FAQs - Academic Credentials Evaluation

No, the results of your evaluation will be mailed when completed. 

The Illinois Board of Examiners evaluates domestic credentials and the National Association of Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) evaluates international credentials based on long established standards and policy.  International education varies widely throughout the world and presents a considerable challenge to be fair and equitable to all candidates.  In order to meet this standard, NASBA works with the International Association of Universities through the utilization of the International Handbook of Universities, 2011 edition.  If an International candidate submits documentation of an undergraduate degree from an accredited international educational institution recognized by the Board of Examiners, the degree will be evaluated based on an equivalent U.S. bachelors degree and the candidate will be credited with 120 semester hours.


Please note: NASBA requires a fee for any related return shipping costs. You can request that your original documents be returned when submitting your documents to NASBA International Evaluation Services. You must pay for return shipping via courier service with a signature required. This is to ensure that your documents are returned to you and you must sign for them upon return.  For more information on shipping fees please visit NASBA.org website under FAQs.

International credentials should be mailed directly to:

c/o NIES
150 Fourth Avenue, Ste. 850 North
Nashville, TN  37219

Questions regarding international qualifications should be directed to NASBA at 615-880-4200 or by email at: nies@nasba.org.

The undergraduate degree must be recognized by the Illinois Board of Examiners to be substantially equivalent to a U.S. Bachelors degree.

All fees are non-refundable.  We encourage you to have an evaluation of your credentials completed before making application if there is any question as to your eligibilty to sit for the exam.  You will not be assessed additional fees for future evaluations and applicaton fees are valid for three years. 


There are clearly two distinct meanings to the word “accredited” as it relates to the evaluation of your credentials with the Illinois Board of Examiners.   The primary meaning of accredited means that a college or university is accredited by a regional accrediting body and for credit to be recognized by the Board of Examiners, a college or university must be regionally accredited.

The second meaning of accredited refers to accreditation by either the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).  If your graduate program is accredited by either of these two accrediting bodies, additional credit will be counted for each semester hour of accounting coursework.

An earned degree does NOT substitute for verification of the 150 hours.  We must compute the total hours earned one course at a time.

We need a complete and accurate Academic Credentials Evaluation Request form (which must be completed using our online system) that shows the chronology of all colleges and universities attended. Applicants from countries that do not claim English as their official language should provide original transcripts (or original mark sheets from India and Pakistan) and certification of degrees and diplomas from institutions attended, accompanied by official English translations. We need a transcript from ALL institutions attended and all candidates, foreign or domestic must provide a transcript with a degree posted.  If complete information is not provided, a delay in processing will occur.  International candidates with questions regarding what to submit for evaluation should refer to the following link for answers to their questions:  http://nasba.org/products/nasbainternationalevaluationservices/requirements/

Request the institution send your official transcripts/documents to the Illinois Board of Examiners, 1120 E. Diehl Rd - Suite 110, Naperville, Illinois 60563.  Or, if your school participates in electronic transcript delivery, the transcripts can be sent from the school to etranscripts@ilboa.org.   We will not accept electronic transcripts from the candidate or those sent to an individual staff member or the Help Desk.

Yes, in order to be considered official, all academic records/transcripts must bear a seal, and a signature, in ink, of an authorized official of the institution (such as the Registrar or Recorder of Records). Official documents must be provided from the institution awarding the degree. A photocopy, fax, email, or notarized document is not considered an official document and will not be evaluated.  You MUST provide transcripts from EVERY college/university attended.

All candidates presenting international course work must pay the $250 evaluation fee to have their foreign credentials evaluated for the CPA exam.  We will waive the $250 evaluation fee if we need to verify ten or fewer hours of international credit toward the 150-hour requirement.  However, international documents must still be presented for evaluation.  A combination of domestic and international credit requires payment of $250.00..

