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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 Social Sciences
Sakamaki C-400
2530 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8414
Fax: (808) 956-4700
E-mail: psych@hawaii.edu
Web: www.psychology.hawaii.edu


*Graduate Faculty

*A. E. Maynard, PhD (Chair)—developmental, cultural, siblings and socialization, cognitive change
*C. K. Baker, PhD—community, intervention development and evaluation, domestic violence, teen dating violence
*J. Barile, PhD—community, neighborhood environments, health equity, quality of life and well-being
*D. Cicero, PhD—clinical, experimental pyschopathology, psychosis, risk for schizophrenia
*P. A. Couvillon, PhD—behavioral neuroscience, animal learning, cognition
*L. A. A. Doumas, PhD—cognitive, analogy, computational models of cognition, mental representation, the development of structured thought
*F. J. Floyd, PhD—clinical, family and couple relationships, developmental disabilities, sexual minority growth
*B. N. Frazier, PhD—children's cognitive development
*E. H. Hatfield, PhD—social, emotions, social-psychophysiology
*K. Hayashi, PhD—quantitative psychology and psychometrics
*E. M. Heiby, PhD—clinical depression, compliance assessment, integrated behavioral theory
*L. A. James, PhD—social-personality, library skills, psycholinguistics
*J. Latner, PhD—understanding and treatment of obesity and eating disorders
*C. W. Mueller, PhD—child clinical, social, HIV, and health
*B. J. Nakamura, PhD—clinical, youth anxiety, dissemination of evidence-based practices
*K. Pauker, PhD—social intergroup relations, stereotyping, social perception
*S. C. Sinnett, PhD—cognitive, mechanisms of attention and perception
*C. H. Sophian, PhD—developmental, cognitive development in children
*L. K. Takahashi, PhD—behavioral neuroscience
*K. M. Vitousek, PhD—clinical, cognitive behavioral approaches, eating disorders, caloric restriction for longevity
*Y. Xu, PhD—children's social development and culture

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

D. Bhawuk, PhD—culture and community
R. W. Brislin, PhD—social-personality
P. W. Dowrick, PhD—video research
E. S. Hishinuma, PhD—health, cross-cultural
J. K. Kaholokula, PhD—Native Hawaiian Health
P. E. Nachtigall, PhD—marine mammal behavior
L. A. Yamauchi, PhD—educational psychology

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

B. F. Chorpita, PhD—clinical childhood anxiety disorders
D. Landis, PhD—psychology
A. Pack, PhD—marine mammal behavior
J. E. Schiffman, PhD—child clinical
W. G. Stephan, PhD—social psychology
W. T. Tsushima, PhD—neuropsychology

Degrees and Certificate Offered: BA in psychology, BS in psychology, MA in psychology, PhD in psychology, Certificate in Clinical Psychology (Respecialization)

The Academic Program

Psychology (PSY) can be defined as the science of mind and behavior. Some psychology majors are preparing to enter graduate school, where they will be trained to become professional psychologists and scholars. Others use psychology as a pre-professional major for other fields, such as law or medicine. The majority of psychology majors, however, are using psychology as a general interdisciplinary arts major. Psychology is qualified as a discipline for this purpose. An understanding of the spectrum of psychological knowledge, methods, and concepts facilitates and enhances productivity in virtually every area of human endeavor. This understanding also promotes interpersonal skills and sensitivities, as well as critical thinking skills. Collectively, these understandings foster a respect for others, which is a core element of the curriculum of the psychology department.

UH Manoa is fortunate in having a psychology department composed of an unusually large number of internationally recognized figures in the field. Not only do students get to learn from these scholars in the classroom, but many receive direct training in cutting-edge research and the application of psychological knowledge. Areas of concentration include behavioral neuroscience; clinical studies (APA accredited); community and cultural psychology; developmental psychology; experimental psychopathology; social-personality; and cognition.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

Pre-major BA and BS Degree Requirements

Students must complete one course in methodology (PSY 212) and one course in statistics (PSY 225 or SOCS 225) with a minimum grade of C (not C-) and attend one major meeting. In addition, a minimum overall entry GPA of 2.5 in all PSY UH Manoa course work (including PSY 100 and any transfer PSY courses) is required to declare psychology as a major.

