Massachusetts CPA Exam and License Requirements

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byHimani Bhatt
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Massachusetts CPA Exam

Massachusetts Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license entitles a professional to practice as a CPA in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Moreover, you must pass the CPA Exam and meet Massachusetts-specific education and experience requirements to attain the license. 

Massachusetts CPA Exam 1

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Please note that Massachusetts is a one-tier state. There is no CPA certificate. Hence, the candidates can directly apply for the CPA license after passing the CPA Exam and meeting the experience and other requirements.

The state also participates in the international administration of the CPA Exam program. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy (MBPA) is the license-issuing authority. Here are the Massachusetts license requirements in brief.

Age18 years or older
U.S. CitizenshipNot required
ResidencyNot required
Social Security number (SSN)Required
Education requirement for CPA ExamA bachelor’s degree with 120 semester hours, including
  • 21 semester hours of accounting courses
  • 9 semester hours of business courses
Education requirement for licensure150 semester hours
Experience requirement for licensure2000 hours of service
  • 1-3 years at a public firm, or
  • 3-9 years at a non-public firm
Ethics examNot required

Let’s take an in-depth look at Massachusetts CPA Exam and license requirements. 

Table of Contents

Massachusetts CPA Exam Requirements

Massachusetts CPA License Requirements

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Massachusetts Exam Information & Resources

Massachusetts CPA Exam Requirements

The Uniform CPA Exam is an online series of tests developed to evaluate your expertise and skills as a newly licensed CPA. It includes four sections, each being four-hour long.

The exam is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in conjunction with the state boards.

You must score at least 75 points on a scale of 0-99 in each section. In addition, you must pass all four CPA exam sections within a rolling 18-month period starting from the date the first passed section is taken.

All the sections mentioned above include multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). Besides MCQs and TBSs, BEC also has written communications tasks (WCTs). 

Massachusetts CPA Exam 1

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Exam Eligibility Requirements

Age Requirement

  • 18 years or older

Education Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree with 120 semester hours from a nationally or regionally accredited academic institution with,

  • 21 semester hours of accounting courses in
    • Financial accounting
    • Auditing
    • Taxation 
    • Management/cost accounting
  • 9 semester hours of business courses in
    • Business law (covering the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code)
    • Finance
    • Information systems

Fulfill the education requirements either at the time of application or within 90 days of sitting for your first exam section. Also, attempt the section you applied for within six months (Notice-To-Schedule validity period).

Massachusetts CPA exam candidates must apply through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Kindly visit the NASBA website for the complete CPA application process

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First-time applicants must pay the application and examination fees at the time of application.

ParticularsAmountTotal Fees
Application Fee$195
Examination Fees  
Total Fees$1,147.6

Re-examination candidates must pay the registration and examination fees at the time of registration.

Exam sectionsExam Fees per sectionTotal Exam Fees (all sections)Registration FeesTotal Fees
4 exam sections$238.15$117.00$195.00$312
3 exam sections$238.15$157.00$195.00$352
2 exam sections$238.15$137.00$195.00$332
1 exam section$238.15$117.00$195.00$312

Note that both application and exam fees are non-refundable. Also, you can’t withdraw from the exam or request an NTS extension. However, you may request a partial refund or NTS extension under extreme situations. For a partial refund, submit the Exception to Policy Form.

Required Documents

You must submit the following documents.

Required DocumentsSubmitted toSubmitted by
Official school transcriptsCPAES (electronically)Your school
International Evaluation report & foreign transcripts (if applicable)CPAESYou or evaluation agency
Certificate of Enrollment (if applicable)CPAESYou or your school
Testing Accommodations Request Form (if applicable)CPAESYou

International candidates can get their credentials evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) or the Centre for Educational Documentation (CED). Furthermore, candidates can use the NASBA Advisory Evaluation to identify any academic deficiencies in the transcripts before the final submission. 

Finally, applicants who have passed the CPA Exam must file an application to the State Board with the required fees to obtain the CPA license. 

Massachusetts CPA License Requirements

Fulfil these requirements to earn a Massachusetts license:

  • Gain work experience in public accounting (1-3 years) or non-public accounting (3-9 years) 
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours
  • Pass the Uniform CPA Exam with at least 75 points
  • Submit three character reference letters dated and addressed to the Board 
  • Submit Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form
Massachusetts CPA License Requirements

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CPA licensure applicants must be at least 18 years old with a valid SSN. However, they are not required to hold the U.S. citizenship or residency. 

