Departments

The College of Social Sciences offers a rich combination of disciplines across the social sciences. While each department represents a significant part of the social sciences, some also play an important role in the humanities and others in the natural sciences. Although distinct and independent, the intellectual boundaries of the departments are not rigid and thus allow various opportunities for cross-disciplinary inquiry. Although distinct and independent, the intellectual boundaries of the departments are not rigid, allowing for a variety of opportunities for cross-disciplinary inquiry.

Formally established in 1934, the Department of Anthropology is committed to the study of human culture. Students receive comprehensive training in critical thinking as they explore and develop a global understanding of culture and society through comparative, holistic studies of communities. Specializations include applied archaeology, ecology, medical anthropology, and discursive practices, with particular focus in Hawai‘i, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the United States.

The Department of Anthropology’s programs encourage and develop fundamental skills such as critical thinking, communication, self-direction, expression, creativity, global awareness and team dynamics.

Major Academic Areas

Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Applied Archaeology, Hawaiian Studies, Indigenous Studies, Medical Anthropology, Ecological Anthropology, Discursive Practices, Asia, Pacific Islands, Oceania

Specialties

  • Applied Archaeology trains the next generation of professional non-academic archaeologists to be effective advocates for the study and preservation of historic sites.
  • Applied Cultural Anthropology trains students in the theories, methods, and analysis of cultural anthropology that can be utilized in careers requiring community-based fieldwork approaches to research.
  • Ecological Anthropology focuses on human-environment interactions using approaches across the subfields of anthropology.
  • Medical Anthropology studies the sociocultural dimensions of health and illness.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Minor in Anthropology, Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Faculty

Staff

  • Elaine Nakahashi, Secretary, Saunders 346D, elainen@hawaii.edu, 956-8415
  • Marti Kerton, Student and Fiscal Support, Saunders 346C, kerton@hawaii.edu, 956-7153
  • Mark Oxley, Archaeology Labs Director & Undergraduate Advisor, Dean 206, oxley@hawaii.edu, 956-6652

The mission of the School of Communications is to be a primary resource for the people of Hawai‘i through excellence in teaching, research and application. The school embraces the challenges and opportunities created within communications and journalism by the technological, multicultural, and international context of the 21st century. The school, established in 2000, is a center for academic and professional scholarship linking East and West.

The School of Communications offers academic programs in Communication and Journalism. Communication focuses on communication in intercultural and professional communities, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and policy, and the media arts. Journalism is professionally oriented and develops students’ critical thinking skills and ability to gather, analyze, and organize information, and to communicate it clearly and responsibly through print, broadcast, and online media.

Specialties

  • Media Arts includes digital cinema and multimedia.
  • Communication in Communities focuses on intercultural and organizational communication.
  • ICTs & Policy focuses on how ICTs shape, and are shaped by, society.
  • Print Media trains aspiring journalists in writing news reports.
  • Broadcast Media focuses on reporting for television.
  • Multimedia Journalism emphasizes reporting and production of online and mobile media, including social media.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts, BA (COM & JOUR), Master of Arts, MA (COM), Interdisciplinary CIS Doctor of Philosophy, PhD (COM)

Faculty

Staff

The mission of the Department of Economics is to discover, refine, and disseminate economic knowledge, with emphasis on policy issues involving Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region. Faculty members perform economic research, foster sound reasoning and decision-making through teaching, prepare students for careers, and provide service to the University of Hawai‘i and broader Hawai‘i, United States, and international communities.

The Department of Economics offers an undergraduate curriculum featuring student mentoring, free introductory course tutoring, a student-run club, internships, co-op work arrangements, study abroad programs, an Honors program, and research opportunities with faculty.

Research Areas

Climate change, ocean resources, energy, property rights, aging and wealth transfers, experimental economics, foreign investment, econometric analysis, labor markets, health economics, law and economics, China and Japan economies, monetary economics, microeconomic theory

Specialties

  • Resource and Environmental Economics addresses sustainability, climate change, ocean resources, and energy policies.
  • International Economics studies foreign investment, international monetary systems, trade policy, and immigration.
  • Human Resources analyses demographic issues, labor markets, and health economics.
  • Public Economics and Economic History studies how public policies and institutions affect behavior and welfare in historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Development Economics considers institutions, efficiency, and growth in developing countries.
  • Experimental Economics and Game Theory deal with the models of strategic interactions and testing their predictions in the laboratory.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Fully Online BA, Minor in Economics, Bachelors to Masters (BAM), Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Faculty

Staff

The Department of Ethnic Studies focuses on race and ethnicity in Hawai‘i, the United States, and the Pacific. Through service learning and civic engagement, students develop theoretical, methodological, ethical, and participatory skills to analyze power relations and promote social justice in a globalized world. Department specializations include Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian American histories of race, class, and gender.

Established in 1970 to teach “Our History, Our Way,” the Department of Ethnic Studies is the only unit at UH Mānoa that concentrates on race and ethnic relations in Hawai‘i, the United States, and the Pacific. The department maintains a research and teaching philosophy emphasizing praxis: the application of theory to complex problems in local communities, through service learning and civic engagement. Students develop the ability to think critically about society and popular culture, and work effectively within a global, multicultural community.

Major Academic Areas

Ethnic Identity, Indigeneity, Migration, Representation, Economic Change, Social Movements, Racism and Ethnicity, Critical Multiculturalism, Race and Gender, Ethnic Conflict, Land Tenure, Field Work

Specialties

  • Histories of Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Arab Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans
  • Ethnic and Race Relations in the United States and globally
  • Political Economy in Hawai‘i, the Pacific, Asia, North America, and Middle East
  • Service Learning and Civic Engagement emphasizing community-based research, learning, and praxis

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Undergraduate Certificate in Ethnic Studies

Faculty

Staff

Individuals face challenging issues in modern life: globalization and its regional implications, global climate change and its effects, resource use and sustainability, cultural change and its environmental consequences, geopolitics with changing states and borders, and Google Earth, GPS and other spatial digital technology that are changing the way people interact with the world. For individuals intrigued by these issues, the College’s Department of Geography and Environment is the answer.

At its core, Geography is about the human relationship with the environment, and its studies lend understanding to many critical issues that face modern society. The discipline spans natural science, social science, and the humanities, as well as technology, as it engages in questions such as environmental processes, socio-political dynamics, cultural change, and the use of modern geo-spatial technologies.

Specialties

  • Environmental Geography engages in a systematic study of the Earth’s physical environment, natural resource management and global environmental change. Its focus is on global change and its impact on different parts of the world in the terrestrial and marine environments.
  • Human Geography investigates the cultural, economic, and political processes that shape human activities on the Earth. It focuses on issues related to globalization, cultural and political changes and its relationship to the environment.
  • Geographic Technology includes the study of cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and the use of these technologies in understanding spatial environmental issues. This is a fast-growing area in geography with many research and job opportunities.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Minor in Geography, Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Faculty

Staff

The Matsunaga Institute 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 (PPC), the institute emphasizes critical thinking and collaboration to groom future leaders to address contemporary and complex issues in Hawaii, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world.

Matsunaga Institute students develop a theoretical foundation to advance scholarship in peace studies, including human rights and advocacy, leadership and governance, policy analysis, and communications. Students learn and hone practical conflict management skills by enrolling in PACE courses that enhance personal and professional skills.

Specialties

  • Peace Studies broadens students’ perspectives and strengthens critical thinking on issues of war and peace; justice and human rights; and governance.
  • Conflict Resolution (facilitation, mediation, and negotiation) focuses on community and civic relations, and interpersonal skills vital to good leadership.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Interdisciplinary Studies (major in Peace and Conflict Resolution),
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Peace Studies (equivalent to a minor),
  • Peace Corps Prep Certificate, and
  • Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution

Courses offered by the Matsunaga Institute are listed under the subject alpha PACE (Peace and Conflict Education).

Faculty

  • Brien Hallett, Professor, Interim Director/Undergraduate Advisor, Saunders 720, bhallett@hawaii.edu, 956-4236
  • Colin Moore, Associate Professor, Director of Public Policy Center, Saunders 724, cdmoore@hawaii.edu, 956-8016
  • Dan Milz, Assistant Professor, Saunders 107C, dmilz@hawaii.edu, 956-6866
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng, Associate Specialist, uhip@hawaii.edu

Staff

Since its establishment in the 1940s, the Department of Political Science has been recognized as a provider of outstanding programs in the fields of international relations, political theory, comparative studies, and Asian politics. The department also houses specialty programs for Futures Studies and Indigenous Politics. Student-centered classes are focused on broad yet comprehensive discussions that catalyze critical thinking, and promote effective communication.

Students in the Department of Political Science investigate a broad range of topics, from political theory to indigenous politics. Students are encouraged to broaden their perspectives by taking courses in other departments and through the many interdisciplinary programs associated with the UH Mānoa, such as Asian Studies and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. As many students are also Honors students, a new Political Science Honors Track for undergraduate students is planned for Fall 2014.

