A certificate in Applied Forensic Anthropology gives students a solid foundation in forensic anthropology and an introduction to the wider field of forensic science. This certificate may be earned alone or in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts in 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 Applied Forensic Anthropology certificate offers students additional career opportunities and an advanced education in forensic anthropology and forensic science. This program is offered jointly by UH West O'ahu and Leeward Community College through in-class instruction and in partnership with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

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


The certificate in Democratic Principles and Social Justice offers students the opportunity to learn from and analyze contemporary national and global situations, and act conscientiously as informed citizens. Hawai‘i, with its cultural diversity, unique heritage and history, and multi-ethnic labor movement, provides a distinctive social laboratory for investigations of democratic principles and social justice. Students will critically examine the many struggles over important issues that have taken place in the Islands over the past centuries. This multidisciplinary certificate includes coursework in a variety of anthropology, economics, education, history, political science, public administration, and/or sociology classes emphasizing democracy and social justice themes.

Students gain first hand experience in community outreach or practicum activities, serving their communities and advocating for the rights of others at local, national, regional, and international levels; and learn how to conduct their own research on democratic principles and social justice topics. UH West O'ahu's Democratic Principles and Social Justice certificate program partners with the National Park Service's Student Conservation Association, which offers a limited number of paid summer internships in Hawai'i and throughout the nation.

Faculty Contacts
Dr. Susan Matoba Adler, Professor (Early Childhood Education)
(808) 689-2337

Dr. Joyce Chinen, Professor (Sociology)
(808) 689-2378

Dr. Alan Rosenfeld, Associate Professor (History)
(808) 689-2351

Dr. Garyn Tsuru, Associate Professor (Psychology)
(808) 689-2377


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 Hawai`i West – O`ahu. 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 the national standards as established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Higher Education Project.

Faculty Contact
Dr. Ross Prizzia, Professor
(808) 689-2365


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 Hawai‘i — West O‘ahu 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 Hawaii that addresses the growing workforce demand for more certified health care professionals. This program is offered through in-class and distance learning instruction.

Faculty Contact
Dr. Kristina Guo, Professor
Director of Health Care Administration Program
(808) 689-2361


A certificate in Risk Management and Insurance provides training in risk management for personal and commercial lines of insurance, and prepares 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 in-class with future plans for distance learning instruction.

Faculty Contact
Dr. Sharon Lee, Associate Professor
(808) 689-2387

Katie Landgraf, Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2382


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.

Faculty Contact
Dr. Amy Coyle, Instructor
(808) 689-2364