College of Arts, Languages & Letters
Spalding 454
2540 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8672
(808) 956-7452
Fax: (808) 956-5978


P. C. Arboleda, PhD (Chair)—Philippine literature, creative writing, Ifiallig orature and Philippine folklore, gender studies, literary theory, and Southeast Asian traditional culture
A. S. Agcaoili, PhD—Philippine literature and culture, creative writing: poetry, fiction, drama, Ilokano language and literature, philosophy of language, literary relations, literatures of exile and diaspora
S. Bhatawadekar, PhD—Hindi, Urdu language, foreign and heritage language teaching, pedagogy, curriculum and material development and program building; South Asian cinema and culture; film adaptation of literature, Hindi and Buddhist religious philosophies and their reception in the West; German-Indian comparative philosophy
E. I. Danielson, MEd—language learning and teaching in Samoan, pedagogy, traditional literature, oral traditions and culture
D. A. Domingo, MEd—Ilokano language learning and teaching; language and multimedia
I. Gasmen, MA—Filipino (Tagalog) language learning and teaching; language and multimedia; educational communication, distance education
J. R. Knutson, PhD—Sanskrit and Bengali, Sanskrit literature and literary theory, ancient and early medieval history and literary history of South Asia, Early Middle Bengali poetry, comparative premodern poetry and poetics
U. Kozok, PhD—Indonesian language and literature, prehistory and paleography of Island Southeast Asia, Sumatran philology
F. Lesa, PhD—language learning and teaching, Samoan
J. F. Mayer, PhD—language learning and teaching, language in society, Samoan
N. A. Ortega, MA, JD—Philippine history and cultures, Ilokano language and culture, politics of film, feminist theory, Indigenous feminist theory, discrimination law, international law, Native Hawaiian law, Pacific-Asian legal studies, women and the law, critical race theory, Indigenous politics, settler colonial studies, diaspora studies, and decolonial education
J. E. Parba, PhD—second language pedagogy; critical language teaching/critical pedagogy; Filipino as a heritage/second language; Philippine literature in English; Philippine pop culture; Filipinos in the diaspora; language ideologies; language policy; bi-/multilingualism; teacher identities
C. Sak-Humphry, PhD—Khmer language, linguistics and literature; development of Khmer language teaching materials, linguistics research on Old Khmer inscriptions (Pre-Angkor to Angkor period)

Degrees and Certificates Offered: Undergraduate Certificate in Indo-Pacific languages (Filipino, Hindi, Ilokano, Indonesian, Khmer, Samoan, Sanskrit, Tahitian, Thai, or Vietnamese); BA in Philippine Language and Culture; BA in interdisciplinary studies (concentration in Hindi, Indonesian, Samoan, Sanskrit, Thai, or Vietnamese); minor in Filipino and Ilokano Language and Culture

The Academic Program

Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures (IPLL) provides instruction in the languages of the Indo-Pacific area to a broad spectrum of students at UH Mānoa. The department’s coverage of these languages is unique in the U.S.: This department is the only one to offer programs of study in four Polynesian languages, most of the national languages of Southeast Asia, as well as classical and modern Indian languages as well as Arabic and Urdu. Beyond language, the department offers courses in the literatures and cultures of the area, including literature in translation of South and Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and the Philippines. Opportunities are available for study abroad in certain areas. The department at UH Mānoa provides an opportunity without parallel elsewhere in the country for students to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the languages and cultures of that part of the world that encompasses more than 25 percent of the Earth’s population and an unusual diversity of peoples.

All the department’s elementary- and intermediate-level language courses may be used to fulfill the Hawaiian or second language requirement for all bachelor’s degrees at UH Mānoa. Students of Indo-Pacific languages and cultures can also enhance their opportunities to find a career in international relations; provide service to the community in such fields as social work, public health, nursing, medicine, and law; perform research on Asia and the Pacific; and develop cross-cultural awareness and understanding in Hawai‘i’s multicultural environment.

Language offerings include Arabic, Cambodian (Khmer), Chamorro, Filipino, Hindi, Ilokano, Indonesian, Maori, Samoan, Sanskrit, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Urdu, and Vietnamese. For additional languages and topics, see Indo-Pacific languages (IP) courses listed at the back of the Catalog.

Undergraduate Study


On recommendation of the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, UH Mānoa confers certification of achievement in Cambodian/Khmer, Filipino, Hindi, Ilokano, Indonesian, Samoan, Sanskrit, Tahitian, Thai, and Vietnamese.


The IPLL Language Certificate consists of a minimum of 15 credits from 201 or above. Double-dipping between HSL courses and certificate requirements is allowed. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses counting toward the certificate. All courses must likewise be taken for a letter grade; CR/NC and Back Credits cannot count toward the certificate. A detailed description of the program requirements is available from the department office in Spalding 454.

BA in Philippine Language and Culture (Filipino or Ilokano)

The program has the following objectives: prepare students for future careers in community service and education; prepare students for advanced research and/or graduate studies in various fields in the humanities and social sciences; and ultimately, serve students of Filipino ancestry by providing them with a better understanding of Philippine culture and proficiency in a Philippine language (Filipino or Ilokano).

To view the Bachelor Degree Program Sheets with Filipino and Ilokano concentrations, go to programsheets/.


30 credits of upper division courses, with a minimum of 3 credits of Filipino or Ilokano language courses.

  •  3 credits Filipino or Ilokano 300 and above
  •  27 credits of Filipino, Ilokano, or IP 300 and above

Minor in Filipino

Students completing the program would have both oral and written competence in Filipino as well as cultural content sufficient for use in professional careers, graduate work or research, and field work.


A minimum of 15 credit hours of upper division courses in Filipino and Philippine culture, at least 6 credits of which are language skill courses.

  • 6 credits language skill courses
  • 9 credits of language, literature, or culture courses

Minor in Ilokano

Students completing the program would have both oral and written competence in Ilokano as well as cultural content sufficient for use in professional careers, graduate work or research, and field work.


A minimum of 15 credit hours of upper division courses in Ilokano and Philippine culture, at least 6 credits of which are language skill courses.

  • 6 credits language skill courses
  • 6 credits of language, literature, or culture courses

Honors and Awards

Samuel H. Elbert Graduate Scholarship

Offered to encourage graduate-level research and study for students specializing in Pacific Island language and related fields, this scholarship provides an award of up to $5,000 per semester to students registered in graduate programs at UH Mānoa.

Amos P. and Edna Lee Leib Scholarship for Graduate Study of Literature of the Pacific

Offered to support graduate students pursuing the study of literature of the Pacific.

Ilokano BA Scholarship

The scholarship provides academic recognition to an undergraduate student in the College of Arts, Languages & Letters pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Culture with Concentration in Ilokano.

Jack Haven Ward Graduate Scholarship

Promoting the study of Tahitian (first priority) and any other language of French Polynesia or Balinese.