Delaware CPA Requirements


Published June 19, 2023 · 5 Min Read

CPAs are a key component in the First State's thriving financial services sector. Discover the education and experience elements of Delaware's CPA requirements. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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The business and financial services sector plays a significant role in Delaware's economic landscape. The First State has the second-lowest business costs and hosts one of the country's most heavily concentrated financial services industries. This sector comprises 9% of the state's jobs, nearly doubling the national average.

The outlook in Delaware appears bright for business support professionals like certified public accountants (CPAs). Compared to general accountants, CPAs typically have more experience and education. They also have expertise in handling complex financial matters, along with a fiduciary responsibility to their clients.

Delaware refers to CPA licensure as a "permit to practice." To earn this permit, each candidate needs to meet experience, exam, and education requirements. Discover the details of Delaware's CPA requirements in this helpful guide, including available accounting programs in the state.

Education Requirements for Becoming a CPA in Delaware

According to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), a CPA candidate in Delaware needs to complete a bachelor's degree with a minimum of 120 credits to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. The program must include adequate auditing, financial accounting, and taxation coursework.

According to the Delaware Board of Accountancy, each candidate needs 150 credits, a bachelor's degree, and an accounting concentration for a state CPA permit. Learners can complete the additional 30 credits separately or pursue a bachelor's-to-master's program to accelerate the process.

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Concentrations, Credits, and Course Acceptance

Delaware's CPA requirements include a bachelor's degree and 120 credits for the exam, including at least 24 accounting credits across taxation, auditing, and financial accounting courses. A prospective CPA must possess 150 credits and have completed an accounting concentration for the credential itself. The concentration must include at least 24 credits in areas such as:

Since Delaware does not require a minimum number of upper-level credits, CPA candidates can complete the accounting concentration and course requirements within their bachelor's degrees. They can also complete the additional 30 credits before or after taking the CPA exam.

While business courses can count toward the general credits requirements, they cannot count toward the required 24 credits in accounting. Credits from correspondence, CPA review, and College-Level Examination Program courses will not count toward the 120-credit or 150-credit requirements.

Applicants must have transcripts for every credit, meaning transfer credits do not qualify. All degrees and courses must come from U.S. schools accredited by an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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Delaware Experience Requirements

According to the Delaware Board of Accountancy, CPA candidates need to complete at least one year of accounting work experience to qualify for a state permit. The experience can come from part-time or full-time work if it includes a minimum of 2,000 hours over 1-3 years.

The experience must be supervised by an active CPA and verified with an Affidavit of Supervised Work Experience. As a one-tier state, Delaware allows aspiring CPAs to complete their experience before or after the exam. The work experience must come after completing the bachelor's degree.

For experience to qualify, professionals can provide services in any of the following areas:

CPA Exam Requirements

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) administers the Uniform CPA Examination. The exam has four sections:

While all candidates take the same exam, the steps to qualify and apply vary by state. The following sections highlight Delaware's CPA requirements.

Eligibility to Take the Exam

For exam eligibility in Delaware, a candidate must complete their entire bachelor's degree, including 24 accounting-related credits, for a total of 120 credits. Individuals can apply any time after graduation, as Delaware has no application time limits.

Delaware does not maintain age, citizenship, or residency requirements for the CPA exam, but each candidate needs a Social Security number. Along with the CPA exam, an applicant must complete AICPA's Professional Ethics program at least 10 years before the CPA permit application.

Applying for and Scheduling the Exam

In Delaware, CPA exam applicants must set up an account and apply through CPA Central. First-time applicants pay a $170 fee, while re-applicants pay $85.

Official transcripts from every school attended must be sent to the CPA Examination Services – DE. Transcripts must come directly from the schools. Once they submit transcripts, a candidate has one year to complete an application before the transcripts expire.

As part of the application, applicants select a test section and pay a testing fee of $238.15 per section. While test-takers can apply for more than one section at a time, they should ensure they can complete them within the three-month testing window.

After receiving approval, candidates can schedule their test. They can take the test sections in any order, but they must pass all four sections within 18 months. Any failed tests cannot be retaken within the same three-month test window.

After Passing the Exam

CPA exam results do not expire in Delaware, allowing candidates to apply for permits any time after passing the exam.

Score release dates vary, but AICPA typically provides results within two weeks of the test date. Once they have their scores, aspiring CPAs can submit their application for a permit to practice through the Delaware Professional Regulation Online Service (DELPROS).

Other applications materials include:

Employers can verify Delaware's CPA permits in the DELPROS database.

Maintaining Licensure

Delaware CPA permits expire on June 30 of every odd-numbered year. Within three months of the expiry date, CPAs will receive a notice to renew. To qualify for renewal, CPAs need to pay the $175 renewal fee and complete the required hours of continuing professional education (CPE). Late renewals incur a late fee — 50% of the renewal fee.

The CPE requirements include at least 20 hours each year and 40 hours total over two years. The 40 hours must include at least eight hours in accounting or auditing, eight hours in taxation, and four hours in an approved ethics course.

CPAs must post their CPEs in the DELPROS CE Tracker. While professionals do not need to verify their CPEs in any other way, the courses may be audited. Audited professionals then submit further details of their training and proof of their completion.

CPAs need a permit to practice to work as a CPA or own a firm in Delaware. Out-of-state CPAs can apply for Delaware permits if they meet NASBA requirements for substantial equivalency.

Questions About Delaware CPA Requirements

What are the requirements for CPA in Delaware?

Delaware's CPA requirements include a bachelor's degree with an accounting concentration and a minimum of 150 credits. The 150 credits must include at least 24 accounting-related credits. A prospective CPA must also pass the certification exam and possess at least one year of accounting experience.

Who can take the CPA licensure exam in Delaware?

To qualify for the CPA exam, a candidate must have completed a bachelor's degree and at least 120 credits. Of the 120 credits, 24 must come in accounting-related courses, such as auditing, financial accounting, and taxation.

How do you apply for a CPA license in Delaware?

To apply for a CPA permit, candidates need to submit the required application materials to the DELPROS online system. While officials will already have transcripts and test scores, applicants need to submit verification of their work experience and clean criminal records. They also need to pay the application fee.

How long does it take in Delaware to become a CPA?

The time required to satisfy Delware's CPA requirements varies by individual. Typically, it takes four years for the bachelor's degree, one year for the 30 additional credits, and one year for the experience. Passing the CPA exam can occur within an 18-month period, for a total of 7.5 years.

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