Graduate Student Handbook

Application Requirements

The following requirements are the minimum requirements for any UH Hilo graduate program. Particular graduate programs’ requirements may differ from the minimum. Therefore, prospective students must also check the requirements of their program of interest.

Applicants applying for admission to graduate programs must submit the following items directly to the Graduate Division, please see the program admission guide for the program you are applying to on how to submit each required item:

  1. A completed application form and appropriate fee. The application form and fee information are available online. Application deadlines for graduate programs differ from deadlines posted for undergraduate programs. Priority deadlines for graduate programs are posted on the graduate division website.
  2. One official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution or submitted by the applicant in a sealed institutional envelope if accompanying the application. Official electronic transcripts are acceptable if sent directly from the institution to Official transcripts from within the UH system are not required.
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination scores or other qualifying test scores as determined by the program (check admissions requirements in each program description).
  4. A minimum of three letters of recommendation attesting to the academic ability or other qualifications of the applicant.
  5. Statement of academic and/or long range goals.

International Applicants

In addition to the above requirements, international applicants must submit:

  1. International applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not attained a baccalaureate or higher degree from an English-speaking institution, also must submit TOEFL or Cambridge IELTS scores.
  2. Verification of financial status using the Confidential Financial Statement Form (PDF)
  3. International students and students who attended colleges outside of the U.S. and whose transcripts are in languages other than English must submit official academic records in the original language accompanied by certified English translations. These translations must bear the embossed seal or inked stamp of the issuing institution or government agency and the original signature of the translator. Translations must be complete and exact word-for-word translations of the original documents. International applicants with a Grade Point Average of less than a B (or equivalent) in their undergraduate work or less than a B in 12 or more credits of post-baccalaureate work are not eligible for admission.

More information for International Students can be found at: International Graduate Students

Minimum Qualifications for Acceptance

Baccalaureate Degree

Each applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher learning. The standards of the degree in question must be equivalent in scholarship requirements to those maintained in the undergraduate program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required for some applicants for consideration of acceptance. Some programs may require a professional test specific to the program of study in lieu of the GRE for admission purposes. Minimum scores on the GRE or professional tests are set individually for each program. Applicants for master’s degree programs who have completed a graduate program at a regionally-accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a recognized non-U.S. institution are not required to submit GRE scores.

Applicants for doctoral programs should check with the specific program to see if submission of the GRE is required.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or Cambridge IELTS)

In addition to above requirements, an applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency as a partial admissions requirement. Evidence of proficiency in English is successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper version), 213 (computer version), or 79 (internet version). The minimum Cambridge IELTS score is 6.0. Applicants who have baccalaureate degrees from English-speaking institutions are exempt from the TOEFL and Cambridge IELTS requirement.

International Transcripts

Transcripts from international institutions where a bachelor’s degree was awarded must be submitted to a transcript evaluation service. Transcript Evaluation Services

Please plan ahead to allow adequate time for processing of the evaluation of international transcripts, which may take a month or longer.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent from the last 60 semester credits (or equivalent) in the undergraduate degree completed, or must hold a graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in his/her graduate program.

Please note: The meeting of minimum requirements does not assure acceptance into a UH Hilo graduate degree program. Acceptance into a graduate program is competitive and decided upon by each individual graduate program.

An applicant whose GPA in the last 60 semester credits (or equivalent) falls between 2.75 and 2.99 on a 4.0 scale may be eligible for provisional acceptance. See the Classification of Students section for more information.