UP Undergraduate Program: Structure and Content

First Semester coursework »   Second Semester coursework »   Progression through UP »

UP students are granted conditional admission to UH Mānoa. Students who successfully complete UP and meet all university entrance requirements will be fully admitted to UH Mānoa. Please note that admissions criteria are not universal in the United States, they are different at each university, and we cannot guarantee successful admission to other universities.


Note: During Summer Sessions (May-August), students have the option to take vacation, catch up, or get ahead by taking additional English or credit courses (if eligible). Additional cost will apply for courses taken in the summer.

arrow First Semester Coursework

In the first semester, UP students will take noncredit courses designed to prepare for university admissions. Each student will also have individual advising and tutoring.

Test Preparation (SAT and TOEFL): This intensive course will prepare UP participants for the exams required for university admissions. Students will take these official exams toward the end of the course.

English Language Coursework:

  • Intensive English Program (NICE): This academic English course offered through the NICE program helps students to reach the required English proficiency for university admissions and college success. NICE includes classes in English grammar, academic listening, oral production, and integrated skills. UP students will be studying with other students in the NICE program.

  • English for Academic Purposes: This course will focus on language points needed for success in credit coursework at UH Mānoa. It will allow individualized and small-group attention for UP participants. Content will vary depending on group and individual needs.

  • Academic Writing: This specialized course for UP participants will focus on academic writing at the college level.

  • Academic Reading: This specialized course for UP participants will focus on reading at the college level.

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arrow Second Semester Coursework

In the second semester, UP students will take a combination of credit and noncredit courses designed to prepare for success in degree programs at the university level. Each student will also have individual advising and tutoring to assist in the transition toward credit coursework and to further prepare for college admissions.

Credit courses: UP students will take two UH Mānoa credit classes (up to six university credits). If students successfully complete these classes, the credits may be applied toward their degree at UH Mānoa. There may be restrictions to the type and level of coursework available. Please contact UP office for details.

Noncredit course – College Study Skills: This course will introduce group and cooperative learning strategies needed at the college level; 4-year degree planning; time management for students; and individual learning styles and study tips. These skills will help students to succeed in their UH Mānoa credit courses and beyond.

Noncredit course – Intercultural Communication: This course will provide the opportunity to grow students’ cultural competence and thrive at UH Mānoa. It will introduce intercultural communication styles and strategies for a successful transition to students’ degree programs. It will also introduce student rights and responsibilities at UH Mānoa.

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arrow Progression through UP Program

Application and Arrival

Students who submit an application and meet all eligibility requirements for UP as well as UH Mānoa will receive acceptance to UP and conditional acceptance to UH Mānoa pending completion of UP. All applicant data will be verified by UP Program Coordinator upon arrival.

Successful Completion of Semester 1

To progress from Semester 1 to Semester 2, students must:

  • Receive scores of 75% or higher in all Semester 1 courses
  • Earn a score of 500 or higher on the institutional TOEFL exam, to be taken during the latter part of the first semester OR have a TOEFL iBT score of 61 or higher OR have an IELTS score of 5.0 or higher.

Students who do not meet the the criteria to progress to Semester 2 have two options:

  1. Repeat Semester 1 courses with the incoming cohort of students. Continue into Semester 2 with the new cohort if criteria are met.
  2. Defer enrollment in Semester 2, temporarily transferring into the intensive English program, until criteria are met for Semester 2.

Successful Completion of Semester 2 – Progression to degree program at UH Mānoa.

In Semester 2 of UP, students take two UH Mānoa credit courses, plus three noncredit courses.

Students are considered successful in the UP program once they have passed Semester 2 courses at 75% or higher and have fulfilled university entrance criteria. Detailed requirements will be listed in UH Mānoa conditional acceptance letter.

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