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Interdisciplinary Studies

Colleges of Arts and Sciences
Krauss 116
2500 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7297
Web: www.hawaii.edu/is


J. Odin, PhD (Director)
E. Drechsel, PhD

Degree Offered: BA in interdisciplinary studies

The Academic Program

The objective of the Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Program is to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a course of study that is not restricted to conventional departmental or unit boundaries. A crucial feature is the advising process, which aims to develop the student's ability to formulate a major equivalent comprised of upper division courses with thematic integrity and continuity. This ensures flexibility in the curriculum while precluding loss of academic substance and rigor. Thus students create their own degree proposals that must draw upon no less than three disciplines in the UH Manoa Catalog in the study of a particular problem or theme, along with specifically designed IS courses.

Manoa undergraduate students interested in any interdisciplinary course of study should make an appointment for an orientation at Interdisciplinary Studies, 116 Krauss Hall.

While the IS program encourages creation of individually-conceived curricula, it also serves to accommodate students in a variety of fields that lack an undergraduate major and are interdisciplinary in nature. These include:

  1. Pre-professional majors (e.g., pre-law, pre-med, pre-optometry, pre-physical therapy);
  2. Undergraduate majors that are established at UH Manoa only as graduate programs (e.g., astronomy, educational psychology, linguistics);
  3. Interdisciplinary majors for which there is no currently existing department or program (e.g., criminology, gerontology, disability studies, health studies, globalization studies, international studies); and
  4. Majors in existing interdisciplinary programs that do not at this time grant BA degrees: Environmental Studies, Environmental Center Krauss Annex 19; Peace Studies [PACE], 717 Saunders Hall

Students interested in these programs should see both the program in Interdisciplinary Studies for an orientation and an advisor from the relevant program.

Degree proposals must focus upon the identified academic theme, be made in writing, and be accepted by the interdisciplinary studies faculty before the student enrolls for 21 of the 36 credits required in the major equivalent.

In all cases, IS students must satisfy the UH Manoa degree graduation requirements and General Education Core in order to be eligible for a bachelor's degree. Students must also maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA for the major equivalent courses. These courses may not be taken CR/NC, unless mandatory. Successful candidates earn a bachelor of arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences in the appropriate interdisciplinary program.

There are interdisciplinary programs within UH Manoa that offer certificates but do not provide a baccalaureate degree. The College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare also offers a number of interdisciplinary programs of study. These programs have different requirements. (See this Catalog)

Details about admission to the IS program offered in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and assistance in preparing an individually designed major are available at the program office.

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

IS Courses