Directory of Health Degrees in Hawaii

This directory lists the health-related degrees and certificates available in Hawai’i. This directory is only a guide to supplement your own research. The categories were created on the nature of the professional activity and the descriptions of each category were adapted and/or quoted from Top 100 Health-Care Careers, 3rd edition resource (citation: Wischnitzer, Saul, Edith Wischnitzer, and Saul Wischnitzer. Top 100 Health-care Careers: Your Complete Guidebook to Training and Jobs in Allied Health, Nursing, Medicine, and More. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2005. Print.)

Many health fields do not require a specific undergraduate degrees (e.g. Medicine and Pharmacy). Not included in this directory are the many liberal arts degrees that provide a foundation for health careers; examples include degrees in the biological sciences (e.g. Microbiology and Chemistry) and in Interdisciplinary Studies.

How to Navigate the Tables:

From LEFT COLUMN to RIGHT COLUMN: The tables start with the list of profession or career, followed by the degree conferred, and the campus in which that specific degree is offered. The following list of campus abbreviations are used:

UHMUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaLCCLeeward Community College
HILOUniversity of Hawaii at HiloWCCWindward Community College
UHWOUniversity of Hawaii at West OahuKAPKapiolani Community College
HPUHawaii Pacific UniversityHCCHonolulu Community College
CHAMChaminade UniversityMAUMaui Community College
BYUHBrigham Young University-HawaiiKAUKauai Community College
JABSOMJohn A. Burns School of MedicineHAWHawaii Community College

The next three columns characterize the professions by patient contact, level of science required, and how often bodily fluid is handled in that career.

Patient Contact: The scale is from 0 – 10, with 0 defined as being “more task-centered/little patient contact” and 10 as “patient-centered/high patient contact.” The number is based on the frequency and duration of appointments, as well as on the intimacy/intensity of interactions.

Level of Science Required: The number is based on the level and number of basic natural sciences (biology, chemistry, math, microbiology, physics, physiology) required, especially as prerequisites. The scale ranges from none (1) and 100-levely only (2-4), through 200-level (5-6) and beyond organic chemistry and calculus (7-8), to graduate level (9-10).

You may sort the tables according to the columns (e.g. you can sort the professions from those that require extensive science courses to those that require the least extensive science courses, and vice versa)

Diagnosis and Treatment Practitioners
Clinically-Associated Health-Care Careers
Laboratory-Associated Health-Care Careers
Rehabilitation/Therapy Health-Care Careers
Administrative Health-Care Careers
Related Health-Care Careers

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Diagnosis and Treatment Practitioners

“A physical health problem manifests itself in various ways, such as pain, swelling, color change, or some other disfigurement. Physicians and dentists who are involved in active practice and who are called on to treat patients exhibiting symptoms of illness and distress first need to diagnose the cause. This is the diagnostic phase, which is carried out by means of a history, physical examination, and various tests (such as X-rays). Once a reliable diagnosis has been made, the next phase is to design a treatment plan.”

The education and training programs for these fields are rigorous and require at least 8 years of education beyond high school. “Students must secure a solid grounding in the natural sciences while in college, in the biomedical disciplines in professional school, and finally in intensive patient contact during their residency. Before setting up a practice in any of these fields, you must also pass various exams to obtain licensure.”

ProfessionDegreeCampusLevel of Science RequiredPatient InteractionBodily Fluid
Allopathic MedicineMedical Doctor (M.D.)JABSOM109handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Osteopathic MedicineDoctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)N/A109handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Chiropractic MedicineDoctor of Chiropracty (D.C.)N/Avaries9handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Podiatric MedicineDoctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)N/A107handles bodily fluid OCCASIONALLY
*Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)WICHE108handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
*OptometryDoctor of Optometry (D.O.)WICHE108handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
*DentistryDoctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) and Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.D.M.)WICHE108handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Professions marked with an (*) indicate approval for WICHE participation.

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Clinically-Associated Health-Care Careers

Although health-care professionals in this category have less training, they are qualified to efficiently perform certain tasks and procedures. “They involve direct patient contact and provide valuable services that enhance the public’s health. The field has grown rapidly as a results of many advances in medical care. They may be self-employed, work in private offices or in hospital settings. They require specialized education and some training as well as offer good long-term prospects for employment.”

ProfessionDegreeCampusLevel of Science RequiredPatient InteractionBodily Fluid
*Dental Hygienevariesvaries58handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
*Nursingvariesvaries59handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
*Nutrition and DieteticsvariesUHM87handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
PharmacyDoctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)HILO106handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Social Welfare/Social Workvariesvaries110handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Speech-Language PathologyMaster of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders (M.S.)UHM310handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Physician AssistantMaster of Science (M.S.), Master of Physical Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.), or Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.)N/A59handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Professions marked with an (*) indicate the availability of various degree levels. Please see the "RELATED DEGREES" section for more information.

