Undergraduate Degree Programs

BA in Asian Studies (AS).  The undergraduate major in AS major allows students to emphasize either an EA area or a country thematic focus. Students take 30 credit hours of inter- and multi-disciplinary area coursework and a minimum of 2 years of an Asian language. The Asian Studies Department (ASD) also offers a minor requiring 15 credit hours of Asia-related courses and includes the option of an EA focus.

BA in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) offers comprehensive, innovative training in four essential language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and provides extensive courses in literature, linguistics, and cultural studies.  In addition to the bachelor’s degree, EALL offers minors and certificates in the three EA languages.  Competitive Flagship tracks are available in Chinese and Korean. UH is the only university outside Japan that offers Okinawan language and culture courses.

Departments with course offerings in East Asian Studies.

While there are no other formal majors specifically on EA outside of Asian Studies and EALL, faculty across campus are teaching and conducting research on EA or Asia allowing for students to explore their area studies’ interest in the following majors.


Art History




International Business



Political Science




Women’s Studies

Graduate Degree Programs

MA in Asian Studies (AS) in the Asian Studies Department. Students in the MAAS Program receive in-depth instruction and rigorous academic training with possible foci in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or in Inter-Asian studies.  Requirements are a minimum of 30 credits in Asian-related courses, proficiency in an Asian language at the 302 or above level, and the successful defense of a thesis or Plan B paper(s).  Graduate Certificates in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Studies are also offered in ASD, requiring a minimum of 15 credits and basic proficiency in an Asian language.

Master’s in Asian International Affairs (MAIA) in the Asian Studies Department.  This degree is designed for working professionals whose careers require a deeper understanding of contemporary Asia, includes courses on area studies (in which students can choose to focus on China, Japan, Korea, or comprehensive Asia), culminating in a capstone experience in which students apply their knowledge to a project in their own field of interest or to a collaboration with professionals addressing real-world issues.  MAIA requires 30 credits and successful completion of a capstone project.

MA and PhD Degrees in East Asian Languages and Literatures in EALL Department with concentrations in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and tracks in languages/linguistics and literatures/cultures.  Please see details on each of the degree programs with specific tracks.

Graduate degree programs with formal specializations in EA.

MA Art History, specializations in China and Japan

Global MBA, foci on China and Japan

MA and PhD in History, with fields of study in EA

Pacific Asian Legal Studies Certificate

Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology, with foci in Asian Music

MA and PhD in Philosophy, with foci in Asian Philosophy

MFA in Asian Performance

While departments may not offer degree programs that formally state foci or specializations in EA, they often have EA specialists faculty who are eager to mentor graduate students in their programs and research emphases in EA.

Examples of Recent EA Dissertation & Theses

  1. The Role of Urban Exhibitions in Urban Development: From Shanghai to Hawai‘i, Doctor of Architecture (May 2019), Xiaotian (Winny) Duan.
  2. Peace in Vietnam! Beheiren: Transnational Activism and GI Movement in Postwar Japan 1965-1974, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (August 2018), Noriko Shiratori.
  3. Concerto for Nohkan (Japanese bamboo flute) and Orchestra, Doctor of Philosophy in Music (December 2017), John Seymour.
  4. Imagining Kinship and Rearticulating Immigration: Transnational Adoption from China from 1882 to the Present, Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies (December 2017), Yanli Luo.