College of Social Sciences
Saunders Hall 346
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8415
Fax: (808) 956-4893


*Graduate Faculty

*E. J. Saethre, PhD (Chair)—medical anthropology, indigenous health, HIV/AIDS, biomedical interventions; Aboriginal Australia, South Africa
*C. E. Peterson, PhD (Graduate Chair)—archaeology, comparative study, early complex societies, regional settlement patterns, household archaeology, quantitative methods; China and Southern Africa
*S. Quintus, PhD (Undergraduate Chair)—archaeology; agricultural economics, historical ecology; landscape archaeology; geoarchaeology; settlement patterns; quantitative methods; Oceania
*C. J. Bae, PhD—biological anthropology, paleoanthropology, vertebrate taphonomy, Out of Africa I, modern human origins; China, Korea, Japan
*J. M. Bayman, PhD—archaeology, craft economies; North America, U.S. Southwest, Hawai‘i
*J. Brunson, PhD—medical anthropology, fertility and reproduction, maternal health, new medical technologies, structural and interpersonal violence, gender, family; Nepal
*A. Golub, PhD—cultural anthropology, kinship and identity, governance, indigenous land tenure, mining and natural resources, common and intellectual property, semiotic technologies, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, massively multiplayer online video games
*P. Kirch, PhD—archaeology and historical anthropology, evolution of complex societies, dynamically-coupled human-natural systems, Oceania with particular emphasis on Polynesia and Hawai‘i
*J. Padwe, PhD—environmental anthropology; agro-ecology; war and the environment; ethnicity; Southeast Asia (Cambodia), South America (Paraguay, Bolivia)
*B. V. Rolett, PhD—archaeology; Pacific Islands, Southeast China
*A. M. Sakaguchi, PhD—medical anthropology, public health, medical malpractice, globalization and its impact on emerging and re-emerging diseases, health disparities, health care disparities, Japanese literature and history
*M. Stark, PhD—archaeology ecology, early village economics, ceramics, ethnoarchaeology; Southeast Asia, U.S. Southwest
*T. P. K. Tengan, PhD—cultural anthropology, indigenous theory and methodology, colonialism, nationalism, identity, gender, cultural politics; Pacific, Hawai‘i

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

C. Beaule, PhD—Andean/Latin American archaeology, household organization, origins of complexity, Colonialism
D. Brown, PhD—physical anthropology, medical anthropology; Polynesia
W. Chapman, PhD—historic preservation, historical archaeology, history of anthropology
C. Clayton, PhD—cultural anthropology; sovereignty and colonialism; nationalisms and transnationalisms; history, memory and placemaking; China and East Asia
S. Kikiloi, PhD—Hawaiian resource management, indigenous knowledge, traditional society, genealogies, cultural revitalization, and community empowerment
R. Labrador, PhD—cultural anthropology, identity, immigration political economy, globalization and diaspora; Hawai‘i/Pacific, Philippines, Filipina/American and Asia Pacific America
A. Mawyer, PhD—language and culture, landscapes, spatial cognition, French Polynesia, French nuclear testing
P. Mills, PhD—archaeology, culture contact, lithic analysis, ethnohistory; Polynesia, North Pacific, North America
Y. A. Park, PhD—media, social movements; refugee; South Korea; North Korea
F. A. Reed, PhD—human evolution, population genetics, population structure and adaptation

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

A.R. Antonites, PhD–-African archaeology, zooarchaeology, foodways, early complex societies, collections-based research, museum studies
X. Antonites, PhD—Archaeology, African Iron Age, African complex societies and their hinterlands, networks of exchange, craft production
J. S. Athens, PhD—evolutionary and agricultural ecology, origin of agriculture, development of complex societies, tropical paleoenvironmental (Ecuador, Oceania), archaeology of Ecuador, Micronesia, and Hawai‘i, CRM issues, management and administration
J. D. Baker, PhD—medical anthropology, Hawai‘i and Pacific diaspora, ethnobiology, ethnopharmacology, transformations of medicine use, nutritional anthropology, program evaluation
C. Berrey, PhD—archaeology, complex societies, social inequality, settlement demography, interaction studies, comparative and multiscalar analysis, quantitative and spatial analysis; Central America, South America, and Mesoamerica
J. E. Byrd, PhD—statistical approaches to forensic evidence; forensic anthropology
S. Collins, PhD—archaeology, human and faunal osteology, historic preservation compliance and practice; Hawai‘i and the Pacific
T. Dye, PhD—archaeology; Hawai‘i and the Pacific
J. Fox, PhD—land use, forest resources and management, GIS and spatial information technology; South Asia, Southeast Asia
P. Fox, PhD—precision medicine, population genetics, Indigenous futurism
P. Heng, PhD—archaeology, pre- and early modern Southeast Asia, Cambodia, political economy, interactions, organization changes, religious changes, settlement patterns, artifact distribution, history
R. Ikehara-Quebral, PhD—skeletal biology and morphometry, intentional cranial and dental modification, health and social status, biocultural adaptation, biodistance and forensic studies
L. Kealhofer, PhD—Southeast Asia and Near East; landscape approaches; paleobotany; land use and environmental change in complex societies; political economy
H. L. McMillen, PhD—medical and environmental anthropology, biocultural approaches, Indigenous and local ecological knowledge systems, community-based natural resource management
A. E. Morrison, PhD—Pacific Island and South American Archaeology, computational modeling, geoarchaeology, remote sensing, geographical information systems, Bayesian chronological modeling, applied zooarchaeology, historic preservation practice, human behavioral ecology
M. Mulrooney, PhD—GIS, Hawaiian archaeology, archaeological research in the Pacific
J. A. Peterson, PhD—archaeology, historical ecology, landscapes, historical archaeology; Hawai‘i-Pacific, Philippines, American Southwest
G. Pigliasco, PhD—cultural and legal anthropology, visual anthropology, ritual and performance commodification and tourism; Oceania, Fiji
G. Shelach-Lavi, PhD—archaeology, early agriculture, complex societies, household archaeology, settlement patterns, interregional interaction; China, Mongolia
M. Sharma, PhD (Emeritus)—political economy, development, class formation and gender relations, radical feminist theory; India
J. A. Swift, PhD—environmental archaeology, Polynesia, zooarchaeology, biomolecular methods, anthropocene
C. K. Work, PhD—sociocultural anthropology, anthropology of religion, development, and the anthropocene, Southeast Asian state formation, political economies of subsistence animists, interdimensional communication systems and rituals in Southeast Asia and Austronesia, climate change politics

Adjunct Faculty

N. I. Cooper, PhD—socio-cultural anthropology, performance, gender, expressive culture, ritual and religion; Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Java, Singapore
L. Gollin, PhD—medical anthropology, ethnobotany and ethnobiology, local ecological knowledge, cultural resource management, oral histories; Indonesia and Hawai‘i
J. Jin, PhD— zooarchaeology, vertebrate taphonomy, human skeletal biology, forensic anthropology, paleoanthropology; China, Korea
J. Rensel, PhD—socioeconomic history, housing change, migrant communities; Polynesia
P. J. Ross, MA—quantitative methods, nutritional and medical anthropology, human ecology, medical systems, field methods in cultural anthropology; West Africa

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in anthropology, MA in anthropology, PhD in anthropology

The Academic Program

Anthropology (ANTH) is the comparative study of human societies, of the origin and evolution of our species, and of the ways of life of ancient and modern people. It is divided into three main subdisciplines: archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. While biological anthropologists focus upon our biological nature, cultural anthropologists deal with ways of life past and present. Anthropological linguists look at language as a part of human behavior, while archaeologists study the remains of past cultures to reconstruct former lifestyles.

Students of anthropology gain a basic understanding of the cultural basis of human society, and of the origin and development of humanity useful both for understanding the human condition and as a preparation for work in many fields, not just in anthropology. For example, the department offers a uniquely broad range of courses on the cultures of Asia and the Pacific, as well as on aspects of American society, that provide students with a fund of cultural knowledge and insights upon which to build a career in law, medicine, public health, teaching, business, and other professions. While some BA graduates in anthropology find employment in anthropology, normally an MA or PhD is required to work as an anthropologist in a university, museum, or other institution. The department has a long-standing graduate program, which trains students in all aspects of anthropology, including applied approaches. The training emphasizes field research and focuses on Asia and the Pacific. In any one year, students are engaged in such projects as excavating an archaeological field site in Punalu‘u or recording oral histories on the North Shore.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


The anthropology major requires a minimum of 37 credit hours including:

Core Required Courses (16 credit hours)

  • ANTH 152, 210, 215, 215L, 300, 490

Elective Upper Division Courses (21 credit hours)

  • 7 300- and 400-level courses.
    • 2 of the 7 upper division courses may be from a related discipline with prior approval of the anthropology advisor.

All courses must be completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better and cannot be used to fulfill any additional major, minor or certificate requirements.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.



A minor in anthropology requires 15 credits of upper division anthropology courses at the 300+ level. Of the 15 credits required, one course must be designated as a ‘theory’ course and one must be designated as a ‘method’ course (a list of designated courses can be found at:

Students interested in a minor in anthropology must first contact the anthropology undergraduate advisor to schedule an advising session. Courses will be chosen by the student, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, to suit the student’s needs and interests. All courses must be completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better and cannot be used to fulfill any additional major, minor, or certificate requirements.

Minor in Medical Anthropology

Students pursuing a minor in medical anthropology must complete 15 credits of upper division courses including:

  • ANTH 301
  • The remaining 12 credits can be fulfilled with any of the following: ANTH 315, 370, 375, 399*, 427, 428, 463, 465, 467, 481

Students interested in a minor in medical anthropology must first contact the anthropology undergraduate advisor to schedule an advising session. All courses must be completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better and cannot be used to fulfill any additional major, minor or certificate requirements.

*A maximum of 3 credits of ANTH 399 may be applied to either the theory or method requirement as long as the topic is relevant to medical anthropology.

4+1 BAM BA/MA in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology offers a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree pathway. Most students in this program will be able to complete an MA degree in cultural or biological anthropology within 5 years; coursework completed to satisfy BA requirements are counted towards fulfillment of the MA degree. Undergraduates interested in the program should contact the Undergraduate Chair or the Undergraduate Advisor early in their UH career:

Graduate Study

Intended candidates for the MA or PhD need not have an undergraduate background in anthropology. All applicants must submit to the department a writing sample and three letters of recommendation at the time of application. All applicants must also apply to Graduate Admissions. Under certain circumstances, GRE scores may be required. Lack of previous training in anthropology may result, however, in study to fill gaps in knowledge. All incoming students are required to attend the Anthropology Colloquium Series in the first two semesters. Applications for admission will be considered for the fall semester only. The deadline for submission of applications, including international students, is December 1 of every year

The MA program ensures that graduates grasp fundamentals in their elected subfields, while the PhD program provides an opportunity for further specialization.

Master’s Degree

Admission to MA candidacy is based upon a candidacy conference with the student and his or her three-person committee held sometime prior to the end of the student’s second semester in residence. At that time the student submits in writing, a proposed program of study that the committee must accept before the student is admitted to candidacy.


A candidate for the MA must take three out of four core courses (archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology). A core course may be repeated once. A student may take additional core courses to fulfill other course requirements.

An MA candidate must also pass two courses in each of the following categories: method or technique, theory or topic, and culture area. If a candidate needs a course from one of the three categories in his or her program of study and that course is not offered by the department on a timely basis, he or she may petition the graduate chair to substitute a course from outside the department, provided petition is made prior to registration for the course in question. A candidate is required to earn 30 credit hours. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be taken in the department. Graduate students must maintain at least a B (3.0) average. All courses taken for degree credit must be taken for a letter grade.

Plan A

  • 24 credit hours of course work
  • Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • Minimum of 12 credits in graduate level courses numbered 600 and above

Plan B

  • 30 credit hours
  • Three papers on anthropological topics, one of which shall be a research proposal to the committee as evidence of scholarly ability
  • Minimum of 18 credits in graduate level courses numbered 600 and above

MA Track in Applied Archaeology

Please consult departmental and graduate college guidelines for application instructions. Applicants to our Applied Archaeology MA program should explicitly note in their statement of purpose and other correspondence that they are applying to the MA Track in Applied Archaeology, which is a Plan B program. Students who are admitted to the applied program will be assigned an interim advisor upon their acceptance. By the end of the second semester, a student must select a committee of three anthropology faculty, one of whom will serve as her or his committee chair. A student must complete a report on original research, or three publishable papers.

Students who wish to enter the doctoral program, upon completion of the MA Track in Applied Archaeology, must reapply for admission to the anthropology program.

MA Track in Applied Cultural Anthropology

Please consult departmental and graduate college guidelines for application instructions. Applicants to our Applied Archaeology or Applied Cultural Anthropology MA (Plan B) programs should explicitly note in their statement of purpose and other correspondence which track they are applying to. Students who are admitted to either program will be assigned an interim advisor upon their acceptance. By the end of the second semester, a student must select a committee of three anthropology faculty, one of whom will serve as her or his committee chair. A student must complete a report on original research, or three publishable papers.

Students who wish to enter the doctoral program, upon completion of the MA Track in Applied Archaeology or the MA track in Applied Cultural Anthropology, must re-apply for admission to the anthropology program.

Doctoral Degree

A student completing the requirements for the MA may request admission to the PhD program by filling out a Petition for Admission to a Doctorate in Same Discipline (found on the Graduate Division website) and submitting the form to the departmental Academic Specialist. This form will be forwarded to Graduate Division based upon the approval of the graduate chair.

Before the graduate chair can formalize his recommendation, a meeting must be convened consisting of all anthropology faculty members with whom the student has taken graduatelevel courses. They will evaluate the MA thesis or three papers and review the quality of previous graduate work. The faculty will then make their recommendations to the graduate chair to admit or not to admit the student to the doctoral program.

Admission to the PhD program requires a two-thirds majority of favorable versus unfavorable recommendations from the Anthropology faculty members. The student will receive written notification from the Graduate Dean.


PhD candidates must fulfill the requirements for an MA degree in anthropology as a prerequisite. Requirements for obtaining a PhD include submitting an acceptable program plan at a candidacy conference, passing a comprehensive examination, formulating an acceptable dissertation proposal, writing an acceptable dissertation, and successfully defending this dissertation.

A student entering the PhD program with an MA degree from another department of anthropology must pass the core course in his or her area of specialization with a grade of B (3.0 GPA) or better. This course may be challenged by examination in lieu of taking it for credit. All students are required to take graduate courses (other than reading courses) from at least four different members of the anthropology department.

After admission to the PhD program, the student will form a five-member PhD committee. More members may be added if deemed desirable and consistent with a candidate’s interest. At least one person must be a graduate faculty member of another department, but the majority of members must be from the Department of Anthropology. Substitutions may be made at any time if a member of the committee is unavailable.

All students entering the PhD program, including those obtaining an MA from the department, are strongly advised to hold a candidacy conference and gain written approval of their five-member committee for the projected program of study by the second semester.

Approximately one semester prior to the comprehensive examination, the student shall submit a detailed description of the areas to be covered, complete with bibliography. The candidate is expected to have read the items contained in the bibliography and be prepared to discuss them in some depth. It is the responsibility of each committee member to suggest additional readings for the bibliography and to suggest any other changes in the proposed agreement. After all committee members have been duly consulted, the student will prepare a final description to be signed by all concerned, including the student, and to be filed with the graduate chair.

The first component of the comprehensive exams is the written exam. The written exam will consist of three questions submitted by the student’s committee. The exam is takehome and open-book; therefore, students are permitted to use notes and other reference materials when answering the questions. Students will be given all three questions at once and have three weeks (21 days) to complete all three. Each answer should take the form of an essay between 5,000 and 6,000 words long (including in-text citations, but exclusive of a listing of the references cited). Formatting will be left up to the relevant subfield. The questions will not be distributed ahead of the exam. Before the written exam is administered, it is the committee chair’s responsibility to read all submitted questions for possible overlap and/or incongruity with the agreed-upon reading list. If the committee chair is not available to do this, the task must be assigned to another member of the student’s committee or to the graduate chair.

Each member of the committee will read all three essays and vote on whether each one is an acceptable answer to the question posed. Each committee member is entitled to one vote per question. A committee member may abstain from voting on an essay he or she does not feel competent to evaluate. The student shall be informed of the outcome of voting for each question.

The second component of the comprehensive exams is an oral exam, at which the student will be given the opportunity to clarify, amplify, explain, and/or defend answers to the written component. The student will receive copies of their written answers prior to the oral exam. The oral examination is expected to be held not less than one week and no more than two weeks after the written examination. All members of the committee must be present at the examination. Two hours are to be allotted for this exercise.

If a student fails the comprehensive examination, he or she may be allowed to repeat it. If this examination is failed a second time, the student will be dropped from the graduate program. The committee will provide each student with a written statement detailing the reasons for a negative decision.

After successfully completing the comprehensive examination, the student is required to submit a research proposal for review by the degree committee. A meeting of the committee will be scheduled within two weeks of submission of a final draft of the proposal; the committee will determine whether or not the student is adequately prepared for the fieldwork proposed. A candidate whose field research proposal is approved and who has completed all other requirements is eligible to receive a university ABD certificate.

Students have the option of completing their dissertation as a monograph or as a series of published articles. What option is chosen depends on the nature of research undertaken and the subfield of the student. Guidelines for these options are described in detail on the departmental website.

A student conducting dissertation research among people who do not speak the student’s native language will be required, before leaving for the field, to show evidence of oral competence in the most useful field language or training in linguistic field techniques.

Following the student’s submission of a final draft of the dissertation, an oral defense will be scheduled. It is the student’s responsibility to see that each member of the committee has a copy of the complete final draft of the dissertation at least four weeks before the scheduled date of the oral defense. All members must be present at the oral defense. Procedures for determining final acceptance of the dissertation and awarding the PhD degree are set forth by Graduate Division. A candidate must complete all the requirements within seven years after admission to the doctoral program. A student unable to meet this deadline may request an extension by written petition to the graduate chair describing reasons for the delay. If approved, the request will be sent to the graduate dean for a final decision.