Accounting Major

The Shidler College of Business School of Accountancy (SOA) offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a major in Accounting. Most of the first two years is spent in meeting general education requirements for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (where one should strengthen various skills). During the last two years, approximately one year is devoted to a broad business education; and another year is devoted to coursework in Accounting.

Admissions into the Shidler College of Business is required in order to obtain a BBA degree in Accounting. Please see the College undergraduate admission information. There is a "Direct Admissions Program" when applying as a freshman to attract the best and brightest into business and accounting, as well as selected spaces for declaring an accounting major as a junior.

The purpose of the undergraduate accounting major is to provide students with a solid educational foundation for entry into a wide range of accounting careers, and prepare students to pursue graduate or advanced professional education. The accounting profession may be divided into two major segments: public accounting and other accounting jobs.

Public Accounting

Specialties in public accounting include auditing, tax, and management advisory services. Some of the larger public accounting firms have reorganized these activities along industry lines. Students entering public accounting should prepare to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Many students who graduate with an accounting degree are employed by CPA firms at the international, national, or local level. After becoming certified, some CPAs choose to open their own independent practice.

To become a CPA in Hawaii, students need to have 150 semester hours of college education and 18 semester hours of upper-division or graduate level Accounting courses. The Undergraduate Accounting major prepares students for entry into the Master of Accounting program (MAcc). Completing a MAcc degree will provide students with the educational credits necessary to become a CPA. 

Other Accounting Jobs

Accounting positions in private industry are available in various business industries. Positions in companies include jobs using the areas of financial accounting, managerial accounting, accounting information systems, and tax.

Accounting graduates also find jobs in various branches of government (federal, state, and local) or in not-for-profit organizations. Some students study accounting even if their primary interest resides in another functional business area. The accounting education enables them to have a saleable skill for easy entry into a business firm. Those with an accounting background have the ability to pay close attention to details.

Undergraduate Accounting Major Requirements

The following four capstone courses are each required one credit hour courses:

Visit the SOA webpage on CPA preparation advice, to review additional suggested education.

More Information

Visit the Shidler College of Business Undergraduate Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) by e-mail at or by phone at (808) 956-8215, or (808) 956-8266 for the graduate Master of Accounting program.