Best Medical Schools in Hawaii:Tuition & JABSOM REQ

Medicine is a very lucrative course anywhere in the world. It’s a course where tons of people queue in line to study.

Why’s that? Well, apart from the enormous amount of salary awaiting medical doctors, there’s also the joy of saving the lives of people and putting a big smile on their faces. 

Hawaii only boasts of one medical school and this school gives attention to bringing in more family physicians and also addresses the physician shortage in the state. 

Furthermore, studying at Hawaii medical school has very exceptional benefits which you won’t find in any other state in the U.S. Given that Hawaii is an amazing state, you’ll be able to experience its rich culture and climate as well as the privilege of having a feel of island life. 

Like all other medical schools, the medical school in Hawaii is very competitive. Out-of-state students also face a bigger challenge because the medical school in Hawaii admits a higher percentage of in-state students. 

Nevertheless, Hawaii attracts millions of visitors each year for its breathtaking scenery, culture, and climate.

It is home to the only medical school in the state, located in Honolulu; The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine. 

Through this guide, you’ll see all you need to know about medical schools in Hawaii, what it’s like living in the state and all you need to do to gain admission into the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM); the school’s goals and philosophy, the application guidelines and admissions process, and the steps for gaining admission into the school. 

To see the list of medical schools in Hawaii and know all about the best medical schools in Hawaii as stated above; read on to find out more. Check out the 6 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Colorado.

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What is Medicine? 

Before we talk about the medical schools in Hawaii, it’ll be great to understand what medicine is and its areas of specialization as it’ll help you know exactly what you’re going into. 

The science of medicine is focused on the prevention of human disorders and diseases. It is the branch of medical science that aims at tackling illnesses through diagnosis, study, treatment, and therapy. 

Areas of Specialisation In Medicine 

Medicine is a course that affords a wide range of specialties. Being one of the broadest career paths, it’s subdivided into about 20 areas of specialization. They include:

  • Allergy and Immunology 
  • Anesthesiology 
  • Emergency Medicine 
  • Family Medicine 
  • Nuclear Medicine 
  • Dermatology 
  • Internal Medicine 
  • Diagnostic Radiology 
  • Neurology 
  • Medical Genetics 
  • Paediatrics 
  • Ophthalmology 
  • Preventive Medicine 
  • Radiation Oncology 
  • Urology 
  • Gynaecology 
  • Pathology 
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 
  • Psychiatry 
  • Surgery 

Steps on How to Become a Medical Practitioner in The US 

Since Hawaii is a state in the US, it’s important to understand the general requirements for anyone who wishes to study medicine in the country. 

  • The first step in becoming a medical practitioner is obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree from any recognized higher education establishment. 

  • The next step requires you to pass the very tough MCAT Examination. This is an objective of some medical schools, but it’s a general requirement that should be met by everyone who intends to be a physician. 

  • After passing the MCAT exams, you should apply to medical school. 

  • After you graduate from medical school, you will obtain a license to practice medicine. 

  • The last but not the least step is to obtain residency so that you can begin the journey. 

The Medical Practitioner’s Salary 

Anyone who is looking to study a course should know exactly what to expect in terms of payment after graduation.

Everyone loves to be paid and appreciated well. Don’t you?

According to reports, in the United States, the median average pay for medical practitioners is a whooping $208,000 per annum, with the average monthly payment ranging from $15,000 to $20,000, according to the bureau of local employment. 

Why Study Medicine in Hawaii? 

Since there’s only one medical school in the state, one might want to know why he or she should consider studying there. Below is a list of reasons why: 

  • Educational Opportunities: Hawaii is part of the top 5 states to live in the US. With Medical Schools in Hawaii ranking very highly in the country, it also has great educational opportunities for scholars. 

  • Safety: Hawaii is one of the safest regions and is known for its simple and preserved lifestyle. It has been reported to be a safe haven both for tourists and visitors. 

  • High Health Life Expectancy: in the US, Hawaii has one of the highest healthy life expectancies. This is said to be due to its peaceful, calm, and relaxed way of life. 

  • Quality of Medical Education: Although there’s only one medical school in Hawaii, it ranks well according to US News and World Report. 

The List of Medical Schools in Hawaii 

Well, there’s only one medical school in Hawai and that is the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine

The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine

The University of Hawai’i – Mānoa is based in Honolulu and is the flagship school in Hawaii’s university system. With a campus of about 320 acres and a $327 billion endowment, the institution is a top-notch place to study.

UH has graduated high achievers, including Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons and Senator Tammy Duckworth in its 100+ year history.

The school has everything any student could want, which includes state-of-the-art labs, first-rate support staff, and a dedication to serving its diverse student body. 

The University of Hawaii medical school is a premier University that has served the entire state and country at large.

