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Admission of Classified Students

Classified undergraduates are those admitted to approved programs of study leading to UH Manoa baccalaureate degrees. Students who have earned 0–24 credit hours are freshmen; those with 25–54 credit hours are sophomores; those with 55–88 credit hours are juniors; and those with 89 or more credit hours are seniors.

Freshmen and sophomores are lower division students, while juniors and seniors are upper division students.

Admission of Freshmen

Students applying for admission as a freshman must complete the Self-Reported Application. The initial admissions decision will be based on self reported data. Upon request from the Office of Admissions, an official transcript and official College Board (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) scores must be submitted. Applicants taking the General Education Development (GED) high school–equivalency test must submit GED results in addition to the Self-Reported Application. Applicants who have been home-schooled must submit GED scores, or SAT subject tests (minimum of the subjects) including math, or ACT subscores in addition to the Self-Reported Application. A high rating in one area will not ensure admission, nor will poor performance in an area exclude applicants if other evidence shows they may be successful in university-level work.

SAT or ACT. Candidates for fall admission should take the SAT or ACT no later than November of their senior year in high school. Candidates for spring admission should take the test before July. Applicants must also take and submit scores of the writing test. Information is available from high school counselors or from the testing agencies. For SAT, contact College Board, P.O. Box 025505, Miami, FL 33102. For ACT, contact American College Testing Program, P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52243.

High School Record. Applicants should have grades high enough to place them in the upper 40 percent of their graduating class, and they should be recommended by their principal or a designated school representative.

Minimum Unit Requirements. Applicants should complete 22 units of high school work (grades 9-12) of which at least 17 are college preparatory. The term "unit" means satisfactory completion of a full school year's course of study or the equivalent in laboratory and shop exercises. A listing of courses and grades from the ninth through twelfth grades must be included. College-preparatory subjects must include at least four units in English; three in mathematics including college-preparatory geometry and second-year algebra; three in natural sciences; three in social sciences; and four additional units, which may include higher mathematics, additional science, additional social studies, and foreign language. All other courses for which the high school grants credit may be offered to satisfy the remaining unit requirements, although there should be no less than a half-unit nor more than two units in any one subject.

Students entering curricula in engineering, mathematics, and biological and physical sciences must meet the special mathematics requirements listed in the college sections of this Catalog.

Profile of Admitted Students. All applications are evaluated on an individual basis. Generally, successful applicants attain a B (not B-) average for all college-preparatory high school course work, achieve SAT scores of 510 (critical reading), 510 (writing), and 510 (math) or ACT score of 22 in each section, and rank in the upper 40 percent of their graduating class.

UH Manoa accepts all Hawai'i residents who meet UH Manoa admissions standards.

Nonresident applicants should await notice of acceptance before coming to Hawai'i. By Board of Regents policy, the number of nonresidents admitted is limited.

Admission decisions are made independent of the availability of financial aid and housing. Students must apply separately for financial aid and housing. (See the “Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid” and “Student Life” sections of this Catalog.)

Admission of Requirements of Homeschooled Applicants

Complete homeschooled applicants are expected to meet the minimum admissions requirements indicated for freshman applicants. Please review the detailed requirements below for homeschooled applicants.

Required Documents

Complete the Self-Reported Application if your homeschool transcript reflects a traditional high school curriculum. If you are in a non-traditional program, please include a separate statement that includes titles and descriptions of all coursework completed. Other additional information such as textbooks used, methods of teaching, and methods of evaluation and the resulting grades or structured assessments must be entered in the "Comment" box. If the additional information exceeds the amount of space given, attach an additional sheet to the hard copy Self-Reported Supplement or submit an email if you completed the online version.

Also, one of the following: GED scores, SAT subject tests (minimum of three subjects) including math, or ACT subscores.

Admission of Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants are those currently or previously enrolled at a college or university other than UH Manoa. Transfer applicants include those who previously attended UH Manoa and subsequent to their UH Manoa attendance enrolled at another UH college, university, or UH Manoa. To obtain an application form, refer to "Application Procedures" within this section of the Catalog.

Applicants who have earned at least 24 semester credit hours of work or completed 12 transferable credits and have at least 12 credits in progress in courses comparable to UH Manoa offerings at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university must submit an application and have each postsecondary institution previously attended send an official transcript (including withdrawals, courses taken, and grades received) directly to the Office of Admissions. Unofficial transcripts, hand-carried transcripts, faxed transcripts, and student copies of transcripts or grade reports will not be accepted.

Applicants who have earned fewer than 24 acceptable credit hours or who have enrolled in an unaccredited institution must submit high school transcripts and official SAT or ACT scores in addition to official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions previously attended. Admission will be based on both college and high school work.
Transfer applicants are expected to present a satisfactory academic record in courses comparable to UH Manoa offerings. Nonresident candidates must present a better than average record. The number of nonresidents admitted is limited by Board of Regents policy.

