Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani – Undergraduate Programs

Jason “Iota” D. Cabral, PhD

Associate Professor, Hawaiian Language and Graduate Courses; Academics Division Chair

(808) 932-7433


(808) 932-7651

Haleʻōlelo, room 163

Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani currently offers undergraduate degrees and certificates in the following areas: 1) Hawaiian Studies, and 2) Linguistics. Refer to the information below to learn about the undergraduate programs the college offers.

Hawaiian Studies

The Hawaiian Studies program is the core program of the College, approved by the BOR in 1982 as a program distinguished by the use of Hawaiian as the medium of instruction. This use of immersion methodology at the tertiary level is highly distinctive, not only for Hawaiʻi, but on a national level. The growth of the program is closely tied to its leadership role in reestablishing Hawaiian as the medium of education in preschools (1984) and in K-12 education (1986), as well as in establishing a teacher certification program (1998), masters of arts programs (1998), and a doctoral program (2006).

The Hawaiian Studies program serves:


Linguistics is the scientific study of language, examining it both as an abstract system and in its psychological and sociocultural contexts. Linguistics focuses on how the human mind structures, processes, and acquires language and on how language is an integral part of the cultural patterns of human interaction. With the central role played by language in the social world, linguistics is situated at the intellectual intersection of the humanities and the sciences, including the social, biological, and behavioral sciences. Accordingly, students receive broad training that cuts across and breaks down traditional boundaries between disciplines.

UH Hilo is one of only a few universities in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. Students learn about linguistics in a unique educational environment that is greatly influenced by the cultures and languages of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Asia. The Linguistics Program features a broad range of courses in both theoretical and applied linguistics, including courses related to language learning and teaching. The program also provides interested students with specialized courses in Hawaiian and Japanese linguistics, as well as in the linguistics of indigenous languages in different parts of the world.