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

Social Sciences of Oceans

Our Fully Online BA Degree Completion Program in the Social Sciences of Oceans is designed to train you in social science approaches to tackle complex problems related to oceans and island societies. Dive into topics such as governance and nationhood, identity and inequality, resource management and development, and the movements of people and cultural forms. The interdisciplinary nature of this degree offers a broad perspective of the lands, waters, cultures, and peoples of Oceania. Embark on this journey of discovery and understanding, all from the comfort of your own home.

This Fully Online BA Degree Completion Program is WASC-approved.

Considering this program and want to know more?

Visit CSS Online for comprehensive information on program requirements, enrollment procedures, and admission deadlines.

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Program Learning Objectives

  • Apply  social science approaches to addressing complex problems related to oceans and island societies.
  • Apply interdisciplinary approaches to studying issues of global importance, such as governance and nationhood; identity and inequality; resource management and development; and the movements of peoples and cultural forms.
  • Develop expertise needed to communicate effectively the results of tangible and intangible ocean-related research and analysis to colleagues and decision-makers through written reports.
  • Develop expertise needed to lead resource management, city planning, community organizing, environmental consulting, and policy analysts of ocean-related issues.

Key Program Details

This accelerated, Fully Online BA Degree Completion Program is offered in 5-week online course segments, taken one course at a time, back-to-back during a regular semester. Students enroll in three courses per semester, one at a time, totaling nine credits. This format enables students to concentrate on a single course at a time.

If you have prior college credits equivalent to an AA degree, you may earn this degree in less than two and a half years by taking three courses per semester, one at a time, for nine credits per semester (six credits in the summer optional). In this major, a total of 36 credits (equivalent to 12 courses) are required. However, it’s important to note that UH Mānoa has a graduation requirement of 45 upper division (300+) credits. If you don’t have any prior credits that can be counted towards this total, you may need to take additional electives to reach the 45-credit requirement. Additionally, there may be a need for extra credits to fulfill the overall UH Mānoa graduation credit requirement. Our advisors will assess your transcripts and help determine your specific needs.

The degree has 12 major required courses that represent an interdisciplinary view of the Social Sciences of Oceans: 

  • Department of Anthropology
    • ANTH 350 – Pacific Island Cultures
  • Department of Economics
    • ECON 409 – The Ocean Economy
    • ECON 442 – Development of Economics
  • Department of Ethnic Studies
    • ES 392 – Change in the Pacific – Polynesia
    • ES 480 – Oceanic Ethnic Studies: Theories and Methods
  • Department of Geography and Environment
    • GEOG 365 – Geography of the Pacific
    • GEOG 426 – Environment, Resources and Society
  • Department of Political Science
    • POLS 304 – Indigenous Politics
    • POLS 380 – Environmental Law and Politic
  • Department of Sociology
    • SOC 459 – Popular Culture
  • Department of Urban and Regional Planning
    • PLAN 310 – Introduction to Planning
    • PLAN 414 – Environmental Hazards and Community Resilience

Required courses are offered in various semesters, depending on instructor availability, and your advisor will assist in determining the optimal order to take these courses. While a sample schedule is provided as one potential path, alternative options are also available.

This Fully Online BA Degree Completion Program will open doors to various career paths, including urban or rural planners, community organizers, environmental consultants, cultural educators, health specialists, policy analysts, grant writers, economists, and researchers. It is also well-suited for positions within non-profit or governmental organizations that focus on issues in Oceania.

Because of the 5-week course format, financial aid will be based on 3/4 time enrollment (9 credits) and will be disbursed throughout the semester based on the start date of your courses. For example, a Federal Pell Grant will pay 1/3 of the funds as the first of three courses begin. Federal Direct loans will be disbursed manually once you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Financial aid and/or scholarships that require full-time enrollment may be canceled since your program does not require full-time enrollment.

Advising and Support

For general information regarding this Fully Online BA Degree Completion Program and for personalized assistance specifically for Oceans distance learners, please contact:

Aj Simpao

AJ Simpao

Academic Advisor, Student Services Specialist (APT)

Saunders Hall 311

(808) 956-0317