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Prospective graduate students can apply for admission into 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 interests and goals, and ask if they can provide research space and mentoring during your enrollment. Identification of a sponsor is not required before you apply as all applications will be available for Marine Biology faculty to review before final selections are made. However, contacting potential sponsors before hand is strongly suggested. See

How to Apply

1. Students must apply for admission to the Graduate Division at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus before December 31 for enrollment in the following August.
  • Online Application
  • Submit GRE/TOEFL exam scores to Graduate Division
  • Submit transcripts to Graduate Division
2. Submit the following documents directly to the Marine Biology Graduate Program office via email to before December 31. Subject line of email must be in the following format: LAST, FIRST - Degree Sought (PhD or MS)
  • Supplemental Information form
  • Statement of Objectives form.
  • Three letters of recommendation emailed by the writer. If applicant wishes to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship, please have each recommender also submit the Marine Biology Graduate Assistantship form
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 on grants of their graduate sponsor, Fellowships from external sources, or Teaching Assistantships. Students may apply for Teaching Assistantships directly from the Marine Biology Graduate Program and the home department of their sponsor (check with your potential sponsor for details).

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

Direct specific questions to
Course Preparation and GPA Requirements

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.
Suggested course preparation for admission includes:
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.

GPA Requirements

Students must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2.

The GRE general exam is also required.