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.

Accredited Colleges and Universities with Accounting Programs in New Jersey

Listed below are the accredited colleges and universities with accounting programs in the state of NJ. Don’t see your college on the list? Please check with the NJ State Board of Accountancy at 973-504-6380 to find out if your school meets the state board’s standards for accreditation and if credits will count toward the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam.

College Accounting Degree
Programs Offered
Berkeley College AAS, BBA
Bloomfield College BS, MS
Caldwell University BS, MS, MBA
Centenary University BS
Fairleigh Dickinson BS, MS, MBA
Felician University BS
Georgian Court University BS
Kean University BS, MS
Monmouth University BS, MBA
Montclair State University BS, MS, MBA
New Jersey City University BS, MS
New Jersey Institute of Technology BS
Ramapo College of NJ BS, MS
Rider University BS, MAcc
Rowan University BS, MBA
Rutgers BS, MBA, Macc, Ph.D.
Saint Peter's University BS, MS
Seton Hall University BS, MS, MBA
Stevens Institute BS
Stockton University BS
The College of New Jersey BS
Thomas Edison State University BSBA, MSM, MBA
William Paterson University BS, MBA