Well before the December 15 deadline, it is in your best interest to contact a select group of potential MBGP faculty sponsors (i.e., a "sponsor" is a member of the Level 3 Regular/Cooperating Faculty in the Marine Biology Graduate Program who would become your advisor/committee chair if you are admitted) who have complementary research interests to yours. See our FAQ page for tips on contacting faculty productively.
The interest/support of a current faculty member is important to your admission chances, so it is to your benefit to contact 1-3 faculty before applying.
Students admitted into the MBGP are expected to have strong undergraduate or MS training in Biological Oceanography, Environmental Science, Marine Science, Marine Biology, Zoology, Microbiology, Botany, Biology, or other life sciences.
In addition, applicants are expected to have strong undergraduate background in Math, Chemistry, and/or Physics.
Students are encouraged to prepare themselves academically before applying to the program. Needing to take prerequisite/foundational courses after enrollment takes up time and will hinder a student's progress in the program.
Suggested course preparation may include the following:
*Calculus is required for ZOOL 631 (Biometry) and recommended for other popular statistics options like MBIO 612/OCN 682 (Programming and Statistics in R). Because Biometry or Statistics is required of both the MS and PhD (w/o prior MS) degrees, Calculus is a highly recommended course.
The minimum required GPA for applicants to the MBGP is 3.2
In recent years, the average GPA of students admitted to the MBGP has been ~3.47
The GRE General Test score is not required of all applicants (starting with the Fall 2021 cycle); however, individual faculty may choose to recommend/require GRE General Test scores when considering students for their particular lab. The list of faculty currently requiring/preferring that an official GRE score be submitted can be found on our How to Apply page.
If the faculty an applicant is interested in working with do not require the GRE, no score needs to be submitted with an application at all. However, if the applicant has not contacted the faculty (and asked about GRE preferences) or if an applicant wants to have his/her materials eligible for consideration by the highest number of faculty, the general recommendation would be to submit an official GRE General Test score.
Official test scores should be sent by ETS to the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa's Graduate Division.