The University of Hawaii, also known as UH, is a public college in Hawaii. The flagship campus and oldest college in its school system is the university located in Manoa. UH also operates three other university campuses, seven community colleges, several research institutes and five professional schools that allow students to earn advanced degrees in subjects like law and business. More than 50,000 students take classes across all of those campuses. Many of its community colleges offer students the chance to take general education courses before transferring to the main UH campus or on of the other university campuses.

As many students expressed an interest in attending UH but couldn’t afford to move to Hawaii, the university introduced a distance learning program. This allowed students to do work at home and mail that work back to university instructors for grading. Now called Distance Learning at the University of Hawaii, the department is responsible for all online programs and classes. You have the option of taking a few classes through this department or earning your complete degree online. Most UH online programs do not have any type of residency requirement.

University of Hawaii Accreditation Details

Even if you want to take classes online, you should still ensure that the college you choose has regional accreditation. This allows you to file for federal student aid via the FAFSA. The University of Hawaii obtained its regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Regional accreditation also makes it easier for you to transfer credits you earned from another accredited college or transfer UH credits to another school. Specialty accreditation, which comes from a professional organization, applies to its computer science, nutrition and other degree programs. Some of the organizations that granted specialty or program accreditation to UH include:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • American Speech Language Hearing Association
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

University of Hawaii Application Requirements

If you want to study at the University of Hawaii but don’t want to move to the state, you can apply for one of its online programs. Online students use the same application that traditional students do. The application is available both online and as a download. If you download that application, you must complete it and mail it back to the main campus.

The deadline for priority consideration is at the beginning of January, but if you want to apply for regular admission, you have until March 1 to complete and submit your application. Admission requirements include the completion of 22 classes that follow a college prep curriculum. Those classes must include English, math, science and social science courses. The university also looks for students who scored 22 or higher on the ACT or have a minimum SAT score of 1530. You should also rank within the top 40% of your class and/or have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher. Once you submit your application, arrange for the university to receive your test scores and your transcript.

UH also has an online application available for graduate students. After filing the application, you need to check the requirements of the program that interests you. You usually need two to three or more letters of recommendation and an official score from the GMAT, GRE or a similar test. Some programs may ask for a resume or personal statement too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending UH online is more affordable for many students because they can save on the high living costs of Hawaii. The university charges $453 per credit hour for all part-time students who are Hawaii residents, but the price for nonresidents is closer to $1,400 per credit. Full-time residents pay around $5,500 a semester, and full-time nonresidents pay around $16,500 per semester. UH also offers a reduced rate for students who live in Hawaii at least half of the year. Graduate students pay a rate based on whether they are residents and the program they study.

UH offers a number of financial aid packages each year, but the priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 of the year that classes start. Your form determines whether you get loans, grants or other types of financial aid and the amount that the university will award you. The University of Hawaii also offers more than 100 scholarships. Many of those scholarships are only open to those who study a specific subject or enroll in a specific department like anthropology, business, English or history. You can apply for any of the scholarships that you qualify for online.

Online Degrees Available

Online programs available from the University of Hawaii include certificate programs like one that awards you a certificate in disaster preparedness and emergency management. Many students enroll in this program while also completing a bachelor’s degree in public administration, which you can do online or on campus. This program meets all the standards put in place by the United States Department of Homeland Security and may qualify you to work for one of those government departments when you graduate.

The UH College of Business and Economics also offers an online bachelor’s program in business administration. This program teaches you how to do everything from write your own business plan to lead workers as a supervisor. You must take an English course and a class on quantitative reasoning and pass those courses before taking 30 credits of pre-business courses like business law, critical thinking and business statistics. The UH program includes 24 credits of core business classes like principles of marketing, international business management and business and society. You can then choose a business concentration in finance, management or marketing.

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If you already have a BBA degree, or you studied business and business administration program, UH offers an online MBA program that might be right for you. Also called an executive MBA program, the university designed it for working professionals. It includes courses on operations management, business strategies and supply chain management. With its shorter classes, the University of Hawaii lets you finish an MBA in 12 to 16 months.