Division of Student Affairs (DSA)

Student Handbook

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Aloha UH Hilo ʻohana,

Here at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UH Hilo), we're building a university community that comes together across different subjects and perspectives to help our students thrive, compete, be innovative, and take the lead in their professional and personal lives. We want to involve every student in hands-on learning that connects what they learn in class to our unique natural and cultural surroundings in Hawaiʻi, and encourages them to be skilled participants in the global community.

To make this vision a reality, UH Hilo follows certain standards, policies, and procedures, which you can find in this Student Handbook. These standards are based on our mission to encourage students to achieve their best academically by making learning exciting, encouraging exploration, and fostering creativity both in and out of the classroom.

When you choose to be a part of UH Hilo, you're becoming a part of our campus community. So, it's important for all students to know and follow the rules in this Student Handbook. It's like an agreement between all of us in the university ʻohana.

Whether you're here on campus or learning from a distance, we're here to support you on your journey. If you have any questions about the information in this Student Handbook, feel free to reach out to the office listed as the contact. You can also get additional help from the Dean of Students, Tim Moore at mooreta@hawaii.edu or (808) 932-7610.



The UH Hilo Student Handbook, published by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office, is published to provide students with information related to various academic and student life policies and regulations. This document contains information related to the numerous programs, services, activities, and events of the university. The provisions of this handbook are not to be regarded as a contract between any student/parent and the University. Beyond the policies/procedures described, each academic program and student services support entity reserves the right to establish internal policies relevant to their respective area(s). These standards apply to all UH Hilo students. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of these expectations and conduct themselves accordingly as members of the UH Hilo community. All the rules and regulations are in effect for students on and off the campus. Responsible behavior is expected of UH Hilo students wherever they may be and while you certainly may not remember all the information provided, you will know where to look when information is needed. Lack of knowledge concerning the regulations published in this handbook will not be considered a reasonable excuse for failure to comply with such regulations. UH Hilo reserves the right to modify provisions of the UH Hilo Student Handbook at any time, whenever it is deemed necessary in the interest of the University. Because of the likelihood of these changes, the official policy is the online version of the student handbook, which can be found on the UH Hilo website. Notice of any revision or modification will be given as is reasonably practical under the circumstances and all official communication between the College and the student(s) will be through the UH Hilo student email services and/or through the U.S. Postal Service.

Campus Nondiscrimination Policy

UH Hilo is an institution that is committed to promoting a working and learning environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, genetic information, National Guard absence, status as a covered veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, breastfeeding, income assignment for child support, domestic violence victim status, arrest and court record (except as permissible under State law), and retaliation. It allows all individuals in the university to have fair and equal treatment in the processes which affect education and employment by enforcing all federal/state laws and regulations and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents policies related to civil rights, affirmative action and non-discrimination.

For information on equal employment opportunity/affirmative action policies or discrimination complaint procedures for UH Hilo, see the UH Hilo Policies and Procedural Guidelines for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability or contact the following persons:

General Grievance Procedure for Students

UH Hilo is committed to mutual respect among all students in the University community. It is the hope of the University that students will work with faculty, staff, and other students to resolve issues informally as best as possible. This involves talking and trying to communicate and work through issues. However, the University recognizes that there are times when formal grievances are the only way to address concerns. In these situations, the University has a grievance contact person, grievance form and/or procedure, and will share with the student the process to address the situation accordingly. The procedure(s) outlined are to be used to register grievances.

In general, regardless of the type of grievance, the person filing the grievance must be the alleged victim of unfair treatment. In other words, a grievance cannot be filed on behalf of another person. Also, the existence of grievance procedures does not bar a grievant from also filing a claim in other forums to the extent permitted by state or federal law. All grievances must be in writing, state the nature of the grievance, outline University policies or state or federal laws that have been violated (if known), name the respondent party/parties (against whom the grievance is filed), along with requested remedy.

