Below, we have provided an overview of the requirements that need to be met both to qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Maryland and to acquire and maintain a Maryland CPA license. The CPA requirements changes by state, but here we will focus solely on for Maryland CPA requirements. We have listed all of the relevant information, as well as the contact information for the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy.

We recommended confirming all information with the board to ensure that you qualify, and that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Maryland has a minimum age requirement of 18 to sit the exam.

Residency

Maryland does not require residency to qualify for and take the CPA exam.

Citizenship

Maryland does not require US citizenship to take the exam. However, you will be required to supply either your social security number or passport number.

Educational Requirements

Maryland CPA candidates require a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution that is recognized by the board. They are also required to have acquired at least 120 semester hours to sit the CPA exam and 150 semester hours in order to apply for licensure.

To acquire licensure, you must fulfill all of the educational requirements listed below. However, for the exam, you need only fulfill on of the two major groups, as well as the 3 semester hour ethics course.

The education requirements must be met as follows:

  • Accounting (30 hours/45 quarter hours)
    • Audit and Attestation (3 hours)
    • Cost/Managerial Accounting (3 hours)
    • U.S. Federal Tax Income (3 hours)
    • Financial Accounting (9 hours)
    • 3 Other Accounting courses (9 hours)
  • 21 semester hours (31.5 quarter hours) in FIVE of the following subject areas. Each subject requires a minimum of 3 hours (4.5 quarter hours):
    • Statistics
    • Corporate/Business Finance
    • Management
    • US Business Law
    • Marketing
    • Economics
    • Business Communication
    • Quantitative Methods
    • IT/Information Systems
  • Ethics (3 hours)
  • AP, CLEP and IB credits will be accepted if accredited as part of the applicant’s degree
  • Official transcripts from all institutions, even if transferred between accredited colleges, must be submitted to the board by the issuing institution

Types of Institutions

Accredited institutions

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy recognizes credits a business school or college of business that has been granted accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or any other national accreditation agency with standards that are substantially similar to the standards utilized by the AACSB or the ACBSP.

Non-accredited institutions

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy will recognize credentials from a non-recognized institution on the following condition provided that they are evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) and are deemed substantially equivalent by them.

Foreign Educations

Maryland allows for foreign students to have their credentials evaluated by either NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). If they are found to be substantially equivalent, the applicant will be able to sit the CPA exam. Otherwise, they will need to meet the outstanding requirements and then resubmit them to their evaluation service.

Work Experience

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy has a 2,000-hour work experience requirement before you will qualify for licensure. It must be met within no less that one year and no more than three years. This experience can comprise of any type of services or advice using accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. The applicant can meet the work experience requirement either before or after taking the CPA exam. The RPE must be signed by your endorser in blue ink.

Ethics

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy requires the candidate to take an ethics exam within two years of applying for your license. The board ONLY accepts the “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course”. You will then need to take the AICPA Ethics exam and earn a score of at least 90%. This can be done before or after taking the CPA exam.

Fees

Initial Application Fee$67.00
Auditing & Attestation (AUD) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Regulation (REG) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Total$971.60

All fees are non-refundable, but the exams can be rescheduled.

Locations

  • Prometric Testing Centers both in and out of state
  • Certain International Prometric testing centers. This should be confirmed with the Board

Initial License Requirements

When submitting their application for their initial license, the applicant must:

  • Have the sealed, official transcripts proving 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) of education from their accredited institutions sent to either the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy or NASBA
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher with an accounting concentration
  • Pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA exam within an 18-month timespan and submit the results to the board
  • Submit the Report of Practical Work Experience (RPE) directly to the board
  • You will be required to submit two forms of identification in order to gain entrance to the exam site. These must contain the exact same first and last name as the examinee’s NTS
  • Pay $67.00 application fee

License Reciprocity

Interstate License Reciprocity

Maryland recognizes interstate license reciprocity on the basis of substantial equivalency. In order to apply for a reciprocal license, you will need to submit this online form. You will also need to:

  • Contact the licensing state board and request for verification of passing the CPA exam
  • Contact the licensing state board and request for verification of valid licensure to be sent to the Maryland Board of Public Accounting
  • Pay the $67.00 fee

Practice Privilege

The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy allows for our-of-state CPAs to practice in Maryland without the need for a Maryland license or paying a fee on the following conditions:

  • They have a valid license in the state of issuance that is of substantial equivalence to Maryland’s, or have their credentials evaluated by NIES for equivalency verification
  • Maryland is not their primary place of business
  • Their license is of good standing
  • Holds a qualification that is substantially equivalent to that of Maryland

International License Reciprocity:

Maryland has established its own treatise with Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand to recognize licensure from those state boards. This allows them to sit the NASBA’s International Qualification Exam (IQEX) instead of the full CPA exam in order to acquire CPA licensure in Maryland. The additional requirements are outlined here. Note that Maryland does not recognize NASBA’s MRA Agreements.

Other foreign license holders:

License holders from non-equivalency jurisdictions will need to have their credentials evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). If they are found to be substantially equivalent, the applicant will be able to sit the CPA exam.

NTS Validation Period

After your application is accepted and you have paid the exam fee, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS.) You will then have 180 days in which to schedule the exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to pay the fee again. Therefore, make sure that you are able to take the exams within that time frame before registering.

License Renewal Requirements

Active license holders

Maryland license holders are required to renew their licenses every two years, according to the date of their initial license issuance. During that time, they are required to acquire 80 hours of continued professional education (CPE.) The board will send multiple renewal reminders are sent to each licensee beginning 60 days prior to the expiration date, then 45 days, 30 days, 15 days, and 5 days prior to their expiration date to assist the licensee in avoiding the reinstatement fee. However, their CPE hours go according to a triennial cycle. The application requirements are listed below.  

Renewal applicants must submit:

  • The online renewal application form
  • The $56.00 renewal fee
  • The completion of an ethics course from a NASBA-approved provider
  • Proof of fulfilling the 80 CPE requirements. These must include:
    • Ethics (4 hours) – either behavioral or regulatory
    • 76 CE hours in any of the following:
      • Accounting
      • Accounting (Governmental)
      • Auditing
      • Auditing (Governmental)
      • Administrative Practice
      • Business Management and Practice
      • Business Law
      • Communications
      • Computer Science
      • Statistics
      • Economics
      • Finance
      • Marketing
      • Management Advisory Services
      • Mathematics
      • Personal Development
      • Personnel, human resources
      • Production
      • Social Environment of Business
      • Specialized Knowledge and Applications
      • Taxes

Failure to renew on time could lead to disciplinary action. This could include losing CE credits, license suspension, license revocation or a fine of up to $5,000.

Inactive license holders

License holders can apply to make their licenses inactive. They may submit their current CPE hours beforehand to be applied upon its being reactivated. This status change is done through the Online Renewal  portal on the state board website.

In order to reactivate you license, you will need to:

  • Complete the 80 CPE credit requirement mentioned above within the three years preceding the application
  • Pay the $405.00 reactivation/reinstatement fee

State Board

Maryland Board of Public Accountancy

  • Mailing Address: 500 N. Calvert Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
  • Phone: 410-230-6258
  • Fax: 410-333-6314
  • Email: DLOPLPublicAccountancy-LABOR@maryland.gov
  • Website: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cpa/
  • Hours: Mon-Fri: 08:00-16:30
  • Resources: