Colleges And Universities In Hawaii

Hawaiian Schools – All Your Accredited Options

Hawaii, “the aloha state”, is comprised of 6 islands, only one of which has a major city (Honolulu). Under 1.5 million people call Hawaii home, thus it is not surprising that the state has far fewer colleges and universities than all but a very few states. Most Hawaii post-secondary institutions are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Hawaii has just six community colleges, all of which are a part of the University of Hawaii. The university also has four-year campuses in Hilo, Kapolei, Manoa, and Kahului.

hawaii beach near the school

The main campus, in Manoa, enrolls 19,507 students; 14,126 undergraduates and 5,381 graduate students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 98 majors, master’s degrees in 85, and doctoral degrees in nearly 60 fields. The National Science Foundation ranks the university in the top 50 public universities in research expenditures. U.S. News and World Report ranked the university in the top 100 U.S. institutions in online education. Although a fairly large research institution, individual class sections average just 20 students.

Traditional private colleges and universities in Hawaii include Brigham Young University, a branch campus of the well known Latter Day Saints university in Utah, Hawaii Pacific University, and Chaminade University, the state’s only Catholic college. Argosy University, a national for-profit university offering on-campus and online degree programs in business, education, counseling, and clinical psychology has a campus in Honolulu.

Hawaii’s post-secondary specialized institutions include Institute of Clinical Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medical College of Hawaii, and World Medicine Institute, which offers master’s degree programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Traditional Colleges in Hawaii

Chaminade University

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  • Phone – 808-735-4711
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Hawaii Pacific University

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  • Phone – 866-225-5478
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University of Hawaii/Hilo

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  • Phone – 800-897-4456
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University of Hawaii at Manoa

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  • Phone – 800-823-9771
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Community Colleges – Hawaii

hawaii horizon at dawn near the school

Hawai’i Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 934-2500
  • Address – 200 W Kawili St, Hilo, HI 96720

Hawai’i Tokai International College

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  • Phone – (808) 983-4000
  • Address – 91-971 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707

Honolulu Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 845-9211
  • Address – 874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817

Kapi’olani Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 734-9000
  • Address – 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816

Kaua’i Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 245-8311
  • Address – 3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

Leeward Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 455-0011
  • Address – 96-045 Ala Ike, Pearl City, HI 96782

Windward Community College

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  • Phone – (808) 235-7400
  • Address – 45-720 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Trade, Vocational & Career Colleges – Hawaii

hawaiin volcano near university of hawaii


Argosy University

Heald College

Remington College

University of Phoenix


University of Phoenix




University of Phoenix


University of Phoenix

Online Programs & Colleges In Hawaii

Hawaii’s location makes it uniquely appealing for taking traditional courses. However, the distance required to travel between the islands in the archipelago make commuting a bit difficult. Although the majority of the postsecondary institutions in the state are centered around Honolulu on Oahu, there are institutions available around Hilo and Kahului. Prospective students living on one of lesser-populated islands will be out of luck if they want to live at home while attending school. Thankfully, Hawaii’s schools recognize their unique commuting situation, and most colleges within the state now offering online degrees and online certificate programs for students both local and in the mainland United States.

A 2012 report by the National Center for Education Statistics identified Hawaii as having a relatively low number of students enrolled in fully-online degrees (11%). These students are spread across the 15 colleges and universities in the state that offer some form of online degree. The most popular of these, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, is also one of the most highly ranked in the state, at #22 among regional colleges (West) according to the U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings. Brigham Young University’s Hawaii branch unfortunately offers only one Associate’s degree and three certificates. There are currently no Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degrees available at the school.

Different campuses across Hawaii’s public university system offer different degree programs online. The University of Hawaii-Oahu, for example, offers several Bachelor’s degree programs and certificates for prospective and current students. Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Social Sciences, Political Science, Early Childhood Education and Public Administration are all available through the online system. Certificates in Substance Abuse and Addictions Studies, Health Care Administration and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management are also available through the school. In all, the University of Hawaii offers 15 Bachelor’s degrees, 14 Master’s degrees, and two Doctoral degrees. Several of these programs are unique, such as the Master’s in Indigenous Language and Culture Education, or the Bachelor’s degree in Hawaii Statewide Nursing Consortium.

Due to the relatively small number of colleges and universities in the state, prospective students likewise have somewhat limited options for the degree programs that they have to choose from. The generally small number of options is also directly related to the fact that the state is a tropical destination. Most students interested in the state’s colleges are more interested in attending school on-location. The most online programs available in the state are offered through the local branch of the University of Phoenix. Students can take a large number of degree programs, although they will pay more than the national average to do so. Post-graduation salaries for the University of Phoenix Hawaii branch are among the highest in the state for all colleges and universities, at over $50,000 a year.