Home About UH Academic Calendar Courses Undergraduate Education Graduate Education Degrees, Minors, & Certificates Colleges, Schools, & Academic Units


Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered

General Information


Undergraduate Programs

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences

Professional Programs



College of Social Sciences
Saunders Hall 346
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8415
Fax: (808) 956-4893
Email: anthprog@hawaii.edu
Web: www.anthropology.hawaii.edu


*Graduate Faculty

*C. J. Bae, PhD (Graduate Chair)—biological anthropology, paleoanthropology, vertebrate taphonomy, Out of Africa I, modern human origins; China, Korea, Japan
*A. Golub, PhD (Undergraduate Advisor)—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
*J. M. Bayman, PhD—archaeology, craft economies; North America, U.S. Southwest, Hawai'i
*C. F. Blake, PhD—critical and interpretive theory, ethnography and biography, popular ideologies, social movements and entrepreneurship in the modern world economy; China, U.S.
*J. Brunson, PhD—medical anthropology, fertility and reproduction, maternal health, new medical technologies, structural and interpersonal violence, gender, family; Nepal
*J. Padwe, PhD—environmental anthropology; agro-ecology; war and the environment; ethnicity; Southeast Asia (Cambodia), South America (Paraguay, Bolivia)
*C. E. Peterson, PhD—archaeology, comparative study, early complex societies, regional settlement patterns, household archaeology, quantitative methods; China
*M. Pietrusewsky, PhD—physical anthropology, skeletal biology, forensic anthropology; Oceania, SE and East Asia, Australia
*B. V. Rolett, PhD—archaeology; Pacific Islands, Southeast China
*E. J. Saethre, PhD—medical anthropology, indigenous health, HIV/AIDS, biomedical interventions; Aboriginal Australia, South Africa
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
*G. M. White, PhD—cultural anthropology, history and memory, self and emotion, ethnographic methods; Pacific Islands, America
*C. Yano, PhD—cultural anthropology, popular culture, ethnomusicology, cultural nationalism, emotions; Japan, Japanese Americans

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

C. Beaule, PhD—Andean/Latin American archaeology, household organization, origins of complexity, Colonialism
D. Brown, PhD—physical anthropology, medical anthropology; Polynesia
R. Cann, PhD—physical anthropology, anthropological genetics, human populations
W. Chapman, PhD—historic preservation, historical archaeology, history of anthropology
C. Clayton, PhD—cultural anthropology; sovereignty and colonialism; nationalisms and transnationalisms; history, memory and place-making; China and East Asia
E. Drechsel, PhD—historical sociolinguistics, ethnohistory, North American Indians; North America
S. Falgout, PhD—cultural and historic anthropology; Micronesia
M. Hamnett, PhD—applied policy research, economic development, research management; Oceania
G. G. Maskarinec, PhD—anthropology of language (Nepalese oral texts), western biomedical clinical medicine, medical education and indigenous medical systems of S. Asia; religions (belief systems, ritual and performance)
P. Mills, PhD—archaeology, culture contact, lithic analysis, ethnohistory; Polynesia, North Pacific, North America
W. Nishimoto, PhD—oral history, ethnographic interviewing; Hawai'i
J. Y. Okamura, PhD—ethnicity and ethnic relations, Asian American studies; Philippines, Hawai'i
M. Sharma, PhD—political economy, development, class formation and gender relations, radical feminist theory; India

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

M. S. Allen, PhD—prehistory of Oceania, evolutionary, ecological, and biological theory, zooarchaeology, human paleoecology, subsistence change, prehistoric environments, exchange and interaction, Polynesian fishing technologies; Oceania, Polynesia
A. R. Arno, PhD—legal anthropology, ethnography of communication, kinship and social organization: Pacific
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
N. Barker, PhD—cultural anthropology, religious self-mortification, culture concept, theory of ritual, self-sacrifice and the body; Philippines, Asia
R. A. Bentley, PhD—complexity theory, the prehistoric spread of agriculture into Europe and the effects of human interaction on cultural evolution
K. Brown, PhD—cultural anthropology; family histories; farmer production decision; religious syncretism; ethnicity and the Emperor; globalization and food, family and car culture; Japan
E. Cochrane, PhD—evolutionary theory, cultural transmission, archaeological science, Oceania, Fiji, ceramics
S. Collins, PhD—archaeology, human and faunal osteology, historic preservation compliance and practice; Hawai'i and the Pacific
M. T. Douglas, PhD—physical anthropology, skeletal biology, bioarchaeology, paleopathology; Oceania, Southeast Asia
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, SE Asia
T. D. Holland, PhD—physical and forensic anthropology, skeletal biology; U.S. Midwest, Southeast Asia
T. Jiao, PhD—transition from hunting-gathering to farming, maritime adaptation, complex society, early state formation; China, southeast Asia
J. Kahn, PhD—archaeology, lithic technology, household archaeology, monumental architecture and landscapes; Hawai'i, French Polynesia, and the Pacific
G. Marten, PhD—population dynamics, ecosystem ecology, animal behavior, statistics, mathematical modeling, population genetics
L. Lindstrom, PhD—cultural anthropology, sociolinguistics, ethnohistory, social theory; Oceania, Vanuatu
J. A. Peterson, PhD—archaeology, historical ecology, landscapes, historical archaeology; Hawai'i-Pacific, Philippines, American Southwest
J. Silverstein, PhD—archaeology, militarism; the evolution, rise and fall of complex societies; hydraulic constructions; GIS; survey; modern military archaeology in Asia and Europe; urban archaeology; Mesoamerican; and Greco-Roman Egypt
M. Tomlinson, PhD—cultural and linguistic anthropology, religion and ritual, discourse analysis, Christianity; Fiji, Oceania
E. Wittersheim, PhD—political and urban anthropology and documentary filmmaking, nationhood and state-building; Vanuatu, Melanesia, Oceania
D. Y. H. Wu, PhD—cultural anthropology, ethnicity, anthropology of food; China and Chinese diaspora
D. Yen, PhD— ethnobotany; Oceania, Southeast Asia
H. Young Leslie, PhD—cultural construction of health, medical professionals and medical systems (across time and space), midwifery, gender, the body, development, qualitative methodologies, and women's material culture

Adjunct Faculty

J. Baker, PhD—medical and nutritional anthropology, anthropology of food, ethnopharmacology, science and technology studies; Oceania
N. I. Cooper, PhD—socio-cultural anthropology, performance, gender, expressive culture, ritual and religion; Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Java, Singapore
L. Gollin, PhD—edical 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
G. Pigliasco, PhD—cultural and legal anthropology, visual anthropology, ritual and performance commodification and tourism; Oceania, Fiji
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 four main subdisciplines: archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and physical anthropology. While physical 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, focusing especially on Asia and the Pacific. The training emphasizes field research; in any one year students are engaged in such projects as excavating an ancient religious temple on Tahiti, recording ritual life in rural Java, or analyzing the social system of a Japanese factory.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


Students must complete 31 credit hours, including these required courses:

  • ANTH 152, 210, 215, 215L and 490
  • Six 300- and 400-level courses

Three of the 300- and 400-level courses may be from related disciplines with prior approval of the student's advisor.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.



Students must complete 15 credits of upper division anthropology courses which include one theory course and one methods course. It is highly recommended that students take ANTH 300 (Study of Contemporary Problems) to complete the theory requirement. Alternatively, they may take any 400 level course designated as a theory course by the Department of Anthropology. Students must also take one upper division course designated as a methods course by the Department of Anthropology. Courses will be chosen by the student, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, to suit the student's needs and interests. Courses must be completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better.

Graduate Study

Intended candidates for the MA or PhD need not have an undergraduate background in anthropology. All applicants must submit to the department GRE General Test scores and three letters of recommendation at the time of application. 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.

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 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 graduate-level 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 comprehensive examination shall be administered in two parts: (a) a written examination, and (b) an oral exam, at which the student will be given the opportunity to clarify and amplify answers to the written component. The written exam will consist of one essay question submitted by each member of the student's committee. It will be closed-book; students will not be permitted to use notes or other aids. An allotment of three hours per question will be given. Scheduling will be flexible, but the total exam must be taken within a two week period.

The oral examination is expected to be scheduled 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. At the oral exam the student will be asked to explain and/or defend answers to the written component. 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.

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 the 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.

ANTH Courses