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How to Become a CPA in Maryland

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Becoming a CPA in Maryland is a great way to propel your career to the next level in the field of accounting. To become a CPA in Maryland, you must meet educational and experience requirements, as well as pass the Uniform CPA Exam. Let’s explore the path you need to take to become a CPA in Maryland.



Becoming a CPA in Maryland can be a great career path for multiple reasons.

Accounting Firms

Maryland is home to many reputable accounting firms, including the “Big Four” accounting firms, which offer excellent opportunities for career growth and advancement. These firms work with a diverse range of clients across various industries, providing CPAs with exposure to different types of businesses and financial scenarios.

Accounting positions at big corporations like Marriott International and Lockheed Martin will also be available. Those entities are two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the “Free State.” Many smaller local and regional firms are scattered across the state, including Ellin & Tucker in Baltimore and Sigma in Columbia.

Accounting Today’s 100 Best Accounting Firms to Work For lists Maryland as one of the best. Firms like Bormel, Grice & Huyett came in first in the state and won number 16 nationally three years ago. There is a substantial demand for talented CPAs along the Baltimore-Washington Corridor. Maryland accounting firms know how to keep them in the ranks with attractive starting offers and healthy retention packages.


Maryland has a strong economy with a high demand for accounting professionals. This is due to the state’s thriving business environment, which includes several major industries such as healthcare, biotechnology, and technology. As a result, CPAs in Maryland are well-compensated and have various career options available to them.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that job growth for experienced accountants and auditors in Maryland will increase by 10 percent over the coming years. That will mean an estimated 3,600 job openings per year through 2033. This number includes new job creation and average turnover for existing accountants as the old guard transitions into retirement. This job growth projection indicates a wealth of opportunities for graduate students in Maryland to learn how to become a CPA.

How Can I Become A CPA in Maryland?

Becoming a CPA in Maryland demonstrates a high level of commitment to the accounting profession. Maryland, like many states, has stringent eligibility requirements for the CPA exam. By achieving the CPA designation, individuals demonstrate their dedication to the accounting.

Here are the Steps to Become a CPA in Maryland:

  1. Getting Your CPA Education in Maryland.
  2. Taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Maryland.
  3. Gaining the Needed Experience in Maryland.
  4. Getting Your CPA License and Continuing Education in Maryland.

Getting Your Education in Maryland

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Start by requesting information from your favorite colleges and universities in Maryland which offer accounting programs. The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy requires certified public accountants to hold an undergraduate degree or higher with an accounting major. CPAs must have a total of 150 semester hours of college credit.

The standard Maryland undergraduate degree in accounting consists of 120 semester hours. CPAs then earn a post-baccalaureate certificate or Master’s in Accounting. These tracks represent the most reliable way to get thirty additional credits. Many programs are available through online coursework. Future accounting professionals can find specialized five-year CPA track programs. These degrees offer a combined undergraduate and graduate curriculum that gives students the 150 semester hours needed to meet Maryland’s CPA requirements.

Some accounting students have already enrolled in a program. Some have already earned degrees. These candidates must confirm their programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. Maryland programs must be accredited by one of these associations:

If your degree is not accredited by one of the entities, it is evaluated by the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. To qualify, it must fulfill the state’s education requirements so that candidates can sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. International school transcripts are evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Service (NIES).


Future CPAs in Maryland must enroll in the correct classes. In Maryland, the requirements include completing at least 150 undergraduate credit hours or 225 undergraduate quarter hours. With these hours, candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, coursework must include several hours from each of the following subject groups:

Group 1: Consisting of Accounting and Ethics Education

This group consists of at least thirty undergraduate credit hours. The equivalent is forty-five undergraduate quarter hours. Mandatory courses include:

Credit HoursSubject
3Cost accounting
3Managerial accounting, auditing, or cost accounting
3U.S. Federal Income Tax
3Business ethics, accounting ethics, or philosophy of ethics
9Financial accounting
9Elective accounting courses

Group 2: Consisting of Business-Related Education 

This group consists of at least twenty-one undergraduate credit hours. The equivalent is thirty-two quarter credit hours. Courses are taken through five of nine subject areas:

StatisticsComputer science/information systemsEconomics
Quantitative methodsBusiness communicationCorporation or business finance
U.S. business lawMarketingManagement

Taking the Maryland Uniform CPA Exam

Once you’ve satisfied Maryland’s education requirements, you can sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.

