How Long Does it Take to Study CPA?

If you are enrolling for a degree in accounting with plans of becoming a certified public accountant in the future, then you need to know how long it takes to study for CPA and attain the certification.

This certification is very important in the accounting industry and has a major influence on the path your career will take. If you would like to engage in services such as business management, assurance, financial planning, accounting, or tax remittance, then you have no option but to study CPA.

Before taking the CPA exam, you need to have gone through college and attained some level of work experience in the accounting industry. You cannot just wake up today and decide that you are going to sit for the CPA exam. 

So, what do you need to study and pass the CPA exams? How long is it going to take you? These are questions you need to answer before you start any accounting course.

What Do You Need?

Certified public accountants are professionals who understand the principles and concepts of accounting. They apply these principles and concepts in real-life situations and ensure that companies and large organizations operate under the right financial regulations.

For one to master these principles and concepts, they have to complete certain courses from accredited colleges and universities or choose the best CPA prep courses. Even though there are no degrees that you must take for you to study for CPA, you can take any type of accounting degree from college.

After that, you need to register for CPA. 

Unit Requirements

Most regions in the United States require one to have completed at least 150 credit hours from college, with 25 of these hours in business and 30 in accounting for them to sit for the CPA exam.

The normal accounting degree program from most colleges consists of about 120 hours of credit, meaning that it is not enough for one to become a certified public accountant. It, therefore, means that students need to enroll for more or advanced studies to at least cover for the required credit hours.

After understanding the timeline for the CPA program, additional resources can be a great help. There are free essays at GraduateWay that can support this learning journey by providing insights and information about accounting topics that may be covered in the CPA exam.

Even though you will not need to have a master’s degree before studying for CPA, you can start one if you want. This will be a good way of covering for the credit hours needed for the CPA coursework. 

Time Needed

To start with, it will take you a minimum of four years to complete a degree in accounting if you are a full-time student. After getting this degree, you still will not have the right credit requirements for you to study for CPA.

If you had not started a master’s program, then you will most likely spend another year to achieve the required credits. There are even situations that might force you to study for more than one year to achieve these credits. Evaluate your coursework to ensure that you understand the time that it will take you to get the required credits.

In addition, you need to meet requirements with work experience for you to be a certified public accountant. Even though the work experience requirements vary from one region to another, most regions will need proof of at least two years of work in the accounting industry. 

Some regions will actually specify the kind of experience that they need, with some requiring that you have experience working in public accounting. It is going to take you a considerable amount of time to fulfill all these requirements.


Looking at the time needed for one to get the credits required and then prepare for the CPA exams, it will take approximately eight years for one to be a certified public accountant. This means that you need to start now, instead of waiting for a later date. Certified public accountants are among the best-paid professionals in the world, and you do not want to miss out if your passion is in accounting. 

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