Please contact the University of Hawaii Graduate Admissions Office at admissions for information and downloadable application forms

The Admissions Office is located in Spalding 354 on the main University of Hawaii campus at Manoa.

Basic Admission Criteria

3.0 undergraduate GPA or above and 60% or above GRE scores in each category.

Required undergraduate coursework:

2 semesters(equivalent in quarter systems): General Biology/Microbiology/etc. 100/200 level

2 semesters: 300/400 level Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, etc.

2 semesters: General Chemistry

2 semesters: Organic Chemistry

2 semesters: Physics

1 semester: Calculus or Statistics


    1- Send two sets of transcripts.  One official set goes to Graduate Admissions at Spalding 354, 2540 Maile Way Honolulu, HI 96822, and one set comes to the Cell and Molecular Biology Department at 651 Ilalo St BSB 222, Honolulu,HI 96813.

    2- Three letters of recommendation are required and should be sent to the department address:


            Lyn Hamamura

            Cell and Molecular Biology

            651 Ilalo Street, BSB 222

            Honolulu, HI 96813

    3- E-mail the Express Form, Statement of Objectives and Curriculum Vitae to

    4- The General GRE is required and our Institution Code is 4867.

    5- International Applicants must take the TOEFL Exam. Institution Code is 4867.

Program Requirements

In the first year, all students are required to take CMB 621, CMB 622 and perform three 13-weeks research rotations (CMB 631).  Please refer to the Faculty Directory to identify topics of interest and available rotation positions. 

In the second year, all students are required to take CMB 626, Ethics in Biomedical Research.

Finally, each semester, all students are required to take CMB 611, Seminar in Biomedical Sciences.

After the completion of the first year of coursework, all students take a qualifying exam.  This exam is a two part exam that consists of a written section and an oral presentation. This exam is usually administered in the late Fall. Passing this exam is required to continue on in the program.

Doctoral degree students must complete at least 3 semesters of full-time work (or the equivalent) in credit hours. A graduate student is considered to be enrolled full-time if his/her course load is:

6-12 hours if not a Graduate Assistant

6-9 hours if a Graduate Assistant

Audited courses do not count towards these course load limits.  Upper limits may be exceeded with permission  of the Graduate Chair and the Graduate Dean.

Master’s of Science Degrees require at least 30 credits. There is no credit requirement for PhD Degrees.

Neuroscience Specialization

The Neuroscience Specialization is open to any CMB student who wishes to pursue this aspect of the CMB program. Students may enter the program under the Neuroscience specialization, or add it later. CMB-Neuroscience students are required to take the following additional courses:

    - CMB 606  Introduction to Neuroscience

    - CMB 640  Neuropharmacology

    - CMB 705  Special Topics in Neuroscience

    - Research rotations with members of the Neuroscience Graduate Faculty (Visit the UH Neuroscience website)

The Special Topics course is a journal club that runs each semester. All of the coursework and the research rotations are aimed at bolstering the students background and training in Neuroscience. Basic knowledge and understanding of Neuroscience are integrated into the qualifying exam. 

Graduate level electives(500 and above) may be selected from the following departments:



Biomedical Sciences



Cell and Molecular Biology


Medical Technology


Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering

Ocean and Earth Science and Technology



Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences

Public Health Sciences and Epidemiology

Reproductive Biology

Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology


For more details about the CMB requirements, please download the full CMB handbook here: CMB Handbook (pdf).