Welcome to the Department of Political Science

Our program encourages individual intellectual growth as well as responsive engagement within the community of Hawai‘i Island and beyond. Students enjoy small, intimate classroom experiences steeped in critical thinking to fully embrace the rigor of a nuanced liberal arts education.


"Research in the Pacific" Seminar with Visiting Scholar, Dr. Tim Fadgen from University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, November 30, 2022POLS Visiting Scholar, Dr. Tim Fadgen (University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) shares his research on public policy and law of deportation in Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa with students and faculty at the Research in the Pacific Seminar, Nov. 30, 2022

About the Department

The Faculty of the Department of Political Science welcome you! We are engaged teachers and active researchers who represent the five subfields of Political Science and actively collaborate in interdisciplinary programs throughout campus. Our graduates attend graduate school, law school and attain regional, national, and global employment in local/state government, non-profit organizations, legal fields, political fields and become vital contributing members to a variety of communities around the globe. We hope you will join us!

Our Degrees and Programs

Undergraduate Programs

Students can major or minor in Political Science as well as specialize in our two interdisciplinary certificate programs, International Politics and Pre-Law. Our POLS courses fulfill General Education offerings and contribute to a variety of programs across campus. Our small classes offer direct opportunity for rich discussion and learning between students and faculty in the supportive community of the classroom.

The University

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is characterized as a comprehensive, diverse, regional university. Scholarship and research are an important part of faculty work and student engagement, but the primary focus is on providing high-quality baccalaureate and postgraduate education.

About UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Island

Beyond the Classroom

Hawai‘i Island is a special place to study political science. Each year, the department hosts the campus wide celebration of Constitution Day. Our faculty actively publish in national and international venues. We encourage students to study in other undergraduate programs through national or global exchange as well as to contribute their talents widely through service to community.