Home About UH Academic Calendar Courses Undergraduate Education Graduate Education Degrees, Minors, & Certificates Colleges, Schools, & Academic Units


Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered

General Information


Undergraduate Programs

Colleges of Arts and Sciences Program Requirements

Professional Programs



College of Social Sciences
Saunders Hall 542
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8496
Fax: (808) 956-4347
E-mail: econ@hawaii.edu
Web: www.economics.hawaii.edu


*Graduate Faculty

*D. E. Konan, PhD (Chair)—international trade
*C. Bonham, PhD—applied macroeconomics, monetary theory
*A. Dellis, PhD—political economics, public economics
*B. Gangnes, PhD—international macroeconomic modeling, U.S.-Japan trade relations
*T. Greaney, PhD—international economics, industrial organization
*T. Halliday, PhD—health economics, economic development, econometrics
*S. La Croix, PhD—economic history, development economics, industrial organization
*C. Lee, PhD—international economics, development economics
*S. H. Lee, PhD—econometrics, labor economics
*J. Mak, PhD—economics of travel and tourism, public finance, economic history
*A. Mason, PhD—population economics, macroeconomics
*J. Moncur, PhD—water resource economics, economic statistics, microeconomics
*I Noy, PhD—international finance
*J. Roumasset, PhD—development economics, public resource allocation, resource economics
*J. Russo, PhD—health economics, applied microeconomics
*K. V. Sherstyuk, PhD—experimental economics, game theory
*X. Wang, PhD—macroeconomics, monetary economics, econometrics, applied microeconomics, labor economics

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

P. Garrod, PhD—marketing and production economics
E. Im, PhD—econometrics, statistical theory
P. S. Leung, PhD—production economics, quantitative methods
S. G. Rhee, PhD—Asia-Pacific financial markets

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

R. Blair, PhD—industrial organization, antitrust economics
L. Cho, PhD—population economics
L. Endress, PhD—growth theory
D. Ernst, PhD—science and technology in Asia
F. Fesharaki, PhD—energy economics
R. Hasan, PhD—economic development, international economics
M. Jussawalla, PhD—telecommunication economics
B. Kaiser, PhD—environmental economics, microeconomics
R. Smith, PhD—resource economics, microeconomics
Z. Zhang, PhD—environmental and resource economics, economics of climate change

Degrees Offered: Undergraduate Certificates in Political Economy, Social Sciences and Health, and Human Resources/Organizational Management; BA (including Minor) in economics; MA in economics; PhD in economics

The Academic Program

Economics (ECON) is the social science that deals with the allocation and use of human and material resources under conditions of scarcity and uncertainty. It examines this subject matter at the micro level (the consumer, the household, the firm, and the industry) and the macro level (the region, the labor force, the government, the nation, and the world). Courses in these topics are complemented by instruction in the statistical and mathematical tools necessary for modeling, data collection and analysis, and hypothesis testing. Students of economics will learn a body of knowledge that is essential to understanding many aspects of the modern world and contemporary public policy issues, including such vital matters as international trade, economic development, the environment, Hawai‘i’s economic challenges, regulation, business cycles, and consumer behavior. A BA in economics is an excellent background for demanding analytical and policy positions in the public and private sectors; it is also a highly regarded preparation for graduate work in law, business, and public policy, as well as economics.

Economics at UH Manoa is consciously directed toward policy challenges in the Asia Pacific region, which comprises the nations of the Pacific rim and the Pacific Islands, as well as Hawai‘i. Geographic and subject matter interests of students and faculty contribute to a regional specialization in accord with UH’s overall mission.

Exchange Programs

The UH Manoa Department of Economics participates in academic and educational exchanges with Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan; Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea; Kobe University, Kobe, Japan, and Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Advising is mandatory for all graduate and undergraduate economics majors. Contact the department office for specific information.

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Certificate in Political Economy

This certificate is designed to give students a grasp of the ways in which political, economic and sociological forces interact in the shaping of public policy. The certificate includes substantial study of the central analytical approaches in political science, sociology and economics and seeks to surmount the sometimes artificial barriers of specialization that may characterize individual disciplines. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Political Science.

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Resources/Organizational Management

The purpose of this certificate is to prepare students intending to enter careers in human relations and management in business, non-profit agencies and public agencies. Such careers require a broad range of knowledge and skills. Understanding finances is fundamental to the life of an organization. In addition, management requires an understanding of cultural styles of communication, modes of resolving conflict, principles of psychological motivation and interpersonal influence. Public relations is also important in reaching the public and communicating with constituencies. Organizations also must operate in an environment of complex legal regulations. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Sociology.

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Social Science and Health

The purpose of this certificate is to supplement the disciplinary major of students who wish to pursue careers in the field of health and health care by enhancing the breadth, quality and coherence of their education through taking health-related courses in a variety of different academic disciplines. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Sociology.

Bachelor’s Degree

The BA in economics provides students with an intensive knowledge of the theory and practice of economics, with an emphasis on the analysis of contemporary policy challenges of Hawai‘i and the U.S. in the Asia Pacific region. Majors study a wide range of current economic policy issues and learn a powerful framework for analyzing these issues. They also develop reasoning and communication skills that are useful across disciplines. As a result, the BA program has been successful in preparing graduates for advanced study in economics, business, law, and other social sciences, as well as challenging careers in business management, technical analysis, policy evaluation, and education.


Majors must complete 24 credit hours of upper division courses including ECON 300, 301, and either 321 or 424. At least six credit hours must be earned by completing Upper Division II ECON courses, and students must earn a C (not C-) or better in all courses designated as counting toward the major.



Students must complete 15 credit hours of approved upper division courses, including ECON 300 and 301.

Graduate Study

The department offers a graduate program leading to the MA and PhD degrees. Graduate alumni are successful economists, entrepreneurs, and government policy experts in a variety of settings and institutions, especially in Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific region. Faculty research interests facilitate graduate field specializations with regional emphasis on Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific. Student and faculty research focuses on analyses of policy issues of importance to countries in Asia and the Pacific.

The MA program prepares students for policy analysis in government, international agencies, and the private sector, emphasizing application of theory to economic decision-making. The PhD program provides state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical training for high level academic, government, and private-sector careers.

The department maintains strong links with the East-West Center, particularly with the center’s programs on population, economics, and energy. Relationships also exist with various country centers located in the UH Manoa’s School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies and with other programs in the College of Social Sciences. In conjunction with the College of Business Administration, the department also offers a program leading to a PhD in economics and business.

Entering graduate students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree, not necessarily in economics, and to have completed courses in intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory, elementary statistics, and a mathematics background that includes at least one semester of calculus. Applicants for the PhD program need additional mathematics. We will consider applicants who have taken the equivalent of at least two three-credit semester courses in calculus, but recommend the completion of two additional courses prior to entry in any of the following subjects: advanced calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis, or related areas. Students with deficiencies must make them up prior to entering the program or within the first year of study.

TOEFL scores (for all applicants from foreign countries where English is not the primary means of communication) and two letters of recommendation must be submitted by applicants. Students applying for the graduate program must submit official GRE General Test scores.

Master’s Degree

An MA student must be in residence for at least two semesters, and all work must be completed within seven years of admission.


A student must earn 30 credit hours in economics, including at least 21 hours of 600- or 700-level courses. Up to 9 credit hours of 400-level courses may apply to the 30 credit hour requirement. Graduate credit will not be granted for 300-level courses. A student must have a B average (3.0 GPR) for all courses completed at UH applied toward the degree, and a B average for all 600-level and 700-level courses.

The MA requires completion of the following:

  • A four-course common core comprising ECON 606, 607, 627 and 628, with a B average
  • A two-course area of concentration; and
  • An individual research project, constituting the capstone experience for the degree.

A student may also choose to write a master’s thesis in lieu of the individual research project. Students who complete the PhD core may substitute a passing grade on either of the PhD qualifying exams for the individual research project requirement for a master’s degree.

A student who completes the MA degree may apply to the PhD program. By taking appropriate courses, a student may be able to earn both MA and PhD degrees within five years.

Doctoral Degree

A PhD student must be in residence for at least three semesters and complete all requirements within seven years of admission to the graduate program.


The PhD in economics requires successful completion of

  • seven core courses comprising ECON 606, 607, 627, 608, 609, 628 and 629 with a grade of B- or better in each course;
  • qualifying examinations in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory;
  • seven 600-level and 700-level courses in economics (including ECON 730) beyond the core;
  • two fields;
  • a research paper;
  • an oral comprehensive exam, administered jointly with the defense of the dissertation proposal;
  • a final oral exam, including defense of the final dissertation; and
  • submission of the final dissertation manuscript to Graduate Division.

Normal progress requires students to take and pass both theory qualifying exams at the end of the first two semesters of study, and to complete all core courses in the first three semesters of enrollment. Students failing a qualifying examination may retake it only once.

Students choose two fields, each consisting of two courses, from among the following five fields offered by the department:

  1. Economic development (ECON 610 and 611)
  2. International economics (two of ECON 660, 662, and 664)
  3. Public economics (ECON 650 and 651)
  4. Resource & environmental economics (ECON 637 and 638)
  5. Human resources (ECON 670 and 672)

Some field courses are offered annually, others less frequently. Students may petition to substitute a field in another discipline or another field in economics for one of the five fields listed above.

Before the end of their fourth semester, students should, in consultation with the Graduate Chair, reach agreement with a UH Manoa Economics faculty member to serve as their research paper adviser. Doctoral students are required to enroll in ECON 730 in their fifth semester and complete their research paper. Students must receive a grade of “Pass” or “High Pass” on their research paper to continue in the doctoral program. Students who receive a grade of “Fail” on their paper may submit a revised version during the following semester. Students who receive a grade of “Fail” on the revised paper will not be allowed to proceed further in the doctoral program.

The comprehensive examination—of which the written qualifying examinations are a part—will include a broad probing of the candidate’s general economic knowledge. The oral part of the PhD comprehensive examination will be administered jointly with the defense of the dissertation proposal, before a dissertation committee chosen by the student and approved by the graduate chair and the Graduate Division of UH Manoa. A student who fails the comprehensive examination may repeat it once. A student who fails a second time is dropped from the program. Students who pass the oral exam are advanced to candidacy for the PhD.

The final examination, which is oral, covers the candidate’s defense of the final dissertation draft. It is administered orally and is open to the public. Candidates failing the final examination may be allowed to repeat it once upon petition approved by the graduate faculty concerned and the dean of the Graduate Division. Those failing it twice are dismissed from the program.

Finally, a dissertation accepted by the dissertation committee is submitted to the Graduate Division. The final dissertation must also conform to UH standards in content and format.

ECON Courses