The Asian Studies Program offers the MA degree in Asian Studies, as well as Graduate Certificates in the geographical areas covered by our area centers. The master’s program in Asian studies is designed primarily for students who wish to focus their studies on a particular geographical and cultural region of Asia. Such an approach entails interdisciplinary study. Graduate students in any department at UH Manoa may apply for the Graduate Certificate programs.
The MA in Asian studies is offered in Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis). Although UH Manoa does not offer a PhD in Asian studies, Asia-focused PhD programs are available in anthropology, East Asian languages and literatures, economics, geography, history, linguistics, music, philosophy, political science, public health, sociology, theater, and tropical agriculture.
Students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in any of these fields should contact the appropriate department.
An Asian Studies MA student’s academic program should concentrate on one of the regions of Asia as represented by the area centers in SPAS—China, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. Regarding the latter two, a student may concentrate on a particular country within those regions if sufficient courses are available. The director of each area center or a designated faculty member serves as the graduate student advisor for his or her respective area.
We expect the student to:
1. Possess an advanced understanding of at least one (1) Asian language. This means college-level fluency in reading, writing, speaking at the 5th year level of Japanese, 4th year level Chinese and Korean, and 3rdyear level Southeast and South Asian languages.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of issues and problems in the arts, humanities, and social sciences as related to Asia.
3. Demonstrate the ability to understand research and conduct research using at least one of the methodologies of various disciplines i.e. humanities, arts and social sciences.
4. Demonstrate ability in integrating all of the above factors in a final major research project (either Plan A or B, as described below).
MA Degree Requirements
For the Masters Degree, students without sufficient preparation in Asia-related course work may be required to take make-up courses for which no degree credit will be offered.
Students enrolling from an Asian country may have the foreign language requirement waived if they plan to concentrate on their native country or region. If they elect to concentrate on a country other than their own, they must fulfill the previously stated requirement.
Area of Concentration means one of the following areas: (1) China, (2) Japan, (3) Korea, (4) Philippines, (5) South Asia, (6) Southeast Asia
|ASAN 600x||3||3||in area of concentration: 600C, 600I, 600J, 600K, 600S, 600P|
|ASAN 750x||3||3||in area of concentration: 750C, 750I, 750J, 750K, 750S, 750P|
|ASAN xxx||3||Any ASAN course|
|Language||6||Philippines, South, Southeast Asia: 3rd year level (301/302);
China, Korea: 4th year level (401/402);
Japan: above 402
If you test out of language, 6 credits of something else. Native speakers do not have to take a language if their area center requires their native language. For example, a Korean native speaker in Korean Studies would not take a language, but would take 6 hours of something else.
|Humanities||3||HIST, PHIL, REL, literature|
|Soc Sci||3||ANTH, COMM, ECON, WS, GEOG, PACE, POLS, PPST, PSY, PUBA, SOC, PLAN, WS|
|Arts||3||ART, MUS, THEA, DNCE, PLAN 636|
|Elective 1||3||In the case of the Humanities, Soc Sci, Arts, and electives:
|Elective 3 or ASAN 700 for Plan A||3|
|Elective 4 or ASAN 700 for Plan A||3|
|TOTAL||36||18||18 of the total 36 credits must be in courses 600 and above.|
- Residence requirement at UH: A minimum of 2 semesters (full-time) academic study, or 4 six-week summer sessions.
- Transfer of credits: At least 19 (half + 1) of the 36 credits that count towards the degree must be completed at the University of Hawaii while a classified graduate student. Of these 19 credits, at least 8 must be in courses numbered 600 and above.
- A maximum of nine credits in directed reading/research (699) may be applied toward degree requirements.
- For Plan A: Satisfactory completion of a thesis and an oral examination by a 3-member faculty committee.
- For Plan B: Presentation of a portfolio consisting of 2 seminar papers and satisfactory completion of an oral examination based on them by a 3-member faculty committee.
Graduate Division has degree requirements that all programs must follow. You should read them carefully.
Warning: ASAN 310, ASAN 312 and any 399 or 499 cannot be counted toward the degree requirements.
Asian Studies Graduate Certificate Program
There are 3 major parts to the certificate program: (1) 18 credit hours, (2) demonstrating language competency, (3) passing a final examination.
|ASAN 600x||3||3||in area of concentration: 600C, 600J, 600K, 600S, 600P|
|Elective 1||3||From at least 2 of the following: Humanities, Soc Sci, Arts:
|TOTAL||18||9||18 of the total 9 credits must be in courses 600 and above.|
China or Korea: 3rd year (301/302 level)
Japan: 4th year (JPN 407)
Other: 2nd year (201/202 level) language courses of the chosen certificate area.
All language competency requirements can be met either through coursework in or equivalency examinations in the chosen certificate area.
Language courses do not count toward certificate credit requirements.
- A research paper in the chosen certificate area and an oral examination based on the paper;
- A thesis or dissertation related to the chosen certificate area in the student’s major discipline.
How to obtain the certificate
If you meet the requirements, here is the checklist for the procedure to obtain the certificate.