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Ethnic Studies

College of Social Sciences
2560 Campus Road, George Hall 301
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8086
Fax: (808) 956-9494
E-mail: alegado@hawaii.edu


D. T. Alegado, PhD (Chair)—Filipino American experience in the United States/Hawai‘i, international labor migration
I. G. Aoudé, PhD—Hawai‘i political economy, Middle East politics, social movements in Hawai‘i and the South Pacific
M. Das Gupta, PhD—South Asians in America. race and gender politics, US immigration policies
N. Kent, PhD—political economy in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, American ethnic relations
D. McGregor, PhD—Hawaiian history, social movements in Hawai‘i and the Pacific
J. Y. Okamura, PhD—Japanese in Hawai‘i and the United States
T. Tengan, PhD—identity, gender, indigenous theory and methodology, Hawai‘i and the Pacific
E. J. White, PhD—African American experience

Degree and Certificate Offered: Certificate in Ethnic Studies, BA in ethnic studies

The Academic Program

The Department of Ethnic Studies (ES) is an interdisciplinary program with emphasis on undergraduate education. Initiated in 1970, ethnic studies combines traditional and contemporary methodologies with new perspectives on issues of race, ethnicity, and class. The focus is Hawai‘i with its rich legacy of multiethnic heritages, but the research, teaching, and service components also involve the U.S. as a whole and comparative studies of societies around the globe.

Ethnic studies provides introductory and advanced courses on theories and practices of ethnicity, race, and class. The program also offers courses on the history and experiences of specific groups, including African Americans and Native Americans. Among groups in Hawai‘i, Caucasians, Chinese, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Japanese, and Koreans are subjects of separate courses. There are also courses dealing with critical topics such as ethnic identity, land tenure, social movements, and labor history.

Students may earn a BA or the Certificate in Ethnic Studies. Graduates have gone on to successful work in public service, social service, business, law, labor organization, education, and other fields that require sensitivity to people and their backgrounds.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


Students must complete 36 credit hours, including:

  • ES 101 and 380
  • 12 credit hours on the history and social dynamics of ethnic groups from ES 221, 305, 306, 330, 331, 332, 333, 335, and 338
  • 12 credit hours on the history, theories, and problems of ethnic groups and ethnicity in the framework of social, economic, and political change from ES 301, 310, 318, 320, 340, 348, 350, 360, 365, 370, 372, 381, 390, 392, 399, 410, 420, 430, 455, 492, 493, 495
  • 6 credit hours of related courses approved by a department adviser

ES Courses