Graduate Admissions

Application Deadline is December 15

For questions, call (808) 956-8617 or email:

Fall admission only


Applicants for admission to the graduate program are required to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent from a recognized foreign institution of higher learning. Note: The Graduate degrees offered are in Zoology, eventually graduate degrees in Biology will be offered, but unavailable at this time. Students who are interested in the Graduate program in Marine Biology, please visit:

Undergraduate Preparation

Applicants are expected to have had at least:

  • 18 semester hours of Biology;
  • three semesters of chemistry (inorganic and organic);
  • one year of college physics (with laboratory);
  • one course in calculus;
  • one course in botany (with laboratory) or a two-semester general biology course;
  • one course in biochemistry or molecular biology.

Deficiencies in undergraduate preparation must be made up within the first two years without graduate credit, except that biochemistry or molecular biology may be taken for graduate credit if it is at the 400-700 level.


A completed University of Hawai‘i graduate application form and transcripts of all prior college level work must be submitted to the Graduate Division office before December 15 for admission the following August. Application forms can be obtained from Graduate Division admissions office.

In addition, the Department of Biology requires the following: (Please note that the Graduate degrees offered are in Zoology)

  1. GRE General Test,
  2. three letters of recommendation from persons who can appraise the student’s potential as an advanced degree candidate (these can use the Graduate Assistantship Evaluation form), and
  3. the Supplemental Information Form

The GRE advanced test in Biology is not required but is recommended and, if provided, will be considered by the admissions committee. High scores on this test may also exempt incoming students from part of the diagnostic exam.

Applicants wishing to be considered for either Research or Teaching Assistantships also need to submit a Graduate Assistantship Application.

Graduate Application Checklist

A checklist of the required materials for the graduate application can be found here.


Students are admitted to the Graduate Program in Biology ONLY if a member of the graduate faculty will “sponsor” that student, indicating that he or she is provisionally willing to serve as that student’s advisor.  Sponsor's Letters will be due after the graduate committee has met, however faculty must look over applications before deciding whether to sponsor a student or not. For this reason it is very important that prospective applicants contact appropriate faculty members well before the December 15 application deadline, even if the Sponsor Letter itself is due after the application deadline.  A letter of sponsorship is required from your Sponsor in order to complete your application and have it considered.  The letter can be mailed to the Department of Biology or emailed to by your sponsor.

M.S. or Ph.D.?

Effective Fall 2002, applicants without an M.S. May apply for admission directly into the ph.D. Program.

Applicants with a Master's degree in Biology (or equivalent) will be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. Applicants without a Master's degree may apply for either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs, although those applying for the Ph.D. program may be offered admission into the M.S. program instead, if the Admissions Committee determines they are not adequately prepared for doctoral studies.

Supplemental Information

In order to be considered for admission to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Zoology Graduate Program, a Supplemental Information form is required.  The Supplemental Information form and all other required application materials must be received by December 15, 2016.

You will need to complete this form in one sitting.
Please assemble the following documents BEFORE starting application:

  1. Transcripts
  2. CVs
  3. Standardized test scores
  4. Names of Biology Graduate Faculty you've contacted
  5. Recommenders: Names, phone numbers, and emails.

The Supplemental Information form can be found as a pdf here: /biology/sites/

If there are any questions, please email or call 808-956-8617

Selection Process

Faculty members inform the Admissions Committee (in writing) of any applicants they wish to sponsor for admission. Completed applications having a faculty sponsor then are evaluated by the Admissions Committee; the Committee may also try to match outstanding applicants with sponsors. The sponsored applicants then are ranked by the Admissions Committee, based on all their application materials. Applicants are accepted according primarily to this ranking, although available financial support also is considered. Teaching assistantships are offered to the highest ranked applicants. The overall number of new students to be admitted is determined by the faculty.