Source: Chris Wall

Admissions Requirements

Review all sections below to ensure that minimum requirements are met when you apply for admission.

To see the actual steps, forms, etc. required for admission, please see our How to Apply page. You should also read through the Admissions FAQ page.

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  • Faculty Sponsor

    Well before the application deadline, it is in your best interest to contact a select group of potential faculty sponsors (i.e., a member of the Regular/Cooperating Faculty in the Marine Biology Graduate Program) who have complementary research interests to yours. You would want to discuss your research intents and goals you have and inquire if they might have lab space and time to provide mentorship during your planned time of graduate study.

    Identification of a sponsor is not required before you apply. All completed applications will be available for Marine Biology faculty to review before final selections are made. However, contacting potential sponsors before-hand is strongly encouraged.

  • Recommended Courses

    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* (1 semester)
    • Physics (2 semesters)
    • General Chemistry (2 semesters)
    • Organic Chemistry (1 semester)
    • Biochemistry or Molecular Biology (1 semester)
    • Biology (~18 credit hours)

    *Calculus is required for ZOOL 631 (Biometry) and 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.

  • GPA

    The minimum required GPA for applicants is 3.2
    The average GPA of admitted students is 3.47

  • GRE General Test (Optional in most cases)

    Starting in the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE General Test score is not required of all applicants. However, individual faculty may choose to require GRE General test scores when considering students for their particular lab.

    If the faculty an applicant is interested in working with do not required the GRE, no score needs to be submitted. 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 review by the highest number of faculty, s/he should plan to submit an official GRE General Test score.

    Official test scores should be sent directly by ETS to the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Graduate Division.

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