Hawaii boasts 21 degree-granting colleges and universities, many offering programs on campus, online, and through hybrid options. Some of these schools also offer online MBA programs. Learners in Hawaii have the flexibility to earn a degree in a format that fits their schedule and learning style.

Online options can make it easier for students to attend school by easing distance and time constraints. Through these programs, Hawaii has increased the overall education level of its residents and attracted new employers to the state.

Choosing an online MBA program may overwhelm perspective students, but the following guide compares common features of programs, helping distance learners find a good fit.

Online MBA Programs in Hawaii

Below, we cover each online MBA program in Hawaii. The following information includes curriculum requirements, available concentrations, capstone projects, internship opportunities, and available distance learning options. Each school is regionally accredited.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
Chaminade University of Honolulu
Location Honolulu , HI Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 44 Student Population 2,466 Tuition $32,400 School Type Private

Located at the "crossroads of the Pacific," Chaminade offers an education tailored towards working professionals. Addressing business education from a global perspective, the school's Hawai'i MBA online program focuses on management education for social good.

In addition to its general business degree, the MBA program offers five concentrations, each comprising of 12 credits: nonprofit, accounting, healthcare management, science and technology innovation, and island business. Students complete coursework in small classes following an accelerated 10-week format. Core courses include managerial finance, strategic management, and economic analysis for managers. Elective course options include international finance, services marketing, and strategic issues in philanthropy. Most students complete the program within 18-24 months.

Prerequisites include quantitative and accounting skills. Chaminade offers four start dates per year, and conducts admission evaluations using a holistic model. While admitted students typically have three years of work experience and GPAs above 3.0, qualified students without these benchmarks may still apply for provisional acceptance.

  • Accounting
  • Not-For-Profit Management MBA
  • Island Business MBA
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Location Honolulu , HI Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 37 Student Population 18,865 Tuition $44,880 School Type Public

Established in 1949, UH Mānoa stands proud as a premier institution among business schools focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Emphasizing emerging technologies, UH Mānoa provides a multicultural, collaborative learning environment.

The University of Hawai'i online MBA administers a distance learning executive MBA program comprised of 48 credits and designed for completion in 22 months. After an initial five-day residential intensive, students attend online classes synchronously with their cohort during evenings and weekends. The school also offers a healthcare management track, including a pathway to complete both an MBA and a doctor of nursing practice degree in three years. The core curriculum includes business analytics, managerial finance, and a consulting practicum.

Admission requirements include a 3.0 GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, an interview, and at least five years of work experience. The same tuition rates apply for residents and nonresidents. Many Hawai'i companies also sponsor scholarships and transportation stipends for distance learning students on neighbor islands.

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Hawaii Pacific University
Location Honolulu , HI Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 45 Student Population 4,781 Tuition $42,000 School Type Private

HPU offers a diverse education recognized for its respect for the land, local ecology, and commitment to serving the community. For students seeking an online MBA, Hawai'i Pacific offers a flexible program including 27 credits of core coursework and six credits of capstone courses in strategic management.

Students select one of seven concentrations, each comprising of nine credits: finance, human resources management, information systems, international business, management, marketing, and organizational development. All concentrations include a paid internship. Core coursework includes information system management, management accounting, and decision models for managers. The school also offers an accelerated one-year MBA option for exceptionally qualified students.

Admission requirements include GRE or GMAT scores and prerequisite coursework in accounting, finance, statistics, and economics, waivers are granted to qualifying applicants. The MBA program at HPU is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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Why Consider an Online MBA in Hawaii?

Pursuing an online MBA in Hawaii is a convenient way for students and busy professionals to earn an advanced degree. Hawaii offers multiple quality MBA programs; for example, both the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hawaii Pacific University have business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Many students in Hawaii attend classes through a combination of online and on-campus learning. Hybrid programs give students the opportunity to network with peers and professors. Online programs allow students to study from any location — learners living on a different island or in a rural location can pursue an MBA without relocating or commuting.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 19,954 1,589
Exclusively Distance 7,427 706
On-Campus 53,939 7,259
Source: Distance Education State Almanac

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 2,989 204
Private not-for-profit 10,586 582
Public 55,756 803
Source: Distance Education State Almanac

MBA Concentrations for Hawaii Students

Many online MBA programs in Hawaii offer concentrations that allow students to specialize their education. Common concentrations include international business, finance, accounting, human resources, and supply chain management. Many of these areas align with Hawaii's top industries, including healthcare, trade, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and education. Students should carefully consider these industries and typical careers before pursuing an online MBA in Hawaii.

