Becoming a CPA

The Uniform CPA Exam

In order to meet the requirements for a CPA license, candidates must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, a 16-hour, computer-based test comprised of four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)

It employs a variety of testing formats, including multiple-choice questions, essays and task-based simulations. These are derived from condensed case studies to test accounting knowledge and skills, using real life, work-related situations.

CPA candidates must meet the following criteria, in order to be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam

Complete the curriculum required for a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, as outlined in Admin Rule 115, including the following:
  1. 3 semester (4.5 quarter) hours in Auditing
  2. 21 semester (31.5 quarter) hours in accounting, including study in each of the following:
    1. Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory
    2. Managerial Accounting, including Cost Accounting
    3. Accounting Systems and Controls
    4. U.S. Federal Taxation
    5. Governmental / Fund Accounting
  3. 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in general business subjects.

If you meet these requirements, you may apply to sit for the exam via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's (NASBA) website at or call CPA Exam Services at 800.CPA.EXAM (800.272.3926). Because application and examination fees are generally non-refundable, you should not apply to sit for a section of the exam until you’re ready. Only apply and pay exam fees for the sections you will be taking in a six month period.

Once your application has been processed, and you have been deemed eligible to take one or more sections of the CPA Exam and have paid all fees, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA. At this point, you may schedule one or more exam testing dates through Prometric (, who administers the exam at locations nationwide. Reference the “Section ID,” listed on the NTS, when selecting which parts you’d like to take.

CPA Exam Testing Windows

You may sit for one or more sections of the exam during the periods below. Testing is not available in March, June, September and December.

  • January 1 - March 10
  • April 1 - June 10
  • July 1 - September 10
  • October 1 - December 10

Choose your schedule by visiting Your NTS is valid for one testing event for each examination section or six months for each examination section, whichever comes first. This includes non-testing months.

Pass All Four Sections of the CPA Exam:

Applicants must pass all four sections of the CPA Exam within a rolling 18-month period, beginning on the date that you sat for the first passed section. If all sections are not passed within the rolling 18-month period, credit for any section outside the 18-month period expires.

Examination Q&A


Question: Do I need 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA Exam in Michigan?

Answer: No. You only need to have completed a curriculum required for a Bachelor’s degree for the exam. However, to be a CPA in Michigan, you will need 150 credit hours.


Question: Can you tell me what classes I still need to take, before sitting for the exam?

Answer: You will need to review your transcripts with NASBA. Candidates who completed education requirements at institutions outside the U.S. must have their transcripts evaluated by any member organization of the National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services (NACES) If you went to school in Canada, submit your transcripts directly to CPA Examination Services, as per the instructions on the NASBA website.


Question: How much does it cost to sit for the CPA Exam?

Answer: All first-time applicants are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee upon submission of the application. All re-examination candidates are required to pay both a registration fee and an examination fee at the time of registration. For exact pricing, visit the NASBA website at or call 800.CPA.EXAM (800.272.3926). Note that you will not owe any fees to Prometric when scheduling the exam. These are covered in the cost you pay to NASBA.


Question: Are there any differences in the CPA Exam outside of Michigan?

Answer: While the requirements for eligibility vary from state to state, the exam itself is uniform throughout the United States.


Question: If I successfully complete and pass all four parts of the CPA Exam, will I need to take it again if I’m not licensed right away?

Answer: Once you’ve passed the entire CPA Exam, you will not need to take it again – whether you passed it one year ago or twenty!


Question: Is there a set order I must follow when taking the exam?

Answer: You may take the CPA Exam sections in any order, but must complete all four parts within 18-months of the date you sat for the first passed section. If you fail a section of the exam, you may not retake it within the same testing window. When you reapply to take that section, the NTS you receive will tell you the earliest it can be sat for.


Question: I live outside of Michigan. Can I take the exam in Michigan?

Answer: You apply for the exam in the state in which you have residency.


Question: Are there any discounts available for CPA Exam review courses?

Answer: Yes! If you sign up for membership with the MICPA, you will be eligible to save on CPA Exam review courses through several providers.

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Becoming a CPA

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