The Honors Program at the University of Hawai΄i at Manoa offers a course of study that prepares talented and motivated students for independent and original research and creative work. It emphasizes intellectual community and encourages mentorship relationships both among students and between students and faculty. By participating in the Honors Program, students take a more active role in their education.

Honors combines the intimate educational experiences offered by small, liberal arts colleges, with the extensive range of educational opportunities and the excellence of faculty and facilities of a Carnegie “Doctoral/Research-Extensive” university. It offers the best of both worlds!

  • Small class sizes emphasizing in-depth discussion
  • Special inquiry-based curriculum that emphasizes active learning and independent research while also meeting General Education requirements
  • Personalized academic advising (in addition to the advising you will receive from your major!) and guaranteed registration in Honors courses
  • Honors housing (reserved floors in dorms), organized social events (picnics, bowling, hiking, etc.), reading/meeting room for students, student activities club
  • Prestige of Honors on your official transcript and the value of an Honors degree in application for jobs and graduate school

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Your 4-Year Honors Program will look something like this:

Freshman and Sophomore Year

  • End of your Sophomore Year, you should have the following completed: 1 A Section and 2 HON courses
  • End of Sophomore year, BRIDGE SESSION to transition to Senior Honors Project
  • Start Considering whether you would like to follow the Thesis or Portfolio track for your Honors Senior Project early in your program.
  • Many departments have Honors Tracks that can be followed to help you graduate with Honors Project

Junior Year

  • Submit Honors Project Proposal & Mentor/Proposal Form
  • HON 495 Recommended

Senior Year

  • HON 494 Required
  • 2 semesters of HON 496 or 499 in major or pre-approved course from Honors track to work on Senior Honors Project
  • Graduation Information Session
  • Submit Senior Honors Project
  • Present at Undergraduate Showcase

“A-section” Courses

“A-section” courses are special sections of regular classes that fulfill General Education requirements and are reserved specifically for Honors students with enrollment limited to 20 students. Generally, such courses provide students with a more in-depth and challenging exploration of the subject matter.  However, in some cases involving a sequence of pre-requisite courses, they may also be accelerated versions of the non-Honors equivalents. “A-sections” provide for a greater degree of interaction between students and instructors, and students are expected to take greater initiative in their learning.

A list of current A-section courses as well as Honors courses can be found here.

Honors Courses

Honors courses provide opportunities for undergraduate students to experience small, seminar-style classes, while learning skills and knowledge necessary to conduct independent research and creative work within their major. All of the courses are inquiry-based, training students in critical thinking and independent research.  

A list of the various Honors courses offered (with descriptions) can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors Program

FAQ’s about the Honors Program can be found here.