Pacific Islands & Oceania

Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies

for decoration only - woven mats used in Pacific Islands

About the Certificate & Degree Programs

The Critical Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies Certificate of Achievement and the A.A. Major in Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies both introduce students to a critical analysis of Pacific peoples and cultures in the U.S. diaspora and beyond. Privileging the voices of native Pacific Islanders, the interdisciplinary curriculum explores a plethora of historical and contemporary topics, including colonization, militarization, social movements, and immigration, through the use of academic and community-based scholarship. All required courses are University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU)-transferable and meet City College of San Francisco General Education (GE) area requirements A (Communication & Analytical Thinking), C (Natural Sciences), D (Behavioral and Social Sciences) E (Humanities), H1 (Ethnic Studies).

While the certificate program is ideal for those whose work involves native Pacific Islanders and other communities of color such as service providers, health practitioners, law enforcement, researchers, teachers, and other professionals, the primary goal is to encourage students to further their educational aspirations through the completion of an associate's degree and successfully transferring to a four-year university.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the methods of inquiry used in the study of indigenous Pacific Islander communities including social science, behavioral science, and indigenous epistemologies.
  • Compare and contrast the expression of the ocean aesthetic across Pacific Islander cultural practices such as architecture, arts, dance, film, language, literature, music, poetry, sports, and theater.
  • Apply analytical skills, problem-solving, and decision-making techniques to improve study strategies, wellness, and life-long learning.
  • Describe the intersectionality and interrelatedness of distinct forms of social oppression in the United States, such as anti-semitism and anti-arabism, adultism, ageism, ableism, classism, heterosexism, racism, sexism, and transphobia.
  • Analyze and assess the relationships between human environments and scientific aspects of physical, natural environments.
Logo of the Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies Program




We Are Ocean!

PI Studies Activities

The Critical Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies program offers frequent activities on campus and in the community, such as the Talanoa speaker series, the annual welcome event for high school students, and frequent collaborations with the VASA Center on campus and student clubs.  

For announcements of our upcoming events, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or the IDST Blog