Prerequisite and Preparatory Courses

The first step in the CPA certification program is prerequisite education. Before you are accepted into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), you must meet all the following requirements:

  • hold a degree from a recognized post-secondary institution (PSI)
  • have completed 120 credit hours (or equivalent) of education from a recognized PSI
  • have successfully met the grade requirements in prerequisite learning
  • be of good character

The prerequisite learning requirement can be completed at a recognized PSI or through CPA Ontario preparatory courses or through a mix of both.

Preparatory Courses

Complete your prerequisite learning with CPA Ontario through our preparatory courses. The academic prerequisite for admission to preparatory courses is 30 credit hours of post-secondary study (equivalent to 10 courses) at a post-secondary institution or three years of relevant work experience. 

Study at a PSI

Interested in taking your prerequisite learning at a post-secondary institution in Ontario?

See PSIs with approved prerequisites

Academic assessment for admission to CPA PEP

In order to enter CPA PEP, you must have completed your prerequisite or CPA preparatory courses with a minimum grade of 50 per cent in each non-core course and a minimum grade of 60 per cent in each core course. You also need a cumulative grade point average of 65 per cent in all the core courses.

You also need a four-year degree (or equivalent) from a recognized PSI. Students with degrees less than 120 credit-hours must top up their degree with additional degree-credit courses at a post-secondary institution or with the completion of the required preparatory courses.

Once you have completed the prerequisite education requirements, your file will be reviewed for eligibility to enter the CPA PEP. If you are deemed eligible to enrol in CPA PEP, you will be notified by the Transcript Assessment team with details on how to proceed.

Conditional enrolment

If you are currently enrolled in your final CPA preparatory or prerequisite course, you may be eligible to conditionally enrol in CPA PEP, pending your final grade. Instructions will be included in the communication from the Transcript Assessment team.

Assessment policies

Students applying for a transcript assessment with CPA Ontario are subject to all relevant policies and regulations related to transcript assessments:

Do you need to make an update to a previous assessment? Visit our transcript reassessment page.


  1. Students with significant relevant work experience may apply for an exemption for a prerequisite course if they successfully completed an equivalent course more than ten years prior to admission to CPA PEP. Please contact our transcript registration team to request an exemption.
  2. An exemption will be granted for a prerequisite course if you have taken an equivalent course and passed with a mark of at least 60 per cent for a core course or a mark of at least 50 per cent for a non-core course.

Academic integrity and professional conduct

Once you are enrolled in CPA programs and courses, you are expected to adhere to the profession’s standards. You will be subject to CPA Ontario’s policies on academic integrity and professional conduct and misconduct may result in disciplinary action.

  • Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) plagiarism, the enabling of plagiarism and theft of a current or former student or candidate’s work.
  • Professional conduct includes (but is not limited to) adhering to CPA Ontario’s Student Code of Conduct, behaving ethically, demonstrating integrity and honesty and exhibiting respect to others including all written and oral communication with students, candidates, facilitators, session leaders, educational staff and provincial staff.
Review the CPA Harmonized Education Policies Vol.3 for more information.