How to Become a Licensed CPA in Maryland

Maryland is among the majority of states that require 150 credit hours to be eligible for you license. Only 120 semester hours are actually need to be completed before you can sit for the exam, though. Out of all of the states, I think MD has some of the most specific college course guidelines to meet the 120 and 150 credit rules. Otherwise, the rest of their qualifications are pretty standard among other states.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.

Maryland CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Maryland, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Not Required to be a US citizen
  • Not Required to be a MD resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • MD does not participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

Maryland has some of the most specific course work requirements out of any state. In order to sit for the exam you will have to have a bachelor’s degree equal to 120 credit hours that meets the following course limits.

Bachelor’s Degree (120 semester hours) or higher including:

  • 27 credit hours of Accounting including:
    • 3 hours of auditing
    • 3 hours of cost accounting
    • 3 hours of taxation
    • 9 hours of financial accounting
    • 9 hours of general accounting courses
  • 21 credit hours of General Business courses including 3 semester hours of Business Ethics

The 21 credit hours of general business courses also must be fulfilled in specific subjects, but an exact amount in each subject is not mandated. The areas of study include:

  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Business Law
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Computer Science

As you can see, this is kind of an extensive and specific list. Talk with your school counselor and the MD state board to make sure you are on track to finish all of these courses. The last thing you want to is to find out your are one or two classes shy in one category after you graduate.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Maryland is $820.00 including an initial one-time $60 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $200.00
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $200.00
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $180.00
REG – Regulation $180.00


The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.

IMPORTANT – Don’t get crazy and register for all the sections immediately. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bummer is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $60 for each section, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months

CPA License Requirements

You might be a little overwhelmed by the CPA exam process. It’s okay! You can make it. Registering for the test is only the first step in becoming a CPA in MD. After you pass the exam, there are a few simple things you have to do before you can legally call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.

Pass the Exam

You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.


Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.


Pay the license/certification fees with your application.

Ethics Exam

Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam (found on the AICPA website)

Additional Education

If you haven’t completed the 150 hours of college classes by the time you passed your exam, you will need to complete this within the required time limit.

Work Experience Requirements

Even though Maryland is pretty extensive when it comes to education, they are pretty simple with their work rules. Here is what you need to have:

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting experience in Public Accounting, Private Industry, Governmental Accounting, or even Education.

MD offers great work experience options for people who prefer not to work in public accounting. A lot of times college professors and other educators start their teaching careers right after college. Maryland rules allow them to get licensed and go straight into academia.

More Exam Resources and Information

The application process, taking the exam, and organizing your paperwork to be sent in can be quite an involved, especially if you attended more than one college. Yes, the Maryland state board will need proof of your education, so you’ll have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. This can be a pain. I know.

I think it’s always a good idea to contact the state board directly to see what they already have on file and more importantly what they need to complete your application.

For example, sometimes the state doesn’t receive your test scores from Prometrics. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. It’s important to contact them directly and confirm they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

Maryland State Board of Accountancy

Maryland CPA Application Forms

    • 500 N. Calvert Street 3rd Floor
    • Baltimore, MD 21202-3651


  • Phone: 410-230-6258
  • Fax: 410-333-6314


Maryland Society of CPAs

NASBA – Maryland