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Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered

General Information


Undergraduate Programs

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences

Professional Programs



College of Arts and Humanities
Sakamaki A-203
2530 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8486, 956-8358
Fax: (808) 956-9600
Web: manoa.hawaii.edu/history


*Graduate Faculty

*D. L. Hanlon, PhD (Chair)—Pacific Islands, Micronesia, ethnography
*L. Y. Andaya, PhD—traditional Southeast Asia, Indonesia
*D. N. Arista, PhD—Hawaiian Islands, 19th century U.S., Pacific world
*E. O. Bertz, PhD—South Asia, Indian ocean, Africa
*S. J. Brown, PhD—modern China, intellectual and cultural
*D. A. Chappell, PhD—Pacific Islands, world history, Africa
*M. L. Daniel, PhD—U.S. early American Republic, politics and race
*E. L. Davis, PhD—middle China, religion
*W. W. Farris, PhD—pre-modern Japan, social and economic
*M. A. Henriksen, PhD—U.S., recent America, popular culture
*P. H. Hoffenberg, PhD—modern Europe, England, British Empire
*K. L. Jolly, PhD—medieval Europe, Anglo-Saxon England, medieval Christianity
*L. C. Kelley, PhD—modern Southeast Asia, Vietnam
*J. P. Kraft, PhD (Associate Chair)—U.S., business and labor
*M. V. Lanzona, PhD—modern Southeast Asia, Philippines, women
*M. J. Lauzon, PhD—early modern Europe, European intellectual
*F. Lopez-Lazaro, PhD—world, Mediterranean, maritime history
*C. K. Matteson, PhD—modern Europe, France, environmental history
*M. T. McNally, PhD—Tokugawa Japan, social and intellectual
*N. Njoroge, PhD—U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, race and critical theory
*R. L. Rapson, PhD—U.S., cultural and intellectual
*R. C. Rath, PhD—U.S., early America, Atlantic world, Native American, sensory
*S. J. Reiss, PhD—U.S. foreign relations, Latin America and Carribean, African
*M. P. Romaniello, PhD—early modern Europe, Russia, Soviet Union, gender
*J. P. Rosa, PhD—Hawaiian Islands, 20th century Hawai'i, U.S. social and cultural
*S. Schwartz, PhD—ancient Europe, classical history, gender, law
*M. P. Speidel, PhD—ancient Europe, Greece and Rome, Roman military, epigraphy
*Y. Totani, PhD—modern Japan, Pacific
*W. Wang, PhD—classical China, Ming/Qing China, politics and culture
*T. J. Yoo, PhD—modern Korea, colonialism, gender and cultural studies
*H. F. Ziegler, PhD—modern Europe, Germany, Holocaust, world history

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

B. Andaya, PhD—Southeast Asia

Degrees Offered: Undergraduate Certificate in Islamic Studies, BA (including minor) in history, MA in history, PhD in history

The Academic Program

History (HIST) is the study of change and continuity in human society over time. Drawing upon concepts and methods of many disciplines, history provides perspective on the human condition, past and present. The discipline of history develops skills in evaluating evidence, organizing information, clarifying and structuring concepts, and writing narratives and expositions. History is a core around which liberal education can be structured. The study of history lays a foundation upon which one can develop a cultural, social, and intellectual life that enriches an understanding of the wider world.

Majoring in history is an excellent way to move into specialized study in such areas as teaching, library and information science, foreign service, medicine, law, and business. Those who plan to pursue a career as professional historians will want to continue their education and obtain the MA and PhD degrees. The Department of History of UH Manoa offers a full range of courses in American, Asian, European, Pacific, and world history.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


Students must complete eleven courses (33 credit hours) in history with a grade of C (not C-) or better, distributed as follows:

  • Minimum of five courses (15 credit hours) in one of the following four fields (U.S., Europe, Asia/Pacific, Europe, or Comparative/World)
  • One upper division course (3 credit hours) in each of the other three fields
  • HIST 396 and 496
  • One additional history course

No more than two 200-level courses (6 credits) may be used toward the history major, and no 100-level course may be counted.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.