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Laboratory-Associated Health-Care Careers

“These health-care workers provide an invaluable service, performing complex laboratory tests and analyses, operating sophisticated equipment to monitor patients, and handling many routine duties. These people both directly and indirectly help save lives, ease pain, and improve patients’ quality of life. Their activities are indispensable in maintaining an effective health-care system.”

ProfessionDegreeCampusLevel of Science RequiredPatient InteractionBodily Fluid
*Medical Technologyvariesvaries81handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Forensic Sciencevariesvaries92handles bodily fluid FREQUENTLY
Professions marked with an (*) indicate the availability of various degree levels. Please see the "RELATED DEGREES" section for more information.

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Rehabilitation/Therapy Health-Care Careers

“The goal of these careers is to help individuals with impairments achieve a higher level of functioning and fulfillment. These careers require direct and often close contact with patients. Practice locations vary and include hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient facilities, and in-home services […] When necessary, therapists design treatment plans involving more than one approach. They set goals in light of the existing problems and the patient’s motivation and conduct periodic assessments to determine progress and see whether the established goals have been met. Then they modify the treatment plan accordingly. When a patient transfers home or to another facility, the therapist provides needed information to ensure continuity of therapy.”

ProfessionDegreeCampusLevel of Science RequiredPatient InteractionBodily Fluid
Occupational TherapyMaster of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.), Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.), or Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D)WICHE210handles bodily fluid OCCASIONALLY
Physical TherapyDoctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)WICHE710handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever

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Administrative Health-Care Careers

“Although the responsibilities for each [career] are different, they all have in common the goal of facilitating a successful stay at a health-care institution. Each of these careers also has a significant administrative component, and many may include significant supervisory responsibilities. The educational background requirements for these positions vary, but they demand a strong sense of responsibility and empathy. Each of these positions has its own special challenges, but they all can provide a strong sense of satisfaction that results from a meaningful public service career.”

Adult Residential Care Home OperatorCertificate (UG level)KAP, MAU
Health Care AdministrationBachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Public Administration: Health Care Administration UHWO
Health Care ManagementCertificate (UG level)LCC
Certificate (GR level)HPU
Health Unit CoordinatorAssociate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Health Unit CoordinatorMAU

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Health-care professionals are assisted in their work by a wide variety of technologists, technicians, and assistants. “A wide variety of careers are affiliated with the health-care industry. These responsible and challenging positions are of great value to physicians, dentists, and other diagnosing and treating practitioners. That activities of affiliated health-care professionals involve public health and preventive medicine, and in others they may be of direct benefit to sick patients. Some careers involve the continuing education of practitioners and furthering the study of health-related knowledge and information.” These professions may require a range of degree levels and a specific set of job skills.


Biomedical EngineeringBachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S.), or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Bioengineering and EngineeringUHM
Health SociologyCertificate in Social Sciences and Health (UG level)UHM
Medical ReceptionistCertificate (UG level)KAU, LCC

Diagnosis and Treatment

Allopathic MedicineDoctor of Medicine (M.D.)JABSOM
Allopathic Medicine - RELATEDMinor in Pre-Medical/Pre-HealthHPU
Minor in GerontologyHPU
Certificate in Pre-Medical/Pre-Health (Post-bac level)HPU
Certificate in Gerontology (UG level)HPU
Certificate in Gerontology (GR level)UHM
Veterinary Medicine - RELATEDBachelor of Science (B.S.) in Animal SciencesHILO, UHM
Master of Science (M.S.) in Animal SciencesUHM
Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in ZoologyUHM


Athletic TrainingMaster of Science (M.S.) in Athletic TrainingUHM
Dental HygieneAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Dental HygieneMAU
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Dental HygieneUHM
Nutrition & DieteticsBachelor of Science (B.S.) in Food Science and Human NutritionUHM
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Dietetics UHM
Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutritional SciencesUHM
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in NutritionUHM
Nursing - Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)Certificate (UG level)KAP, KAU, LCC, MAU, WCC
Nursing - License Practical Nurse (LPN)Certificate (UG level)HAW, KAP, KAU, MAU
Nursing - Registered Nurse (RN)Associate of Science (A.S.) in NursingHAW, KAP, KAU, LCC, MAU
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in NursingCHAM, HILO, HPU, UHM
Nursing - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)Master of Science (M.S.) in NursingHPU, UHM
Nursing - PROGRAMSLPN to ASN programKAP
LPN to BSN program HPU
RN to BSN programHILO, HPU, UHM
RN to MSN programHPU
BSN to DNP programHILO
MSN to DNP programHILO
Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (GR level)HPU
Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner (GR level)HPU
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)HILO, UHM
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing (Not admitting students till fall 2018)UHM
Social Work/Social WelfareBachelor of Science (B.S.) in Social Work BYUH, HPU, UHM
Master of Science (M.S.) in Social WorkHPU, *UHM
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social WelfareUHM
*UHM: areas of concentration available in mental health, health, children and families, and gerontology


