Bachelor of Arts in Humanities

Hawaiian-Pacific Studies


Hawaiian-Pacific Studies is the study of the Hawaiian and Pacific Island peoples and cultures. Ho‘okahi paena o ka moana nui ‘akea. At the foundation of the Hawaiian-Pacific Studies program is the perspective and understanding that a single ocean connects the islands and the peoples of the Pacific and Hawai‘i. The societies of the Pacific have their own unique histories, languages, cultures, literature, arts, social structure, architecture, and contemporary issues.

The Hawaiian-Pacific Studies concentration offers a wide array of courses on Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands, giving students an overview of Pacific Island peoples and an in-depth knowledge of specific aspects of the cultures of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The curriculum provides a good foundation of knowledge, including art, history, language, literature, and contemporary issues of all Oceania (including Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia) with Hawai‘i at its core.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a concentration in Hawaiian-Pacific Studies from UH West O‘ahu will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of specific aspects of Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander peoples (such as history, geography, politics, arts, literature, contemporary issues, and cultural practices).
  • Conduct research on specific Hawaiian-Pacific Studies topics, using primary and secondary sources, and critically analyze findings.
  • Present well-organized and competent research findings or creative work on specific Hawaiian-Pacific Studies topics in writing, orally, performances or other acceptable media.
  • Speak, read and write in Hawaiian or another Pacific language.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of indigenous Hawaiian and Pacific world views and perspectives.

Careers and Earning Potential

Hawaiian-Pacific Studies majors are well-prepared to enter careers in education, teaching, counseling, health care administration, cultural resource management, environmental resource management, urban planning, land management, as well as film and media. Through the study of Hawaiian-Pacific peoples and cultures, graduates develop the critical thinking and cultural awareness skills essential for most professional occupations.

The degree also opens the door to a number of graduate programs including Hawaiian studies, Pacific islands studies, Hawaiian language, anthropology, history, education, ethnic studies, political science, law, and English.

For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Industry Sectors website.

Student Clubs

UH West O‘ahu students in the Hawaiian-Pacific Studies Club organize a variety of cultural activities throughout the semester including working in lo‘i (wetland garden), attending cultural performances, visiting cultural sites on O‘ahu and the neighbor islands, hosting speakers on Hawaiian and Pacific issues, and participating in on-campus events. The club offers a great opportunity to network with other students and develop an increased understanding of Hawaiian-Pacific Studies outside of the classroom.

Faculty Contact

Dr. Ross Cordy
(808) 689-2354

Dr. Sa‘iliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor
Associate Professor
(808) 689-2355