Preparing for the CPA

Ohio requires candidates sitting for the CPA exam to have earned 150 semester hours of academic credit. Bluffton requires a minimum of 124 hours for graduation. Options for the additional hours include adding a second major, internships or graduate studies. 

How does Bluffton compare?

Bluffton participates in the ETS major field test to measure students’ subject knowledge and ability to apply facts, concepts, theories and analytical methods in the semester before graduation. 

In the past 10 years, Bluffton students have averaged above the 80th percentile in the accounting content subgroup. Bluffton accounting students averaged above the 90th percentile in 2013, 2021 and 2022 respectively. 

The CPA Exam is an exam issued nationally by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). While the exam is developed by and administered through the AICPA, each state is responsible for establishing licensing requirements for CPAs. Passing the CPA Exam is one criterion for becoming a Certified Public Accountant.

Ohio requires candidates sitting for the CPA Exam to have earned 150 semester hours.

Note: a candidate does not have to earn a master's degree to sit for the CPA Exam. In fact, over 70 percent of those sitting for the exam have a bachelor's degree only.

There are several ways to earn 150 semester hours of college credit and meet the eligibility for sitting for the CPA Exam. Here are several options:

  • Take post-secondary and/or dual enrollment courses while in high school. This is an economical way to earn additional college credit while in high school and get a head start on the 150-hour requirement for the CPA Exam.
  • Take additional courses at Bluffton, often adding another major and/or minor. The majority of accounting majors double-major in business administration. In addition, some students choose from the following majors/minors within the business studies division:
    • Economics
    • Information technology
    • Marketing
    • Other major/minor outside of the business studies division
  • Earn valuable experience through an internship. Students can earn up to 12 hours of credit while working in an accounting setting.
  • Take summer and/or online courses. (Note: 24 of the final 30 hours must be completed at Bluffton).
  • Earn a bachelor's degree and continue on to graduate school, earning a master of accountancy (MAcc) or master of business administration (MBA) degree. The majority of our graduates pursuing this option have earned full or near-full scholarships to graduate programs such as BGSU and Ohio State.

Since each student's academic path is unique, it is difficult to create a “one size fits all” program to meet the 150-hour requirement. However, Bluffton’s accounting program is flexible enough to customize a plan that works for you. Want to learn more? We'd love to talk with you. Please contact our admissions department or email:

Helpful links regarding the CPA Examination:
American Institute of CPAs
State CPA requirements