Physician Assistant Programs in Hawaii

Hawaii residents interested in careers as physician’s assistants can earn their degree online without leaving the state, which is a great convenience given that there are no accredited on campus PA programs in the state. 

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Hawaii

Although there are no on campus programs in the state of Hawaii, you should still be aware of the advantages of both on campus and online physician assistant program formats. Think about whether an online learning environment is one you can thrive in – while online is preferred by many, you may want to consider temporarily relocating out of state to an on campus program if online learning isn’t for you. Online programs can be a great option for those who want flexibility – the degree of flexibility offered varies by program and ranges from simply eliminating commute time to you having full control over when you complete all coursework requirements. 

Last Updated: 12/21/20

On Campus PA Programs

On campus programs are the traditional learning format where students complete classwork on campus and then clinical requirements in the community. This format is not available in the state of Hawaii, However there are two types of programs that integrate online learning into their curriculums:

Online PA Programs

Fully online programs have coursework that is all completed online. Typically clinical requirements can be completed in the student’s own community with universities assisting in securing placements. Types of online learning are described later on in this article. A few trips to campus may be required in order to complete the program, but no more than a couple per year.

Hybrid PA Programs

Hybrid PA programs may be the best of both worlds for students who want some of the flexibility of online learning while still having an in person experience. These programs simply have some in person learning requirements and some online requirements.

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online programs are delivered in two main ways:

  • Synchronous – real time delivery of classes or other deliverables – students must log in at specific times
  • Asynchronous – courses are not attended in real time, requirements are completed on a student’s own time

How Long do Physician Assistant Programs Typically Take to Complete?

A Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree usually takes 2.5 to 4 years to complete (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). If you are already a PA but need a master’s the bridge program you will complete typically takes less time.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Hawaii Students

The following online physician assistant programs are available to students in Hawaii. Note that some of these options are for students who are already certified PAs but do not hold a master’s degree:

Fully online PA programs

If you wish to become a PA, here are eight physician assistant programs that are completely online. Some require you to be online at scheduled times for certain classes, discussions or exams; others do not. Some also require you to be NCCPA certified in order to apply.

School Degree level Live classes On-campus requirements Length of program Accreditation
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


Doctor of science in physician- assistant studies (DScPAS) No None 3 years, but accelerated program is two years ARC-PA accreditation
Pace University


MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 12 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
Touro College


MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 12 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Nebraska – Medical Center


MPAS for already-certified PAs, or MPAS/MPH dual No None Five semesters N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley


MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 28 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Wisconsin – Madison


MPAS Some First summer semester / 12 weeks 36 months ARC-PA accreditation

1ARC-PA probation is a temporary accreditation status for programs that are making substantial progress toward all accreditation standards but need more time to become compliant.

2ARC-PA provisional means that a program has the plans and resources needed to meet all accreditation standards but has not yet enrolled students; or that a program is demonstrating progress toward the standards as it prepares for its first graduating class.

Hybrid physician assistant programs

Here are three hybrid physician assistant programs, all of which require a combination of online and on-campus work. 

School Degree level Live classes On-campus requirements Length of program Accreditation
Miami Dade College


MDC-PA, M.H.Sc. Some All clinicals are in Florida 27 months ARC-PA accreditation
University of North Dakota MPAS Some 15 weeks 24 months ARC-PA accreditation

 On Campus PA Programs in Hawaii

There are currently no on campus accredited PA programs in Hawaii. Since Hawaii is not part of the continental US, those interested in a PA degree who live in Hawaii will need to temporarily relocate if they wish to attend an on campus program.

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Hawaii

To become a physician assistant in Georgia, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Physician Assistant Degree – This will take you about two to three and a half years. Look for physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) to ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) – You can learn more about the PANCE on our guide to becoming a physician assistant.
  3. Get Licensed – Check with the Hawaii Medical Board as early as possible to make sure you are on track to meet all current requirements for licensure. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), licensure in Hawaii requires graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and passage of the PANCE exam. Current certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is also required. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out Hawaii’s state board for exact requirements.