All future CPAs in Maryland begin the application process online. They start by completing the Core Course Inventory Worksheet. Test takers refer to it as they fill out the online application. Applicants are directed in what needs to be mailed to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Test takers submit college transcripts and fees.


Before the Exam

Candidates are notified by mail of their approval to sit for the CPA exam. Qualified test takers receive a Notification to Schedule from the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA). They can visit Prometric’s website to schedule their exam at a Maryland testing site. Test sites include Salisbury, Bethesda, Baltimore, and Columbia. Candidates report to the exam site on the day of their CPA exam prepared for testing.

After the Exam

NASBA reports grades to the Board after the exam. The Board notifies test takers by email that grades are posted online. Instructions on accessing grades are included.

Students needing more information or who request special accommodations can call the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. 

Gaining the Needed Experience in Maryland

After passing the Uniform CPA Exam, future CPAs must satisfy Maryland’s experiential requirements as their final step to being qualified for licensure.

The practical experience portion of the licensing requirements consists of paid employment. It must be documented and verified by supervising licensed CPAs. The experience must include 2000 hours or one full year. The practical accounting-related experience shows you can handle the work.

The qualifying experience must occur within three years of applying for a Maryland CPA license. Employment should be within industry, government, academia, or public practice. Services provided by the employer must fall within the areas of attest, tax, financial advisory, management advisory, or consulting.

Competencies covered during practical experience include the following:

  • Technological adeptness.
  • Communication and leadership skills.
  • Interpretation of converging information.
  • Critical thinking and strategic skills.
  • Focus on the client, customer, and market.

Responsibilities of the Verifying CPA include obtaining and filling out the Report of Practical Work Experience. Overseers also verify the applicant’s work history and education information and the applicant’s description of their work under them.

Getting your Maryland CPA License and Continuing Education

You’ve passed the exam. You’ve completed the practical work experience requirement. Now, you are ready for licensure. 

Before moving on, here’s the checklist of everything you’re responsible for up to this point:

Complete 150 undergraduate credit hours for education requirements. Have official school transcripts sent directly from business school to the CPA Examination Coordinator, Third Floor, 500 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202.
Apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam online.
Take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam.
Work through 2000 hours (or 12 months) of Accounting Practical Work Experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
Submit Reports of Practical Work Experience verified by a licensed CPA.
Apply for a Maryland CPA license.

What About Maryland CPAs Seeking an Interstate Reciprocal License?

Candidates holding an active CPA license in another state and who passed the Uniform CPA Exam can complete the Reciprocal Application Course Checklist. They get official school transcripts sent to the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. Applicants complete and submit Reports of Practical Work Experience. They apply for their license through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. 

What About International Reciprocal Licenses?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the NASBA have concluded that CPAs or Chartered Accountants from the following international jurisdictions are substantially equivalent to CPA licenses and certificates requirements in United States jurisdictions:

  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
  • Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP).
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA).
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI).
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA).

Maryland’s Continuing Professional Education 

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The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy requires licensed CPAs to complete continuing professional education every two years. This requirement is how they maintain licensure. Programs that relate directly to CPA professional competencies qualify for credit.

No Continuing Professional Education is needed for the first license renewal. The second and successive license renewals require eight hours of CPE every two years. The eighty hours must include four hours in professional ethics. College credit and self-study courses must consist of a final exam. Seventy-six credit hours of CPE are carried over to the next reporting period for CPAs in Maryland who exceed 80 hours in the two-year licensing period.

Becoming a CPA in Maryland

Becoming a CPA in Maryland is an excellent way to focus your education and career. These helpful steps should help you get the process started. Pursuing a degree like the useful online MBA will go a long way in giving you a brighter future. Get your education, take the CPA exam, and acquire the needed experience to become a CPA in Maryland.

Related Resources

Ultimate Guide for Accountants
Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting
Ultimate Guide to the CPA Exam

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?