Residential Honors

Residential Honors

The HPU Honors program is designed to help exceptionally capable and motivated students get the most out of their college experience. Through a rich program of challenging coursework, meaningful research, creative endeavors, and study abroad and at home opportunities, the program gives students the tools and resources to excel intellectually and academically. 

Message from the Director


Dr. Linda Lierheimer, Director of Honors

Now more than ever, true success depends on sustainability. The Residential Honors Program at Hawai‘i Pacific University develops students’ ability to live sustainable lives and create sustainable solutions. The UN World Commission on Environment and Development defined “sustainable development [as] development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987). The Residential Honors Program at Hawai‘i Pacific University helps students learn to take an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability that emphasizes resilience in global natural systems, social systems, and human systems. Our curriculum immerses students in natural, social, and computational sciences, the humanities and arts, and professional disciplines such as health sciences, nursing, psychology, and business. All of this takes place in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Residential Honors students are drawn from all majors across the University but are part of a distinctive living and learning community centered at the historic Aloha Tower Marketplace in the heart of Honolulu. Through its core of small, interdisciplinary seminars, our program encourages students to innovate and address the world’s perennial and most pressing issues as members of committed and engaged teams. The program addresses sustainability across the disciplines with a special focus on Hawai‘i, the Pacific, and the surrounding region. More than a classroom experience, the honors program incorporates community engagement projects designed to deepen student understanding of the Pacific world. Our outstanding honors faculty offer students individualized mentorship and opportunities for advanced academic and creative research and work alongside other students on projects within their majors and within the honors program. Students in the program are invited to become more than recipients of learning as they become self-directed learners and mentors, and help to build and preserve our exceptional program for future generations. We look forward to working with you in helping to shape our shared future.

Director of Honors Programs,
Linda Lierheimer, Ph.D


  • Exclusive Seminar Style Classes
  • One-on-one Mentoring by Leading Scholars
  • Small Class Sizes
  • Interdisciplinary and Team Taught Courses
  • Priority Registration for All Courses
  • Experiential Learning

Community connections

  • Study at Home and Abroad Opportunities
  • International and Hawai'i Based Internship Opportunities
  • Global Marketplace Readiness
  • Community Extra-Curricular Experiences
  • Competitive Advantage


  • Work With HPU Faculty on Interdisciplinary Projects
  • One-on-one Mentoring by Distinguished Faculty
  • Real World Experience Internship Opportunities

celebrate diversity

  • Multicultural Environment Unique to Hawai‘i
  • HPU is #1 in Diversity
  • Live and Study at the Crossroads of East Meets West

Living and learning COMMUNITY

  • Live at Historic Aloha Tower
  • Residential Learning Community
  • Hi-Tech Classrooms

interdisciplinary seminars (samples):

  • “Damn It Jim! I’m a Writer not a Scientist:” Science Fiction or Science Fact?
  • Sinners and Sociopaths: Understanding Evil
  • Big Data, Nudges, Gamification and Societal Change
  • “This Is the End:” The Literature of Environmental, Economic, and Personal End Times
  • Plastic Fantastic!



The Honors Program is a 4-year program, constituting 25-29 credits, approximately 20-25% of credits required for a major.  Residential Honors Students do not have to take General Education Requirements (36 credits) unless a General Education class is necessary for their major field of study.  Residential Honors students thus have the opportunity to develop minor fields or a double major

Through an investigation of specific topics, the course is designed to orient students to higher-level academic work and to examine the relationship of the life of the mind to the world outside college. All honors students must take this course in the fall of their freshman year.
4 credits.

Through an interdisciplinary seminar students will deepen their understanding of Hawaii‘i and the Pacific region. Emphasisin this course is on direct involvement with the Hawaii‘i and Pacific community and environment, experiential learning, and the transfer of theory to problem solving outside of the classroom. All honors students must take this course in the spring of their freshman year.
4 credits.

This interdisciplinary seminar is specifically targeted to develop important analytical skills through the practice of quantitative analysis and formal symbolic reasoning. Courses focus on the presentation and evaluation of evidence and argument and the understanding of the use and misuse of data. Topics will vary depending upon instructors. Students take this seminar in the fall of their sophomore year.
4 credits.

These interdisciplinary seminars are taken concurrently in the spring semester of the sophomore year. The seminars take skills developed in freshman honors courses and apply them in an interdisciplinary analysis of critical and enduring issues. Students will grapple with important texts and ideas which require careful analysis and reflection. Courses are team taught by faculty from differing disciplines and topics will vary depending upon on the instructors.
4 credits.

This seminar helps students to build the skills necessary for the successful completion of their senior honors project.
3 credits.

All Honors students are required to complete a senior honors project. This Honors project may take the form of a thesis, but in all cases the experience will be a mentored research or creative project. The project will span at least 2 academic semesters (HON 4900 and HON 4901) and display a high level of intellectual ability or creativity across at least 2 distinct disciplines. A product of the first semester will be a project proposal, and, as a culminating experience of the second semester, all thesis students will give an oral presentation and lead a discussion of their work at the HPU honors symposium. Students are also encouraged to present their work at other venues such as an honors or undergraduate research conference or a professional conference. Senior honors projects may be completed in the student’s major or in the honors program but must contain an interdisciplinary element.
2-6 credits.

The Residential Honors Program is a four-year program.  Applicants must enter HPU as beginning freshman students.  Transfer students cannot be accepted into the program.

Application/REQUIREMENTS:   The application process is an holistic one.  We will look at ACT/SAT scores if they are available as well as high school GPAs but there are no official minimum scores.  We are looking for students, majoring in any discipline, who:

  • Are creative
  • Enjoy thinking outside the box
  • Are entrepreneurial
  • Want to develop leadership skills
  • Enjoy a multicultural, diverse environment
  • Want to be challenged academically


  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 by the end of their freshman year at HPU
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 through their sophomore, junior and senior years
  • Complete all co- and extra-curricular requirements
  • First-year residence in the Waterfront Lofts at Aloha Tower Marketplace required for off-island students
  • Adhere to the Residential Honors Code

Our faculty are drawn from across the HPU community and are leading practictioners in their field.  Each seminar through the sophomore year is team taught by faculty from two differing disciplines.



 Linda Lierheimer, Ph.D., HON 1000

Professor of History and Humanities

Director of Honors Programs

(808) 544-0810.


Charles Boyer, Ph.D., HON 1000

Assistant Professor of Spanish

(808) 544-0834.


Adam Burke, Ph.D., HON 2200

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

(808) 544-0815.


Stewart Crawford, Ph.D., HON 2000

Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

(808) 544-0899.


Andrew Dewald, Ph.D., HON 1000

Assistant Professor of Psychology

(808) 544-1473.


Gillian Dunn, Ph.D., HON 1000

Assistant Professor of Public Health

(808) 566-2482.


Jerome Feldman, Ph.D., HON 2000

Professor Emeritus of Art History


Margo Kitts, Ph.D., HON 2100

Professor of Humanities/Religious Studies

(808) 687-7026.


Andrea Malji, Ph.D., HON 2100

Assistant Professor of International Studies

(808) 544-0816.


Ngoc Phan, Ph.D., HON 3000

Assistant Professor of Political Science

(808) 544-0821.

thank you for your interest in the REsidential honors program.

The Round 1 Priority Deadline is Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Only those who have submitted both an admissions application and a Residential Honors program application by this date will be considered.

to apply please vist: honors application

For more information regarding the Residential Honors Program please contact: Linda Lierheimer, Ph.D., Director of Honors Programs, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., WP6-312, Honolulu, HI 96813, 808-544-0810, or