Skip to content
Reading time: 5 minutes

two people smiling while sitting at a table

Nearly 40 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa programs have been recognized among the nation’s best, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings, released on March 29. This is the highest number of UH Mānoa grad programs on the list since at least 2013.

The 2023 edition evaluates graduate schools on a variety of factors, including research activity, expert assessment scores, doctoral degrees awarded, acceptance rates, placement success, standardized test scores and grade-point averages of incoming students.

“We are gratified that many of our graduate programs continue to receive national recognition for their excellence. Hawaiʻi residents should take pride in knowing that one of the top universities in the world is located right here, educating future innovators, educators and leaders,” UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said.

Note: not all programs are ranked every year. See these UH News stories on previous years’ rankings: 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Jump to program rankings:
John A. Burns School of Medicine  |  Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing  |  William S. Richardson School of Law  |  Shidler College of Business  |  College of Education  |  College of Engineering  |  College of Natural Sciences  |  Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health  |  College of Social Sciences  |  School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

John A. Burns School of Medicine

The state’s only medical school, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), ranked No. 24 in primary care and No. 74 in research out of 124 of the best medical schools in the nation. This is the third time in six years that JABSOM made the top 25 for primary care (No. 19 in 2016 and No. 24 in 2021). JABSOM also placed No. 31 for percentage of 2013–15 graduates practicing in primary care specialties. Read more at JABSOM‘s website.

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing

UH Mānoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing’s doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program was ranked No. 85 among 158 schools considered in U.S. News’s Best Nursing Schools. UH Mānoa Nursing is the only Hawaiʻi DNP program ranked by U.S. News since 2018. UH Mānoa Nursing also placed No. 80 out of 199 schools for best master’s nursing programs.

William S. Richardson School of Law

The William S. Richardson School of Law was ranked in 15 categories by U.S. News. UH Mānoa’s law school placed No. 91 out of 192 law schools considered in the full-time law category, and No. 21 out of 69 in the part-time law category for the school’s evening part-time law program.

Other rankings include:

  • Environmental law: No. 26 out of 180
  • Dispute resolution: No. 56 out of 109
  • International law: No. 67 out of 185
  • Legal writing: No. 74 out of 186
  • Criminal law: No. 90 out of 187
  • Constitutional law: No. 93 out of 187
  • Tax law: No. 95 out of 186
  • Contracts/commercial law: No. 97 out of 187
  • Business/corporate law: No. 103 out of 187
  • Health care law: No. 108 out of 184
  • Clinical training: No. 132 out of 173
  • Intellectual property law: No. 141 out of 187
  • Trial advocacy: No. 174 out of 187

Read more on the law school’s website.

Shidler College of Business

The Shidler College of Business ranked No. 89 out of 134 schools considered in the full-time master of business administration category. Shidler’s part-time master of business administration program (global MBA, 36-month plan) placed No. 114, up from No. 152 in the previous year, among 278 part-time MBA programs that qualified for this ranking. Shidler’s MBA programs are the only Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International accredited MBA programs in Hawaiʻi and among the few MBA programs in the U.S. with a true Asia-Pacific focus.

College of Education

The College of Education (COE) ranked No. 67 of 274 schools considered, the 17th straight year the college has been listed as one of the nation’s top 100 education programs. Nationally accredited since 2000, COE continues to be recognized for its award-winning programs and people.

College of Engineering

Four College of Engineering graduate programs were ranked among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News. Civil engineering ranked No. 98; electrical engineering placed No. 99; mechanical engineering is No. 122; and computer science, a joint program in the College of Engineering and Department of Information and Computer Sciences, ranked No. 135. The College of Engineering ranked in the No. 152–200 tier among top engineering schools in the U.S. that grant doctoral degrees.

College of Natural Sciences

Graduate programs in the College of Natural Sciences were ranked by U.S. News, including physics (No. 95), biology (No. 100), mathematics (No. 132), computer science (No. 135) and chemistry (No. 140).

Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health

The Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health’s Department of Social Work ranked in the top 17% nationally of social work graduate programs, No. 51 out of 298. The department offers a bachelor of social work (BSW) and master of social work (MSW), with specializations in child and family, behavioral mental health, gerontology, and health. The MSW and BSW degrees are offered through campus-based and distance education modalities, serving students on the neighbor islands of Hawaiʻi and Guam. The department also offers a PhD in social welfare.

The Office of Public Health Studies (OPHS) ranked No. 89 out of 195 public health schools and programs in the U.S. accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. OPHS offers a bachelor in arts in public health; a master in public health, with specializations in epidemiology, health policy and management, Native Hawaiian and Indigenous health and social and behavioral health sciences, and a master of science specializing in epidemiology, as well as PhD program in public health, specializing in community-based and translational research and a PhD in epidemiology. OPHS is also home to a recently launched online master of public health program to meet workforce demands.

College of Social Sciences

The Public Administration Program in the College of Social Sciences ranked No. 88, up nine spots from the previous year, out of 270 graduate programs considered. The ranking puts the program in the top third of all master’s of public administration programs in the country. The master’s of public administration program is the state’s only Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration accredited program, offering an 18-month accelerated, two-year full-time and three-year part-time plan.

In addition, the Department of Economics ranked No. 120 in the nation and the Department of Psychology is No. 122.

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

The Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology placed No. 46 out of 162 earth sciences doctoral programs considered. Students in the PhD program gain advanced knowledge, develop professional skills and learn cutting-edge methodologies through specialized coursework and by conducting research.

For a full list of rankings, visit the Mānoa Institutional Research Office website.

These rankings serve as examples of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF) and Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

—By Marc Arakaki

Back To Top