Illinois CPA Requirements

How to become a CPA in the state of Illinois…

How to become a CPA in Illinois?

Clearing the CPA Exam is your first step toward becoming a CPA in Illinois. But to sit down for the exam, you must meet eligibility requirements. This guide provides comprehensive information on Illinois CPA examination and licensing requirements for your convenience.

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Overview of Illinois Requirements


Semester Units


in Application fees


Years of Experience


Residency or 

Citizenship Requirements


International Exam Program


Ethics Exam

Illinois CPA requirement details:

Credit Requirements: applicants must complete at least 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours with a minimum of 30 hours in accounting and 24 hours in business-related subject study. At least one course should be taken in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. 

Minimum degree: Baccalaureate in Accounting or Business program accredited by AACSB or ACBSP. 

Additional Requirements: None.

Educational Requirement: Illinois CPA license applicants must obtain a Bachelor’s degree with at least 150 credit hours, including 30 hours in accounting and 24 hours in business subjects other than accounting. 

Experience Requirements: applicants must obtain at least one year of full-time or the equivalent experience providing accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting services. The experience is not required to be under the supervision of a licensed CPA. 

Ethics Exam: Yes – Illinois CPA license applicants must pass the AICPA Ethics Exam with a score of at least 90%. 

Social Security Requirements: Yes

Participates in International Exam Program: Yes

Minimum Age: 18 years.

Citizenship: There is no residency or citizenship requirement for Illinois CPA Exam applicants, but foreign accreditation must be evaluated by the NIES. 

More Requirements: None.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation


555 West Monroe Street, 5th Floor

Chicago, IL 60661


320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor

Springfield, IL 62786 

1 (888) 473-4858 


Illinois Board of Examiners

Phone: 815-753-8900

Fax: 815-753-8953

[email protected]

1120 E. Diehl Rd Suite 107,

Naperville, IL. 60563

Initial application fee: $120 for four examination sections. 

Domestic credential evaluation: $200

Re-examination fees: re-examination applicants must pay the application fee and board fees for exam sections they retake. 

AUD: $226.15

FAR: $226.15

REG: $226.15

BEC: $226.15

Total: $1,224.60

All fees are non-refundable.

Illinois CPA licenses are renewed every three years and expire on September 30. The current renewal cycle ends in 2024.

Illinois CPA license holders must complete 120 CPE hours every three years, including four hours of ethics study and one hour of sexual harassment prevention study from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Visit the Illinois CPA Society or Illinois Board of Examiners website for more information. 

Learn more about the Illinois CPA examination and licensing requirements by reading the brochure

Note: Read the Illinois Public Accounting Act to learn more about the state’s CPA examination and licensing legislation.

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