Minnesota CPA Exam Requirements 2024: Detailed Breakdown

Minnesota CPA Exam Requirements

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Minnesota CPA Exam Requirements

In this article is a breakdown of all the steps for the Minnesota CPA exam requirements. Minnesota applicants who are curious to know how to become a Certified Public Accountant may find this helpful as it tackles the latest for this years exam requirements.

As with every state, Minnesota follows the 3 Es of Licensure: Education, Examination, and Experience. Before we get into the basic three, keep in mind that there are general requirements to be met first such as the exam candidate must either:

  1. Be a resident of Minnesota, or
  2. Within 90 days preceding or following the date of the exam applied for
    • Be attending a school in Minnesota with the intent of gaining the education needed to qualify to sit for the CPA examination, or
    • Be regularly employed or working in Minnesota for the purpose of obtaining qualifying experience needed for licensure.

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Summary of Minnesota CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for CPA Exams120
Residency, Schooling or Working in Minnesota Required to sit for CPA Exams?Yes
Credit Hours in Accounting courses to sit for CPA Exams24
Credit Hours in Business-related courses for the CPA license24
Bachelor’s Required to Sit for CPA Exams?Yes
Credit Hours for CPA License150
Ethics Exam Required?Yes
Work Experience Required1 – 3 Years
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years120

Education Requirements

Before applicants can sit for the CPA exam, the first important process is for applicants to meet the educational requirements.

The board only accommodates those that have a baccalaureate or higher degree, with a major in accounting or a major in business with accounting emphasis or equivalent education, from a college or university that is fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of Education or an equivalent accrediting association.

To meet the Minnesota CPA education requirements, applicants must also have accomplished 150 semester (225 quarter) hours that includes a total of 48 hours in business-related subjects and intermediate or higher accounting coursework (counting the 24 originally earned to sit for the exam).

Applicants are considered to have met any of these requirements if they:

a.) Earned a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting from an accounting program or department within an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredited business school.

b.) Earned a graduate degree from a business school or college of business that is accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP. Completing at least 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level, or an equivalent combination following the required courses:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Management Accounting

c.) Earned a baccalaureate degree from a business school or college of business that is accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP. Completing at least 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level, including the following required courses

  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Management Accounting

And completed an additional 24 semester hours in business-related or accounting courses at the undergraduate or graduate level.

d.) Earned a baccalaureate or higher degree from an educational institution accredited by one or more of the national or regional accrediting agencies that include or are supplemented by at least 24 semester hours of accounting at the intermediate or advanced level, including courses dedicated to each of the following subjects:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Management Accounting

Note that intermediate or advanced level coursework includes courses taken beyond the introductory level.

International Education Evaluation Requirements

Applicants who earned their education outside the U.S. will need to have their education evaluated prior to sitting for the exam. The Minnesota Board requires the evaluation be done by either one of these two authorized services:

Early Examination Admission Option

For applicants who wish to submit their early admissions to NASBA before they graduate, the student must meet the Minnesota board requirements which can be read in MN Statute 326A.03, Subd. 3a and MN Rules 1105.1650.

Sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination

Minnesota CPA Exam Requirements: Application

Minnesota exam candidates need to apply to NASBA rather than the board office to sit for the exam. NASBA’s website provides:

  • An overview of eligibility requirements to sit for the exam as a Minnesota candidate.
  • Information on the exam application process and fees, including what materials (such as transcripts) must be submitted.
  • Download the “Candidate Bulletin,” this is a brochure that provides extensive information on what the Uniform CPA Examination is, how to apply for it, how to prepare, the exam experience, and how to receive your test score.
  • A link to their online exam application form.

