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For specific information related to your program or area of interest

Including how to apply, please visit the following pages:

Undergraduate Programs Information

Major or minor in Asian Studies.

Graduate Programs Information

Including: Master of Arts in Asian Studies, Master’s in Asian International Affairs, and Graduate Certificates in Asian Studies.

Student Testimonials

Christina Geisse

The Asian Studies Program was incredible because most professors were undertaking their own research, passionate about their subject of study, and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with students. It felt fresh and profound at the same time. Inspiring! 

Christina Geisse
Kim Sluchansky

I was able to delve deep and focus on the areas of Asian Studies that truly interested me, and therefore gained a much more thorough and developed understanding of my fields of interest, which are applicable to my current career path. Also, the professors are extremely helpful and want their students to succeed. They were very supportive both while I was at UH and after I graduated.


Left side contains Chiang Kai-shek memorial, white building with blue rooftop and blue-lights on stairs. Right side has Chinese-style building with red pillars, green decoration and orange rooftop lit up. Background is dark gray sky with white clouds.
Left side contains Chiang Kai-shek memorial, white building with blue rooftop and blue-lights on stairs. Right side has Chinese-style building with red pillars, green decoration and orange rooftop lit up. Background is dark gray sky with white clouds.
Red circular lanterns lined up with one containing the characters “景宮” in black blurred out. Red square tiles are in the center and background and there are small blue and white circles throughout.
Festival celebration with lots of yellow fire sparks spread out throughout. Background is redish-black gradient with the bright redish orange color in the middle. Right side has four people wearing red skirts holding up a red Chinese dragon with sticks.
Dimly lit brown two-story buildings on top of water with black background.
Fushimi Inari Taisha (Shrine) pathway with gates lined up one after another. Gates are painted orange with a black base. Small black lantern on the upper middle and a gray pathway that runs through the center.

Welcome to the Department of Asian Studies

Asian Studies Logo

The Department of Asian Studies is in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS), in the College of Arts, Languages, and Letters (CALL) at UH Mānoa. We offer interdisciplinary BA and MA degree programs and Graduate Certificates in the study of China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Inter-Asia.

Asian Studies majors go on to successful careers in government service, teaching, research, law, journalism, non-profit work and business, in Asia and the US.

At UH Manoa, Asian Studies covers a broad geographical arc including South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. The approach to the study of these interrelated regions is interdisciplinary, taught by faculty trained in the geography, history, anthropology, political science, sociology, language and literature, ethnomusicology, performing arts, and urban and regional planning of Asia.


Our faculty members have won awards locally, nationally and internationally for their teaching and research. In addition to the Asian Studies faculty, there are more than 200 faculty and staff who are Asia specialists in different departments and programs throughout the campus. Several hundred courses on Asia (or with substantive Asia content) are taught at UH Mānoa, a unique strength the Department of Asian Studies utilizes in crafting its BA and MA degrees.


The Department of Asian Studies offers an unprecedented opportunity for students to study a wide range of topics, disciplines, and methodologies to design their individual programs to suit their particular interests. This interdisciplinary, holistic approach to the study of Asia, focused on the social sciences and humanities, is the heart of the program’s mission. Competency in an Asian language commensurate with the student’s focus and level is considered fundamental, and is a required part of the BA and MAAS programs, and strongly encouraged in the MAIA program.


The Department of Asian Studies is closely linked in terms of students, faculty, courses, fellowships, staff, and daily operations to all of SPAS Centers, which further coordinate links throughout the university. The possibilities are endless.

The following disciplines, fields, and programs serve Asian Studies’ interdisciplinary mission: American Studies, Anthropology, Art and Art History, Business, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Ethnomusicology, Geography and Environment, History, Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Urban and Regional Planning, Women’s Studies, and more.

Please Note

We do not offer a PhD in Asian Studies. Asia-focused PhD programs are available in Anthropology, East Asian Language and Literatures, Economics, Geography and Environment, History, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Health, Sociology, Theater and Dance, and Tropical Agriculture. Our MA degrees can help prepare you for a PhD in another department; as a PhD student, you are also eligible to concurrently pursue a Graduate Certificate in an area of Asian Studies.  If you are interested in applying for a PhD on an Asia-related topic at UH Mānoa, please contact the appropriate department.

Department of Asian Studies News

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