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 are spent meeting general education requirements for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. During the last two years, roughly one year is devoted to a broad business education; and another year is devoted to coursework in Accounting.

Admission into the Shidler College of Business is required in order to obtain a BBA degree in Accounting. Please see the College undergraduate admission information.

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 Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). 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 credits 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 the private industry are most often available in firms engaged in wholesaling, retailing, banking, transportation, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing, as well as in hotels, entertainment enterprises, and restaurants. Positions in these organizations include the areas of financial accounting, managerial accounting, and accounting information systems.

Accounting graduates also find employment in various branches of federal, state, or local governments or not-for-profit organizations. Some students study accounting even if their primary interest resides in another business area. The accounting education enables them to have a valuable skill for easy entry into a business firm.

Undergraduate Accounting Major Requirements

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.