Earning a CPA

CPA Guidelines in Maryland

Most entry-level professional accounting positions require only a bachelor's degree. However, if you desire to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the state of Maryland has additional requirements. To be eligible to sit for the CPA examination, the state of Maryland requires you to have earned a minimum of 120 credit hours of higher education leading to at least a bachelor's degree with a major in accounting, or its substantial equivalent. To qualify to become a licensed CPA, you must have completed a total of 150 semester credit hours, passed all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, and meet work experience and other requirements. Most other states have  similar requirements.

See all of the Maryland CPA Exam and Education Requirements.

The TU undergraduate accounting major provides the necessary accounting courses to prepare students for the CPA examination. 

Earning 150 Credits for CPA License

You need 150 credits in order to gain your CPA license. When deciding how to earn those additional 30 credits beyond your bachelor’s degree in accounting (120 credits), we strongly recommend that you approach this decision strategically since the choice can make you a stronger candidate for employment from the outset, plus give you more options later in your career.

You can extend your expertise in your chosen field by pursuing a graduate degree in accounting or supplement your bachelor’s degree by gaining expertise in high-demand fields that complement the accounting profession, such as business analytics, information technology or finance. 

Options to Gain the Additional 30 Credits

Here at TU, we have multiple ways for you to achieve that 150 credit goal. Consider these many options:

options to gain additional 30 credits

Graduate Degree in Accounting
  • Accounting Combined B.S./M.S. This program allows you to earn two degrees and achieve 150 credits in as little as five years of full-time study. Students can select this option when applying to the Accounting Major.  If accepted, they then take 9 credits (3 graduate-level courses) in lieu of Accounting electives during their junior or senior year.  These graduate courses apply to both the bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements.
  • Masters in Accounting and Business Advisory Services (joint program with University of Baltimore). This is a 30 credit (10 course) graduate-level degree program.  Students may take courses at Towson University, UB, or online.
Graduate Degrees in a Complementary Field
  • Masters in Applied Information Technology. This is a 33 credit (10 course) graduate-level degree program that incorporates one or more graduate certificates in specialized content areas. Additional preparatory classes may be required.
  • Masters in Marketing Intelligence. This is a 30 credit (10 course) graduate-level degree program that integrates marketing research, strategy, analytics, data management and interactive marketing. 
Post Baccalaureate Certificates in a Complementary Field
Undergraduate Dual Major in a Complementary Field
  • Business Administration Major: Economics Track. The Accounting and Business Administration Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 21 additional credits (7 courses) in required and elective courses in the Economics Track.  In total, this option will contribute another 24 credits.
  • Business Administration Major: Finance Concentration. The Accounting and Business Administration Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 24 additional credits (8 courses) in required and elective courses in the Finance Concentration.  In total, this option will contribute another 27 credits.
  • Business Administration Major: Financial Planning Track. Accounting and Business Administration Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 21 additional credits (7 courses) in required and elective courses in the Financial Planning Track.  In total, this option will contribute another 24 credits.
  • Business Administration Major: Legal Studies Concentration. The Accounting and Business Administration Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 24 additional credits (8 courses) in required and elective courses in the Legal Studies Concentration.  In total, this option will contribute another 27 credits.
  • Business Administration Major: Project Management and Business Analysis Concentration. The Accounting and Business Administration Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and up to 21 additional credits (up to 7 courses) in required and elective courses in the Project Management and Business Analysis Concentration.  In total, this option will contribute up to another 24 credits.
  • Business Systems and Processes Major. Accounting and Business Systems and Processes Majors share many courses as part of the CBE lower-level and upper-level core. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 18-21 additional credits (6-7 courses) in required and elective courses in the Legal Studies Concentration. In total, this option will contribute another 21-24 credits.
  • Computer Science Major. The Accounting and Computer Science Majors share few courses. Students will take up to 72-83 additional credits (up to 24 required and elective courses) in the Computer Science Major. 
  • Computer Science Major and Track in Computer Security. The Accounting Major and Computer Science Major/Computer Security Track share few courses. Students will take up to 72-83 additional credits (up to 24 required and elective courses) in the Computer Science Major/Computer Security Track.
  • Economics Major. The Accounting Major and Economics Major share several courses.  Students will take up to 27-28 additional credits (up to 9 required and elective courses) in the Economics Major. 
  • Economics Major and Track in Financial Economics. The Accounting Major and Economics Major/Financial Economics Track share several courses.  Students will take up to 45-46 additional credits (up to 15 required and elective courses) in the Economics Major. 
  • Information Systems Major and Business Track. The Accounting Major and Information Systems Major/Business Track share many courses. Students will take calculus (MATH 211 or MATH 273) and 50 additional credits (16 courses) in required and elective courses in the Information Systems Major/Business Analysis Track. 
  • Information Technology Major. The Accounting Major and Information Technology Major share several courses. Students will take 59 additional credits (18 courses) in required and elective courses in the Information Technology Major.  
Minor in a Complementary Field
  • Computer Science Minor. Students will take 21 additional credits (6 courses) in required and elective courses in the Information Technology Minor.
  • Economics Minor. This is an 18-unit (6 course) minor that includes ECON 201 and ECON 202 as two of the required courses. Since these course are also required course for the Accounting Major, completing the Economics Minor will only contribute an additional 12 credits.
  • Finance Minor. This is an 18-unit (6 course) minor that includes FIN 331 as one of the required courses. Since FIN 331 is also a required course for the Accounting Major, completing the Finance Minor will only contribute an additional 15 credits.
  • Information Systems Minor. Students will take 20 additional credits (6 courses) in required and elective courses in the Information Technology Minor.
  • Information Technology Minor. Students will take 25 additional credits (8 courses) in required and elective courses in the Information Technology Minor.
Honors Program
  • Honors College. The Honors College has selective admission standards. Admitted students follow 24 credit (8 course) curriculum that features interdisciplinary study, research and co-curricular experiences.  Often there is some overlap between the courses taken as Honors College requirements and the CBE lower-level core curriculum.

