Becoming a CPA (N.D.) requires:

1. Good moral character

2. The Uniform CPA Exam, according to Board regulations and policies

3. Completion of Professional Ethics: AICPA's Comprehensive Course

4. Experience: 1 year, meeting relevant conditions (after Dec. 31, 2000). As of April 1, 2016, experience is to be verified by a CPA (or a CA of Australia, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand, or a Hong Kong CPAs of Mexico CP).

5. Providing details of accounting credentials

6. Payment of applicable fees

7. Education: [Revised July 2015]

The required education is "... at least 150 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate." An acceptable college is one that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations listed at Unaccredited college credits are acceptable if accepted for transfer credit by an accredited school.

Foreign education
In order to write the exam as a North Dakota candidate, education completed at non-U.S. schools is to be evaluated for equivalency with U.S. standards. Obtain a course by course evaluation (at least for the concentration coursework). For evaluations, you may contact or

"Accounting concentrations means: (after 12/31/09), 24 semester credits or equivalent of accounting courses, plus 24 credits of other business courses. Principles of accounting or equivalent courses do not count toward the required accounting or business courses. Up to 3 credits of economics credits may be included in the other business courses." The accounting portion may include classes with an accounting, audit, or tax rubric. The other-business portion may include classes with a rubric of business, management, finance or marketing. Additional accounting classes also qualify, and up to 3 Economics credits.

One quarter credit = 2/3 semester credit.

Information on Reciprocal Certificates and Substantial Equivalency is below.

Examination details

The CPA Exam can be written during a 60 day "window" -- the first two months of each quarter (e.g. April and May). An application packet can be obtained from the Board office or from the forms section of the website. All application materials are to be submitted in one package. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications 30 days in advance of their target writing date. The four sections of the CPA Exam may be taken individually and in any order. An applicant shall retain conditional credit for any section passed, for 18 months after their test date. An applicant must pass all exam sections within a rolling 18 month period (starting the date they took the first section passed). An Exam section may not be retaken in the same 60 day testing window. If all Exam sections are not passed in the 18 month period, credit will expire for any section passed outside the 18 month period.

Exam grades transfer

Candidates who have passed all or parts of the CPA exam elsewhere may transfer those grades providing credit would have been given under our then-applicable requirements if the exam had been taken in this state.

Reciprocal certification

CPAs, who hold a certificate from another state may obtain a reciprocal CPA certificate, provided their state extends similar reciprocity to North Dakota CPAs. An applicant for a reciprocal certificate must have passed the examination with grades that would have been passing grades in North Dakota at the time, must meet all requirements for a certificate (at the time of application or at the time of issuance of the other state certificate), and pay the applicable fees. There is also provision for obtaining a ND certificate without meeting all these requirements, if the applicant (or the state which issued their certificate) has attained substantial equivalency.

Substantial equivalency

An individual whose principal place of business is not in this state shall have all the privileges of certificate holders and licensees of this state without the need to obtain a certificate or permit, if the individual holds a valid certificate as a CPA from a state that has attained substantial equivalency, or if the individual's CPA qualifications are deemed to meet substantial equivalency. Contact our office to pursue this option.

Reciprocity for foreign credential holders

North Dakota's accounting law makes provision for issuing certificates to holders of foreign accounting credentials under certain conditions. Contact the Board for details.

Other state requirements

State requirements are found in a Digest of State Accountancy Laws ... available by calling 888-777-7077; follow the prompts to the order department. The requirements area also available at the Accounting Licensure Library.

For CPA Exam review programs contact or 701-775-7100.

For CPA exam information, visit