Applicants enrolled at another college or university must have a final transcript submitted to the Office of Admissions at the end of the current term. Until this is received, any acceptance is provisional. Failure either to submit the transcript within a reasonable time or to complete the semester's work satisfactorily will result in denial of admission or, in the case of registered students, cancellation of registration.

Credit hours in courses taken at U.S. regionally accredited colleges or universities that are substantially equivalent to UH Manoa offerings and in which grades of D (not D-) or better have been earned will be transferred. Grades and grade points from other institutions are not transferred. Credit/No credit and pass/fail credits may be accepted if the standard for these credits is equivalent to that at UH Manoa (see “Grades” within this section of the Catalog).

However, not all transfer credits accepted will necessarily satisfy curricular requirements toward a particular degree. UH Manoa applies no more than 60 credit hours from non-UH junior or community colleges to satisfy degree requirements.

Transfers from unaccredited colleges or universities must also meet UH Manoa campus admission standards for new freshmen. Students who complete a minimum of 30 credit hours with an average of C (not C-) or better at UH Manoa may be granted credit for the courses completed at unaccredited institutions that are candidates for accreditation. These courses, which must be substantially equivalent to UH Manoa courses, will be counted only as lower division credits to a maximum of 60 credit hours.

The department or program in which the student is pursuing a degree may decide that certain courses required for the major that were taken in the past must be retaken. Courses that are declared outdated for the major will still count toward the General Education Core if they meet core requirements. Students should consult with their respective academic advisor in their major field of study for details.

International applicants should refer to“Admission of International Applicants” within this section of the Catalog.

All colleges previously attended must be disclosed. Incomplete, incorrect, or false information is subject to disciplinary measures.

Evaluating Transfer Credits

UH Manoa reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at any other institution of higher education. In general, UH Manoa accepts credits earned at institutions fully accredited by U.S. regional accrediting associations, provided that such credits are substantially equivalent to courses at UH Manoa, and have been completed with a grade of D (not D-) or better. An evaluation of transfer credits will be undertaken only after a student has been admitted to a program leading to a degree and has confirmed his or her intention to enroll.

Transfer decisions about courses taken at other UH campuses are guided by the UH Articulation Agreement. Only course credits are accepted in transfer. Grades and grade points from other institutions do not transfer to UH Manoa.

Notable Restrictions on Transfer Credit

Although all qualified courses may be transferred from two-year colleges, UH Manoa applies no more than 60 credits from non-UH community or junior colleges toward the credits required for a bachelor's degree. Other notable restrictions on transfer credit include:

  • Courses taken out of sequence (backtracking): Credit is not awarded for lower level courses if they are taken subsequent to or concurrently with a higher level course for which there are explicit or implicit prerequisites.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP): Credits awarded for CLEP and AP examinations do not count toward meeting the 24-credit requirement for admission as a transfer student nor do they exempt other applicants from submitting SAT/ACT scores and high school transcripts.
  • Correspondence school credit: No more than 30 credits of correspondence course work from regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities will be accepted in transfer.
  • Life experience: UH Manoa does not award credits for life experience. By individual arrangement, enrolled students may arrange for credit by examination.
  • Military service or schooling: Course work taken through military schools may be considered for credit with the consent of the appropriate UH Manoa department. The student's DD-214 or DD-295 form or American Council of Education (ACE) Registry transcript must be submitted. Credits awarded for military schooling do not count toward meeting the 24-credit requirement for admission as a transfer student nor exempt other applicants from submitting SAT/ACT scores and high school transcripts.
  • Courses with nontraditional grades: Courses completed with nontraditional grades such as CR (credit), P (pass), S (satisfactory) may be transferable only if the grade represents a D (not D-) or better. Generally, courses with nontraditional grades will be accepted as elective credit only and will not fulfill UH Manoa, college, school, or departmental requirements.
  • Courses receiving no credit: Courses not accepted for transfer credit include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Courses from unaccredited institutions: Course work taken at any institution not fully accredited by a regional U.S. accrediting association is not transferable. After completing a minimum of 30 credits at UH Manoa with a GPA of 2.0 or better, a student may be granted credit for course work completed at unaccredited institutions which were candidates for accreditation at the time of the student's attendance there. No more than 60 credits from such institutions may be applied to degree requirements at UH Manoa.
    • Developmental or remedial courses
    • Repeated or duplicate courses: Transfer credit is generally not awarded for courses that duplicate material for which academic credit has already been given. Credit will not be awarded for a repeated course in which a passing grade was previously earned, nor for more than one version of a cross-listed course.
    • Courses that provide instruction in a particular religious doctrine
    • Vocational or technical courses
    • Mathematics courses considered below college level: courses include, but are not limited to, basic math and business math.