Food ScientistMaster of Science (M.S.) in Food ScienceUHM
Medical TechnologyAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Medical Laboratory Technician KAP
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Medical TechnologyUHM
Certificate in Medical Technology (Post-bac level)UHM
Forensic SciencesCertificate in Applied Forensic Anthropology (UG level)LCC, UHWO
Minor in Forensic Health Science (UG level)HPU
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forensic Science CHAM


Clinical Mental Health CounselingMaster of Science (M.S.) in Rehabilitation CounselingUHM
Massage TherapyCertificate (UG level)KAP, KAU
Physical Therapy - RELATEDBachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences (KRS)UHM

Public Health

ProfessionDegreeCampusLevel of SciencePatient InteractionBodily Fluid
Public HealthMaster of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Health Policy and ManagementUHM14handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Biostatisticsn/a101handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Environmental Sciencen/a93handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) or *Master of Science (M.S.) in EpidemiologyUHM97handles bodily fluid OCCASIONALLY
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) or *Master of Science (M.S.) in Social and Behavioral SciencesUHM36handles bodily fluid RARELY, if ever
Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) in Community-Based and Translational ResearchUHM
Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) in EpidemiologyUHM
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Epidemiology UHM
Certificate in Global Health and Population Studies (GR level)UHM
*The MS in Public Health degree prepares practitioners for a career that includes research in a specific aspect of public health. The degree is suited for students with good quantitative and/or qualitative skills and an interest in the science of public health and a comprehensive research experience. The MS degree usually requires completion of a research project.

Mental Health

Clinical Mental Health CounselingMaster of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling HPU
Clinical PsychopharmacologyMaster of Science in Clinical PsychopharmacologyHILO
Clinical PsychologyCertificate in Clinical Psychology (GR level)UHM
Psychiatristsee Allopathic Medicine (under Diagnosis and Treatment)
Social Work/Welfaresee Social Work/Welfare (under Clinically-Associated)

Health Education/Counseling

CounselingMaster of Science (M.S.) in Rehabilitation CounselingUHM
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyHILO
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health CounselingHPU
Substance Abuse CounselingCertificate (UG level)HAW, LCC, MAU
Associate of Science (A.S.) in Substance Abuse CounselingMAU

Assistants and Technologists

Community Health WorkerCertificate (UG level)MAU
Dental AssistingCertificate (UG level)KAP, MAU
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)Certificate (UG level)KAP
Mobile Intensive Care Technician (Paramedic)Associate of Science in Mobile Intensive Care TechnicianKAP
Health Information TechnologyAssociate of Science in Health Information TechnologyLCC
Certificate of Achievement (UG level)LCC
Certificate of Competence (UG level)LCC
Exercise and Sport ScienceBachelor of Science (B.S.) in Exercise and Sport ScienceBYUH
KinesiologyBachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Kinesiology and Exercise SciencesHILO
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Services (KRS)UHM
Master of Science (M.S.) in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences (KRS)UHM
Medical AssistantCertificate (UG level)KAP, KAU
Certificate of Completion Medical Assistant I (UG level)MAU
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) In Medical Assistant IIMAU
Associate of Science in Medical AssistingKAP
Medication AssistantCertificate (UG level)MAU
Occupational Therapy AssistantAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Occupational Therapy AssistantKAP
Certificate in Therapeutic Activity Aide I & II (UG level)MAU
Pharmacy TechnicianCertificate (UG level)KAP
PhlebotomyCertificate (UG level)KAP
Physical Therapy AssistantAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Physical Therapy AssistantKAP
Radiologic TechnologyAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Radiologic TechnologyKAP
Respiratory Care PractitionerAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Respiratory Care PractitionerKAP
Surgical TechnologySurgical Technology Program*KAP
Veterinary TechnologyAssociate of Science (A.S.) in Veterinary TechnologyWCC
Veterinary AssistantCertificate (UG level)WCC
*Completion of this program will qualify you to sit for the Certification as a Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.

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