Undergraduate Students

The Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences undergraduate program at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) is a unique program for those who like the outdoors and wish to combine that interest with a professional career. Our students come from many academic and cultural backgrounds. Some have very little practical environmental or agricultural experience. However, they all share a keen interest in applying science for the purpose of finding practical solutions to problems. The comprehensive undergraduate program gives students the opportunity to study plant systems at the molecular, biochemical, or species level, as well as managed and natural ecosystems. Our graduates have a wide variety of career opportunities from which to choose, ranging from the laboratory to outdoor activities.

Biotechnology is one of the exciting new fields offered in the program. Several members of the TPSS faculty are responsible for genetically engineering a ring spot virus resistant papaya cultivar, which has saved the local industry. This technology, in conjunction with traditional plant breeding and production related research, has the potential is to increase food supply, improve food quality, and assure food safety while protecting the environment and improving the quality of life. Undergraduates are encouraged to obtain practical experience by conducting research under the direction of a faculty member, and working in a commercial industry via our internship program.

Students enrolled in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences will enjoy learning the science, technology, and art of growing and using plants and their products, and about the soils crucial to man. The undergraduate advisors and faculty are committed to preparing you for a challenging career in one of many interesting and rewarding areas.

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) is an accredited land-grant university in the tropics, and its program in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences has a uniquely tropical emphasis. We emphasize the study of the tropical species that are important as Hawaii foliage plants (Mainland “house” plants) such as anthuriums, orchids, tropical lei and cut flowers, nursery and landscape plants, and turfgrass. Other equally important areas of study are the food crops such as vegetables, macadamia nuts, papaya, coffee and new potentially important tropical crops.