Becoming a CPA


Education for CPA Exam:   In Louisiana, you must have a baccalaureate or higher degree (in any major) conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, and you must have earned specified hours in accounting and business courses as described below.  Accounting programs at Louisiana universities are generally designed so that graduates with degrees in accounting will have completed the necessary accounting and business concentrations to qualify as a Louisiana candidate, but you should check with your academic advisor.

If you are moving to another state to work after college, you should consider the education requirements in that state and/or consult with its board of accountancy before you finish your college education.

Please note that after successful completion of the CPA Exam, you must meet all education requirements to become licensed (150 hours) by December 31st of the fifth calendar year following successful completion of the examination, or your examination scores will be voided.

Education for Licensing:   To be eligible to apply for a Certified Public Accountant license in Louisiana, you must have 150 hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, with concentrations in accounting and business courses as described in detail below, as well as successfully pass the CPA Exam and have qualifying experience described below.

Please note that after successfully passing the CPA Exam, if you have not already earned the required 150-semester hours for licensing, you must have earned the required hours to become licensed by December 31st of the fifth calendar year following successful completion of the examination, or your examination scores will be voided.

Experience for CPA License:  Experience is not required to sit for the CPA exam.  But, you must have the necessary one (1) year of qualifying experience verified by a licensed CPA in order to obtain your CPA license.  At least one year of experience must be confirmed by employers and verified by a licensed CPA who is in a position to know the type of work performed and the experience must be obtained within four years preceding the date of the license application.

The experience must involve the use of accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills.  It must be of sufficient complexity and diversity, and be verified by a licensed CPA.  The experience may be from employment in public practice, private industry, non-profit, or government and must be at least one year of full-time or 2,000 hours part-time experience, or a combination of these.

There is no expiration of the CPA exam scores if the experience requirement for licensing is not met within a certain time frame.

Age Requirement for Licensing:  A person must have attained the age of 18 years to be granted a certificate of certified public accountant in Louisiana.

CPA Examination Information for Louisiana Candidates

I.     Examination Application Requirements
II.    Residency Requirement
III.   Character Requirement
IV.   Educational Requirements
V.    Schools, Colleges, and Courses Recognized
VI.   CPA Examination Information
VII.  Attorneys
VIII. Transfer of Credits From Another State
IX.   Requirements for Issuance of a CPA Certificate
X.    Board Rules related to the CPA Examination

I. Examination Application Requirements

What are the requirements to take the Uniform CPA examination as a Louisiana candidate? You must:

• Be of good moral character, confirmed by personal references
• Meet the college educational requirements at the time of filing an application
• Meet the residency requirement
• File the current application form
• Pay application and  examination fees

Applications to take the Uniform CPA examination are available from:  CPA Examination Services (NASBA) at 1-800-CPA-EXAM (or 615-880-4250).  Website:  Contact the Louisiana Coordinator.

II. Residency Requirement

Is there a residency requirement to take the examination?

Yes.  Applicants must have maintained continuous residence (physical presence) in Louisiana for a period of not less than 120 days within the one year period preceding the date of the initial examination. Students are exempted provided they return home when not taking classes, e.g., summer, holidays, etc.

III. Character Requirement

How is a determination of a candidate’s good moral character made? 

By evaluation of the applicant’s character references and the candidate’s response to the question concerning conviction of a misdemeanor or felony.

Who can attest to an applicant’s character?

References should be from CPAs or substantial and representative business or professional individuals. They should NOT be submitted by the following individuals:

• More than one member of a household
• Relative of the applicant
• Roommate
• Students
• University or college instructor UNLESS they have had significant contact with the  applicant outside the classroom
• Person having a financial or business investment with the applicant

Must the character references be Louisiana residents?
Yes.  The reference must be a Louisiana resident who has known the applicant for a period of 12 or more months.  A minimum of 3 references is required.

Will the Board verify the character references and responses to the conviction question?
The Board, at its discretion, may contact the character reference for additional information.

May a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor take the CPA exam?
Convictions do not automatically disqualify an applicant unless the offense relates directly to the professional responsibilities of a CPA. However, the Board makes the final decision.

IV. Educational Requirements (also see item V. for additional details)

What are the MINIMUM educational requirements to take the CPA examination?

