Admissions for International Students

International StudentsPhoto credit: Raiatea Arcuri / UH Hilo Stories

Welcome to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo! We are proud to be recognized as the most diverse four-year university in the United States. Our central location in the Pacific, history of being home to many cultures, and the genuine expression of aloha spirit on our campus makes us an ideal location for international students looking for an American education in a safe, welcoming environment. We look forward to welcoming you to our island home.

UH Hilo International Application Checklist

Please submit the following documents (required):

Apply Online

  • No application fee
  • High School transcript - if recent high school graduate (Official copy in English)
  • College transcript - if transferring from a college with 24 credits or more (Official copy in English)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Supplemental Information Form for International Students
  • Current copy of financial sponsor's bank statement, or Bank verification (Supplemental Information Form Section C. III) The financial support requirement is $37,080 for one year

Once you submit your application, you will be able to:

  • Log into your student portal and view application status
  • Download/Print your application.

Other / Related (not required):

  • TOEFL or IELTS score (students with no score will be admitted to the English Language Institute)
    • The student examinee copy of the test results can be faxed to Admissions. This will speed the processing of your application while we wait for the official copies to arrive.
  • SAT or ACT test results (if you have)
  • Copies of current Form I-20 and F-1 student visa (if currently enrolled)
  • Number of dependents traveling with you if any

Please contact Yukiko Izumi International Admissions Counselor for assistance with the application process.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: May 1st
  • Spring: October 1st
  • Recommended dates for F-1 applicants and International Exchange students:
    • Fall: March 1st
    • Spring: October 1st

Prospective F-1 students are encouraged to apply early to allow time to complete the visa application process. Once a student has been accepted they must apply for an F-1 visa, complete I-901 Form and pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information) fee to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They then have to schedule an embassy interview, obtain the visa and travel to Hilo in time for orientation. More information on the visa application and the SEVIS fee can be accessed online at I-901 SEVIS Fee website .

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo is based on a review of your secondary school record. We will review your class selection, trend of your academic history, and standardized test scores that you provide.

Grade Requirements: 2.7 academic grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. This is the equivalent of a B or higher. If you have questions about how to interpret the grading system in your country, please contact the Admissions Office. Secondary school transcripts should be sent directly from the schools to the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo Admissions Office.

High School Course Requirements

  • Three classes of Math (including Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II)
  • Three classes of Natural Science (including Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or other)
  • Seven classes of college preparatory classes such as social sciences, foreign languages, mathematics and science

Standardized Test Requirement: The submission of a standardized test is not required for admission. However, by submitting the results of the SAT, ACT, IB Baccalaureate Diploma, or General Certificate of Education A levels, students can possibly receive college credit or be exempted from English language requirements.

Transfer Students:

Students transferring from community colleges, colleges, or universities in the U.S. must meet the transfer requirements required for all transfer students.

Students transferring from colleges or universities outside of the U.S. should have completed 24 college-level semester credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for admission. Transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended must be submitted before an admissions decision will be made. If coursework is in progress, a final transcript must be sent as soon as it becomes available after the term is completed.

Students who have less than 24 semester credit hours will be considered for admission using the requirements as stated for high school seniors. High school transcripts should be sent directly from each institution to our office.


Transcripts from all previous schools and colleges are required. Official transcripts must be sent directly from each school to the Admissions Office. Money orders, checks, transcripts, as well as other required documents should be mailed to:

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
200 W. Kāwili St.
Hilo, HI 96720-4091 USA
Attn: Admissions Office

Tuition & Expenses

See the estimated costs for international students in 2023-24.

Pacific Island Exemption: Citizens of an eligible Pacific Island district, commonwealth, territory, or insular jurisdiction, state, or nation which does not provide public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees may be allowed to pay 150% of the resident tuition. These currently include the following: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Futuna, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis. See the required documentation to qualify for the exemption.

English Proficiency

Applicants who are non-native speakers of English may submit an official copy of their TOEFL, IELTS, Eiken, Duolingo, SAT, or ACT or an equivalent national exam, such as the international baccalaureate or A level exams, to the Admissions Office. Students with a test score of TOEFL iBT 61, TOEFL Paper-delivered 46 (total score), IELTS 5.5, or Eiken 2A or Duolingo 90 may be admitted directly into a degree program at UH Hilo providing the academic requirements have been met. Students submitting an SAT EBRW of 525 or higher, or a combined ACT English and Reading score of 40 with neither section being below 18, may be directly admitted into a degree program.

Students who, at the time of enrollment, will have completed three years of full-time schooling with English as a medium of instruction at a middle school, high school, college, or university in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States, are not required to provide an English test score to be directly admitted into a degree program. Documentation of all three years is required.

Applicants who meet the academic requirements but have no test results, or test results below the scores listed above, may be admitted first into the English Language Institute (ELI) to prepare for study in a degree program at the University.

Once students arrive at UH Hilo, unless exempted based on test scores or transfer credit, non-native speakers of English must take the English Language Placement Assessment and the Writing Placement Assessment. Student performance in these tests will determine course placement.