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Can I take the CPA exam without having a bachelor degree?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

You will need to inquire with your state or jurisdiction about its requirements to take or sit for the CPA Exam. Generally, you will need to have a minimum of 150 college credits, which is significantly more than the typical bachelor degree of 120 credits.

Just as important as being able to take the CPA Exam is whether you can pass the CPA Exam. The CPA Exam is very rigorous and the pass rate is significantly lower than the pass rates for college accounting courses. Students having successfully completed 30 college credits in accounting courses (plus 120 credits of other college courses) find it very difficult to pass the CPA exam.  As a result, students with accounting degrees often enroll in CPA review courses to increase their likelihood of passing the CPA Exam. In other words, you need to ask yourself whether you have the accounting knowledge to pass the CPA exam in addition to meeting your state or jurisdiction’s educational requirements.

Our Accounting Career Center provides links to each state’s board of accountancy and more details on the difficulty of passing the CPA Exam.

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Certificate - Debits and Credits
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Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
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Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

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Certificates of

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
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