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How Do I Become a CPA

CPA…What do these three letters mean to the professional world? They mean you have received a broad-based education. They mean you have passed all parts of a very difficult exam. They mean you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to be a trusted business advisor to your clients or employer. They mean you feel comfortable with the latest technology. They mean you are an ethical individual who can provide an independent viewpoint.

Preparing for the Exam

To become a CPA in Tennessee, candidates must obtain a baccalaureate degree including 150 semester hours from an accredited college or university. This must include 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in business courses. The candidate must then pass the Uniform CPA Examination, an ethics examination such as the exam given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and complete one year of experience in accounting acceptable to the State Board of Accountancy. An individual must be a resident of or employed in the state of Tennessee to sit for the CPA Exam.

Our Graduate Non-Degree classification allows individuals who have not yet decided to pursue a graduate degree or intend only to take courses in preparation for the CPA Exam to take graduate courses. For the Master's degree, Graduate Non-Degree students may enroll in graduate courses toward the degree (a maximum of 9 credit hours) with the permission of the master’s advisor. To remain enrolled as a Graduate Non-Degree student, individuals must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. Obtaining permission to take the CPA Exam in the State of Tennessee requires that candidates have 150 hours of college credit. For purposes of meeting this 150 hour requirement, please note that a 3-hour graduate course counts the same as 4.5 hours of undergraduate credit toward the 150-hour education requirement.

CPA Exam information

The Uniform CPA Examination is delivered in a computer-based format at Prometric and state-board authorized test centers across the United States. To apply to take the examination and find additional information, go to For test center information, or to use the Test Center Locator & Scheduler, go to From this site, CPA candidates can quickly determine the most convenient center at their chosen location, and schedule or "reserve" a seat and time.

For more information on preparing for and taking the CPA exam in Tennessee, follow these links:

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Last Updated: 2/12/13