Online Psychology Degree Programs in Hawaii

| Staff Writers Modified on March 23, 2022

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Psychologists help people deal with stress, trauma, anxiety, addiction, and mental and behavioral disorders. Working in mental health can provide a sense of accomplishment and may also lead to the betterment of communities.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that psychologists earn a median salary of $79,010, though certain focuses and industries earn more. For example, industrial-organizational psychologists and government psychologists earn a median income of nearly $100,000. All of these numbers surpass the Social Security Administration's reported average income for U.S. households in 2018, which was approximately $52,145.

However, to become a psychologist, students must complete supervised clinical hours and earn a licence. This page explores the licensure process, requirements for a career in psychology, the structure of psychology programs, and professional resources for psychology graduates.

How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Hawaii Work? reports only a few colleges and universities in the state, counting three graduate institutions. Due to this low number, online psychology degrees in Hawaii are not common, and higher degrees are less frequent. For instance, learners interested in psychology master's programs in Hawaii may need to study on campus. Likewise, doctoral programs may be limited to traditional degrees.

Generally, schools insist on the same coursework for online and traditional programs, which can mean similar program lengths. Programs may also require field experiences that learners must complete in person at relevant organizations.

Online degrees are usually just as valuable as traditional degrees, especially because institutions typically do not mention the delivery method on a student's transcript or degree.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Hawaii?

Each online psychology degree in Hawaii features a unique curriculum. Below, we list five common courses that most degree-seekers will encounter.


Students can explore psychological disorders through current research and theories. This exploration may include each disorder's history, physiology, causes, and treatment options. Coursework may also address how these issues affect the clients, their families, and their communities. These classes often surface in bachelor's programs at psychology colleges in Hawaii.

Lifespan Development

Courses address social, psychological, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive development throughout life. Degree-seekers can learn about developmental milestones and the impact of environment and nurturing on growth. Departments introduce learners to relevant theories, such as cognitive-developmental theory, and may focus on age groups like adults or early childhood learners.

Abnormal Psychology

Coursework addresses psychological disorders and atypical behaviors that may become self-destructive. Candidates can study communities and cultures to determine what constitutes normal psychology and behavior, and also how individuals perceive psychological disorders. These bachelor's classes also examine legal concerns when assessing and treating individuals with disorders.


Degree-seekers can explore steps in the research process, such as building a research question and determining source credibility. Coursework also covers assessment and analysis techniques used in interpreting existing research and trains learners to write reports and deliver presentations.


These classes focus on biological reasons for behavior and mental health by applying concepts from neuroscience and anatomy. This information illustrates how psychological disorders happen and also provides insights that can help facilitate motivation and emotional growth for clients.

Becoming a Psychologist in Hawaii

Becoming a psychologist in Hawaii begins with an education. Candidates can start by earning a bachelor's, but they must ultimately obtain a doctorate for state licensure. Details for programs vary, so learners should compare options to find the most suitable opportunities for their career goals and financial or scheduling needs. Psychologists must also fulfill supervised fieldwork and examination components before licensure.

  • Specialize

    Specializations for psychology programs include topics like clinical, counseling, educational, forensic, and industrial-organizational psychology. These focuses shape curricula to prepare learners for different careers. When available, Candidates should choose specializations that reflect their career goals.
  • Earn Your Degrees

    A student in Hawaii can earn a bachelor's in psychology by completing 120 credits in general education, electives, and major classes. Major courses may explore biological aspects of mental health, strategies for field research, and tips for conducting counseling sessions. A master's counseling degree may call for 30-60 credits that do not include general education courses. Rather, these programs examine advanced psychological concepts. A doctorate usually requires 5-10 years of study and extensive research on a doctoral project. Psychology colleges in Hawaii do not typically offer either of these degrees online.
  • Obtain Licensure

    Becoming a licensed psychologist in Hawaii requires a doctorate in a relevant field. Educational psychology and general psychology degrees must come from colleges or universities with regional accreditation, and doctorate degrees must be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

    Previous coursework must include at least six graduate credits in six categories, including biological, cognitive-affective, and social bases of behavior. Candidates will also need at least three credits in topics like ethics, history, research, and statistics.

    Requirements also include an application fee and field experience. In particular, applicants need 1,900 field hours performed in internships and 1,900 supervised hours that occur after graduating. Licensure also requires the examination for professional practice in psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. This exam covers eight key topics in psychology, including assessment and diagnosis, and requires an exam fee.

Other Licenses and Certifications

A candidate with only a master's degree cannot become a licensed psychologist, but they can pursue other mental health careers in Hawaii. However, those careers may require graduate degrees to reflect a specific field or include specific coursework. These credentials may also call for field experiences and relevant exams. The following section details the requirements for three mental health careers.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

This license requires a master's in social work with specialized accreditation, a doctorate from a school with accreditation from the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, or a degree of similar value. Additional requirements include the clinical test from the Association of Social Work Boards and at least 3,000 hours of supervised field experience following graduation.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Marriage and Family Therapist

This credential requires a master's or doctorate in a relevant field and specific coursework that includes human development, research, and marriage and family studies classes. Candidates must also complete supervised field experiences and take the national marital and family therapy exam.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Mental Health Counselor

Aspiring counselors need graduate degrees related to mental health counseling. Their graduate programs must explore designated concepts that include social and cultural foundations of mental health work. The state also insists on supervised fieldwork and completion of the national counselor examination before licensure and certification.

