The Hawaiian or Second Language (H/SL) requirement varies by UHM college/school.
- Completing a four-semester sequence (usually 101, 102, 201, and 202) in a single language.
- Demonstrating competence by taking a UH Mānoa language-competency exam if one is offered. Check with the language department in question.
- Receiving a language-requirement waiver by demonstrating 202-level second language competency. For example, waivers may be given to students who are native speakers of a language other than English. Contact an academic advisor in your college/school for further information.
Important Note: The Hawaiian or Second Language requirement has been modified or waived for students in the following schools and colleges: Shidler College of Business; College of Education; College of Engineering; John A. Burns School of Medicine; School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene; School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology; Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work; College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Students in these colleges/schools should consult a college/school advisor.
Students should be aware that changing their major may involve a change in their college/school and thus change their Hawaiian or Second Language requirement. A list of majors and their respective colleges/schools can be found in the Degrees section.
Back Credits for Previous Language Experience
All students (including native speakers of a language) with experience in another language other than English may earn “back credits.” These students may take any UHM language course, appropriate to their level, in which there is significant use of that language. “Appropriate level” of a language will be determined by placement exam, department policy and/or the department’s director or advisor. “Significant use” of a language will be determined by the course content. Upon completion of this course, if students earn a letter grade of C (not C-) or better, they may receive between 3-16 back credits. Hawaiian language back credits are earned according to specific program policies. Please see the Director of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language for more information. UH Academic Policy M5.403 (Hawaiian/Second Language Back Credits) is posted online here.
Languages in which a Four-semester Sequence is Offered
American Sign Language, Arabic, Cambodian (Khmer), Chamorro, Chinese (Mandarin), Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hindi/Urdu, Ilokano, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maori, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Sanskrit, Spanish, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Vietnamese.
Some language courses are not offered regularly, and this is noted in the course description section of the Catalog.
Report on the Hawaiian/Second Language Requirement at UHM
In AY 2020-21, the General Education Committee’s Curriculum Working Group put together a report on Manoa’s H/SL requirement. The hope was that the information would inform and guide discussions about the H/SL requirement, both in its current form and for the Gen Ed Redesign that began in Summer 2021.