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Curriculum Requirements


(By clicking on the link above, it will redirect you to the Holokai website.)

Anciently, Pacific Islanders sailed to new lands in voyaging canoes using the stars and waves for navigation. The Hawaiians call this voyage holokai (kai = ocean, holo = to go, to move, to travel).

Today students at BYU–Hawaii chart their own Holokai or academic voyages. Students plan out individual paths to graduation and future destinations by combining a major with two minors or certificates. Mapping out your own Holokai allows you to have both breadth and depth of knowledge in a combination that will set you on your voyage to your own personal destination in life.

Holokai Curriculum

All students share some central academic experiences, Religious Education courses and a core of math and English. But in addition to that, each student puts together a unique combination of programs that will include something in each category: Arts & Humanities, Math & Sciences, and Professional Studies.

The shared compass for each student’s Holokai are the BYU–Hawaii outcomes, that students develop both breadth and depth of knowledge and the thinking skills and character of a servant- leader, the ability to inquire, analyze, and communicate and to act with integrity, stewardship, and service, to prepare them to serve in a world community as productive, responsible citizens and as faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PDF Version of the Holokai Brochure.

The Three Categories

Arts & Humanities

In the Arts & Humanities category, programs explore what it means to be human and to interact with diverse others. This may take the form of historical, linguistic, or cultural inquiry, or it may be accomplished through active participation in the visual and performing arts.

Math & Sciences

Students will find in the Math & Sciences category, the programs’ primary purpose is to engage students in learning and understanding pure and applied mathematics, algorithms, and/or scientific thinking. We define scientific thinking as a pattern of following the scientific method using quantitative, evidence-based reasoning and the formulation of testable explanations and predictions about the universe and our existence within it.

Professional Studies

In the Professional Studies category, the programs cover a wide range of disciplinary areas. They share a practical focus in helping students be well prepared for active social and civic engagement and to have the skills to help organizations and people learn and succeed.


BYU–Hawaii offers majors and minors in three categories: Arts & Humanities, Math & Sciences, and Professional Studies. In order to earn a BYU–Hawaii degree, students must complete 120 credits and a combination of one major from one category and two minors/certificates (or additional majors if they fit within the four-year allotment) from each of the remaining categories. The responsibility rests with the students to see that their programs of study satisfy all the requirements for graduation listed in the catalog. Advisors and other members of the faculty and staff will assist in any way possible.

Core classes + major and two minors/certificates in three different areas.

(Breadth and depth) + religious education = BYU–Hawaii degree

Core classes

Holokai Foundations (1 credit hour)

This requirement is to be completed within the first year on campus, preferably a student's first semester.

Mathematics requirement-quantitative and logical reasoning (three-five credit hours)

The math requirement can be completed by taking one of the following:

Reading/Writing/Speaking (three credit hours)

  • ENGL 101 Communication in Writing, Speaking, and Reading (3).

Advanced Writing (three credit hours)

The advanced writing requirement can be completed by taking one of the following:

Religious Education Requirements (14 credit hours)

14 hours required as follows:

  • REL 200 The Eternal Family.
  • REL 225 Foundations of the Restoration.
  • REL 250 Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel.
  • REL 275 The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon (OR REL 121 + REL 122).
  • +Three religion electives (one of which must be a scripture course).

More details can be found on the Religious Education page.

Breadth and Depth of Education

All majors, minors, and certificates are grouped into three areas. To build your Holokai, you will need to choose one program as your major and two programs from different categories as your minors and/or certificates. All the choices for your Holokai should be located in separate columns and rows. Furthermore, you can also choose other programs as additional majors, minors, and/or certificates if they are completed within four years.

BYU–Hawaii language courses are designed for second-language learners, and thus first or native-language speakers are not eligible to take courses offered at BYU–Hawaii.

For those wishing to pursue an interdisciplinary studies major with the 2017 Curriculum, the primary and secondary emphases may count as separate breadth areas, but they cannot replace the need for two additional curricular programs in addition to what is in the IDS major. Three of the emphases and/or minors must be in different breadth areas.

Holokai Requirements for Students Transferring with an Associate’s Degree

Students who transfer with an associate's degree from an accredited college or university, not including an Associate of Applied Science, will be required to complete the following graduation requirements:

  • STDEV 100R (should be taken within the first three semesters at BYUH)
  • A major.
  • The four CORE religion courses and residency religion requirements.
  • Advanced Writing - English 315.

Students who transfer in with an associate’s degree will be allotted up to three years to complete graduation requirements.

Students with an Associate of Applied Science must complete the full Holokai program. Students should see an advisor for any possible transfer equivalencies.

Additional Major

Students who wish to enhance their educational experience at BYU–Hawaii by adding a minor, certificate, or courses equivalent to a double major are welcome to do so with the understanding that these must also be completed within the four-year allotment. Electing to start these additional programs does not grant a student any additional allotment of time. Completing a major and courses equivalent to a second major does not mean that the student will receive two degrees. The bachelor’s degree is the degree awarded and if a student receives the equivalent of two majors they still must decide which degree they wish to receive, e.g. B.A., B.S., etc., as appropriate.