The College of Social Sciences (CSS) is home to one of the largest student populations at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the flagship of the University of Hawai‘i System. CSS is the choice of truth seekers with varied interests but with the singular goal of making a difference in the world. Collectively, they are striving to become the next generation of global game changers, who want to improve the human condition by transforming science into social action.


Hawai‘i Hall 310
2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-6570
Fax: (808) 956-2340

Dean: Denise E. Konan
Interim Associate Dean: Ross A. Sutherland

Departments, schools, and programs: Anthropology; School of Communication and Information (Communication, Communicology, Journalism, Library and Information Science, Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution); Economics; Ethnic Studies; Geography and Environment; Political Science; Psychology; Public Administration; Social Science Research Institute; Sociology; Urban and Regional Planning; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. CSS also houses the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization (UHERO); the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center; Center for Oral History; and Health Policy Initiative

Degrees, Minors and Certificates

Bachelor’s Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS)
Master’s Degrees: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP), Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc)
Doctoral Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dean Hall 2
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-0661
Fax: (808) 956-7498

Advising, Civic and Community Engagement in the Social Sciences (ACCESS) is a network of advisors, faculty and staff committed to supporting students throughout their academic journey in multiple ways. Advisors will work with students to ensure that undergraduate General Education and major requirements are met for timely graduation. As part of their academic curriculum, students are offered activities and internships that extend beyond the walls of a classroom. Students explore connections between fields, engage in co-curricular activities, and develop unique combinations of majors, minors and certificates. ACCESS also facilitates new pathways to academic achievement through resources, such as the National Student Exchange and the Study Abroad Program.

Aloha Pathways: Transfer Student Collaborations


CSS maintains transfer agreements with partner universities in Hawai‘i and around the globe. In addition to an extensive collection of courses that are transferable, qualifying students enjoy guaranteed admissions and pre-transfer advising into CSS majors and graduate programs. 2+2 agreements provide undergraduate transfer with junior standing from all UH community colleges, West Valley College (California), and Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). 3+2 agreements offer accelerated admissions to designated master’s degrees from various peer international universities.

CSS College Engagement

Dean Hall 6-7

CSS College and Campus Engagement develops leadership skills and enhances campus engagement. A series of special programs promotes academic success for groups including first-year and transfer students, international and recently immigrated students, active military and veteran students, and others. Focus areas include sustainability and resilience, indigeneity, social justice, diversity, equity and inclusiveness. CSS encourages students to realize their full potential by anchoring their educational journeys within a Hawaiian and Oceanic place of learning.

CSS fosters a vibrant academic community by supporting a growing roster of around 30 student organizations. These student-led registered independent organizations (RIOs) develop leadership and professional skills, encourage advocacy for curricular and co-curricular interests, and help build a sense of community.

CSS departments organize professional groups and honor societies, from the Anthropology Undergraduate Student Association to Psi Sigma in Psychology and Alpha Kappa Delta in Sociology. Several identity-based groups, led by CSS students and faculty advisors, serve the entire university student body, including the Black Student Association, the Gender Equity Movement, Pacific Advocates Peoples Association and the Ethnic Studies Student Association. Other advocacy-based groups like the Prisoner Education Project focus entirely on place-based community engagement. CSS even has a special relationship with university-wide clubs such as the Mānoa Academy of Gamers.

CSS is proud to host Pi Gamma Mu, the oldest and preeminent honor society in the social sciences. The Mānoa Ambassador program works directly with our Dean and club presidents to support College initiatives and strengthen our community of current scholars, alumni and CSS leadership.

Students have access to the CSS Engagement Lounge, which has become a lively, inspiring and supportive gathering place to study, meet and collaborate, and to organize and hold events. And a bi-weekly email to CSS undergraduate and graduate students brings updates on all areas relating to educational journeys while cultivating a sense of belonging. Announcements include service learning options and internships, professional development opportunities, scholarships and fellowships, jobs and graduate assistantships, campus engagement and other resources.

CSS Civic and Community Engagement Program

Dean Hall 6-7

The CSS Civic and Community Engagement Program provides rich academically anchored and credit-earning opportunities for students to engage in civic and community learning. These high-impact practices include community-based research, service learning, fieldwork, mentoring programs, practicums and internships. Many CSS civic and community engagement programs emphasize ‘āina-based approaches to Hawaiian and Oceanic places of learning.

