CPA Preparation

The CPA designation is a widely recognized credential in business and accounting. To become a CPA, generally you must complete:

  • Education Requirements,
  • Experience Requirements, and
  • Examination Requirements.

The requirements to become a CPA are somewhat detailed. However, early planning and consultation with an Accounting Faculty member will enable you to complete the educational preparation necessary to enter this rewarding field efficiently and effectively.

This announcement describes the process for becoming a CPA in State of Michigan and focuses on the Education Requirements. You can also refer to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for a summary.

Education Requirements
One of the following two education requirements must be completed to become a CPA:

  • Complete at least 150 semesters hours of undergraduate education, including at least 30 semesters hours of accounting courses and at least 39 semester hours of other business courses, or
  • Complete a master’s degree in accounting or business administration that includes at least 12 graduate semester hours of accounting (LARA information).


Strategies for Completing the Education Requirements

There are several approaches to completing the education requirements to become a CPA. One efficient and effective way to complete these requirements is to complete the BBA with a Concentration in Accounting and the MBA with a Concentration in Accounting.  Students earning the BBA complete the requirements for 39 non-accounting Business semester hours. A summary of the accounting coursework under these programs is as follows: 

Accounting Course in Business Pre-core (6 credit hours):

Principles of Financial Accounting (201)
Principles of Managerial Accounting (202)

Required Courses in Accounting BBA Concentration (12 credit hours):

Cost Accounting (320)
Intermediate Accounting I and I (321 and 322)
Accounting Information Systems (421)

Elective Courses to Complete BBA Concentration (3 credit hours):

Recommended: Federal Income Taxation (323)

Additional Undergraduate Elective Courses Recommended for CPA Exam Preparation
 (5 credit hours):

Fundamentals of Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting (324)*
Auditing (424)

Courses in Accounting MBA Concentration (9 credit hours):

Advanced Financial Reporting (525)
Seminar in Professional Accountancy (527)
Seminar in Managerial Accounting (528)

Total Credit Hourse: 35 
(*each course is 3 credit hours, except 324 is 2 credit hours)


Another approach to meeting the education requirement is to complete the BBA Program with a Concentration in Accounting and complete other undergraduate courses to complete 150 total hours and 30 accounting hours. In this case, the courses in the Accounting MBA Concentration (above) would be replaced by any of the following so that at least 30 total accounting hours are completed:

Income Tax Preparation (325) (2 credits)
Advanced Accounting (425) – Recommended (3 credits)
Financial Statement Analysis (467) (3 credits)

Experience Requirements
CPA candidates must complete one year of qualifying audit experience in a CPA firm or government agency under the direction of a licensed CPA (LARA information).

Examination Requirements

Candidates must complete all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam (NASBA information).

Student who wishes to pursue a CPA license in Michigan are strongly encouraged to meet with an accounting faculty member by early in the junior year to plan the curriculum. The student who wishes to take the CPA exam, and become a CPA in another state must comply with the requirements for education and CPA certification in that state. Accounting faculty members can direct you to licensing information in other states.