The University of Hawai‘i System

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) is a postsecondary education system composed of 10 campuses throughout the 50th state. In addition to the flagship campus at Mānoa, the UH system includes UH Hilo, a four-year campus located on the island of Hawai‘i, and UH West O‘ahu, a four-year campus located on the leeward side of O‘ahu. There are four UH Community College campuses on O‘ahu (Honolulu Community College, Kapi‘olani Community College, Leeward Community College, and Windward Community College) and one on each of three neighbor islands (UH Maui College, Kaua‘i Community College, and Hawai‘i Community College), making college classes accessible and affordable in easing the transition from high school to college for many students. 

The mission of the UH system is to provide quality college and university education and training; create knowledge through research and scholarship; provide service through extension, technical assistance, and training; contribute to the cultural heritage of the community; and respond to state needs. The campuses, organized under one board, differentially emphasize instruction, research, and service. The system’s special distinction is found in its Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific orientation and international leadership role. Core values bind the system together: Hawai‘i’s gracious spirit of aloha; collaboration and respect; academic freedom and intellectual vigor; institutional integrity and service; access, affordability, and excellence; active learning and discovery; diversity, fairness, and equity; leveraged technology; Hawaiian and Asian-Pacific advantage; innovation and empowerment; accountability and fiscal integrity; and mālama‘āina sustainability. 

The UH seal contains a torch and a book titled Mālamalama in the center of a circular map of the Pacific, surrounded by the state motto, Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono (“The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”). The UH motto, inscribed in both the Hawaiian and English languages on Founders’ Gate at UH Mānoa is Maluna a‘e o nā lāhui a pau ke ola o ke kanaka (“Above all nations is humanity”). The motto is reflected in the ethnic diversity of UH students. 

UH governance is vested in the Board of Regents, appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i and confirmed by the State Legislature. The regents in turn appoint a president of the UH.

The UH Mānoa Campus

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) is a research university of international standing. It creates, refines, disseminates, and perpetuates human knowledge; offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through the doctoral level, including law and medicine; carries out advanced research; and extends services to the community. Students have special opportunities for Asian, Pacific, and Hawaiian educational experiences and involvement in research activities, service learning, and cocurricular activities. 

UH Mānoa has widely recognized strengths in tropical agriculture, tropical medicine, oceanography, astronomy, electrical engineering, volcanology, evolutionary biology, comparative philosophy, comparative religion, Hawaiian studies, Asian studies, Pacific Islands studies, and Asian and Pacific region public health. UH Mānoa offers instruction in more languages than any U.S. institution outside the Department of State. 

The main UH campus located in Mānoa valley on the island of O‘ahu began in 1907 as a land-grant college of agriculture and mechanic arts. With the addition of a College of Arts and Sciences in 1920, the college became the University of Hawai‘i. In 1972, it became UH Mānoa to distinguish it from the other units in the growing UH System. 

Today, over 19,000 students are enrolled in UH Mānoa courses, on campus or via distance delivery, studying toward bachelor’s degrees in 97 fields of study, master’s degrees in 86, professional and doctoral degrees in 53, and a total of 70 undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate certificates. In addition, 76 percent of UH Mānoa students are undergraduates, 60 percent are women, and 75 percent attend school full-time. The mean age of students is 23.9. 

The beauty of Mānoa valley serves as a backdrop for a unique yet inviting campus. Wander through the campus and find an authentic Japanese tea house and garden located on the East-West Center grounds, a studies center that is a replica of a Korean king’s throne hall, and a Hawaiian taro patch. Other structures include the Student Recreation Center on campus and a privately donated marine biology facility on Coconut Island. 

UH Mānoa is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Professional programs are individually accredited by appropriate agencies. 

A popular campus symbol is the rainbow, a frequent sight in Mānoa valley. Green and white are UH Mānoa’s colors.