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In spring 2022, the General Education Committee approved six new Thematic Pathways in General Education (TPGE) to help students find Gen Ed courses that may interest them. Each TPGE is wholly voluntary, and students are not required to take courses in any particular pathway. TPGEs will instead function like shopping filters, to help them sort through hundreds of choices for fulfilling Diversifications (and other) designations to identify those that may have content in, for example, sustainability. There are short descriptions below for the six new TPGEs that will roll out in 2022-2023. The hyperlink below each description takes you to a spreadsheet with two pages:

  1. The “core group” are courses with content relevant to the theme, and with existing Gen Ed designations that can be used to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement
  2. “Tier 2” courses also carry existing Gen Ed designations, but by satisfying the prerequisites for a course in this list, the student will have already checked off that requirement. We include this second set of courses, however, for those who might be interested in learning more about the topics and disciplines included in a TPGE (even if the Gen Ed requirement is already checked off).


Sustainability and resilience-themed courses will ground students in understanding natural systems in relationship to society. Moreover, sustainability and resilience focused courses in this thematic pathway foster students’ understanding that multiple knowledge systems inform processes for achieving sustainability; in doing so, students connect sustainability theory to local place-making, particularly in a Hawaiian planning context.

Sustainability TPGE courses

Oceans and Oceania

Lovers of the ocean and all of its creatures will enjoy the opportunity to dive into the study of oceans from many different disciplinary perspectives. As the effects of climate change continue to create unpredictable impacts, we need scientists, researchers, artists, great communicators and others who can point us in the right direction and develop plans to protect and secure our oceans and their unique ecosystems.

Oceans/Oceania TPGE courses


Courses in the Indigeneity TPGE collectively draw on richly diverse Indigenous cultures, histories, and issues from around our multicultural world. With a special emphasis on native peoples, Indigeneity courses offer students a deeper understanding of complex issues through Indigenous ways of knowing, historical adaptations to natural and social changes (both from within and externally imposed), forced and voluntary migrations, and identities. The Indigeneity TPGE aims to give students opportunities to develop intercultural knowledge and competencies, and to live our institutional values to respect others.

Indigeneity TPGE courses

Film, Media, and Society

Courses in the Film, Media, and Society TPGE examine the technical aspects of film production, cultural expressions, social and historical considerations, and narrative techniques. Through these courses, students will explore connections with culture, histories, and how humanity’s struggles with big questions play out in art and imagination.

Film, Media & Society TPGE courses

Humanity and the Cosmos

The courses within the Humanity and the Cosmos thematic pathway illuminate various aspects of humanity’s effort to comprehend and navigate the cosmos:  science, philosophy, and the nature of reality, consciousness, and perception; the sustainability of “spaceship Earth”; the arts, mythology, religion, and humanity’s attempts to answer the Big Questions about our place in the universe. As our scientific understanding of outer space has evolved, so has our concept of humanity’s place in the universe, the origins of life, and the nature of the universe itself. 

Humanity & the Cosmos TPGE courses

Human Expression and Multilingualism

Human beings grow up and live situated within cultures, where they use languages to communicate. Some cultures are connected to geographic locations or ancestry, while others are created from groups people choose to join. The Human Expression and Multilingualism thematic pathway is built on courses that consider the role of languages and cultures in the human experience, looking at ways that humanity’s culture shapes how they think, what they do, and what they value. 

Human Expression & Multilingualism TPGE courses

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