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What is the CPA designation and how do I prep for the exam?

Preparing for exam

A CPA, or certified public accountant, provides a wide variety of financial services to individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies. CPAs not only offer advice on tax strategy and investing, they are also experts in auditing records and processes, analyzing data, and conducting fraud investigations.

Becoming a CPA carries numerous benefits beyond the obvious prestige of earning this respected credential. These benefits include opportunities to increase your authority and responsibility, and, typically, your salary. To become a CPA, you’ll need to be licensed by a state board of accountancy. And to become licensed, you’ll need to pass the uniform CPA exam.

>> Learn more about the curriculum in the UNC MAC Program
>> Download our guide: “How Accounting Firms Hire”

How to I prepare for the CPA exam? And, how does your MAC help me?

The CPA exam consists of four separate sections that test a student’s knowledge of Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation. It’s a challenging exam and passing it generally means you’ve done two things well: (1) you learned the material that’s covered and (2) you mastered the material that’s covered. The UNC Master of Accounting Program provides significant help on both fronts.

First, the courses you’ll take as you pursue your MAC degree include the information and technical skills you’ll need to know and use during the sixteen-hour test. You will know your stuff! Second, the UNC MAC Program partners with Becker, the industry leader in CPA exam review, to provide you with access to study guides, practice tests, and live review sessions that are aligned with the MAC curriculum. Come test day, you will be ready!

Does the UNC MAC degree make me eligible to sit for the CPA exam?

In general, yes. However, each state sets — and often adjusts — the examination and licensing criteria specific to that state as well as the rules for reciprocity across jurisdictional borders. To be certain of your qualifications, we recommend that you contact the licensing board in the state where you plan to practice. If you need more detailed information from us related to course descriptions or other curriculum topics, reach out to us at or 919-962-3209.

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