Academic Grievance

A student who believes that a faculty member has failed to meet reasonable standards of academic propriety may register a complaint. The Student Academic Complaint Policy has been established to provide guidelines and processes governing academic complaints. The student should first attempt to resolve the complaint on an informal basis with the faculty member. Should the complaint not be resolved at this level, the student should discuss it with the faculty’s Discipline/Department Chairperson. If still no resolution is reached, the student may bring the matter to the Division Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences and then in writing to the Dean, or in writing to the Dean in the other colleges. Copies of the academic complaint policy are available in the offices of the dean or director of each college, in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and online at Academic Complaint Policy (PDF).

Athletic Grievance

All student grievances related to Athletics should be directed to the Compliance Officer:

  • Roxanne Levenson, Compliance Officer and NCAA Senior Woman Administrator, Athletics-Title IX (808) 932-7161

Complaint against a student (all categories of discrimination except gender/sex complaints)

All student grievances that are related to other students, that are not related to gender/sex complaints, should be addressed through either the Student Code of Conduct, as outlined in this handbook. Formal inquiries/questions can be directed to the Dean of Students:

Complaint against a student (gender/sex complaints)

All student grievances that are related to other students that are gender/sex complaints should be addressed through the Title IX Office:

Complaint against an employee

All student grievances that are related to employees of the college, should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity/Title IX:

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. All questions related to student records and related to FERPA at UH Hilo, please see the Office of the Registrar.

For more information on FERPA, in general, please see the U.S. Department of Education site.

Academic Expectations and Responsibilities

To be successful at UH Hilo, students should:

Outline educational goals and objectives.
Keep in mind the requirements of your planned degree. Doing this can help create an academic plan to decide courses, academic load (number of classes/hours in a semester), and to consider level of preparation and participation in other activities.

Read and understand each course syllabus.
The syllabus is more than a listing of course times and material. It also outlines what an engaged and responsible student can expect to learn; describes examination, grading, and student conduct policies; outlines the permitted use of electronic devices; and informs students how they may contact their professor for additional guidance.

Develop a set of study skills and use them regularly.
Learn what study techniques work for you personally. Plan adequate time for studying class material (a useful estimate is at least 3 hours of extracurricular work per lecture hour). Set aside extra time to complete big assignments, such as term papers or presentations. Expect to have material covered at a much faster pace than in high school. Additionally, expect that the pace and difficulty of material will increase as a student progresses from 100-level to 400-level courses.

Come to class prepared.
As a student, it is your responsibility to come prepared to each and every class. This includes completing reading, problem-solving or other assignments prior to the lecture. This also means coming to class mentally prepared, being awake and attentive, and taking useful notes.

Take full advantage of available academic resources.
Attend faculty office hours regularly and get to know your instructors. Frequently visit the Edwin H. Mookini Library and become familiar with all library services and resources such as reserve materials, article databases, and the extensive book collections (both print and e-books).

Be aware of your academic performance throughout the semester.
Should you need additional help, advising and tutoring services are available.

Adhere to the UH Hilo Student Conduct Code.
You have a responsibility to familiarize yourself with and adhere to the tenets of the UH Hilo Student Conduct Code. Violations of the Code (e.g. academic dishonesty, disruptive behavior, personal threats) are subject to disciplinary procedures that may include expulsion from the University.

Keep a healthy mind and body.
Excessive stress, fatigue, or unhealthful habits can interfere with your academic success. Be aware of your mental and physical state and how it impacts your performance in class. Counseling services are available, and take advantage of these services in a proactive manner should you be experiencing personal or academic difficulties.

Academic Regulations

The regulations which follow apply to the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM), the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) , the College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS), the College of Business and Economics (COBE), the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP), and Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani/College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK) unless otherwise indicated. In addition, each college has its own regulations, which may be found in separate sections of the University catalog. Graduate and Professional (Pharmacy) students should also refer to those sections of the University catalog, graduate student handbook, and Pharmacy student handbook for additional information.

