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 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 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 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 in not-for-profit organizations. Some students study accounting even if their primary interest resides in another business area. Accounting education enables them to have a desirable skill for easy entry into a business firm.

Undergraduate Accounting Major Requirements

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

Two of the following courses are recommended (but not required) for those who desire to become a CPA in the state of Hawaii.

Capstone Courses Explained

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:

Two topics are taught in each half of the semester. Students will take all topics in the same semester. Stated differently, students will have four faculty, four subjects, and four (one-credit) grades for ACC 460. All similar sections are scheduled in the same classroom. Students must register for the same section for the four courses.

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