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Maryland CPA Exam Requirements
Accountants or future accountants who wish to pursue a Certified Public Accountant title will find in this article the Maryland CPA exam requirements. To earn this title, you must satisfy Maryland’s requirements by meeting high educational standards, passing the CPA exam and completing a specific amount of general accounting experience.
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Summary of Maryland CPA Requirements
|Credit Hours to sit for CPA Exams
|Bachelor’s degree and Accounting Major or equivalent required to sit for CPA Exams?
|For CPA Exam
|Credit Hours in Accounting-related subjects
|Credit Hours in Ethics
|Credit Hours each in Auditing, Cost Accounting/Managerial Accounting & US Federal Income Tax and Ethics
|Credit Hours each in Financial Accounting and Elective Accounting
|For CPA License
|Credit Hours in business-related courses for the CPA license
|Credit Hours to receive a CPA License
|Ethics Exam Required?
|Work Experience Required
|1 – 3 Years
|Required CPE Hours Every Two Years
Before qualifying to sit for the CPA exam, applicants must fulfill the specific Maryland CPA education requirements. The state board breaks these requirements into two groups.
First, you must complete 120 undergraduate semester hours which includes 27 semester credit hours in accounting or related subjects and 3 semester credit hours in ethics education.
For CPA Exam. Accounting and Ethics Education – Complete 30 hours including:
- Three hours in Auditing, Three hours in Cost Accounting or Managerial Accounting, Three hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax and Three hours in Ethics.
- Nine hours of Financial Accounting and Nine hours of Accounting electives.
An applicant must then receive a bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting or equivalent from an institution that is a member of:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Or is recognized and approved by the board
Second, in order to be eligible to apply for CPA licensure in the state of Maryland, an applicant must have completed a total of 150 semester credit hours and complete the requirements of business related education.
For CPA License. Business Related Education – Complete at least 21 hours in at least five of the nine subject areas.
- Corporation or Business Finance
- U.S. Business Law
- Business Communication
- Quantitative Methods,
- Computer Science or Information Systems
See Chart of Subject Matter for more information on each of the required courses or subjects.
Candidates with accounting degrees from other countries can be accepted provided that they meet Maryland’s education requirements. They will be evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Service (NIES) as they are the only acceptable evaluation service for foreign transcripts. An applicant must request a course title and the number of credits assigned to each course to be done for the purpose of taking the Uniform CPA Examination in Maryland.
Uniform CPA Exam Application
After completing all required education, Maryland candidates can then apply for the CPA exam online. This application allows candidates to claim all of the relevant courses that they have completed to date, both to qualify for the CPA examination and for a CPA license. Candidates can also access this application again at the time they want to get licensed to add any courses that they may be lacking.
Candidates will also be able to:
- Complete the application at their own pace.
- Check the status of their application after submitting it.
- Make changes to their contact information at any time.
- Make name changes.
Be sure to read instructions thoroughly and check on each course to determine whether the courses qualify. A core course inventory worksheet is provided. It is recommended to complete this form and use it as applicants fill out the online application.
Payments for all the exam fees will be paid directly to NASBA.
To prevent delays in the application, make certain all information is complete. It may take up to 45 days depending on the completeness of the application, the receipt by the board of all of the pertinent documents and the volume of applications that are received.
For more tips and processing details, visit the Candidate Bulletin.
For application status, check here.
Qualified Candidates and Notice to Schedule (NTS)
Once the Maryland board informs a candidate is qualified, the next step is to choose the examination section/s. NASBA will contact the candidate with instructions on how to proceed with the payment within 4 business days.
Candidates will need to wait for a notification from NASBA on their Notice to Schedule. Once received print this and then schedule the exam appointment with Prometric.
Take note of the candidate tracking number and password for future easy reference.
Expiration Times to Remember:
- The payment coupon will expire after 90 days of being issued.
- Notice to Schedule (NTS) will expire 180 days from the date of issuance.