Service Learning: With faculty permission, students can become involved in service learning through almost any course in our college or can participate through courses built entirely on community engagement. Opportunities range from large transdisciplinary, cultural/environmental programs to social-justice focused individual placements. Through these, students engage directly with community issues in real-world settings and reflect on their service experiences in a classroom setting. Our program leads large engagement projects in collaboration with other institutions of higher education and multiple community partners. They have inspired similar programs nationwide and include:

  • Mālama I Nā Ahupua‘a: A cultural-environmental service-learning program addressing land use, and UH as a Native Hawaiian place of learning, sustainability and food security.
  • Pālolo Pathway Program: Focusing on education and community-building centered around a public housing area in East Honolulu.

Micro Internships: A growing field of short-term, professional assignments, comparable to tasks offered to a new hire or an intern. Students are placed in highly specific, project-based positions, often performed virtually and taking place all over the world.

Internships: Numerous opportunities train students for future careers and bridge academic experiences within the world of work. Sites include businesses and non-profit organizations, or federal, state and local government entities. This program, first and foremost, supports the internship needs of CSS departments and units. It also encourages students to broaden their learning while still earning credits via internships, mentoring programs and practicums. Also in the field of internships, CSS has created multiple opportunities for engagement, including programs that are offered university-wide. Two major programs are:

  • Mānoa Political Internship Program: A rare option for undergraduate students to work at the top levels of state and federal government.
  • INDOPACOM-UHM Mentoring Internship for Intelligence: Students work directly with leaders within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. They gain exposure to how the U.S. and its partners in the Asia-Pacific region use Intelligence to protect regional and national interests.

Leadership: Through its scholarly and administrative work, the program has become a leader in campuswide efforts to grow and institutionalize community engagement.

Hui ‘Aina Pilipili


The mission of Hui ‘Āina Pilipili is to strengthen ea Hawai‘i in the social sciences through Hawaiian-centered teaching, learning, service and scholarship, while cultivating pilina and kuleana with students, ‘āina and communities to strengthen Lāhui and Hawai‘i. This College-wide initiative provides a foundation for a Hawaiian place of learning that permeates CSS. Programs strive to elevate Hawaiian knowledge by engaging students in academics, research and engagement in communities grounded in Hawaiian epistemology and values. Programs include:

  • Nā Ko‘oko‘o: Hawaiian Leadership Program: A Hawaiian leadership program for Native Hawaiians and other students with strong commitments to Native Hawaiian communities. In partnership with Native Hawaiian Student Services in Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the primary goal is to help students clarify their kuleana and to see their education in the context of uplifting the land and people. Through a series of two courses and immersive community-engaged experiences with Hawaiian community organizations, student participants learn how to meaningfully take their academic work beyond the university campus.
  • Center for Oral History, Department of Ethnic Studies: First established in 1976 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature as part of the Social Sciences Research Institute in CSS. The center collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawai‘i. Producer of oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements, and Hawai‘i’s role in the globalizing world.
  • Civic and Community Engagement: Programs provide rich academically anchored and credit-giving opportunities for students to engage in civic and community learning. Many programs emphasize ‘āina-based approaches to Hawaiian and Oceanic places of learning, including service learning, micro-internships and internships.
  • Hui ‘Āina Momona, Social Science Research Institute: A program designed to transcend traditional academic boundaries and to focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability and food security issues facing Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and other Indigenous communities.
  • Indigenous Politics Program, Department of Political Science: Created to transform the ways political science and the university historically related to Indigenous peoples and lands. Because of Hawai‘i’s location, the study of Indigenous Politics must begin with and be accountable to Kanaka ‘Ōiwi Hawai‘i, the original people of these islands.
  • North Shore Ethnographic Field School, Departments of Ethnic Studies and Anthropology: In collaboration with Kamehameha Schools, Waialua Hawaiian Civic Club and the Waialua community, the North Shore Field School offers a learning opportunity in the Spring that engages students and community volunteers in collecting ethnograhpic materials. Participants foster relationships with the community and ‘āina, and learn how to conduct oral histories to collect stories from the narrators

Global College Initiative


The Global College Initiative provides a dynamic educational experience for students through international learning activities including study abroad, global student research, international internships and fellowships, and more.

  • Killam Fellowship Program: A program of Fulbright Canada, this highly selective program provides bilateral student exchange opportunities with prestigious Canadian universities.
  • CSS Study Abroad: Customized advising helps students identify ways to incorporate UH Mānoa Study Abroad and international exchange opportunities into degree programs.
  • International Short-Term Programs: Provides 2-4 week global experiences for UH Mānoa students and students from global partner universities.