• Have a baccalaureate degree.
• Have successfully completed 24 hours (or 21 hrs. graduate level) of specific accounting and 24 hours of business courses.
• Candidates with a baccalaureate degree, and having a concentration of accounting, obtained prior to January 1, 1992 and conferred by a Louisiana college or university, may contact the Board to determine if they might qualify without the attainment of 150 hours of college credit.

V. Schools, Colleges, and Courses Recognized

What schools are recognized by this Board?
Regionally “accredited” institutions that confer bachelor’s degrees, that is, those accredited by one of the six regional associations of colleges and schools.  Hours transferred to a “four year” university from a regionally accredited community college (or “two year” junior college) can be counted toward the educational requirement.

What constitutes the rating of “accredited”?
Those universities or colleges accredited by one of the six major regional associations.  The six regional associations are:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Will the Board recognize colleges and universities that are outside of the United States?
Candidates or applicants who have completed educational requirements at institutions outside the U.S. must have their credentials evaluated by the Foreign Academic Credentials Service (FACS) or NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES).  Either will provide the candidate and the Board with an evaluation as to the degree and the credited accounting and business courses.  This evaluation must be made well in advance of the time for filing an application to take the CPA examination.  There is a fee charged for this service.  Refer to FACS or NIES  for more information.

Which courses are required as accounting and business courses? 

• Accounting Courses (24 hours undergraduate -or- 21 hrs. graduate level -or- in combination):

 Undergraduate Semester Hours

  • Intermediate – 6 hours
  • Cost accounting – 3 hours
  • Income Tax – 3 hours
  • Auditing [related to external reporting] – 3 hours
  • 9 hours of accounting electives [Accounting Electives above the basic and beyond the elementary level]
  • Total Accounting Courses (Undergraduate) – 24 hours

 Graduate Semester Hours

    • Intermediate – 3 hours
    • Cost – 3 hours
    • Income Tax – 3 hours
    • Auditing [related to external reporting] – 3 hours
    • 9 hours of accounting electives [Accounting Electives above the basic and beyond the elementary level]
    • Total Accounting Courses (Graduate) – 21 hours

• Business courses (24 hours — not inclusive of Accounting courses):

  • Including at least 3 semester hours in Business Law
  • Total Business Courses Undergraduate – 24 hours -or- Graduate – 24 hours [or a combination of undergrad & grad of 24 hours)

The specified 24 hours (or 21 graduate level) of accounting courses and at least 24 hours of qualifying business courses must be earned by either personal class attendance or online courses earned at an accredited university.

Introductory “management” accounting courses (which typically emphasize management accounting principles and decision-making for internal managers) at the undergraduate or graduate level will not qualify toward satisfying the nine (9) semester hours of accounting electives within the 24 hours of required accounting hours.  And, such courses will not count toward the 24 hours of required business courses.

Furthermore, a student who has credit in both undergraduate and graduate level for the introductory “management” accounting course will only receive credit for one of the courses in satisfying the 150 hour requirement to become licensed.  In addition, such courses do not substitute for the required financial reporting related “Cost” or “Managerial Cost” accounting course which is required for accounting majors and which emphasizes cost accounting and financial reporting of inventories for manufacturers, production activities, processors and related topics.

Graduate level “introductory” accounting, such as a course designed for MBA students who have not taken undergraduate level introductory accounting principles, will count toward the 150 hour requirement to become licensed, but does not qualify toward satisfying the nine (9) semester hours of accounting electives that are within the 24 hours of required accounting hours. And, such courses will not count toward the 24 hours of required business courses.

NEW in 2023: Up to nine semester hours for internship and independent study may be applied to the education requirement. However, of the nine hours, a maximum of three semester hours may apply to the accounting courses, three semester hours toward the required business courses, and three semester hours toward the general education requirement.

For course work other than the required 24 hours of accounting and 24 hours of business:

Advanced placement credit, ACT, CLEP, and college or departmental examination credit for courses required by the student’s degree program, or for courses that are necessary in order to graduate, will qualify as credit toward the 150 hour educational requirement to become licensed, if such credit appears as credit earned on the official transcript.  For example, these types of credit earned for “core” curriculum courses (such as, courses required of all freshmen, such as, English or mathematics) will count.

“Remedial” or “developmental” course work required of students by the College or University as a prerequisite to the required curriculum which appears as credit earned on the official transcript will qualify as credit toward the 150 hour educational requirement to become licensed.

