General Education Requirements

Undergraduate General Education Requirements for Academic Year 2018-Current

Effective Fall 2018, UH Hilo will be adopting the UH System General Education core in the blocks of Foundations and Diversification requirements. Students entering UH Hilo in Fall 2018 or later will be required to complete the GE requirements below.

Students who entered UH Hilo prior to Fall 2018 will continue to complete the GE Requirements listed on the 2011-2018 General Education Requirements page. Please see your academic advisor for questions on which GE applies to your situation.

What is General Education?

The degree you receive is more than just a piece of paper. It is a symbol of the quality of the education that you received. The faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo believe students benefit most from a well-rounded education that exposes them not only to what they need to know but also how to think critically and interact effectively with the world around them. This means you should take a wide range of courses that go beyond just your major or area of concentration and be open to pushing your intellectual boundaries beyond your comfort zone. In fact, a quality general education will help you be the most effective you can be as an active citizen of your community, as an employee, as a leader, and as a family member.

GE Components

There are four components to UH Hilo General Education (GE) Requirements beginning Fall 2018:

All Courses that are certified as GE courses must:

  • List course learning outcomes for students on the course syllabus.
  • Meet all Hallmarks (e.g., for Humanities, Language Arts, Natural Sciences) to which the course applies.
  • Address one or more learning outcomes from the Critical Thinking category of the UH Hilo GE Comprehensive Goals and Learning Outcomes.
  • Include rigorous written (or quantitative, where appropriate) assignments that assess the student learning outcomes. The assignments should total at minimum the equivalent of five (5) double-spaced, typed pages, or 1,250 words.

Fall 2018-Present UH Hilo Requirements

Foundations Requirements

Foundations Requirements are intended to give students skills and perspectives that are fundamental to undertaking higher education.

Students typically complete Foundations requirements during their first year at UH Hilo.

  • Students who transfer to UH Hilo having completed the Foundations requirements at another UH System school are considered to have fulfilled UH Hilo Foundations requirements.

  • Courses taken to fulfill the Foundations requirements may not be used to fulfill Diversification, Structural, or Integrative requirements.

FW: Written Communication: 3 Credits
Written Communication courses introduce students to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and composing from sources. Courses also provide students with experiences in the library and on the internet and enhance their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.
FQ: Quantitative Reasoning: 3 Credits
Quantitative Reasoning courses develop mathematical reasoning skills at the college level. Students apply mathematical concepts to the interpretation and analysis of quantifiable information in order to solve a wide range of problems arising in pure and applied research in specific disciplines, professional settings, and/or daily life.
FG: Global and Multicultural Perspectives: 6 Credits
Global and Multicultural Perspectives courses provide thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives. Students will gain a sense of human development from prehistory to modern times through consideration of narratives and artifacts from diverse cultures. At least one component of each of these courses will involve the indigenous cultures of Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, or Asia.
  • To satisfy this requirement, students must take a total of six credits; the six credits must come from two different groups comprised of FGA, FGB, or FGC.

Diversification Requirements

Diversification requirements are intended to assure that every student has exposure to different domains of academic knowledge, while at the same time allowing flexibility in choice of courses for students with different goals and interests.

Students can complete Diversification requirements over the full four years of their academic program. Students may satisfy the Diversification requirements by taking approved courses for which they meet course prerequisites.

  • Students who transfer to UH Hilo having completed the Diversification requirements at another UH System school are considered to have fulfilled UH Hilo Diversification requirements.

  • Some courses that satisfy Diversification requirements may also simultaneously satisfy Structural, Integrative, and/or major requirements. (See the "Can a single course satisfy more than one requirement?" table below.)

DA, DH, DL: Arts, Humanities and Literature: 6 Credits
These courses use the terminology of the visual, performing, or creative arts; or of the study of philosophy, language, communication, or religion; or of literary representations.
  • To satisfy this requirement, students must take six credits; the six credits must include two of the three different areas: Arts “DA,” Humanities “DH,” and Literature “DL.”
DB: Biological Science, DP: Physical Science and DY: Science Laboratory: 7 Credits
Natural Sciences courses use the terminology of the biological or physical sciences, involve the knowledge and theories relating to processes in the physical sciences, and demonstrate inquiry that involves observation/experiment and reasoning/mathematics.
  • To satisfy this requirement, students must take three credits in Biological Science “DB,” three credits in Physical Science “DP,” and one credit of Science Laboratory “DY.”
DS: Social Science: 6 Credits
Social Sciences courses use the terminology of theories, structures, or processes in the social or psychological sciences; involve concepts, models, practices, or issues of concern in the scientific study of these theories, structures, or processes, and demonstrate inquiry that is guided by quantitative and/or qualitative methods employed in the scientific study of structures or processes of these sciences.
  • To satisfy this requirement, students must take a total of six credits from two different departments/alphas.

Structural Requirements

GLA: Language Arts: 3 Credits
Language Arts courses show students how language operates at a structural, functional, and social level; engage students in the in the process of constructing, analyzing, and employing language; teach students techniques and forms that constitute effective communication of ideas, facts and information; and require students to show proficiency in analyzing and/or demonstrating modes of communication.
GQR: Quantitative Reasoning II: 3 Credits
Quantitative Reasoning enable students to understand the use of mathematical or symbolic concepts as representations of real world events and phenomena; require students to develop skills in chains of reasoning from data to conclusions; and require students to develop skills in problem-solving using mathematical or symbolic concepts and techniques.

Integrative Requirements

WI. Writing Intensive: 3 Courses, between 3 to 9 credits total

HPP. Hawaiʻi Pan-Pacific: 3 Credits
Hawaiʻi Pan-Pacific courses investigate major aspects of the culture, language, economy, history, or natural environment of Hawaiʻi or of another indigenous culture or nation or region of the Pan Pacific region and foster critical understanding of different cultural perspectives, values, and world views and the ability to acquire additional knowledge about these.
GCC. Global and Community Citizenship: 3 Credits
Global and Community Citizenship courses enhance awareness of local and global community and environmental issues; stress application of knowledge and skills to solving community or environmental challenges and/or benefiting the community through course conducted workshops; encourage interaction with community, business and/or government sectors in order to effect positive change; encourage students to become informed and active participants in their communities; and include a field work, community workshop, service-learning component, or a research-based project that utilizes field work to explore ways in which one can contribute to the good of the global and/or local community.

Can a single course be counted towards more than one category?

Requirement: Foundation Diversification Structural Integrative
Foundation -- No No No
Diversification No -- No Yes
Structural No No -- Yes
Integrative No Yes Yes --

Can a single course be certified in more than one category?

  • Courses holding Foundations Certification in any category may not hold any additional certifications, including Writing Intensive.
  • Courses holding Diversification Certification in any category may also hold certification in Structural or Integrative categories and be Writing Intensive. Please see chart for how students may double count a course.