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Center for Chinese Studies

Center for Hawaiian Studies

Center for Japanese Studies

Center for Korean Studies

Center for Pacific Islands Studies

Center for Philippine Studies

Center for South Asian Studies

Center for Southeast Asian Studies

Committee for the Preservation and Study of Hawaiian Language, Art and Culture


Asian Studies

Hawaiian Studies

Pacific Islands Studies

Asian Studies

Moore 416
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-6085
Fax: (808) 956-2682
Web: www.hawaii.edu/shaps/asia

Faculty

*Graduate Faculty

*R. D. Trimillos, PhD (Chair)—ethnomusicology, Southeast Asia (Philippines), Japan
*B. Andaya, PhD—history, Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia)
*B. Aquino, PhD—political science, Philippines, Southeast Asia
*M. Aung-Thwin, PhD—history, Southeast Asia (Burma)
*R. Brown, JD, LLM—law, China
*L. Carlile, PhD—political science, East Asia (Japan)
*D. Gladney, PhD—anthropology, China, Muslims
*E. Harwit, PhD—political science, East Asia (China)
*R. Huey, PhD—literature, Japan
*R. Kwok, PhD—urban and regional planning, East Asia (China)
*C. Ning, PhD—literature, China
*E. Porter, EdD—higher education administration, China
G. Satsuma, PhD—history, Japan
*M. Sharma, PhD—anthropology, South Asia (India)
*E. Shultz, PhD—history, East Asia (Korea)
*H. Sohn, PhD—language, Korea
*R. Valliant, PhD—history, Russia and East Asia

Cooperating Faculty

All graduate faculty who are specialists and offer courses related to the eight area centers within Asian studies serve as cooperating faculty in Asian studies. Faculty related to the area centers—the centers for China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Russia in Asia, and Buddhist studies—number more than 300; they are too numerous to list here, but they can be found under departmental listings.

Degrees and Certificates Offered: BA in Asian studies, MA in Asian studies, Graduate Certificates in Chinese studies, Japanese studies, Korean studies, Philippine studies, South Asian studies, and Southeast Asian studies

The Academic Program

Asian studies (ASAN) is concerned with the people and countries in the broad arc of Asia extending from Afghanistan in the west to China, Japan, and Korea in the east and including the Philippines and other islands and peninsulas of Southeast Asia to the south. In cooperation with other departments of the UH, the Asian studies program offers an opportunity for students to concentrate on the interdisciplinary study of an Asian country or region. Emphasis is placed on learning the language of the chosen area, giving an opportunity for area study and language to progress together.

The growing importance of Asia in the U.S. and in the economy, government and politics, diplomacy, and the arts will relate directly to the academic programs linked to Asian studies.

UH Manoa has made a commitment to the study of Asia far greater than any other university in terms of numbers of languages taught, areas studied, and faculty specialists employed. This provides a unique opportunity to students interested in Asia.

Interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs draw upon the rich resources for the study of Asia at UH Manoa. The Asian studies program offers courses of its own and also incorporates Asia-related courses taught in the various departments on campus, enabling each student to design a defined program of study tailored to his or her particular interests.

Students in the program may select courses from Asian studies and the following disciplines: anthropology, art, economics, education, ethnic studies, geography, history, linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, political science, population studies, religion, sociology, theater and dance, urban and regional planning, and women’s studies. Competence in an Asian language appropriate to the student’s interests is considered fundamental, and the achievement of language proficiency by graduation is a required part of the graduate degree program.

The graduate program is organized into the following areas: China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Buddhist studies.

Advising

Graduate students are advised by the appropriate area director or designated faculty. Undergraduates majoring in Asian studies are advised by an undergraduate studies adviser.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

The undergraduate program in Asian studies is designed for students desiring a liberal arts education and a broad background in traditional and contemporary Asian cultures.
Students seeking a BA in Asian studies must meet all the requirements for admission established by the School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies.
Asian studies is normally declared as a major at the end of the sophomore year or beginning of the junior year though students may apply for admission to the program at any time. The formal declaration is made through the school’s Student Academic Services Office.

Major Requirements

  • Total of at least 36 credit hours of Asia-related course work
  • ASAN 201 and 202, ASAN 310 or 312, and 6 additional credit hours of ASAN courses at the 300 or 400 level
  • Two years of an Asian language (excluding conversation or aural comprehension courses), or demonstration of the equivalent level

Majors must also complete one of the following study plans:

Plan 1:

  • 12 credit hours of Asia-related course work from one of the following disciplines or areas: anthropology, art, economics, geography, history, linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, political science, religion, sociology, speech, or theater and dance
  • 9 credit hours of Asia-related courses outside the primary field of concentration, as approved by the adviser

Plan 2:

  • 12 credit hours of course work on one Asian country or region (e.g., Japan, Southeast Asia)
  • 9 credit hours focused on one or more additional Asian countries or regions

ASAN courses used to satisfy General Education Core requirements may not be used to satisfy major requirements or vice versa.

Language study beyond the required level may count toward the major and is encouraged for Asian studies majors.

Minor Requirements

There are no required courses for acceptance into the Asian Studies minor program. Attendance in ASAN 201–202 (Introduction to Asian Studies) is recommended.
Students must complete 15 credit hours including:

  • ASAN 310 Asian Humanities or ASAN 312 Contemporary Asian Civilization (3 credits)
  • ASAN courses numbered 300 and above (minimum 6 credits)
  • Asia-related courses in disciplines other than the major field numbered 300 and above (maximum 6 credits)

It is possible to focus on one particular country or region, such as China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Southeast Asia, or South Asia.

The Asian studies undergraduate adviser will identify Asia-related courses in various disciplines and assist in planning schedules and preparing minor forms.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The master’s program in Asian studies is designed primarily for students who wish to focus their studies on a particular geographical and cultural region of Asia. Such an approach entails interdisciplinary study.

The MA in Asian studies is offered in Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis). Although the UH does not offer a PhD in Asian studies, Asia-focused PhD programs are available in anthropology, East Asian languages and literatures, economics, geography, history, linguistics, music, philosophy, political science, public health, sociology, theater, and tropical agriculture.

Students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in any of these fields should contact the appropriate department.
A student’s academic program should concentrate on one of the regions of Asia as represented by the area centers in SHAPS—China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Regarding the latter two, a student may concentrate on a particular country within those regions if sufficient courses are available. The director of each area center or a designated faculty member serves as the graduate student adviser for his or her respective area.

Students without sufficient academic background in Asia-related course work may be required to take certain preparatory courses to make up this deficiency without credit toward the degree. Prospective students should note that the program requires successful completion of course work or demonstrable proficiency in an Asian language at the fourth-year level for students concentrating on China, Japan, or Korea, or the third-year level for students concentrating on South Asia or Southeast Asia. Students enrolling from an Asian country may have the foreign language requirement waived if they plan to concentrate on their native country or region. If they elect to concentrate on a country other than their own, they must fulfill the language requirement as previously stated.

Plan A (Thesis) Requirements

The MA Plan A degree in Asian studies requires the following:

  1. A minimum of 36 credit hours. Of these, at least 18 must be earned in courses numbered 600 or higher (including 6 credit hours in ASAN 700 Thesis Research);
  2. Full-time study for minimum of two academic semesters;
  3. A minimum of 6 credit hours in an Asian language equivalent to the following: Japanese—6 credit hours beyond the 401 and 402 level; Chinese—8 credit hours at the 401 and 402 level; Korean—6 credit hours at the 401 and 402 level; South and Southeast Asian languages—6 credit hours at the 301 and 302 level (entering students who have achieved this level and can demonstrate proficiency through examination may select alternate courses equaling 6 credit hours with the consent of their area adviser);
  4. An introductory graduate seminar in the particular area of concentration (ASAN 600), taken early in the student’s program;
  5. A graduate research seminar in the particular area of concentration (ASAN 750);
  6. A minimum of 3 additional credit hours in Asian studies.
  7. A minimum of 15 credit hours of interdisciplinary study related to the candidate’s country or region, with at least 3 credit hours each in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and arts. No more than 9 credit hours in one discipline will be counted.
  8. Satisfactory completion of a master’s thesis and an oral examination on the thesis given by the student’s three-member faculty committee.

Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements

The MA Plan B degree in Asian studies requires:

  1. A minimum of 36 credit hours. Of these, at least 18 credits must be earned in courses numbered 600 or higher;
  2. Full-time study for minimum of two academic semesters;
  3. A minimum of 6 credit hours in an Asian language equivalent to the following: Japanese—6 credit hours beyond the 401 and 402 level; Chinese—8 credit hours at the 401 and 402 level; Korean—6 credit hours at the 401 and 402 level; South and Southeast Asian languages—6 credit hours at the 301 and 302 level (entering students who have achieved this level and can demonstrate proficiency through examination may select alternate courses equaling 6 credit hours with the consent of their area adviser);
  4. An introductory graduate seminar in the particular area of concentration (ASAN 600), taken early in the student’s program;
  5. A graduate research seminar in the particular area of concentration (ASAN 750);
  6. A minimum of 3 additional credit hours in Asian studies
  7. A minimum of 21 credit hours of interdisciplinary study related to the candidate’s country or region, with at least 3 credit hours each in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and arts. No more than 9 credit hours in one discipline will be counted.
  8. Presentation of a portfolio consisting of two seminar papers, and satisfactory completion of an oral examination based on the papers given by the student’s three-member faculty committee.

Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificates

SHAPS, through its Asia focused centers, offers graduate certificates in the following areas: Chinese studies, Korean studies, Japanese studies, Philippine studies, South Asian studies, and Southeast Asian studies. Regularly enrolled graduate students in non-Asian studies disciplines receive a certificate for completing a program of study that focuses on a particular Asian country or region. MA students in Asian studies also receive a certificate for completing studies in their area of concentration.

Certificate Requirements

  • 18 credits of course work, in a defined program of study, at UH Manoa within the chosen certificate area
  • Of these, 15 credits must be at 300-level or higher from at least two major divisions (social sciences, humanities, or arts), with no more than 9 credits in a single division, and at least 9 credits in graduate level courses (600 level or higher)
  • ASAN 600-Asian Studies Seminar: Scope and Methods, in the chosen certificate area
  • A research paper in the chosen certificate area and an oral examination based on the paper; or a thesis or dissertation related to the chosen certificate area in the student’s major discipline
  • Language requirements:
    • For the Japanese certificate, 4th year competency (JPN 407)
    • For the Chinese and Korean certificate, 3rd year competency (CHN 301/302 or KOR 301/302) ; and
    • For the remaining regional certificates, 2nd year competency (201/202 language courses of the chosen certificate area)

All language competency requirements can be met either through course work in or equivalency examinations in the chosen certificate area. Language courses do not count towards certificate credit requirements.

Academic advising is provided by the center of the student’s chosen certificate area.

ASAN Courses