The Catalog, Course Numbering, Special Courses

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Course Catalog

The university catalog describes each of the degree-granting colleges and each department and degree program in terms of mission, emphases, career preparation, and other distinctive characteristics. Each department/program listing includes the course list and descriptions offered by that academic department or program.

The current university catalog is posted in entirety online. Issues back to the 1997-98 academic year are posted online as downloadable PDF's.


UH Hilo Website

The university’s website provides information on all programs and services offered by the university. In addition, each department and degree-granting program is assigned a webpage that provides current information on major, minor, and certificate requirements, as well as links to any special webpages maintained by the department. See the homepage for academic programs.

Course Numbering

In accordance with UH system practice, undergraduate courses at UH Hilo are numbered between 100 and 499; graduate courses at the master’s level are numbered 600-700, and those for research doctoral programs  701-799. More information can be found at the below link.

Special Topics (-94), Experimental (-97, -98), and Directed Reading (-99) Courses

UH Hilo Policy on Special Topics and Experimental Courses. In addition to courses listed in the University catalog and offered regularly by departments,special courses may be offered under -94 (special topics) and -97, -98 (experimental courses) numbers.

This policy is also posted at UH Hilo Academic Policies


-94: These are special topics courses, intended to allow faculty to offer courses on subjects of special interest on an occasional basis. A student can take a number of –94 courses, provided the content is different for each offering. The college dean must approve the listing of the –94 course number by a department, and a form describing the course, with syllabus, must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

-97, -98: These are experimental courses, numbered –97 when offered in the fall semester, -98 in the spring semester and summer term. The department submits a course proposal directly to the dean or director. Departments are strongly advised to integrate successful experimental courses into their regular offerings by way of the new course proposal process.

-99V: These are directed reading courses, designed by a student working with a professor. Together the two develop a course proposal, including a list of readings or performances, and means of evaluation; the proposal must be approved by a majority of the department faculty. The student and professor complete a directed reading form, the professor gets departmental approval, then the student submits the original form with signatures to the Office of the Registrar to register. The form is available in division and college offices.Description: DF Document

Special Constraints on Special Topics/Experimental Courses

Deadlines: 94, -97, and -98 course proposals must be submitted to the Registrar, with all proper signatures, by September 30 for offering in the following Spring semester, December 1 for the following summer session, and March 1 for the following Fall.

-94 special topics courses are intended to allow departments to take advantage of special circumstances, such as hosting a visiting professor with expertise in an area not represented in a department's regular course offerings. UH Hilo faculty may also offer a special topics course in an area of particular interest to the faculty member which is judged by the department not to be suitable for inclusion in the regular curriculum. Special topics classes require the approval of the Department and the Dean (and the Division Chair in units that have Division Chairs).

A course on the same special topic may be offered only twice. If the faculty member wishes to offer the same topic a third time, the course must go through the regular review process under an appropriate course number, so that it becomes a part of the curriculum. Students may take more than one -94 course provided the content is different for each offering.

-97 (Fall) and -98 (Spring/Summer) experimental courses are intended to allow a faculty member to teach a course to determine if it should be submitted to the curricular review process for inclusion in the regular curriculum. These courses must be approved by the Department and the Dean. These courses are to be offered only once using the -97 or -98 number (* see exceptional circumstances below); successful experimental courses may be integrated into the department's standard curriculum through the normal campus review process. The same course content may not be offered as both a Special Topics and Experimental Course.

Experimental or Special Topics classes should not be entered into Banner until the dean/college director has signed the form. Once it has been signed, the form should be sent to the Office of the Registrar.

* In cases where the unit decides to propose the course for inclusion in the regular curriculum but wishes to offer the course in the following semester (too soon for a complete campus curriculum review), the unit may offer the course one more time under the experimental number for the following semester as long as the formal regular campus curricular review process has been initiated. Review will have been initiated when the approval form has been completed and submitted to the first review body. In such circumstances, the in-process New Course Approval Form should be attached to the Special Topics/Experimental Course Proposal.

Rev 04/2016