Know the Basics!
The University of Hawai'i is comprised of 6 colleges, five of which, award degrees. Those colleges are:
- College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM)
- College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
- College of Business and Economics (COBE)
- Ka Haka 'Ula O Ke'elikolani College of Hawaiian Language (CHL)
- College of Pharmacy (COP)
- College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS)
Undergraduate students, like yourselves, will earn a degree from one of the first 4 colleges listed. The College of Pharmacy is a professional school that does not admit first-time freshmen. Summer School Classes are coordinated by the College of Continuing Education and Community Service.Do you know to which college you belong?
UH Hilo is a "semester" school, meaning the academic year is divided into 2 main terms: Fall and Spring. UH Hilo also offers a summer term, but not all students opt to attend classes during summer.
The fall semester runs from August to December. The spring semester runs from January to May. Exact dates can be found in the academic calendar, which is printed in the university catalog and posted online on the Office of the Registrar's website.
The academic calendar is important because it contains important dates and deadlines for the semester.
"Credits" is a term you will hear used a lot in college. Sometimes, you'll hear the term "semester hours". It means the same thing as "credits".
Courses are assigned semester credit values based on the minimum number of hours of study per week required of the students both in and outside of the classroom or laboratory, so a 1-credit class may require less study and "homework" than a 3-credit class.
Courses typically range from 1-4 credits, however MOST classes are 3 credits. On occasion, you may see a class that is worth more than 4 credits.
"Full-Time" means one must enroll in at least 12 credits. If you are registered for less than 12 credits during a semester, you will be considered a part-time student.
To be on track to graduate in 4 years, you need to take an average of 15 credits per semester. Students will usually not be allowed to register for more than 18 credits per semester, but it is possible with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better and the written permission of your faculty advisor and your college dean.
At UH Hilo, students are divided into groups based on the number of credits they have completed. Use the following list to see which group you fall into this first semester:
- Freshmen (0-24 semester hours/credits COMPLETED)
- Sophomores (25-54 semester hours/ credits COMPLETED)
- Juniors (55-88 semester hours/credits COMPLETED)
- Seniors (89 or more semester hours/credits COMPLETED)
A 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. Students may change majors, though it may lengthen the time it takes to complete a degree and students are advised to first consult with a faculty advisor in the new major before making the formal change.
An academic minor can only be earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree and is also a sequence of courses enabling a student to specialize in a field of study, but to a lesser extent than a major. A minor is optional and cannot be earned alone.
Academic subject certificates are also offered at UH Hilo and may or may not be earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree, depending upon the certificate. A certificate also requires the completion of a prescribed course of academic study in a specific area.