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Distance Education Option

Beginning in Fall of 2018, the program is available to individuals who live far away from Hilo (e.g., Kailua-Kona, Waimea, neighbor islands) and are unable to physically attend classes at the UH Hilo campus. These students will be able to attend classes through the UH System’s Hawaii Interactive Television System (HITS) and its use of video-conferencing technology. For more information about the use of distance learning technology, please see the Distance Education Information and Policy . The distance education option is available to those who live within the state of Hawaii.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution;
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale OR a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during the last 60 semester credits (or equivalent);
  • A strong background in psychology or a closely related field, with a minimum of 15 semester hours of course work in psychology, strongly recommended are an introductory or survey of psychology, statistical techniques, research methods, and at least two 300-level or higher psychology courses. For these 15 semester hours, similar courses in closely related fields of study may also be acceptable;
  • At least one 3-credit course in statistics and one 3-credit course in research methods from any discipline;
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (General Test);
  • For International Applicants: A score of 550 (paper based) on the TOEFL (other equivalent TOEFL scores: 79 internet based and 213 computer based; the IELTS equivalent is 6.0.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Eligible applications are reviewed by the Psychology Graduate Admissions Committee which uses multiple criteria for the assessment of applicants. Admission is selective and is based on the following five factors: (1) Undergraduate GPA (last 60 semester hours), (2) GRE Scores, (3) Letters of Recommendation, (4) Statement of Interest, and (5) Resume/Curriculum Vitae. Priority will be given to students applying for full-time enrollment. Depending on program needs, a few outstanding applicants for part-time enrollment may be admitted.

Admission Review Policies and Procedures

Admission Policies and Procedures (updated March 16, 2017)

Application Procedure

The program accepts applications to begin in the Summer. The Priority Application Deadline for each year is January 1 and the Final Application Deadline is February 28. This means that applications that are submitted by January 1 will be reviewed first. Any applications that are submitted after January 1 and before February 28 will be reviewed but considered on a space-available basis. Students who submit applications after the January 1 deadline may be ineligible for certain types of financial aid.

Complete applications that meet the minimum admission requirements will be forwarded to the Psychology Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee which will review each application. Admission decisions will be made by this committee and forwarded to the UH Hilo Graduate Office of Admissions.

The UH Hilo Graduate Office of Admissions receives applications and supporting documents and maintains the applications through final notification. In general, for applications received by the priority deadline of January 1, the admission decisions will be finalized by February 1 and notifications sent soon thereafter. The accepted applicants will have a deadline of March 15 to indicate acceptance of the offer of admission. Applicants who submit after January 1 may be informed of their acceptance after April 15.

Applicants must submit all of the following items:

  • UH Hilo Graduate Application
  • Application fee;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (must be received directly from the institution or in a sealed envelope if submitted with your application);
  • Personal statement about your background and future goals that would make you a good fit for our program. It would be helpful for you to include how you became interested in the field of mental health counseling and our program, any relevant experiences, and your short-term and long-term goals;
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae;
  • Three academic or professional recommendation letters. A sample recommendation form) is available (scroll to the bottom of the pdf document). The recommendations should be sent directly to the UH Hilo Graduate Office of Admissions by the letter writers;
  • GRE General Test scores (sent to UH Hilo Graduate Office of Admissions directly by the testing service).

In addition, international applicants must submit the following items:

  • Supplementary Information Form for Foreign Students;
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not the applicant’s native language) (Equivalent TOEFL scores: 550 paper based, 79 internet based, and 213 computer based; the IELTS equivalent is 6.0);
  • Official college transcripts in the original language accompanied by official translations into English. Baccalaureate degrees from a non-U.S. institution must be submitted to an evaluation agency for a basic evaluation (not course-by-course).

Applications will be considered only when all of the above documents have been received. For more information, applicants can contact the program director, Dr. Bryan Kim, at and/or the UH Hilo Graduate Division at the address below.

UH Hilo Graduate Division
Attn: Ms. Māhealani Jones, Graduate Division and Articulation Specialist
200 West Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720-4091
Tel: (808) 932-7926

Transfer of Credits

Requests for transfer of credits must be made during the first semester in which the student is enrolled in the program. Students need to obtain departmental approval for all credit transfers. Only credit hours with a grade of B or better from accredited universities are transferable. Credit hours for practicum and internship courses are not transferable. Transfer credit hours must have been completed within five years prior to admission. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours (or its equivalent). On rare circumstances, requests for an exception to this limit could be considered by the program faculty. All requests for transfer of credits must be accompanied by a transcript and course syllabi.

Statistics on Admitted Students

The program receives about 40-50 applications each year and admits between 15 to 20 students. Most of the admitted students had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5 (last 60 semester hours) and GRE scores of 50 percentile on verbal and 30 percentile on quantitative.

If you have questions about admissions, please visit the FAQ page.