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WES Advisor Blog

Accounting Professor – Licensure

by Luke Smith,

WES Education Services

September 12, 2022

Licensure is not required to work as an Accounting Professor, but most employers prefer to hire candidates with a CPA license.

To take the CPA exam, you must obtain a credential evaluation that compares your international education to a U.S. education. This credential evaluation determines whether your degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree, and if not, what additional courses you need to take to make up the difference.

In many states, NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) is the preferred credential evaluation service for determining educational eligibility for CPA licensure. NIES is the ONLY approved evaluation service for 25 U.S. jurisdictions, and serves over 50 jurisdictions, although they do NOT perform evaluations for New York licensure.

In order to take the CPA exam, all candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and have completed 150 credit hours of formal education. Because most bachelor’s      programs comprise only 120 credit hours, most people pursue a master’s degree before taking the exam, to earn the remaining required credits. However, it is also possible to meet this credit requirement either by pursuing a more challenging five-year bachelor’s degree in place of the regular four-year degree, or by taking continuing education courses outside of a degree program.

There are several different options for accounting students who wish to pursue a master’s degree. The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and Master of Science in Accounting (MS) programs are designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a similar field; while the Master of Business Administration in Accounting (MBA) and Master of Professional Accounting (MPAc) programs are open to students who have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

Many people do choose to pursue a master’s degree in accounting or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting – not just because it prepares you for the CPA exam, but also because it will afford you more career flexibility and a better salary throughout your career.

Other eligibility requirements vary by state. Contact your state Board of Accountancy to find out what requirements you need to meet in order to qualify to take the CPA exam.

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