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UH Manoa Core Requirements

Foundations Requirements

Diversification Requirements

UH Manoa Graduation Requirements

Focus Requirements

Hawaiian or Second Language (HSL)

UH Manoa Graduation Requirements

3. Focus Requirements

The Focus requirements identify important additional skills and knowledge necessary for living and working in diverse communities. Courses fulfilling Focus requirements are offered in departments across the curriculum and vary each semester. To meet a Focus requirement, a course must have an official UH Manoa Focus designation during the semester in which it is taken. Courses taken outside the UH System cannot be used to fulfill Focus requirements. Instead, non-UH System transfer students' Focus requirements are adjusted according to the number of credit hours awarded by UH Manoa for non-UH System courses.

  • Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues (H or HAP): 1 course, any level

These courses focus on issues in Native Hawaiian and Asian or Pacific cultures and history; they promote cross-cultural understanding between nations and cultures.

  • Contemporary Ethical Issues (E or ETH): 1 course, 300- or 400-level

These courses involve significant readings on, and discussion of, contemporary ethical issues; they give students tools for the development of responsible ethical judgments.

  • Oral Communication (O or OC): 1 course, 300- or 400-level

These courses provide students with training in oral delivery and give them the opportunity to do individual and/or group oral reports.

  • Writing Intensive (W or WI): 5 courses, including at least two at the 300- or 400-level

These courses collectively help students both to learn course content and to communicate through writing. Small writing-intensive classes, in which instructors work with students on writing related to course topics, are offered in nearly all departments.

Note: Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy the Foundations-Written Communication (FW) requirement before they enroll in writing-intensive courses.

Please Note:

Additional courses that satisfy General Education Core requirements may have been approved after the publication of this Catalog. Check “Class Availability” online for the most up-to-date information. All students should be aware that UH Manoa's individual schools/colleges (a) may have additional program requirements and (b) may require specific General Education courses to meet their program requirements. Consult your college/school advisor.

Focus Courses

Focus courses change each semester. Therefore, Focus designations are not shown in this Catalog, but appear each semester on Class Availability at www.sis.hawaii.edu/uhdad/avail.classes?i=MAN. Focus designations are indicated in the GenEd/Focus column as ETH, HAP, OC, and WI.

Focus Requirements for Students with Non-UH System Credits

Students who transfer credits from a non-UH System institution may have adjusted ("prorated") Focus requirements. The adjustment is based on the number of non-UH System transfer credit hours accepted when a student is admitted to UH Manoa. Non-UH System credits completed while an active UH Manoa student are not included in proration (summer courses, Study Abroad, National Student Exchange, etc.).

  Focus Requirement
Number of accepted non-UH credits hours: W H E O
0-36 5* 1 1 1
37-54 4* 1 1 1
55-88 3* 1 1-E or 1-O
89+ 2* 1 0 0

*At least two “W” courses must be numbered at the 300- or 400- level.

Focus Requirements for UH System Transfer Students

Students who enter the UH System in Fall 2011 and thereafter must meet all of the Focus requirements. Students who entered the UH System from Spring 2005 through Spring 2011 must meet requirements given in the following table. Students who entered UH prior to Spring 2005 should check with a UH Manoa college/school advisor to determine their Focus requirements. Depending on the number of UH transfer credit hours accepted, E and O requirements for transfer students may be reduced. The W and H requirements are not affected, since students may transfer approved UH System courses to help them satisfy the W and H Focus requirements.

  Focus Requirement
Number of accepted UH credits hours: W* H E O
0-54 5* 1 1 1
55-88 5* 1 1-E or 1-O
89+ 5* 1 0 0

*At least two “W” courses must be at the 300- or 400- level.

Exemption from a Focus Requirement

Students who have engaged in one or more extraordinary educational experiences that took place outside of the ordinary university curriculum may request exemption from up to three Focus requirements that are directly related to the educational experience(s). To earn exemption, students must demonstrate to the General Education Committee that the experience(s) fulfilled the goals of the requested Focus area(s). Approved exemptions reduce the number of courses required for the approved Focus area(s); however, they do not reduce the total number of credit hours needed to graduate. Students are limited to three exemptions. Restrictions apply. For more information, consult a college/school academic advisor or visit www.hawaii.edu/gened/focus_exemption.htm.