Admission of International Students

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

International students may apply to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo either as a graduate from high school or as a transfer student from another college or university. International applicants must fulfill all requirements for admission as well as comply with the regulations of the United States Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

All documents, forms and/or test scores, should be received by June 1 for the Fall semester and November 1 for the Spring semester. Applicants who require the F-1 or J-1 student visa are encouraged to submit complete applications by May 1 for Fall and October 1 for Spring.

The online application, or the University of Hawaiʻi system application form, is required. International applicants who require the F-1 or J-1 student visa must also submit the Supplemental Information Form. The financial support requirement is $36,000 US. This amount includes an estimated cost for health insurance which is required of all international students enrolled at the University.

Applicants must present evidence of having completed secondary school. Such evidence may include an official copy of secondary school academic records, and/or certificates of the results of qualifying examinations and certified true copies of mark sheets. All documents must be in English. For applicants applying from international high schools, admission is based on above average performance (75%) in high school and/or qualifying examinations. For applicants applying from international colleges or universities, admission is based on a 70% average. Students who have attended college less than one year should also submit their secondary school academic records. Course descriptions in English are required to complete the transfer credit evaluation.

Applicants whose native language is not English may choose to submit the results of the Cambridge, EIKEN, IELTS, SAT/ACT, TOEFL or an equivalent national examination taken in their home country. Information about the TOEFL may be found at, at local United States embassy or consulate offices, or by writing directly to Test of English as a Foreign Language, Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, USA. Applicants who meet the academic admission requirements and have a test of English score of TOEFL 500/equivalent may be admitted directly into a degree program at the University. Applicants who meet the academic admission requirements and have an equivalent score below 500, as well as those who choose not to submit test scores, may be admitted first to the UH Hilo English Language Institute (ELI).

During orientation, at UH Hilo non-native speakers of English take the English Language Placement Assessment and the Writing Placement Assessment. The results guide and inform course selection prior to registration. For students admitted to the ELI, the assessment results determine the placement level in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. ELI students are registered in the ESL courses prescribed for them, and, they may enroll in up to two regular University courses with the consent of both the ELI director and the course instructor.

The United States government and the State of Hawaiʻi do not grant financial aid to F-1 or J-1 students. There are a limited number of UH Hilo institutional scholarships available to international students. After enrollment, those who establish a record of academic excellence may be eligible to apply for available institutional aid. Students from COFA Pacific island nations are eligible for U.S. federal financial aid.