New Education Requirements for Licensure

Question: What courses can make up the 20 semester units of accounting education?
Response:The 20 semester units of accounting education can be made up with the following:

At least six semester units in accounting subjects, which are the same accounting subjects as the core education requirements needed to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.

  • No more than 14 semester units in business-related subjects, which are the same business-related subjects as the core education requirements needed to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • No more than 9 semester units in other courses relevant to accounting and business. These units can come from:
    • No more than 3 semester units in skills-based courses, which includes courses completed in the English, communications, journalism, as well as the physical, life, natural and social sciences;
    • No more than 3 semester units in courses in foreign language (including sign language) or courses with the terms culture, cultural or ethnic in the title;
    • No more than 3 semester units in industry-based courses, which includes courses with the words “industry” or “administration” in the course title or courses completed in engineering, architecture and real estate.
  • No more than four semester units in internships or independent studies related to accounting or business- related subjects.
The completion of a master’s degree in accounting, taxation or laws in taxation is equivalent to the completion of the 20 units of accounting study.
Question: What courses can make up the 10 semester units of ethics education?
Response: Until Jan. 1, 2017, the new 10 semester units of ethic study can be made up with the following: 
    • No more than 11 quarter units or 7 semester units in courses containing any of the following terms in the course title: business law, corporate governance, ethics, morals, fraud, organizational behavior, human resources management, management of organizations, business government and society, business leadership, legal environment of business, professional responsibilities (non-accounting), corporate social responsibility or auditing.
    • No more than 4 quarter units or 3 semester units in courses taken in the following disciplines: philosophy, religion or theology. For these, the course title must contain one of the following words or terms, or the sole name in the course title is the name of the discipline: introductory, general, introduction, fundamentals of, principles of, foundation of or survey of.
    • No more than 1 semester unit may be completed in a course devoted to financial statement auditing. This is to address the issue of odd unit totals that may occur for applicants with semester units.
    Starting on Jan. 1, 2017, and applicant will be required to take a standalone 3-semester or 4-quarter unit course devoted solely to accounting ethics or accountants’ professional responsibilities as part of the 10 unit ethics requirement.
Question: The 20 semester units of accounting study that take effect on January 1, 2014 indicate that they can come from accounting subjects, business-related subjects, and other academic work relevant to accounting and business. Do in need to have a class from each area?
Response: No. At minimum you will need to complete an additional 6 semester units in accounting subjects. The other 14 semester units may come from additional accounting subjects or in business-related subjects. You can also have up to 9 semester units in other academic work relevant to accounting and business.
    Question: I will be applying for licensure after January 1, 2014 and will have to take additional courses to meet the new requirements. Can I take these classes online or at a community college?
    Response: Yes. You can take any additional classes that you need to meet the requirements from any accredited, degree granting institution, including online and community colleges. Always be sure to check that any program or course you enroll in will meet these requirements.
      Question: In the education requirements for licensure, having a Masters of Accounting, Masters of Taxation, and a Masters of Laws in Taxation automatically satisfies the 20 semester units of accounting study. I have a Masters of Business (MBA) with a concentration in accounting. Is this considered the same as a Masters of Accounting and automatically satisfy the accounting study requirement?
      Response: No. MBAs with a concentration in accounting are not considered substantially equivalent to a Masters of Accounting. Only the three specified Master’s degrees automatically satisfy the 20 semester units of accounting study. However, you can use some of your classes taken as part of your MBA program towards the requirements.
        Question: Will the courses I took as part of my Master of Accounting degree program qualify toward the other educational areas? 
        Response:Yes. The Masters of Accounting degree will automatically satisfy the 20 semester units of accounting study and the courses taken in order to earn the degree can be counted towards the other educational requirements (24 semester units of accounting subject, 24 semester units of business-related subjects, and 10 semester units of ethics study.)