ʻImi Hoʻōla Post Baccalaureate Program

Imi class of 2024ʻImi Class of 2024
Pictured from left to right, top row: Aljay Carnate, Kai Hiryama, Jeannie Ho, Kiara Moffitt, & Leo Wu. 
Bottom row, Lindney Acosta, Richelle Alfonso, Christian Llantero, & Nicholas Loi. 

ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program -
"Those Who Seek To Heal"


Eligible individuals are from socially, educationally, or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated a strong commitment to serve areas of need in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (e.g. American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau).  ʻImi Hoʻōla only accepts those with ties to Hawaiʻi or the Pacific. More information about our program requirements (i.e., Ties to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, Academic Requirements, and Disadvantaged Status) can be found in the ʻImi Hoʻōla Application Booklet 2024-2025 (pdf).

The 2025-2026 applications will be available by July 2024.
Applications must be submitted using the ʻImi Hoʻōla Online Application: click here.  Please plan to complete your application early to ensure you meet the application deadline of Nov. 1st.

For more program information, visit our program pages.

The ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Medicine is open to individuals from socially, educationally, or economically disadvantaged backgrounds that have demonstrated a commitment to serve in areas of need in Hawaiʻi and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (e.g. American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau).  To be eligible for ʻImi Hoʻōla, applicants must meet three initial screenings.  They are:

  1. Ties to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific
  2. Academic Requirements
  3. Disadvantaged Criteriaº

Please review the ʻImi Hoʻōla Application Booklet 2024-2025 for more information about these requirements:

º A person who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from medical school; and/or comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size, as published by the U.S. Bureau of Census.

Applicants must meet ALL the following requirements:

1.  Completed coursework*

   Science prerequisites must be completed by June 2025 (for the ʻImi class of 2025-2026 (acceptable for students majoring in the area).  

  • One course in Biochemistry (no lab required)

   The following courses will require ONE ACADEMIC YEAR* with lab

  • General Biology 
  • General Chemistry 
  • Organic Chemistry 
  • General Physics 

 *One academic year is equivalent to two semesters or three academic quarters. More information about science prerequisites can be found on the JABSOM Admissions page for Prospective Student Admission Requirements.

– Contact JABSOM Admissions at medadmin@hawaii.edu regarding questions about acceptable coursework.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JABSOM will continue to accept online lab courses from 2020 – until further notice.

2.   Conferred baccalaureate degree. An applicant must have graduated with a bachelorʻs degree prior to the start of the ʻImi Hoʻōla program.

3.   An applicant must have at least a 2.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA to be considered.^

4.   Applied to JABSOM for the 2024-2025 academic year through AMCAS.  Applicant must have a valid JABSOM application including secondary application and payment of application fees.

5.   Applied to ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program (separate from AMCAS application).

6.   MCAT – Taken within 3 years of expected date of matriculation into medical school (year 2026). MCAT needs to have been taken between January 2023 – September 2024 (Most recent MCAT scores will be reviewed).

7.  AAMC PREview™ Professional Readiness Exam must be taken on one of the 2023-2024 exam dates. Exams taken from June 2023 to October 2024,  will be considered for the ʻImi Hoʻōla 2025 entering class.  For more information regarding AAMC PREview exam dates, click here.

Please review the ʻImi Hoʻōla Application Booklet 2024-2025 for more information about Academic Requirements.

^ʻImi Hoʻōla conducts a holistic review of potential applicants which includes the most recent MCAT scores and GPA as part of this process.  

We have implemented a new letter of recommendation submission process.  ʻImi will review the 2 letters of recommendation listed on your application.  ʻImi has also added a section to include an alternate letter writer that can be submitted and will be reviewed if needed.

Letters of recommendation are an integral part of the admission process and are carefully reviewed. The recommender should be able to accurately assess your academic and professional performance and comment on your potential to succeed in the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Since the number of qualified applicants exceeds the space available each year, we wish to select individuals whose personal attributes and abilities indicate that they have the potential for success in a rigorous training program and, ultimately, as competent, compassionate healthcare professionals.

