Academic Programs

Ethnic Studies provides introductory and advanced courses on theories and practices of ethnicity, race, class, and gender. The program also offers courses on the history and experiences of specific groups, including African Americans and Native Americans. Among groups in Hawai'i, Chinese, Filipinos, Hawaiians, and Japanese are subjects of separate courses. There are also courses dealing with critical topics such as ethnic identity, land tenure, social movements, and labor history.


Students may earn a BA or the Certicate of Ethnic Studies. Graduates have gone on to successful work in public serivce, social service, business, law, labor organization, education, and other fields that require sensitivity to people and their backgrounds.


Ethnic Studies Student Learning Outcomes:

  • To demonstrate-through papers, exams, class discussions, service learning, et al.- a grasp of the core concepts in the ethnic studies field. This includes ethnic and racial group dynamics, histories and identities, as well as challenges facing indigenous peoples and minorities, inter-group conflicts, racism and discrimination.
  • To demonstrate-through class discussions, papers, exams service learning, et al.-the ability to make explicit connections between ethnicity/race and other aspects of social life (i.e.. economy, politics, cultural values and gender relations).
  • To demonstrate an understanding-through class discussions, papers, exams, service learning, et. al.- of the unique history of Hawai’i’s multi-ethnic working people and the importance of social justice everywhere.
  • To demonstrate through the use of reading, writing and thinking skills the ability to critically analyze both historic and contemporary patterns and issues in multi-ethnic societies.
  • To demonstrate the ability to connect classroom ideas and knowledge to current events and processes in both Hawai’i’s communities and the world beyond.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of civic engagement and the skills involved in change-oriented democratic citizenship.


For more information on why to become an Ethnic Studies Major, check out the links below: