The School of Life Sciences is housed within the University’s College of Natural Sciences and conducts research and training across five academic disciplines including Biology, Botany, Marine Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular & Cell Biology. We administer a cohesive set of undergraduate degrees (BA and BS) across these disciplines, along with graduate programs (MS and PhD) in Botany, Microbiology, Marine Biology, and Zoology. The School of Life Sciences promotes the understanding, appreciation and preservation of biological diversity through excellence in research, education, service and outreach.


The life sciences are of fundamental importance in a science or liberal arts education, as they provide students with insight into and a deeper appreciation for the many facets of living systems that underlie our world.

Our students use their training as preparation for careers in diverse fields ranging from aquaculture, biotechnology, biological research, dentistry, marine biology, medicine, optometry, park services, pharmacy, and teaching. Our graduates have an outstanding record of acceptance in advanced degree programs at dental, medical, pharmacy, and graduate schools. Many of our graduates also become teachers after obtaining a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate at the College of Education.

The School of Life Sciences of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was formed in the Fall of 2019 by the merger of the Departments of Biology, Botany and Microbiology, and began operations on January 1, 2020. Life Sciences is home to 5 Undergraduate Majors and 4 Graduate Programs:

Undergraduate Majors

  • Molecular and Cell Biology (BS)
  • Biology (BA, BS)
  • Botany (BA, BS)
  • Marine Biology (BA, BS)
  • Microbiology (BA, BS)

Graduate Programs

  • Botany
  • Marine Biology (with SOEST)
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology

Students may also Minor in Biology, Botany and Microbiology, obtain a certificate in the Marine Option Program (MOP), Mathematical Biology, or become certified as a Clinical Microbiologist.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to investigate all living things by promoting learning and discovery through scientific research. We seek to maintain a high standard of education based on the development of biological literacy, application of quantitative and scientific methods, the exploration of biological concepts and the development of integrative and multidisciplinary thinking. The School of Life Sciences is committed to providing a positive educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students and a supportive working environment for faculty and staff based on principles of safety, inclusiveness, personal and professional integrity, and the pursuit of excellence.

Latest News

  • Congratulations SoLS faculty and staff awardees
    The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa will recognizes its finest faculty, staff and students with various teaching, research and service awards at its first in-person Mānoa Awards Ceremony since 2019. Congrats to …
  • 2022 City Nature Challenge this Weekend
    This year’s City Nature Challenge begins tomorrow, running from April 29 through May 2! To participate, one simply needs to make natural history observations on O‘ahu (including our surrounding waters and offshore islets) …
  • LEED Silver Award for Life Sciences Building
    The US Green Building Council awarded the Life Sciences Building a Silver Award for leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED). SoLS continues to support the mission to transform the way …
  • 46th Tester Memorial Symposium April 20 – 22, 2022
    The 46th Annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium will be held April 20 – 22, 2022, both in-person (Ballroom, Campus Center) and on a concurrent virtual platform. The three-day event will …
  • TAs can help open doors for students in the life sciences
    See the university news release about applying for Teaching Assistantship positions in the School of Life Sciences here. Interested in becoming a SoLS TA? Find out more here.

Upcoming Seminars and Events

April 8Robyn Screen, Zoology PhD candidate, UHM SoLS
April 13 (W)Marisa S. McDonald, Marine Bio PhD candidate, UHM SoLS
April 15Good Friday
April 19 (T)Claire J. Lewis, Zoology PhD Candidate, UHM SoLS
April 22Tester Symposium
April 29 Luke Campillo, Zoology PhD candidate, UHM SoLS
May 6‘Ale‘alani Dudoit, Zoology PhD candidate, UHM SoLS