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Information and Computer Sciences

College of Natural Sciences
POST 317
1680 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7420
Fax: (808) 956-3548
Web: www.ics.hawaii.edu


*Graduate Faculty

*S. Y. Itoga, PhD (Chair)—database systems, expert systems, logic programming
*E. Biagioni, PhD—networks, systems, languages
*K, Binsted, PhD—artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, cognitive science, natural language processing
*D. Chin, PhD—artificial intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science
*M. E. Crosby, PhD—human-computer interaction, cognitive science
D. DeRyke, MA—software engineering, data modeling
*W. Gersch, DEngSc—mathematical statistics, time series, bio-medicine, geophysics
*P. Johnson, PhD—software engineering, artificial intelligence
*A. Lew, PhD—systems programming, systems analysis, software engineering
*I. Miyamoto, DrEng—software engineering
*D. Pager, PhD—compiler theory, theory of computability, artificial intelligence
*W. W. Peterson, PhD—programming languages, software engineering
G. Poisson, PhD—cognitive informatics, bioinformatics, machine learning
*L. Quiroga, PhD—information retrieval, databases, library systems, website design
*N. Reed, PhD—artificial intelligence, autonomous agents
*J. Stelovsky, DrTechSc—computer-hypermedia, human-computer interaction
S. Still, PhD—bioinformatics/theoretical biology, information theory, machine learning
*D. Streveler, PhD—medical informatics
*K. Sugihara, DrEng—algorithms, distributed computing, visual languages
*D. Suthers, PhD—educational technologies, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

D. R. Stoutemyer, PhD—computer algebra, mathematical software

Degrees Offered: BA in information and computer sciences, BS (including minor) in computer science, MS in information and computer sciences, MLISc in library and information science, PhD in computer science, and PhD in communication and information sciences (interdisciplinary)

The Academic Program

Information and computer sciences (ICS) is the study of the description and representation of information and the theory, design, analysis, implementation, and application of algorithmic processes that transform information. Students majoring in ICS will learn to use computer systems, a valuable skill which can be applied in all fields of study. Students will also learn the scientific principles and technology required to develop new computer systems and applications. The curriculum covers all major areas of computer science with special emphasis on software engineering and computer networks, areas uniquely suited to Hawai‘i’s role as a multicultural and geographical center of the Pacific.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

To be admitted into the program, first-year students entering UH Manoa directly from high school must first be admitted into the Colleges of Arts and Sciences. For continuing students, a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 is required for admission.

BA in Information and Computer Sciences


Students pursuing this degree are required to submit a short proposal listing the courses they intend to take to complete their ICS major. An ICS faculty adviser must approve this proposal in writing. Samples of course proposals are available at the ICS department Office. Students must complete the following courses (49 credits):

  • ICS 111, 141, 211, 212, 241, 311, 312, 313, and 321
  • At least three ICS courses at the 400-level or above,
  • Four upper division (300-level or above) courses in some area of concentration. The area of concentration courses do NOT have to be from the same department.

BS in Computer Science


Students must complete the following courses (47 credits):

  • ICS 111, 141, 211, 212, 241, 311, 312, 313, 321, and 331
  • At least five ICS or other approved courses at the 400 level or above

Substitutions are permitted with the written approval of an ICS faculty adviser.

Waiver of certain requirements, such as by Advanced Placement CS exam, must be approved by the ICS faculty adviser.


A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and a grade of B (not B-) or higher in ICS 111 in computer science are required for admission.


Students must complete ICS 211, 212, and 241 and their prerequisites, 111 and 141, and three ICS courses at the 300 level and above with a grade of C (not C-) or better.

Graduate Study

The department offers the MS degree in information and computer sciences, the MLISc degree in library and information science (see the “Library and Information Science” section within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences for more information), and the PhD degree in computer science. The department is one of four academic programs that cooperate in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in communication and information sciences (see the “Communication and Information Sciences” section within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences for more information).

Applicants for the MS in information and computer sciences and the PhD in computer science are required to take the GRE General Test. The subject area examination in computer science is highly recommended. Applicants from foreign countries must be academically qualified, proficient in English (minimum 600 TOEFL), and have sufficient financial support.

The department offers three forms of financial aid: teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and tuition waivers.

