Center for South Asian Studies | University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Graduate Study

Graduate Certificate in South Asian Studies

The Asian Studies Program offers graduate certificates to those students who want to focus on the region or on a particular South Asian country. Coordinated by the Center for South Asian Studies, the certificate program is tailored to serve graduate students on academic as well as professional tracks so that they may develop an expertise in the region or the country of choice. The program requirements include the demonstration of language competency at the intermediate (200) level.  Hindi and Sanskrit at the introductory and intermediate levels are offered through the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature.


MA in Asian Studies

The Master’s program in Asian Studies enables a student to study a particular geographical and cultural region of Asia. A student may concentrate on a particular country within South Asia or in the region as a whole. This geographical and cultural approach requires a study of the region from several disciplinary viewpoints.  Students are encouraged to tap into the broad range of research interests of the Center’s affiliate faculty, and the courses they offer. The director of the Center serves as the graduate student adviser.  MA students need to demonstrate proficiency in a South Asian language at the third-year (300) level. Hindi and Sanskrit are offered every semester at the introductory, intermediate, and third-year level through the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature.  Visit the Asian Studies Program for the requirements for a Master’s degree in Asian Studies. Students planning on entering a PhD program have the option of writing an MA thesis. A thesis is not compulsory for a Master’s degree.


MA or PhD in Other Disciplines with a South Asia Focus

South Asia-focused doctoral programs are available in anthropology, geography, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, public health, religion, sociology, theater, and tropical agriculture, and urban and regional planning. Students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in any of these fields should contact the appropriate department.



Graduate students specializing in India are encouraged to apply for the J. Watumull Scholarship for the Study of India. The scholarship is aimed at promoting the understanding of India among University of Hawai‘i students.  To be eligible for the scholarship, the students will need to submit well-developed proposals to study for a minimum of two months in India. The scholarship supports students in any area of study such as the visual and performing arts, history, philosophy, religion, and politics.  Graduate students enrolled in professional schools are eligible to apply.  Students are expected to be enrolled in courses at a recognized Indian institution or to be conducting pre-approved independent study overseen by a faculty member at UH in cooperation with a scholar in India. Students may also choose to participate in an approved study abroad program sponsored by another U.S. institution.  The scholarship is generously supported by the J. Watumull Fund.

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