Hawaiian Studies


 The mission of the Hawaiian Studies department is to provide the kahua (foundation) which connects the University with our kupuna (ancestors) of the ʻāina (land) of Lāʻie and Hawaiʻi.  Additionally to support and complement the goals of the University through its program in language and culture, which include art, music, history, hula and chant.  The curriculum of the Hawaiian Studies department teach kuleana (stewardship) for ka ʻāina (the land), through utilizing our beloved Kahuaola and its loʻi (taro patch).  In addition, students will learn kuleana for ke kai (the sea) through our beautiful 57 foot waʻakaulua (double hull voyaging canoeIosepa.  The Hawaiian Studies curriculum stimulates creativity, intellectual growth, and performance skills with critical thinking, producing individuals who are prepared for family, community, and church service.  Students will be prepared to function successfully in a chosen profession as individuals who are equipped for problem-solving and shared decision-making through open communication in the contemporary global environment. Furthermore, the Hawaiian Studies program prepares students to be fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).  Students will be able to use ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi socially as well as professionally.

 Expected Student Outcomes

  1.  Students will be able to demonstrate greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands in relationship to a global perspective.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language)..
  3. Students graduating from the program will complete a successful, integrative internship under supervision as well as additional special projects and courses.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi by maintaining a C or better grade.
  5. Students graduating will demonstrate satisfaction with services as well as make recommendations to improve the program.
  6. Graduating students will be able to find employment or pursue studies and be successful as a contributing member of society.
  7. Strengthen the curriculum, including its unique features, such as Iosepa, the waʻakaulua, and Kahuaola (location of the loʻi), in order to promote the program and increase the number of majors by 10%.


Pacific Island Studies



The Pacific Islands Studies program prepares students to be knowledgeable about the languages and cultures of the people of the Pacific. Students also have an area of emphasis in order to prepare them to be employable in the community and the region. Pacific Islands Studies is an interdisciplinary major. It focuses on current issues of the lands and peoples of the Pacific Islands region.

Expected Student Outcomes

Students are expected to study geography, history, politics, art, economics and social issues in order to be connected to Hawaii and the Pacific region. Students are encouraged to participate in internships in order to be highly prepared for employment. It offers students the opportunity to learn skills in critical thinking, oral presentation and research writing while understanding the Pacific Islands in both a regional and global setting. Students of Pacific Islands Studies are able to continue graduate study or enter the work force in a variety of areas, where an intimate knowledge of Pacific issues can be an advantage. This is especially enhanced when the student takes a minor in another discipline.


Clubs on Campus

BYU-Hawaii offers students many different clubs relating to Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Clubs present a way for students studying Hawaii and the Pacific Islands to immerse themselves in the pacific culture in a less formal setting. Currently, the school hosts Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Fijian, and Tahitian chapters amongst dozens of other chapters.