Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing


Board Promulgates Regulations to Implement 120-hour CPA Exam Requirement - News and Information - Maryland Board of Public Accountancy


The Board of Public Accountancy proposed new regulations to implement legislation that will permit college graduates to qualify for the examination who have earned accounting degrees after completing a minimum of 120 semester hours of course work. The legislation, which was signed into law by Governor O’Malley in May, goes into effect October 1, 2011.

Beginning in October 2011, individuals can qualify for candidacy for the Uniform CPA Examination upon the completion of 120 semester hours and the attainment of a degree in accounting or its equivalent. Currently, CPA Exam applicants must complete a minimum of 150 semester hours to qualify for the examination. The current requirements can be found on the Board's website.

The proposed regulations will require CPA Exam applicants to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours in courses including, but not limited to: auditing, cost accounting, nine semester hours in financial accounting, U.S. federal income tax, and business/accounting ethics as part of the 120 hour requirement.

The Board will begin accepting applications under these new requirements by mid October. Updates will be posted on the Board's website as they become available. Applications received under the new requirements prior to the posted acceptance date will be denied, and the applicant's fee will not be returned.

Individuals who pass the CPA Examination will still need to have earned a minimum of 150 semester hours of college education to fulfill the education requirements to obtain a license. To qualify for a license, an applicant will need to have completed a minimum of 21 semester hours in five of the nine following business subjects: 1) statistics; 2) economics; 3) corporation or business finance; 4) management; 5) U.S. business law; 6) marketing; 7) business communication; 8) information technology/systems; and 9) quantitative methods.