Colleges of Arts and Sciences
2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7297
P. Manicas (Director), PhD
E. Drechsel, PhD
J. Odin, PhD
Degree Offered: BA in liberal studies
The Academic Program
The objective of the Liberal Studies Program is to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a course of study that is not restricted to conventional departmental or unit boundaries. A crucial feature is the advising process, which aims to develop the student's ability to formulate a major equivalent comprised of non-introductory courses with thematic integrity and continuity. This ensures that while flexibility in the curriculum is encouraged, it precludes loss of academic substance and rigor. Thus students create their own degree proposals that draw upon a number of disciplines in the study of a particular problem or theme.
While the program primarily encourages creation of individually conceived curricula, it also serves to accommodate students in a variety of fields that lack an undergraduate major and are interdisciplinary in nature:
1. Pre-professional majors (e.g., pre-law, pre-med, pre-optometry, pre-physical therapy);
2. Undergraduate majors that are established only as graduate programs (e.g., astronomy, educational psychology, English as a second language, linguistics);
3. Majors that are predominantly interdisciplinary (e.g., aging, comparative literature, environmental studies, international studies, Pacific Islands studies, peace studies, women's studies); and
4. Majors that combine work in several colleges (e.g., business communications, arts administration, health and public policy, etc.).
Degree proposals must focus upon the identified academic theme, be made in writing, and be accepted by the liberal studies faculty before the student enrolls for 21 of the 36 credits required in the major equivalent.
Liberal studies students must satisfy the University degree requirements and those for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences. Students must also maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA for the major equivalent courses. These courses may not be taken CR/NC, unless mandatory. Successful candidates earn a bachelor of arts in liberal studies from the
Colleges of Arts and Sciences.
There are a number of interdisciplinary programs within the University that offer undergraduate courses but do not provide a baccalaureate degree. Students electing to pursue a major in these disciplines presently do so in liberal studies.
Details about admission to the program and assistance in preparing an individually designed major are available at the program office.