For a student to minor in history, the declaration of intent should be made as early as possible after matriculation. The student must contact the undergraduate advisor of the department and complete the appropriate forms. The minor requires the successful completion with a grade of C (not C-) or better of 15 credit hours of upper division history courses. It is possible to concentrate in a particular area of history, but it is not necessary to do so. No one specific course is required for the minor.

Undergraduate Certificate in Islamic Studies

The purpose of this certificate is to increase understanding of Islam as a world religion through critical analysis of primary and secondary materials, to foster knowledge about the complexity among Islamic societies and their diverse cultural expressions, and to explore the role of Islam and Muslims in present and past world affairs.

This certificate is housed within the College of Arts and Humanities. The participating departments are Art and Art History, History, Philosophy, and Religion. Minimum prerequisites for acceptance into the program for undergraduates are sophomore or higher standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and the completion of at least one introductory course within one of the four participating departments with a grade of B or better.

A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Philosophy.

Graduate Study

The Department of History offers the MA and PhD degrees in the American, Asian, European, and Pacific fields. A field of world history is offered at the PhD level only. All applicants for advanced degree programs in history are requested to supplement the application and transcripts required by the Graduate Division with letters of recommendation (two for the MA, three for the PhD), preferably from professors with whom the applicant has worked; a sample of written work such as a term paper, seminar paper, or MA thesis; and the General Test scores from the GRE. These supplementary items should be sent directly to the department.

Complete details on all graduate programs in history, as well as financial aid available to prospective students, are outlined in the departmental website, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/history or by email at gradhist@hawaii.edu.

Recipients of advanced degrees in history have undertaken careers as teachers of history and social studies in secondary schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. In addition, the study of history provides an excellent background for alternative careers in museology, library and archival work, government service, historical preservation, business and marketing research, and allied research fields. The department has a placement officer to assist graduates with career choices and in locating employment opportunities.

Courses for the graduate programs are to be selected from among the history courses listed in back of the Catalog and from graduate offerings in related disciplines as directed by the student's supervisory committee. The consent of the instructor is required for admission to all courses numbered 600 and above. Courses numbered over 600, except HIST 602 and 790, may be repeated once for credit.

Master’s Degree

Intended candidates for the MA degree must present a minimum undergraduate preparation of 18 upper division credit hours in history or some closely allied field such as Asian studies or American studies. Students who lack this preparation or who wish to undertake study in an area of history other than that of their undergraduate preparation must make up deficiencies either before or during graduate study. In the latter case, the student will be admitted only conditionally, pending removal of the deficiencies.

The prospective MA candidate may select either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). Both plans require the intended candidate to give evidence of competence in a foreign language appropriate to the field of major interest. In addition, students in the U.S. or East Asia history areas in either Plan A or Plan B must also meet seminar distribution requirements, which raise the minimum required 600-level work to 18 credit hours.

Plan A (Thesis) Requirements

Plan A requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate work, at least 15 of which must be in courses numbered 600 and above (including HIST 602), plus 6 credit hours of HIST 700 Thesis Research, a written thesis, and a final oral examination, which is a defense of the thesis.

Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements

Plan B requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate work, at least 18 of which must be in courses numbered 600 and above (including HIST 602), comprehensive examinations in two fields of history (a major and a minor), a final oral examination covering those two fields of history, and submission of two major research papers from graduate seminars, one in the major field and the other in the minor field.

Doctoral Degree

Intended candidates for the PhD degree are expected to possess the MA degree in history or its equivalent. The PhD candidate must demonstrate the capability of pursuing a successful career as a professional historian by showing initiative in historical research and by giving evidence of the ability to present findings both orally and in writing.


The candidate must prove competence by the acquisition of a broad background in general history, passing four comprehensive examinations in two broad geographic areas of history and completing an original dissertation and a final oral examination. The candidate must also demonstrate a knowledge of at least two foreign languages related to the dissertation topic; for students of American or Hawaiian history an alternative requirement may, at the discretion of the doctoral committee, be substituted for one of the languages.

HIST Courses