NOTE: Credit obtained from accredited “junior”, “community”, or “two-year” colleges prior to, or concurrently with, the enrollment at a four-year institution, will be recognized to the extent it is recognized by the four-year institution and transferred to its official transcript as credit earned.

Credit obtained at junior, community, or two-year colleges after the completion of course work at a four-year institution will not be accepted unless the candidate received advance approval by the Board.

VI. CPA Examination – Questions & Answers  

The following questions and answers pertain to Louisiana candidates and they may be updated periodically as more information becomes available.

1.  How many ‘sections’ (or parts) are there to the CPA examination?

The Uniform CPA Examination consists of three sections plus one of the new Disciplines:

AUD            Auditing & Attestation  
FAR            Financial Accounting & Reporting
REG           Regulation

Pass one of the following Disciplines:

BAR          Business analysis and reporting

ISC           Information systems and controls

TCP          Tax compliance and planning

2.  How long is the CPA examination and how may candidates know what is covered under each exam section?
Each of the four sections will be 4 hours, for a total of 16 hours.  Candidates should review the Candidate Bulletin at for additional details.  Important information on the examination sections’ content is available at  In addition, candidates should review the Content and Skill Specification Outlines, and complete the exam tutorial and practice test formats at prior to taking the exam.

3.  Where can I find the fees for taking the CPA examination?
The fees are published at — refer to the Louisiana Exam Information page.  The fees consist of NASBA, AICPA and Prometic charges for the application review and processing, candidate database functions, examination preparation, scoring, and test center computer security and “seat time”.

4.  Is there a “deadline for filing an application for the Uniform CPA Examination?
Applications for the CPA exam are available year round.  It may take several days or a couple of weeks to process the first-time application.  Re-exam applications take only days to process.  Applications can be submitted online.

5.  Where is the CPA exam given in Louisiana?
At Prometric Test Centers in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, and Metairie (New Orleans). Louisiana residents, depending on their locale, may also wish to consider the proximity of test centers in Jackson, MS and in the Beaumont and Houston, TX areas, and test there if more convenient.  Click Prometric Test Center for more information.

6.  Are special accommodations offered to candidates with disabilities?
Yes.  Obtain a “Request for Modification in the Administration of the Uniform CPA Examination” from CPA Examination Services.

7.  Does a candidate have to sit for all sections of the CPA examination at once?
No.  Candidates may apply for exam sections and make appointments on different dates.  A candidate may take each section separately.  Candidates can take the exam year-round.

8.  What is considered a passing grade on the examination?
A grade of 75 or better on each section is considered passing, conditioned upon time requirements for passing the other sections.

9. How long will a person have to complete all sections of the examination?
Currently, once candidates pass any section of the examination, they will have 30 months from the date of that exam section to pass the remaining sections in order to retain credit on the passed section.

10.  Must candidates take exam sections in any particular order?

11.  Must a candidate pass one exam section of the CPA exam prior to applying to take another?

12.  If I conditionally pass one or more sections of the examination, how long do I have to pass the remaining sections?
The current qualifying period for completion of the CPA exam is 30 months.  Once a candidate has passed any section of the examination, he or she has 30 months to pass the remaining sections in order to retain credit on the first passed section.  Therefore, candidates must pass all four sections of the exam within a “rolling” 30  month period that begins on the date a passed section was taken.  In the event the remaining sections are not all passed within a single qualifying period, credit for the section passed first in that period expires.  The term “rolling” qualifying period is used because it can be measured from the date any section of the exam is passed, and if all four sections are passed in such time, the exam is successfully completed.

13.  How often may a candidate take the CPA examination?
Candidates may take each exam section of the examination year-round.

14. May unsuccessful candidates apply to take the CPA examination again?

15. Once I apply to take the CPA examination, how long before I can actually take the examination?
First-time applicants must have educational eligibility determined, so the process may take several days or a couple of weeks. Re-examination applicants should be able to re-apply and be sent a “Notice to Schedule”(NTS) the examination within a few days.

16. How will I schedule an examination appointment at a Prometric Test Center?
After you have been determined eligible to sit for the computer based examination, you will be sent a “Notice to Schedule” (NTS).  You will then contact Prometric (see Prometric Testing) to schedule appointments.  The NTS may remain valid for six (6) months.  That means you will have 6 months from the date the NTS is issued to schedule, make appointment(s), and take the examination section(s) for which you have applied.

