Planning your CPA Path

There are many ways to build your CPA path with the first four courses of the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) being offered each semester, in all locations, and in both official languages.

Plan your path to become a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

The CPA Common Final Examination (CFE) and two Capstone courses are offered twice per year, as per the CPA PEP schedule expansion introduced nationally in 2020.

TRADITIONAL PATHWAY

The majority of candidates will take their courses in a linear sequence, focusing on one module per semester and taking breaks where their individual circumstances may require. While up to six years is allowable for PEP coursework, the most common timeframes are between 16 to 24 months. Within these rules, there is great flexibility to customizing the PEP path. Candidates can easily choose from various scheduling options and course modalities, including the fast-track and extended courses outlined below:

FAST-TRACK PATHWAY

Candidates have access to faster pathways by taking PEP Core 1 and Core 2 simultaneously and/or PEP Elective 1 and Elective 2 simultaneously. This option is generally of interest to candidates who are not working for a period of time and can dedicate an average of 40 hours per week to their CPA studies. 

With this approach, candidates can complete their first four modules during two full-time terms (Core 1, Core 2, Elective 1, Elective 2) and then finish their final coursework in two additional part-time terms (Capstone 1, Capstone 2, and the CPA Common Final Exam) and allowing for shorter program combinations, as follows:

  • Summer start: 10-month CPA PEP path
  • Fall start: 11-month CPA PEP path
  • Spring start: 13-month CPA PEP path
  • Winter start: 16-month CPA PEP path

EXTENDED PATHWAY

For other candidates, flexibility is more important than speed. In support of this, CPA Atlantic School offers extended versions of Core 1, Core 2, and the four PEP electives every summer term and every winter term (i.e. every second PEP semester).

Candidates who would prefer a more generous timeline to study and absorb the course material may choose to take the extended modality, which comprises the same content and structure as the regular course, but over an extended 20-week offering rather than the usual eight weeks. Candidates can take the extended Core 1 on its own, or choose to simultaneously take extended Core 1 and Core 2 together, bringing average study time back up to approximately 20 hours per week. This is applicable to the PEP electives as well.

Flexible Pathway

The CPA Common Final Examination (CFE) and two Capstone courses are offered twice per year, as per the CPA PEP schedule expansion introduced nationally in 2020.

TRADITIONAL PATHWAY

The majority of candidates will take their courses in a linear sequence, focusing on one module per semester and taking breaks where their individual circumstances may require. While up to six years is allowable for PEP coursework, the most common timeframes are between 16 to 24 months. Within these rules, there is great flexibility to customizing the PEP path. Candidates can easily choose from various scheduling options and course modalities, including the fast-track and extended courses outlined below:

FAST-TRACK PATHWAY

Candidates have access to faster pathways by taking PEP Core 1 and Core 2 simultaneously and/or PEP Elective 1 and Elective 2 simultaneously. This option is generally of interest to candidates who are not working for a period of time and can dedicate an average of 40 hours per week to their CPA studies.

With this approach, candidates can complete their first four modules during two full-time terms (Core 1, Core 2, Elective 1, Elective 2) and then finish their final coursework in two additional part-time terms (Capstone 1, Capstone 2, and the CPA Common Final Exam) and allowing for shorter program combinations, as follows:

  • Summer start: 10-month CPA PEP path
  • Fall start: 11-month CPA PEP path
  • Spring start: 13-month CPA PEP path
  • Winter start: 16-month CPA PEP path

EXTENDED PATHWAY

For other candidates, flexibility is more important than speed. In support of this, CPA Atlantic School offers extended versions of Core 1, Core 2, and the four PEP electives every summer term and every winter term (i.e. every second PEP semester).

Candidates who would prefer a more generous timeline to study and absorb the course material may choose to take the extended modality, which comprises the same content and structure as the regular course, but over an extended 20-week offering rather than the usual eight weeks. Candidates can take the extended Core 1 on its own, or choose to simultaneously take extended Core 1 and Core 2 together, bringing average study time back up to approximately 20 hours per week. This is applicable to the PEP electives as well.

Visualizing your CPA PEP Path

Options for Core 1 and Core 2
Pathways
SEMESTER 1
SEMESTER 2
SEMESTER 3
SEMESTER 4
Regular
- Estimated 20 hours of weekly study
- One course over one semester
- Breaks are allowed between semesters
- Take up to 6 years for CPA PEP and CFE
Core 1
Core 2
Fast-Track
- Estimated 40 hours of weekly study
- Two courses over one semester
Core 1
Core 2
Extended
- Estimated 10 hours of weekly study
- One course over two semesters
Core 1
Core 2
Options for Elective 1 and Elective 2
pathways
SEMESTER 1
SEMESTER 2
SEMESTER 3
SEMESTER 4
Regular
- Estimated 20 hours of weekly study
- One course over one semester
- Take up to 6 years for CPA PEP and CFE
- Breaks are allowed between semesters
Elective 1
Elective 2
Fast-Track
- Estimated 40 hours of weekly study
- two courses over one semester
Elective 1
Elective 2
Extended
- Estimated 10 hours of weekly study
- One course over two semesters
Elective 1
Elective 2
Capstone Module and the CFE
pathways
SEMESTER 1
SEMESTER 2
SEMESTER 3
SEMESTER 4
Regular
- Back to back
- Lead into the Common Final Exam (CFE)
- Offered twice a year
Capstone 1
Capstone 2
CFE
The CPA designation gives you the set of skills to do anything.
Lindsay Power, CPA, CMA, MBA
Senior Business Analyst - Strategic Projects, StandardAero
You have this massive family of CPAs on which you can lean on and use as much as you can, as often as you can.
Craig Farewell, CPA
Co-owner & Director of Operations, Banished Brewing & Brewdock
The skills you acquire through the CPA program prepare you to lead in any organization and in any industry.
Courtney Burns, CPA
President and CEO, Greater Moncton International Airport Authority Inc.
It’s the differentiator when someone has a stack of resumes. People with a CPA designation will stand out.
Leah Boody, CPA, CMA
President, Pineapple Bytes
The CPA designation first ignited my entrepreneurial spirit. It certainly helped me get to where I am right now.
David Arsenault, CPA
President, Arsenault Properties

How can we help?

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Plan your CPA Path Now!


Complete the form below to contact a Student Recruitment Advisor in your region for advice on eligibility for CPA pre-certification programs.

To contact your student recruitment advisor directly ​​for program-path planning and preparing to join CPA as a student/candidate:

NOVA SCOTIA
Britt Fernandes
e. ns-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 902.334.1174

NEW BRUNSWICK & PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
​Camille Ferland
e. nb-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
pe-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 506-800-0725

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR & BERMUDA
Lori-Lydia Loveless
e. nl-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
bm-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 709.753.3090

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