Gilmore Hall 202
3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8234
Fax: (808) 956-9105

Dean and Director: Nicholas Comerford
Interim Associate Dean: Ania Wieczorek
Associate Dean: Walter Bowen I
nterim Associate Dean: Jeff Goodwin

General Information

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) was established with the founding of UH in 1907. CTAHR is a leading academic institution in tropical agriculture, biological engineering, food science and human nutrition, fashion design and merchandising, biotechnology, natural resources and environmental management, and family resources. Hawai‘i’s unique geographic location, ecological diversity, and multicultural population provide students with a living laboratory. The college is the locus of educational opportunities for students preparing to become tomorrow’s scientists, technologists, business leaders, family development specialists, fashion designers and merchandisers, nutritionists, and policy makers.

The land-grant mission of CTAHR provides students with an opportunity to study in an environment that blends teaching, research, and extension programs dedicated to discovering the secrets of basic science while addressing contemporary issues. Faculty members bring to the classroom the unique perspective of emerging research issues, coupled with an abiding commitment to education.

Through its extension activities, the college provides off-campus, noncredit educational programs focused on the advancement of agriculture in Hawai‘i, protection of the environment, and the strengthening of families and communities.

Through its research activities, the college promotes the advancement of life sciences and applications for productive sustainable agriculture. Investigations cover plant and animal physiology; plant, insect, microbial, aquacultural, bioreactor and environmental biotechnology; diseases, insects, and parasites; agronomy; soils; food science; food processing; resources and environmental management; eosystems services; biological engineering; bioremediation; biochemistry; human and animal nutrition; breeding and genetics; and culture, production, economics, marketing, and quality of life for individuals and families.

CTAHR Program Goals:

To prepare its students for success, CTAHR’s programs focus on four goals that incorporate characteristics desired by prospective employers. Each CTAHR graduate should be able to:

  • Communicate appropriately and clearly in a variety of oral and written forms to both professional and non-technical audiences.
  • Apply analytical, problem-solving, business management, and technological skills to everyday and discipline-related challenges.
  • Develop positive and ethical personal characteristics and appropriate interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Gain a broad understanding of real-world experiences and global issues through the exploration of and involvement in career-related opportunities.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

Certificates: Graduate Resource Management Certificate, Agribusiness Management Certificate

Bachelor’s Degrees: BS in animal sciences, BS in dietetics, BS in fashion design and merchandising, BS in biological engineering, BS in food science and human nutrition, BS in human development and family studies, BS in molecular biosciences and biotechnology, BS in natural resources and environmental management, BS in tropical agriculture and the environment

Master’s Degrees: MS in entomology, MS in food science, MS in animal sciences, MS in molecular biosciences and bioengineering, MS in natural resources and environmental management, Masters of environmental management, MS in nutritional sciences, MS in tropical plant pathology, MS in tropical plant and soil sciences

Doctoral Degrees: PhD in entomology, PhD in molecular biosciences and bioengineering, PhD in natural resources and environmental management, PhD in nutritional sciences, PhD in tropical plant pathology, PhD in tropical plant and soil sciences


CTAHR Office of Academic and Student Affairs
Gilmore Hall First Floor
3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8809 or (808) 956-6733

Academic advisors are available by appointment Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (except on holidays).

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate programs in CTAHR provide students with an opportunity to acquire those scientific, professional, and personal competencies emphasized by Hawai‘i’s business, governmental, community, and scientific leaders. The college provides a balance of educational experiences that include classroom instruction, laboratory sessions, co-curricular activities, supervised internships, and international study. Student exchange programs are also available for those desiring short term exposure to other institutions.

Admission Requirements

Students may enter CTAHR as freshmen or as transfer students from other departments or academic institutions. Requirements for admission are the same as those for the UH Manoa campus in general, except for the dietetics and natural resources and environmental management majors. Transfer students are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for natural resources and environmental management majors, and 3.0 for dietetics majors. Pre-requisite course work is also required for dietetics majors. Information on CTAHR undergraduate programs can be obtained from the CTAHR Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

College Requirements

To be eligible for a BS degree from CTAHR, students must complete the General Education Core requirements, CTAHR requirements, course requirements of the CTAHR major, and 45 credit hours of upper division courses (300+ level courses), earn a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA in major courses, and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in a minimum of 120 credit hours as prescribed by the major. Some majors may require more credit hours. All CTAHR undergraduates are required to complete a set of interrelated courses: HDFS 380/380L Research Methodology/Lab or NREM 310 Statistics in Agriculture and Human Resources; and an internship or capstone course within their major field. Foreign language requirements are specific to each academic program. Check with a CTAHR academic advisor for more information.

