Graduate Admissions

Admission to the MA Program

We welcome applicants to the MA program who are interested in studying Asia from interdisciplinary perspectives. Applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to the School of Pacific and Asian Studies’ Application Tips for Graduate Students.

Students are admitted to advanced degree programs by the Graduate Division in the fall and spring semesters only. Outreach College does not fulfill the degree requirement for number of semesters “in residence”. Students who wish to take course work at the graduate level during a summer session, but who have not been admitted to an advanced degree program before that session begins, must register as post-baccalaureate unclassified (PBU — in university parlance) students.

Admission to the Outreach College does not imply or guarantee eventual admission to the Graduate Division; however, appropriate credits earned from Outreach College courses prior to formal admission to the Graduate Division may be applied toward an advanced degree with proper application (not to exceed 12 credits). All appropriate credits earned in Outreach College after admission to a degree program are applicable toward that degree.

Application Procedures

Students applying for admission to the master’s program must submit the following completed materials:

To the Graduate Division (all students):

    • Completed graduate application form with fees. (You may apply online or download .pdf form for printing)
    • Copy of transcript from each school attended. Transcript should be sent from school you attended directly to UHM Graduate Admissions Office. Do not send the transcripts yourself.
    • Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score report, aptitude test only. (Choose “Area Studies” for department)
    • Residency Declaration Form (for applicants claiming Hawai’i residency or statutory exemptions only)
    • International students, please submit
      1. an official TOEFL ( Test of English as a Foreign Language) score report [note: only students from a school in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore or United Kingdom are excluded from this requirement], and
      2. Requirements for international students.
    • The address is:
      University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
      Graduate Admissions Office
      Spalding Hall, Room 354
      2540 Maile Way
      Honolulu, HI   96822

To the Asian Studies Program:

    • Two letters of recommendation using this Recommendation Form. Please tell the person to send the recommendation directly to us. We prefer a hardcopy letter, but email is acceptable if a hardcopy is sent later.
    • A 10 page writing sample.
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Asian Studies Information form
    • The Address is: Asian Studies Admission
      School of Pacific & Asian Studies
      Moore Hall 416
      University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
      1890 East-West Road
      Honolulu HI 96822
      Fax: 808.956.2682

International students from some Asian and Pacific countries may be eligible for a partial tuition waiver. You can check the page on Funding for specifics.

Deadlines for receipt of applications: February 1 for the fall semester and September 1 for the spring semester. Applications received after the February 1 deadline will still be considered for admission to the program, but cannot be considered for scholarships or funding opportunities. Many scholarships have January or February deadlines (see the page on Funding for specifics).

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Division and Asian Studies after all documents are received. Notification of acceptance or denial is sent to each applicant as soon as possible after a decision is reached.

Deferral of Admission Per Graduate Division policy, admission may not be deferred. It is valid only for the semester for which it is offered. For example, admission for Spring 2015 is valid only for Spring 2015. It may not be deferred until Fall 2015 or Spring 2016. If you cannot attend, you must re-apply. Normally your original application will be kept for about 2 years, but there is no guarantee.

Residency requirements Normally, it takes 2 years to complete an Asian Studies MA degree. Thus, you may be interested in knowing about establishing residency to reduce your tuition cost.


The Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE)’s Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

As of fall 2016, the Asian Studies Program at UH Mānoa is a member of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). This program allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are legal residents of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) member states to pay Hawai’i resident tuition when attending the UH-Mānoa Asian Studies Program. The WICHE states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

WICHE WRGP applicants applying to UH-Mānoa must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher or possess certain exceptional abilities as affirmed by the UHM graduate program to which they apply.

To be considered for the Hawai’i resident tuition rate through the WRGP program, you must identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant at the time you apply.* You must fulfill all the usual requirements for admission as set by the Asian Studies Program and the the Office of Graduate Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and meet all admission deadlines. You must also provide documentation as proof of your legal residency in a WICHE state when requested by UH-Mānoa. (This documentation may include tax returns, voter certificates, active bank accounts, proofs of employment, proof of property ownership, lease agreements, among others).

For more information, please see:

UH-Mānoa Office of Graduate Education information on WICHE WRGP

WICHE WRGP website

*Please note: due to the requirements of residency determination, nominations and approvals for WRGP status can only be done at the time of application. It is not possible to “switch” into the WRGP once you have started your graduate program at UHM.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program

The graduate certificate is currently being reorganized, and information about how to obtain it will be posted immediately when the new and improved version is finalized.