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

Graduate Programs

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

Upcoming Seminars and Events

Fridays 2:30-3:20 at Bilger 150


1/12Understanding Plant Collections: Data, Sharing, and potential to provide resilience to Climate ChangeDr. Mikey Kantar
1/19UH Land and Ocean Conservation FuturesSuzanne Case
1/26Exploitation of Burkholderia pseudomallei Attachment Factors for the Development of Vaccines and TherapeuticsDr. Ian McMillan
2/2Loving Limu (or not): Microbes, Mesograzers, and MammalsDr. Kathy Van Alstyne
2/9Preliminary studies of microbiome stability in Hawaiian DrosophilaDr. Andrea Jani
2/16Microbial modulation of an aquatic food webDr. Matt Medeiros
2/23Dr. Kirsten Oleson
3/1To Stick, or Not to Stick: A Bacterial Adherence Factor Targets Host Cell Extracellular Actin for Infection Dr. Yun Heacock-Kang
3/8Amending the Late Flowering Photoperiod Response in Tropical Maize with Gene EditingDr. Michael Muszynski
3/15Novel geochemical strategies recreate paleoenvironments and distinguish abiotic and biotic carbonaceous materials in terrestrial sedimentary analogs: preparing for biosignature work on Mars.Vanessa Zepeda
3/22Holiday: Spring Break
3/29Holiday: Good Friday
4/12Tester Symposium
4/19MBGP PhD DefenseJulie Zill
4/26Endrei Marcantonio
5/3Zoology PhD DefenseVal Alvarez