Hawaii Colleges Summary

Hawaii offers students interested in earning a college degree many different options for higher education. Most colleges and universities in Hawaii are located on the island of Oahu, but there are also opportunities for postsecondary education on the islands of Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

There are 11 public and private two-year colleges in Hawaii, as well as four public four-year institutions. Additionally, there are eight private colleges in the state, including Hawaii Pacific University, University of Phoenix and Brigham Young University Hawaii. The state has licensed 21 vocational schools that focus on trades such as massage therapy, culinary arts and cosmetology.

Hawaii Colleges: A Few Highlights

The University of Hawaii is the premier four-year college system in the state with 10 campuses across six islands. The system, which has an annual enrollment of more than 50,000 students, also features the only two graduate schools on the islands: the John A. Burns School of Medicine and William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu. The University of Hawaii system offers 90 different master's degree programs as well.

Education Initiatives in Hawaii

Statewide educational initiatives include 55 by '25, a program to help 55 percent of working-age adults in Hawaii obtain a two- or four-year degree by 2025. Like many states, Hawaii is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement to foster greater access to distance education for students living on the islands. The University of Hawaii system has many different articulation agreements to help students who start their educational journey at a different college in Hawaii.

Hawaii colleges and universities are under the oversight of the Hawaii Postsecondary Education Authorization Program.


  • University of Hawaii fast facts, https://www.hawaii.edu/about-uh/
  • Degrees and Programs, University of Hawaii, http://www.hawaii.edu/degrees-and-programs/?r=&c=&t=77&dpSubmit=Select
  • Licensed Vocational Schools, Hawaii State Department of Education, http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/AdultEducation/Pages/Licensing-a-vocational-school.aspx
  • Colleges and Universities, Hawaii.gov, https://portal.ehawaii.gov/residents/education/colleges-and-universities/
Education Institutes in Hawaii
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Hawaii
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/