The Asian Studies Department 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 Department 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 Asian Studies Department utilizes in crafting its BA and MA degrees.

The Asian Studies Department 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 Asian Studies Department 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 ASP’s interdisciplinary mission: American Studies, Anthropology, Art and Art History, Business, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Ethnomusicology, Geography, 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, 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.


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