Tuition is Reduced for Non-Residents from Qualifying States

Effective with the Fall 2021 semester, UH Hilo is participating in The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). The WRGP is coordinated by the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE) and provides a tuition rate of 150% of resident graduate tuition for residents of qualified WRGP/WICHE states and who are admitted to a participating UH Hilo graduate program. The current non-resident graduate tuition rate is about 226% of resident graduate tuition. For more information, please visit: UH Hilo's WRGP Website. If you have any questions, please contact the director of the program, Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan, at

Important information regarding the GRE testing for 2021 applicants

The MA Program in Counseling Psychology has suspended the GRE requirement for the next admission cycle (Application Priority Deadline: January 15, 2021). Hence, applicants for 2021 do not need to complete the GRE. If you have any questions, please contact the director of the program, Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan, at

Distance Education Option

To enable applicants who live in areas far from Hilo (e.g., Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Kailua-Kona, Waimea) to enroll in our program without having to physically relocate to Hilo, the program courses are taught through the use of UH System’s Hawaii Interactive Video System (HITS). This system allows for the use of videoconferencing in which students attend classes in live synchronous fashion without having to physically be on the Hilo campus. The distance education classrooms are located at designated HITS sites across the various islands (e.g., Palamanui Campus in Kailua-Kona, UH Manoa, UH Maui College, Kauai Community College). For more information about HITS, please go to Hawaii Interactive Video System (HITS). For information about our distance education policy, please see 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) [This test is not required for the next admission cycle and will not be considered for applications submitted for 2021 admission. If GRE scores are submitted, the admissions committee will not review the scores.];
  • 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.

Applicants are advised to review the UH Hilo Graduate Division's Counseling Psychology Admission Guide for more information.

Admission Review Policies and Procedures

Admission Policies and Procedures (PDF) (updated April 16, 2019)

Application Procedure

The program accepts applications to begin in the Summer. The Priority Application Deadline for each year is January 15 and the Final Application Deadline is February 28. This means that applications that are submitted by January 15 will be reviewed first. Any applications that are submitted after January 15 and before February 28 will be reviewed but considered on a space-available basis. Students who submit applications after the January 15 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 15, the admission decisions will be finalized by February 15 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 between January 15 and February 28 may be informed of their acceptance by April 1.

To apply and for additional information, documents, and links relevant to applying, please visit the Graduate Division Admission Guide for Counseling Psychology or copy/paste the following URL:

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

UH Hilo Graduate Division
Attn: Ms. Shelby Wong
200 West Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720-4091
Tel: (808) 932-7927

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.