How to Become a Licensed CPA in South Dakota

South Dakota requires 150 college semester hours to sit for the exam, but you can take it 100 days before your graduation. This option offers students a great opportunity to take at least one section before they are even done with college. SD also does not require a social security number making it more attractive to international candidates looking to become certified.

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

South Dakota CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in South Dakota, 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 SD resident
  • No Valid Social Security Number Required
  • SD does not participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

South Dakota is a strict 150 credit hour state. At least a bachelor’s degree is required. Here are the details:

Bachelor’s Degree or higher (at least 150 semester hours) including:

  • 24 credit hours of Accounting like financial and managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing.
  • 24 credit hours of General Business course like Business Law, Economics, and Management

Keep in mind that SD does allow students to take the exam 100 days before they fulfill the educational rules. This is a great opportunity to get one section out of the way before you graduate. Take advantage of it!

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in South Dakota is $879.08 including an initial one-time $30 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 – I know you are excited to sign up and get started, but don’t try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. Your notice to sit will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months. This means you will have to re-register and pay an additional registration fee. Re-registration application fees are $30, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

CPA License Requirements

The CPA exam process is involved and usually pretty overwhelming for first time applicants. Don’t worry. You can do it! Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in SD. Trust me. I know what you’re going through. We have all have been there. It’s kind of like a right of passage. After you pass the exam, here are the things you need to do before you can truly call yourself a Certified Public Accountant.

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

No additional education is required because all 150 credit hours must have been completed before taking the exam.

Work Experience Requirements

South Dakota’s one-year work experience program is pretty typical of most states. You must complete:

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

If you want to be certified to perform attest services later in your career, you will also need to have at least 375 hours of attest or audit experience.

More Exam Resources and Information

The application process can be a little daunting especially if you attended more than one college. The South Dakota state board will need evidence of all of your education. This means that you will need to mail in transcripts from every college you’ve attended.

That is why I always recommend contacting the state board during the application process. They will let you know what they have on file and what they need to approve your application. Believe me. There is nothing worse than finding out you forgot something at the end of the process.

Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. Things can get lost or forgotten about. This happened to me. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice from one of my colleges! It was a pain and added an extra 2 weeks to my application time.

Directly contacting the board is the easiest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in your application.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

South Dakota State Board of Accountancy

South Dakota CPA Application Forms

    • 301 East 14th Street, Suite 200
    • Sioux Falls, SD 57104


  • Phone: 605-367-5770
  • Fax: 605-367-5773


South Dakota Society of CPAs

NASBA – South Dakota