The CPA Exam

Preparing for the CPA Exam at Lynchburg College

The education necessary to become a certified public accountant in the Commonwealth of Virginia, like most states, includes a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a total of 150 semester hours of college credit. College courses must include accounting and business subjects distributed as follows:

  • At least 30 semester hours of accounting including courses covering the subjects of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management/cost accounting; and
  • At least 24 semester hours in business subjects other than accounting, taken at the graduate or undergraduate level.

Candidates may apply to take the CPA exam with only 120 semester hours of college credit. You need not have a master's degree, nor even an accounting degree, to take the CPA exam, but you must have an undergraduate degree and the coursework specified above. To obtain a CPA license, you must meet the 150-semester-hour requirement.

You can satisfy the educational requirements for the CPA exam at Lynchburg College. LC’s Bachelor of Arts in Accounting requires a minimum of 27 semester hours in accounting, including the coursework specified above. You will need to complete one additional accounting elective course to meet the 30 semester hour accounting requirement. LC’s accounting degree also includes more than 24 semester hours of non-accounting business and economics course work.

All bachelor's degree programs at Lynchburg College require a minimum of 124 semester credit hours of course work. Students must earn 26 semester hours beyond this minimum to meet the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA examination. Students earn these additional hours in a variety of ways, including earning more hours than the minimum required to graduate at the undergraduate level, taking local community college classes, enrolling in the Lynchburg College 36 semester-hour MBA program, or taking classes at nearby colleges after graduation.

CPA Examination Subject Areas

The CPA examination is divided into four sections. Candidates take one section at a time in a computer-based format. The subject areas and testing times allotted per section are:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – 4.5 hours
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 4.0 hours
  • Regulation (REG) – 3.0 hours
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – 2.5 hours

For more information about the CPA exam, visit the Virginia Board of Accountancy. If you plan on seeking licensure as a CPA in a state other than Virginia, check with that state’s Board of Accountancy to ensure that you meet their requirements. Visit the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy for a complete list of state boards.