If any of the two expires, visit Maryland’s website and register for the exam section/s again.
Studying for the CPA Exam
The CPA exam consists of the three core sections and candidates would need to select one of the three discipline to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge, allowing candidates to choose a specialization. There is no set order in which the exam portions must be completed. The components of the CPA test are as follows:
- Auditing and Attestation. This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparing agreements.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting. This exam section covers financial accounting topics for all business entities, including the government and nonprofits.
- Regulation. This exam section covers federal taxation, tax services, professional ethics, and business law for individuals and business entities.
- Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR): Focused on financial reporting, data analytics, and performance management. This area is suitable for those who are interested in financial analysis and reporting. An extension of FAR core.
- Information Systems and Controls (ISC): Concentrates on IT governance, data security, and system controls. Ideal for individuals who wish to specialize in IT audits and information security. An extension of AUD core.
- Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP): Centers on personal financial planning and tax compliance for individuals, businesses, and other entities. Suitable for those with a strong interest in taxation and financial planning. An extension of REG core.
You may take the required test sections in any order, but you must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination within an 18-month period beginning on the date the first examination section completed was taken. All components must be passed within the 18-month term. Any exam taken outside of the 18-month timeframe will result in a loss of credit.
Maryland CPA Exam Requirements: Duration and Fees
There will be three core exams and one of the three disciplines, and each will be four hours long. The passing score on each section of the Uniform CPA Examination is 75 and all sections of the examination must be passed within 18 months of each other to successfully complete the entire examination.
The Maryland CPA exam cost consists of four main fees: an examination application fee of $90, a $344.80 per CPA exam section totaling $1,379.20 for all four sections, the license fee that costs $22 and the renewal fee of $56.
|Education Evaluation Application Fee
|Auditing & Attestation (AUD)
|Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)
|Disciplines (ISC, TCP, or BAR)
CPA Exam Passing List and Checking Exam Scores
Examination scores are reported by AICPA and NASBA to the Maryland board on a candidate-by-candidate basis and by examination section. The board then notifies each examination candidate by email when each exam score is received.
Note that passing the CPA exam does not mean an individual is licensed to practice certified public accountancy. Successful candidates must next complete further business related education and qualifying experience requirements before qualifying for a CPA licensure.
Applying for the CPA License: Ethics and Experience
After passing the CPA exam, a candidate’s next step is to complete an ethics course and have practical work experience. Both must be continuously documented as these will be required to be submitted to the board once a candidate files his or her CPA license application.
To meet the Maryland CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates will need to complete the self-study course titled, “Professional Ethics: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Comprehensive Course (For Licensure)” which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It is required to pass the exam after the course with a score of 90% or better. The course in found on AICPA’s website.and after passing the exam, send a copy of the course completion certificate and the supporting documentation to the board at:
Maryland Board of Public Accountancy
1100 N. Eutaw Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Practical Work Experience
To meet the Maryland CPA experience requirements, all individuals applying for an initial license must have completed 1 year (2,000 hours) of practical work experience which includes providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills.
This practical work experience must have been completed within 3 years of the date of the individual’s initial license application. This experience may be obtained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice.
The work must be verified and endorsed by a licensed active certified public accountant. Applicants will file and submit a Report of Practical Work Experience (RPE) to the endorser. The applicant should supply the endorser with a pre-addressed stamped envelope so that when completed, the form can be mailed directly to the board, with the endorser’s original signature at:
Maryland Board of Public Accountancy
1100 North Eutaw Street, Room 121
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Applicants are advised to retain a copy of the completed form/s or documents so that in the event that the board’s staff would contact an applicant regarding their submittal, they may refer to it and respond to any questions.
CPA License Issuance
When an applicant has accomplished all the requirements above, the submitted file will be reviewed and determined by the board if it is approved or denied. There will be a $22 license fee.
Upon approval, the board will mail the licensing information that will enable the applicant to apply online for their initial Maryland CPA license. It will be notified by email only of the board’s decision.
