Accounting at Berkeley

Careers in Accounting & Becoming a CPA FAQ

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Meeting the Coursework Requirements
Navigating the New 150 Hour Requirements
Mapping Your Course Pathway
Ethics Study Requirements

MEETING THE COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS


Question: If I want to study abroad while at UC Berkeley, can the courses I take while abroad be used to meet the CPA course requirements?

Answer: Yes. Courses that you take during a study abroad program that is run through UC Berkeley will show up on your official UC Berkeley transcript and as long as the course titles meet the CPA requirements, they will apply.


Question: Do classes taken on a Pass/No Pass basis count toward the CPA course requirements?

Answer: Yes, they do count. We do advise that if you are pursuing the CPA track that you limit the number of accounting courses that you take on a Pass/No Pass basis to one or two.


Question: Do both upper division and lower division classes count toward the CPA course requirements?

Answer: Yes, both levels of coursework count. There are currently no requirements that any of the courses be upper division courses.


Question: Do courses taken at the UC Berkeley Extension meet the CPA course requirements?

Answer: Yes and while you are a UC Berkeley student, the courses will show up on your UC Berkeley transcript. When you are no longer a UC Berkeley student or if you are not a UC Berkeley student, you will have to provide a separate UC Berkeley Extension transcript to the California Board of Accountancy to receive credit for those courses.


Question: If I am a transfer student and I took a class at community college and had to take a very similar course again at UC Berkeley, will all of the units count toward the requirements?

Answer: Yes. Because your community college coursework will be documented on a separate transcript from the UC Berkeley transcript, you are allowed to count all of the units. If you repeat the same course at the same school, however, you cannot count the units twice.


Question: Do advanced placement credits that I took in high school count toward the 150 unit requirements?

Answer: Yes. However, you won’t be able to use these credits to meet the specific accounting, business, and ethics course requirements.


Question: Even with planning and taking a larger course load I am going to fall short of the CPA course requirements by one or two courses. What should I do?

Answer: Many UC Berkeley students are in this situation. We recommend that students consider taking classes at local community colleges or UC Berkeley Extension in the summer and fall after graduation. Many of these classes are offered online and can be flexible to meet your post- graduation schedule. We advise that, as you are planning your coursework at UC Berkeley, you should be taking most, if not all, of your accounting-related courses here at UC Berkeley before you graduate.


Question: Can I apply for and take the CPA exam while I am a student?

Answer: Generally, no. The requirements to be able to take the CPA exam are:


Once you complete these requirements (even if you have other educational requirements for licensure), you can apply with the California Board of Accountancy to take the CPA exam. You will need to meet all of the additional licensure requirements (the full education requirements, pass the exam, and obtain the work requirements) to become a licensed CPA.


NAVIGATING THE NEW 150 HOUR REQUIREMENTS:


Question: When do the new educational requirements for CPA licensure resulting from the passage of Senate Bill 819 in California take effect?

Answer: January 1, 2014 – all of the requirements for licensure (except the work experience requirement) must have been completed and submitted by December 31, 2013.


Question: Will I need to meet the new additional requirements to qualify to take the CPA exam?

Answer: No. The new requirements are only for CPA licensure. For the CPA exam, you need a baccalaureate degree that includes 24 semester units of accounting subjects and 24 units of business-related subjects (as defined by the California Board of Accountancy).


Question: What will be the educational requirements for CPA licensure beginning January 1, 2014?

Answer: Effective January 1, 2014, you will need to have met the following educational requirements to obtain a California CPA license:


See the "Meeting the California CPA Requirements" document at http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/accounting/students/resources.html for detailed information how to strategize to meet the requirements.


Question: Where can I obtain the official information on the new educational requirements for CPA licensure beginning January 1, 2014?

Answer: In addition to the information provided by CFRM at http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/accounting/students/resources.html, the California Board of Accountancy has developed a webpage specific to providing up-to-date information on the new licensure requirements. You may access this page via the following link: http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/applicants/lic_require.shtml.


MAPPING YOUR COURSE PATHWAY


Question: Are there tools available to help me plan my coursework so that I can meet the requirements?

Answer: Please see the "Meeting the California CPA Requirements" document at http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/accounting/students/resources.html for an overview of the requirements. There is also a checklist of the new requirements called "New Guidelines" that you can fill in to track what courses you have taken and what you need to take in the future.


Question: Who can I talk to or meet with to find out more about planning out my course load to meet the requirements?

Answer: Professor Tiffany Rasmussen is offering advising services to students. For her current office hours please refer to this page. You may contact her at rasmussen@haas.berkeley.edu.


ETHICS STUDY REQUIREMENTS


Question: Is there a list of ethics-related courses at Berkeley-Haas that I can take to satisfy the 10-unit Ethics Study requirement?

Answer: Yes. Please see the “Haas Ethics Courses” link at http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/accounting/students/EthicsCourses/EthicsSummer2013.asp


Question: Is there a limit on the number of units that I can use from an Auditing course (UGBA 126) to meet the 10-unit Ethics Study requirement?

Answer: Yes. Even though UGBA 126, Auditing is a 4 unit course, you may only apply 1 unit (in total) from an auditing-related course to meet the Ethics Study requirement. Remaining units can be applied toward the Accounting coursework requirement.


Question: I see that I can apply a maximum of 3 units from a course in the Philosophy or Religious Studies departments at UC Berkeley to the Ethics Study requirement as long as the course has the word “Introduction,” “Introductory,” “General,” “Principles of,” “Fundamentals of,” “Foundations of,” or “Survey of” in the title. So could a class like Philosophy 12A, Introduction to Logic, be used for the 3 units?

Answer: Yes. It meets the requirements. It is in the Philosophy Department and it has the word “Introduction” in the title. In conclusion, the course must be in the Philosophy or Religious Studies department (there are a few departmental exceptions – see the next question) and it must have one of the required terms in the course title.


Question: Would I be able to use a course such as Buddhist Studies C50, Introduction to Buddhist Studies, for the Ethics Studies requirement even though it is not taught out of the Religious Studies department at UC Berkeley?

Answer: Yes. Because it is an introductory-level religion course and includes the word “Introduction” in the course title, you would be able to apply up to 3 units to the Ethics Studies requirement. There could be similar courses in other non-Religious Studies departments.


Question: Can I apply 3 units from a introductory-level course taken in the Sociology or Psychology department to the 10-unit Ethics Study requirement?

Answer: No. Only introductory-level courses in the Philosophy or Religious Studies departments (with the correct wording, described in the above question) can be used. UC Berkeley doesn’t have a Theology department, but if you took courses at another university in their Theology department, they could apply. The only exceptions are introductory-level courses (with the correct wording, described in the above question) that are primarily about religion or philosophy. The course title and description would have to indicate that the course subject is primarily about religion or philosophy.