Home Health & Beauty Cosmetology Exams: How Long after Graduation Can You Take Them?

Cosmetology Exams: How Long after Graduation Can You Take Them?


One of the questions that I get asked a lot is how long after graduation from Cosmetology are exams and how long they had after graduation before they had to take their exams and I honestly don’t know because each state is different and I didn’t know where they were from to find out. So next week I am going to send an email to the respective states and ask. So far this is what I have found on these sites and I hope it helps. I’ll find out more next week and I will be updating this on a regular basis.

I am finding it difficult to gather the information I need for this page. Researching some of these sites is very tedious and I still can’t find what I need. I sent out numerous e-mails and I guess some of their email addresses are not up to date so they were undeliverable. If anyone has information about their states I would appreciate any input, but remember the best thing to do is call your state board directly because rules and laws are always changing so the info I have here might be outdated already. But it’s still good for having an idea. BUT I REPEAT: do NOT take this as granted and make sure to do your research to be 100% sure that the info is accurate!

These being said, here is how long after graduation from cosmetology are exams in each state I was able to find info about:

Alabama – How soon after completing school or apprenticeship do I have to take the examination? Your master/instructor and you are jointly responsible for scheduling the proper exam within 90 days after completion of your training. Failure to comply with this rule may subject your master/instructor to a fine and/or other penalties. You must apply for examination within 90 days of completing your hours, and then you have 2 years to get licensed.

Arizona – Reports that your hours are always your hours. The problem becomes proving hours and graduation if too long of a time passes. And of course, remembering enough to pass the exam.

Arkansas – A recent change to Arkansas’s cosmetology law allows a student to keep hours indefinitely.

California – Says as long as you can prove you took the hours, you can apply for the exam. So there is no time limit there either.

Connecticut – Your hours would not expire, however, you may be required to complete additional requirements prior to determining your eligibility for license if you have not practiced in your profession for a significant period of time.

Delaware – Your hours from school currently do not have an expiration date. The board is considering this in the future but as of right now their is no expiration date. To register for the state boards go to the website: www.pcshq.com and click on applicant information.

Florida – Your hours never expire, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. Don’t lose your transcripts in case you have to prove your hours.

Hawaii – Students who resume their beauty culture courses after a lapse of three years or more shall not receive credit hours for previous course work.

Indiana – You must take the exam within one year of graduation and you have three years to pass. If you have taken the exam twice and failed you would need to go back for additional education.

Missouri – Hours are good for 5 years from time of enrollment.

Nevada – If you complete your hours and paid all owed tuition then your hours would be good forever. There is no time limit to take your test once hours are completed.

New Jersey – Upon graduation from a beauty school, you have five years from the date of completion to apply for your license without requiring any additional training. After seven years you lose all your credits.

North Carolina – If your hours are still valid depends on when you enrolled in school and whether or not you ever applied for the State Board Exam. Any hours you earned from an enrollment period that began prior to November 1, 1998 are valid for 10 years from the date of enrollment. Any hours you earned from an enrollment period that began on or after November 1, 1998 are valid for 5 years from the date of enrollment. You must complete the curriculum and file an application with the State Board within this time frame.

Pennsylvania – Hours are indefinite, so long as you can prove your hours you can take the exams even 20 years later.

Tennessee – Once you have obtained the required hours in a curriculum you do not lose the hours. There is no time limit as to when you are required to take the examination.

Washington State – Hours never expire. It is suggested that you keep all records pertaining to your education. The department does not have access to such information and schools close all the time and there is no way to track them down.

I must repeat – this data changes often so some of these might be wrong or inaccurate when you read this article, but chances are that they are still accurate. However, make sure to check things out by yourself and don’t take these as granted. Also, if you have any information or updates regarding this important matter, share it with us in a comment below.


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