Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensure

What is a CPA?

A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant and is licensed by the state. In Vermont, to earn the prestige associated with the CPA license, individuals are required to demonstrate their knowledge and competence by passing the Uniform CPA Exam. This ensures that they meet high educational standards and have completed a specified amount of general accounting experience.

Why do you need a CPA?

Certified Public Accountants act as trusted financial advisers to individuals, businesses, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies on a wide range of financial matters. Today, many individuals and businesses turn to CPAs for help with tax preparation, personal financial planning, auditing services and advice on developing effective accounting systems.


Many people don't know how a CPA differs from a bookkeeper or a tax preparer. The CPA designation is one of the most widely and globally recognized and highly trusted professional designations in the business world.

Individuals turn to their CPAs for tax and financial planning services, investment advice, estate planning and more. CPAs are distinguished from other finance professionals by stringent qualification and licensing requirements.

Individuals have worked hard to obtain the CPA designation, and they are committed to working even harder to deliver the value it conveys.

The two most important goals to focus on in your quest to become a CPA are passing the Uniform CPA Exam and meeting licensing requirements.

More information on CPAs and licensing:

CPAs Require More Than a Bachelor's Degree

The requisite credit hours for the CPA exam are 150 post-secondary credits. This means that a typical undergraduate degree (at 120 credits) is no longer enough, and students need to take more classes—30 credits worth—to be eligible for licensure.

Accounting students at Champlain College have multiple options to consider when designing their academic plans to meet this requirement, and we give them the resources to make a decision that best fits their needs. Our Faculty Advisors help students create the plan that makes the most sense while allowing them to achieve their career goals.

Additional Undergraduate Credits—A Cost-Friendly Alternative

If students are interested in starting to acquire the requisite additional 30 credit hours to prepare for the CPA exam while pursuing their undergraduate degree, Champlain allows Accounting students to take up to 12 extra credits on top those accumulated throughout their undergraduate studies with no additional tuition fees. Students would be able to graduate with 132 credits at no additional cost, and through pursuit of additional courses during the academic year or over summer (at cost), may accumulate even more credits before graduating.

Accounting and Finance—Double Major

Champlain's five-year double major in Finance & Accounting allows students to meet the necessary 150 credit hour needed in order to sit for the CPA exams. These two highly complementary fields offer a unique and valuable synergy and will not only prepare you exceptionally well in these career fields, but they also give you a five-year, interdisciplinary business experience. To learn more about the Accounting & Finance double major, click here.

Master's Degree—Take Your Career a Step Further

A final option for students interested in taking the CPA exam is to pursue a Master's degree through Champlain or one of its partner institutions. This would increase their level of education and therefore benefit their career while allowing them to meet the requisite credit hours for the CPA exam.

Preferred Admission Status for Masters Programs

  • Champlain College Online MS in Accounting Program: Accounting students whose GPA's reflect the ability to succeed in graduate-level work will be accepted into the Champlain Online MS in Accounting program, which has 8-week terms. Scholarships for Champlain graduates are available.
  • New York University (NYU): Champlain College has a special agreement with NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Accounting students, with a G.P.A. of 3.25 or greater can be granted "auto-admission" to one of 14 Masters programs offered through NYU including an M.S. in Management and Systems and an M.S. in Global Affairs.