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CPA Examination Preparation

Undergraduate Certificate

The CPA Examination Preparation undergraduate certificate is meant for students that have an accounting or business degree and wish to prepare for the CPA Exam. Experience in accounting analysis and the preparation of financial reports are not only essential business skills, but also in high demand by employers in all industries.

Note that sitting for and passing the CPA exam does not guarantee licensure in any state. The CPA exam is a state-by-state license and each state requires different education and licensure requirements. As such, it is your responsibility to find the specific course work that your state’s Board of Accountancy requires prior to enrollment. See State Requirements.

Note: This program does not qualify for Federal Student Aid.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Preparing financial statements in accordance with appropriate standards.
  • Interpreting the business implications of financial statement information.
  • Preparing accounting information for planning and control and for the evaluation of products, projects and divisions.
  • Judging product, project, divisional, and organizational performance using managerial accounting information.
  • Identifying organizational information technology components and risks that can affect financial systems and prescribing appropriate controls.
  • Preparing business and individual tax returns in accordance with regulations of the appropriate authorities.
  • Analyzing transaction data and tax authorities for purposes of tax planning.
  • Designing an audit program to frame the various elements of planning, testing and reporting phases of an audit in the context of the overall audit objective, engagement risk assessment and internal controls.
  • Applying auditing concepts to evaluate the conformity of financial statements with appropriate auditing standards.
  • Analyzing internal controls and interpreting assessment of engagement risk.
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Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).

In addition, to enroll in this program you must possess the necessary pre-admission courses from a regionally accredited institution. Pre-admission courses must be grade C or better at the undergraduate level.

You will be required to have completed the following courses prior to admission into this program:

  • ACCT100 – Accounting I
  • ACCT101 – Accounting II
  • MATH225 - Calculus

You will also be required to submit a signed statement of understanding (SOU).

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.

State Requirements

Coursework for this degree program may or may not satisfy the educational requirements for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in your state, depending upon your state of residency. For more information, see the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website.

Florida: Based upon conversations with the Florida Division of Certified Public Accounting, this accounting program and coursework may not meet the education requirements to obtain a CPA license in Florida. Individuals wishing to obtain a CPA license in Florida should check with the Florida Division of Certified Public Accounting to determine eligibility.

Texas: Under the rules of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, at least 15 hours of upper-level accounting course work must result from physical attendance at classes meeting regularly on the campus of the transcript-issuing institution. Completion of this accounting program and coursework may not meet the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam or obtain a CPA license in Texas. Individuals wishing to sit for the CPA exam or obtain a CPA license in Texas should check with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to determine eligibility.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

School of Business


School of Business

This program resides in the American Public University School of Business, where 18 of our 26 degree programs have earned specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). This distinction does not come easy! To earn ACBSP accreditation, programs need to demonstrate quality in the areas of teaching excellence, student learning outcomes, and a continuous improvement. On top of this, our accounting degree programs have also earned the prestigious ACBSP Specialized Accounting Accreditation.

APU School of Business courses are taught online by real-world practitioners who strive to bring expert knowledge and relevancy to our students. With input from industry advisory councils, the School of Business regularly examines and updates curriculum and introduces new programs such as our in-demand degrees in business analytics and our new Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam preparation certificate.

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners attending school around work and other life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

The mission of the APU School of Business is to prepare students to be leaders in the global business community. No matter what your educational and career goals may be. We encourage you to browse the School of Business webpage to learn more about what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you.