Major, Minor and Certificate Requirements

Requirements for specific majors, minors, and certificates are described in the program description sections of this Catalog. It is important for students to know that:

The Major

The major is an area of specialization, involving a sequence of coursework usually concentrated in a single academic discipline. Completion of a major is an essential component of a college education. At UH Hilo, students are expected to declare a major by the time they reach their junior year (i.e., have earned 55 credits). This is done by filing a Declaration/Change of Major/Program form, available from the Office of the Registrar or on the Office of the Registrar’s forms website. Students may change majors, though it may lengthen the time it takes to complete a degree. Students considering changing a major should first consult with an academic advisor in the new major.

Courses required for the major may also be used to fulfill the General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative requirements. These are described in the section in this catalog entitled “General Education Basic, Area, or Integrative Requirements.” Students who plan to graduate under the pre-Fall 2011 General Education, Writing Intensive, and Hawaiʻi-Asia-Pacific requirements will find these listed in the 2010-2011 university catalog. Please be aware that students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the major and that certain departments have imposed their own requirements for minimal grades, which will be indicated on their program descriptions.

Students may pursue more than one academic major, provided that the requirements for each major are satisfied. See the last section of this chapter for policies governing second degrees, concurrent degrees, and double majors.

The Minor

An academic minor, earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree, is a sequence of courses enabling a student to specialize in a field of study but to a lesser extent than with a major program. In most cases, the choice to pursue a minor or not is a voluntary one. (An exception is the Natural Sciences degree, where a minor is required.) The academic minor is intended to provide the student with a certain competency in the subject but does not itself lead to a degree, nor would it ordinarily prepare a student for graduate study.

Requirements for minors are listed in the program description section of this Catalog. Students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the minor. Certain departments have imposed their own requirements for minimal grades, which will be indicated on their program descriptions. Before declaring their minor (through the Declaration/Change of Major/Program form), students should consult with an advisor in their desired minor area.

Certificate Programs

The University also offers a number of certificates, which are supplemental credentials available to students enrolled in an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree program, i.e., classified students, and to unclassified students already holding undergraduate or graduate credentials. Students enrolled solely for the purpose of obtaining an academic subject certificate will be regarded as unclassified for admission and enrollment purposes (Executive Policy E5.205, Section III.B.2). Students are urged to consult an advisor in the department sponsoring the certificate program and to signal their intent to pursue a certificate by completing the Declaration/Change of Major/Program form.