College of Business and Economics, Koleke Pāʻoihana a Kālaihoʻokele Waiwai


Accounting is the language of business, used to measure and communicate the financial health of an organization. Accounting is used to translate complex financial data into information that everyone can understand. The program includes generally accepted accounting principles to provide the knowledge and skills for a career in accounting and prepare students for licensure and certification exams. A degree in Accounting opens the door to one of the highest demand areas of the business field.

Why study Accounting?

Professor Gene Johnson instructs an accounting class Accountants are in high demand, have a high degree of job stability, and are top tier salary earners. After entering the profession, hard-working accountants enjoy good prospects for upward mobility, and many eventually go on to establish their own private practices. And unlike many jobs that are at the mercy of the market, accountancy remains in demand even when the economy takes a tumble. So a career in accounting promises a comfortable and stable professional future.

Overall, jobs in accounting are highly structured and dependable, so accountants establish a regular working routine that repeats in a cyclical nature and is based upon clear financial procedures. It is possible to enter the profession in a low-level position without extensive education, and many firms offer compensation for young professionals looking to study part-time while working to advance their skills and move up the career ladder. In fact, because professional accounting courses require several years of experience before you are eligible to take the exams and become certified, new accountants are expected to combine work and study at the outset of their careers.

Degrees & Certificates

Accounting - B.B.A.

The College of Business and Economics offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree with a major in Accounting. The program is divided into four components: General Education, the Pre-Business program, the Business Core program, and the Accounting Major. Some General Education requirements may be satisfied with courses from the Pre-Business program, but at least 61 of the degree’s total of 121 credit hours must be taken in courses that are not offered by the Business Administration Department. The University also places several graduation requirements on all baccalaureate degree programs, and these must be satisfied by candidates for the B.B.A.

See the Accounting BBA four-year course map

Practicing in the State of Hawaiʻi

The State of Hawaiʻi requires 150 semester hours of college to obtain a permit to practice as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Additional semester hours in business earned past the 121 semester hours required for the B.B.A. with Major in Accounting degree will apply towards this requirement.

Residency Requirement

B.B.A. candidates must complete at least 24 of the credits used to satisfy upper-division Business core, Accounting core, and Business or Accounting elective requirements while in residence at UH Hilo.

Accounting - Certificate

The Certificate in Accounting provides non-BBA majors and students who have earned non-BBA degrees with extensive knowledge in the area of accounting. The certificate is intended to provide students the knowledge and skills for a career in accounting and to prepare them for license and certification exams.

Requirements for the Accounting Certificate.

What can I do with an accounting degree?

Described below are some careers an accounting degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting Clerk
  • Auditor
  • Billing Clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget Analyst
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Corporate Entertainment Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Credit Analysis Manager
  • F.B.I. Agent specializing in Accounting
  • Financial Reporter
  • Forensic/Investigative Accountant
  • Governmental Accountant
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Tax Planner
  • Tax Accountant
  • Treasurer