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Prospective graduate students can apply for admission to either the Master's or PhD degree track.

Sponsorship of your Application

All students who are admitted to the program must have a Marine Biology faculty member who will sponsor their application. Thus it is in the applicant's best interest to contact potential sponsors about their research programs well before the application deadline, discuss your research intents and goals, and ask if they can provide research space and mentoring during your graduate study. Identification of a sponsor is not required before you apply. All applications will be available for Marine Biology faculty to review before final selections are made. However, contacting potential sponsors before hand is strongly encouraged. See Faculty for more information.

Here is an excellent guide of how to find a good graduate advisor.


The average GPA of an admitted student is 3.47


The GRE General Exam is also required for admission. The average percentile scores of an admitted student in the Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing are 71, 60, and 60 respectively. The GRE Subject Test in Biology is not required, however, scores can be sent to the Marine Biology Graduate Program office.

Financial Support

Students in the program are usually supported by Graduate Assistantships from grants of their graduate sponsor, fellowships from external sources, or Teaching Assistantships. Students may apply for Teaching Assistantships after being accepted to the program directly with the program and/or with the home department of their sponsor (check with your potential sponsor for more details).

Scholarships may also be available through the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Please check here for scholarships.

Course Preparation

Students admitted to the Marine Biology graduate program 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 a strong undergraduate background in math, chemistry and/or physics.

course preparation may include:
1 course of Calculus*
2 courses of Physics
2 courses of General Chemistry
1 course of Organic Chemistry
1 course of Biochemistry or Molecular Biology
18 credit hours of courses in Biology

Students are strongly encouraged to academically prepare before applying to the program. The time required to take courses in order for the student to have the necessary knowledge after enrollment will hinder the student's graduate progress in the program.

*Calculus is a required prerequisite of Biometry (ZOOL 631). Because Biometry or Statistics is required of both the MS and PhD degrees, calculus is a highly recommended course.

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