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Education Requirements

Education Requirements Library

An overarching requirement for qualification is to have a degree from a Board-recognized institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or any other accreditation organization approved by the Board. Another overarching requirement is to have earned 150 semester credit hours.

Within those overarching requirements, our Evaluation Department also considers the kind of degree you have earned and if you earned a master’s degree, the accreditation of that program. All the above factors place you under a particular evaluation option.

Accreditation

Accreditation is process by which institutions of higher learning go through a rigorous peer review process that assures the validity of degrees and credits awarded by that institution. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally recognized accrediting agencies. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a U.S. association of degree-granting colleges and universities that recognizes institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.

Undergraduate Schools

The Board accepts post-secondary education credit from only Board-recognized institutions of higher education accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or any other accreditation organization approved by the Board.

Graduate Schools

Only Board-recognized accredited institutions with graduate accounting and/or graduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) are accepted for evaluation under option 1 or option 2. A graduate degree in accounting or business awarded by an accredited institution without either of these graduate program accreditations will be evaluated under option 4.

  • For information about AACSB accreditation, click here.
  • For information about ACBSP accreditation, click here.

Degrees and Options

Evaluators look at the degree you have earned and the accreditation of the institution from which you graduated to determine the option under which you will be evaluated.

Option 1

A graduate degree in accounting conferred by a Board-recognized accredited institution whose accounting program has either AACSB accreditation or ACBSP accreditation.

Option 2

A graduate degree in business conferred by a Board-recognized accredited institution whose business program has either AACSB accreditation or ACBSP accreditation.

OR

A graduate degree in accounting conferred by a Board-recognized institution whose business department has either AACSB accreditation or ACBSP accreditation.

Option 4

A baccalaureate degree in any concentration conferred by a Board-recognized institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or any accreditation organization approved by the Board.

OR

A graduate degree in any concentration other than accounting or business conferred by a Board-recognized institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or any accreditation organization approved by the Board.

OR

A graduate degree in accounting or business conferred by a Board-recognized institution of higher education but without a business or accounting department accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP.

Credits from a school without appropriate accreditation will not be accepted.

General Information for all Coursework

Letter Grade Credit

Candidates may submit classes with a passing grade of a D- or higher for consideration towards required Semester Credit Hours (SCH).

Pass/Fail

Candidates may submit courses that award the “Pass” status for consideration towards required Semester Credit Hours (SCH) as long as Semester Credit Hours (SCH) were awarded with the “Pass”.

Online Coursework

Candidates may submit credits from online courses with a passing grade of a D- or higher or “Pass” status from Board-recognized accredited institutions for consideration towards required Semester Credit Hours (SCH).

Rounding of hours

If any semester credit hours or quarter hours total .6 and higher, we will round up.  For example, a total of 2.67 hours would be 3.0.

If any semester credit hours or quarter hours total .5 and lower, we will not round up.  For example, a total of 2.5 hours would be counted as 2.0.

Duplicate Coursework

Duplicate coursework, defined as credit awarded for the same course multiple times, will be credited towards the required hour total only once.

A course is duplicated when it shares the same program, course level and title as another institution you have attended. For instance, ACC 101 Financial Accounting may be considered as a duplicate of ACCT 120 Financial Accounting I.

 In addition, a course is duplicated when you have earned credit for the same course more than one time at one institution.

If a transfer school considers its course to be a duplicate of the originating institution’s course, we will count the credit only once.

ACT/SAT, AP, CLEP, DANTE or IIC

Candidates may submit ACT/SAT, AP, CLEP, DANTE or Individual Institutional Credit (IIC) credits. These must appear as hours earned (e.g. MATH102 3 SCH) on the official transcript(s) for consideration towards required semester credit hours (SCH).

The ILBOE accepts these credits only as they appear on the originating institution’s transcript. The ILBOE does not accept these credits if they appear as transfer credits or duplicate coursework. Also, if the courses are grouped together as bulk credit such as “Accepted Coursework 15 Credits”, we require the unofficial transcript(s) showing the breakdown (e.g. MATH312 3 SCH) of credit for each course. Or, the credit breakdowns can be submitted on letterhead from the institution’s Registrar’s office.

CPA Review Courses

If you are taking CPA Review courses from a Board-recognized accredited institution that offers these courses for credit, and these CPA Review courses are taught by faculty and/or instructors from your institution, (including Becker Review), we can accept these credits toward the total hour requirement. In addition, we will accept 6 semester credit hours toward the accounting hour requirement

If the school is not offering credit for the CPA Review courses and/or the CPA Review courses are not taught from faculty or instructors from that school, we cannot accept the CPA Review credit(s).

Accounting and Business Courses

CPA Review Courses

If you are taking CPA Review courses from a Board-recognized accredited institution that offers these courses for credit, and these CPA Review courses are taught by faculty and/or instructors from your institution, (including Becker Review), we can accept these credits toward the total hour requirement. In addition, we will accept 6 semester credit hours toward the accounting hour requirement.

If the school is not offering credit for the CPA Review courses and/or the CPA Review courses are not taught from faculty or instructors from that school, we cannot accept the CPA Review credit(s).

Business Courses

Candidates may submit business courses such as, but not limited to, business administration, business ethics, business law, business management of information systems, business statistics, ANY mathematics course from the business department, business/technical communication, economics, finance, international business, legal/social environment of business, management, management of organizational behavior and marketing towards required business and total Semester Credit Hours (SCH).

Business Communication and Business Ethics

Every post-secondary institution is different regarding how BC and BE are listed on its transcript. Not all programs, course levels and course descriptions on a transcript make BC and BE immediately clear to an evaluator.

In addition, business ethics and business communication may be a stand-alone class worth 3 SCH, or they may be integrated within a course for partial credit. For instance, PHIL 203 Ethics may have 1.5 SCH of business ethics within the course.

Therefore, when an institution submits a template to the ILBOE, the coursework that qualifies as BC or BE is clearly listed and shows the number of SCH that is awarded for business communication or ethics.

If your institution’s template is listed, but your specific course is not included, please ask the business department chairperson to submit an updated template that includes the program, course number, course title and course credits (e.g. MKTG221 has .25 SCH of BE) to the Evaluation Department. evaluations@ilboe.org

If the business department chairperson does not want to submit a template, he/she can instead write and submit a New Requirements Letter (NRL)  on your behalf for single-use approval. An NRL can be submitted directly to your assigned evaluator.

Internships or Life Experience

Internships

The ILBOE accepts credit earned during an internship if it appears as hours earned on an official transcript from an appropriately accredited institution. Internship credits are limited to a maximum of 3 SCH toward the required accounting hours and a maximum of 3 SCH toward the required business hours. Any additional hours for an internship will be counted toward the total hour requirement.

Life Experience

Work experience acquired through employment is not considered because it cannot be measured. Only work experience as reflected on a college transcript is accepted.

Study Abroad Courses

Many students take advantage of a domestic school’s sponsored program in which the student takes classes internationally for credit toward a degree from that domestic school. This type of earned credit is often called “Study Abroad.”

Candidates may submit study abroad courses for review. These courses must appear as credit received (e.g. MATH312 3 SCH) on an official transcript from an appropriately accredited institution for consideration towards required Semester Credit Hours (SCH).

If the courses are grouped together as “Study Abroad 12 SCH”, the foreign transcript must be submitted to NASBA, or a breakdown (e.g. MATH312 3 SCH) for each course can be submitted on letterhead from the domestic institution’s Registrar’s office.