CSS Active Military and Veteran Student Success

CSS provides a welcome academic environment aimed at the success of military veteran and military-connected students. Services offered to UH Mānoa students include programs organized jointly with the Office of Veteran Student Services. CSS has also set aside substantial resources to support veteran and military-connected students to engage in community service and receive academic advising that meets specific needs. These include:

  • A gathering place: The CSS Veterans Student Lounge in Saunders Hall 222 serves as a space to gain information, study, socialize, and give and receive tutoring. Open Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Academic advising: CSS has advisors specifically trained in meeting the needs of veterans and military-connected students. Advising, Civic and Community Engagement in the Social Sciences (ACCESS) is a network of advisors, faculty and staff committed to supporting students throughout their academic journey in multiple ways. Advisors will work with students to ensure that undergraduate General Education and major requirements are met for timely graduation. As part of their academic curriculum, students are offered activities and internships that extend beyond the walls of a classroom. Students explore connections between fields, engage in co-curricular activities, and develop unique combinations of majors, minors and certificates. ACCESS also facilitates new pathways to academic achievement through resources, such as the National Student Exchange and the Study Abroad Program. Email or see the website at
  • Internship opportunities and workforce development: Of special interest to military and veteran students is the INDOPACOM Mentoring Internship for Intelligence, in which students work directly with leaders within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Participants gain exposure to how the U.S. and its partners in the Asia-Pacific region use Intelligence to protect regional and national interests. There are other related internship opportunities with government and private entities. Contact or see the website at
  • Service-learning opportunities: Connect with local communities while strengthening student educational journeys. Email or see the website at
  • Guided support: Veteran and military-connected students are integrated into College and campus programs. Email or see the website at

Manoa Academy: Early College Program


The Mānoa Academy was founded in 2016 to enhance educational opportunities for Hawai‘i’s high school students. Students admitted to Mānoa Academy enroll in college-level courses and earn dual credit. Academy students must meet UH Mānoa admission requirements and, if accepted, are offered provisional admission. Most Academy students continue on to earn a degree from UH Mānoa, and are challenged early to discover their passions and gain important skills that foster academic success and personal growth.

Honor Societies

Honor societies at UH Mānoa CSS include: Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology), Golden Key National Honour Society (undergraduate), Kappa Tau Alpha (Journalism), Lambda Delta (freshmen), Mortar Board (senior), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), Phi Beta Kappa (liberal arts and sciences), Phi Eta Sigma (freshmen), Phi Kappa Phi (general scholarship), Pi Gamma Mu (social sciences), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), and Psi Chi (Psychology).

Academic Information

CSS undergraduates take many of their first UH Mānoa courses from the General Education Core curriculum that is part of all bachelor degrees offered on campus. This liberal arts curriculum stresses the integration of knowledge to enhance students’ understanding of life, the human condition and the world. The curriculum also entails critical thinking, which enables students to evaluate arguments, ideas and theories, and to develop creative and meaningful applications of what they learn. The curriculum gives students the tools of inquiry, enabling them first to identify important questions and then to seek, analyze and interpret possible answers to issues of their lives, world and universe. The curriculum also provides opportunities to develop students’ artistic and creative imaginations and their oral and written communication skills, so they can effectively present their ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for CSS are the same as for UH Mānoa. Some majors and programs, however, have additional admission requirements (see department sections).

Accreditations and Affiliations

All academic programs are reviewed and evaluated regularly by campus and external faculty committees. Some academic programs are also accredited or certified by national organizations. Check with individual academic departments and programs for accreditation status or affiliation with national or international organizations.

Scholarships and Awards

CSS and its departments provide scholarships and awards to exceptional students. For a selective list of scholarships, see “Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid” in the Catalog. For specific information on prizes or scholarships, contact the department.

Undergraduate Programs

Detailed program information is available from specific CSS departments (

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

CSS students must fulfill the following five areas of requirements: UH Mānoa General Education Core; UH Mānoa Graduation; CSS Degree; CSS College; and CSS Major. When selecting courses and making plans, students should refer to their respective “Bachelor Degree Program Sheets” and “Sample Four-Year Academic Plans” on the OVCAA bachelor degree program sheets website (programsheets/).

General Education Core Requirements

CSS students must fulfill the UH Mānoa General Education Core, which consists of Foundations and Diversification requirements. Some of the courses that fulfill these Core requirements may be “double dipped” with other requirements (see “General Education”).

