Study as an international student at COE

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What degree and certificate offerings are there at COE?

We welcome international students to consider our diverse offerings of degree and certificate programs across all areas of education. COE is a diverse and robust college providing educational research, policy studies, curriculum development, professional development, allied health care, educational services, and teacher and educational leader preparation programs.

Find out which program may be a great fit for you - go to Which Program is Right For Me?  for a guided browsing experience, or you can also browse our programs by academic department.

Some even have a special focus on international education (MEd and PhD offerings at the Department of Educational Foundations), while others specialize in delivering programs for educators from countries in the Pacific basin (such as PACMED - a fully online program). Other departments, such as the Department of Learning Design & Technology, desire to recruit more international students in an effort to diversify and enhance their academic communities of learning.

Does COE offer programs delivered by distance education?

Yes, we do! However, at the moment, the university is still clarifying admission processes and requirements for international students (i.e. non-US citizens or those without a U.S. permanent residency also known as the "green card") who would like to enroll into our fully-online degree programs and stay in their home countries. We are working hard to come to a clear process in order to open up these opportunities for students from all over the world.  Meanwhile, if you plan to apply to hybrid programs that have traditional face-to-face courses as well as hybrid or fully online courses, there will be implications on student visa requirements (i.e. in order to maintain visa compliance and status, you would need to be taking a certain minimum of face-to-face course credits every semester) - so be sure to discuss with the program director prior to applying.

Does UH Mānoa and/or COE offer scholarships that are also open to international students?

Small 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 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.

What are the requirements for international applicants interested in degree and certificate programs at the COE?

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 considerations: Pay special attention to visa requirements, 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.

What about shorter-term opportunities such as coming for a semester or a year to COE?

For credit-based semester or year-long opportunities, you can apply through the Mānoa International Exchange Office 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 the Summer @Mānoa program 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.

As to non-credit programs, COE currently works with specific partners to create 1-2 week experiences for students at our partner universities, focused on intensive areas of study in education. These are not open-enrollment programs as we are not yet at the capacity to be able to offer open-enrollment types of short-term non-credit programs, nor are we taking on any new partners to deliver short-term programs. There are, however, other units on the UH Mānoa campus that do offer short-term programs in other areas of study that you may be interested in, such as: