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East West Humanities

Hawai'i Pacific University
Program overview
4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
Fall 2020

Spring 2021

Program description

East West Humanities

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 conventional notions of “East-West” and reimagine it not as a polarity, but as a spectrum.

Students majoring in East-West Humanities design their own major based on selected classes that focus on the East-West theme. In conjunction with a faculty mentor, they will develop an individualized program of study that explores a specific theme or area of concentration, depending on their area of interest. For example, a student with an interest in Japanese culture might select courses on the literature, arts, theatre, philosophy and religion of that region; one with a passion for theatre could combine courses on classical drama and Shakespeare with acting and directing courses. In a final capstone course during the senior year, students complete an integrative project which connects their leaning about their chosen theme across a variety of disciplines.

Students who graduate from the program will find that their major has given them a solid, liberal arts foundation, offering them a wide array of career options and the flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing world. They will be well prepared to work in a wide variety of fields or to pursue professional degrees in professions such as law, education, and business; or to pursue specialized graduate study in a specific discipline. More importantly, they will be well positioned to become lifelong learners and to appreciate the many expressions of human thought and creative expression throughout the world.

Admission requirements

  • Online Application
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Proof of English proficiency

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Program content

Lower Division Courses

  • Introduction to Visual Art
  • Sustainable Art and Design
  • Introduction to Design
  • Introduction to Classical Music
  • Music in World Culture
  • Acting I: Basic Acting for Stage and Screen
  • Representations of Pacific Life
  • World Literature
  • Traditions and Encounters: World Cultures to 1500
  • Global Crossroads: 1500-Present
  • Living History of Hawai`i
  • Reacting to the Past
  • Art of Oceania
  • Topics in World Art History
  • Introduction to World Philosophies
  • Philosophies of Hawai'i and the Pacific
  • Ethics in America
  • Introduction to World Religions

Upper-division Major Requirements

  • Research and Writing in the Humanities
  • Renaissance to Modern Art
  • Ancient Drama
  • Female Figures in Classical Myth, Literature, and Religion
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Bible as Literature
  • Understanding Early Christian Literature
  • Abrahamic Traditions
  • Gender in the Bible
  • Art of China
  • Art of Japan
  • Art of India and South East Asia
  • Japanese Literature
  • Asian Dramatic Literature
  • Special Topics in Asian Literature
  • Cultural History of Japan
  • History of Modern Southeast Asia
  • History of India
  • History of Asian Philosophies
  • Yoga Philosophy
  • Asian Traditions
  • Appreciating Pacific Worlds
  • Hawaiian Archaeology
  • Art of the Pacific
  • Art of Polynesia
  • Art of Hawai'i
  • History of Hawai'i
  • Indigenous Traditions
  • Art and the Human Body
  • Mythology
  • Theatre Music of the World
  • Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Global Justice
  • Religion, Sacrifice, and Violence
  • War and World Religions

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information


  • 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 context.
  • 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.

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About this institute


Hawai'i Pacific University

Hawai‘i Pacific University is the largest private, non-profit university in the state of Hawai’i, USA. HPU is home to over 5,500 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries around the world. Our campuses are unique, with the excitement...

Read more about this school

Why study at Hawai'i Pacific University

Hawai‘i Pacific University is the largest private, non-profit university in the state of Hawai’i, USA. We are home to over 5,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries around the world. Our campuses are exquisitely unique. HPU combines the excitement of an urban campus located in downtown Honolulu with the serenity of a campus set in the green foothills of the Ko‘olau mountains and an Oceanic Institute bordering the Pacific Ocean. All three are less than a 30 minute drive from the infamous Waikiki.

Our curriculum, which builds on our diversity by combining American educational traditions with global perspectives, emphasizes on rigorous intellectual engagement and social responsibility. The hands-on learning approach in combination with small class sizes and an inspiring teaching faculty ensure that students get the most of their studies.

All that combined is what makes HPU a one-of-a-kind destination.

Contact info

Hawai'i Pacific University

1 Aloha Tower Drive
96813 Honolulu Hawaii
United States of America

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Request information

Want to know more about East West Humanities? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.

Date of birth

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