce

          • Jerry
            Posted at 8 August, 2014 23:42 PM Reply

            Hi, I am confused by Colorado website. The website provide a purchase option ofAICPA Professional Ethics Self-Study Book for $135. Is this the same with the one provided by AICPA website? Which one is accepted by CO for initial licensing? I thought CO accept AICPA ethic course.

            • BWelk
              Posted at 18 August, 2014 10:57 AM Reply

              Yes both of those are the same thing Jerry.

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