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Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered

General Information


Undergraduate Programs

Colleges of Arts and Sciences Program Requirements

Professional Programs



College of Arts and Humanities
George 326
2560 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8202
Fax: (808) 956-3947
Web: www.hawaii.edu/speech


*Graduate Faculty

*K. S. Aune, PhD (Chair)—relational management, emotion
*M. S. Kim, PhD (Graduate Chair)—intercultural/international communication, persuasion and social influence
*W. F. Sharkey, PhD (Undergraduate Chair)——family communication, interpersonal and social relations
*R. K. Aune, PhD—message and information processing, encoding and decoding in relational communication and social influence, research methods
*R. E. Cambra, PhD—interpersonal and instructional strategies, negotiation, intercultural
*A. S. E. Hubbard, PhD—nonverbal communication, conflict and relational management, research methods
C. Kulp, PhD—interpersonal communication, close relationships
H. Lee, PhD—health and political communication, campaigns
M. Mazur, PhD—interpersonal and computer mediated communication

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

R. Brislin, PhD—cross-cultural communication
J. H. Bentley, PhD—critical methods
T. Hilgers, PhD—discourse evaluation, language production, comparison of written and oral communication

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in speech, MA in speech

The Academic Program

The Department of Speech (SP) has as its primary objectives the development of knowledge in and instruction concerning the process of speech communication. This involves three fundamental areas of emphasis. The first area is human message processing, which involves understanding the function and structure of the various codes, verbal and nonverbal, used to form messages in speech communication, as well as examining the encoding and decoding processes involved in speech communication. The second is relational communication, which focuses on factors that influence growth, maintenance, and termination of relationships. The third is social influence, dealing with the processing of beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral modification, including gaining compliance, conflict resolution, persuasive campaigns, and propaganda.

Speech is predominantly a discipline of systematic, purposeful thinking and communicating. Students obtain a liberal education of considerable breadth and depth in regard to speech communication theory. Furthermore, they are afforded ample opportunity to develop their communicative skills by applying theory in such diverse activities as interviewing, group discussion, organizational communication, intercultural communication, public speaking, interpersonal communication, debate, and performance of literature. Indeed, the basic philosophy of this department—and it is stressed in every course and co-curricular program offered—is that there is no surer preparation for professional life and participation in society than an education that enhances the ability of the individual to maintain lifelong learning and the skills to communicate effectively.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


Students must complete 33 credit hours, including:

  • SP 301, 251, 302, 381, 364
  • SP 370 or SP 470

SP 301 and 302 should be taken no later than the semester after the major is declared. In residence policy: A minimum of 15 credit hours which includes SP 302, must be taken in the Department of Speech at UH Manoa. Introductory courses do not count as electives. Electives must have a prerequisite or be numbered 300 or above.
SP 151 and SP 200 do not count toward the 33-credit-hour minimum.



Students must complete 15 credit hours of speech, including:

  • SP 381 and 364
  • SP 370 or SP 470
  • 6 credit hours of non-introductory elective courses
  • Introductory courses and SP 499 do not count toward the minor. Electives must have a prerequisite or be numbered 300 or above and cover a specific content area.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The Department of Speech offers an innovative MA program emphasizing the central processes and functions of human communication. To that end, course work, seminars, and student research develop a cross-situational understanding of theory and research in the three areas central to the discipline: message processing, relational communication, and social influence.

All applicants for the MA program in speech must supplement the application and transcripts required by the Graduate Division with three letters of recommendation (preferably from professors with whom the applicant has worked), a one-page statement of goals, and the GRE General Test scores. These supplementary items should be sent directly to the department.

Intended candidates for the MA should have a strong undergraduate preparation in speech or a closely allied discipline. Students who lack this preparation must make up deficiencies either before or during graduate study. In the latter case, the student will be admitted conditionally, pending removal of the deficiencies.

Further details on the program and the faculty, as well as any changes in course offerings, may be requested from the department.


The department offers both Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis: comprehensive exams or applied project) programs. Plan A requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate work, at least 27 of which must be in speech courses numbered 600 and above, including 6 credit hours of SP 700 Thesis Research. Plan B requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate work in speech courses numbered 600 and above. Speech courses numbered 400 to 499 and courses from allied disciplines may be counted toward the degree only with prior consent of the graduate chair. SP 601 an 602 are required for both Plan A and Plan B programs. Plan A also requires SP 702.

Successful completion of Plan A requires each candidate to present an acceptable thesis and pass a final oral examination based on the thesis. Plan B requires each student either complete an applied research project or pass written comprehensive exams. Plan B candidates must also pass a final oral examination based on either the research project or the comprehensive exams.

SP Courses