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New York CPA Exam and Licensing Requirements

New York CPA Exam and Licensing Requirements

1. Education Requirements To Sit For The Exam:

(a) Option 1 – Before Aug 2009 Rule

  • If you applied for licensure and completed their education prior to August 1, 2009. Please refer to NASBA’s NY page for details (look for Option 1)

(b) Option 2 – 120 Credit Hour Rule

  • 120 semester hours of college level education
  • A course covering each of the following:
    • Financial accounting
    • Cost or management accounting
    • Taxation
    • Audit and attestation
  • Please note that 150 credit hours and additional coursework (i.e. Option 3) must be completed before you can get the license.

(c) Option 3 – 150 Credit Hour Rule

  • Completed a registered 150 program approved by NYSED (see link under #5 useful information), OR
  • Completed a master’s degree with a major in accounting from a school accredited in accounting by AACSB, OR
  • Completed a bachelor’s or higher degree and a minimum of 150 semester hours in college level education to include the following:
    • 33 semester hours in accounting to include each of Financial accounting, Cost accounting, Taxation, Audit and attestation,Accounting research, and
    • 36 semester hours in general business.
    • Note: The following two subjects: Communications and Ethics and Responsibilities, are required and may come from accounting or business.

(d) Option 4 – No Degree

  • Candidates may sit for exam with lesser or no degree if qualifying experience requirements (15 years of public accounting) are met.
  • The experience must be earned under direct supervision by a US CPA or a New York State Public Accountant.
  • The work should involve the application of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and generally accepted auditing standards(GAAS), and contain substantial exposure to auditing and financial statement preparation.

Special note: State Board allows courses offered by community colleges/2-year universities in taxation BUT NOT  in auditing, attestation, and advanced accounting. For further clarification, please visit NYSED’s website.

2. Additional Requirements To Get CPA License:


  • For Option 2, you need fulfill what is required in Option 3.
  • For Option 1, 3 and 4, no further additional requirements.


  • Relevant experience means public or non-public accounting experience supervised and verified by US CPA or a public accountant licensed in New York State.
  • Acceptable part-time (no less than 20 hours per week) experience will be considered on the basis of one week of experience for every two weeks worked.
  • If you go for:
    • Option 1: 2 years of relevant experience. 1 year of experience if you choose to make up for the 150 credit hour requirements (i.e. Option 3)
    • Option 2 or 3: 1 year of relevant experience
    • Option 4: no further experience required

Ethics Qualification

  • You do NOT need to take the CPA ethics exam administered by AICPA. The logic is that you have taken relevant courses in ethics as part of the educational requirements.

3. Residency & Age Requirements:

  • US citizenship not required
  • New York residency not required
  • Minimum age: 21

4. Fees:

  • First-timers: $723 (4 CPA exam fees) + $126 (initial application fee)

5. Continuing Education Requirement

CPE is required for license holders.


New York State Board for Public Accountancy
State Education Department,
Division of Professional Licensing Services
89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Fl.
East Mezzanine
Albany, NY 12234-1000