The department offers a limited number of assistantships each semester, most of which are teaching assistantships. Teaching and research assistants work approximately 20 hours per week under the supervision of a faculty member and receive a stipend as well as a tuition waiver. Teaching assistants support instruction and research assistants support extramurally funded research projects. Teaching assistantships are awarded to those applicants who can best support the instructional program. Similarly, research assistantships are awarded to those applicants who can best assist faculty with their research projects. Applicants accepted for admission may be eligible for partial financial aid in the form of a tuition waiver from the Graduate Division and foreign applicants from Pacific or Asian countries may be eligible for Pacific-Asian Scholarships. Prior to submitting a tuition waiver application form, foreign applicants must submit TOEFL scores and documentation of financial support for expenses other than tuition to the Graduate Division Admissions Office. To apply for any of these forms of support, student should submit the ICS Graduate Assistantship Application along with three letters of recommendation using the Graduate Assistantship Evaluation Form. Because we can offer assistance to only a small fraction of applicants, we highly encourage students to also seek other forms of support, such as the East-West Center or computer-assisted databases such as CA$H (Computer-Assisted Scholarship Help), which lists over a thousand scholarships.

Master’s Degree

The master’s program is intended for students planning to specialize in computer science or to apply computer science to another field. Applicants who do not possess an undergraduate degree in computer science from an accredited institution will need to complete equivalent coursework.


Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) are available. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required under both plans. A minimum B average must be maintained in all courses.

Plan A (Thesis) Requirements

  1. At least six ICS courses numbered 600 to 691, excluding 690;
  2. Two elective courses, which can be any combination of ICS 600-level courses or graduate courses from other departments. The elective courses may be two ICS 699 courses for thesis preparation research. A proposal of elective courses must be submitted in writing by the students and approved by the master’s program chair prior to enrollment in these courses;
  3. Thesis research taken as 6 credits of ICS 700 at the end of the student’s program of study; and
  4. ICS 690 (taken for CR/NC), which does not count toward the 30-credit-hour minimum.

Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements

  1. At least eight ICS courses numbered 600 to 691, excluding 690;
  2. A final project taken as ICS 699 (a maximum of 6 credits is counted toward the degree); and
  3. ICS 690 (taken for CR/NC), which does not count toward the 30-credit-hour minimum, and

A written report of the final project is required at the end of the student’s program of study.

The administrative procedures for the program include the following rules:

  1. The student must meet with the Masters Program Chair during the first semester.
  2. Upon completion of at least 12 credit hours of courses applicable to the degree, students must file a degree plan by selecting Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Non-Thesis) options.
  3. Plan A students must choose a thesis topic and committee upon completion of 18 credit hours of applicable courses.
  4. All requests for changes in the degree plan must be submitted in writing by the student and approved by the master’s program chair before the diploma application is filed.

Doctoral Program

The department offers a PhD in computer science intended to prepare students for creative research, teaching, and service. There are two programs leading to the PhD degree, one designed for applicants entering with bachelor’s degrees, and the other for those who already have master’s degrees. Students may begin their program either in the spring or fall semesters.

Applicants with bachelor’s degrees must first satisfy the admission and degree requirements of the ICS master’s degree.

The advantages are: (1) they are admitted at an early stage to the PhD program, (2) they will, in practice, usually take a year LESS to obtain their PhD degree since they will be motivated to select courses in the MS portion of the requirements which prepare them for their comprehensive examinations, and (3) students who have completed the MS requirements will have the option of obtaining an MS degree even if they do not continue with the program.

Applicants with master’s degrees in areas other than computer science may be admitted to the program, but will be required to fulfill their program deficiencies with additional coursework.


Students must pass the comprehensive examinations by the end of their fifth semester or be dropped from the program. The comprehensive examination may cover the following areas:

  • Compilers (ICS 611)
  • Operating Systems (ICS 612)
  • Software Engineering (ICS 613)
  • Algorithms (ICS 621)
  • Theory of Computation (ICS 641)
  • Networks (ICS 651)
  • Artificial Intelligence (ICS 661)
  • Databases (ICS 624)

In addition, students must pass a seminar course(s), ICS 690, during the “PhD portion” of their program. After passing an oral examination covering their general preparation for the research involved, students must write a dissertation, which must be approved by a doctoral committee.

ICS Courses