History Department Chair's Message


Dr. Russell Hart, History Department ChairWelcome to Hawai’i Pacific University’s Department of History. Our department offers an exciting variety of programs:

  • Undergraduates can major in:
    • Bachelor of Arts in History
    • Bachelor of Science in Diplomacy and Military Studies
  • Undergraduates can minor in:
    • American Studies
    • Diplomacy and Military Studies
    • Gender/Women’s Studies
    • History
  • Graduate programs include:
    • The M.A. in Diplomacy and Military Studies
    • The M.A. in World History (coming soon)
    • Graduate Certificate in National Security and Strategic Studies
    • Graduate Certificate in World History (coming soon)

The department offers a wide range of courses in world, U.S., Asia-Pacific, and European history as well as many thematic areas such as gender, race, and military/diplomatic history. The M.A. in Diplomacy and Military Studies is the second largest graduate program at HPU, with over 120 students. This inter-disciplinary program blends the approaches and methodologies of History, Political Science, and International Relations to study the complex intersections between force and statecraft. Finally, we are proud to announce the imminent launch of our new, innovative M.A. in World History. Hawaii’s location where East meets West forms a perfect backdrop for studying history globally.

Our nationally-recognized, prize-winning faculty are teacher-scholars who combine passion for teaching with cutting-edge research. They bring that passion into both the real and virtual classroom, engaging students with interactive learning and with their excitement for studying the past to better understand the present and the future.

Study in a Place Steeped In History

Hawai’i is an island chain steeped in history. It has witnessed Captain James Cook’s first recorded western contact with Hawai’i, the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by King Kamehameha I, the profound consequences of the arrival of Christian missionaries, the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i by haole (foreign) planters in 1893, annexation by the United States in 1898, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941, and statehood in 1959. President Obama also spent much of his childhood here. These historical forces have forged a diverse, multicultural environment rich in history that our majors can both experience and explore.

Study in a Intimate Learning Community

We pride ourselves for our recognition of a sense of community. History classes are small and our majors are active in Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honors Society, and the student-run Association for Diplomacy and Military Studies. In addition, we have a faculty-undergraduate student mentoring program and frequent faculty-student events, including socials and field trips. Students enjoy personal attention and interaction with the faculty, while learning in the paradise that is Hawai’i.

If you have any questions or want advice of course selections, please feel free to drop by my office or phone/email me or any of the faculty. We look forward to hearing from you!

Mahalo nui loa,

Russell Hart, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of History
Tel: (808) 543-8043 / Email: rhart@hpu.edu