Major Academic Areas

Alternative Futures, Comparative Politics, Indigenous Politics, International Relations, Law and Politics, Political Theory, Public Policy

Specialties

  • The Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to reconceptualize and invent the future.
  • Indigenous Politics facilitates inquiry on a variety of issues including histories of interaction between Indigenous and settler peoples.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Minor in Political Science, Bachelors to Masters (BAM), Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Faculty

Staff

The Department of Psychology fosters a broad understanding of psychological knowledge, methods, and concepts that enhance productivity in virtually every area of human endeavor. Importantly, the department’s undergraduate curriculum promotes interpersonal skills and sensitivities, as well as critical thinking skills in specialized courses including Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognition, Community, Cultural, Developmental, and Social Psychology.

Established in 1920, the Department of Psychology integrates the study of human and animal behavior from an evolutionary and biological perspective in relation to human social behavior. Students are exposed to scientific methods that contribute to an understanding of behavior in diverse social and environmental situations. By graduation, students will acquire a better self-understanding, as well as an appreciation of the diversity of experience. The department continues to be a leader in training exceptional undergraduate and graduate students.

Major Academic Areas

Behavioral Neurosciences, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Community and Cultural Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Experimental Psychopathology, and Social Psychology

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Sciences (BS), Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Psychology majors with interests in specific areas of Psychology may also conduct research with department faculty, enroll in the Psychology Honors Program, and join Psi Chi, which is the National Honor Society of Psychology.

Majors, who wish to obtain an advanced degree, may seek admission to graduate or professional programs for training in psychology, human services, law, medicine, and counseling.

Faculty

Charlene Baker, Professor, Dept. Chair, Sakamaki C401, bakercha@hawaii.edu, 956-5669
John (Jack) Barile, Associate Professor, Sakamaki Hall C404, barile@hawaii.edu, 956-6271
Patricia Couvillon, Associate Professor, PBRC 212, patc@hawaii.edu, 956-4761
Emily Daubert, Assistant Professor, Sakamaki D401, edaubert@hawaii.edu, 956-3695
Kentaro Hayashi, Associate Professor, Sakamaki D403, hayashik@hawaii.edu, 956-2846
Leon James, Professor, leon@hawaii.edu, (808)261-2382
Janet Latner, Professor, Sakamaki C407, jlatner@hawaii.edu, 956-6106
Akihiko Masuda, Associate Professor, Sakamaki D409, amasuda4@hawaii.edu, 956-0287
Ashley Maynard, Professor, Sakamaki C402, amaynard@hawaii.edu, 956-7343
Charles Mueller, Professor, Krauss Hall 101E, cmueller@hawaii.edu, 956-6727
Brad Nakamura, Professor, Krauss Hall 101F, bradn@hawaii.edu, 956-6359
Anthony Papa, Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Training, Sakamaki D406, papaa@hawaii.edu, 956-8107
Kristin Pauker, Associate Professor, Sakamaki D410, kpauker@hawaii.edu, 956-9366
Joni Sasaki, Associate Professor, Sakamaki C405, yjoni@hawaii.edu, 956-6673
Scott Sinnett, Professor, Undergraduate Chair, Sakamaki D408, ssinnett@hawaii.edu, 956-6272
Lorey Takahashi, Professor, Honor’s Program, Biomed T701B, lkt@hawaii.edu, 956-3898
Jonas Vibell, Assistant Professor, Sakamaki Hall C204D, vibell@hawaii.edu, 956-2522
Kelly M Vitousek, Associate Professor, Krauss 15, vitousek@hawaii.edu, 956-6269
Yiyuan Xu, Professor, Graduate Chair, Sakamaki Hall C408, yiyuan@hawaii.edu, 956-6268

Staff

The Public Administration Program is an innovative graduate-level program dedicated to the enhancement of public service. Since 1984, the program has been committed to increasing leadership resources for public service in Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific Region, building organizational and community collaborations for creative problem-solving, and nurturing connections between participants and a network of change agents.

Hawai‘i is a unique place to hone public service leadership skills. The diversity of the state and the mixture of cultural traditions, from both West and East, establish an unusually rich setting for developing a leadership style.

The mission of the Public Administration Program is to energize public institutions and organizations doing public work, enrich civic culture, and increase leadership capacity for those with public and community responsibilities in Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific Region. The program does this through teaching, research, and service activities that give current and future public service professionals the knowledge and skills they need to be more effective in their work and communities.

