Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered
Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences
College of Social Sciences
*K. Ferguson, PhD (Chair)—feminist theory and methods; political theory
Affiliate Graduate FacultyJ. Dator, PhD—futures studies, media, Asian politics
W. Dissanayake, PhD—Asian cinema, film theory
F. Farhi, PhD—Middle East politics, comparative politics
B. Kerkvliet, PhD—Southeast Asian politics
J. Wilson, PhD—political philosophy, American politics
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
L. Basham—Native Hawaiian and Indigenous politics
Degrees Offered: Undergraduate Certificate in Law and Society, BA (including minor) in political science, MA in political science, PhD in political science
The Academic Program
Political science (POLS) examines politics not only in government and among nations but also in private organizations, businesses, universities, families, language, and daily life.
Various methods are used to do this, ranging from the interpretive and historical to the quantitative and statistical. Political science graduates enter numerous professions: journalism, foreign service, social services, government, law, law enforcement, teaching, civil service, business, librarianship, and research. Undergraduate majors have done all of these and more. So have the department’s graduate students, many of whom come from abroad and return to their home countries to become leaders in their fields. The Department of Political Science provides a sound undergraduate education that helps prepare people to think critically and constructively about the world and to be active, concerned citizens in whatever walk of life they choose. Its internship program permits undergraduates to earn academic credit while working in community or governmental institutions and processes.
At the graduate level, the department stands out in the fields of Asian politics, comparative politics, futures studies, indigenous politics, international relations, law and society, policy analysis, and political theory. The department is an open, informal place where students, staff, and faculty alike are encouraged to participate in departmental affairs and governance. For further information, call (808) 956-8357 or write to the department.
Students may write to, or make appointments to see, either the graduate chair or the undergraduate chair, who will discuss the options available and assign students, if necessary, to a faculty member who specializes in a field of study.
Students must complete 30 credit hours, including:
For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.
Students must complete 18 total credit hours. 15 credit hours from the 300 level or above, including one course from POLS 305, 315, 335, 375 or 385.
Students should choose one of the 100 or 200 level political science courses, since a 100 or 200 level course is prerequisite for 300 level courses.
Undergraduate Certificate in Law and Society
15 credits will be required to be completed with a GPA of 2.5 or above.
The department has three different graduate degree programs: master’s degree Plan A, for which a master’s thesis is required; master’s degree Plan B, for which a culminating experience is required; and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program. The department offers specializations in alternative futures, Asian and Pacific politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, indigenous politics, and public policy.
Further information regarding the requirements for all three programs is available at www.politicalscience.hawaii.edu.
The application deadline is early January for admission in the fall semester. No Spring semester admissions are taken.
The department offers MA Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (culminating experience) degrees that can be tailored to a student’s interests and needs. The MA program invites applicants who are prepared to think critically and constructively about political phenomena. All MA students are required to take three of the following courses regardless of program (Plan A or Plan B): POLS 600, 610, 620, 630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680.
The department’s PhD program encourages students to pursue specialized interests as well as to broaden their understanding of political phenomena. The department looks for students who are prepared to construct a successful course of study based on their individual interests, in conjunction with appropriate advising and course work. We encourage applicants who approach political questions in a critical and creative manner and who combine work from different specializations and disciplines to pursue their own particular projects.
Honors and AwardsThe department has several teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and scholarships that are awarded to deserving qualified students.
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