Moore Hall 310
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8818
Fax: (808) 956-6345
Dean: R. Anderson Sutton

General Information

Strategically located with a multicultural heritage, the state of Hawai‘i has always been uniquely international in outlook. Reflecting this perspective, the School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS) represents the ongoing commitment of UH Manoa to enhance international awareness and intercultural understanding throughout the educational experience. In fulfilling this commitment, SPAS has become one of the largest resource facilities for Asian and Pacific studies in the world.

Established in 1987, SPAS offers academic programs in Asian studies and Pacific Islands studies. SPAS also houses the Centers for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Okinawan Studies, Pacific Islands Studies, Philippine Studies, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies. Through these centers and programs, SPAS helps to coordinate the efforts across UH Manoa of some 300 faculty specialists who offer more than 600 courses related to Asia and the Pacific.

Research supported by SPAS appears in a wide range of journals, monographs, and occasional papers published by its centers and programs. Complementing these publications are monographs, translations, and journals published by SPAS or one of its centers in association with UH Press.

Research and publications, specialized training and instructional programs, conferences, symposia, resources development, and a full schedule of co-curricular activities and cultural programs are all a part of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Students electing to focus their studies on Asia or the Pacific at UH Manoa will discover a unique learning environment especially appropriate to the understanding and appreciation of the peoples and cultures of the region.

Degrees and Certificates

Bachelor’s Degree: BA in Asian studies, BA in Pacific Islands studies

Master’s Degrees: MA in Asian studies, MA in Pacific Islands studies, MA in Asian International Affairs

Certificate Programs: Graduate Certificates in Pacific Islands, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philippine, South Asian, and Southeast Asian studies


Asian Studies
Undergraduate students
Pattie Dunn
Moore 407
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7814

Graduate students
Young-A Park
Moore 321
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-9125

Pacific Islands Studies
Undergraduate students
Julie Walsh, PhD
Moore 211
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-2668

Graduate students
Alex Mawyer, PhD
Moore 210
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-2670

Students interested in Asian studies and Pacific Islands studies are urged to consult with the appropriate school advisor listed above and thoroughly check out each website.

Undergraduate Programs


  • Acquire a minimum total of 120 credit hours.
  • Earn at least 45 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above for the Asian Studies Program; earn at least 45 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above for the Pacific Islands Studies Program.
  • Fulfill the UH Manoa General Education Core requirements and additional basic course work specified by the degree program.
  • Complete writing intensive courses as specified by UH Manoa.
  • Fulfill requirements for the major.
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA for all UH Manoa registered credits.

Prospective students interested in the BA in Asian studies or the BA in Pacific Islands studies should contact the respective department or refer to the program listing in the Catalog.

Graduate Programs

Prospective students interested in the MA in Asian studies or the MA in Pacific Islands studies should contact the respective program or refer to the program listing in the Catalog.

Instructional/Research Facilities and Programs

Center for Chinese Studies

The Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) aims broadly at an increased understanding of contemporary China in light of its history and hopes for the future. It pursues this goal through instruction from 51 faculty members in 30 departments who teach approximately 150 China-related courses; research by faculty, who collectively publish an average of six books and a score of articles on China each year; service publications, such as its quarterly journal China Review International, which provides an overview of current world wide scholarship on China; a website (; and community outreach, conferences, and national and international linkages with institutions such as Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Zhejiang University, Tongji University, National Taiwan University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. CCS housed a Confucius Institute (CI-UHM), funded by the PRC Ministry of Education to promote Chinese language and culture studies in Hawai‘i, from 2006-2019, which, in 2014, was named a Model Confucius Institute. From 2007-2018, CCS hosted an annual STARTALK Chinese Teacher Training Institute and Student Language Camp, funded through annual grants from the Department of Defense, and hopes to do so again beginning in 2020. In 2020, CCS will host the inaugural Hawai‘i International Conference on Chinese Studies on the UH Manoa campus. By creating a stimulating environment for the faculty and the approximately 100 mainly graduate students specializing in Chinese studies, CCS supplements basic scholarly offerings, and focuses attention on the university’s significant resources for the study of China. These include the Asia Collection in Hamilton Library, the Wong Audiovisual Center’s collection of Chinese music and film, the Undergraduate Chinese Flagship Program in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and the National Foreign Language Resource Center in the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature.

Furthermore, the Centers for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Korean Studies together formed a National Resource Center for East Asian Studies (NRCEA), which was supported by major funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Although NRCEA funding will not continue beginning in fall 2019, very substantial support for the Foreign Language & Area Studies fellowships will still be available.

More information about CCS may be found at, and follow us on Instagram @uhawaiiccs.

Center for Japanese Studies

The Center for Japanese Studies promotes the study of Japan within a global context, across academic disciplines at UH Manoa. Japanese studies faculty include 30 professors, 10 Japanese language instructors, 4 library specialists, and a chanoyu (tea ceremony) instructor who offer over 100 courses in 16 instructional or department units with an enrollment of 3,000 students annually. An integral part of CJS is the Dr. Sen Soshitsu International Way of Tea Center, which serves to perpetuate tea culture by offering tea practicum courses and coordinating tea-related outreach projects. CJS is in charge of the Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship grant (worth $351,000 annually) which provides generous scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students who study East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) at UH Manoa. The center just completed a multi-year Japan Foundation grant (2016-2019) “U.S.-Southeast Asia-Japan Collaboration and Exchange Initiative” which offered professional development opportunities for Japanese studies scholars and training for graduate students who are based at universities in Southeast Asia. At UH Manoa, the role of the center is to act as a coordinating body for Japanese studies at UH Manoa and as a clearinghouse for inquiries related to the field; in this role, CJS offers student scholarships and faculty professional development funding, provides student advising, sponsors seminars and conferences on Japan, sponsors visiting scholars, coordinates a summer student internship program in Ehime (along with the Japan-America Society of Hawai‘i), and administers partnerships with overseas research institutes.

