About UH Hilo

This is content from the Catalog 2019–2020 back issue. Please visit the current catalog for current information.

Chancellor’s Message

Chancellor Bonnie Irwin Aloha, UH Hilo Students,

Welcome to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Here at UH Hilo, you will find classes that support a wide range of liberal arts and professional programs as well as graduate and doctoral programs. Our courses are the foundation of curricula that will prepare you well to make lifelong contributions to your community, the state, and the world as you build a prosperous future.

Your classwork, co-curricular activities, and recreational time at UH Hilo will be greatly enriched by our diverse university community of local, mainland and international students, all living and learning together. The surrounding island community, rooted in a history of agriculture, is one of the most ethnically diverse in the country. Most importantly, living in an indigenous island host culture, we seek to ensure that everything we do is infused with Native Hawaiian values of cultural knowledge and language.

The island landscape, too, is extraordinarily diverse with snow-capped mountains, windy deserts, lush rainforests, endangered coral reefs, protective estuaries, active volcanoes and more. This unique diversity in culture and geography makes Hawaiʻi Island the perfect “living laboratory” for students at UH Hilo.

  • Nursing, psychology, teaching, pharmaceutical sciences and other key programs are contributing greatly to the health and well-being of our island people and communities.
  • Interdisciplinary STEM programs—astronomy, math, chemistry, biology, marine science and more—produce graduates who are flexible in developing a professional life on our island home.
  • Humanities disciplines are in sync with our local community’s need for professionals in culture and the arts, language and communications.
  • Agricultural programs are preparing agriculturalists to address the pressing need for our state to move toward sustainable food systems.
  • The business and economics program offers one of only two AACSB-accredited business administration degree programs in the state of Hawaiʻi, preparing entrepreneurs to lead us into the future.

In addition to classroom study, you will have many opportunities for internships, collaborative research with your professors, and community outreach. These are the kinds of experiences that will enhance your professional prospects and personal growth.

On behalf of the UH Hilo ʻohana (family), I’m very pleased to welcome you to the UH Hilo campus community and wish you every success in your educational endeavors.


Bonnie Irwin