CPA FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Do I have to complete the total 225 quarter units required for licensure before graduation?

A.  No. With the Economics & Accounting major you should have the 36 quarter units of Accounting Subjects and 36 quarter units of Business-Related Subjects upon graduation, allowing you to sit for the exams (make sure you double-check before graduation, especially if you are a transfer). Most firms want you to have the 225 required for licensure before you begin working.

Q.  If I study abroad during my time at UCSB, will those credits count towards the CPA?

A.  Yes. Courses that you take during a study abroad program that is run through UCSB will show up on your official UCSB transcript and as long as the course titles meet the CPA requirements, they will apply. Most commonly, students can find classes that count toward their Business-Related Subjects (Economics), or towards the total 225 units needed for licensure. In most cases, Career Connection DOES NOT recommend studying abroad during the fall of your Junior (3rd) year. This is when a majority of Accounting recruitment takes place and so it is in your best interest to be on campus during this time.

Q. Do classes taken on a Pass/No Pass basis count toward the CPA course requirements?

A.  Yes, they do count as long as you Pass. We advise that all of your Accounting courses are taken for a letter grade, as this is what firms want to see.


Q.  Do both upper division and lower division classes count toward the CPA course requirements?

A.  Yes, both levels of coursework count. There are currently no requirements that any of the courses be upper division courses.


Q.  Can I list a class more than once on the planning worksheet?

A.  No, courses can only be listed once.

Q.  Do courses taken through UCSB Extension meet the CPA course requirements?

A. Yes, they do count towards your total 225, and may count towards specific requirements if they have the appropriate course title.


Q. If I have taken the same class at two different institutions (like a Community College and UCSB), will all of the units count toward the requirements?

A. Yes. Because ​the Community College coursework will be documented on a separate transcript from the UCSB transcript, you are allowed to count all of the units (make sure if it's a semester institution that you convert the units to quarter units by multiplying by 1.5). If you repeat the same course at the same school, however, you cannot count the units twice.

Q. Do Advanced Placement (AP) credits that I took in high school count toward the CPA?

A. Yes, AP credits will count towards the total 225 credits that you need for licensure. There have been cases where some ​credits will count towards your specific Accounting, Business-Related, or Ethics requirements, while there have also been cases where they have not counted. We recommend only counting AP's towards your total 225 and not towards the specific requirements needed for licensure.


Q. Even with planning and taking the Extension CPA Prep Program, I am going to fall short of the CPA course requirements by one or two courses. What should I do?

A.  Many students are in this situation. We recommend that students consider taking classes at local Community Colleges or UCSB Extension in the summer and fall after graduation. Many of these classes are offered online and can be flexible to meet your post-graduation schedule.

Q. Do I have to be in the Economics & Accounting major to get my CPA?

A.  Not necessarily. We advise that the best way to get your requirements for the CPA at UCSB is to be in the Economics & Accounting major at CPA. You will not be able to take Upper Division Accounting Courses at UCSB unless you are in the major, so if you are not in the major you will need to find another way to get your Accounting Subjects and Accounting Study requirements fulfilled. You can do the UCSB Extension Professional Accounting ProgramUCSB Extension Strategic Business Program, and the UCSB ​Professional Preparation Program for Accounting, or you can take classes at another college or university. Another option is to go for a Masters in Accountancy, which UCSB does not offer, but other schools like like Cal Poly or USC do.


More questions? Email econ-careerconnection@ucsb.edu.



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