17.  What if a conflict arises after I have made an appointment at a Test Center?
You may reschedule at no charge if you reschedule at least 30 days in advance. If you reschedule between 5 and 30 days in advance, a fee is payable to Prometric. If you reschedule within 5 days, the fee will be much higher and will be equal to the portion of the exam fee that the Prometric test center charges for that exam section.

18.  May I request a grade review and/or appeal a score?
Yes. But candidates should be aware that there are very extensive controls and checks of grades before initial release. The likelihood of a grade being changed based on a review or appeal is negligible.

19. Will I see how I scored immediately after completing the computer based examination?

20.  May I as a Louisiana candidate take the examination outside of Louisiana?
Yes.  You will be able to schedule your examination at Prometric Test Centers in other states, unless the particular site has been disapproved by the Louisiana Board.

21.  May a person residing in a state other than Louisiana apply as a Louisiana candidate to the Louisiana Board to take the examination?
Yes, if the person satisfies the Louisiana requirement of 120 days of continuous residency in Louisiana in the year preceding the initial examination.

22.  Are there any other restrictions on Louisiana candidates taking the CPA exam outside the state?
One of the benefits of the computer-based examination is that a testing center outside of the state may be much closer to a candidate who lives near a state border than a test center within the state. However, a person may not be a candidate from more than one state at the same time and will not be able to circumvent Louisiana’s educational or licensing requirements by taking the examination outside of the state.

23.  I live in Louisiana and have not met the educational requirements to sit in Louisiana, but my education would be accepted by another state as qualifying me to take the CPA examination.  May I take the CPA exam as a candidate of another state and, subsequently, after obtaining the additional hours to attain 150 hours to become licensed, transfer my grades to Louisiana or obtain a reciprocal CPA certificate in Louisiana?
Candidates who desire to become Louisiana CPAs may not circumvent Louisiana rules.  You can transfer your grades to Louisiana or obtain a reciprocal CPA certificate in Louisiana so long as you met Louisiana rules in good faith.

24.  Where can I find more information on the CPA examination?
Information about the CPA examination is at and You may also call CPA Examination Services at 1-800-CPA-EXAM, or the Louisiana Board’s office to obtain additional information. In preparing for the exam, candidates are responsible for becoming familiar with the “Candidate Bulletin” that is posted at the website and should refer to the Content Specifications, the Exam tutorial, and practice questions at the website.

VII. Attorneys

Must an attorney take each section of the examination?

VIII. Transfer of Credits From Another State

May a person from another state transfer CPA examination credits to Louisiana?
Yes, provided that the applicant is not a CPA and meets all of the educational, residency, age, and passing requirements of a Louisiana candidate other than he/she sat for the exam in another state.

IX. Requirements for Issuance of a CPA Certificate (license)

What is the next step after passing the examination?
Successful exam candidates must meet all education requirements (150 semester hours) by December 31st of the fifth calendar year following successful completion of the examination, or the CPA examination scores will be voided.

Once the education, examination, and experience requirements have been met, an application can be downloaded from this website (under Forms & Links) and submitted to the Board for approval. [Coming in late 2023, candidates will be able to apply online.]

A successful exam candidate may not use the certified public accountant or CPA title until the certificate (license) application has been approved by the Board.

Requirements include:

• Successfully complete the Uniform CPA examination
• Be of good moral character
• Be 18 years of age or more
• Satisfy the one year experience requirement, verified by an actively licensed CPA
• Submit the application form required by the Board
• Pay the certificate application fee of $100
• Execute an oath prescribed by the Board

X. Board Rules

See Chapters 5 and 7 of the Board’s Rules related to the CPA examination.

Board Rules – May 2023



The State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana, (the Board), has arranged for NASBA’s CPA Examination Services to administer the CPA Examination.
Louisiana Candidates are to contact CPA Examination Services directly with questions, for obtaining applications, and for requests for special accommodations for candidates with disabilities. The address, telephone numbers, and website are:

CPA Examination Services
Louisiana Coordinator
Post Office Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219-8469

800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3926) or


Candidates remain subject to the Louisiana educational, filing, grading, and residency requirements as recorded in the Rules and Statutes of the Board.