How to Become a CPA in California

Universal CPA Review offers all of the CPA licensing requirements for each state. See the below resources for a comprehensive understanding of California’s state CPA requirements. We have broken out the education, residency and age, license requirements as well as provide information on exam fees and contact information for each respective state.

Education Requirements:

Education to sit for CPA Exam: 150 semester hours, including 20 semester hours in accounting classes, and 10 semester hours of ethics.

Degree Requirement: Baccalaureate degree

Candidates Must Obtain: 24 semester hours in accounting classes and 24 semester hours in business-related subjects will be required in order to sit for the CPA Exam in the state of California.

Residency and Age Requirement:

Age: N/A

Citizen Requirement: No (U.S. Citizenship not required)

Residency Requirement: No

Have a Social Security Number: Yes

License Requirement:

Pass AICPA Ethics Exam: Must pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam and provide 5 separate letters of recommendation.

International Program Participant: No

Work Experience: 1 year (2,000 hours) of general work experience. This can either be fulfilled prior, during, or after sitting for the CPA Exam.

Audit Related Requirements: In order to sign audit reports, valid experience will need to include 500 hours of attestation services.

Ethics Exam: Must pass Professional Ethics for CPA’s (PETH) Exam within 2 years of submitting license publication.  


Initial Application: $100

Re-exam Fee: $50

AUD fee: $208.40

BEC fee: $208.40

FAR fee: $208.40

REG fee: $208.40

State Board Contacts

California Board of Accountancy
2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815-3832

Phone: 916-561-1703
Phone 2: 916-571-1701 (licensure)
Fax: 916-263-3677


CPA Examination Tutorial and Sample Tests

California Uniform CPA Examination Handbook

California CPA Exam Application Forms

California CPA Exam FAQ

Certificate of Attest Experience – Public Accounting

Certificate of Attest Experience (Non-Public Accounting)

Certificate of General Experience – Public Accounting

Certificate of General Experience – Non-Public Accounting

CPA Requirements in Other States