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Hawaii Pacific University

Campus: Honolulu, Hawaii

Type: Private

Accreditation: WASC

Base Program Cost: $27,540

Per Credit Hour: $656

Minimum Credit Hours: 42

GMAT Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

Online Concentrations: Information Systems, International Business, Management, Organizational Change and Development

On Campus Requirements: No

School Site: Online MBA Overview | Tuition | Financial Aid


Hawaii Pacific University, which was founded in 1965, is a private, nonprofit university located in Honolulu. Hawaii Pacific strives to provide students with the highest standards in academic programs, small class sizes, unparalleled student attention and a diverse student body and faculty. The university is home to about 7,000 undergraduate students and 1,200 graduate students hailing from all 50 states and 100 countries. The range of programs offered by Hawaii Pacific is diverse, and the university curriculum includes associate, bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s programs.


Hawaii Pacific University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The WASC is responsible for accreditation of colleges and universities in California, Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Basin. The WASC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Commission for Higher Learning Accreditation as a qualified source for the evaluation of educational standards of institutions of higher learning in the United States. Hawai’i Pacific is also a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Hawaii Pacific University offers an online MBA program as part of its graduate school. With five specializations covering the most essential areas in business administration, students will be able to find a program tailored to their specific career goals. Hawaii Pacific offers the following MBA degrees:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specializing in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specializing in Information Systems
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specializing in International Business
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specializing in Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specializing in Organizational Change and Development

The MBA program at Hawaii Pacific consists of eight core courses, three seminar courses, two capstone courses and three concentration courses. All students in the program are required to take the core, seminar and capstone courses. They choose their concentration courses to correspond with their desired specialization. The Hawaii Pacific MBA core courses are Accounting for Managers; Economics for Business; Financial Management and Strategy; Individuals, Group Dynamics and Teams; The Regulatory and Ethical Environment of Business; Information Technology and Management; Decision Models for Managers; and Marketing Strategy for Managers. Students also complete the MBA Seminar I: Managerial Communications, Seminar II: An Integrated Approach to Global Trade and Seminar III: Leadership. The two capstone courses cover strategic management.

Student Life

Students in the Hawaii Pacific MBA program are able to participate in a master’s program delivered completely online. MBA students are able to access lectures and course materials at any time from any location in the world. This is an ideal situation for working adults who, due to career and other life obligations, cannot partake in the scheduled course work at a traditional university. Lectures are saved on the school website, as are syllabi, lecture notes and assignments. Students can watch lectures on their own time and complete their reading assignments from home. However, students will not be on their own when they have questions or desire discussion about the material. All MBA students can communicate with professors and fellow students through email or live chat.


To apply to the online MBA program at Hawaii Pacific University, all students must submit the following materials to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • A completed and signed application form
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • An undergraduate transcript from all accredited universities attended
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted by contacts who can attest to the student’s readiness for graduate work
  • Personal statement outlining the student’s academic and career goals
  • A current resume
  • GMAT scores

Students should seek out contacts for recommendation letters who have worked with them on an academic or professional level. Preferably, this should be an individual with whom the student has worked closely or who can otherwise firmly attest to the student’s character and ability to participate in a graduate level program. The GMAT requirement may be waived for applicants with at least five years of full-time professional experience. This experience should preferably be in a position of employee management or leadership and direct budget management. To request a waiver, students must send an email detailing the work experience that they believe prepares them for the program and attach a resume that includes a thorough description of duties and reference contacts. According to the College Navigator, 78 percent of all on-campus undergraduate students who applied in 2010 were admitted.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The base program cost for the MBA program at Hawaii Pacific University is $27,540. Books and other fees at not included in the tuition, so students will have to factor those costs into their education fees as well. All Hawaii Pacific MBA students can apply for federal financial aid by filling out a FAFSA. All graduate students may be eligible for some form of federal aid, including scholarships, loans and grants. Students may also fund their education costs by taking out private student loans from lenders such as Sallie Mae. Hawaii Pacific also accepts employer reimbursement and gives active and veteran members of the U.S. military extra financial assistance. According to the College Navigator, about 57 percent of all on-campus undergraduate students receive financial aid.

Why Hawai’i Pacific University?

U.S. News & World Report places Hawaii Pacific University within the Tier I U.S. College Category. The Princeton Review also rated HPU as a “Best Western” college in its 2011 U.S. college review. Bloomberg Businessweek named Hawai’i Pacific as the “Best Return on Investment of any Undergraduate Degree in Hawaii.” Additionally, Hawai’i Pacific has been named one of the best colleges in preparing students for the real world, according to the guidebook “Great Colleges for the Real World: Get In. Get Out. Get a Job,” which lists only 200 colleges and universities in the United States as the best choices for students seeking strong preparation for the working world.

The MBA program at Hawaii Pacific has been designed to balance core courses with specialization electives, so students will receive a thorough background in business education with the ability to specialize their studies to correspond with their interests and career goals. The interdisciplinary curriculum prepares students to open their minds and think creatively to implement business solutions in a global marketplace.

All MBA students will receive lectures from Hawaii Pacific University professors that can be accessed at any time from any location. As participants in an online program, students will learn firsthand about the application of technology to business education and communication. Students will have the ability to complete course work on their own time and submit their work using online platforms. All students are also able to communicate with professors and fellow students through email and live chat and benefit from the high international student population in increasing their awareness of global business interests and issues. According to the College Navigator, undergraduate, on-campus students at HPU have a retention rate of about 66 percent and a graduation rate of about 39 percent.

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