Please note: NASBA requires a fee for any related return shipping costs. You can request that your original documents be returned when submitting your documents to NASBA International Evaluation Services. You must pay for return shipping via courier service with a signature required. This is to ensure that your documents are returned to you and you must sign for them upon return.  For more information on shipping fees please visit NASBA.org website under FAQs.

No, we do our own evaluations based on the original documents and our own standards and polices. A credential evaluation service applies judgments and interpretations based on their own particular standards and polices.  An educational institution (college or university) also awards transfer credit based on their own standards and policies.

Evaluations can take up to 8 weeks to complete, with average time for domestic transcript 4-5 weeks and international transcripts 6-8 weeks.  Once completed you will receive the results in the mail or a pdf document by email on letterhead with the Director's signature.  Results cannot be given over the phone . If more information is required, the evaluator will send you a letter requesting the information needed.

No, documents issued in languages other than English, must be accompanied by a certified word-for-word translation into English. In order to qualify as certified, translations must be provided by the issuing educational institution, showing official letterhead, stamps, seals, signatures, etc. or they can be provided by a professional agency. A translation performed by a member of American Translators Association (ATA) is acceptable. An acceptable one for Canada is Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

Yes, you must list on the application and submit the original transcript from the institution where the course was taken.

We accept hours if they are accepted by the institution.  We also accept graded course work of A, B, C, or D that has been awarded “earned” by the institution.

Economics, Business Law, Marketing, Finance, Business and Technical Communication, Business Ethics, International Business, Management and Organizational Behavior, Legal and Social Environment of Business, Business Administration, Management, Business/Management Information Systems, and Business Statistics.  The Board reserves the right to make the final determination regarding acceptance of courses.

On the back of the transcript an explanation is given of how hours are computed, and how to do the conversion to semester hours if needed.

The limitation of three hours of internship or life-experience credit toward meeting the accounting requirement and three hours of internship in business refers to credit earned outside the usual classroom venue that is posted on a transcript.  If a candidate has attended a college that awards credit based on evaluation of work and life experience, accounting credits from that evaluation process are limited to three semester hours.  The same applies to accounting internships and business internships.  ALL internship hours count toward the 150 semester hour requirement.

Yes, as long as it is posted on the domestic transcript as “study abroad”.

Yes, as long as they are posted on the transcript where the course work was taken.

Yes, courses in progress must be indicated on the "Courses in Progress" form, submitted with the evaluation application and  must be completed in the current semester or quarter in which you are applying.

You may only be approved ONCE as a provisional candidate.  Once approved, no changes may be made to your courses in progress.  You may not add or delete exam sections while approved as a provisional applicant.  Final transcripts must be received by the board within 120 days of having sat for the first exam.  Scores will be voided for all exam sections taken if the transcripts are not received within 120 days of having sat for the first exam.  If you are provisionally approved to sit for the CPA exam and do not sit within the semester or term for which you were approved, the following will apply:

Candidates completing required courses in spring quarter or semester must test by September 1st
Candidates completing required courses in any summber term must test by December 1st
Candidates completing required courses in fall quarter or semester must test by March 1st
Candidates completing required courses in winter quarter or trimmester must test by June 1st

Provisional status will be revoked if a provisional candidate does not test within the timeframes listed above or final transcripts are not received by those dates.  Candidates will not be permitted to sit for any exam sections until all final transcripts are received.

We do not award credit for repeated or duplicated classes.  Repeated classes are those taken more than once at the same institution.  Duplicated classes are courses similar in content and level taken at two different institutions; if you complete Principles of Taxation at Northern Illinois University and take the course again at University of Iowa, we will not award/count the credit hours twice.  The policy of the institutions awarding the credit does not supersede the Board’s policy regarding duplicate courses.  The only exceptions to the repeated course rule are courses with the same prefix and title that are allowed by the institution for repeat credit and it is clearly stated as policy in their course catalogue.

The letter will tell you specific information on what is needed to complete your evaluation. 

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