It might be quite tempting to disregard the school based on the fact that it’s the only medical school on the list but you’ll be mistaken as the medical education provider is a great performer in research and Primary Care. 

Through its collaboration with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), this learning institution has made waves in the field of medicine based on innovation and advancement.

It is also affiliated with several medical centers where students are attached based on rotation so that they will gain real-time practical knowledge.

Additionally, with a combination of clinical experience and rigorous learning, its problem-based curriculum is tailored to bring forth graduates who are well vested in primary health care. 

The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine is a community-based medical school that encourages students to interact with diverse patient populations throughout its four-year MD program. 

The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine gives priority to various learning experiences, which include: 

  • Research 
  • International learning 
  • Travelling to neighboring islands 
  • Service-oriented outreach to underprivileged patient populations. 

Matriculants receive a “well-being handbook,” a comprehensive guide on students’ mental and physical health, upon acceptance. JABSOM believes that physicians must learn how to heal themselves first, before learning to heal others. 

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. 

Philosophy of the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). 

JABSOM philosophy is that a physician should be very broadly educated; having an understanding of the human body’s physicality and its social, psychological, and cultural aspects. 

Hence, it is highly encouraged that all undergraduate students receive a well-rounded education from the school. Students should also strive to pursue courses in social sciences, liberal arts, and humanities while completing 90 college-level credits. 

The mission of The School 

JABSOM, as part of the fabric of Hawaii, is a diverse learning community committed to excellence and leadership in: 

  • Providing sound education to the current and future healthcare professionals and leaders. 
  • Providing high-quality healthcare. 
  • The conducting of research and translation of discoveries into practice.
  • Fostering multidisciplinary collaboration and establishing community partnerships.
  • Pursuing alliances that are unique to Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Acting with forethought concerning right relationships, moral action, and respect.

JABSOM Admissions Process and Application 

JABSOM’s admissions process has six major steps: 

1. Complete your primary American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application. 

2. Pay $150, which is the JABSOM application processing fee. JABSOM will not waive this fee nor will it accept the AMCAS Fee Waiver. 

3. JABSOM sends all secondary applications after the primary applications and processing fees have been received by the admissions office. These secondary applications are sent through email to all students who pass the initial application review. The secondary applications consist of two letters of recommendation, prerequisite verification information, and supplemental essays. 

4. The secondary application and supporting AMCAS materials are reviewed by the admissions office. 

5. All applicants who pass the second round of screening will be invited for an interview. 6. Applicants are then notified of the school’s final admissions decisions. 

Hawaii Medical School Requirements 

Before applying, you need to read all John A. Burns School of Medicine prerequisites very carefully. There are four major requirements you should know: 

  • Valid MCAT scores 
  • AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam 
  • 90 college-level semester credit hours (or 135 quarter hours) 
  • Science coursework prerequisites 

Meeting all these JABSOM requirements is very crucial to getting accepted into the school: Here’s all you need to do below: 

MCAT Scores 

It’s a must to take the MCAT within three years of your anticipated year of enrollment. For instance, test scores from January 2021 will still be valid for the 2024 cycle, although more than three years have elapsed since the test day.

AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam 

Previously known as the AAMC Situational Judgement Test, this exam aims to measure your understanding of “effective pre-professional behavior across eight core competencies” before medical school. 

JABSOM Science Prerequisites 

JABSOM makes a list of the various science courses you must take before you can apply and other recommended courses which would adequately prepare you for the Hawaii med school’s rigorous instruction. 

Prerequisite courses: 

  • Two semesters of general biology (with lab) 
  • Two semesters of general physics (with lab) 
  • Two semesters of general chemistry (with lab) 
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry (with lab) 
  • One semester of biochemistry (lab not required) 

JABSOM accepts AP credits too, to fulfill prerequisite requirements. The AP credits have to be documented on official college transcripts and also verified on the AMCAS application. Although this isn’t part of the Hawaii medical school’s requirements, some of these recommended courses include: 

  • Anatomy 
  • Calculus 
  • Cell and Molecular Biology 
  • Genetics 
  • Immunology 
  • Microbiology 
  • Physiology 
  • Statistics 

Taking all or some of these courses at least can help you become better prepared for the future. 

Tips for Getting Accepted into Medical Schools in Hawaii 

Getting into Hawaii’s medical school can be challenging. Although the JABSOM acceptance rate isn’t explicitly stated, it’s estimated to be approximately 3.5%. These tips can help maximize your chances of acceptance. 

1. Meet JABSOM’s Minimum Academic Requirements and Strive to Exceed Them 

The most successful medical school applicants don’t only meet minimum academic requirements; they exceed them. We recommend that you review your academic statistics

and also honestly evaluate your academic standing. Are there any areas at all that need improvements, like your MCAT score or your GPA? 

