Aerial view of Waikiki Beach

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Social Sciences (CSS) and Interdisciplinary Studies are launching a new fully online bachelor’s degree program called the Social Sciences of Oceans. Students will learn to understand and address the complex problems related to oceans and island societies. Major courses span the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, geography and environment, political science, sociology and urban planning.

The program will be launched in the fall and interested individuals can still apply. The deadline to apply to UH Mānoa is August 1.

Geared toward working adults who have completed their general education or earned an associate’s degree, the Social Sciences of Oceans degree is an accelerated online program offered in five-week segments with one course at a time.

Leveraging Hawaiʻi’s location in the middle of the Pacific and the expertise of UH Mānoa faculty, the program focuses on Oceania and perspectives from Pacific Islands as it explores issues of global importance, such as climate change impacts; approaches to resilience; resource management and development; governance; social impacts; and human migration. The degree will prepare graduates for careers in natural resource management, city planning, community organizing, environmental consulting, policy analysts and grant writing.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this transformational five-week program to working adult students. This flexible and focused format allows students to finish their degrees on an accelerated part-time basis while managing work and life responsibilities,” said Hae Okimoto, UH associate vice president for student affairs and director of academic technologies.

The asynchronous platform (not in the same place at the same time) provides students with flexibility to graduate with a BA degree equivalent to those completed at the UH Mānoa campus. Lower student fees and waived health requirements are among the benefits for fully online students.

“The timing and focus for this new online program is excellent,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are creating another new opportunity for students across our islands and beyond, including our own UH community college graduates, to complete their education with a focus that will help them contribute to society.”

“With support from course designers at UH Online, our faculty have customized their classes to take advantage of the benefits of online learning and student engagement,” said CSS Dean Denise Eby Konan. “Students can also rely on dedicated academic advising to assure that they will progress optimally.”

Offered through the UH Mānoa Outreach College, the CSS online program also offers fully online BA degree completion programs in economics and women’s studies, as well as several certificate programs.

To learn more about the Social Sciences of Oceans degree, and other online programs in the social sciences, visit CSS Online, or contact or