BA Degree Requirements (minimum 36 credits, 15 earned at UH Manoa)

In addition to completion of PSY 212 and PSY 225 or SOCS 225, students must complete 30 credit hours, including:

  • 15 credits at the upper division level (300 level and above)
  • One course from three of these four psychology foundation areas:
    • Experimental (PSY X2X courses), e.g., PSY 220, 322, 324
    • Psychobiology (PSY X3X courses), e.g., PSY 230, 331, 333
    • Developmental (PSY X4X courses), e.g., PSY 240, 341, 342
    • Social or Personality (PSY X5X or PSY X6X courses), e.g., PSY 250, 260, 352
  • 3 credit hours in the advanced topic series (PSY 4X9, many 4X9 courses are designated as Writing Intensive), excluding PSY 499)

A minimum exit GPA of 2.0 in psychology must be maintained for graduation. PSY 100 is a prerequisite to all other courses except PSY 170 and may be counted toward the major and the diversification social sciences (DS) core requirement. No more than a combined total of 15 credits of practicum (PSY 407), teaching (PSY 408), and directed research (PSY 499) may be counted for the major; no more than 9 credit hours in PSY 499 may be counted. Only 3 credit hours in PSY 499 can be used to fulfill the requirement of 15 credit hours at the upper division level. Nevertheless, students intending to do graduate work are encouraged to enroll in PSY 499 and in PSY 408 or 478.

BS Degree Requirements (minimum 42 credits, 21 earned at UH Manoa)

In addition to completion of PSY 212 and PSY 225 or SOCS 225, students must complete one year of Biology* and 18 credits at the 300 and above level, including:

  • one additional PSY 4X9 advanced focus (W, O, etc.) seminar (3 credits)
  • two semesters of directed research PSY 499 (6 credits)
  • one 3-credit course in Statistics, e.g., PSY 419, 610, or 611 is highly recommended in their senior year
  • BIOL 171/171L (4 credits)
  • and either BIOL 172/172L (4 credits) or PSY 331 or 333 (3 credits)

A minimum exit GPA of 2.5 in psychology must be maintained for graduation.

New majors should seek assistance from the Undergraduate Advising Office in Sakamaki D409 (psychadv@hawaii.edu) or consult with Lorey K. Takahashi, Chair of Undergraduate Studies (LKT@hawaii.edu), as soon as possible for advising. Additional information can be found at www.psychology.hawaii.edu.

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

Graduate Study

The graduate program in psychology is designed to provide students with a strong background in theory, research methodology, and psychological issues. Currently, there are 7 concentrations in which students can receive specialized training: behavioral neuroscience; clinical studies; community and cultural psychology; developmental psychology; experimental psychopathology; social-personality; and cognition. Specific details concerning each of the concentrations, their requirements, and faculty research interests may be obtained in one of four ways: (a) by writing to the Department of Psychology, University of Hawai'i, 2530 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822; (b) by faxing your request to (808) 956-4700; (c) by sending an email communication to the Chair of Graduate Studies (gradpsy@hawaii.edu); or (d) by accessing the department's website at www.psychology.hawaii.edu.

Applications are considered only for the fall semester. Applicants should normally possess a bachelor's degree, have a minimum of 24 credit hours of undergraduate work in psychology (including courses in basic psychology such as research methodology, statistics, learning, abnormal, social, developmental, personality, cognition, and physiological psychology), a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, strong letters of recommendation from professors, competitive general GRE scores (past applicants admitted as graduate students in the department tend to score at or above the 600 level on the various sub-domains of the GRE), and preferably one to two years of research experience.

One can apply online at apply.hawaii.edu/ or obtain materials relevant to the application process at www.manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/. Completed applications must be received by the Graduate Division no later than December 1 each year, with the exception of GRE scores (which can arrive during the month of January).

Master’s Degree

The master's degree program includes a thesis and at least 30 credit hours of courses specified by the department and specific area of concentration. Detailed descriptions of specific requirements for each area of concentration are contained in the department webpage. The department does not offer a terminal master's degree program in psychology. Only students interested in pursuing a PhD degree are considered for admission. Students with a BA degree are admitted to the master's program and, upon successful completion, petition for entry into the doctoral program.

Doctoral Degree

Students must complete their master's degree (from UH Manoa or another accredited institution of higher learning) prior to entering the doctoral program in psychology at UH Manoa. Specific course work and other relevant departmental and concentration specific classes are required for the doctoral degree. Students must pass comprehensive examinations before proceeding to the dissertation.

Certificate Program in Clinical Psychology (Respecialization)

The Clinical Studies Respecialization Program provides clinical training for individuals holding a PhD in a basic area of psychology from a regionally accredited university (or foreign equivalent). Individuals who are already licensed in psychology or who hold an applied degree (e.g., EdD, PsyD) are not appropriate for this program. Upon satisfactory completion of core clinical courses, practica, and internship, the Respecialization student receives a certificate from the Graduate Division and is competitive for clinical research and teaching positions as well as eligible to sit for licensure in most states. The Clinical Studies Program is APA-approved and follows a scientist-practitioner, broadly-behavioral, dual specialty approach to training in which it is encouraged of all graduate and respecialization students to integrate the literatures of a basic area of psychology with related clinical phenomena.

For further details of this certificate, please see www.psychology.hawaii.edu/concentrations/clinical-psychology.html.

PSY Courses