UH Hilo Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy
On this page:
- Effective Dates
- UH Hilo Transfer Evaluation Procedures
- Part I: UH Hilo General Transfer Credit Guidelines
- Part II: UH Hilo General Education Transfer Guidelines
- Part III: WICHE Passport GE Transfer
- Appendix 1: GE Transfer in Alpha Equivalencies
Academic Policy 1-2023
Effective: August 1, 2023
1-2020: UH-Hilo Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy (August 2020)
4-2005: Transfer Credit Policy (November 2005)
2010-6: General Education Transfer (Fall 2011)
Download: Signed PDF Version
UH Hilo Transfer Evaluation Procedures
The intention of UH Hilo transfer policies and procedures is to maximize the utilization of coursework done at other accredited colleges and universities and minimize the loss of degree credits to facilitate the graduation path of transfer students.
The transfer evaluation provided to the student at the beginning of the student’s enrollment at UH Hilo will be entered into the student’s record and will not normally be subject to revision unless specific errors are found (e.g. misidentifying the number of credits for a course or giving a student credit for the same course taken at UH Hilo and also transferred from another institution).
However, revisions can be made if the student requests and is granted a Modification by the Chair of the Department in the case of a requirement in the major/minor/certificate or the appropriate Dean’s office in the case of a General Education and/or Integrative requirement.
Part I: UH Hilo General Transfer Credit Guidelines
UH Hilo will accept for transfer all courses successfully completed at any College or University in the United States which is accredited by its regional accrediting body (e.g. WSCUC) or which is recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education in a foreign country, or credit for courses earned by examination per the UH Hilo Catalog so long as the courses satisfy the following criteria:
- The course is at the baccalaureate level; within the UH System, this means that the course is at the 100 level or above (or equivalent scale)
- Courses completed with a minimum grade of "D" (not "D-") are accepted.
A course which has a discipline designation at the originating campus that corresponds to a discipline designation at UH Hilo will be transferred as course work in that discipline at the unless the Transfer Credit Evaluation identifies a more appropriate alpha based on course content.
If the transferred course has substantially the same course title and course description as a course at UH Hilo, or where a departmental articulation agreement so indicates, the course will be deemed to be equivalent to the UH Hilo course. If there is a question as to the equivalence of courses The Transfer Credit Evaluator will contact the appropriate Academic Department Chair for guidance about the UH Hilo course equivalency.
If equivalent alphas exist but there is no course equivalent at UH Hilo, courses will be transferred as [Discipline] lower division or [Discipline] upper division.
If no equivalent alpha or course exists at UH Hilo, the course will be designated as “elective” lower division or “elective” upper division and GE credit awarded at the discretion of the Transfer Credit Evaluator.
Departments will determine whether any transfer course does or does not fulfill any major/minor/certificate requirement, except where there is a clear equivalence between the transfer course and a UH Hilo course. Transfer students will be advised to see the Chair of their major/minor/certificate department for evaluation of any course that does not transfer as equivalent to a UH Hilo course but which the student believes should satisfy a major/minor/certificate requirement.
Part II: UH Hilo General Education Transfer Guidelines
Transfer courses are not subject to GE certification. Students who transfer to UH Hilo with an earned Associate of Arts (AA) degree or previous Bachelors Degree are considered to have fulfilled all Foundations, Diversification, and Structural requirements.
(The purpose of this policy is to simplify acceptance of transferred GE credits from other institutions in order to reduce unnecessary repetition of GE coursework that would create an impediment to graduation for transfer students.)
Transfer from within the UH system:
- Any course from within the University of Hawaiʻi System that has been certified for a Foundations or Diversification category at the originating campus will satisfy the same requirements at UH Hilo.
Transfer from outside of the UH system:
- A course which transfers as a specific UH Hilo course will earn all GE requirements the UH Hilo course satisfies
- Upper and lower division courses that do correspond to UH Hilo alphas may be assigned GE credit based on the attached list (Appendix A).
- Upper and lower division courses that do not correspond to a UH Hilo alpha course, but for which the course title and description indicates that it fulfills a General Education Foundation or Diversification requirement (e.g. Humanities 102; Ecology 206) will be awarded the appropriate GE credit at the discretion of the Transfer Credit Evaluator.
- Courses transferred from the quarter system as 2.66 credits will fulfill a 3 credit Foundation or Diversification requirement.
- Lab courses transferred in from the quarter system as .66 or .67 credit will fulfill a 1 credit Diversification Lab (DY) requirement.
- When in doubt, transfer evaluators will refer questions regarding GE Certification to the Dean of the college housing the course for evaluation.
UH Foundation requirements:
- FW (1 course): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as Freshman Composition (English 100, English 100T, ESL 100, ESL 100T ) will satisfy the FW: Written Communication requirement.
- FQ (1 course): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as Math will satisfy the FQ: Quantitative Reasoning requirement
- FG (2 courses): Courses whose titles/content indicate they focus on Global and/or Multicultural materials or issues (such as World Religions, Survey of World Music, World History, Performance Across Culture, etc.) will count. Two courses from either different disciplines or different time periods are required to satisfy the FW: Global and Multicultural requirement. When in doubt, transfer evaluators will refer courses to the Dean of the student’s college for evaluation.
