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CPA Exam Resources

​​​​The DePaul curriculum fully prepares you for the content that is tested on the CPA exam. The following sections provide you with information on CPA eligibility, exam content and the application process.

CPA-related organizations:

  • Illinois Board of Examiners - Illinois office that evaluates and approves candidates to sit for the CPA exam.
  • Illinois CPA Society - Illinois association of accounting professionals, educators and students.
  • AICPA - National organization that sets the standards and content tested on the CPA exam.
  • NASBA - National association that coordinates state boards and transferring between states.

This video walks you through the information on this section and includes advice on course planning to become CPA eligible.

Note: This is general advising only. The Illinois Board of Examiners maintains the final determination of exam eligibility for all CPA candidates.

FAQs:

What are the Illinois educational requirements?

  • The DePaul accounting major prepares you for all exam qualifications, except for the overall credits: 150 semester hours, equivalent to 225 quarter hours.

What are my options for earning the additional credits needed to reach 225?

  • Double major, minor, additional elective classes
  • 2.0 credit classes to fit within 18 credit full-time tuition
  • Summer and/or December session classes
  • Community college classes during summer
  • Graduate school: fifth year master’s degree in audit or taxation

How do I view my credits earned?

  • Download your unofficial transcript in Campus Connect > Academic Records. This will show your credits earned each quarter, including any transfer, study abroad and AP test credits awarded.
    • Tip: Don’t use the Degree Progress Report for credit purposes. Your unofficial transcript is the best guide to view your credit detail each quarter and to plan ahead.
  • All credits are converted to quarter hours on your transcript.

Can someone at DePaul review my transcripts?

  • Officially, DePaul doesn’t review transcripts for CPA eligibility. This is easily done on your own.
  • DePaul can help you plan classes and discuss various course options to meet your credit hours. You can also connect with peers, alumni and others for their advice.
  • If you have an unusual scenario with your credits, you can contact accountancy@depaul.edu if you don’t find the answers here.

What if I had transfer classes that didn’t count at DePaul?

  • These classes will likely count toward your educational requirements, as long as it’s official college credit posted to a transcript.
  • To convert your semester hours, multiple by 1.5 to reach quarter hours. For example, a 3-semester hour class is equivalent to 4.5 quarter hours.

What kind of community college classes can I take?

  • Any college classes count toward the CPA exam. The only rule is that you can’t repeat classes that you’ve already taken.

Can I still take classes outside DePaul past my junior year?

  • Yes, any classes taken outside DePaul will still count toward CPA exam credit. You’ll simply submit transcripts from each school attended when you apply to take the exam.

What do I need to do now during my undergrad to prepare for the CPA exam?

  • The only thing you need is to plan your course options to reach 225 quarter hours.
  • There is no preparation to do for the exam itself. The exam is based on your accounting classes, so study hard and do well on your homework and exams. When you finish your degree, then you’ll begin a CPA Review program to refresh you on all of the content.

What do I need to apply to the exam?

  • Your college transcript from each college or university that you attended.
  • Completed application form at the Illinois Board of Examiners website.

When should I start studying for the CPA exam?

  • The most common time to start studying is right after graduation.
  • Some students begin studying in their final quarter, but this is not typical, since you’re still in classes and usually have some of the more difficult classes to complete.

Does DePaul have a CPA Review program?

  • No, DePaul does not have a program. However, there are many other programs in the market. Most are online. Some offer in-person review sessions, but this is not common.

What is the process for applying to the CPA exam?

  • The Illinois Board of Examiners facilitates the application process: www.ilboe.org.
  • The Illinois CPA Society provides the best guide at icpas.org > CPA Exam Resources. This guide lays out the step-by-step process, testing fees, exam timing and more.

Have more questions that are not answered here or by the Illinois Board of Examiners or Illinois CPA Society?

Many accounting students pursue the Combined Bachelor's/Master's Program. This builds CPA credit and prepares students to advance their career competitively and at an affordable cost.

The video walks you through the programs, including their benefits, courses, and admission.

Visit the Illinois CPA Society's Exam Resources and click on the FAQ Brochure for the most clear, up-to-date guide on the exam application process.

The video below walks you through highlights about the application process, including tips and advice.

Note: This is general advisig only. The Illinois Board of Examiners maintains the final application process for all CPA candidates.

DePaul's curriculum is designed to help you succeed on the CPA exam. This chart helps you to visualize how your accounting courses align with the sections of the CPA exam.

Visit the AICPA CPA Exam Blueprints for specific information on what’s tested on the CPA exam.

Undergraduate

CPA Exam Section Courses
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) ACC 304 Financial Reporting I
ACC 305 Financial Reporting II
ACC 306 Financial Reporting III
ACC 308 Advanced Financial Accounting
Regulation (REG) ACC 380 Tax Treatment of Individuals and Property
ACC 383 Tax Treatment of Corporations and Partnerships
ACC 370 Professional Responsibilities and Business Law, or
BLW 201 Legal and Ethical Aspects in the Business Environment
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) ACC 372 Auditing I
ACC 374 Auditing II
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) ACC 303 Managerial Accounting
ECO 105 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 106 Principles of Macroeconomics
FIN 310 Introduction to Finance
MIS 140 Business Technology and Decision Making
Other Classes ACC 350 Information for Decision Making (Research and Analysis)
MGT 248 Business Ethics (Business Ethics)
MKT 376 Effective Business Communication, or
ORGC 201 Business and Professional Communication (Business Communication requirement)

Graduate

CPA Exam Section Courses
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) ACC 541 Financial Accounting Theory & Practice I
ACC 543 Financial Accounting Theory & Practice II
ACC 545 Advanced Topics in Accounting Theory
Regulation (REG) ACC 548 Tax Treatment of Individuals and Property Transactions
ACC 551 Tax Treatment of Corporations and Partnerships
ACC 552 Business Law for Accountants
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) ACC 547 Auditing I
ACC 550 Auditing II
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) ACC 535 Accounting Information Systems
ACC 542 Cost and Managerial Accounting I
ECO 502 Selected Topics in Macroeconomics
FIN 455 Principles of Financial Management
MGT 504 Fundamental Operations Management
Other Classes ACC 640 Accounting Theory And Policy Formulation (Research and Analysis)

All semester credit hours (SCH) stated below are at the undergraduate level. Any credits earned in excess of maximums stated count towards the 150-hour requirement.

150 Semester Credits Hours or 225 Quarter Credit Hours

Baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited school

Degree earned from an accredited school:

Graduate degree in accounting*

  • Accounting program must be accredited by AACSB or ACBSP
  • No requirements in Research & Analysis in Accounting, Business Communications or Business Ethics 

Graduate degree in business*

  • Accounting program must be accredited by AACSB or ACBSP
  • Business program must be accredited by AACSB or ACBSP
  • Minimum of 30 semester hours in accounting
  • At least one course each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation and management accounting
  • 2 semester hours in Research and Analysis in Accounting
  • No requirements in Business Communications or Business Ethics

A bachelor's degree in any field or a graduate degree in a discipline other than accounting or business

  • Minimum of 30 semester hours in accounting
  • At least one course in financial accounting, auditing, taxation and management accounting
  • 2 semester hours in Research and Analysis in Accounting
  • Minimum of 24 semester hours in business other than accounting
  • 2 semester hours in Business Communication
  • 3 semester hours in Business Ethics

*Graduate students who wish to take the CPA exam prior to graduation are treated as undergraduate candidates and must meet the undergraduate educational requirements listed above.

To convert semester hours to quarter hours, multiply the semester hours by 1.5. For example, 30 semester hours in accounting is equal to 45 quarter hours in accounting.