Like most universities, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
(UHM) builds its curriculum in part around knowledge and skills that are
of value to all students. That combination of knowledge and skills is
the basis for the University's General Education requirements.
The UHM General Education requirements involve four
- Hawaiian or Second Language
How to Meet UHM's General Education Requirements
During your freshman year (0-29 credits), you
should concentrate on completing the
Foundations requirements. Foundations courses are designed to
help you develop skills and perspectives that are basic to more advanced
As a freshmen, you should also start taking
Diversification courses. The Diversification requirement ensures
that you have experience with different ways of acquiring knowledge (for
example, using the methods of biological science, literature study,
Finally, you should find out if Hawaiian or a
Second Language is required by the
School or College that you plan to graduate from. Ask a college
adviser about your language requirements.
If you need to develop second language skills from
scratch, you should probably start a language-course sequence while you
are a freshman. If, on the other hand, you have already had experience
in a language other than English, you should take a language placement
exam or ask for a language waiver.
- Written Communication (FW): 3 credits
- Symbolic Reasoning (FS): 3 credits
- Global & Multicultural Perspectives (FG):
6 credits, 2 courses
- Arts, Humanities, and Literatures (DA,
DH, and DL): 6 credits from two different areas
- Social Sciences (DS): 6 credits from two
- Biological Science (DB): 3 credits
- Physical Science (DP): 3 credits
- Science Laboratory (DY): 1 credit
Effective March 2007:
You may take Diversification and
Foundations courses from the same department. Please note that the
printed 2007-2008 Catalog is incorrect.
HAWAIIAN OR SECOND LANGUAGE
You can also read the
Catalog and the "Program
Sheet" for a particular college's set of recommended core
Placement exams are required for
some Symbolic Reasoning (FS) courses. Refer to the
UHM Catalog - UH Manoa Core Requirements section to see if
an exam is required for the FS course you want/need to take.
Effective March 2007:
can be from the same department of Foundations
Global & Multicultural Perspectives courses. Example: a student
who takes ANTH 151 and HIST 152 may take ANTH or
HIST courses to meet the Diversification requirement. Please
note that the printed 2007-2008 Catalog is incorrect.
students. Many transfer students can transfer courses
that will satisfy UHM's Foundations, Diversifications, and
Hawaiian or Second Language requirements. Carefully review
transcript evaluations and meet with a college adviser to
determine what GenEd requirements are already satisfied.
transfer students: students entering UHM with an AA
degree from a UH campus have already satisfied all of the
Foundations and Diversification requirements.
Focus Exemption: if you have had extraordinary
extracurricular experiences, consider applying for an exemption
from a particular Focus requirement.
A typical freshman class schedule
includes Foundations courses, Diversification courses, a
language course, and courses that will satisfy a School/College
requirement. You can check with your School/College to find out
You should have completed your Foundations requirements during your
freshman year (or before you complete 29 credits). During your sophomore
year, you should continue taking Diversification courses. You are
classified as a sophomore when you have earned 30-59 credits.
Check with your college adviser to determine what College/School
requirements must be satisfied. If a major has already been selected,
your should also meet with a major adviser.
Most students start taking Focus classes during their
- Contemporary Ethical Issues (E): 1 class
- Hawaiian, Asian, & Pacific Issues (H): 1 class
- Oral Communication (O): 1 class
- Written Communication (W): 5 classes, at least 2 must be
numbered 300- or 400-level
Focus classes change every
semester. When you register on the web, make sure the Focus
designation for a section is clearly indicated. If no Focus
designation is listed, you will not receive Focus credit for
Some classes have more than one
Focus designation. By successfully completing the class, you
earn all of the Focus credits indicated.
Some classes have both Focus and
Diversification designations. By successfully completing the
class, you will earn Focus credit and the Diversification
Because the Focus requirement is a
"class requirement" instead of a "credit requirement,"
successfully completing even a 1-credit Focus class will earn
you Focus credit.
The Contemporary Ethical Issues
(E) and the Oral Communication (O) Focus classes are offered
only at the upper-division level (courses numbered 300-499). You
are encouraged to select E and O Focus classes in your major to
get the most out of the requirement.
students: Students entering UHM with 37 or more
credits have reduced Focus requirements. The
explains the "pro-rate" schedule in the UH Manoa General
Education Core Requirements section.
When you reach junior status, you should have completed all of the
Foundations requirements and most, if not all, of the Diversification
requirements. You will concentrate on taking Focus classes and
courses required by your College/School and your Major.
You are classified a junior when you have earned 60-89 credits.
At least 2 of the
Writing-intensive (W) Focus classes must be at the 300- or
400-level. Find a W class in your Major to get the most out
of the requirement.
Contemporary Ethical Issues
(E) and Oral Communication (O) classes are only offered at
the 300- and 400-level. Take E and O classes in the Major to
get the most out of the requirement.
Transfer students: Students who enter UH with 37
or more transfer credits have to take fewer Focus classes.
Catalog explains the "pro-rate" schedule in the
UH Manoa General Education Core Requirements section.
Transfer students should confirm their Focus requirements
with a College adviser.
During the senior year, you should finish taking your Focus
classes and other courses required by your School/College and your
Major. Seniors have students who have earned 90 or more credits. You
need a minimum of 120 credits to graduate from UHM.
See "tips" under "Junior Year" in the previous section.
Scroll up and visit the links under "QUICK LINKS" for additional
updated February 5, 2018; report errors to