UH Diversification requirements:
- DA, DH, DL (2 courses): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as Arts, Humanities, or Literature will count. Two courses from different categories (DA, DH, DL) are required to satisfy the DA, DH, DL: Arts, Humanities, Literature requirement.
- DS (2 courses): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as Social Science courses at any level will count. Two courses from different alphas or disciplines are required to satisfy the DS: Social Sciences requirement.
- DB, DP, DY (2 courses and 1 lab): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as any natural science will count. One Biology or Marine Biology or equivalent course will satisfy DB, one physical natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Environmental Science) or equivalent course will satisfy DP, and any lab course from either category (DB, DP) can be used to satisfy the DY requirement.
UH Hilo Structural requirements:
- GL (1 course): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as foreign or Hawaiian language, second level English writing (or equivalent), Linguistics courses at any level will satisfy the Language Arts requirement.
- GQR (1 course): Courses that transfer to UH Hilo as Math, Computer Science, Statistics, Symbolic Logic, Finances, Data Science, Geographic Information Systems, or other courses with demonstrable computational requirements will satisfy the GQR: Quantitative Reasoning B requirement.
UH Hilo Integrative Categories:
Transfer from within the UH system for WI and HPP Integrative Requirements:
- Any course from within the University of Hawaiʻi System that has been certified for Writing Intensive (WI) at the originating campus will satisfy the WI requirement at UH Hilo.
- Any course from within the University of Hawaiʻi System that has been certified for Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues (HAP), Hawaiʻi Emphasis (H or HI), or Pacific Cultures (PC) at the originating campus will satisfy the HPP requirement at UH Hilo.
Transfer from outside of the UH system for all Integrative requirements and for transfer within the UH system for the GCC requirement:
- A course which transfers as a specific UH Hilo course will satisfy all GE requirements the UH Hilo course satisfies, and may also be eligible to satisfy additional GE requirements.
- How courses will satisfy Integrative requirements depends not solely on the course's alpha, but on the course content. Please see descriptive notes below.
- Courses transferred from the quarter system as 2.66 credits will fulfill the Integrative requirement at UH Hilo.
- When in doubt, transfer evaluators will refer courses to the Dean of the student's college for evaluation.
- WI courses within the UH System will transfer as WI.
- Courses outside the UH System must document WI equivalency.
- If the sending institution has indicated on a student’s transcript that the course is Writing Intensive (or a related designation), the course will receive WI credit at UH Hilo.
- For courses that do not carry that designation, students will need to have a Modification of Academic Program in order for the course to count as WI. Such courses should be referred to the UH Hilo Writing Coordinator, who will confer with the Writing Intensive Committee to provide an evaluation.
- The WI requirement for transfer students varies depending upon year of entry and transfer credits accepted by UH Hilo. Only after final transfer credit evaluation can it be determined how many WI courses a transfer student must take and can be found in the UH Hilo Catalog.
- HPP (1 course): Courses whose titles/content indicate they focus on the culture, language, economy, history, or natural environment of Hawai'i or of another indigenous culture or nation or region of the Pan-Pacific region (Pacific or circum-Pacific areas) will satisfy the Hawaii-Pan Pacific requirement.
- GCC (1 course): Courses whose titles/content indicate that they fulfill the criteria for Global Community Citizenship will satisfy the GCC requirement. Global and Community Citizenship courses enhance awareness of local and global community and environmental issues; stress application of knowledge and skills to solving community or environmental challenges and/or benefiting the community through course conducted workshops; encourage interaction with community, business and/or government sectors in order to effect positive change; encourage students to become informed and active participants in their communities; and include a field work, community workshop, service-learning component, or a research-based project that utilizes field work to explore ways in which one can contribute to the good of the global and/or local community.
Part III: WICHE Passport GE Transfer
Effective Fall 2023
The WICHE Interstate Passport Program has ended.
UH Hilo was a member of the national Interstate Passport initiative with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that ended in 2023. The Interstate Passport was a tool that facilitated the transfer of blocks of general education credit across state lines.
Students who have earned an Interstate Passport at another member institution and have it noted on their official transcript and are admitted for and enrolled prior to Fall 2025 may use that Passport to fulfill UH Hilo's Foundation, Diversification, Language Arts and GCC General Education requirements. Students who intend on graduating from UH Hilo must still complete all other requirements for graduation.
Transfer in of WICHE Interstate Passport:
A completed WICHE Interstate Passport, as noted on official transcripts, will be considered equivalent to all of the Foundations and Diversification coursework as well as completion of the Language Arts (GLA) and Global Community Citizenship (GCC) requirements. Transfer students entering with a WICHE Interstate Passport will still need to complete a Quantitative Reasoning B course, a Hawaiian Pan Pacific course, and the Writing Intensive requirement. Transfer equivalents for these additional requirements will need to be determined separately from the Passport-related requirements in the transfer credit evaluation process.
Courses included within the WICHE Interstate Passport block may also fulfill degree and other related requirements.
Earning of WICHE Interstate Passport at UH Hilo:
Students who wish to earn the WICHE Interstate Passport at UH Hilo must complete all of the Foundations and Diversification General Education courses as well as one Language Arts (GLA) and one Global and Community Citizenship (GCC) course. The Interstate Passport will be awarded automatically and appear on the student’s official transcript.
Appendix 1: GE Transfer in Alpha Equivalencies
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