Iowa CPA Requirements (Rules on Exam and Licensing)

Iowa cpa requirements

According to Iowa CPA exam requirements, a bachelor degree is sufficient for you to sit for the CPA exam, but 150 semester hours (together with 1 year of relevant working experience) are required to get the CPA license.

Please note that Iowa allows either public or non-public accounting experience (even teaching experience) to be qualified for CPA license but your work has to be supervised and verified by an active CPA licensee.

Iowa CPA Requirements

1. Education Requirements to Sit for the Exam

Candidates should fulfill ONE of the following:

(a) Graduate degree in accounting:

  • You are automatically qualified.

(b) Graduate degree in business:

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting.
  • At least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.

(c) Undergraduate degree in accounting or business:

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting.
  • At least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.

(d) Undergraduate degree:

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting with at least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.
  • 24 credit hours of business-related courses, such as finance, management, marketing, economics, and business law.

Special note: Courses in internship or life experience are not acceptable.

2. Additional Iowa CPA Requirements for the License


  • 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution.

Work Experience

  • 1 year of public or non-public accounting experience as well as teaching experience in the accounting field (i.e. work in government, industry, public service or academia is qualified).
  • Teaching experience requires teaching a minimum of 24 semester hours of accounting courses.
  • Additional requirement for attest qualification (e.g. signing the audit report one behalf of the accounting firm).
  • The experience has to be verified by active CPA licensee. The verifier does not need to the supervise but must have an active license and is willing to attest.
  • Part-time work is allowed but must complete 2,000 hours within 1-3 years.

Ethics Qualification

3. Iowa CPA Requirements on Residency & Age

  • US citizenship not required
  • Iowa residency not required (residency requirement eliminated in 2002)
  • Minimum age: none

4. Fees

  • First-timers: $774 + application fee.

5. Continuing Education

CPE is required for license holders. Please click here for Iowa CPA CPE requirements.

6. Other Useful Information

7. Contact

Iowa Accountancy Examining Board
200 E. Grand, Suite 350
Des Moines, IA 50309

  • Email:,
  • Phone: (515) 281-5910
  • Fax: (515) 281-7411

What if these CPA Requirements don’t Work for Me?

You may want to check out these pages to learn about the educational and experience requirements, with my recommendation at the end of the posts:

If you have questions, feel free to drop a note in the comment section, or visit my Facebook page.

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Kunal Kokal says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am an international student and planning to apply for Iowa.

    You have stated that residency is not a requirement. Nothing has been mentioned about social security number requirement.

    I was going through another website where I noticed that social security number is a requirement for Iowa –

    I looked upon on Iowa state board of accountancy website but didn’t find any specific mention about this.

    Can you confirm social security number is not a requirement for Iowa?



  • Hello Kunal Kokal,

    Iowa doesn’t have a social security requirement for the exam as I’m currently doing the CPA as an international candidate (however I sit in the USA) and I’ve applied as an Iowa candidate without a social security number (based on international evaluation from NASBA).

    However, Iowa does require a social security number for licensure. If you look at the initial cpa application for licensure you will see that the “Required for processing” section (last page) requires a social security number (

    I’ve emailed the executive officer of the Accountancy Examining Board regarding the same social security issue; I was pointed to this rule:

    193—4.4(252J,261,272D,546) Social security number disclosure.
    4.4(1) An individual applying for a license from a board within the bureau shall disclose the individual’s social security number on the application form unless:
    a. The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the applicant does not possess and is not eligible for a social security number, or

    All the best,

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