Becoming a CPA

Education Requirements

Current Michigan law requires that CPA candidates complete 150 semester hours of college education, including a Bachelor’s degree or higher degree with a concentration in Accounting, from an accredited institution. You may approach this in one of two ways:

Get a Master's Degree

Obtain a Master’s degree in Accounting or a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Your studies must include at least 12 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses. These 12 semester hours must not include tax or information systems courses.

Get a Bachelor's Degree

If you elect not to pursue a Master’s degree, you may meet the requirements by following this simple equation to reach 150 semester hours: 81+30+39=150

81 Hours +

Start with eighty-one semester hours of general topics and/or prerequisites.

30 Hours +

Take thirty semester hours of accounting subjects, with no more than six semester hours of taxation. Additional semester hours in accounting subjects may be applied toward the second part of the requirement.

39 Hours

Top it off with thirty-nine additional semester hours, with between 3 and 12 semester hours in each of at least 5 of the following areas:

  1. Business law
  2. Economics
  3. Ethics
  4. Finance
  5. Management
  6. Marketing
  7. Taxation
  8. Statistics
  9. Business Policy
= 150 Total Semester Hours

Accreditation

Michigan’s State Board of Accountancy adopts the criteria for accreditation of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools or an affiliated association. To see if your prospective school is properly accredited, visit www.ncahlc.org.

Once you’ve chosen a school, make sure to seek the counsel of an academic advisor. They can assist you in determining the classes you need to complete and when they should be taken. With their guidance, you won’t have to worry about holding up your graduation due to limited course availability. In addition, academic advisors have connections campus-wide and have access to useful resources, such as tutoring and financial aid.

Education Q&A

1.

Question: Can the MICPA review my transcripts to see if I’ve taken all the necessary classes to meet the education requirement?

Answer: Since no two institutions have identical curriculum, there is no way for the MICPA to identify which courses you may still need to complete. Sit down with an academic advisor at your school to discuss your coursework and determine the path you should take. Setting students up with the right classes is their job. Trust their expertise!

2.

Question: Can the MICPA tell me if a certain class will be accepted as part of the education requirement?

Answer: Once again, seek out the advice of an academic advisor. They live, breathe and eat this stuff. The current education requirements are available on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs accountancy website at www.michigan.gov/accountancy.
3.
Question: Which school would the MICPA recommend for pursuing a CPA license?

Answer: It is pivotal to choose a school that works best for you, based on your situation. What is most important to you: cost, location, convenience or some other factor? Michigan law requires that qualifying accounting education come from an accredited body. Michigan’s State Board of Accountancy adopts the criteria for accreditation of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools or an affiliated association.

4.
Question: Can I attend an online university in order to meet the education requirement?

Answer: As long as the institution is approved by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, classes taken online should count.

5.
Question: I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting several years ago and passed the CPA Exam. I now have the experience and would like to become a CPA, but only have 120 credit hours. What do I need to do?

Answer: In order to obtain a CPA certificate and license/registration, an applicant must meet the current licensing requirements which include 150 semester hours of college education.

6.

Question: Do I need a master's degree to become a CPA?

Answer: No you do not. You may become a CPA by obtaining just a bachelor's degree and completing the necessary credit hours to sit for the CPA exam. See "Get a Bachelor's Degree" at the top of this page. 

Becoming a CPA

Become a Member of the MICPA Today!

Get connected with 90% of the CPAs in Michigan. There's no better way to demonstrate to prospective employers that you're serious about a career in accounting, and you get access to great member benefits like reduced pricing on exam review courses!

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Are you considering an advisory service practice?

Many financial professionals are in order to meet the growing demand of specialized services in the areas of business valuation, financial forensics, personal financial planning, and information management and technology assurance. One of the first steps is to develop a solid business plan. And just as important, obtain a credential in your advisory area. The AICPA offers credentials that can start you on the path to adding an advisory service. Take the first step at aicpa.org/credentials.

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