Most states now require first time CPA exam candidates to have 150 hours of basic education. The ASU Bachelor of Science in Accounting is 126 hours. While a uniform CPA Exam is given, minimum qualifications to sit for the CPA Exam can vary from state to state.
Those interested in the CPA exam will need to be familiar with the specific residency and coursework requirements of the state where they plan to take the CPA exam and discuss these rules with their advisor in planning specific electives in their program of study.
The Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy’s website includes information about the CPA exam, including Accountancy Rule 3 dealing with education requirements.
First time candidates for the CPA Exam in Arkansas must have a Bachelor's degree. The college coursework must include the equivalent of 30 semester hours of accounting at the graduate or undergraduate level and 30 hours of business coursework. A minimum grade of “C” is required in each accounting and business course. A minimum of 150 hours of college credit hours required for licensure.
Preparing at ASU for the CPA Exam
ASU students have four tracks they can use to prepare themselves for the CPA exam:
- A B.S. in Accounting (120 hours) plus the Master's of Accountancy (MAcc) (30 hrs).
- A B.S. in Accounting (120 hours) plus another College of Business's graduate degree such as the Master's in Business Administration (33 hrs).
- A Bachelor's from the College of Business with a major other than Accounting (such as finance or information systems) plus 30 hours of undergraduate or 20 hours of graduate coursework in accounting. A minimum of 150 semester hours are required.
- A Bachelor's degree other than in a business areas plus 30 hours of course work similar to the College of Business core and 30 hours of undergraduate or 20 hours of graduate coursework in accounting.
The first and second tracks above (B.S. in Accounting plus MAcc or other graduate business degree) are recommended to prepare for the CPA Exam in Arkansas, but the last two approaches provide flexibility for mature students coming back for a second degree.
A requirement in Arkansas is that your education must include coverage of specific accounting topics. One of these topics, governmental/nonprofit accounting, is not required in the ASU Bachelor of Science in Accounting program. This topic is covered in ACCT 4123, and students planning to sit for the CPA exam in Arkansas must take ACCT 4123 as part of their undergraduate coursework.