Undergraduate

Majors

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa offers Bachelor’s of Arts and Bachelor’s of Science degrees in the following areas:

MajorProgram SheetsSample 4-year Academic Plans
BiologyBA, BSBA, BS
BotanyBA, BSBA, BS
Marine BiologyBA, BSBA, BS
MicrobiologyBA, BSBA, BS
Molecular and Cell BiologyBSBS

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

The curricula are designed to provide students with a strong background in the principles of biology and with rigorous upper-division instruction in a number of areas. This combination of breadth and in-depth instruction allows students to develop the intellectual foundations and the skills necessary to deal with the specific biological concerns of today and the flexibility to meet the needs of the various professions. From this base, our graduates can pursue future specialization with confidence.

Which degree should I choose?

Bachelor of Science – Designed to give students a solid foundation and broad background in the principles and the diverse ways of thinking in biology as appropriate preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in Biology and for specialized graduate study in the field.  The BS is comprised of more courses within the major, providing students a more focused degree.

Bachelor of Arts – An adaptable program leading to a liberal arts education.  Students complete a greater number of courses outside of the major providing a diverse educational experience and more flexibility to pursue a minor/certificate.

Course List

Online Class Availability (for current course offerings)

SoLS Catalog

Listing by Programs: Biology (BIOL), Botany (BOT), Microbiology (MICR), Molecular Cell Biology (MCB), Zoology (ZOOL)

Undergraduate Opportunities

We encourage our students to take advantage of the many unique opportunities to enhance their learning. Here are just a few:

OpportunityDescription
Awards, Fellowships, and ScholarshipsThe School of Life Sciences makes many scholarships, fellowships, and other awards available to both undergraduate students. In general, applications for most undergraduate awards are due during the spring semester and can be made through the STAR scholarship system.
UHM SEA-PHAGES
Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science
Incoming freshman have the opportunity to gain research experience through a two-semester program while completing required Introductory Biology Laboratory credits. Students begins with digging in the soil to find new viruses, but progresses through a variety of microbiology techniques and eventually to complex genome annotation and bioinformatic analyses.
OPIHI
Our Project in Hawai‘i’s Intertidal
Our Project in Hawaiʻi’s Intertidal (OPIHI) is a year-long course that surveys intertidal and coastal areas in Hawai‘i. Students work with scientists and other students to engage in the entire scientific process—from writing a proposal to collecting data to sharing findings.
Directed ResearchInterested in scientific research? Join a research lab and conduct research for course credit (e.g., BIOL 499) under the mentorship of UH Mānoa faculty or scientists outside of the university. See also the Student Academic Success Center for additional opportunities.
BIOL 403: Field Studies in Marine Biology
(summer)
Summer Course: Offered as BIOL403, Marine Biology majors have the opportunity to live at Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island) while conducting group research projects over the summer.
DNA-Based Discoveries in Hawai‘i’s Biodiversity
(summer)
Summer REU: The DNA-Based Discoveries in Hawai‘i’s Biodiversity Research Experience for Undergraduates program provides students the opportunity to participate in a paid summer research experience and learn about pathways to graduate school and careers in the life sciences.
BIOL 400: Ocean InternshipsBIOL 400 provides an opportunity to complete marine related internships either on- or off- campus for course credit. Please refer to the guidelines for more details and to submit a proposal.

Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

For a BS or BA in Biology, Botany, Marine Biology, and Microbiology, student will be able to:
Biological Knowledge:
Synthesis and Application
1. Explain biological processes from molecules to ecosystems in an evolutionary context, including being able to use examples from Hawai‘i.
Critical Thinking and Reasoning Skills2. Demonstrate scientific literacy by critically evaluating scientific evidence, identifying gaps in knowledge, and applying strong evidence-based biological arguments to real-world problems.
3. Apply the scientific method to generate new hypotheses, formulate experimental approaches and outline potential outcomes, applying appropriate logical and quantitative methods.
Values4. Work individually and in teams in an ethical manner, and demonstrate respect for diversity of viewpoints
Communication skills5. In oral and written forms, be able to communicate biological information clearly and professionally.
For a BS in Molecular Cell Biology, student will be able to:
Biological Knowledge:
Synthesis and Application
1. Student will be able to explain the molecular processes that integrate to create a functional eukaryotic cell.
Critical Thinking and Reasoning Skills2. Demonstrate scientific literacy by critically evaluating scientific evidence, identifying gaps in knowledge, and applying strong evidence-based biological arguments to real-world problems.
3. Apply the scientific method to generate new hypotheses, formulate experimental approaches and outline potential outcomes, applying appropriate logical and quantitative methods.
Values4. Work individually and in teams in an ethical manner, and demonstrate respect for diversity of viewpoints
Communication skills5. In oral and written forms, be able to communicate biological information clearly and professionally.

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