Academic Advising
Shares the importance of academic advising in the success of being a college student from working with an advisor on deciding a major, working on course scheduling, and getting good counsel on being a college student.

Academic Calendars
To see each academic semester/year(s) and get a better understanding of the academic timeline from first day of classes to holidays to final exam schedules, this is the site you want to keep track of your academic timeline each semester.

Helps a student understand the various ins and outs of registration (including late and concurrent registration) as well as whether fees apply or not.

Adding a Course
Helps students understand how to add a course and what to keep in mind.

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course
Explains the ins and outs of dropping/withdrawing from a course including the instructions on how to do so.

Complete Withdrawal
Explains how to completely withdraw from the semester/year.

Change of Major/College/Classified Status
Helps students understand how to change major, college, and their classification along with things to keep in mind when doing so.

Classification of Students
Defines various classification status--full-time or part-time, and more.

Course Numbering System
Defines the UH System course numbering system and what the course numbers means.

Credits, Grades and Examinations
Gives an overview of how grades are computed, what defines load, GPA, various types of credit, and more.

Credit for Education Received While in Military Service
Gives information related to credit received in military service

Final Examinations
Provides information related to final exams and things to know.

Repeating Courses
More information related to course repeats and things to know about doing so.

Directed Reading and Directed Studies
Information related to directed reading/studies

Exceptions to Academic Regulations
Information on waivers and exceptions to academic policies and regulations.

Attendance & Satisfactory Progress
Information on attendance in class and maintaining academic progress in good standing.

Academic Warning, Probation & Dismissal
Gives an overview of the various terms and defines what each constitutes

Pertains to a student who has been dismissed for academic reasons and wants to come back to study at UH Hilo

Academic Bankruptcy
Students may declare one semester of their academic career as a bankrupt semester. More information on that can be found here.

Academic Dishonesty
Information on cheating, plagiarism, and repercussions related to these acts

Academic Complaints More information for students related to concerns/complaints related to their academic enrollment

Graduation Requirements
Information related to graduating/graduation.

Information on Dean's List and other honors

Undergraduate Education
Covers all the various links for undergraduate degree requirements, admissions, and various college information (including programs)

Graduate Education
Covers all the various links for graduate degree requirements, admissions, and various college information (including programs)

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
Information on tuition, fees, and financial aid for a term/year

Institutional Research Compliance
Information on institutional review board and policies around dealing with human subjects in research endeavors.

Student Affairs

The division of Student Affairs is focused on activities, programs and services that contribute to student development, learning and success.

Campus and Community Resources

Navigating college can be difficult without understanding the various resources and supports that exist at the University. This Campus and Community Resource List can help assist with some of this navigation.

Student Care

Student care and concerns around that care are what makes the UH Hilo community so special. When a student, faculty, or staff member sees a student in need, they will reach out to the student to see if there is anything they need to help them be successful. In situations when that ethic of care is not possible to remedy in the interaction, a care team referral will be made to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office in Student Affairs. This report will allow the Care Team to mitigate the situation and work with the student to reduce the barriers for them to be successful.

For more information please see the Student Care Team site.

Student Conduct

All members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo community have the right to pursue educational endeavors as part of the institution's fundamental purposes of teaching, learning, and research. Students have the responsibility to maintain standards of personal integrity that are in harmony with the educational mission of the University; to respect the rights, privileges, and property of others; and to observe University policies as well as national, state, and local laws.

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office in Student Affairs is responsible for holding students accountable for violations of university policy, which are described in the Student Conduct Code. Through the disciplinary process, the office promotes personal responsibility and encourages honesty, integrity, civility, and respect among our students. The disciplinary process is designed to be an educational one through which individuals or groups recognize their mistakes, take responsibility for them, and learn from them.

For more information please see the Student Code of Conduct site.

Other Campus Policies

For a list of other campus policies, not related to the Student Code of Conduct or University Housing Policies, please see campus policies.

Updated: June 21, 2021 at 08:16am.