Best Grad Schools in Hawaii 2024


Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Hawaii offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Colleges and Universities in Hawaiʻi

The majority of the universities and colleges in The Aloha State are public institutions, including Hawaiʻi’s largest school, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The nearly 15,000 students who attend this school pay tuition fees around $12,000. Students attending public colleges can choose between a wide range of on campus and online degree programs.

It’s also worth noting that you can receive in-state tuition discount rates for attending a public college in Hawaii, whether you enroll through a traditional or online degree program.

Hawaiʻi also offers several private school options, including two which have religious affiliations. While tuition at these private schools varies, from $6,000 at Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi to $26,000 at Hawaiʻi Pacific University, each serves between 2,000-3,000 students.

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Students who attend both brick-and-mortar and online colleges in Hawaii have the option to major in fields like biology, education, history, criminal justice, physics, and many others. However, students who graduate with degrees in the health care field have an extra advantage. Hawaiʻi offers a student loan forgiveness-based financial aid program for health care workers who work at designated, high-need locations within the state for at least two years.

So, even though Hawaiʻi comes in just above the national average for tuition costs, if you are considering a career in health care, this may be the place for you.

Some dream of vacationing in paradise - but why not take it a step further and live there? Students attending school in Hawaiʻi won’t have to say aloha, or goodbye, to the beautiful white sand beaches, perfect waves, and tropical drinks. Both traditional and online students can enroll in one of Hawaiʻi’s 15 higher education institutes and live their best life in these picturesque island communities.

For more information on obtaining your degree in Hawaiʻi, explore some of the top programs and schools this state has to offer.

What are Hawaiʻi’s Colleges & Universities?

Hawaiʻi’s Best Overall

Hawaii's Best Grad Schools Badge
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There are 2 doctorate-granting graduate schools in Hawaii. Our ranking of the best graduate schools in the Hawaii is composed of both private and public schools. To be included, schools must be fully accredited non-profit institutions, and must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

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Best Grad Schools in Hawaii 2023

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

    Cost of Degree: $12,186
    Expenses: $18,145
    Starting Salary: $51,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

    Cost of Degree: $7,838
    Expenses: $13,502
    Starting Salary: $41,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo known for?

    University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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Hawaii’s Best Grad School for Your Area of Interest

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2024 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2023. That’s because we took a fundamentally different approach. For 2024 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  2. University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
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