Admission of International Applicants

International students wishing to apply should request an application and a form called "Supplementary Information for International Students." The deadline is January 5 for fall admission and September 1 for spring admission. If admitted, international students must receive two clearances in order to register: (1) University Health Services clearance documenting adherence with health regulations, and (2) International Student Services (ISS) clearance documenting adherence to international student regulations and proof of adequate health insurance. Note: International applicants with a non-immigrant visa status other than student status should contact the ISS. Federal restrictions on full-time study may apply.

Additional Requirements

Transcripts. In addition to the application, applicants must present evidence of having completed or received the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma. Official transcripts of all secondary and postsecondary work must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by each institution attended. Certified photocopies of the certificates and results of any qualifying examinations (e.g., General Certificate of Education) must also be submitted. Certified English translations must be attached to documents and transcripts written in a foreign language.

Applicants enrolled in a secondary school or another college or university must have a final transcript submitted to the Office of Admissions at the end of the current term. Until this is received, any acceptance is provisional. Failure to submit the transcript or to complete the semester's/year's work satisfactorily will result in denial of admission and/or cancellation of registration.

Examinations. Applicants also must submit official results of the SAT or American College Test (ACT) (see "SAT or ACT") and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). These examinations are normally required of all foreign applicants, including students who either have been admitted to or have matriculated at other universities. SAT applications may be obtained by writing to the College Board, P.O. Box 025505, Miami, FL 33102. ACT applications may be obtained by writing to the American College Testing Program, P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52243. TOEFL applications may be obtained by writing to Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541.

ACT or SAT Exemptions. Students who have earned at least 24 semester hours of acceptable credits—excluding English Language Institute and/or English as a Second Language courses—are exempt from submitting the ACT or SAT results. The credits must have been completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university and must be equivalent to UH Manoa offerings.

TOEFL Requirements and Exemptions. Applicants are required to score a minimum of 61 (internet-based), 173 (computer-based) or 500 (paper-based) on the TOEFL. The following applicants are exempt from the TOEFL examination: (a) those whose native language is English; (b) those who hold a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited university in the U.S. or a recognized university in Australia, Britain, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, or New Zealand; (c) those who score 510 or better on the verbal and 510 or better on the writing sections of the SAT; (d) those who score 22 in English and 22 in reading sections of the ACT; (e) those who have completed six years of continuous schooling through the high school or college level in American Samoa and/or Guam and in one of the countries listed above under (b); (f) those who have completed English composition at a regionally accredited U.S. institution with a D or better grade; or (g) those who completed at least three years of high school in Hawai'i with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and SAT critical reading of 460 and SAT writing of 460. Admission to summer ELI classes does not imply a waiver of the TOEFL exam for fall or spring semester admission.

English Language Institute. International and immigrant students who are admitted to UH Manoa and whose native language is not English are referred to the English Language Institute to determine if they must take the ELI placement tests and the Manoa Writing Placement examination. If a student does not fulfill this obligation, ELI will place a hold on the student's registration. Please contact the Department of Second Language Studies for additional information. (See ELI” section of this Catalog)

Admission of International Exchange Students

Students matriculating at a university outside the U.S. may apply for admission as an international exchange student in the third or fourth year of study, through the Manoa International Exchange (MIX). Admission may be granted for a maximum of two semesters as a "Visiting Student." Priority is given to students from institutions with a formal exchange agreement with UH; however, other qualified students from any foreign institution may also be considered.

Those sponsored by their home government or an external scholarship program such as Fulbright or Rotary International may also be admitted as exchange students, either as a classified, degree-seeking student, or as a non-degree visiting student. Exchange students may enter the U.S. under either the F-1 or J-1 visa, depending on the funding source and preferences of the sponsoring agency.

Exchange students must submit standard admission materials, official TOEFL scores of 68 (internet-based), 190 (computer-based) or 520 (paper-based) unless exempt (see “Admission of International Applicants” for exemption criteria), and for those engaged in non-degree study, a special PIES application. For further information, contact International Student Services, Queen Lili‘uokalani Center for Student Services, 2600 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 or visit www.hawaii.edu/issmanoa.

Admission of Returning Students

A student who experiences a break in enrollment at UH Manoa without having taken an approved leave of absence or who has been suspended or dismissed must apply for readmission. A student who has attended another college or university, or UH campus subsequent to attendance at UH Manoa must apply as a transfer student (see “Admission of Transfer Applicants”). Readmission is not automatic because of enrollment limitations and changes in academic regulations. Students who are readmitted will be subject to the General Education Core, major, and graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Questions concerning readmission should be directed to the student academic services office in the college/school to which the student is applying.