Guidelines for Post-graduate Research Students

The following is the procedure for students enrolled in Ph.D degree programs at other universities who wish to apply for visiting status in our department for the sole purpose of conducting research, without being enrolled in any of our courses or degree programs. [Those wanting to register for classes should review the Graduate Division’s Visiting Graduate Student requirements and our Department’s guideline.]

All applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A current Curriculum Vitae
  • A one-page statement describing your proposed research project and the reasons why this department would be a suitable venue for carrying it out.
  • The name of one of our graduate faculty members if you have already discussed your plans with the person, and that person has expressed interest in working with you.

Additional documents required of international student applicants:

  • An official TOEFL score, if you are not a native speaker of English or have not been awarded a degree from a university in an English-speaking country.
  • A letter indicating your source of financial support

These materials will be reviewed by members of our department’s graduate program faculty in the applicant’s field of interest. If your proposal is accepted, the Department Chair will issue you a formal letter of invitation specifying the time period for your visit (not to exceed one year) and naming a member of our faculty who will be responsible for serving as liaison during the admissions process and supervising your research work while you are here.


  • You will be required to give a presentation related to your research project.
  • You may be permitted to unofficially audit classes, although you will not be formally enrolled or receive academic credit.
  • You will not be permitted to conduct research in our language classes without first requesting and receiving explicit permission to do so from the Department Chair.
  • Since the University of Hawaii will not be able to provide financial aid, you will need to provide evidence of sufficient financial resources (a minimum of $1,500 per month) in order to be eligible to receive a Research Scholar (J-1) visa.


Applications must be submitted at least 4 months prior to intended visit to provide sufficient time for visa processing. More time may be required for countries where embassy processing times are particularly slow.