Graduation Requirements

CSS students must fulfill the UH Mānoa Graduation requirements, which consist of Focus, Hawaiian or Second Language (HSL), and credit and grade point average (GPA) requirements (see “General Education” and “Undergraduate Education”). CSS students should meet with ACCESS advisors for specific department graduation requirements.

Major Requirements

Major requirements are explained in the department sections in this Catalog and on department websites.

The minimum course grade to fulfill major and major-related requirements is a C (not C-). These requirements must be taken for a letter grade, unless the course is offered only with the CR/NC grade option.

Multiple Majors/Degrees and Minors

CSS students may consider applying for additional majors/degrees, minors, certificates or a combination. Pursuing additional academic fields of study can benefit students in many ways, including the opportunity to discover relationships across disciplines, develop diverse perspectives, strengthen one’s appreciation for the acquisition of knowledge in more than one academic field, and enhance one’s ability to problem solve and communicate in a variety of settings. See the “Undergraduate Education” sections in the Catalog for specific information.

To be eligible, applicants for multiple majors/degrees and minors must be: enrolled as a classified student in a UH Mānoa college; in good academic standing (have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher); and in completion of all requirements and graduate in a timely manner. To apply for multiple majors/degrees, students should visit their college advising office for instructions and the application form. Applicants should submit an application form (UHM-3); an academic plan showing timely graduation; and a brief but formal written statement explaining why the student would like to pursue multiple majors.

Second Major Option

Students who have already graduated with a baccalaureate degree and wish to add another major (as opposed to an entire second baccalaureate degree) should enroll as a Post Baccalaureate Unclassified (PBU) student. Students interested in pursuing the post-baccalaureate Second Major Option should meet with an undergraduate advisor in the relevant department to request permission and to identify remaining requirements for the major.

Second Baccalaureate Degree students who have already graduated with a baccalaureate degree and wish to add another degree (with major as well as General Education requirements) should apply as a second degree student.

Priority for admission into any UH Mānoa baccalaureate program is given to students seeking their first undergraduate degree. Applicants must meet all admission requirements for the degree program to which they are applying, and applications must be received by the Office of Admissions by established deadlines.

Applications for a second baccalaureate degree will be considered only if there is a demonstrable difference in curricula and objectives between the student’s previous degree and the one to which the student is applying. Course work used toward a major/minor/certificate in the first degree cannot be used to satisfy requirements for the second degree, except only when the exact same course with no alternative option is required by both.

Students must earn a minimum of 30 credits in courses taken at UH Mānoa after admission as a second baccalaureate degree candidate while continuously enrolled in the colleges. For more information, see the appropriate college advising office of the intended second degree program.

Minors and Certificates

In addition to the major concentrations that are part of every bachelor degree, students may choose to pursue one or more minors and/or certificates in an area of personal interest. Minors and certificates signify that a student has completed a defined body of work in a particular department or program.

Minors are part of the undergraduate degree and are conferred by UH Mānoa’s Office of the Registrar when students graduate.

The UH Board of Regents has granted specified programs and departments the right to confer certificates, and certificates can be conferred as soon as the student completes the program’s requirements. Some certificates are only for graduate students.

Most minors and certificates require a minimum of 15 credits of upper division course work, completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better and with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher. Information on specific minors and certificates can be obtained from the appropriate department or program.

To add a minor or certificate, students should submit a “Certification of Minor” form.

Graduate Programs

Information regarding graduate programs and admission is in the “Graduate Division” section of the Catalog. Check each department’s section for information about their specific program(s) and requirements.

Degrees, Minors and Certificate Programs

Bachelor’s Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS)
Undergraduate Certificates: (U Cert)
Undergraduate Minors: (Min)
Master’s Degrees: Master of Arts (MA), Master in Library and Information Science (MLISc), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)
Graduate Certificates: (G Cert)
Doctoral Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