Mental Health Counselor

Online Psychology Bachelor's Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Hawaii

According to the BLS, the mean income for psychologists in Hawaii is $1,350 less than the mean U.S. income for the career. Psychologists in Hawaii also earn, on average, less than professionals in California and Washington.

Average incomes vary by metropolitan area within Hawaii, with psychologists in Urban Honolulu earning the most, with $93,760. This is still lower than the national average ($95,610), but nearly triples the state's median income for all careers, which is $33,882. These numbers indicate that, while psychologist salaries in Hawaii are often less than salaries in other states, they still provide lucrative options when compared to other professions in the state.

The BLS projects positive growth for mental health careers in Hawaii, including a 2.2%, 12-month employment growth projection for education and health services positions. This increase may be connected to the U.S. Census Bureau's positive growth projections for the Hawaiian population as a whole.

Hawaii at a Glance

Population: 1,420,491

Population Growth (2010-2018): 4.43%

Population Growth Rank: 26

Source: United States Census Bureau

 Mean Annual SalaryProjected Job Growth (2016-26)
National Average$95,61010.3%

Source: BLS, Projections Central

 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist SalaryGeneral Unemployment RateEducation and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth
Urban Honolulu$93,7602.6%2.2%
Hawaii / Kauai Nonmetropolitan area$77,520N/AN/A
Kahului - Wailuku - Lahaina$61,9702.5%0.8%

Source: BLS

Psychology Degrees and Careers in Hawaii -- Frequently Asked Questions

Online psychology degrees in Hawaii come with different course requirements, delivery methods, objectives, and timelines. These factors affect the value of online psychology colleges in Hawaii. The following section provides answers to common questions related to these concerns.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Hawaii?

While the application approval process may take less than a month, candidates must invest years gaining the requirements to take the licensing exam. Applicants must have doctorates, which can take more than five years to complete, on top of bachelor's and master's degrees. Licensure also requires 1,900 hours of field experience after graduation. In total, an aspiring professional can invest 12-15 years in pursuit of a psychologist license.

Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?

Online classes require the same coursework as on-campus programs. For instance, online learners may complete forum posts in lieu of class discussions, virtually submit tests and papers, and participate in group projects online, but they still cover all the same course materials. These courses examine complex ideas related to physiology, research, and human development, which prepares students to assist mentally and emotionally struggling individuals.

What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?

Psychologists must understand mental, emotional, and behavioral issues and know how to treat them. This requires good communication skills, so they can discuss treatments with clients, and a good head for assessment and problem-solving, to help determine the right treatment plans for individual clients. Candidates should also practice patience, as treatment times and client progress can vary.

What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Hawaii?

There are only a handful of four-year and graduate institutions in the state. Of those schools, the University of Hawai'i, Chaminade University of Honolulu, and Hawai'i Pacific University offer psychology programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa at #112 on its list of psychology programs. However, learners should note that options for a doctorate or online master's in psychology in Hawaii may be limited.

Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?

According to APA, BA and BS programs cover similar information and prepare for comparable careers and academic trajectories. While a BS tends to focus on more scientific information while BAs grant a more well-rounded liberal arts education, candidates should consider courses, concentrations, and internships in either type of degree that best reflect their career goals.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Hawaii

Based in California, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is the regional accrediting body for colleges and universities in Hawaii. Regional accreditation is the most rigorous form of accreditation. Many colleges and graduate programs only accept transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges.

Alternatively, many institutions, including some in Hawaii, can be nationally accredited if they focus on a specific career or trade overseen by a single, national accrediting body. Students at both types of accredited institutions are eligible for financial aid.

Psychology programs can also hold programmatic accreditation, which applies to a specific school or department. This form of accreditation ensures that the program maintains professional standards and is current with its curriculum. Programmatic accreditation is often required for graduates seeking professional licensure. APA and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards both grant accreditation to doctoral programs, which may include psychology Ph.D. programs in Hawaii.

Whatever program you pursue, confirm that it holds accreditation so that you are eligible for future graduate programs, financial aid, and professional licensure.

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Hawaii

While internships and fellowships may seem similar, distinct differences separate the two. Internships can usually be completed by anyone with any level of education or experience, often counting toward work or educational credit. Some internships are also paid.

Fellowships are more academically focused and typically involve research completed by graduate or doctoral students or recent graduates. Fellows usually receive a stipend for their work.

Psychology students in Hawaii can find internships at health centers, nonprofit organizations, and colleges or universities. Candidates may also apply for internships at school districts, the East Hawaii Family Guidance Center, and the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility through the Hawaii Psychology Internship Consortium. The following organizations may also offer or connect learners to internships.

Hawai'i Behavioral Health

Five HBH locations across the state focus on youth and families. Founded in 1993, this organization delivers educational, social, and behavioral health services. They offer mental health assessments, individual and family therapy, foster care services, and parental training.

