In most states, Certified Public Accounting (CPA) aspirants are required to have completed 150 college credits in order to be licensed as a CPA (check with your jurisdiction at AICPA). Of the 150 college credits, the candidates are expected to have completed 24 to 36 accounting, tax, audit and other related business credits. Undergraduate accounting students meet their 24 to 36 accounting, tax, audit and other related business credits as they complete their undergraduate studies (typically 120 to 130 College Credits). It is becoming commonplace for accounting major to pursue a master’s in accountancy (MAcc) or Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in order to earn the additional 20-30 college credits.
Nowadays, many non-accounting graduates are pursuing the CPA certification. Often times, non-accounting graduate pursuit MAcc or MBA in order to meet the additional 20-30 accounting and business credits. I do believe it is not in the best interest of non-accounting majors to pursuit a MAcc or MBA if the purpose is to meet educational requirement for the CPA license. Here are my reasons:
1) Graduate programs are costly relative to other options.
2) Graduate programs focus on theory rather than practical knowledge of accounting (journal entries, preparing financial statements etc.) that non-accounting majors lack.
3) A Graduate degree might give the impression that the candidate is looking to earn more than other candidates which might put him/her at a disadvantage when looking for job opportunities.
CPA aspirants do have a cheaper and flexible option to meet the CPA educational requirement. Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) will be offering an online Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Proficiency Certificate (PBAPC) starting Fall 2018. The PBAPC is designed to target non-accounting majors pursuing the CPA license. The program is fully online which accommodate working adults and international students. The vast majority of online courses are supplemented by lectures prepared by qualified licensed professors. The cost of the program is a fraction of that a graduate degree. At CCP, students are taught basic accounting knowledge rather than the 30,000 feet theory taught in a graduate courses. Accounting courses at CCP are approved by state board of accountancy standards. It is a always a good idea to check with your state/jurisdiction.
If you have any questions about the program, you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.