Effective January 1, 2012, the requirements for CPA licensure in Pennsylvania will officially change. Do you have a plan?
Currently CPA licensure in Pennsylvania requires 120 credit hours. This requirement will increase to 150 credit hours on January 1, 2012; 36 of these credits must be in accounting-related courses. Students who do not pass at least one part of the CPA by January 1, 2012 will fall under scenario 2 below. Seniors graduating in May 2011 must pass one part of the CPA exam before January 1, 2012 to avoid the 150 hour requirement.
Scenario 1: For those who will pass first part of the CPA exam before January 1, 2012
|To Sit for Exam||To be Certified|
|Students holding a bachelor's degree with at least 120 college credits may sit for the exam. 24 of these credits must be in accounting-related courses.
||Must pass one part of the CPA exam before January 1, 2012. The additional three parts of the exam must be passed within an 18 month window after passing the first part. The student must also have 2 years of work experience.|
Scenario 2: For those who will pass first part of the CPA exam after January 1, 2012
|To Sit for Exam||To be Certified|
|Students holding a bachelor's degree with at least 120 college credits may sit for the exam. 24 of these credits must be in accounting related courses.
||Must pass the CPA exam and have 1 year of work experience. Additionally, the student must have 150 credit hours. Of the 150 credit hours, 36 of these hours must be in accounting related courses.
Be Ready In 4
- SJU Accounting Curriculum currently requires 42 courses. Students could take eight additional 3-credit courses to bring you up to 150 credit hours.
- SJU currently offers a graduate option: the professional MBA program.
Graduate MS in Finance
- SJU currently offers a Master of Science in Financial Services, which could also be utilized to satisfy the 150 hour requirement. The curriculum focuses heavily on finance and accounting-related topics.
I will take the CPA Examination before January 1, 2012, am I required to have 150 credit hours?
No, students who have passed at least one part of the CPA exam before January 1, 2012 are not required to have 150 credit hours to receive their CPA. These students fall under the old CPA requirements.
I will take the CPA Examination after January 1, 2012, am I required to have 150 credit hours?
Students who have not passed at least one part of the CPA exam before January 1, 2012 are required to have 150 credit hours to receive their CPA.
I don't plan on getting my CPA, do I need 150 hours?
150 hours is a licensure requirement only. Students who do not plan on becoming a CPA do not need 150 credit hours.
How many more classes do I need?
For 2012 and 2013 graduates: As an accounting major at SJU you will graduate with 42 courses, this is typically 127 credits. To reach 150 credits, eight additional courses are required.
Do the additional courses need to be taken at SJU?
No, the eight additional courses do not need to be taken at SJU. The courses may be taken at any institution approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.
What additional courses should I take?
It is recommended you take some of the additional courses in accounting related topics to help with the CPA Exam. While accounting related topics are recommended, no official requirement exists as to what subjects the classes must be in.
When can I take the additional eight classes?
The major public accounting firms are strongly advising that the additional classes are taken prior to beginning full employment. Possible time slots for courses include summer, intersession, as well as a sixth course during the fall and spring semesters. As an accounting student you are granted 2 semesters with six courses. Any additional six course semesters will be subject to the University policy which states... "Although the usual load is five courses, students with superior records may petition the Dean of the appropriate college for permission to carry a sixth course. (See Incidental Fees.) No student may carry more than six courses in any semester. Additional tuition is charged for this overload." It is important to create a detailed plan of how you will complete the additional course work. A plan of compliance will be reviewed by any prospective employer.
I am currently registered for five classes, how do I add a sixth class?
Check with the registrar's office about the add/drop period for the current semester. To add a sixth class you can complete the course overload form (found online at http://www.sju.edu/resources/
I took the same course at two different institutions; does each course count towards 150 hours?
No, repeat coursework does not go towards the 150 hour requirement. Credit will be given for only one class. Transcripts will be reviewed by the State Board of Accountancy in order to sit for the exam.
Do AP classes from high school count?
If college credit was given for the AP class, the class will count towards 150 hours.
When can I take the exam? Do I need 150 credit hours before I sit for the CPA exam?
No, you do not need 150 credit hours to sit for the exam. Students holding a bachelors degree with at least 120 college credits may sit for the exam. 24 of these credits must be in accounting related topics.
What does the exam look like? Can I see a demonstration?
The CPA exam is administered by Prometric. The exam is taken at a Prometric testing facilities. A demonstration can be found at http://www.prometric.com/TestDrive/default.htm.
Someone said the CPA exam is changing. Is more information about the changes available?
More information about the new CPA exam is available here.
Do I need to be ready in 4?
The accounting firms strongly advise that all students affected by the 150 hour requirement have a plan to complete the additional eight courses prior to employment. It is possible to complete these courses during the undergraduate years.
Should I add the date I will be 150 ready to my resume?
Yes! The firms would like to see that you will be ready in four on your resume. It is suggested you add a line similar to: "I comply with the 150 hour requirement by: May, 2012". Include the actual date you will have completed 150 credit hours.
Can I go for my Masters or MBA instead?This is an option. A graduate Masters or MBA is full time for one year and would therefore mean your cannot begin full time employment until after your fifth year. Also, the timing of internship programs may be affected.
Please view the following PowerPoint for details on the implementation of the new 150 hour requirement for Pennsylvania CPA's.
For the class of 2012 and 2013 please use the following typical course sequence.
Additional resources regarding 150 hour and the CPA exam.