Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Marine Option Program offer?

MOP offers experiential ocean education for undergraduates. We offer an academic certificate, analogous to a minor, to students in any field of study ― we deal with art, journalism, business, archaeology, coral reef ecology, and even freshwater systems.  

Graduate, professional and unclassified students are welcome!  We also offer courses for credit, non-credit courses, field trips, symposia, a monthly student newsletter, a clearinghouse for internships/research projects/jobs, workshops, and more.

Is there an additional fee to be in MOP?

There is no cost, but you must be enrolled in the University of Hawai'i system. You must pay tuition and fees for the courses in which you enroll.

Are there prerequisite courses before I can enroll in MOP?

No.  There are no prerequisite classes to enroll in MOP.

Do I have to meet a GPA requirement?

No.  There is no minimum GPA to enroll in MOP.

Does MOP offer any scholarships?

Student projects may qualify for limited financial support.  The mechanism for requesting assistance is the project proposal budget, which must precede each project.  In addition, each year, students, staff and alumni nominate current MOP students for the Anna Toy Ng Memorial MOP Scholarship to a single out someone who exemplifies marine scholarship, ocean stewardship, and contributions to MOP.

What is a certificate?

This is an academic credential, similar to a minor.  It represents an academic specialization in marine studies in addition to your degree.  Like your degree, the certificate is registered on your transcript.

What are the deadlines to apply for MOP?

There are no deadlines to apply.  MOP has an open enrollment policy and you may apply at any time.

Do I have to attend the UH Mānoa campus to be in MOP?

No.  MOP has representation at nine different UH campuses. Others may earn the MOP Certificate though the UH Mānoa Outreach College.

Is there more to MOP than just the certificate?

Yes!  In addition to the certificate, MOP acts as an ocean-information clearinghouse, and sponsors a wide variety of experiential marine education programs such as internships, job placements, field trips, seminars, symposia, research projects and non-credit courses and workshops.

How do I start a MOP project?

Take the MOP Seminar (IS/BIOL 104), which is an overview of statewide ocean issues and organizations involved marine activities, management, education, research and business.  After this you can select a project topic and project mentors.  Your written proposal will be reviewed by your mentor and MOP Coordinator.  Then you may enroll for credit for your project. 
  Community college students are required to earn a minimum of two (2) credits for their projects, and the baccalaureate campuses requires a minimum of three (3). 
  For more information on the MOP Skill Project, click here.

Where is the Marine Option Program located?

MOP is a program of the University of Hawai'i.  The system office and the Mānoa campus office are co-located in Honolulu on the Mānoa Campus.

How do I get an application for MOP?

Applications are available from the campus Coordinators and are given out when prospective students complete an interview.

Can I major in Marine Biology?  Which campuses?

A B.S. in Marine Biology is available only at the Mānoa campus (UHM Marine Biology Program).  A B.A. in Marine Science is offered at UH Hilo (UH Hilo Marine Science Program).

Can I use some of the MOP courses to fulfill my core or major requirements?

No, "double dipping" is not allowed.

What kind of projects can I do?

Projects are very wide ranging.  Most students choose a project related to their major (but this is NOT a requirement).  Internships can involve spending time in a government agency or a private industry, learning what issues the organization focuses on and how they go about dealing with them. 
  This could involve assisting the whale sanctuary with an outreach program, writing a seaweed cookbook, helping to design a webpage for a non-governmental organization involved with the ocean, or choreographing an educational skit for an oceanarium's school visitation program.  Research projects could be on- or off-campus, and involve acquiring data from observations or experiments and then interpreting the results.  Topics for research projects include aquaculture, fisheries, beach erosion, a marketing survey for a maritime business the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and our ability to identify a mentor.

Are MOP course credits transferable from campus to campus?

Yes.  If you do not complete the MOP Certificate requirements you started at one UH campus, the course credits and project work are transferable to another UH campus.

Are the projects limited to Hawai'i?

No.  With an appropriate on-site mentor, projects for the MOP Certificate may be undertaken anywhere.

Contact Us

Department of Biology
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
2450 Campus Road
Dean Hall 105A
Honolulu, HI 96822


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