The College of Social Sciences (CSS) is changing the game. It is expanding opportunities for students to explore different cultures and worldviews, and working with students and faculty to solve the most pressing issues facing the world today. The unified goal: To create the next generation of global game changers who 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; Communications; Economics; Ethnic Studies; Geography and Environment; Journalism; Peace Studies; Political Science; Psychology; Public Administration; Public Policy Center; Social Science Research Institute; Sociology; Urban and Regional Planning; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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)
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 (GenEd) 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. Advisors ensure that GenEd and major requirements are met for timely graduation, and provide academic advice. 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 transfer, 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 offers multiple opportunities for leadership development and campus engagement for students. A series of special programs promote academic success for specific groups of students including first-year and transfer students, international students, active military and veteran students, and others. Focus areas include sustainability and resilience, indigeneity, social justice, diversity, equity and inclusiveness.

  • The Engagement Lounge, a lively and supportive gathering place for debate and engagement for students, faculty, community members, and staff.
  • The College Ambassador program, which provides students with hands-on educational experiences preparing them to be leaders in a changing world while representing the college in official capacities.
  • The CSS Presidents’ Council, which as a unifying entity, strengthens relations between students, student leaders, and the college overall. The council meets regularly with the Dean.
  • A vibrant student club environment with more than thirty registered independent department-specific, ethnic, cultural, academic, professional, and recreational student organizations.
  • Honor Societies: Pi Gamma Mu (International Honor Society in Social Sciences) and Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociological Society at UH Manoa)

CSS Civic and Community Engagement Program

Dean Hall 6-7

CSS Civic Engagement programs provide rich academically anchored and credit-giving opportunities for students to engage in civic and community learning. These high-impact practices include community-based research, service learning, fieldwork, mentoring programs, practicum and internships. Students have opportunities to both apply what they learn in real-world settings and reflect in classroom settings on their experiences. Many CSS Civic engagement programs emphasize ‘aina-based approaches to Hawaiian and Oceanic places of learning. Important areas include:

  • Service Learning: Students engage directly with community issues in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. We offer a wide array of opportunities from large transdisciplinary, cultural-environmental programs to social-justice focused individual placements.
  • Micro Internships is 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 with the world of work. Students have opportunities to be employed by businesses, non-profit organizations, or federal, state, or local government entities.
  • Manoa Political Internship Program: Offers a rare opportunity for students to work at the top levels of state and federal government with a variety of internship opportunities open to all undergraduate students.

Hui ‘Aina Pilipili

Under the leadership of Kanaka Maoli faculty and staff, this college-wide initiative provides a foundation for a Hawaiian place of learning that permeates throughout the College of Social Sciences. Our programs strive to elevate Hawaiian knowledge by engaging students in research and academic programs grounded in Hawaiian epistemology and values, and strengthen relations with community partners. Signature programs include:

  • Na Ko‘oko‘o: Through a series of two courses and immersive community-engaged experiences with Hawaiian community organizations, students learn how to meaningfully take their academic work beyond the university campus to identify and carry their kuleana (responsibility) to ‘Aina and kanaka of Hawai‘i.
  • ‘Aina Ulu: North Shore Ethnographic Field School: In partnership with the Waialua Hawaiian Civic Club and Kamehameha Schools, this field school provides students the opportunity to learn and conduct ethnographic and oral history research.

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 Manoa Study Abroad and international exchange opportunities into their degree program.
  • International Short-Term Programs: Provides 2-4 week global experiences for UH Manoa 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 our veteran and military-connected students. With programs jointly with the Office of Veteran Student Services, students engage in community service and receive academic advising that meets their needs. The Veterans Student Lounge serves as a gathering place for camaraderie and information.

  • INDOPACOM-UHM Mentoring Program for Intelligence: Students work directly with leaders within the US Indo-Pacific Command and gain exposure to how the US and its partners in the Asia-Pacific region use intelligence to protect regional and national interests.
  • Guided support integrates veteran and military-connected students in College and community programs.

Manoa Academy: Early College Program

The Manoa Academy was founded in 2016 to enhance educational opportunities for Hawai‘i’s high school students. Students admitted to Manoa Academy enroll in college-level courses and earn dual credit. Academy students must meet UH Manoa admission requirements and, if accepted, are offered provisional admission to UH Manoa. Most Academy students continue on to earn a degree from UH Manoa, 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 Manoa 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 Manoa courses from the GenEd 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 Mânoa. 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 Manoa General Education Core; UH Manoa 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 Mânoa GenEd 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 Manoa 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 Manoa 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 GenEd requirements) should apply as a second degree student.

Priority for admission into any UH Manoa 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 Manoa 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 Manoa’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 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
Communications – BA, MA, G Cert
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
International Cultural Studies – G Cert
Journalism – BA
Law & Society – U 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
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 Economics; BA Ethnic Studies and MEd Educational Administration; BA Ethnic Studies and MEd Educational Foundations; BA-MA Geography; BA-MA Political Science; BA Psychology and MEd in Educational Program; BS Global Environmental Science; and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP).

Research Centers

Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution


The Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars, students, and practitioners who, through academic programs and outreach, promote cross-cultural understanding and collaborative problem-solving. Residing within the Public Policy Center, the institute emphasizes critical thinking and collaboration to groom leaders to address contemporary and complex issues in Hawai‘i, the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

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:

Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative Research Program (HCRI)


HCRI 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.

Office for Evaluation and Needs Assessment Services (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.

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 Oral History

Established in 1976 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature, the Center for Oral History (COH) is housed in the Department of Ethnic Studies. COH collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawai‘i. COH produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements, and Hawai‘i’s role in the globalizing world. COH also develops books, articles, podcasts, and videos based on oral histories, serves as a resource center for oral history materials, and trains groups and individuals in oral history research.

College Certificates

International Cultural Studies

The International Cultural Studies Graduate Certificate Program (ICSGCP) is to promote a critical inter-disciplinary understanding of culture at the University of Hawai‘i, in the East-West Center, and in the local community. Through the Certificate Program, and other courses that ICSGCP offers, such as in the Honors Program, students will receive theoretical and practical training in order to be able to interpret cultural products and practices in diverse media and to research into the creation, dissemination, and reception of these products and practices. Through its Speaker Series, co-sponsorship of campus seminars, organized conferences, and other occasional activities, ICSGCP will also provide a forum for presentations on the theory and practice of cultural studies. Through these activities the program also seeks to enhance communication and collaboration between disciplines and departments in the university and East-West Center. ICSGCP focuses particularly, though not exclusively, on cultural and cross-cultural processes in Asia and the Pacific.

For more information, visit

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.