Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Health Related Programs at UH Hilo

Exploratory Health Sciences Meta Major

The Exploratory Health Sciences Meta-Major provides students the opportunity to explore a diversity of health science programs leading to rewarding careers. This meta-major allows students to investigate career pathways prior to selection of a major. The meta-major is designed to fulfill most general education requirements within the first two years. Students planning to apply to the BSN in Nursing are advised to declare the Exploratory Health Science Meta-Major.

School of Pharmacy

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) offers a four-year course of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.

The curriculum, rooted in basic, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences, is designed for students to acquire knowledge of the scientific underpinnings of pharmacy practice. The social, behavioral and administrative sciences that inform pharmaceutical care are integrated throughout the curriculum.

Pre-Pharmacy, is a minimum two-year comprehensive preparatory program of study toward admittance into the professional curriculum leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP).

School of Nursing

The changing demands of today's complex health care environment require that nurses have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have a high level of preparation in their respective fields—physicians, pharmacists, and other health providers. The effectiveness of nurses is directly related to the amount and type of education they receive, and recent research has established a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes. The Nursing Program emphasizes life long learning and teaches students to deliver culturally congruent nursing care in a rural environment.

The School of Nursing provides three programs:

Students interested in the BSN program fulfill their pre-nursing degree requirements in the Exploratory Health Sciences Meta-Major.

Exploratory Health Sciences-Nursing

Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences (KES)

The KES program provides students with a diverse range of high quality instruction and opportunities within the areas of health, physical education, recreation, and the exercise sciences. The vision of the Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences department is shaped and designed by our students’ interests and needs.

The KES major is comprised three tracks:

  • Kinesiology and Exercise (KESE) – coaching, teaching, personal training, strength and conditioning, and exercise physiology.
  • Health Promotion (KESH) – medicine, sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and exercise sciences research.
  • Physical Therapy and Biomedicine (KESM) – community health, rural health, health care administration, epidemiology, health and wellness management, and indigenous health.

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (Specialization: Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (Specialization: Clinical Mental Health Counseling) is a 60 semester-hour program offered by the Department of Psychology and can be completed in two years. Graduate can become Licensed Mental Health Counselors in Hawaii and other states. The program is open to students living in all areas of the State and utilizes the Hawaii Interactive Video System for distance education. The program is nationally accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council. Given the high level of mental health service needs in Hawaii and across the nation, the job market is bright for graduates of this program. For more information, visit

Biology: Pre-Medicine / Pre-Dentistry Track

Pre-Med Students discuss suturing a prosthetic arm

Pre-Med Students cut into a prosthetic arm during a Suturing Workshop

The Pre-Medicine / Pre-Dentistry curriculum prepares students for admittance into medical and dental schools. Completion of the pre-medicine / pre-dentistry curriculum does not guarantee admission into medical or dental schools but it ensures that you take the courses that are required or recommended for admission to many medical or dental schools nationally. Because requirements vary across medical schools, you should check the requirements of the particular medical school that you are interested in applying to. The pre-medicine / pre-dentistry curriculum overlaps with the requirements for the B.A./B.S. Biology degrees at UH Hilo so you should make an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Awaya or Dr. Stan Nakanishi in the Biology Department for guidance.

Bachelor of Business Administration - Health Care Management Concentration

The College of Business and Economics offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a concentration in Healthcare Management that is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). AACSB Accreditation is globally recognized and is the most rigorous accreditation that a university can earn for its business degree programs. AACSB-accredited school graduates are in high demand and often continue on to top graduate business programs. Students who complete the BBA with the Healthcare Management concentration will possess sought-after skills including budgeting, personnel management, market research, strategic planning, and public speaking. Graduates will be qualified for managerial and analyst positions in healthcare providers such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers, healthcare suppliers such as pharmaceutical firms and technology companies, insurance companies, and policy organizations.

Anthropology: Medical Anthropology Track

Medical anthropology is a very exciting subfield of anthropology that examines the evolution of humans and pathogens, the effects of globalization and international development on health disparities, and the health legacies of colonialism. Medical anthropologists gain knowledge and develop skills that lend themselves to a variety of careers, including health services directors, health and social policy analysts, health care consultants, data analysts, social workers and health librarians. It is also an ideal undergraduate degree for pursuing graduate work in nursing or public health.

Students wishing to pursue a medical anthropology track should meet with Dr. Lynn Morrison or in the Anthropology Department for guidance in completing the Anthropology major.

Animal Science: Pre-Veterinary Medicine Track

The Animal Science Pre-Veterinary Medicine curriculum was developed for students interested in pursuing post-graduate studies in Veterinary Medicine or Animal Science. This curriculum meets the entrance course requirements of many Veterinary Colleges and graduate Animal Science programs. Because Animal Science Pre-Veterinary Medicine students are required to take many of the same courses as Biology students, it is possible for students to receive a B.S. in Agriculture and a B.S. in Biology.