Online Business Schools in Hawai'i (HI)


With a ranking of #42 on Chief Executive’s 2019 list of Best and Worst States for Business, #46 on the Forbes 2018 list of Best States for Business, and #47 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best States for Business Environment, Hawai’i is one of the worst states in the US in which to do business. The reason for the low rankings is a strict regulatory environment, high business costs, and of course, one of the highest costs of living in the country.

Key industries in Hawai’i include small business, filmmaking, digital production, tourism, and manufacturing. There are no Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in Hawai’i, but major business influences in the state include Albert C. Kobayashi Inc., Continental Airlines, John Hancock Life Insurance, Hansen Distribution Group, Pflueger Automotive Group, Delta Construction, and Alexander & Baldwin. Recently, the High Tech Development Corporation invested heavily in research and development, which is anticipated to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs in the state.

For those looking to capitalize on the business opportunities in Hawai’i, choosing to pursue an online MBA offered by a business school based out of Hawai’i can create important connections in the Hawai’ian business community. Taught by the same distinguished professors and held to the same accreditation standards as their on-campus counterparts, online MBAs can help busy professionals to advance their careers without relocation, ceasing to work, or sacrificing quality of professional development. In addition, online MBA programs give those with packed schedules control over when and where they engage in learning.

Keep reading to learn more about business school in Hawai’i offering flexible online MBA programs; the qualified professors providing guidance, wisdom, and knowledge; and options to study in a way that blends online and on-campus learning.

Featured Online MBA Programs in Hawai’i

The distance learning executive MBA offered through the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa is a rigorous and challenging program designed to create sharp, refined leaders who operative from a global mindset.

Students can choose a general MBA track or a healthcare management track. Coursework in the 48-credit program includes marketing management, accounting for decision making, leadership and organizational behavior, and digital transformation with information systems technology.

As this MBA is primarily designed to help students living across the Hawai’ian islands to participate, this MBA is synchronous, meaning classes happen at a specific time and day throughout the program. In addition, all distance learning students are expected to attend a five-day in-person residency at the beginning of the program. GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply and waivers are not available. Applicants also must have five or more years of work experience to apply.

Location: Honolulu, Hawai’i
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time To Completion: 22 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,015 per credit hour

For students interested in building a better world, the online MBA offered through the School of Business & Communication at Catholic Marianist Chaminade University prepares graduates for business leadership on a platform of individual growth, innovation, and forward-thinking, community-oriented social stewardship.

Students interested in the program can choose a general MBA or one of five MBA concentrations: accounting, healthcare administration, island business, not-for-profit business, and science and technology innovation. Coursework in the 36-credit-hour program includes leading people in organizations, strategic management, managerial ethics and decision making, and economic analysis for managers. GMAT scores are not required to apply.

Location: Honolulu, Hawai’i
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Expected Time To Completion: As few as 18 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,035 per credit hour

The online MBA offered by the College of Business at Hawai’i Pacific University prepares graduates for a wide range of career possibilities in traditional and cutting edge-fields through the development of strong leadership, communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. The program is rated as number one in overall diversity nationwide by College Factual and has small class sizes, despite large incoming classes.

Coursework in the 32-credit program includes leadership of self and others, complex financial decision-making in the new age of technology, economics of global competitiveness and strategy, and managing across borders in the 21st century. GMAT scores are required to apply to Hawai’i Pacific, although waivers may be available for those with an undergraduate ‘B’ grade in the equivalent of four foundation courses or a graduate degree with a 3.0 GPA.

Location: Honolulu, Hawai’i
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time To Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $1,200 per credit hour

Hybrid MBA Programs in Hawai’i

For many prospective students choosing an MBA program, flexibility is as important as the networking opportunities that can arise from career development. For students living close to a college campus, hybrid online on-campus programs can be an attractive option. With the flexibility of online coursework to give students the choice over where to attend courses and in-person opportunities to network, hybrid programs can offer a best-of-both-worlds MBA experience.

The following school of business in Hawai’i offers a hybrid on-campus/online MBA program:

Professors to Know in Hawai’i Business Schools

  • Dharm Bhawuk, PhD, MBA Shidler College of Business

    Dr. Dharm Bhawuk is a professor of management and culture and community in the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. His research interests include indigenous psychology and management, intercultural sensitivity, individualism and collectivism, intercultural training, culture and quality, culture and ethics.

    Dr. Bhawuk is a prolific author and editor, responsible for three books, dozens of book chapers, and peer-reviewed articles published in journals like the Asian Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Indian Psychology, Psychology and Developing Societies, and the International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Dr. Bhawuk is also a decorated researcher, earning the Rupe Chilsom Best Theory to Practice Paper Award from the Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management.

    Dr. Bhawuk earned his MBA in international business from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and his PhD in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Wayne Tanna, JD, LLM Chaminade University

    Professor Wayne Tanna is a professor of accounting in the School of Business & Communication at Chaminade University of Honolulu, where he leads courses in accounting and tac law. In addition to his duties at Chaminade, Professor Tanna currently works as an attorney and consultant with a concentration in nonprofits, tax, and civil rights law.

    A vocal advocate for pro bono service in the professional community, Mr. Tanna serves as a volunteer attorney with Volunteer Legal Services Hawai’i. He also earned The President’s Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation; the Aloha United Way Family and Individual Self-Sufficiency Above and Beyond Award; and an Outstanding Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from the International Society of Business Disciplines.

    Professor Tanna earned his JD from Lewis & Clark College and his LLM in taxation from the University of the Pacific.

  • Ghazwan Hassna, PhD, MSc Hawai’i Pacific University

    Dr. Ghazwan Hassna is an assistant professor of information systems in the College of Business at Hawai’i Pacific University. His professional interests include digital strategies and digital transformation, big data strategy and big data analytics, and smart and digital governance.

    Dr. Hassna’s research and teaching interests include fintech and crowdfunding, business analytics and intelligence, and big data strategy and analysis. He is a published scholar with works appearing in refereed journals including Financial Innovation and Information and Communication Technologies.

    Professionally, Dr. Hassna has worked with high profile organizations including the Prime Ministry of Syria, the United Nations Development Program, and the European Commission. He has a wealth of international experience, working in the United Kingdom, Malta, Bahrain, Netherlands, Serbia, Egypt, Dubai, Hong Kong, and the US. Dr. Hassna earned his master of science in management and information systems from the University of Manchester and his PhD in information systems from the City University of Hong Kong.

Becca Brewer
Becca Brewer

Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by healing herself into wholeness, divesting from separation, and walking the path of the loving heart. Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.