Graduate Division

Admission Guide: Heritage Management, MA

Guide to Completing the Application for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Master of Arts in Heritage Management
Program Website:
Entry Term: Fall

Priority Deadline: January 15
Final Deadline: May 1

The next cohort for the MA in Heritage Management will begin in Fall 2025. Applications are not being accepted for 2024.

Program Purpose and Goals

The master’s degree in Heritage Management is designed for students who seek heritage-related careers in a multitude of government agencies, private-sector consulting firms, educational institutions, and various other organizations engaged in the interpretation, preservation, and perpetuation of cultural heritage (such as heritage centers and museums). We emphasize heritage training in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands but will contextualize these regional specializations globally.

Program Objectives

  • Create a workforce of historic preservationists who are committed to the long-term management of Oceanic cultural resources;
  • Increase the representation of descendant communities in leadership positions in heritage management;
  • Assist community planners in more sensitive treatment of traditional cultural properties, human burials, sacred sites, ancient habitation sites, agricultural systems, and trails;
  • Provide training to meet the federal professional standards for archaeologists as defined in 36 CFR Part 61;
  • Provide training to meet the professional qualifications of principal investigators as defined in Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules (HAR) 13-281 for conducting archaeological fieldwork and for conducting cultural impact assessments.

Participants of the program will

  • Perform community-based research in heritage management;
  • Develop skills in archaeology, cultural impact assessment, and collections management related to heritage management;
  • Prepare a thesis project based on original field research and internships;
  • Present results in oral and written publications;
  • Interpret and critique heritage literature.

M.A. Application Checklist

Uploaded with your Online Application in the Documents Tab

  • Personal statement of objectives including applicant’s planned area of community-based heritage research.
  • A writing sample demonstrating the candidate’s technical writing skills. This could include a copy of an undergraduate term paper of at least 10 pages, an undergraduate thesis, a community grant application, or a professional report prepared primarily by the candidate.
  • Resume/CV

Requested in the Online Application Recommendations Tab

  • 3 Recommendations from academic and/or professional referees.

Sent Directly to the UH Hilo Graduate Division

  • Official transcripts sent directly from all non-UH system colleges or universities you have attended.
  • Official transcripts from UH system institutions will be pulled via STAR.
  • We recommend certified electronic transcripts sent directly from your institution to the UH Hilo Graduate Division-
  • Baccalaureate degree transcripts from international institutions must be submitted to an independent transcript evaluation service.
  • Hard Copy transcripts should be mailed to:

    UH Hilo Graduate Division
    200 W. Kawili Street
    COBE Building, Room 201
    Hilo, HI 96720

  • For international applicants

GRE Testing

As of the Fall of 2021, the Heritage Management program is not requesting GRE scores.

Application Process

Applications will be examined beginning Jan. 15 for admission to the following Fall semester. After Jan. 15, applications will be accepted on a space available basis until May 1. The UH Hilo Graduate Division receives applications and supporting documents and maintains the applications through final notification.

Applications that meet the admission criteria will be forwarded to the Anthropology Graduate Admissions Committee for a comprehensive review and consideration for admission into the program. Admission decisions made by the committee will be forwarded to the Graduate Division which sends the final notification to the applicant.

Admission Status

The applicant’s admission status is valid only for the semester to which the applicant is accepted. Applications for students who do not register or who withdraw from the University are voided but retained for a period of two (2) years. Students may reapply for admission to the next year by submitting a new application to the Admissions Office with the application fee.

Eligibility Criteria for Admission

Acceptance is granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee based on the six criteria listed below. An applicant must:

  1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited US institution or from a nationally recognized foreign institution.
  2. In her/his personal statement, list advisor(s) from the Heritage Management M.A. faculty who agrees to sponsor the application and to serve as primary advisor upon acceptance to the program. Also, the personal statement should describe the proposed community-based research project that the applicant intends to complete for their thesis.
  3. Have a grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 = A scale) or the equivalent in the last four semesters of approximately 60 semester credits of undergraduate and/or in all post- baccalaureate work. Candidates with less than a 3.0 GPA may still be considered if they can demonstrate additional post- baccalaureate professional development that compensates for the GPA.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation from references who have observed or supervised the applicant’s performance and are able to comment on the quality of the applicant’s academic achievement, ability to pursue graduate study, and general character.
  5. Earn a score of 550 TOEFL (paper based), 213 (computer based) or 79 (internet based), or 6.0 IELTS (for students who have not attended an English language university, or for whom English is not the primary language).

