150 Hour Requirement

A certified public accountant (CPA) in today's environment must not only have a high level of technical competence and a sense of commitment to service, but must also have good communications and analytical skills, and the ability to work well with people. Employers are looking for individuals who have the ability to analyze and evaluate complex business problems and the interpersonal skills and maturity to make decisions in a client- and customer-service environment. To obtain the required body of knowledge and to develop the skills and abilities needed to be successful CPAs, students must complete 150 semester hours of accredited college education.

Please note: Missouri students may begin to take the CPA exam after completing at least 120 semester hours, including a minimum of 24 semester hours in accounting, as well as 24 semester hours of business courses. However, 150 semester hours of accredited college education will be required in order to obtain a CPA license.

How to Meet the 150-Hour Requirement
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in accounting. To obtain 150 semester hours of education, students do not necessarily have to get a master's degree. They can meet the requirement at the undergraduate level or get a bachelor's degree and take some courses at the graduate level. Students can also choose any of the following:

  • Combine an undergraduate accounting degree with a master's degree at the same school or at a different one;
  • Combine an undergraduate degree in some other discipline with a master's in accounting or an MBA with a concentration in accounting;
  • Enroll in an integrated five-year professional accounting school or program leading to a master's degree in accounting.
This information was compiled as a resource for CPA candidates, but please check with the Missouri State Board of Accountancy to obtain the latest candidate information or to confirm specific requirements.

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