The undergraduate program in Pacific Islands studies is designed for students desiring an interdisciplinary education and an informed understanding of Oceania and issues of concern to Pacific Islanders.
The undergraduate degree is designed to provide extensive service learning interaction with local Pacific Islander communities in various ways to enhance three core concentrations that define Pacific Islands Studies. Each represents a core component of the field of study as regionally comparative, locally grounded, and creatively expressed.
- Contemporary Regional Issues – This concentration highlights issues that impact multiple sites across the region, including tourism, globalization, foreign aid, climate change, cultural conflict, decolonization, etc.
- Public Policy and Community Development – This concentration emphasizes the policies and barriers that can impact Pacific Islander migrants in Hawaii around housing, health care, employment, and language access in order to enhance opportunities and address communities’ identified needs.
- Culture, Arts, and Performance – This concentration represents the unique creative expressions of peoples of the Pacific Islands and offers opportunities for students to explore their own creative expression in a variety of formats including, poetry, dance, carving, photography, weaving, integrating customary and contemporary practices for a variety of functions and purposes.
Students are required to take PACS 108, and one 200 and one 300 level course in each concentration (6 courses, 18 credits), prior to taking the Senior Capstone. Students select one concentration for additional elective credits (6 credits) in order to enhance exposure and expertise in that concentration. Internship opportunities are also possible to enhance networking and employment opportunities.