undergraduate & graduate study

Bachelor’s Degree

The center has developed an exciting new Bachelor of Arts degree in Pacific Islands studies. Undergraduate students will learn innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to explore the diversity of Island societies and develop critical understandings of economic, social, political, and cultural change transforming Oceania today. This BA will encourage Pacific Islander students to examine elements of their histories and cultures within a regional context, and appeal to all those interested in public policy leadership and community engagement through other fields that work closely with Pacific Islanders, such as education, health care, social work, counseling, public administration, and social research. Students may currently choose from two interrelated areas of concentration: (1) Public Policy and Community Development and (2) Contemporary Regional Issues; a third concentration, (3) Culture, Arts, and Performance, is being developed. All students will engage in service-learning opportunities in active support of Pacific Islander issues and concerns in multicultural Hawai‘i. Graduates of this program will be well prepared to apply knowledge in community settings or pursue advanced degrees in Pacific Islands studies. Click here to see the major requirements for the BA in Pacific Islands studies.

Master’s Degree

The MA in Pacific Islands Studies is intended for students of the region wishing to transcend established disciplinary boundaries and explore innovative approaches to learning, research, and representation. It is the only program of its kind in the United States. The MA program includes two options, thesis and MA portfolio. Students selecting the first option complete a scholarly, research-based thesis on a Pacific-related topic. Normally this is the preferred option for those planning to enter a doctoral program in the humanities, social sciences, or interdisciplinary studies. Those opting for the MA portfolio demonstrate proficiency in a specialty area within the field of Pacific Islands studies through an integrated program of activities including course work, research, and writing. Both options can include performance, multimedia, or creative writing components. Some recent graduates are pursuing doctoral or professional degrees in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Hawai‘i, and on the US continent; others are employed in a wide variety of fields, including education, social work, publishing, as well as library and museum work.



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