Public Accounting Option

Students interested in pursuing a career in public accounting have many options for completing the 150 credit hours necessary to qualify for CPA Certification. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants does not specify the curriculum required to sit for the CPA exam, only that the candidate have a Bachelors degree from an accredited institution with at least 39 credit hours in business, with 27 of those hours being in accounting, and 150 hours overall. NOTE: For the purpose of counting credit hours, Berea College courses are considered 4 credit hours, while most courses at other institutions are considered 3 credit hours.

We offer two suggestions below for completing the 150 hour requirement. Please note that these are not requirements, only options.

  1. Students may complete the 150 hour requirement required for certification by selecting from the list of courses suggested below. Some of these courses are offered at Berea College, and others at Eastern Kentucky University. These are not required courses, but are suggested to help prepare for the CPA exam and for a career in Public Accounting. It is not necessary to take courses at EKU, but there are some course options available there that are not currently offered at Berea College. (It is possible to complete the 150-hour requirement in eight terms by taking full course loads coupled with careful planning. If more than eight terms are required to complete this option, a student may apply for a one-term extension by submitting a letter of explanation and a Curriculum Plan prepared in consultation with his or her Academic Advisor. Unless a student declares the Business Administration major late or has other extenuating circumstances, one additional term should generally be adequate to meet the 150-hour requirement.)


  1. Alternatively, upon completing a B.S. degree in Business Administration at Berea, the student can complete a Master’s Degree program (recommended) or otherwise obtain the additional credits needed elsewhere.

Recommended Electives

In addition to the requirements for the Accounting Concentration, a student, in consultation with his or her Academic Advisor, will select the additional courses to be taken to complete the 150 hours. The recommended elective courses offered at Berea for the Public Accounting Option, more or less in order of preference, include the following.

Courses offered at Berea College:

BUS 437Introduction to Auditing

1 Course Credit

BUS 368Intermediate Corporate Finance

1 Course Credit

ECO 332Money and Banking

1 Course Credit

BUS 346Investment Analysis

1 Course Credit

Courses offered at Eastern Kentucky University:

Accounting courses currently not offered at Berea may be taken through an articulation agreement with, and transferred, from Eastern Kentucky University. Listed more or less in order of priority, they are:

ACC 440

ACC 501

ACC 350

ACC 523

ACC 525


Alternatively, equivalent courses may be transferred from other institutions in accordance with existing policy on transfer credit.

At this time, neither the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) nor the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy specifies which courses are needed to meet the 150 hour education requirement. The AICPA merely specifies a requirement for the Bachelors Degree, 39 semester hours in business/economics of which 27 must be in accounting, and 150 hours overall. The courses suggested above are selected based on their content relative to the content of the CPA exam. As such, these courses are not required, but are recommended in order of priority. Your interest in a particular area of accounting, or your plans for a particular graduate program, may lead you to consider other options for the required additional courses, perhaps including Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, or other areas. A student must explore these in consultation with her or his Academic Advisor.