Students eating together

International Requirements & Scholarships

Yes we do have a unique selection of fully-online degree programs, but we are currently working to ensure that the university is authorized to enroll nonimmigrant, non-resident international students into these programs. Stay tuned! You can start by browsing through our fully-online programs (graduate levels only).

NOTE: For students who are seeking to temporarily relocate to Hawai‘i (i.e. the “traditional” route), please note that fully-online and hybrid programs (both face-to-face and online format) will have implications on student visa compliance requirements – be sure to discuss with the program director prior to applying.

Partial scholarships: Currently there are scholarships to help with tuition and other related expenses, open to both domestic and international students. You can apply for them once you have enrolled in your program. Visit the Scholarships page on the UH Mānoa International Student Services website for a comprehensive overview on scholarships for international students at the university.

Full scholarships: The main source of funding that more comprehensively supports incoming international students (tuition, room and board, living stipend, and/or travel) typically comes from competitive scholarships offered through national and international bodies such as the East-West Center. To help start you off, we have put together a sampling of scholarships and fellowships that fall within this category.

Graduate Assistantships: Many international graduate students at the university also finance their education through Graduate Assistantships. These academic positions include include a tuition waiver and pay a small part-time salary. International students who are already enrolled and are in good academic standing are eligible to apply for these positions, but must be vigilant to ensure that any employment they engage in are within their student visa regulations.

All international applicants, both undergraduate and graduate, are subject to specific Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Division requirements. The International Student Guide provides a good overview, including links to application requirements such as English proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), statement of financial standing etc. You will need to submit different application materials to the administrative unit (Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Division) and the department that offers the academic program.

Visa status compliance: Pay special attention to visa compliance when engaging in different aspects of your program. For example, when it comes to eligibility for funding and employment, some degree or certificate programs may be funded by a U.S. entity that does not extend coverage to non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents (i.e. unless you are a US citizen or a US greencard holder, you are not eligible for support by the program). So while you may be able to enroll in a program, there are cases when you may not be eligible for certain benefits in the program such as tuition stipends or pay-back schemes via employment (i.e. programs where tuition is waived in exchange for working for the funding institution for a number of years upon graduation).

English language proficiency: Please note that UH Mānoa has one of the lower minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores for general admission among U.S. universities.  While you may have been accepted into your program at COE, you may still need to take additional credit (i.e. fee-incurring) courses in academic English at the English Language Institute (ELI) in the Department of Second Language Studies. ELI provides support with academic English, awareness of academic expectations, strategies for successful study, and help with adjusting to a new academic culture. Admitted students who have scores of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (600 paper-based) or 7.0 on the IELTS are exempt from the ELI and do not need to take the ELI Placement Test or ELI courses.  In addition to TOEFL and IELTS scores, there are additional ways to exempt out of ELI requirements.

For credit-based semester or year-long opportunities, you can come and take courses at COE through the Mānoa International Exchange Office (MIX) Inbound Programs. During the application process, be sure to request to have your home department be one of the departments in the COE and take our courses for which you are eligible. As a traditional exchange student, you are allowed to take courses from any department on campus (EXCEPT for Law, Medicine, Nursing and Dental Hygiene).

You may also want to consider enrolling in courses during summer sessions through Outreach College as another option for credit courses. Availability of COE courses through this program varies from year to year, so be sure to check prior to applying.

(For programs lasting less than a semester, visit our page on Short Term Study Tours).

Yes! International students can take advantage of available offerings, just like other students. Visit our page on Study Away Opportunities for more info. As with any supplementary experience during your time at COE, make sure to discuss with your academic advisor on how to ensure these different experiences complement and help fulfill your graduation requirements, and be sure that you are always in compliance with your visa requirements.