Hawaiian Studies and Urban and Regional Planning Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s

In collaboration with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Hawaiian Studies program offers a combined Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies (HWST) and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) pathway that helps students earn both degrees in five years.

This pathway allows HWST students to earn six (6) graduate-level credits that apply to the MURP degree, in addition to the nine (9) upper-division credits that will be double-counted towards both HWST and MURP degrees, in their senior year. Once in the MURP program, after graduating with their HWST BA degree, students take the remaining 27 credits necessary to complete the MURP degree.

Undergraduate Program Advising

Interested and eligible pathway students will need to be advised appropriately throughout this process by both HWST (Lehua Nishimura) and MURP (Dr. Priyam Das) for their respective degree requirements.

Undergraduate Excess Credit Policy

HWST undergraduate seniors earn six (6) total credits (PLAN 600 and 620) toward the MURP degree (but not towards the HWST degree) by completing those courses during the final two semesters as an undergraduate student. These credits would be in addition to the double-counted credits identified in the pathway. These graduate courses are in excess of the HWST degree requirements.

Minimum Credits

A minimum of 162 credits total is required for both degrees, including 42 credits of Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree coursework (inclusive of thesis or capstone credits).

Double Counting

The following courses (9 total credits) will be double-counted for both HWST and MURP degrees:

  • PLAN 473 GIS for Community Planning
  • PLAN 640 Land Use Policies and Programs
  • HWST 650 or HWST 651 or HWST 659

Eligibility (Gateway Course)

PLAN 310 (Introduction to Planning) is the “gateway” course that determines eligibility for the pathway. Undergraduate majors must pass the identified gateway courses with a minimum grade of B or higher in order to be considered for this pathway.


Applications to the MURP should be submitted in the second term of the junior year (6th semester) for admission in the first term of the senior year (7th semester). Students must submit the Graduate Admissions Application and fee as well as all required program admission materials by the deadline. Students that are accepted into the combined pathway and satisfy the pathway’s curricular requirements will not be required to take the GRE.

Pathway Admission

Accepted students will receive notice of “admission”, typically in the spring of the junior year (6th semester). The following semester, which would generally be the fall of senior year (7th semester), pathway students begin the double-counted coursework (PLAN 473, 640, and HWST 6XX(HWST 650, 651, 652, 659)) at the undergraduate tuition rate. Pathway students are considered dual program students. An overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (upon graduation with the HWST degree) is required to apply for and continue in the MURP program.

Bachelor’s Degree

The bachelor’s degree is conferred after successful completion of all coursework required for the BA in Hawaiian Studies (8th semester), including the 3 double-counted courses.

Graduate Enrollment

Pathway students generally begin their 9th semester as “graduate students” in the MURP program and complete semesters 9 and 10 at the graduate tuition rate. Continuous enrollments after conferral of the bachelor’s degree is required (unless on approved leave of absence (LOA) after the first semester as a graduate student). If the baccalaureate degree is not conferred, graduate status will be inactivated and the student may not continue to take courses applicable to the graduate program.