CSS offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, minors and certificate programs in the following areas.
Anthropology – Min, BA, MA, PhD
Clinical Psychology – G Cert
Communication – BA, MA, G Cert
Communicology – Min, BA, MA
Communications and Information Sciences – PhD
Conflict Resolution – G Cert
Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance – G Cert
Economics – Min, BA*, MA, PhD
Ethnic Studies – U Cert*, BA
Geography & Environment – Min, BA, MA, G Cert, PhD
Geospatial Information Science – U Cert
Journalism – BA
Law & Society – U Cert
Library and Information Sciences – MLISc, G Cert
Nonprofit Management – G Cert
Oceans (Social Science of) – BA*
Ocean Policy – G Cert
Peace Studies – U Cert, BA, G Cert
Planning Studies – G Cert
Psychology – Min, BA, BS, MA, PhD
Political Science – U Cert, Min, BA, MA, PhD
Public Administration – MPA, G Cert
Public Affairs & Policy Studies – BA
Renewable Energy & Island Sustainability – G Cert
Sociology – Min, BA, MA, PhD
Telecommunication Information Resource Management – G Cert
Urban & Regional Planning – G Cert, MURP, PhD
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies – U Cert*, BA*, G Cert

*indicates full online program available.

BAM (4+1) Pathways

Combined Bachelor’s & Master’s Degree (BAM) Pathways afford a way for highly motivated students to efficiently complete a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in a shorter time frame by double-counting course work (3 courses) at the undergraduate tuition rate. In most cases, pathway students graduate with the Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree within 5 years (total).

CSS offers the following BAM Pathways:
BA-MA Anthropology; BA-MA Economics; BA Ethnic Studies and MEd Educational Administration; BA Ethnic Studies and MEd Educational Foundations; BA-MA Geography and Environment; BA-MA Interdisciplinary Studies(Sustainability)/Geography and Environment; BA-MA Political Science; BA Psychology and MEd in Educational Program; BA-MA Sociology, BS Global Environmental Science and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP); BA Hawaiian Studies and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP).

Research Centers

The Social Science Research Institute


The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) conducts and supports interdisciplinary, applied research that addresses critical social, behavioral, economic, and environmental problems primarily in Hawai’i and the Asia-Pacific region. As the sponsored research division of the College of Social Sciences, SSRI also provides administrative support for pre­ award and post-award activities related to extramural research and training grants.

Programs within SSRI include the following:

Telecommunications and Social Informatics Program (TASI) / Pacific Health Informatics and Data Center (PHIDC)


TASI/PHIDC conducts interdisciplinary and applied research in the areas of health technology, health care and claims data management, telehealth, and meteorological and disaster communications. It also provides policy, program, and technical assistance in these areas to governments and agencies in Hawai‘i and the Pacific region.

University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO)


The mission of UHERO is to inform public and private sector decision making through rigorous, independent economic research on the people, environment, and economies of Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region.

Center for Research and Evaluation in the Social Sciences (CRESS)


Established in Summer 2022, CRESS aims to identify and address critical cross-cutting issues that contribute to the quality of life for people living in Hawai‘i and the Pacific. This includes a focus on cultural strengths, access to ocean and greenspace, and strong community bonds. CRESS includes the subunits of HCRI, OENAS, and HAM (detailed below). CRESS brings researchers (both faculty and students) from across the academic units together to create collaborative environments focused on areas of shared interest. CRESS includes five focus areas, drawing from the work of researchers from across the College of Social Sciences. They include Community & Society, Healthy & Well-being, Sustainability & Design, Culture & Governance, and Approach & Dissemination.

Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative Research Program (HCRI)


HCRI is an initiative within SSRI, recently organized within CRESS, was established in 1998 to provide support for research and training to build capacity to effectively manage coral reef ecosystems in Hawai‘i. It has been guided by the belief that social science provides a critical foundation to long term sustainability of natural resources. Current areas of focus are Marine Resource Assessment and Monitoring; Marine Enforcement Support; Ocean Recreation; and Education and Outreach. This work support Native Hawaiian initiatives and perspectives while directly responding to the needs of the State of Hawai‘i.

Office for Evaluation and Needs Assessment Services (ONEAS)


ONEAS conducts program evaluation and needs assessment research primarily for public and private non-profit programs. The office provides continuing education and training, technical assistance and consultation, and opportunities to work with a multi-disciplinary team on complex public policy issues and programs.

Hui Āina Momona (HAM) Program


The HAM Program is designed to transcend traditional academic boundaries and to focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security issues facing Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other Indigenous communities integrating contemporary and traditional Hawaiian knowledge and practices.

College Certificates

Telecommunications and Information Resource Management

The Telecommunications and Information Resource Management (TIRM) Graduate Certificate Program is offered by the Graduate Division, the College of Social Sciences (CSS), UHM Outreach College, the School of Communications, and the Telecommunications and Social Informatics Research Program (TASI) of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI).

For more information, visit and the Department of Communications.