Applicants will enter the contact information of the recommenders in the online application.  A generated email and link will be emailed to the recommender.  This link is unique to each recommender and should not be forwarded to others.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender by the submission deadline. No third-party recommendation letters will be accepted (i.e. Interfolio or similar system).


The following questions should be answered within the letter of recommendation.

1) Letter writers should answer the following questions within their letter of recommendation:

  • How long have you known this applicant and in what capacity? How frequent is/was your interaction with the applicant?
  • What are the applicant’s strengths, particularly as it might apply to the study and practice of medicine?
  • What are the applicant’s needs/challenges, particularly as they might apply to the study and practice of medicine?

2) Letters should comment on the following attributes of the applicant:

  • Basic Competence: Reflected in general academic achievement, especially in reading and writing skills.
  • Need: From a socioeconomically and/or educationally disadvantaged background.
  • Service: Demonstrated commitment and/or potential to serve in underserved communities (i.e. past employment or volunteer health experiences).
  • Maturity: Responsible, independent, reliable, and able to work with others. 
  • Motivation: Strength of desire to pursue medicine;  perseverance.
  • Humanism: Desire to help, compassion, warmth, sincerity, empathy, nurturing nature.
  • Leadership: Successful leadership experience(s); evidence of influencing others (e.g., in sports, church, clubs). 
  • Communication Skills: Ability to express ideas and opinions clearly and to listen attentively. 

3) Letters should provide an overall recommendation:

  • Strongly recommend admission to the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program
  • Recommend
  • Recommend with reservations
  • Do not recommend


Please submit the completed Letter of Recommendation through the recommender link by 11:59 p.m. November 1, 2023 (HST). Letters received after the deadline will NOT be accepted. Do not give it to the applicant to submit. Faxed, mailed, or hand-delivered letters will not be accepted.

Should you have any questions regarding this request or process, send an email to: imihoola@hawaii.edu

The 2024-2025 application period is now closed.

Upon submitting the application you will NOT be able to make any edits or changes to what you have entered. Please ensure that you have completed each section and reviewed your application prior to submitting each section of the application.

There are 5 (five) sections of the online application for the applicant to fill out:

  1. ʻImi Hoʻōla Application – Part 1
  2. ʻImi Hoʻōla Recommendation Form
  3. ʻImi Hoʻōla Application – Part 2
  4. ʻImi Hoʻōla Consent Form
  5. ʻImi Hoʻōla Verification of Science Prerequisites

Refer to the Sample ʻImi Application Questions for information regarding questions that will be included in the online application.

For more information about the Program and Academic Requirements, refer to the ʻImi Hoʻōla Application Booklet 2024-2025.

Email imihoola@hawaii.edu if you have questions or are unable to access the online application.

Science prerequisites must be completed by June 2025  (for the Imi class of 2025-2026).

Applications must be received by November 1 via our online application by 11:59 PM (HST) for your application to be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please refer to the JABSOM Admissions Cycle Timeline for more information regarding JABSOM and ʻImi Hoʻōla deadlines.

Due to the small class size of our cohorts, we do not share academic data regarding individual classes.  The information below will provide you with information on the average GPA and MCAT scores over 5 years. 

Entering Class Profile


GPA for the class of 2020 through 2024

Cumulative GPA 3.56
Science Cumulative GPA 3.40


Entering Class MCAT scores for 2020 to 2024

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 126
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: 124
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 126
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior:                  126
MCAT Total 502

ʻImi insights

Watch a short video about our program from HI NOW:

We do not prescreen or prequalify applicants to the Program.  If you feel you meet the qualifications for the program, please submit your application.

For more information, contact:

ʻImi Hoʻōla Program
651 Ilalo Street, MEB 306
Honolulu, HI 96813

Email: imihoola@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 692-1030
Fax: (808) 692-1254

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution