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Aquaculture Specialty

UH Hilo Home > Academics > College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management > Specializations

General Information

The undergraduate Aquaculture specialization was established in 1988. The Hilo area has unique potential for aquaculture education. As expected in a semi-tropical climate, warm seawater and freshwater are available. Additionally, cool fresh and salt water (20 degrees celsius) and cold (6 degrees celsius) seawater can be obtained from wells. This diversity of water supplies allows the culture of almost all aquaculture species including tropical fish, trout, salmon, carp, shrimp, various seaweeds, and shellfish throughout the year. Aquaculture students currently have access to a freshwater aquaculture facility at the UH Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory, as well as the 12-acre Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center (PACRC) at Keaukaha. Facilities include a water quality laboratory, a shellfish hatchery, a marine fish hatchery, demonstration fish culture units, and a marine mammal rehabilitation facility. Freshwater and marine aquaponics demonstration units are also present at each facility.

Why Study Aquaculture?

Graduates in Aquaculture can obtain employment immediately after graduation with private firms and various government agencies as aquaculture scientists/technicians. Because of the broad emphasis on both biology and agriculture technology, graduates have many of the skills required to start their own aquaculture enterprises. If students desire a career in research or teaching, this specialty is designed to enable students to be qualified for admittance to graduate programs in aquaculture and fisheries.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will have a thorough understanding of and be able to describe the worldwide extent and importance of aquaculture in the production of food, chemicals, recreation and environmental mitigation.
  • Students will become familiar with and be able to compare and contrast the major types and components of aquaculture systems, species and factors affecting system sustainability.
  • Students will be able to identify global cultural, social, economic and historical factors that affect aquaculture development with an emphasis on the Hawai`i and Pan-Pacific region and be able to describe specifically how these factors affect aquaculture.
  • Students will be able to explain the relationship between aquaculture, society and the natural environments for the major aquaculture areas around the world, including potential impacts (positive and negative), and how environmental and social challenges can be solved. Emphasis will be placed on Hawai`i and the Pan-Pacific region, although regions such as Latin America and SE Asia will also be covered.
  • Students will have experiential learning opportunities (e.g., hands-on experiences at laboratories, farms, demonstration centers) to acquire skills and abilities including hatchery, growout, harvesting and marketing of aquaculture species to enhance their competitiveness in their future careers.

Requirements for Graduation

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with a specialization in Aquaculture, a student must complete a minimum of 123 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.0. The course work must be in the following areas:

General Education Requirements (46 to 52 hrs)
(see General Education website for a listing of qualified courses)

In the Agriscience and Supplemental Requirements, some of the required courses also qualify as General Education Requirements.

Title/Courses Credits
Basic General Requirements
(18 hrs Total)
English Composition
ENG 100 or ENG 100T or ENG 100H or ESL 100 or ESL 100T
3 hrs
Language Arts 3 hrs
Quantitative Reasoning
Two courses
6 hrs
World Cultures
Two courses
6 hrs
Area General Requirements (19 hrs Total)
Two courses in different disciplines.
6 hrs
Social Sciences
Two courses in different disciplines.
6 hrs
Natural Sciences
Two courses in different disciplines, including 1 credit hour of laboratory.
7 hrs
Integrative General Requirements
(9-15 hrs Total)
Writing Intensive Requirement Three courses designated "WI", one of which must be numbered 300 or above.
Transfer students, after an official transfer credit evaluation, may be required to take less than 3 courses.
3-9 hrs
Hawaiʻi Pan-Pacific Requirement 3 hrs
Global and Community Citizenship 3 hrs

Requirements for Major (including GE courses, 123 hrs)

Course Title Credits
Agriscience Requirements (46-47 hrs Total)
AG 200 Agro-Environmental Science and Communication 3 hrs
AG 291
Directed Work Experience Program 3 hrs
AG 375 or
ANSC 445 or
BIOL 466
Introduction to Genetic Analysis or
Animal Breeding and Genetics or
3 hr
AG 496 Senior Seminar 1 hr
AGBU 320 or
AGEC 330
Agribusiness Management or
Farm Management
3 hrs
AGEN 400 Aquaculture Engineering 4 hrs
ANSC 141 Introduction to Animal Science 3 hrs
ANSC 254 Fundamentals of Animal Nutrition 3 hrs
AQUA 262 Introduction to Aquaculture 3 hrs
AQUA 352-352L Aquaculture of Fishes & Lab 4 hrs
AQUA 353-353L Invertebrate and Algae Culture & Lab 4 hrs

AQUA 425-425L or

NRES 425

Water Quality and Aquatic Productivity & Lab or

Marine Biogeochemistry

4/3 hrs
AQUA 466 Fisheries Science 3 hrs
HORT 262 Principles of Horticulture 3 hrs
HORT 263 Hydroponics 3 hrs
Supplemental Requirements (36-37 hrs TOTAL)
BIOL 281 or
MARE 265
General Ecology or
Marine Ecology and Evolution
3 hrs
BIOL 280 or
MARE 250 or
MATH 121
Biostatistics or
Statistical Applications in Marine Science or
Introduction to Statistics and Probability
3 hrs
CHEM 151-151L
CHEM 141
CHEM 161-161L
CHEM 162-162L
CHEM 161-161L
CHEM 141
Introductory Chemistry & Lab
Survey of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I & Lab
General Chemistry II & Lab
General Chemistry I & Lab
Survey of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
7/8 hrs
MARE 171-171L Marine Biology-Diversity and Lab 4 hrs
MARE 172 Marine Biology - Cellular Processes 3 hrs
MARE 201-201L Oceanography and Lab 4 hrs
MARE 371-371L or
MARE 372-372L or
MARE 484-484L

Two of the following courses:
Biology of Marine Invertebrates & Lab or
Biology of Marine Plants & Lab or

Biology of Fishes & Lab

8 hrs
PHYS 106-170L College Physics I & Lab 4 hrs
Electives (12-14 hrs Total)

Effective Fall 2016.

Aquaculture Specialty Curriculum Sheet