By understanding the job outlook in popular industries, students can select a career path that should increase their chances of employment after graduation. It is also important for students to think about and establish career goals to ensure they select the online MBA program that is right for them.

  • International Business: This concentration covers finance, trade, and marketing from a global perspective. A few common careers in this field include international trade specialist, product manager, and business executive.
  • Finance: A finance concentration focuses on developing financial skills, including derivatives trading and estate planning. Common jobs in this field include financial manager, investment banker, and chief financial officer.
  • Supply Chain Management: This concentration trains students how to use supply chain management software and covers key tools and techniques for managing a supply chain process. A few careers in this field include global logistics manager, transportation director, and supply chain manager.

Accreditation in Hawaii

The best online MBA programs in Hawaii are offered by accredited institutions. These schools meet strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Depending on the accrediting body that assesses a school, it can earn national or regional accreditation.

Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation holds more prestige. Credits earned at a nationally accredited school may not transfer as easily as those from regionally accredited institutions. If you want to improve your career prospects with an online MBA in Hawaii, the state hosts multiple regionally accredited institutions.

Hawaii Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Hawaii boasts a diverse economy with many industries, including healthcare, trade, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and education. Honolulu houses many of the state's largest employers. The top three employers include a human resources consulting firm and two healthcare organizations. Each of Hawaii's top industries require professionals with skills in business, finance, organization, and strategy — skills often held by MBA graduates.

Some of the fastest growing jobs in Hawaii include business analyst, certified nursing assistant, finance manager, recreation leader, and management consultant. While many positions only require a bachelor's degree, earning an MBA can increase a worker's earning potential and lead to more career advancement opportunities. Many MBA programs offer concentrations that allow students to better align their degree with their career goals.

Hawaii's economy is healthy, due in large part to its growing tourism numbers. Projections show that the state's GDP should increase by about 2.6% over the next year, and it should continue to grow modestly over the next few years. Hawaii's largest industries play a big role in the state's economy, but challenging factors — such as climate change — may lead Hawaii to consider further diversifying its economy.

Top Employers in Hawaii

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Altres Industrial Human Resources Consulting and Employee Placement Honolulu 10,000
Kapiolani Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Honolulu 5,000
Queens Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Honolulu 3,928
Source: CareerOneStop

Most organizations, regardless of the industry, require marketing professionals, supply chain specialists, finance or accounting managers, and human resource managers. MBA programs typically develop the critical thinking, leadership, and analytical skills students need to excel in these positions across a variety of fields.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Hawaii

Learners need to determine their career goals and consider the potential benefits of earning an MBA. Benefits may include career advancement opportunities and higher earning potential.

An MBA tends to qualify candidates for higher level positions in management, which usually means more responsibilities and higher salaries. For example, professionals in Hawaii with a bachelor's in business management and administration earn a median salary of $52,000; the typical individual with a master's degree in the field earns more than $20,000 more each year.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Management and Administration $73,000
Source: Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBAs in Hawaii

Human Resources Manager

A human resources manager's primary tasks include recruiting, interviewing, and training employees. Professionals may also work with executives to develop long-term strategies and goals for an organization. Human resources managers earn a median annual salary of $113,300. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement for this role; however, some employers may prefer candidates with an MBA.

Financial Manager

Financial managers work in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, education, and banking. A financial manager's primary tasks include producing financial reports, planning an organization's investment activities, and developing long-term strategies to maintain an organization's financial health. Professionals in this field earn a median annual salary of $127,990.

International Trade Specialist

These professionals study the effects of globalization on business to develop strategies and business plans. International trade specialists must possess strong knowledge of laws and regulations related to international trade, customs, and currency exchange rates to effectively manage the trade process. Trade specialists earn a median annual salary of about $60,000.

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers develop and manage an organization's supply chain process. This includes coordinating every step of a product's lifecycle, from production to delivery. Other tasks include inventory management and enhancing teamwork across departments within an organization. Supply chain managers earn a median annual salary of about $82,000.

Purchasing Manager

A purchasing manager's primary tasks include buying and selling products on behalf of an organization for production or resale. This position can be found in a variety of industries, including agriculture, warehousing, and retail trade. Other responsibilities of a purchasing manager include managing teams of buyers and purchasing agents. A purchasing manager earns a median annual salary of $67,600.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Hawaii

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Hawaii. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements — and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school's business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school's website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States

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