Ways to Get to 150 Credits (.PDF)

CPA Exam Preparation Resources

Prep/Review Courses

Towson University has partnered with several firms that offer CPA Exam reviews to provide students, graduates and alumni access to these programs at a substantial discount. Listed below are our partners and a brief overview of each:

Becker Professional Education 

For over 60 years, Becker has offered the most comprehensive study and coaching system to prepare for the CPA Exam. We combine powerful practice tools with expert instructors for rigorous preparation every step of the way. Our sample problems, task-based simulations, mock exams and more are formatted to mirror how they appear on the exam. With Becker, you get a more authentic experience and more confidence on exam day. 

Explore the Towson University/Becker CPA review course offer.

Gleim CPA Review

Professor emeritus Dr. Irvin N. Gleim changed forever how people studied for the CPA exam when he published the first Gleim CPA Review book in 1974. Now with more than 1 million CPA exams passed, Gleim CPA Review remains the smart choice for the serious student. Gleim also offers internationally acclaimed review systems for CMA, CIA, and EA exams as well as in-class materials for schools and hundreds of hours of CPE credits for accountants. Click here to learn more about what it takes to pass the CPA Exam, how the Gleim CPA Review system works, and more details on the Towson University/Roger CPA review course offer.

Surgent CPA Review

Between devoting time to school, work, friends and family, finding enough time to study for the CPA Exam can be tough. That’s why Surgent CPA Review created courses that help you pass the exam with less study time. After completing an assessment, you will be given a customized study plan that helps boost your performance in the topic areas you need to improve, in order to pass the exam.

Your course access never expires, and Surgent is the only course that provides you with an Exam Ready SCORE, so you can be confident that you’re ready to pass, the first time.

Click here for more details on the Surgent/Towson University/Surgent CPA review course offer and other exams.

Yaeger CPA Review

Yaeger CPA Review has over 40 years of experience helping candidates pass the CPA Exam. The course fully integrates the AICPA Blueprints, content released by the AICPA which outlines the higher-level critical thinking skills and real world accounting comprehension required to pass the Exam. The Yaeger course even includes one-on-one help from Phil Yaeger, Founder and Lead Instructor. Candidates utilizing Towson University’s preferred pricing can feel confident that Yaeger’s extraordinary student support and customizable AdaptaPass online learning system will ensure that they fully comprehend the Blueprint content, leading to success on the Exam.

Explore the Towson University/Roger CPA review course offer.

Other CPA Resources

  • American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) represents the CPA profession nationally, establishes rules and standards for the accounting profession, and develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination. Joining AICPA as a student member can get you access to information and tools to guide you to completing the CPA requirements and entering the profession.
  • The Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) is a professional organization dedicated to serving the needs of CPAs and CPA-seekers in the state. The group offers a and a variety of resources for students and CPA candidates to learn about the profession, network with professionals, and find scholarships and internships. MACPA also frequently participates in events at TU and CBE including the annual Accounting Open House
  • Maryland Society of Accounting & Tax Professionals (MSATP) supports solo, small, and mid-sized accounting, tax, and financial service businesses by creating opportunities to build relationships and community, advocating to protect the profession(s), and providing continuing education and resources to help members maintain professional integrity.
    • National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is an association dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of the country’s 55 state boards of accountancy. Its website explains the purpose of CPA licensing and how to become licensed.
    • Inspiring Accounting Talent for a Sustainable Society (iat4ss) is a nonprofit educational organization (501(c)(3) that provides an educational and developmental program leading to CPA licensure. The program augments traditional accounting curriculum by leveraging technology to reach diverse students where they are and create a structured pathway for them to succeed in college, pass the CPA exam and later enter the accounting profession.

TU Accounting CPA Exam Results by Class Year*

Year of Graduation Total Graduates (B.S. & M.S.) Passed CPA Exam in Maryland Percent PAssed
2011 156 44 47.6%
2012 129 40 42.9%
2013 149 37 39.1%
2014 148 32 44.7%
2015 165 27 42.5%
2016 164 29 34.7%
2017 195 17 39.5%
2018 186    

*These figures were compiled from annual editions of NASBA Annual Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance, Nashville, TN: National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc.