Master’s Plan B

Plan B

The Plan B degree program provides students with a non-thesis opportunity for graduate research and study in Asian or Polynesian religions. Plan B is designed for students who wish to articulate the results of their research in innovative ways using various available technologies. In place of a thesis, the culminating requirement is a Plan B Project, an original research project as described below. 30 credits are required.

Master’s Plan B Procedures

  1. Preliminary conference with the graduate chair for the purpose of determining an advisor, proposed courses to fulfill the requirements, and the foreign language for the degree.
  2. Candidacy for Plan B students requires a memo from the graduate chair indicating that 12 graduate credits, including REL 600, have been taken with a GPA of 3.0 or better and that the student has prepared a preliminary proposal and secured the support of two graduate faculty members from the Department of Religion to serve on their committee. Committee members will have the responsibility of approving, supervising, and evaluating the project as completed in REL 688 (Plan B Research).
  3. Completion of a research project demonstrating a critical understanding of religion in a particular area of Asia or the Pacific or of a topic within the overall region. The project should reveal original insights into selected religious phenomena or area of concentration. Students will be expected to present the results of their research in innovative ways that utilize the arts, various media, or developing technologies, and thereby show their relevance to scholarly discourse. Research projects will be presented in a public forum during the student’s final semester.

Required courses (6 credits)

Area requirements (9 credits)

Students must take at least three 600 level courses in a particular region of Asian or in Polynesian religions.

Electives (15 credits)

Electives consist of any religion course (400 level and above, excluding 499), other than those that fulfill program and area requirements. Two complementary graduate courses (3 credits each) from other disciplines may be accepted at the discretion of the advisor and graduate chair. No more than two 400-level courses may be used to satisfy this requirement.


To achieve mastery of a language at the second-year level, students are required to complete two years of a language appropriate to their area of specialization (e.g., Chinese, Hawaiian, Hindi, Japanese, Sanskrit, Samoan, Tahitian, or another Asian or Polynesian language approved by the area advisor) with a minimum B-minus grade in the fourth semester of class.

This language requirement will be waived for students demonstrating language proficiency by an equivalency exam. These exams will be set by the student’s advisor and assessed by two faculty readers (one from the religion department and one from the department in which the language is taught). Language courses will not count toward the 30 credits required for an MA in religion.

See UH Mānoa Official Catalog for complete details.