JABSOM doesn’t have MCAT or GPA requirements, but by running an analysis on class profile data, you can know what stats you should aim for: 

  • Average cumulative GPA: 3.76 
  • Average science GPA: 3.70 
  • Average MCAT score: 513 

Meeting and exceeding these average stats will help make you a more competitive applicant. 

2. Apply Early to Stay Ahead of Important Dates and Deadlines. 

It’s important to apply as early as possible so you can stay ahead of all important dates and deadlines.

This guarantees that you’ll have ample time to gather all the materials needed for the application.

Applying early will also give you the time to obtain strong letters of recommendation from employers, mentors, and professors. Here is JABSOM’s general admissions timeline 

3. Participate in the Right Extracurriculars to Set You Apart From Other Candidates. 

Participating in the right extracurriculars will aid in setting you apart from all other candidates.

You’ll also have the advantage of gaining hands-on medical training and experience.

Participating in these activities will also broaden your professional network (this is a bonus that could help you secure strong recommendations). 

Some examples of these varied experiences include: 

Medical Shadowing 

Medical shadowing is a very essential extracurricular. Shadowing demonstrates the commitment you have to medicine and your motivation to attend medical school. It helps you determine if a medical career is a good fit for you or not. 

Clinical Experience 

Clinical experience is quite significant as it allows you to engage with patients. Admissions committees will love to see that you’re capable of having compassionate interactions with patients from different populations.

Clinical experience will also help to determine if a career as a physician is suitable for you or if you would rather pursue another track, for example, research. 


Research experience is very attractive to admissions officers. It allows you to explore your interests and passions. Of all the medical school applicants, approximately 60% have some

type of research experience, so you can see why it’s beneficial for you to take advantage of research opportunities before submitting your application to med school. 


Volunteering displays your altruism, which is a major advantage if you apply to JABSOM due to their commitment to service-oriented care.

Volunteering helps you get new knowledge and skills, and it’s also a rewarding experience that fosters the desirable qualities of a skilled and compassionate physician. 

4. Focus on Areas in Your Application Where You Can Showcase Your Individuality. 

Medical school applicants can have similar GPAs and MCAT scores. Admissions committees often have to look at other areas in your application to evaluate how excellent you are, outside of academic achievement. You have to focus on the following sections to showcase your uniqueness: 

The AMCAS Work and Activities Section 

The AMCAS work and activities section is a great opportunity to show admissions committees who you are, through: 

  • Clinical and volunteer experiences 
  • Research experience 
  • Employment 
  • Awards and recognitions 
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Hobbies, etc. 

Crafting a very powerful AMCAS work and activities section will increase your chances of acceptance. 

The Personal Statement 

The med school personal statement is crucial to your success. A personal statement that doesn’t stand out could result in applicants not making it past the very first round of application reviews. 

A strong personal statement, however, highlights your qualities, engages the admissions committee through rich storytelling, and explains why you desire to pursue medicine. To maximize your chances of being accepted, compose a personal statement that’s well-written and very memorable. 

Letters of Recommendation 

Letters of recommendation will vouch for you, your unique skills, and your candidacy as a medical student. You can get strong letters from people who know you very well and can fully vouch for the quality of your work, whether it’s academic, extracurricular, or professional.

Letters of recommendation backup whatever you have to say about yourself within your application, giving you credibility and value in the eyes of admissions officers. 


Full-time: $36,672 (in-state) 

Full-time: $71,328 (out-of-state). 

Frequently Asked Questions

After going through this article, you may have some more specific questions that you’ll be needing answers to about the best medical schools in Hawaii. Through these FAQs, you will gain more clarity: 

What’s the Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Ranking?

John A. Burns School of Medicine is ranked 74th among the best medical schools for research and 24th in primary care. 

How Many Medical Schools Are There In Hawaii?

In Hawaii, JABSOM is the only medical school. There are other schools in Hawaii for medical education (eg. nursing), but JABSOM is the only medical school for anyone who wishes to be a medical doctor. 

Is the University of Hawaii a Good Medical School? 

Yes, the University of Hawaii is a very excellent medical school, especially if you’re primarily interested in primary care. It’s also quite competitive as the acceptance rate for the University of Hawaii medical school is estimated to be approximately 3.5%. 

Where Can I Study Medicine in Hawaii? 

At the John A. Burns School of Medicine at 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu.

Where Can I Find Information About Financial Aid and Scholarships? 

For information about financial aid and scholarships, visit or contact JABSOM’s Financial Aid & Scholarships Office for more information. 

What is JABSOM’s MD Curriculum

The JABSOM MD curriculum is a traditional four-year program. The first two years are the pre-clerkship years and are followed by longitudinal clinical “clerkships” in the third year. Senior seminars and rotations are done in the fourth year.

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