BBA in Accounting

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 freshman and sophomore years are spent in meeting general education requirements for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. During the junior and senior years, roughly 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's undergraduate admission information. While most students are admitted to the college in their junior year, a "direct admit program" exists for students applying to UH as freshmen.

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 has 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 knowledge, skills, and credit hours necessary to become a CPA. For more information on the CPA license in the State of Hawaii, check the State Board of Accountancy’s website.

Other Accounting Jobs

Accounting positions in private industry, not-for-profit organizations, and government. Private industry jobs include the various areas of financial accounting, managerial accounting, accounting information systems, and taxes, but the emphasis may differ such as for internal auditing. In government accounting graduates are employed in all the branches of federal, state, or local governments. Some students study accounting even if their primary interest resides in another business area because an accounting education enables them to have a valuable knowledgeand skills for easy entry into a wide variety of business work.

Undergraduate Accounting Major Requirements

Accounting Course Requirements (19-credit hours, all with "C-" or better)

The two most recommended courses (but not required) for those who desire to become a CPA in the state of Hawaii, but are not going to pursue a Master of Accounting are:

Capstone Courses Required

In response to advances in accounting practices and feedback from CPAs in the State of Hawaii, the School of Accountancy has replaced ACC 460 (International and Managerial Accounting) with four required one-credit capstone courses:
  • ACC 460B - Managerial Accounting (Capstone)
  • ACC 460C - Financial Accounting (Capstone)
  • ACC 460D - Auditing and Systems (Capstone)
  • ACC 460E - Tax and Ethics (Capstone)
Each capstone course are is taught in half of the semester. Seniors must complete two paired capstone classes in the same semester. The four capstone classes involve four different subjects and faculty. Students receive a separate grade for each ACC 460 class. 

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