What constitutes a course in business?
A candidate with a graduate degree in accounting from a program that has been approved by the Board of Public Accountancy is not required to satisfy specific business course credit hour or content requirements. It is assumed that the candidate has pursued a sufficient level of business coursework while earning the graduate degree.
A candidate with a graduate degree in business administration or law from an accredited college or university must complete 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses at the undergraduate level, or 18 semester hours at the graduate level (27 quarter hours), or an equivalent combination thereof. There is a great deal of flexibility in business courses offered by schools of business and management. Although candidates with graduate business or law degrees do not need to satisfy specific business course requirements, candidates are strongly encouraged to obtain coverage in business law.
A candidate with a bachelor's degree in business from an accredited college or university is required to complete the same number of credit hours of business coursework as a candidate with a graduate degree (24 undergraduate or 18 graduate), and these courses must include coverage in each of the following areas:
- Business law
- Information systems
- At least one of the areas of economics, business organizations, professional ethics, and/or business communications
Completion of a course in each of the required areas is the most direct way to satisfy the coverage requirement. Since these coverage areas are broad, the requirement may be satisfied by a wide variety of courses. Examples of courses that might provide coverage in these areas include, but are not limited to:
- BUSINESS LAW: Business Law; Law for Accountants
- INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Management Information Systems; Information Resource Management
- FINANCE: Corporate Finance; Managerial Finance; Financial Risk Management; Financial Planning; Investments
- ECONOMICS: Managerial Economics; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS: Organizational Behavior; Managing People
- PROFESSIONAL ETHICS: Business Ethics; Professional Ethics
- BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: Business Writing; Professional Speaking; Managerial Communications
If a course title does not clearly relate to the coverage area, the candidate may need to submit a course catalogue, syllabus or letter from a professor detailing the coverage. If you think there may be a question about the coverage provided in one of your courses, use this course evaluation checksheet as a guide for yourself or to submit with documentation supporting coverage when you apply to sit for the CPA Exam.
A candidate whose highest degree is a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than business must complete at least 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses at the undergraduate level. These credits must include at least three semester hours in each of the following areas:
- Business law
- Business information systems
- Professional ethics
Courses in quantitative applications in business, business management of organizations, economics and/or business communication may be included for the business course requirements.
Completion of a course in each of the required areas is the most direct way to satisfy the coverage requirement.