East-West Humanities

There has never been a more crucial time for an understanding of the humanities than the present. The major in East-West Humanities is a truly interdisciplinary and integrative major that examines human expression, thought and creativity across time and space. Students have the opportunity to bring together courses from a variety of disciplines and connect them under an overarching theme. The major - organized around a core of courses in which students examine classical works, major ideas and cultural expressions from Western, Asian and indigenous traditions - employs a comparative perspective to the study of the arts and the traditional humanities. In these courses, and especially as part of their capstone experience, students will engage critically with the many notions of East and West across their chosen areas of concentration.

The East-West Humanities program has been designed to nourish and inspire global citizenship for the 21st century. The major prepares students to live and learn as active members of a global society.

Hawaii is located at a crossroads between East and West, not only geographically but also culturally and linguistically. There are few places in the world more ideal in which to study the many ways in which these traditions interact and combine to form new and unique modes of thought and expression.

Specialized knowledge: Develop familiarity with prominent features of the literature, art, philosophies, and religions of the world.

Broad, Integrative Knowledge and Intellectual Skills: Articulate core values, world views, ideals and forms of artistic expression associated with the human experience, and place them within their cultural and historical contexts.

Applied Learning and Intellectual Skills: Demonstrate higher-level writing competencies through the composition of interpretive essays and research papers.

Civic Learning: Cultivate moral reasoning, along with an awareness of the ethical sensibilities of diverse peoples as presented in their literary, artistic, philosophical and/or religious works.

  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • SAT I or ACT Scores (freshmen only)
  • Application Fee
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal Statement

Career Path

Graduates in East-West Humanities will be prepared to work in a variety of fields or to pursue professional degrees in areas such as law, education and business or to continue in specialized graduate study in the Humanities in the academic discipline of their choice. Our majors have gone on to work in business and to pursue study in law, philosophy and other areas.

Areas of Interest

Students pursuing a degree in the East-West Humanities can choose to focus in areas as diverse as: art history, Asian studies, classical studies, gender studies, Hawaiian studies, Latin American studies, philosophy, religion, theatre performance or production, or combinations of these. With the help of their faculty mentor, students craft their major based on their area(s) of interest.