Recommended coursework prior to admission

  • Major or minor in Anthropology, Hawaiian Studies, or History;
  • 1 year of non-English language related to proposed thesis project;
  • Mastery of undergraduate courses in writing and technical writing

Transfer of Credits

Requests for transfer of graduate credits must be made during the first semester in which the student is enrolled in the program. Only credit hours with a grade of B or better from accredited universities are transferable. Transfer credit hours must have been completed within five years preceding the date upon which the advanced degree is to be conferred by UH Hilo, and must not have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. The Heritage Management program will decide which credits will be transferred.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Mills , Ph.D.
Director Heritage Management MA Program and Professor, Anthropology
Ph: (808) 932-7268

For questions regarding the application process, contact:
Cheri Kelii-Marumoto
UH Hilo Graduate Division
Ph: (808) 932-7897

Required Courses (36 Credits)

Core Courses (Required for all HM MA Students):
ANTH 600 Thesis Design, Method, Theory (3)
ANTH 601 Ethics of Heritage Management (3)
ANTH 602 Historic Preservation Laws (3)
ANTH 603 Qualitative & Quant. Methods (3)

Note: All MA candidates must have completed one year of coursework in a language, or pass a language exam for a non-English language related to their thesis. Language credits, if needed are not counted towards completion of the MA degree.

Topical Course Electives (Choose 1):
ANTH 611 Cultural Impact Assessments (3)
ANTH 612 Indigenous Museum Studies (3)
ANTH 613 Human Paleoecology (3)
ANTH 614 Submerged Cultural Resources (3)

Area Electives (Choose 1):
ANTH 623 Archaeology of Oceania (3)
ANTH 624 Archaeology of Hawaiʻi (3)
ANTH 625 Pacific Heritage Management (3)
ANTH 694 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)

Applied Analytical Methods (Choose 2):
ANTH 631 Oral History Research (3)
ANTH 632 Paleobotanical Methods (3)
ANTH 633 Material Conservation (3)
ANTH 634 Lithic Analysis (3)
ANTH 635 Human Osteology (3)
ANTH 699 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged)

Thesis and Internship Courses:
ANTH 690 Heritage Management Internship (3) (6 Credits Required)
ANTH 700 Thesis Research (1–6) (6 Credits Required)

Tuition Schedule

Students in this program pay the Graduate Tuition Rate. Resident and Non-Resident rates are available.

UH Hilo Tuition Schedule
UH Hilo Fees Schedule

Total Credits in Program: 36 Credits

Students are charged tuition on a per credit hour basis up until 12 credits per semester.

For financial aid assistance, please contact:
UH Hilo Financial Aid Office:
Ph: (808) 932-7449

Native Hawaiian students who need assistance with applications and/or scholarships please contact:
Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center:
Ph: (808) 932-7418

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to find a faculty sponsor?
Yes, you are required to contact individual faculty members whose research interests are similar to your own and who agree to sponsor your application to the program. It is recommended that you begin faculty contact well before the application deadline. Faculty sponsorship is required for program acceptance.

How do I find a faculty sponsor?
Heritage Management faculty information can be found below and on the Anthropology Department website.

** How long does it take to complete the program?**
The M.A. is designed to be completed in 4 semesters with the summer between the first and second year devoted to the completion of thesis field work.

What are the entrance requirements?
See Check List and Criteria for Admission on the first page of this form.

Do I have to take the GRE?
No, the Heritage Management program is no longer requiring that GRE scores be submitted.

Can I transfer credits?
Yes, up to 6 credits, subject to program approval.

When will the program start?
Classes for new students begin in the fall semester of odd numbered years.

How much will it cost to live in Hilo?
You should budget approximately $31,000 per year (residents of Hawaiʻi) and $44,000 (non-residents) for tuition, books, housing, food, and personal expenses. More information can be found on the Cost of Attendance page.

Heritage Management Faculty

Joseph Genz
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Ph.D., UH Mānoa, Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Impact Assessment, Voyaging and Navigation

Kathleen Kawelu Associate Professor, Anthropology
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Hawaiian Archaeology, Community-based archaeology

Peter Mills
Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Archaeology, Historical Archaeology

Lynn Morrison
Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Medical Anthropology, Human Osteology

Christopher Reichl
Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, Japanese Studies

Tarisi Vunidilo
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Auckland

Affiliate Faculty

Eileen “Momi” Naughton
Director, Heritage Center
Hawaiʻi Community College, Kō Education Center
Ph.D., Simon Fraser University
Cultural Anthropology, Heritage Interpretation and Preservation