How to Become a Licensed CPA in Minnesota

//How to Become a Licensed CPA in Minnesota
How to Become a Licensed CPA in Minnesota 2017-10-17T07:36:14+00:00

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

Minnesota CPA Exam Requirements

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

  • No minimum age limit
  • Not Required to be a US citizen
  • Not Required to be a MN resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • MN does participate in the International Examination Program



Educational Requirements to Sit

Minnesota has an interesting two tear system for education depending on what type of degree you graduated with. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree candidates are subject to different rules. Here is what you will need:

Bachelor’s Degree (at least 120 semester hours) in Accounting or Business including:

  • 24 credit hours of upper level Accounting including financial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and taxation
  • 24 credit hours of General Business courses including Management, Finance, Business Law, and Computer Information Systems


Graduate Degree (at least 120 semester hours) in Accounting or Business including:

  • 15 credit hours of graduate level Accounting including financial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and taxation
  • 24 credit hours of General Business courses including Management, Finance, Business Law, and Computer Information Systems

You may also be eligible to sit for the exam if you graduated with a non-accounting or non-business degree as long as you complete all of the required accounting and related courses. In this case, it’s probably best to contact the MN state board to make sure you can apply.

Like a few other states, Minnesota allows students apply for the exam early. If you are a student candidate who hasn’t graduated, you can still apply for the test up to 180 days prior to graduation. This process requires approval from the board and also requires that all of the education requirements be met no later than 120 days after you take your first section. This is a great opportunity to get one section knocked out before you get into your first big accounting job!



Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Minnesota is $904.08 including an initial one-time $175 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $192.03
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $192.03
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $172.51
REG – Regulation $172.51


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 $100 and varied depending on how many you register for, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

Registration Fees

Minnesota has some of the most expensive re-application fees out of any state. Keep this in mind when you are signing up. Here is the breakdown for the registration fees you will have to pay. As you can see, registering more exams at once will save you some money.

  • 1 section $100.00
  • 2 sections $115.00
  • 3 sections $130.00
  • 4 sections $145.00



CPA License Requirements

The whole exam process can be kind of overwhelming when you first start looking into it. It’s okay! You can make it. Applying and registering for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in MN. Once 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 your additional 30 semester hours.



Work Experience Requirements

Minnesota’s one-year work experience requirement is pretty standard among all states. This must be completed after you pass all four sections of the exam in order to get your full license. Here are the details.

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting experience in Public Accounting, Governmental Accounting, Private Industry, or University supervised or verified by a CPA in good standing.



More Exam Resources and Information

I know gathering your paperwork to be mail to the state, the application process, and taking the exam can be pretty involved. It can be even worse if you transferred to multiple colleges during your undergraduate program. Yes, the Minnesota state board needs proof of all of your education. This means so you’ll need to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. This can be a pain. I know.

This is why I think it’s always a good idea to contact the state board directly. You can find out what they already have on file and more importantly what they need to complete your application. Nothing is worse than finding out they need something after the fact.

For example, sometimes the state doesn’t receive your test scores from Prometrics. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. Directly contacting the board is the fastest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

Minnesota State Board of Accountancy

Minnesota CPA Application Forms

    • 85 7th Place E Suite 125
    • St. Paul, MN 55101


  • Phone: 651-296-7938
  • Fax: 651-282-2644


Minnesota Society of CPAs

NASBA – Minnesota



Now What?
Time to Get Busy!


OK. So you have all the information to get signed up for the exam. Now you need to find a study guide that will work for you. Depending on how you learn, your overall time frame goals, and budget, picking the right CPA review course can be tricky. Don’t waste any time though. Jump into it right away.

Generally, state boards take anywhere from one to three months to review and approve your application. You can spend this time to choose your first CPA exam section and study to pass the CPA exam your first try.