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Public Health Sciences


General Information


Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program

Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work

Myron “Pinky” Thompson earned his MSW from UH in 1953. A noted leader in the struggle for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture, he was at the vanguard of the Hawaiian Renaissance movement in the 1970s. While at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, he helped revitalize traditional healing practices such as ho‘oponopono and dream work. Along with Kumu Mary Kawena Puku‘i and others, he helped create Nana I Ke Kumu, a two-volume reference manual on indigenous healing practices. He helped start Alu Like and Papa Ola Lokahi, was a Bishop Estate Trustee, and served as president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. The UH Board of Regents approved the naming of the School after him in 2008.

General Information

Social work, one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation, is a profession concerned with the prevention and resolution of problems for individuals, families, groups, and communities. Those who are committed to social justice and improving the quality of life for society’s most vulnerable citizens would find this curriculum stimulating. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and values that facilitate the prevention or resolution of such problems as mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, crime and delinquency, and poverty.

The school has been providing quality social work education in Hawai‘i for over 80 years. The department has a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program. The BSW and MSW programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and our PhD program is approved by UH Manoa Graduate Education. Our school is recognized nationally and internationally for its award-winning faculty, research and publications, and specialty areas that focus on the expressed needs of the community (health, mental health, child and family, and gerontology).


The mission of the Department of Social Work is to provide educational excellence that advances social work with its focus on social justice. The principal responsibility is the generation, transmission, and application of knowledge for the global enterprise with special attention to Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, and Asian populations in our state and region.


Freshmen and sophomores who are interested in learning more about the social work profession and/or our BSW program have several ways to do this: (1) The Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center is a walk-in resource center staffed with advisors trained to help students clarify career goals, select a major, plan course work, research professional programs, gain relevant experience, and apply to schools. See: manoa.hawaii.edu/undergrad/pac/. (2) Social Work faculty advisors are available by appointment to assist with pre-admissions academic advising. Contact the Department of Social Work Admissions Office for more information: sswadmit@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-7182. (3) Online resources for BSW, MSW, and PhD programs, admissions, and degree requirements: Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work website (www.hawaii.edu/sswork/programs.html); MBT SSW Bulletin (www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bulletin.html). Hard copies of admissions information and materials may be requested from the SSW Admissions Office: sswadmit@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-7182.

Financial Aid

It is important that students seek out information on financial aid, including scholarships, stipends, student employment, etc., as early as possible. Deadline dates can vary and may require additional documentation and/or interviews.

The UH Manoa Financial Aid Services is dedicated to making it possible for degree-seeking admitted students to attend UH Manoa regardless of their economic circumstances. See www.hawaii.edu/fas/. Please review this website thoroughly as it contains many links to additional and outside sources for financial aid.

The Department of Social Work also has a limited number of scholarships available to social work students. This information can be located: (1) under each program’s “Financial Aid” and “Forms” sections on the SSW website: www.hawaii.edu/sswork/; and (2) in the MBT SSW Bulletin: www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bulletin.html.

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