This program page is from the 2018 - 2019 academic catalog. To view the program in the current academic catalog click here.
Award: Certificate in Lower-Level CPA
No. of credits required: 
For more information: Contact L.J. Baker, 443-412-2374,; Cynthia Lewis, 443-412-2058,; or Admissions, 443-412-2109; or the state:

The state of Maryland requires candidates for the CPA examination to have completed 150 college-level credits and obtained a bachelorís degree in any area of study. As part of the 150 credit requirement, candidates must have completed specific business, accounting, ethics, and communication courses. This certificate is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree in majors other than accounting attempting to sit for the CPA exam. The Lower-Level CPA Exam Qualification Certificate includes all required coursework to sit for the CPA exam.

Students who successfully complete the CPA Exam Qualification Certificate will be able to:
  1. Apply basic financial, cost and tax accounting principles.
  2. Develop and employ problem-solving skills related to accounting issues.
  3. Examine accounting as an information processing system.
  4. Analyze and discuss transactions and related financial statements
  5. Recognize ethical accounting behavior.

 NumberTitle Credits
 ACCT 101Accounting Principles I  3   
 ACCT 102Accounting Principles II 3   
 ACCT 203Tax Accounting I 3   
 ACCT 205Auditing 3   
 ACCT 206Cost Accounting 
 ACCT 208Managerial Accounting 3   
 ACCT 211Intermediate Accounting I 4   
 ACCT 212Intermediate Accounting II 4   
 BA 101Introduction to Business 3   
 BA 109Principles of Management 3   
 BA 203Principles of Marketing 3   
 BA 205Business Law 
 BA 246Legal Environment of Business 3   
 ECON 102Microeconomics
 ECON 101Macroeconomics 3   
 MATH 216Introduction to Statistics 4   
 ENG 216Business Communications 3   
 PHIL 221Business Ethics 3   
 Accounting Electives #6   
 Total Credits54  

# Accounting Electives:
(Choose six credits)
 ACCT 104Payroll Accounting  1
 ACCT 105Financial Statement Interpretation and Analysis 1
 ACCT 107Spreadsheet Applications For Accounting 1
 ACCT 108Computerized Accounting 3
 ACCT 204Tax Accounting II 3

According to the 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for a CPA is expected to increase 11%, adding 142,000 new jobs by 2024. Students who meet the requirements for the CPA examination and subsequently pass this exam will be in a position to receive the most prestigious jobs in the field of accounting.


Candidates for the CPA must have completed 150 semester hours, including the attainment of a baccalaureate degree or higher. A minimum of 57 semester hours in accounting and related business subjects is required. This includes:

  • A minimum of 27 semester hours of accounting, including at least 3 semester hours in each of the following:
    • Auditing
    • Financial Accounting (at least 9 hours)
    • Cost Accounting
    • U.S. Federal Income Tax
  • A minimum of 21 semester hours in business-related subjects, including 3 semester hours in 5 of the 7 following topics:
    • Statistics
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • U.S. Business Law
    • Economics
    • Corporation or Business Finance
    • Business Communication
  • A minimum of 3 semester hours of ethics education.
  • Students should refer to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at for most current requirements.

Students earning a certificate from HCC must complete or demonstrate exemption from the following courses: ENG 003 and ENG 012, or ENG 018, and MATH 020. See graduation requirement details in this catalog for further information.

CPA Exam Qualification - Lower Level
Program Level - Undergraduate certificate
Program Length - 2.5 years

Occupations: Accountant
CIP Code: 52.0301
SOC Code: 13-2011.01
Link to O*Net:

*How much will this program cost me?
In-State (in-county) Tuition and fees: $8,398.00
Out-of-State Tuition and fees: $13,286.00
Books and supplies: $2,718.00
On-campus room & board: not offered

*The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.

What financing options are available to help me pay for this program?
Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. The median amount of debt for program graduates is shown below:
Federal loans: *
Private education loans: *
Institutional financing plan: *

* Less than 10 graduates received loans. Median amounts are withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the loan recipients.

How long will it take me to complete this program?
The program is designed to take 30 months to complete. Of those that completed the program in 2016-2017, *% finished in 30 months.

*Less than 10 students completed this program in 2016-2017. The number who finished within the normal time has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

What are my chances of getting a job when I graduate?
The job placement rate for students who completed this program in 2016-2017 is *%.

* This institution is not currently required to calculate a job placement rate for program completers.

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