University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu


UH West Oʻahu’s eight unique certificates offer students a solid foundation in business objectives and processes and prepares students with management roles in business environments. Students are provided with an understanding of the perspectives that form the context of business, including ethical and global issues; the influence of political, social, legal, regulatory, environmental, and technological issues; and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations.

Applied Forensic Anthropology

The certificate in Applied Forensic Anthropology (AFAN) will give students a solid foundation in forensic anthropology and a good introduction to the wider field of forensic science. This certificate may be earned alone or in conjunction with a Bachelor’s degree. Degrees that are especially relevant are a Bachelor of Arts in the Social Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology or a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration with a concentration in Justice Administration. When combined with relevant degrees, the certificate in AFAN will make students more competitive for a variety of job opportunities and advanced education in forensic anthropology, the wider field of forensic science, and other related fields.

This program is a collaboration between Leeward Community College and the UH West O‘ahu. A total of 29-30 credits are required. Students are welcomed and encouraged to enroll concurrently in classes at both campuses.

Learning OUtcomes

Dr. Jennifer Byrnes
Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2394

Asian Studies

The University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu offers students the opportunity to study the cultures of Asia in an interdisciplinary program leading to an Academic Subject Certificate in Asian Studies. This academic credential is included on student transcripts and can be the first step toward employment in a variety of professional and academic fields related directly, or indirectly, to Asia.

The term “Asia” is of Western origin, but for the purposes of this certificate, refers geographically to the Far East (China, Japan, and Korea), Southeast Asia, and South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangaldesh). Although the term is vague, the economic and cultural influence of Asia is real. Due to the increasingly global environment of business, persons with an understanding of Asian cultures are in demand. Asia is home to nearly 60 percent of global GDP, some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, half the world’s population, and an expanding middle class, and so offers great opportunities for U.S. firms and workers. This certificate will be useful to students who work in Hawaiʻi after graduation, given the prominence of international visitors in the tourism industry. In 2016, about one in six visitors to Hawai‘i came from Japan (almost 1.5 million), while there were roughly 250,000 South Korean visitors and 170,000 Chinese visitors (the highest spending of all visitors to Hawai‘i.)

Learning Outcomes

Dr. Jayson Chun
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2350

Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management

The certificate in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (DPEM) provides students and practitioners in the field of disaster preparedness and emergency management with a broad range of administrative skills and knowledge required in the growing and challenging areas of disaster preparedness, emergency management, and homeland security. The certificate can be earned as a self-standing credential and may also be used as a part of a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration at the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu. The Bachelor’s degree includes on-campus classes. Courses for the bachelor’s degree and certificate are offered through in-class and distance learning instruction.

All courses meet national standards as established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Higher Education Project.

The certificate program is the only undergraduate, stand-alone DPEM certificate program in the State of Hawai’i. Many of non-traditional students pursuing the certificate are already employed by various government agencies tasked with disaster preparedness and emergency management, and as a result of their studies, these students gain the skills and knowledge to enhance job performance and career advancement. These individuals have work experience, but may not have a college degree. The DPEM certificate gives them the credentials they need for increased employability. In addition, the employers of many graduates recognize the certificate as a criterion for employee advancement. Traditionally, students choose to add the DPEM certificate as a way to increase their employability. This is especially the case for degree students majoring in Justice Administration, Health Care Administration, Business Administration, and the Social Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Dr. Ross Prizzia
(808) 689-2365

Dr. Jason Levy
(808) 689-2492

Gender Studies

A Gender Studies certificate emphasizes progressive and transformative possibilities in our world, while also recognizing how gender interacts with systems of inequality. The Gender Studies certificate is designed for all undergraduates to acquire a focused background in contemporary transdisciplinary scholarship in feminist and gender studies. Whatever a student’s concentration is, they can benefit from studying social and cultural achievements of women and applying contributions from feminist theory to the world around them. The certificate’s practical value is the enhancement of students’ abilities to think critically and constructively about the society and communities they are a part of with a focus on gender. The proposed certificate’s curriculum includes appropriate interdisciplinary courses. It will consist of 15 upper division credits including those in English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration and Sociology. Further, it offers a credential that is applicable to a wide range of careers including medicine, nursing, law, business, education, counseling, and social work. The certificate will also provide the theoretical groundwork for advanced feminist and gender studies at the graduate level.

Learning Outcomes

Dr. Monique Mironesco
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2391

Dr. Xóchitl Mota-Back
Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2484

Health Care Administration

The certificate in Health Care Administration provides students and health care practitioners with a broad range of administrative skills and knowledge needed in the dynamic and growing health care field. For those who are already employed in the health care field, this certificate enhances their qualifications and skills for more effective job performance and greater career mobility. The certificate may also be used as part of a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu or for students who are majoring in other fields. The certificate is the only upper division, stand-alone, Board of Regents approved degree in the State of Hawaiʻi that addresses the growing workforce demand for more certified health care professionals. This program is offered through in-class and distance learning instruction.

Learning Outcomes

Dr. Kristina Lu
Director of Health Care Administration Program
(808) 689-2361


The Certificate in Music provides UH West O‘ahu students with an opportunity to improve skills and gain knowledge in four areas of music: music performance; music theory and music writing; music technology; and music history and literature. Students will benefit from a diverse set of experiences designed to enhance musicianship in traditional and contemporary music ensembles, encourage music creativity, and foster a better understanding of music’s role in our world. Students desiring life-long participation in community ensembles will find the Certificate in Music useful as a bridge to post-college music-making. Graduates of the Certificate in Music will also be better prepared to incorporate music into their career pursuits. Elementary educators, for instance, incorporate music into their classroom teaching; Business/Marketing graduates use their knowledge of music literature to support an effective advertising campaign; and Creative Media majors use their practical skills in the recording studio to reinforce the impact of a film or documentary.

Learning Outcomes

Dr. Jon Magnussen
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2357

Risk Management & Insurance

A certificate in risk management and insurance provides training in risk management for personal and commercial lines of insurance, and prepare students for the CPCU examinations and other professional certifications. Courses cover personal property and liability insurance, life and health insurance, retirement planning, business law, loss prevention, risk retention, self insurance, and risk financing techniques. Students completing the certificate in risk management and insurance will be better prepared to obtain an insurance license and pass the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) examination and course of study. UH West O‘ahu worked in partnership with Hawai‘i’s insurance industry to create this Risk Management and Insurance certificate specifically to address the growing need for skilled insurance professionals locally and nationwide. The program is presently offered at UH West O‘ahu both in person and online.

Learning Outcomes

Edward Keaunui
(808) 689-2393

Substance Abuse & Addictions Studies

The certificate in Substance Abuse and Addictions Studies (SAAS) is primarily an online, internet-based program designed to help students meet the State education requirements for certification as substance abuse counselors and to provide continuing education opportunities for professionals in the addictions field. All courses are offered as internet courses. Although not required for certification, students are strongly encouraged to concurrently complete the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Psychology.

Learning Outcomes

Kanoa Meriwether
Instructor, Social Sciences

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