Education Requirements

CPA licensure candidates must complete 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) from a nationally or regionally accredited institution. Know that the initial 120 credit hours are required to sit for the CPA Exam. Then, complete the additional 30 credit hours for licensure.

Education Requirements 1

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You may pick any of these three options to fulfil the educational requirements:

Option 1

  • Graduate degree in accounting from an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited institute. 

Option 2

A Baccalaureate degree in Accounting, Law, or Business Administration, including 

  • 30 undergraduate (18 graduate) semester hours in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
  • 24 undergraduate (18 graduate) semester hours of business courses (excluding accounting courses)

Option 3

A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institute, including 

  • 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of accounting courses covering financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting subjects
  • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses with business law, information systems, and finance subjects. Besides, it must also cover at least one area of economics, business organizations, professional ethics, or business communication. However, it must exclude accounting courses.

Exam Requirements

You must pass the CPA Exam within the rolling 18-month period. Ensure to score at least 75 points in each of the four sections. Check out the above-mentioned CPA Exam Requirements section for further details. 

Experience Requirements

Once you pass the CPA Exam, ensure to fulfil the experience requirements before submitting your licensure application. You must earn at least 2000 hours of work experience (full-time or part-time) in public accounting or non-public accounting. Here are the details. 

Public AccountingNon-public Accounting
Minimum Period – 1 year
Maximum Period – 3 years
Minimum Period – 3 years
Maximum Period – 9 years

Character or Reference Letter

Submit three-character or reference letters with your licensure application to the MBPA. They confirm your good character. It must be from your acquaintances (not relatives) like business associates, employers, or your employer’s clients.

Ensure that the letters are currently dated (within one year) and signatures are original.  


A Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form lists criminal cases against you in the Massachusetts state court. Click here to avail of the CORI Form and enter your details. It includes your name, date and place of birth, SSN, ID number and address. The details must be verified by a Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) employee or notary. 

Licensing Fees

Ensure to submit your licensure application to the MBPA along with the required fees of $175. In addition, reciprocal applicants licensed for over four years must apply with $499. If applicable, you must pay $100 for the transfer of grades.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

CPAs in Massachusetts must complete 80 CPE credit hours every two years. Moreover, they are required to earn at least four hours in Professional Ethics. Let’s see the details. 

CPE Reporting PeriodJuly 1 – June 30 every two years
Required credits80 hours every two years
Renewal PeriodBiennial
Ethics4 hours in professional ethics
1 Credit50-100-minute activity (You may add up multiple events in less than 50 minutes)
Credit limitations
  • Instruction – Maximum 40 hours
  • Published Materials – Maximum 20 hours
Credit CalculationInstruction1 Presentation Hour = 1 CPE hour + 2 CPE hours (Prep time)
Published Materials & Self-StudyDetermined by Continuing Education (CE) Committee
University/College Credit1 Semester hour = 15 CPE hours (Credit Courses)
1 Classroom hour = 1 CPE hour (Non-credit Courses)
Partial CreditAccepted in 0.2 (minimum) or 0.5 increments

Please note that Massachusetts accepts CPA CPE Credits for the programs offered by National Registry Sponsors. However, you can still take up a course in any other subject area, provided that it benefits your position as a public accountant. 

Congratulations! Now, after passing the exam and attaining the license, you can finally call yourself a CPA in Massachusetts. Needlessly, the Bay State is a safe haven with a galore of opportunities for CPAs. So, make the most of them! 

Always remember that your journey doesn’t end here. Hence, ensure your license renewal every two years. Also, keep a tab on MBPA, AICPA, and NASBA websites for any updates. 

Massachusetts CPA Information and Resources

1. Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy

Office Address

1000 Washington Street

Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 617-701-8635

Fax: 617-727-1627


  • CPA Examination Services

Phone: 615-880-4250

800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3926)

E-mail: [email protected]

  • National Registry of CPE Sponsors

150 4th Avenue N. Suite 700 Nashville, TN 37219


3. Center for Educational Documentation

Boston, Massachusetts(MA)

Telephone: 617-338-7171

Fax: 617-338-7101

Email: [email protected]

4. Massachusetts Society of CPAs

105 Chauncy Street

10th Floor

Boston, MA 02111

Telephone: 800-392-6145

5. Massachusetts Secretary of State

Toll-Free: 1-800-392-6090 (within Massachusetts only)

Telephone: 617-727-7030

Fax: 617-742-4528

 E-mail: [email protected]

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