To provide a brief overview, the application will be as follows:

  1. Register online or download application forms at the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) website.
  2. Gather the necessary supporting documentation(s) based upon educational status at the time of the exam:
    • If still enrolled in college, request official transcript(s) from all colleges attended and submit along with:
      • Certificate of Enrollment form, filled out by college official, stating that all courses will be completed within 120 days of taking the exam.
      • Passport-sized photo
      • Payment via certified check or money order payable to CPA Examination Services or via credit card.
    • If the applicant has graduated college, request official transcript(s) from all colleges attended and submit them along with:
      • Passport-sized photo.
      • Payment via certified check or money order payable to CPA Examination Services or via credit card.
  3. Mail all of the above to:

CPA Examination Services – Minnesota Coordinator
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219-8469

  1. Receive the Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA examination from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) by mail, fax or email (depending upon the method chosen when the applicant submitted their application). From the date of receiving the NTS, applicants will have six months to schedule and sit for at least one part of the CPA Examination.
  2. Visit Prometric’s website to schedule an examination at a Minnesota Prometric location.
  3. Show up at the chosen testing site on exam day one hour before test time.
  4. Access the scores online after taking the exam. Scores will also be mailed to the applicant once tabulated.

Materials to be Submitted

The following materials and documents must also be submitted upon application for the CPA exam:

  1. An official transcript from each school that is listed on the application. Transcripts must be sent directly from the applicant’s university to CPA Examination Services.
  2. Certificate of Enrollment, if applicable, submitted directly from the applicant’s college or university.
  3. International Evaluation, if applicable, is submitted directly by the evaluation agency.
  4. Testing Accommodations Request Form, if applicable. Submission by the applicant to CPAES.

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.
  • Disciplines
    • 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.

Minnesota CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Minnesota CPA exam cost consists of four main fees: the education evaluation application of $90, $344.8 per CPA exam section totaling $1,379.20 for all four sections, the CPA license application fee of $150, and the renewal fee of $100.

Education Evaluation Application Fee$90.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$344.80
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$344.80
Regulation (REG)$344.80
Disciplines (ISC, TCP, or BAR)$344.80
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$1,379.20
CPA License Application Fee$150.00
CPA License Renewal Fee$100.00
CPA License Late Renewal Fee$150.00

Uniform CPA Exam Scoring

To pass the CPA exam, applicants must receive a grade of at least 75 in each of the sections covered by the exam and must complete all exam sections within 18 months. Scores are reported on a scale that ranges from 0 to 99.

It’s important to know that the total reported score does not represent a percentage correct, nor can applicants interpret it as such. Scores are not curved.

For more information on CPA exam scoring visit AICPA.

Minnesota CPA License Requirements

Applicants need to have passed all four sections of the Uniform CPA exam before they can apply for a license. Once applicants achieve this, they must then process the following to acquire their license:

Professional Ethics Exam

To meet the Minnesota CPA ethics exam requirements, all candidates must also take and pass an ethics exam within two years preceding initial application for the certificate. The exam the Minnesota Board currently accepts is the AICPA Professional Ethics Comprehensive Course “For Licensure.” AICPA offers more than one Ethics Course/Exam. Be sure to select the one that says it is “For Licensure.”

Once a candidate has successfully completed the Professional Ethics Exam, they should call AICPA to ask that they send the scores to the Minnesota Board.


To meet the Minnesota CPA experience requirements, applicants should fulfill the work experience requirement which is one full year of experience. This experience must meet the following qualifications:

a.) Experience consists of providing any type of services or advice using accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills.

b.) Includes employment in industry, government, academia or public practice. The board shall consider such factors as the complexity and diversity of the work appropriate for an applicant receiving an initial certificate.

c.) Experience as an auditor in the Office of the Legislative Auditor or State Auditor, as verified by a licensee, is an acceptable experience.

d.) One year of experience consists of full- or part-time employment that extends over a period of no less than one year and no more than three years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours of performance of services described in item A.

The experience must be verified by an Active status CPA with a valid certificate or an unexpired Inactive CPA. That verifying CPA needs to be licensed in the state in which that applicant gained that experience and be able to confirm the experience the applicant reported to the board as part of the application process.

Get the Minnesota CPA License

When an applicant has successfully passed all these requirements, the next step is to finally apply for the CPA license. Application is done online and will be as follows:

  1. Sign in to Minnesota Board of Accountancy website.
  2. Submit payment for the $150 application fee through the online system.
  3. Download, print and mail the Personal Reference forms to references. Instruct these reference to complete the bottom portion and send the form directly to the board office by mail or email. References must not be related to the applicant.
  4. Submit to the board any transcripts needed to document all 150 semester (225 quarter) hours of qualifying education required for licensure. Except official transcripts already sent to NASBA, those will be forwarded to the board. Send transcripts as sealed by the institution or have it mailed directly to the board. Transcripts may also be emailed from the institution to boa@state.mn.us.
  5. Download, print and mail the Experience Verification form(s) and have Part 2 completed by the verifying CPA(s) and sent by them directly to the board office by mail or email.
  6. Continuing Professional Education: If it has been more than three years since the applicant first received notice that they passed the CPA exam, they must complete the CPE Reporting Form for Status Change to Active under “Forms” on the board’s website showing 120 hours of CPE in the three years preceding the date the application was submitted.

