Education Requirements to Become a CPA

The following guidelines are effective July 1, 2017:

In order to sit for the CPA Exam in NJ, an applicant must possess:

  • a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school/university.
  • 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in business.
  • a minimum of 120 semester hours.
  • the degree can be in any field of study.

To be licensed in NJ, the applicant must:

  • obtain 150 semester hours from an accredited school. These credits can be obtained within or beyond a degree program.
  • obtain one year of experience (1,750 hours) working under a CPA whose active license is from NJ or from a state that is substantially equivalent to NJ. Currently all states are substantially equivalent. The experience must be in the areas of auditing or accounting.

What has changed?

  • The new regulation reinstates the intended requirement of 120 credits to sit for the exam, including 24 credits in accounting and 24 credits in other business courses for all candidates, that was in place prior to April 2011. An applicant no longer needs any specific courses in these areas (just 24 semester hours overall in accounting and 24 semester hours in business).
  • If an applicant is obtaining graduate credits, they will need 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 credits in business. Previously, only 15 semester hours in accounting were required from a graduate school program. Undergraduate and graduate credits are counted equally.  
  • Under the new proposed rules, the references to levels of school accreditation have been removed. An applicant will need 24 semester hours in accounting whether or not their college/university has obtained accreditation from AACSB or ACBSP.

How to Obtain 150 Credit Hours and Stand Out from the Competition

Posted: January 29, 2018
Most firms also do not have a preference for how a student earns their required 150 hours; they simply want a college graduate with 150 hours. Find out two alternative ways that a student can earn 150 hours and present a strong resume to future employers other than the traditional MBA or MS.

Earn an MBA to Strategically Meet the 150-Credit-Hour Requirement

Posted: March 20, 2017
CPA candidates have many options to meet the 150-credit requirement. Although some alternatives may be easier and cost less money, they may not be as strategic as earning an MBA.

Accreditations for New Jersey Colleges and Universities

Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

  • Berkeley College 
  • County College of Morris
  • Georgian Court University
  • New Jersey City University

AACSB International - Level 1

The last line of each listing indicates the level of accreditation the school has achieved: A=Baccalaureate degrees with emphasis in accounting; B=MBA degrees with emphasis in accounting; C=Master of accounting degrees; D=Doctoral degrees in accounting.

  • Rider University, College of Business Administration, Lawrenceville - AC 
  • Seton Hall University, W. Paul Stillman School of Business, South Orange - BC

AACSB International - 2A, 2B, 3 Levels

The last line of each listing indicates the level of accreditation the school has achieved: B=Bachelor's; M=Master's; D=Doctoral.

  • The College of New Jersey, School of Business, Trenton - B
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Silberman College of Business Administration, Madison - B
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck - B
  • Monmouth University, School of Business Administration, West Long Branch - BM
  • Montclair State University, School of Business, Upper Montclair  - BM
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Management, Newark - BM
  • Ramapo College of NJ, Anisfield School of Business, Mahwah - B
  • Rowan University, College of Business, Glassboro - BM
  • Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, School of Business, Camden - BM
  • Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Accounting Program, New Brunswick - A
  • Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, Faculty of Management, Newark  - BMD
  • Stevens Institute of Technology School of Business, Hoboken - BMD
  • Stockton University School of Business, Galloway - BM
  • William Paterson University, Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business, Wayne - BM         

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), founded in 1916, is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. For more information visit