The 150-Hour Requirement
The 150-hour requirement refers to the fact that in order to sit for the Certified Public Accountant's (CPA) exam, candidates must complete at least 150 college credits. The CPA Exam is nationally prepared and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Each state, through its state licensing board, sets the education requirements to sit for the Exam and the experience requirement to become licensed as a CPA. Although a CPA license is technically needed only to sign an audit certificate, the CPA designation is widely recognized throughout the business community. Accordingly, even persons not planning to enter the public accounting profession should plan to become a licensed CPA for the value placed on this credential in the marketplace and the prestige it brings. A graduate degree is not required, although it is an option you may choose.
Meeting the 150-Hour Requirement
Wisconsin allows great latitude in planning a program to meet the 150-hour requirement. Your faculty advisor will provide you with an objective evaluation of whether your 150-hour plan is reasonable. Like all plans it is subject to change and should be updated on a regular basis.
Generally, the 150 college credits include an accounting degree (120 credits). There are a number of options that a student can pursue to earn the additional 30 credits. UW-L accounting majors complete the 150 hours by one of the following common paths:
- Graduate school:
- Masters of Accountancy or Masters of Taxation – elsewhere
- MBA – UW-L or elsewhere
- Second College of Business
Administration (CBA) major (double counting is not allowed):
- Information Systems
- Second major outside of CBA: some are hard to fit within 150 credits
- Information Systems or International Business
- Language proficiency (major or minor) and/or study abroad
- Emphasis: students may create their own course set