Multiple Majors/Degree

Students seeking a multiple major/degree must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, submit an application, personal statement and academic plan, in addition to meeting with a CTAHR academic advisor. Students desiring to add a CTAHR major/degree as their secondary major/degree, must successfully complete the introductory course for the CTAHR major with a C or better and started math, chemistry, and biology course work if required for the proposed major.

Second Degree

Students may enter CTAHR as a second degree student. Requirements for admission are the same as those for the UH Manoa campus in general, except for dietetics (FSHN), and natural resources and environmental management (NREM) majors. Second degree students are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for NREM and 3.0 for FSHN majors. Pre-requisite course work is also required for FSHN majors. Students seeking a second degree must demonstrate that the proposed second degree is substantially different from the first degree. At least 30 credit hours are required for the second degree in addition to those associated with the first degree.

Graduate Programs

Graduate studies leading to a master of science degree are available in nine fields: animal sciences; entomology; environmental management; food science; molecular biosciences and bioengineering; natural resources and environmental management; nutritional science; tropical plant pathology; and tropical plant and soil sciences. Doctor of philosophy programs are available in six fields: tropical plant pathology, molecular biosciences and bioengineering, entomology, natural resources and environmental management, nutrition, and tropical plant and soil sciences.

Three of CTAHR’s graduate programs in tropical agriculture (entomology, natural resources and environmental management, and tropical plant and soil sciences), have been recognized as distinctive programs by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Qualified students from participating states may enroll in these graduate programs at Hawai‘i-resident tuition rates.

CTAHR utilizes general UH Manoa facilities, including the libraries, which offer extensive collections and information services, and the computing center, which provides access to individual computers as well as large mainframes. The college’s facilities include a microcomputer laboratory, several research stations, and specialized laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, all of which support research and instruction in the food and life sciences. On-campus affiliations with the Institute for Biogenesis Research, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, Water Resources Research Center, East-West Center, Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, Sea Grant College Program, and Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute extend CTAHR’s resources. The college is also affiliated closely with off-campus institutions, such as the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, USDA/ARS Tropical Fruit and Vegetable Research Laboratory, Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center, UH Cancer Center, U.S. Geological Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, and State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Students may contact individual departments or the Graduate Division, 2540 Maile Way, Spalding Hall, Honolulu, HI 96822, or Financial Aid Services, 2600 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 for information on the application process, grants, fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, tuition waivers, loans, work-study programs, and job opportunities.

Admission Requirements

Students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or its equivalent from a recognized foreign institution of higher learning. Admission requirements for various graduate programs are specified under each department’s description. Admission decisions are made by Graduate Division in consultation with faculty in the field of study.

College Requirements

The requirements associated with the master of science degree vary with each program of study. The master of science Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) options are available in most programs; tropical plant and soil sciences and natural resources and the environment programs also offer a Plan C (examinations) option.

The PhD degree culminates in a set of comprehensive and final examinations and a dissertation of original work. Special requirements exist in some fields of study. Contact Graduate Division or the departments for additional information.

Instructional and Research Facilities

Modern laboratories as well as statewide field laboratories are an important part of undergraduate and graduate instruction. Students are able to learn the latest research methods. Classrooms are well-equipped for learning computer applications.

Student Organizations

CTAHR students are encouraged to join and actively participate in student organizations. CTAHR student organizations provide opportunities for students to gain experience in their professional field through diverse activities. Students can acquire transferable skills and competencies outside of the classroom while gaining invaluable knowledge they can utilize in the work force. Developing lasting friendships with peers and faculty are also benefits of active participation in student organizations. Current CTAHR student organizations include:

  • Fashion, Arts & Business (FAB)
  • Pre-Veterinary Club
  • Biological Engineering Student Association
  • Friends of the Family
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition Council
  • HI Streams & Ecosystems
  • Horticulture Society
  • Ka Mea Kolo Entomology Club
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Management Graduate Student Organization
  • Rotaract Club
  • Society of Conservation Biology
  • Stole Society
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Sustainability & Organic Farm Training (SOFT)
  • Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Organization
  • Tropical Plant Pathology Graduate Student Organization

Exceptional students may also be recommended for membership to honorary societies such as: Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Upsilon Omicron.

Honors and Awards

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and its departments provide scholarships and awards to its students. For a list of these scholarships, see the “Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid” section of this Catalog. More information on scholarships and awards can be obtained from the CTAHR Academic and Student Affairs Office, Gilmore 119, (808) 956-8183.