How to Become a Licensed CPA in New Jersey

New Jersey has the standard 150-credit hour rule in order to get licensed, but it only requires candidates to complete 120 semester hours in order to take the exam. NJ has a pretty extensive and specific list of course guidelines to fulfill this 120-limit. Keep an eye on this list to make sure you can check all the courses off when it is time to apply.

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

New Jersey CPA Exam Requirements

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

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

Educational Requirements to Sit

New Jersey only requires you to complete 120 credit hours before you can take the CPA exam, but these hours are charted out in detail. Let’s take a look at what classes you will need to take in order to sit for the exam:

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

  • 24 credit hours Accounting including governmental accounting, auditing, financial and managerial accounting, and taxation.
  • At least 36 hours of Professional and General Business courses including:
    • 6 hours of Finance
    • 6 hours of Business Law
    • 6 hours of Economics
    • 18 hours of General Business courses
  • 60 credit hours of General Education courses like: Language, History, Mathematics or Statistics, Psychology or Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, Geography, and Arts.

As you can see, New Jersey does a pretty good job of telling you exactly what classes that you need to take. There isn’t a lot of room left in there for electives or other courses. Don’t forget that you will still need to take another 30 credit hours to get licensed.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in New Jersey is $954.08 including an initial one-time $225 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 try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. 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 bad part is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $70 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

New Jersey’s fees are typical across other states, but there is still no need to pay for re-registration fees if you plan well enough. 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 $70.00
  • 2 sections $85.00
  • 3 sections $100.00
  • 4 sections $115.00

CPA License Requirements

The CPA exam process can be overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t been through it before. It’s okay! You will make it. Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in NJ. After you pass the exam, you will have to do a few simple things 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

NJ requires you to pass their ethics exam. The AICPA exam is not acceptable.

Additional Education

If you haven’t completed all of your 150 college credits, you will need to after you pass the exam. Most applicants accomplish this limit by either adding another major on to their undergraduate or starting a master’s program. There are two sets of requirements depending on what degree you decide to pursue.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with 150 credit hours including:

  • 24 credit hours Accounting including governmental accounting, auditing, financial and managerial accounting, and taxation.
  • 24 credit hours of general business courses.

Bachelor’s Degree in General Business with 150 credit hours including:

  • 30 credit hours Accounting
  • 24 credit hours of general business courses

Graduate Degree in Accounting with 150 credit hours including:

  • Automatically applies and doesn’t need to meet course rules.

Graduate Degree in General Business (MBA) with 150 credit hours

  • 24 credit hours Accounting
  • 15 credit hours of general business courses

Work Experience Requirements

Unlike NJ’s extensive educational rules, its work experience requirements are pretty standard. Here’s what you need to do:

1-year or 1,750 hours of general accounting and auditing skills in Public Accounting supervised and verified by a CPA in good standing.

All 1,750 hours must be completed with no more than a two-year period. Unfortunately, NJ did not put a provision in for accountants working private industry or academia. You will need public accounting experience in order to get your license.

More Exam Resources and Information

The entire process from gathering your paperwork, applying to sit, studying, and sitting for the exam is pretty involved. I know. It can be even worse if you transferred to multiple colleges during your academic career. Most applicants don’t think about. Yes, the New Jersey state board needs proof of all of your education. You will have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. Sometimes this can be difficult and time-consuming depending on your colleges.

It is always a good idea to contact the state board during the application process. You can find out what they have on file and what they need to approve your application. Nothing is worse than finding out they need something after the fact.

For instance, states don’t always receive your test scores from Prometrics. Things can get lost or forgotten about. It happens. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice! 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.

New Jersey State Board of Accountancy

New Jersey CPA Application Forms

    • 124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor
    • P.O. Box 45000
    • Newark, NJ 07101


  • Phone: 973-504-6380


New Jersey Society of CPAs

NASBA – New Jersey