Major, Minor and Certificate Requirements
Requirements for specific majors, minors, and certificates are described in the program description sections of this Catalog. It is important for students to know that:
- Courses completed on an optional “credit/no credit” basis may not be used to satisfy the course requirements for a major, minor, or certificate.
- Students transferring into the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) , the College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS) , the College of Business and Economics (COBE) , or Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani/College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK) , regardless of the number of transfer credits accepted, must earn a minimum of 25 percent of the required credits for their majors, minors, and certificates at UH Hilo.
The 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. At UH Hilo, students are expected to declare a major by the time they reach their junior year (i.e., have earned 55 credits). This is done by filing a Declaration/Change of Major/Program form, available from the Office of the Registrar or on the Office of the Registrar’s forms website. Students may change majors, though it may lengthen the time it takes to complete a degree. Students considering changing a major should first consult with an academic advisor in the new major.
Courses required for the major may also be used to fulfill the General Education Core and Integrative requirements. These are described in the section in this catalog entitled “General Education and Integrative Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree.” Students who plan to graduate under previous year General Education, Writing Intensive, and Hawaiʻi-Asia-Pacific requirements will find these listed in the university catalog for the appropriate academic year being followed and can be found on the Back Issues page. Please be aware that students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the major and that certain departments have imposed their own requirements for minimal grades, which will be indicated on their program descriptions.
Students may pursue more than one academic major, provided that the requirements for each major are satisfied. See the last section of this chapter for policies governing second degrees, concurrent degrees, and double majors.
An academic minor, earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree, is a sequence of courses enabling a student to specialize in a field of study but to a lesser extent than with a major program. In most cases, the choice to pursue a minor or not is a voluntary one. (An exception is the Natural Sciences degree, where a minor is required.) The academic minor is intended to provide the student with a certain competency in the subject but does not itself lead to a degree, nor would it ordinarily prepare a student for graduate study.
Requirements for minors are listed in the program description section of this Catalog. Students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the minor. Certain departments have imposed their own requirements for minimal grades, which will be indicated on their program descriptions. Before declaring their minor (through the Declaration/Change of Major/Program form), students should consult with an advisor in their desired minor area.
The University also offers a number of undergraduate subject certificates, which are supplemental credentials available to students enrolled in an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree program, i.e., classified students, and to unclassified students already holding undergraduate or graduate credentials. Students enrolled solely for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate subject certificate will be regarded as unclassified for admission and enrollment purposes (Executive Policy E5.205, Section III.B.2). Students are urged to consult an advisor in the department sponsoring the certificate program and to declare their intent to pursue a certificate by completing the Declaration/Change of Major/Program form.