College of Social Sciences, UH Mānoa
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo

Living Laboratory

The College of Social Sciences affords unparalleled learning opportunities not found in any other UH college or school, or at any other university in the world. Students are challenged to take a voyage of discovery, inspiration and knowledge to prepare them as innovative leaders in the social sciences. They benefit from rigorous academics, hands-on research activities and distinctive programs in a U.S. state with geological and ocean uniqueness.


Hawai‘i, with it multicultural population and protected geographical setting, serves as a natural laboratory for social science research. In this dynamic environment, faculty members conduct significant research and applied investigations. They are generating real-life solutions for the critical social, behavioral, economic and environmental issues challenging Hawai’i, the Asia-Pacific and beyond. Students immerse themselves in a community of scholars, resulting in lively interaction and engagement between learner and mentor.


Living on an island state makes clear the need for responsible human interaction with the environment. At the rate in which the world is being negatively impacted, an urgency exists to create options and practices for the sustainable use of precious resources. Involvement is encouraged – for example, the Mālama I Nā Ahupuaʻa (MINA) program facilitates students working alongside venerated elders, and cultural and community leaders, to learn traditional land maintenance, preservation and restoration methods.