Graduate Division

Admission Guide: Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES), MS

Guide to Completing the Application for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science, MS
Program Website: http://tcbes.uhh.hawaii.edu/
Entry Term: Fall 2020

Priority deadline for receipt of all application materials: December 1st, 2019

Program Purpose and Goals

Provide students with the knowledge and skills to counsel clients from diverse backgrounds (e.g. ethnic/racial, The primary purpose of the MS in TCBES is to provide graduate training in conservation biology and environmental science to people with baccalaureate degrees and others currently working in the field. The program will utilize the extraordinary biological, physical and cultural complexity on the Island of Hawaiʻi as a focus of investigation and study. The program will prepare students for technical positions and for entry into Ph.D. programs in related fields.

Program Mission

  • Foster knowledge of theory and techniques in conservation biology and environmental sciences, including basic, applied, and socio-ecological research;
  • Promote scholarly activities in marine and terrestrial environments that will enable participants to pursue careers in research and natural resource management.

M.S. TCBES Application Checklist

  • UH Hilo Graduate application form Online
  • $50 Application fee paid online
  • Personal statement of objectives
  • Resume
  • Three professional or academic letters of recommendation
    • Letters may be mailed to the Graduate Division or emailed directly from your letter writers to hilograd@hawaii.edu.
  • Official transcripts from all non-UH system colleges or universities (must be received in a sealed envelope). Official transcripts from UH system institutions will be pulled via STAR.
    • We will accept certified electronic transcripts sent directly from your institution to hilograd@hawaii.edu.
    • Baccalaureate degree transcripts from international institutions must be submitted to an independent transcript evaluation service
  • Official GRE score report- General Test [UH Hilo code: 4869], must be received directly from the testing agency, or in a sealed envelope if submitted with your application.
  • Have received confirmation of TCBES Faculty sponsorship, if Thesis Track

UH Hilo Graduate Division Mailing Address:
200 W. Kāwili Street
COBE Building Rm. 201
Hilo, HI 96720-4091

For international applicants

  • International Graduate Student Supplemental Information Form
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (non-native speakers of English; see Eligibility Criteria)

GRE Testing

The UH Hilo testing center offers a limited number of GRE testing seats. More information and a schedule can be found on the UH Hilo Testing Center website.

Test seats are limited, scheduling in advance is highly recommended.

Application Process

Applications will be examined beginning Dec. 1 for admission to the following Fall semester. After Dec. 1, applications will be accepted on a space available basis until May 1. Apply online

The UH Hilo Graduate Division receives all supporting documents and maintains the applications through final notification.

Applications that meet the admission criteria will be forwarded to the TCBES Admissions Committee for a comprehensive review and consideration for admission into the program. Admission decisions made by the committee will be forwarded to the Graduate Division which sends the final notification to the applicant.

Admission Status

The applicant’s admission status is valid only for the semester to which the applicant is accepted. Applications for students who do not register or who withdraw from the University are voided but retained for a period of two (2) years. Students may reapply for admission to the next year by submitting a new application and fee, and updated statement, resume and letters.

Criteria for Admission

Acceptance is granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee based on the six criteria listed below. An applicant must:

  1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or from a nationally recognized foreign institution.
  2. In her/his personal statement, state whether he/she is interested in Thesis Track or Internship Track. If Thesis Track, the applicant must list advisor(s) from the TCBES faculty who agrees to sponsor the application and to serve as primary advisor upon acceptance to the program. Internship Track students are not required to get sponsorship from an advisor.
  3. Have a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 290 on the General Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  4. Have a grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 = A scale) or the equivalent in the last four semesters of approximately 60 semester credits of undergraduate and/or in all post- baccalaureate work.
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation from references who have observed or supervised the applicant’s performance and are able to comment on the quality of the applicant’s academic achievement, ability to pursue graduate study, and general character.
  6. Earn a score of 550 TOEFL (paper based), 213 (computer based) or 79 (internet based), or 6.0 IELTS (for students who have not attended an English language university, or for whom English is not the primary language).

Transfer of Credits

Requests for transfer of graduate credits must be made during the first semester in which the student is enrolled in the program. Only credit hours with a grade of B or better from accredited universities are transferable. Transfer credit hours must have been completed within five years preceding the date upon which the advanced degree is to be conferred by UH Hilo, and must not have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. The TCBES program will decide which credits will be transferred.

International Student Admissions

Official college transcripts in the original language and official translations into English must be provided. To expedite your application, all graduate applicants with international transcripts are required to send the baccalaureate transcript for professional evaluation by one of the credential evaluation services listed on our web site: International Student Application Information. Only graduates of accredited universities will be considered for acceptance.

International Graduate Student Information

Required Courses (60 Credits)

Total Credits in Program:
- Thesis Track: 33 Credits - Internship Track: 36 Credits

Core Courses (8 Credits) required for all M.S. TCBES Students:

  • CBES 600 Conservatn Biol & Environ Sci (3)
  • CBES 601 CBES Field & Laboratory Method (3)
  • CBES 602 Research Seminar in TCBES (1)
  • CBES 603 Natural Resource Mgt Seminar (1)

Core Courses Required for Thesis Track:

  • CBES 677 Quantitative Ecology (3)
  • CBES 700 Thesis Research (1-6) (6 Credits Required)

Core Courses Required for Internship Track:

  • CBES 645 Soc Sci Rsch Mthds Envir Cons (3)
  • CBES 689 Organiz Mgmt & Logistics (3)
  • CBES 690 Internship (1–6) (10 credits required)

Required Elective Courses Thesis Track:
16 Elective credits of 600-level CBES courses. From these elective courses, you must take the following:

  • Foundations: Choose one course from the following list:
    • CBES 609 Theory/Apps Landscape Ecology (3)
    • CBES 615 Global Environmental Change (3)
    • CBES 633 Biodiversity (3)
    • CBES 635 Physical Environment of Ecosys (3)
    • CBES 655 Ecological Physiology (3)
    • CBES 657 Vegetation of the Hawaiian Isl (3)
    • CBES 658 Insect Systematics and Ecology (3)
    • CBES 660 Molecular Ecology (3)
    • CBES 663 Fisheries Ecology (3)
    • CBES 664 Environmental Microbiology (3)
    • CBES 665 Environmental Toxicology (3)
    • CBES 675 Conservation Genetics (3)
    • CBES 685 Behavioral Ecol & Evol Analyse (3)
  • Methods: Choose one course from the following list
    • CBES 610 Environmental Chem Analysis (3)
    • CBES 620 Rrsch Techniq Molecular C Biol (3)
    • CBES 640 Adv Remote Sensing/Digital Ima (3)
    • CBES 645 Soc Sci Rsch Mthds Envir Cons (3)
    • CBES 670 Geog Info Sys & Visualization (3)
    • CBES 680 Adv Stats Analysis & Rsrch Des (3)
    • CBES 681 Advance Geo-Spatial Techniques (3)
  • Applications: Choose one course from the following list
    • CBES 642 Comm. Science in K-12 Settings (2)
    • CBES 682 Natural Resource Env Econ (3)
    • CBES 689 Organiz Mgmt & Logistics (3)

Required Elective Courses Internship Track:
12 Elective credits of 600-level CBES courses. From these elective courses, you must take the following:

  • Foundations: Choose one course from the following list:
    • CBES 609 Theory/Apps Landscape Ecology (3)
    • CBES 615 Global Environmental Change (3)
    • CBES 633 Biodiversity (3)
    • CBES 635 Physical Environment of Ecosys (3)
    • CBES 655 Ecological Physiology (3)
    • CBES 657 Vegetation of the Hawaiian Isl (3)
    • CBES 658 Insect Systematics and Ecology (3)
    • CBES 660 Molecular Ecology (3)
    • CBES 663 Fisheries Ecology (3)
    • CBES 664 Environmental Microbiology (3)
    • CBES 665 Environmental Toxicology (3)
    • CBES 675 Conservation Genetics (3)
    • CBES 685 Behavioral Ecol & Evol Analyse (3)
  • Methods: Choose one course from the following list
    • CBES 610 Environmental Chem Analysis (3)
    • CBES 620 Rrsch Techniq Molecular C Biol (3)
    • CBES 640 Adv Remote Sensing/Digital Ima (3)
    • CBES 670 Geog Info Sys & Visualization (3)
    • CBES 677 Quantitative Ecology (3)
    • CBES 680 Adv Stats Analysis & Rsrch Des (3)
    • CBES 681 Advance Geo-Spatial Techniques (3)
  • Applications: Choose one course from the following list
    • CBES 642 Comm. Science in K-12 Settings (2)
    • CBES 682 Natural Resource Env Econ (3)

Notes:

  1. A maximum of 6 credits of 400-level courses may count towards these elective credits
  2. The CBES 690 Internship course is meant to be taken each semester for a total of 10 Credits.

Tuition Schedule

Students in this program pay the Graduate Tuition Rate. Resident and Non-Resident rates are available.

UH Hilo Tuition Schedule
UH Hilo Fees Schedule

Students are charged tuition on a per credit hour basis up until 12 credits per semester.

For financial aid assistance, please contact:
UH Hilo Financial Aid Office: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/financialaid/
Ph: (808) 932-7449

Native Hawaiian students who need assistance with applications and/or scholarships please contact:
Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center: http://kipuka.uhh.hawaii.edu/
Ph: (808) 932-7418

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to find a faculty sponsor? If you are interested in Thesis Track then you are required to contact individual faculty members whose research interests are similar to your own and who agree to sponsor your application to the program. It is recommended that you begin faculty contact well before the application deadline. If you are interested in Internship Track then you are not required to have a sponsor.

  2. How do I find a faculty sponsor? TCBES Faculty information can be found on the TCBES Program website, Faculty page

  3. How long does it take to complete the program? The course work is designed to be completed in 3-4 semesters, with additional time needed for completing the thesis or internship.

  4. What are the entrance requirements? See Check List and Criteria for Admission on page 1 of this document

  5. Do I have to take the GRE? Yes, applicants are required to submit General GRE exam scores to UH Hilo (UH Hilo code: 4869).

  6. Can I transfer credits? Yes, up to 6 graduate credits excluding Practicum and Internship may be transferred, subject to program approval.

  7. When will the program start? Classes for new students begin in the fall of each year.

  8. How much will it cost to live in Hilo? You should budget approximately $38,000 (residents) and $50,000 (non-residents) per year for tuition, books, housing, food, and personal expenses.

  9. Is financial aid available? Graduate assistantship positions may be available (contact Dr. Wiegner: wiegner@hawaii.edu). You may also contact faculty and participating agencies for financial assistance. Students interested in any type of financial aid should submitted the FAFSA; students who are residents of the State of Hawaiʻi may qualify for the $1,000 Graduate Opportunity Grant. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information, at (808) 932-7449.

  10. Do I need to write a Master’s Thesis? Thesis Track requires course work and a thesis of original research. Internship Track requires course work, an internship, and research papers.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Tracy Wiegner
Director MS Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Ph: (808) 932-7594
wiegner@hawaii.edu

For questions regarding the application process, contact:
Shelby Wong
UH Hilo Graduate Division
Ph: (808) 932-7927
hilograd@hawaii.edu