Pennsylvania CPA Exam & License Requirements

Pennsylvania CPA Exam & License Requirements

  • Updated:February 18, 2019
  • Bryce Welker, CPA
  • CPA State Requirements
  • Comments (25)

Pennsylvania does not require 150 semester hours to sit for the CPA exam, however the full 150 hours are needed to obtain a CPA license.

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

  1. Minimum age: 18
  2. Bachelor’s degree or higher;  24 semester hours of accounting courses
  1. 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution
  2. 24 semester credits of accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board
  3. additional 12 semester credits in accounting, auditing and tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as part of the individual’s undergraduate or graduate work
Work Experience:
  1. 1 year of related work experience
  2. The experience can be in public or non-public accounting but has to be supervised and verified by an active US CPA
Ethics Exam:
  1. Not Required

Pennsylvania CPA Exam Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in Pennsylvania is $743 plus the initial $95 application fee.  The re-examination application fee is $95  as well.

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:$95

**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 Pennsylvania expires 6 months after issuance.

Additional CPA License Requirements

  1. Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
  2. Complete verified accounting work experience
  3. Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork
  4. Pay the CPA license application fee

For more information, please contact:

Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy
2601 North Third St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 717-783-1404
Fax: 717-705-5540

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!

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  • Kelly
    Posted at 30 April, 2018 18:31 PM Reply

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as "0". Reason: Human SPAM filter found "[email protected]" in "author_email" *] Does working in private industry in corporate accounting satisfy the work requirement in Pennsylvania?

    • Adama Cherif
      Posted at 5 December, 2017 13:52 PM Reply

      I graduated with a Management degree already, If I go back to school to get the remaining 12 hours on accounting, would I be able to sit?:

      • Bryce Welker, CPA
        Posted at 6 December, 2017 16:47 PM Reply

        Hi Adama,Yes you should be eligible to sit for the PA CPA exam after you earn the remaining credits required. I would suggest calling your state board of accountancy just to make sure there are no other requirements they need fulfilled so you are 100% good.Cheers, Bryce

      • Sudha
        Posted at 27 July, 2017 10:16 AM Reply

        Hi,I am an International student (B.Com from India and Masters in Accountancy from U.S.A). I completed my undecided jurisdiction evaluation done through NASBA and and they gave me three states Georgia, Pennsylvania and NewYork. I do not satisfy the 150 credit hour requirement yet (I'm working on it) which is why I had to go this route.I stay in Michigan and I would like to eventually get licensed in Michigan however I only have 120 credits and want to give the exams as I have been preparing for them and know it is going to take time completing the 150 hour requirement.It would be great if I can get an insight as to which jurisdiction to choose from (Georgia, Pennsylvania or NewYork) so it would be a bit helpful for me to transfer exam credit/license in the future.Very much appreciate all your assistance!Thanks, Sudha

        • Mike M
          Posted at 27 March, 2017 03:06 AM Reply

          Does Pennsylvania allow an applicant to satisfy the work requirement by doing part-time work?

          • BWelk
            Posted at 28 March, 2017 16:59 PM Reply

            You will have to ask your board directly since they will be able to say if the specific type of work you are doing/plan on doing will satisfy the requirement.

          • Alens Xhoxhi
            Posted at 24 February, 2017 15:31 PM Reply

            I have graduated for management and marketing from Penn State and have about 140 credits. What exactly would i need to do to fulfill the requirements?

            • BWelk
              Posted at 21 March, 2017 18:26 PM Reply

              You need 150 education hours from an accredited college or university and generally need 1-2 years of accounting experience with a licensed CPA. This section should help answer your question:

              • Alens Xhoxhi
                Posted at 21 March, 2017 20:56 PM Reply

                Thank you BWelk

            • Tre06
              Posted at 10 February, 2016 21:17 PM Reply

              Hi Bryce,Thanks for the educative article, however NASBA does not require that you be a US Citizen to be a CPA in Pennsylvania. You only need to fulfill the education requirements, work experience and to pass the exams. I work for one of the big four global accounting firms in the world, and I have a couple of friends that are CPAs in Pennsylvania and they are on Visas. I have passed the CISA and CRISC which are more related to the work I do. I will probably also take the CPA, as it is a nice to have. Just my 2 cents. For more info you can google NASBA.Cheers,

              • BWelk
                Posted at 19 February, 2016 07:50 AM Reply

                Thanks for the information, the article has been updated!

              • Yuchi Zu
                Posted at 23 December, 2015 03:30 AM Reply

                Can I take gym classes or additional art classes to fill the 150 credit requirement as long as i have the 24+12 accounting related credits?

                • BWelk
                  Posted at 30 December, 2015 20:10 PM Reply

                  Yes I believe that would be fine as long as you have all your required classes taken care of.

                • Randy Disert
                  Posted at 18 November, 2015 14:28 PM Reply

                  When does the work experience requirement begin? For example, I'm currently working full-time as an accountant but have yet to take the exam. Can this time right now count towards the 1,600 hours?Also, can the supervising CPA be my boss' boss? Or do I need to report directly to the CPA?

                  • BWelk
                    Posted at 1 December, 2015 03:06 AM Reply

                    Yes , your work right now can count towards the experience requirement and your bosses boss can sign off on your hours!

                  • Matthew Seeholzer
                    Posted at 7 April, 2015 16:27 PM Reply

                    What does the additional 12 credits in accounting entail to get a license? Does that mean I have to take extra classes AFTER I get my Bachelor's degree in order to become licensed?

                    • BWelk
                      Posted at 9 April, 2015 02:46 AM Reply

                      Yes you need 150 credits total to get your license. So you need an additional 12 in accounting plus however many more you need to get to 150.

                    • dadsfadfad
                      Posted at 27 January, 2015 15:27 PM Reply

                      Looks incorrect to me. State Board says 150-24-12 not 150-24-24

                      • BWelk
                        Posted at 5 February, 2015 22:14 PM Reply

                        Thanks for the update, I've made the corrections above to reflect this.Cheers,Bryce

                      • Paul
                        Posted at 25 September, 2014 14:40 PM Reply

                        Can I take the test in PA even though i live/ work in NY?

                        • BWelk
                          Posted at 27 September, 2014 03:40 AM Reply

                          Yes you can take the exam in a different state than the one you are trying to get licensed in. You'll need to contact PA BOA for specific details about that process.

                        • BrianD
                          Posted at 23 June, 2014 14:06 PM Reply

                          Thanks Bryce. FYI your How to Crush the CPA Exam booklet PA link says that a PA license requires PA residency, but it says that residency is not a requirement.

                          • BWelk
                            Posted at 24 June, 2014 12:22 PM Reply

                            Thanks Brian! Just updated my webpage.Cheers,Bryce

                          • BrianD
                            Posted at 19 June, 2014 14:06 PM Reply

                            if I lived in PA for 34 years and now live in DE, can I still apply in PA?

                            • BWelk
                              Posted at 22 June, 2014 06:35 AM Reply

                              Yes, you can take the CPA exam it in DE and apply for your license in PA.-Bryce