All required documentation must be received prior to the application being reviewed by the board. Once all of the required documentation is received, the application will be reviewed at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Minnesota CPE Requirements

For those holding an Active status CPA license or a RAP license, it is required to participate in a program of learning designed to maintain professional competency.

The program must meet the minimum standards of quality of development, presentation, measurement, and reporting of credits in the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs (Revised August 2016) jointly approved by NASBA and AICPA or other standards acceptable to the board.

Before selecting CPE courses and when recording new hours in Online Renewal, consult the NASBA Fields of Study document. For each reporting year, applicants must earn a minimum of 20 hours. It is required to complete a minimum of 120 technical hours each rolling three-year period with 8 of those hours being in regulatory (technical) or behavioral (nontechnical) ethics.

Note that the field of study designated by the CPE sponsor on the applicant’s certificate/transcript is “technical” if the applicant needs that course to count as such.

Technical fields of study include, but are not limited to:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting (Governmental)
  • Auditing
  • Auditing (Governmental)
  • Business Law
  • Statistics
  • Economic
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Management Services
  • Regulatory Ethics
  • Specialized Knowledge
  • Taxes

Non-technical fields of study include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Business Management & Organization
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Computer Software & Applications
  • Personal Development
  • Personnel/Human Resources
  • Production

Minnesota CPA License Renewals

Every individual must renew or make a status election for 2022 by December 31, 2021. The license period for this year’s renewal ends December 31, 2022.

Minnesota CPAs must have their license renewed annually. All CPA licenses expire on June 30th of each year.

Applicants will be able to renew their license on the Minnesota board’s website. Before application, please note the following:

  • Make sure the payment information is ready before starting the renewal. For security reasons, the electronic payment system will time out if the applicant does not finish the transaction within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover is accepted.
  • There is a $2.00 bank-charged fee for online renewals.

CPE license renewals have their own limitations. For more information see below:


Accountants who wish to build their name usually aim to get a CPA license. As a CPA titleholder, it represents the capabilities of an individual as they are professionally tested to carry out finance and accounting tasks. An industry needs the best to chart out the course of its business and a big part of that is making sure its finances are on track.

As CPAs, they not only help build a company, they build their credibility as well. And as a CPA, it signals a potential to employers that an individual is smart and dedicated to their craft by doing what it takes to earn those earning those 3 letters after their name.

Minnesota CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Below are the commonly asked questions about the Minnesota CPA exam and CPA license requirements:

What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Minnesota?

To meet the Minnesota CPA exam requirements, applicants must be of good moral character and should either be a resident of Minnesota, attend a school in Minnesota designed to qualify to sit for the CPA examination or work in Minnesota for the purpose of obtaining qualifying experience. Non-residents may be considered following that they meet the qualifications of the board. Education requirements should also be attained by completing 150 semester hours in various course subjects.

How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Minnesota?

Minnesota applicants need to obtain 24 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses and 24 semester hours of business-related subjects.

How do I register to take the CPA exam in Minnesota?

To be able to take the CPA exam, apply and submit your application and transcripts through NASBA. Once your complete application is approved, NASBA 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 Minnesota?

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, three core and one discipline, and would total $1,379.20.

Does Minnesota require an ethics exam for the CPA?

The Minnesota board does require an ethics exam upon obtaining your initial license. The exam should be accomplished within two years preceding the initial application for the certificate. The ethics exam is an 8-hour comprehensive course and an examination covering the Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course that is For Licensure. Applicants have to score 90% or better on the exam.

Do CPA exam scores expire in Minnesota?

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 Minnesota.

How long does it take to become a CPA in Minnesota?

With the required credit of 150 semester hours to apply for a license, it is 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 Minnesota

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