Center for Korean Studies

The Center for Korean Studies coordinates and develops UH Manoa’s resources for the study of Korea and Koreans abroad. The 41 faculty members affiliated with the center represent the disciplines of anthropology, music, business, communication and communicology, economics, English, ethnomusicology, history, language and literature, linguistics, law, political science, social work, sociology, and urban planning. The center promotes interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches to the study of Korea. It regularly conducts scholarly conferences, sponsors research projects, offers presentations by distinguished specialists, hosts visiting scholars from other institutions, and publishes monographs and an interdisciplinary journal, Korean Studies. The center also offers scholarships for students engaged in Korea-related studies. It houses a small collection of books, journals, and audio-visual materials as an adjunct to Hamilton Library’s Korea resources. The collection also includes a number of important archival and manuscript collections related to Korean-American relations and the history of Korea and Koreans in Hawai‘i.

Center for Okinawan Studies

The Center for Okinawan Studies (COS) was established in 2008, and has the distinction of being the only center of its kind outside of Japan. COS is a coordinating unit with a mission to promote the study of the Ryukyuan archipelago, Okinawa, and the Okinawan diaspora by encouraging the development and offering of both credit and non-credit courses in the performing arts, history and social sciences, language and culture. COS is committed to supporting the research and teaching of Okinawa/Ryukyu-related subjects by its faculty, staff, and students, as well as providing outreach to the general community in the form of lectures, workshops, seminars, and conferences. COS also works toward strengthening connections and partnerships with people and institutions worldwide including universities in Okinawa, Japan, and the U.S.

Center for Pacific Islands Studies

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies brings together people and resources to promote an understanding of the Pacific Islands and issues of concern to Pacific Islanders. Its innovative instructional program is regional, comparative, and interdisciplinary in nature. After 60 years of offering the nation’s first and only MA program for the study of the Pacific Islands, the center launched a BA program in 2011. The center sponsors an annual conference and a seminar series that features a variety of visitors en route to and from other Pacific Islands. The program publishes a series of occasional papers, the Teaching Oceania Series, and, in collaboration with the UH Press, the Pacific Islands Monograph Series, and The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs.

Center for Philippine Studies

The Center for Philippine Studies at UH Manoa is the only university center offering a comprehensive academic program on Philippine studies in North America. With an interdisciplinary faculty based in various departments, it promotes a broad understanding of Philippine society and culture, including Filipinos in Hawai‘i and in the diaspora, through academic course offerings, library resources, lectures and seminars, scholarly conferences, research and publications, visiting faculty, international exchange programs, cultural presentations, outreach with the Filipino community in Hawai‘i and in the homeland, institutional linkages, and other professional activities. UH Manoa has a large concentration of internationally known Philippine specialists and experts in various disciplines. The center has served as the Secretariat for the International Conference on Philippine Studies (ICOPHIL), and works closely with the Philippine Studies Conference in Japan (PSCJ) held every four and three years, respectively, and with the Philippine Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies in the U.S. every year. For more details, visit

Center for South Asian Studies

The Center for South Asian Studies at UH Manoa serves as an intellectual hub in the Pacific for research on and learning about a highly diverse region that encompasses Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Lakshadweep, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. The center was founded in 1985 with the main purpose of promoting interdisciplinary research on South Asia and the diaspora, as well as assisting undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities, arts, language and linguistics, social sciences, business, and applied sciences to focus on the societies and cultures of the region. The center’s activities include colloquia, invited lectures and workshops, an annual spring symposium, cultural education, and community building. For this, the center works together with universities around the world, as well as local institutions, such as the Honolulu Museum of Art and Shangri La. The center also facilitates study and research abroad for undergraduate and graduate students. The library’s South Asia collection is ranked among the top ten in the U.S. The center draws on the expertise of more than 40 distinguished faculty members whose research interests spread over many geographical regions and disciplinary foci. For more information, visit, and follow CSAS on Facebook (, Twitter (twitter. com/UHCSAS), and Instagram (@csasuhmanoa) to receive job alerts and event announcements.

Center for Southeast Asian Studies

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) acts as a coordinating body for Southeast Asian studies throughout the university. With more than 55 affiliated faculty members distributed through 21 departments, the center interacts with the largest concentration of Southeast Asia specialists in the U.S.

CSEAS is responsible for administering and awarding the Foreign Language and Area Study (FLAS) Fellowships and the Luce Fellowships for research and language training in Southeast Asia. Support to grow the Southeast Asia Collection at Hamilton Library also plays a major part in our long-term project support.

Locally, CSEAS acts as a clearinghouse initiating and publicizing events on the campus with a Southeast Asia focus including a twice-monthly newsletter and its popular website and well-developed social media profile. The center has a strong commitment to outreach programs with its support of Indonesian theatre/dance performance. More information on UH Manoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies can be found at

Campus Events and Community Programs

SPAS and its centers sponsor lectures, colloquia, teacher workshops, conferences, film festivals, concerts, and special events, such as the Grand Kabuki performance, Chinese martial arts performances, and the Southeast Asian Wayang Listrik theatrical training and performance. The centers’ outreach programs take UH Manoa expertise into the community and K-12 schools.