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CPA - AP courses count towards 150 unit requirement?

klugekluge Registered User Posts: 6,559 Senior Member
edited June 2009 in Business School - MBA
My son is an undergraduate headed towards a BA in accounting, and he and I have been talking about the 150 unit requirement (under one "path" in California) for a CPA. Since I've been paying the bills, I'm very interested in seeing how to shorten that as much as possible. He's almost a full year ahead of schedule at this point, and could pile up 150 units by the time he graduates if you count the AP courses he took in high school for (which his college gives him credit for towards graduation) as part of the 150 units. If you don't, he'll be short at the end of his fourth year. We have both been asking around, but we've gotten conflicting and non-definitive answers to the question of whether or not AP courses count towards the 150 unit requirements in California.

Does anyone know?
Post edited by kluge on

Replies to: CPA - AP courses count towards 150 unit requirement?

  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    There is a thread on the "business major" forum called everything you need to know about accounting. That would be a better place to ask this question.
  • klugekluge Registered User Posts: 6,559 Senior Member
    Thanks for the tip. I didn't know that forum existed. (Of course, 39 pages later I still don't have the answer. But I'm hopeful.)
  • tbradfordtbradford Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    I would recommend that you call the state licensing board in California for a definitive answer. Some states can be more finicky than others so you're really better off going directly to the source.
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member

    I second tbradford. Standards vary among different states (a few don't even need 150 yet!). I bet it'd be just a matter of time when they have a unified one. You may want to get it in writing (in addition to calling on the phone, get an email confirmation about this sort of thing) if the answer is positive. You don't want to rely on an oral statement from one admin person, then get a surprise couple years down the road and have nothing to defend. As a cheap alternative, get the extra at a community college.
  • MBA Grad 2009MBA Grad 2009 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    The short answer is no, they won't accept high school courses, no matter how strenuous. The reason is that the State Board of Accountancy requires that coursework be done at an accredited school, and the accredited schools are limited to some colleges and universities - even work at some colleges, you should know, would not be accepted by the Accountancy Board as valid towards the education requirement.

    Sam Lee has the right idea; as long as the work is done at an accredited school it counts, so you don't have to spend big bucks for prestige. But no high school work is going to count, sorry.

    One final word, though, about the CPA exam. It's as tough as any test gets. The four exams require 14 hours time total, only about 10% of candidates pass all four sections on their first attempt, and that comes after you meet the education and experience requirements. If your son wants to pass the exam, he needs to be really, really ready for it, and while you can spend less at a community college for the non-accounting work to meet the education requirements, I would strongly advise him to attend a school for his accounting classes that has a good record of passing the CPA exam.
    I found a web site for Wake Forest, for example, which mentions in passing that USC students are among the most likely to pass the CPA exam.

    Business school ranks first in CPA exam passing rate | Old Gold & Black

    Also, Becker Professional Review (a very well-regarded private CPA preparation course) awarded scholarships for accounting excellence to a students from schools which included Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA, and Cal State Northridge.


    And I know it's a bit down the road, but the right internship with a good firm can provide mentoring and tutoring for final preparation.

    Good luck.
  • tbradfordtbradford Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    I agree that it is difficult, but certainly not impossible with a good prep course. Aside from Becker, Yeager and Gleim (if you do well with self-study) are good programs also.

    I would still check with your state board; most states allow credit from a school that is not accredited if the credits have been accepted for transfer from an accredited institution. I'm not certain that this counts for high school classes, but it can't hurt to check.

    Good luck!
This discussion has been closed.