History is the study of the past based on finding, analyzing, and interpreting recorded evidence. It is a discipline that seeks both to understand the past in its own terms and to explain the present in light of the past.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in History will learn about the causes of significant events in history; examine historical developments in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Hawai‘i, and the Pacific; assess the role of major actors on the world stage; and foster the skills necessary to discover and express effectively an understanding of the past. UH West O‘ahu history courses are taught through in-class instruction and, on a very limited basis, through distance learning.


History is an excellent degree that prepares graduates for careers in education, journalism, government and non-profit organizations, law, international affairs, and business. Because the modern history curriculum includes so many approaches – including gender, ethnic, cultural, social, political, economic, national, and world – a History concentration provides a solid grounding for post-graduate study in a variety of disciplines and diversity in choices. Included among them are history, Hawaiian and Pacific studies, art history, education, library and information sciences, communications, museum studies, international affairs, and law.

Graduates in History from UH West O‘ahu have continued their education with graduate programs at UH Manoa, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, University of California, Davis, University of Alabama, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas – El Paso, and Gonzaga University, among others. They currently teach at the elementary, intermediate, secondary and college levels both in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. Others hold positions as librarians, museum curators, journalists and attorneys.

History graduates earn an average of $51,500 per year according to The College Majors Handbook. Those who work for private companies earn an average of $55,000, while self-employed History graduates earn an average yearly salary of $73,100.  


HIST 321 Japanese Culture
This course examines the major aesthetic themes in Japanese civilization; the development of the Zen ethic, and the emergence of the bushido or samurai spirit. Other currents such as the adaptation of foreign values to the Japanese setting and the recurrence of Japanese patterns will also be stressed. The course also surveys Japan’s religious, philosophical, literary, and historical traditions.

HIST 384 Hawai‘i from European Contact to the Overthrow
Students will have the opportunity to survey the social, economic, and political history of the Islands from European contact to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Emphasis is on the elements of change and continuity that have shaped the culture and history of the Islands. The contributions of the diverse ethnic groups will be stressed.

HIST 443 Nazi Germany
This course examines the dramatic rise and fall of the Nazi movement in Germany, beginning with the turbulent political climate of the 1920s and moving through the Second World War. The course will place the Nazi party within a broader social context by looking at the political and cultural experimentation of the Weimar Period (1919-1933) and the National Socialist response to the challenges of modernity: the construction of a utopian “racial state” and a German-dominated world order. Students will study the structure of the Nazi state, the culture wars of the 1920s and 1930s, the significance of Hitler in the Third Reich, the march toward World War, and the Nazis’ “war against Jews”--the Holocaust.

HIST 470 Literature as History
An examination of works whose popularity offers valuable insights into the historical periods in which they were written. The books will be studied for their cultural and historical importance as well as their literary merit. Among the works to be covered: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Henry Adams, Democracy; John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.


UH West O‘ahu History graduates have completed internships at a number of high schools and organizations including:

  • Mission Houses Museum
  • Bishop Museum
  • USS Bowfin Submarine Museum
  • USS Missouri
  • USS Arizona Memorial
  • Schofield Barracks Museum
  • Hawai‘i Maritime Museum
  • Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village
  • James Campbell High School
  • Waipahu High School
  • Leilehua High School
  • Maryknoll School
  • Mililani High School
  • Kapolei High School


Dr. Jayson Chun, Associate Professor
(808) 689-2350

Dr. Alan Rosenfeld, Associate Professor
(808) 689-2351

Dr. Christen Sasaki, Assistant Professor
(808) 689-2352