The Queen's Medical Center

Located in Honolulu, this hospital offers mental and behavioral health services. Inpatient and outpatient options are available, including counseling services, family treatment, psychiatric hospitalization, and day treatment services.

Helping Hands Hawaii

Founded in 1974, this organization's behavioral health programs include money management services for those with serious mental illness, case management services, and care coordination.

National Center on Indigenous Hawaiian Behavioral Health

Part of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa's Department of Psychiatry, this research center works to improve the mental health of its communities. The program was established through federal funding, and research is led by Native Hawaiians.

Kāhi Mōhala

This medical service provider is part of the Sutter Health network and focuses on behavioral health. Services for children, adolescents, and adults include residential programs for children and adolescents, partial hospitalization programs, electroconvulsive therapy, and a military treatment program.

Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals

Members of professional organizations can attend seminars, conferences, and workshops to learn new field concepts and network with other professionals. These groups may also provide directories of member psychologists or maintain job boards. Organizations often publish books, reports, journals, and blog posts on field topics and may offer continuing education opportunities for license or certification renewal.

  • Hawaii Psychological Association HPA offers a searchable database of psychologists and hosts a yearly convention with workshops, presentations, and discussions. The association also offers events on topics like cultural diversity, ethical concerns for clinical practice, and therapy strategies. HPA connects individuals with continuing education options and publishes The Hawaii Psychologist.
  • American Psychological Association APA publishes journals, books, videos, brochures, and reports on topics like addiction, parenting, depression, and ADHD. Members can also attend APA events, like the National Council for the Social Studies. The association delivers a webinar series and resources that relate to prekindergarten, K-12, undergraduate, and graduate studies. Additional resources include job listings and a career fair.
  • Hawaii Counselors Association This association offers regular, student, and lifetime memberships. It connects members with organizations such as the Hawaii Mental Health Counselors Association and the Hawaii Career Development Association.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA hosts a yearly conference and other events. Candidates can also participate in continuing education opportunities through the organization and access field publications, such as the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and The Advocate Magazine. Members can view AMHCA webinars and browse open psychology positions through the website as well.
  • Hawaii Association of School Psychologists This association delivers events like the Annual HASP Conference, a spring workshop, the Advanced Practitioners Series, and School Psychologist Awareness Week. The website maintains a searchable directory and connects site viewers with career resources. The group offers different levels of membership: regular, student, associate, and retired.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Hawaii

'Imi Na'auao Scholarship

This merit-based scholarship benefits graduate students with Hawaiian residency.

  • Amount Offered: Varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: January 31
  • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be Hawaiian residents with minimum 3.0 GPAs who graduated from college or will be graduating the spring following application. Applicants must meet funding guidelines and be accepted into graduate programs and enrolled (or planning to enroll) full time.
Nā Ho'okama a Pauahi Scholarship

The NHAP scholarship is need-based and awarded to a Hawaiian undergraduate or graduate student resident enrolled at an accredited institution.

  • Amount Offered: $8,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be Hawaiian residents, enrolled full time as degree-seeking students accredited institutions, who demonstrate financial need and meet funding guidelines. Recipients must complete 50 hours of community service per year.
2010 Legends' Scholarship

Administered by the Pauahi Foundation, this scholarship aids an undergraduate student with an interest in Hawaiian culture, language, or history.

  • Amount Offered: $1,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be full-time undergraduate students with a minimum 2.7 GPA who demonstrate a commitment to the community.
Pauahi Foundation Scholarships

These scholarships are administered by the Pauahi Foundation, and they all require that students be committed to their community and express an interest in Hawaiian history, culture, or language.

  • Amount Offered: varies
  • Scholarship Deadline: varies
  • Eligibility Requirements: Hawaiian residents with well-rounded achievement records may apply.

Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Hawaii

Now that you know whether you might want to pursue an online psychology degree in Hawaii, it's time to start investigating your options. Each student should consider program cost, on-campus requirements, and the number of credits needed to complete the degree. The database below includes all accredited psychology programs offered online in the state.

Explore Psychology Careers

Mental Health Initiatives in Hawaii

When it comes to mental health services, Hawaii's penetration rate is approximately 7% for every 1,000 citizens. This number is much lower than the national rate of 23.7%. The highest penetration rate for Hawaii is among clients who are 13-17 (15.9%), though the national average for that age group is nearly three times the state's rate.

Overall, Hawaii's reach for mental health services is lower than average expectations in the U.S. Funding for current services in Hawaii comes from sources such as Medicaid and the Mental Health Block Grant.

Hawaii participates in many initiatives for community housing, inpatient and outpatient treatment, forensic services, crisis services, and psychological rehabilitation. These initiatives include the Suicide and Crisis Hotline, group homes, employment programs, and mental health centers.

Hawaii also offers CARE, which helps individuals from all age groups who struggle with addiction or behavioral and mental health issues. State residents can also benefit from the Dual Diagnosis Centers, which focus on clients who struggle with combinations of addiction and mental disorders.

Latest Posts

Discover Online Programs by Specialty

Find the psychology program that best fits your career plans and budget.