skip to main content
Home Contact Us Resources PD Site Help Sitemap
Admissions Section Image
CPA Ontario Serving the Public Members Firms / ATOs Students Become a Member

Recognition of Degrees & Degree-Credit Courses 

CPA Ontario assesses credentials on the basis of the documentation provided by individuals. The Related Items box provides information on its assessment procedures and on the courses that are currently recognized for credits so that individuals can prepare an application with all the required materials and with a general idea as to whether the Academic Qualification Requirements are met. 

Documentation Required

Pursuant to ss. 2.7 and s. 3 of Regulation 6-1; Student Registration, individuals must provide the information that CPA Ontario may request to efficiently process registration and course recognition. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Proof of degree conferral, with date of graduation.
  • Official transcripts directly sent to CPA Ontario from the degree-granting institution, or from other institutions, or both (e.g., International Baccalaureate Organization, the Cambridge CGE, the AP School Board, CÉGEP, and the like).
  • Letters or statements of transfer credits detailing the source of the credits (e.g., IB Diploma) and the exemptions from the curriculum. Accredited programs and streams may qualify for slightly different documentation for transfer credits; contact Customer Service for details.
  • Detailed course outlines for the years/terms in which the courses were successfully completed; the details include a weekly schedule of activities describing the topics being studied and reference to the learning materials.

Degree Requirement

University Degrees

The core academic qualification requirement consists of a 4-year, 120-academic-credit-hour university degree; credits for internship, co-op term or similar experienced based credits do not count toward the 120-academic-credit-hour requirement; please, contact Customer Service for details on qualifying practical experience and read  Regulation 6-1 Student Registration.

Community College Applied Degrees

CPA Ontario recognizes community college applied 4-year, 120-academic-credit-hour degrees that have been approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities of Ontario, as fulfilling the university degree requirement.

Community College Courses

College courses and college diplomas are not recognized for CPA Ontario credits because they do not meet the degree-credit requirement in Regulation 6-1, Student Registration. However, CPA Ontario will assess post-diploma degrees that are granted by a degree-granting institution pursuant to an articulation agreement between itself and the college issuing the diploma to determine whether the transfer credits meet CPA Ontario’s requirement.

Generally speaking, CPA Ontario will recognize up to 45 transfer credits for a two-year college diploma and up to 60 transfer credits for a three-year college diploma. For more information on CPA Ontario’s Regulation and Policies relating to college courses and diplomas, please contact Customer Service.

Other Transfer Credits or Advanced Standing

CPA Ontario will review all other transfer credits or advanced standing for CGE, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placements, CÉGEP, and the like.

51-Credit-Hour Requirement

Most qualifying courses from Ontario degree-granting institutions have been reviewed and pre-approved; they are listed by degree-granting institutions in individual tables. They are grouped by accredited and non-accredited, undergraduate and graduate programs and available in the Related Items box to the right of the screen. Other courses that are not listed may qualify for CPA Ontario credits.

CPA Ontario maintains tables of reviewed and pre-approved courses for a limited number of out-of-province degree-granting institutions. Typically, CPA Ontario requires detailed course outlines for all out-of-province courses. Contact Customer Service for additional details.

Individuals are encouraged to fulfil the 51-credit-hour requirement as part of an integrated 4-year, 120-academic-credit-hour degree program.

Introductory Financial Accounting Courses

Courses in introductory financial accounting will NOT be accepted for CPA Ontario credit if their completion follows that of intermediate or advanced financial accounting courses.

Programs Offering All 51 Credit Hours

The processing and recognition of the 51 credit hours for individuals who complete all the required courses within the same program/institution are straightforward and quick.

However, courses completed at another institution even on a letter of permission from the degree-granting institution will be assessed as an out-of-program course.

Programs Not Offering All 51 Credit Hours

Individuals who will be completing courses leading to the “51 credit-hour requirement” outside of their program, with or without letters of permission, should request a preliminary assessment prior to enrolling in the out-of-program courses to ensure later recognition by CPA Ontario. This recommendation also applies to Post-Diploma degrees.

The listing of a course in one of the individual course tables/charts does not guarantee credit recognition where individuals mix courses from different institutions.

Degree & 51-Credit-Hour Requirements and the New CPA Certification Program

The degree requirement for the new CPA Certification Program is the same as the degree requirement under the 51-credit-hour legacy program. The transitional prescribed degree-credit course charts are available since November 2013, but subject to change as more information on the curriculum of each module becomes available.

Individuals who are enrolled in 51-credit-hour programs will be bridged into the new CPA Certification Program (that is the Professional Education Program [PEP]), if they have not completed the CPA, CA legacy program. A transition program will be provided. Please carefully read the series of designation paths available during the transition period (Decision Tree). 

The New CPA Certification Program combines academic prerequisites (degree and prescribed degree-credit course requirements) and a PEP that is nationally developed and regionally delivered.  CPA Ontario is working directly with Ontario's degree-granting institutions to develop specific courses that meet the CPA Competency Map requirements.

Grade Requirements

An overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of “B –” (70.00%) or greater in the courses comprising the 51-credit-hour requirement must be achieved, with a passing grade in each course as determined by the degree-granting institution.  When individuals repeat courses, CPA Ontario calculates the overall GPA using the higher mark.

Procedures for calculating the overall GPA

Where the grades on an individual’s transcript are reported only in letter form, they are converted into numeric grades as shown in the Conversion Tables available in the Related Items box to the right of the screen; where they are reported as numerical grades, no conversion is needed.

The 51-credit-hour GPA is a weighted-average GPA. CPA Ontario multiplies the numerical grade of a given course by its credit-hour weight for CPA Ontario’s purposes; then sums up these results and divides the total by the total credit hours completed. For example, Introductory Accounting has a credit-hour weight of 3 and Micro Economics has a credit-hour weight of 1.5; assuming that the grades are 79 and 65 in each of these courses respectively, the GPA for CPA Ontario’s purposes is 74.33, that is [(79 × 3) + (65 × 1.5)] ÷ [3 + 1.5].

A generic excel table to help one calculate a GPA is provided with the Grade Conversion Tables and Template in the Related Items box.

The overall GPA is reported in the following format: XX.XX% and is NOT rounded up.

Appeal Rights

A decision of the Registrar not to register or reregister an individual as a Student or to de-register a Student may be appealed by the individual or Student to CPA Ontario’s Membership Committee.  The parties to an appeal are the individual appealing and the Registrar.  The appeal shall be conducted in accordance with CPA Ontario’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. The decision of the Membership Committee is final.


customer  service
[T] 416-962-1841 or 1-800-387-0735
[F] 416-962-8900