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Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) is a private university with campuses located on two different Hawaiian islands. If you’re wondering exactly what islands HPU calls home, here’s a quick answer: HPU has campuses on Oahu and Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide extensive details on the locations of HPU’s campuses and the islands they reside on. We’ll explore what makes each island unique, discuss the specific HPU campuses found on Oahu and Hawaii Island, and help you get a clear picture of this university’s island homes.

An Overview of Hawaii Pacific University’s Island Locations

HPU’s Main Campus on Oahu

The stunning main campus of Hawaii Pacific University sits on the island of Oahu in the capital city of Honolulu. Over 7,500 students from across the globe attend classes at this oceanside locale, enjoying panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and first-rate academic facilities.

HPU’s Honolulu campus stretches across 52 acres near downtown, providing students with easy access to the city’s vibrant culture, entertainment, and internship opportunities. The university offers over 45 undergraduate and 15 graduate programs at this site.

State-of-the-art resources like the Marine Science Learning Center, Nursing Simulation Labs, and Media Lab cater to specialized fields of study.

HPU’s Hawaii Loa Campus on Hawaii Island

In addition to the main grounds on Oahu, HPU runs a smaller satellite campus on Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island. The Hawaii Loa campus sits on 96 acres in the town of Kea’au, surrounded by lush rainforest and spectacular views of Mt. Hualālai and Mauna Kea.

Although much tinier than the Honolulu grounds, the Big Island site provides essential access to higher education for Hawaii Island residents. Over 500 students pursue Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees at Hawaii Loa in a more intimate learning environment.

Students can complete programs related to nursing, business, education, and more while enjoying the tranquility of this rural setting.

The Island of Oahu and HPU’s Honolulu Campus

About the Island of Oahu

Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place,” is the third largest and most populous of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu, the state capital and largest city in Hawaii, is located on Oahu’s southeast coast. With iconic attractions like Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head Crater, and North Shore’s epic surf breaks, Oahu draws over 5 million visitors per year.

Oahu boasts spectacular natural scenery, including green mountains, sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, rainforests, and coral reefs. The island has a blend of cityscapes and rural landscapes. The local culture seamlessly fuses Hawaiian traditions and ethnic diversity from the plantation era.

Oahu offers boundless options for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities, historical sites, and cultural attractions for students and residents.

The island sees over 240 sunny days per year. Temperatures typically range from 70°F to 90°F year-round. The weather allows endless opportunities to enjoy Oahu’s beaches, trails, surf spots, snorkeling sites, and scenic vistas.

HPU’s Main Campus in Honolulu

Hawaii Pacific University’s main campus sits on the slopes of Punchbowl Crater overlooking downtown Honolulu and picturesque Honolulu Harbor. The campus provides panoramic views of the city skyline and stunning vistas of the Koʻolau Mountains backdrop.

HPU’s Honolulu campus spans over 20 acres in a park-like tropical setting near Chinatown/Downtown, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Waikiki Beach, and many dining and entertainment options. The campus features lush landscaping with palm trees, plumeria trees, hibiscus bushes, and other native Hawaiian plants.

The modern buildings incorporate architectural elements reminiscent of traditional Hawaiian aesthetics. Numerous open-air walkways connect the well-equipped classrooms, labs, libraries, auditoriums, dining hall, fitness center, clinic, and administrative offices.

The urban campus provides an inspirational learning environment for HPU’s diverse student body. Its prime location offers convenient access to internships, cultural sites, community service opportunities, and all that Oahu has to offer.

Hawaii Island and HPU’s Campus in Hawaii Loa

The Unique Geography of Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, has a unique and varied geography. As the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, it features not just beautiful beaches but also snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, barren lava fields, and even active volcanoes.

Two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, can be found on Hawaii Island.

In terms of climate, the island has tropical temperatures year-round but the high elevation mountains can get quite cold. Hawaii Island’s size and terrain lead to localized weather patterns, with the east side typically being wetter and the west side drier.

Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and precipitation levels, the island features substantial tropical plant and animal diversity.

HPU’s Hawaii Loa Campus

Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawaii Loa campus is situated just north of downtown Hilo, on the east side of Hawaii Island. The 46-acre campus stretches from sea level near the shoreline up to 700 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano.

It features modern academic buildings, residence halls, tennis courts, soccer field, track, and dining hall.

HPU’s Hawaii Loa campus puts students right in the heart of the island’s stunning natural beauty. Just minutes away, there are scenic waterfalls, botanic gardens, beaches, and more. Students can also easily access Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see lava flows, craters, steam vents, and volcanic mountains.

The university arranges various field trips and research opportunities for students to discover and study the island’s unique ecosystem.

The Advantages of HPU’s Multi-Island Locations

Access to Distinct Environments

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) has campuses located on three different islands in Hawaii – O’ahu, Hawai’i, and Maui. This unique multi-island presence allows HPU students and faculty access to a wide variety of natural environments for academic programs, research, and recreation (

For example, the island of O’ahu, where HPU’s main Honolulu campus is located, offers an urban environment with access to archives, businesses, cultural sites, and government agencies that provide invaluable opportunities for certain programs.

Maui’s Upcountry location provides a quieter setting conducive to focus while still having proximity to the island’s high tech research cluster. Hawai’i island’s lush rainforests, volcanoes, and atolls facilitate important field research in geology, biology, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Expanded Academic Programs and Research Opportunities

With campuses spanning three Hawaiian islands, HPU can offer academic programs and research opportunities that would not be possible otherwise. This includes partnerships with organizations and industries on different islands.

As a result, HPU students benefit from real-world experiences across diverse settings.

For example, the flagship marine biology program utilizes HPU’s access to Hawai’i island’s liquid lava flows into the ocean, Maui’s federally protected Molokini Crater marine life preserve, and the bustling urban Honolulu harbor among research sites.

Nursing students directly serve local communities through clinics on Hawai’i, Maui, and Oʻahu islands. The SSH-focused Maui campus hosts the innovative Sustainability Certificate program engaging with agriculture, conservation and resilience pillar organizations across islands. )

Additionally, the tri-island course exchanges allow students enrolled at any HPU campus to take specialized elective classes at other island locations during select semesters. This provides unique glimpses into distinct island environments and cultures. )


As you can see, Hawaii Pacific University has strategically placed its campuses on two different Hawaiian islands in order to provide students with access to the unique ecosystems and opportunities available on Oahu and Hawaii Island.

Its main campus brings island living right to the heart of Honolulu, while its Hawaii Loa campus immerses students in the volcanic landscapes of Hawaii Island.

So if you’ve been wondering exactly what islands house HPU’s campuses, now you know that this university calls both Oahu and Hawaii Island home. With this multi-island approach, HPU gives its students the best of both worlds!

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