The program’s design is oriented by this question: “What do people in public service need to know to be effective in their work?” The response brings together participants from a rich variety of backgrounds to share experiences, uses collaborative teaching to view issues from different perspectives, emphasizes active engagement in classes, and continuously applies theory to practice.

Degrees Offered

Master of Public Administration (MPA), a Public Administration Certificate, Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate (GCERT)

Faculty

Established in 2006, the Public Policy Center, which includes the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (Matsunaga Institute), is committed to enhancing the quality of community life throughout Hawai‘i, the mainland, and the Asia-Pacific Region. Through an interdisciplinary, multi-cultural approach to teaching, research, service, and application, future leaders and professionals learn and practice public policy-making, dispute resolution, and peacemaking.

The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, College of Social Sciences Public Policy Center (PPC) brings together expertise, commitment, and a strong desire to enhance the quality of community life through teaching, research, civic engagement and interdisciplinary work towards the development and analysis of good public policies.

Major Academic Areas

Public Policy, Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Peace Studies

Specialties

  • Public Policy emphasizes the analyses, design and evaluation of policy choices to solve public problems.
  • Conflict Resolution (facilitation, mediation, and negotiation) focuses on community and civic relations, and interpersonal skills vital to good leadership.
  • Peace Studies broadens students’ perspectives and strengthens critical thinking on issues of war and peace; justice and human rights; and governance.
  • Energy Policy. The Policy Center facilitates Hawaii’s Energy Policy Forum and conducts research for energy planning and policy.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Interdisciplinary Studies (major in Peace and Conflict Resolution), Undergraduate Certificate in Peace Studies (equivalent to a minor), Peace Corps Prep Certificate, Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution

Faculty

Staff

The Department of Sociology furthers the study of society, social interaction, social organization, and the consequences of these processes by combining scientific and humanistic perspectives. Sociologists examine a wide range of topics, including marriage and family patterns, race and ethnic relations, demography, social change, class structure, value systems, conflict, deviant behavior, and the people and institutions of societies.

The Department of Sociology prepares the finest young scholars in Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region to succeed as academics, researchers, service providers, or as leaders and good citizens in their own societies. The department uses its natural resources of location, people, and relationships, to generate new knowledge about life on an island that is located in the middle of the Pacific and host to a true multi-ethnic mix of peoples.

Specialties

With a view of the world that is both local and global, the department provides students with a broad foundation in theory and methods of sociological research. It also focuses on the following four areas in which it offers exceptional expertise and opportunities for research and training:

  • Sociology of Asia and the Pacific, with emphasis on comparative sociology of Asia
  • Crimelaw, and deviance
  • Ethnic and race relations
  • Healthaging, and medical sociology

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Minor in Sociology, Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Faculty

Staff

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning is an academic discipline that fosters a multidisciplinary set of intellectual and practical tools to help us chart our future in an age of uncertainty. The department strives to improve the quality of life for present and future generations, both locally and globally, through planning, public policy and social collaboration.

Degrees

MURP, PhD | Certificate in Planning Studies, Professional Certificate, Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Certificate

Major academic areas

Community Planning, Environmental Planning, Asia/Pacific Urban and Regional Planning, Land Use/Infrastructure Planning, Conflict Resolution, Social Policy, Citizen Participation, Disaster Management, Coastal Resources, Energy and Climate Change Planning

Faculty

Staff

The Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is committed to providing a rigorous and integrated academic experience for students interested in feminist scholarship and gender studies. The department investigates how gender intersects with race, class, and other vectors of power in shaping history, psychology, anthropology, economics, sociology, political science, philosophy, literature, language, art, drama, education, law, medicine, and biology.

The Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, gender, and sexuality. The department is especially attentive to the ways that gender functions transnationally (i.e., in the jostling of different states, societies and cultures of today’s global world).

Current academic offerings include:

Undergraduate Certificate in Women’s Studies

The undergraduate certificate is designed to encourage students to acquire a more thorough background in contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship in feminist and gender studies, and to incorporate feminist perspectives and issues into their major fields of specialization.

Undergraduate Major in Women’s Studies

The undergraduate major provides a solid knowledge base and develops skills in thinking critically and constructively about the world. Such knowledge and skills gives students many options for the future!

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Women’s Studies

AdWS graduate certificate helps students apply feminist methodologies, analyses, and problem-solving to their other academic fields; and integrate scholarship on gender into their chosen professions as a means of enhancing their professional lives and advancement opportunities.

Faculty

Staff