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What are the education requirements to qualify to apply for the CPA examination?
(1) Education requirements: Effective July 1, 2000, to apply for the CPA examination you must have completed:
(a) At least one hundred fifty semester hours (two hundred twenty-five quarter hours) of college education, including;
(b) A baccalaureate or higher degree; and
(c) An accounting concentration as defined as at least:
(i) Twenty-four semester hours (thirty-six quarter hours) or the equivalent in accounting subjects of which at least fifteen semester hours must be at the upper level or graduate level (an upper level course is defined as a course that frequently carries completion of a lower level course(s) as a prerequisite). For the purposes of meeting this subsection, individuals will be given 1.5 credits for each 1.0 graduate level credit of accounting courses taken; and
(ii) Twenty-four semester hours (thirty-six quarter hours) or the equivalent in business administration subjects at the undergraduate or graduate level.
(d) The board will not recognize accounting concentration credits awarded for "life experience" or similar activities retroactively evaluated and recognized by colleges or universities. This restriction is not intended to apply to internships prospectively approved by colleges or universities.
(2) One hundred eighty-day provision: If you expect to meet the education requirements of this section within one hundred eighty days following the examination, you will be eligible to take the CPA examination provided you submit a signed Certificate of Enrollment from the educational institution in which you are enrolled stating that you will meet the board's education requirements within one hundred eighty days following the day you first sit for any one section of the examination. If you apply for the exam using the one hundred eighty-day provision, then within two hundred ten days of first sitting for any section of the exam, you must provide the examination administrator complete documentation demonstrating that you met the board's education requirements within one hundred eighty days of first sitting for any one section of the exam. If you do not provide such documentation within the required two hundred ten-day time period, your exam score(s) will not be released and you will not be given credit for any section(s) of the examination. Applicants failing to provide such documentation must reapply as a first-time applicant.
(3) Education obtained outside the United States: If you obtained all or a portion of your education outside the United States you must have your education evaluated by a board approved foreign education credential evaluation service. The board will establish the criteria for board approval of foreign education credential evaluation services. The board will not provide education credential evaluation services.
(4) Semester versus quarter hours: As used in these rules, a "semester hour" means the conventional college semester hour. Your quarter hours will be converted to semester hours by multiplying them by two-thirds.
(5) Accreditation standards: For purposes of this rule, the board will recognize colleges and universities which are accredited in accordance with (a) through (c) of this subsection.
(a) The accredited college or university must be accredited at the time your education was earned by virtue of membership in one of the following accrediting agencies:
(i) Middle States Association of College and Secondary Schools;
(ii) New England Association of Schools and Colleges;
(iii) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission;
(iv) Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (formerly the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges);
(v) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;
(vi) Western Association of Schools and Colleges; and
(vii) Accrediting Commission for Independent Colleges and Schools, or its predecessor, the Accrediting Commission of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools.
(b) If an institution was not accredited at the time your education was earned but is so accredited at the time your application is filed with the board, the institution will be deemed to be accredited for the purpose of (a) of this subsection provided that it:
(i) Certifies that your total educational program would qualify the applicant for graduation with a baccalaureate degree during the time the institution has been accredited; and
(ii) Furnishes the board satisfactory proof, including college catalogue course numbers and descriptions, that the preaccrediting courses used to qualify you for a concentration in accounting are substantially equivalent to postaccrediting courses.
(c) If your degree was received at an accredited college or university as defined by (a) or (b) of this subsection, but the educational program which was used to qualify you for a concentration in accounting included courses taken at nonaccredited institutions, either before or after graduation, such courses will be deemed to have been taken at the accredited institution from which your degree was received, provided the accredited institution either:
(i) Has accepted such courses by including them in its official transcript; or
(ii) Certifies to the board that it will accept such courses for credit toward graduation.
(6) Alternative to accreditation: If you graduated from a four-year degree-granting institution that was not accredited at the time your degree was received or at the time your application was filed, you will be deemed to be a graduate of a four-year accredited college or university if a credentials evaluation service approved by the board certifies that your degree is equivalent to a degree from an accredited college or university as defined in subsection (5) of this section. The board does not provide education credential evaluation services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055
(1). WSR 10-24-009, amended and recodified as § 4-30-060, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10; WSR 05-01-137, § 4-25-710, filed 12/16/04, effective 1/31/05; WSR 02-04-064, § 4-25-710, filed 1/31/02, effective 3/15/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055
(5). WSR 95-20-065, § 4-25-710, filed 10/3/95, effective 11/3/95; WSR 93-12-071, § 4-25-710, filed 5/27/93, effective 7/1/93.]