North Carolina CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements to Become A CPA

North Carolina CPA Requirements

See what you need to become a CPA in North Carolina.
Do you plan to sit for the CPA Exam in North Carolina? Good choice, as North Carolina has one of the most business-friendly tax climates in the United States. This makes becoming a certified public accountant in North Carolina a great career prospect. However, there are a specific CPA license and exam requirements that you need to meet to obtain your CPA license in North Carolina.
Semester Units
Years of Experience
In Application Fees
Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics & 8-hour Ethics Course
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Semester Units


Years of Experience


In Application Fees

Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics & 8-hour Ethics Course
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

North Carolina CPA License Requirements

The North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners is the governing organization responsible for issuing CPA licenses to eligible professionals in the state. It has a single-tier licensing structure, which means the state board does not provide a CPA certificate after completing the CPA Exam. It only permits the CPA license if you meet all the licensure requirements post CPA Exam.

Social Security Requirements Yes
Age, Citizenship, and Residency Requirements
  • Minimum 18 Years old
  • U.S. citizenship is required
  • No need to be a resident of North Carolina
Good Moral Character Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure 150 hours (including B.A.)
Pass the Exam Score at least 75 in each section to pass
Work Experience 1 year in public accounting or 4 years in relevant accounting experience
Ethics Exam Requirements Yes
International CPA Examination Program No
Social Security Number Requirement

You will need a Social Security number to get a CPA license in North Carolina. Your Social Security number holds an important position in the licensure process.

Citizenship, Age, and Residency Requirements
  • U.S. citizenship is required to take the uniform CPA Exam and to obtain a license in North Carolina.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to sit for the CPA Exam.
  • It is not necessary to be a resident, employee, or keep an office in the state.

North Carolina CPA Exam Requirements - Educational and Credit Hours

  1. A bachelor's degree (120 hours) from a college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations in any field that includes, or is complemented by, a concentration in accounting is required to sit for the exam. A concentration in accounting includes one of the following:
    • 30 semester hours of undergraduate accountancy courses that include no more than six semester hours of accounting principles and no more than three semester hours of business law.
    • 20 semester hours of graduate accounting courses that are only available for graduate students.
    • A blend of undergraduate and graduate accounting courses which would be equivalent to the above two options. Noting that there is a difference between undergraduate and graduate level courses, one credit hour in graduate work is equal to one and one-half credit hours in undergraduate accounting classes.
  2. To apply for the license, you must have 150 semester hours (including a bachelor’s degree) with a minimum of 24 hours consisting of 3 hours from at least 8 of these 10 fields of study: communications, computer technology, economics, ethics, finance, humanities, international environment, law, management, and statistics.
Pass the Exam

The CPA Examination is the most important criterion for earning the CPA credential. Each section requires a minimum score of 75 to pass the exam. In addition, you must pass all four sections within 18 months. If an applicant did not take the Uniform CPA Examination in North Carolina, they must submit an Interstate Exchange form completed by the jurisdiction in which they took the examination in order to have their exam scores transferred to North Carolina.

Work Experience Requirements

You are required to have 1 year of experience in the public practice of accountancy under the direct supervision of a properly licensed CPA, or 4 years of experience in the field of accounting, teaching accounting, or any combination of such experience determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to the foregoing.

CPA Ethical Exam Requirements

You must complete an 8-hour ethics course and pass an exam on the North Carolina Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct.

The International CPA Examination Program

The International CPA Program is specifically designed to accommodate non-U.S. candidates taking the CPA Exam. North Carolina does not take part in this initiative.

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North Carolina CPA Licensing Cost and Fees

If you have passed the Uniform CPA Exam and met all the licensing requirements, you can apply for your CPA license in North Carolina. It will cost you approximately $100.

North Carolina CPA License Renewal Requirements

Every active CPA license must be renewed before July 1st each year. You need to submit a renewal application that confirms your Continuing Professional Education (CPE). The license renewal fee is $60. If you fail to renew your license by July 1st, the North Carolina State Board will send a letter of demand to your registered address. Once your license is revoked, you are no longer a CPA.

North Carolina CPA Continuing Education Requirements

All active CPAs are required to have 40 hours of CPE, which includes at least 50 minutes of professional ethics and conduct courses. You are no longer required to submit any CPE if your license is inactive.

North Carolina CPA Exam Dates and Score Release Dates

Exam and Score Release Dates: July 1–December 31, 2022

Took exam on/before Target score release date
July 23 August 9
August 15 August 23
September 7 September 15
October 1 October 11
October 23 November 8
November 15 November 23
December 8 December 16
January 1 January 10

Exam and Score Release Dates: January 1 – June 30, 2023

Took exam on/before Target score release date
January 23 February 7
February 14 February 22
March 9 March 17
March 31 April 11
April 23 May 9
May 16 May 24
June 8 June 16
June 30 July 11

How to Apply and Schedule for the CPA Exam in North Carolina

  1. Submit CPA Exam Application

    If you are confident that you meet all the CPA Exam requirements, you may submit your application. You can apply using the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)'s online application platform. The North Carolina Board evaluates and will approve your application in approximately ten working days.

  2. Obtain Authorization to Test (ATT)

    After the board has approved your CPA Exam application, NASBA will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT). The ATT serves primarily as authorization to sit for the CPA Exam. It indicates that the board has confirmed your eligibility to schedule and take the exam.

  3. Receive Your Notice to Schedule (NTS)

    Your "Notice to Schedule" (NTS) is an essential document for scheduling your CPA Exam. It is provided three to six weeks after submitting an application for the CPA Exam. You will need to take your NTS with you to the Prometric testing center as you will not be allowed to take the exam without it. It is strongly suggested by the board that you keep two copies of your NTS printouts.

  4. Schedule Your Exam With Prometric

    To increase your chances of getting your preferred test day, time, and location, NASBA advises scheduling the CPA Exam at least six weeks in advance. The Prometric website allows for the scheduling of the Certified Public Accountant Exam. You will need your NTS in order to schedule the CPA Exam, as it contains your NTS number.

  5. Pass the CPA Exam

    You must score at least 75 points in each section to pass the CPA Exam. A candidate is considered successful when all the sections are passed within an 18-month period. Target score release dates are available above and at the AICPA website.

North Carolina CPA Exam Costs and Fees

The initial CPA Exam application fee in North Carolina is $230, and the re-examination charge is approximately $75. The fee to take each section of the CPA Exam is $238.15.

Initial Application Fee $230.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $238.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $238.15
Regulation (REG) $238.15
Total: $1182.60
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Trying to schedule your CPA Exam? Find out the scheduling and registration procedures here.
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Learn your CPA State Requirements!

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