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 Academic Requirement

Important Changes to the Academic Requirement to Qualify for the CPA Examination

Effective July 1, 2016,  the number of semester hours required in Business Law to qualify for the CPA Examination is now 3 instead of 6.  Additionally, 30 semester hours are now required in accounting courses instead of the previous 27-hour requirement.

Effective July 1, 2018, the number of semester hours needed in Taxation to qualify for the CPA Examination will be 6 instead of 3.

During the transition period, until the academic change are fully implemented on July 1, 2018, a candidate may use a second Business Law course as part of the 30 accounting hours required or he/she may secure 30 accounting hours (with the additional 3-hour course preferably in Taxation).

An applicant for the Uniform CPA Examination in West Virginia may sit for the examination with a baccalaureate degree and the completion of specific required courses at the upper-division baccalaureate and/or graduate levels at an accredited college or university. The required courses include 27 semester hours of accounting* (excluding Principles of Accounting), 6 semester hours of business law,* and 27 semester hours of business and related courses.*


*Please note that the required course hours referred to in the paragraph above and in the Specific Course Requirements chart below are semester hours or semester-hour equivalents of quarter hours.  A quarter hour is equal to 2/3 of a semester hour.

An accredited college or university is a degree-granting institution accredited at the time of the applicant's degree or attendance by one of the following:


  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools;
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges;
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


*Effective July 1, 2011, the Board will require that applicant transcripts reflect that the candidate has secured three semester credit hours in ethics. The ethics course may be counted as either part of the 9 semester hours of required accounting electives or the 12 semester hours of required business-related electives indicated below.


Specific Course Requirements

 Accounting Courses
 Course Title

 Semester Hours

 Financial or Intermediate Accounting


 Auditing (minimum of 3 hours in Auditing required)
 Auditing (3 hours) and Accounting Information Systems (3 hours)




 Cost, Managerial, Governmental or Not-For-Profit Accounting


 Accounting Electives*


Accounting Total  


 Business Law Courses
 Business Law


 Business Law Total  


 Business Courses









 Business-Related Electives*


Business Total  


Total Semester Hours for Required Courses 


The West Virginia Board of Accountancy accepts CLEP (College Level Examination Program) or DSST (Dantes Subject Standardized Test) credits PROVIDED THAT THE ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT indicates the applicant has tested out of the class/course. (It should be noted that, if you intend to secure the additional hours needed to meet the 150 semester-hour education requirement for certification while sitting for and/or after passing the CPA Examination, most colleges and universities will NOT add CLEP or DSST credits to the transcript after the individual has graduated.)

The West Virginia Board of Accountancy will recognize the Board of Regents degree (BOR) as meeting the baccalaureate degree  requirement to sit for the CPA examination, provided the transcripts  include the specific accounting, business law and business hours required by the Board. Credits earned under the MENTOR PROGRAM offered by Mountain State University have been approved as acceptable toward meeting the academic requirements for applicants for the CPA examination.

The Board will accept Pass/Fail grading for the purposes of evaluating an applicant's transcripts to determine if the applicant has met the academic requirements to sit for the CPA examination.

Prospective candidates who were educated in another country must have their foreign transcripts evaluated before making application to sit for the Examination.  That service must be secured through the following entity:    

NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES)
150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 850
PO Box 198727
Nashville, TN  37219
Phone: (615) 277-9077
Fax: (615) 324-1268

Last edited: January 27, 2017




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