Continuing Professional Education
Each licensed CPA in the state of Maryland is required to complete a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every two years in order to maintain licensure. It should be a program or method of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of the CPA.
Some examples of continuing education programs would include:
A.) Group Education Programs
- Professional development programs of recognized national and state accounting organizations and their chapters.
- Technical sessions at meetings of recognized national and state accounting organizations and their chapters.
B.) University and College Courses
- Taking a university and college courses for academic credit at an institution of higher education that meets the requirements of Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland and will qualify directly to the professional competence of an individual.
To be eligible to renew the license, an active CPA must earn a minimum of 80 qualifying hours of CPE. A CPA licensee can complete continuing education in a technical and non-technical subject. Of the 80 hours, 4 hours in professional ethics must be completed in each two-year period of CE.
The board accepts continuing education courses provided by the NASBA CPE Registry sponsors. Only a course completion certificate issued by the NASBA CPE Registry sponsor is necessary to document the completion of a course.
Licensees may obtain continuing education from a program or sponsor that is not a NASBA CPE Registry sponsor. The documentation for the completion of these courses is more detailed and must be evaluated by the board, at the time of the audit, to determine if they qualify.
As required, a CPA must maintain CPE records of documenting attendance, course outline and instructor in order to include this upon renewal. Licensees are required to retain these documents supporting the continuing education credits they have earned for four years.
The renewal of the CPA license will be done online through the Maryland Board of Accountancy website. The renewal fee will cost $56.
CPAs applying for the first renewal do not need to take any CE. However, if they did take any they must report it with the first renewal so that it will carry forward to their next renewal.
The process of earning the CPA title is definitely a lengthy one and it’s one not all are willing to see through to the end. But those who prevail in this path can expect numerous benefits that can pay off in the end. Understanding the hurdles can help applicants plan and even pass their exams and in no time become a valuable CPA candidate.
Maryland CPA Exam F.A.Q.s
Below are the commonly asked questions about the Maryland CPA exam and CPA license requirements:
What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Maryland?
To meet the Maryland CPA exam requirements, applicants be 18 years of age or older and be of good moral character. They must complete 120 semester hours and receive a baccalaureate or higher degree with a major in accounting on the baccalaureate level or its considerable equivalent.
How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Maryland?
Maryland applicants shall need to have 30 undergraduate semester hours or 45 undergraduate quarter hours in accounting and ethics subject matter.
How do I register to take the CPA exam in Maryland?
To be able to take the CPA exam, fulfill first the education requirements for Virginia. Apply and submit your application to the Maryland board website and send transcripts to the board’s address. Once your complete application is approved, the board will inform NASBA and they will issue a Notice to Schedule (NTS). The NTS lets you schedule your exams with Prometric and is one of the important documents to be presented upon taking the exam.
How much is the CPA exam in Maryland?
During the application for the exam, first-time applicants are required to pay an education evaluation application fee of $90 and an examination fee of $344.80 for each section. There are four (4) exam sections and would total to $1,379.20 for first-time applicants.
Does Maryland require an ethics exam for the CPA?
Maryland does require an ethics exam upon obtaining your initial license. The ethics exam is an 8-hour comprehensive course and an examination which is Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course. Applicants have to score 90% or better on the exam.
Do CPA exam scores expire in Maryland?
As with all states, once a CPA candidate passes their first CPA exam section, they will only have 18 months to pass the remaining three CPA exam sections to complete the Uniform CPA Examination. Once a CPA candidate has passed the Uniform CPA Examination, their scores never expire in Maryland.
How long does it take to become a CPA in Maryland?
Applicants can take the CPA exam with only 120 semester hours. However, with the required credit of 150 semester hours to apply for a license, that’s already around 5 years for education alone. Another year would be for taking and passing the exams. After passing the exam, one more year is required for the mandatory experience in order to be eligible to apply for the license. That’s roughly 6 to 7 years to acquire the license and be a Certified Public Accountant in Maryland.