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Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program

Applications the TCBES Program will be accepted after Dec 1 on a rolling basis until all slots for Fall 2019 are filled. Send all application material to

Browse our Seminar Schedule or TCBES News!

Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science: Available Tracks. Graduate education that focuses on environmental conservation in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems

Some funding opportunities are available! If interested, include your application(s) for these funding opportunities with your application to the program.

Fellowships are available with the Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation for TCBES students.

Graduate Assistantships within Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) at UH Hilo.

Welcome to the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program! The TCBES program is emerging as a center of excellence in the Pacific that is capitalizing on Hawaii’s unique natural resources that are integral to the state’s cultural, economic, and scientific enterprises, and by extension, to those of the entire nation and other Pacific nations. The TCBES Program mission is to provide MS-level graduate education that: a) fosters knowledge of theory and techniques in conservation biology and environmental sciences, including basic, applied, and socio-ecological research, and b) promotes scholarly activities in marine and terrestrial environments that will enable participants to pursue careers in research and natural resource management.

Program Description

The primary purpose of the Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science is to provide graduate training in conservation biology and environmental science to those with baccalaureate degrees and those currently working in related scientific fields. The program will utilize the extraordinary biological, physical, and cultural complexity of 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.

Thesis Track
requires course work (30 credits) and a thesis of original research.
Internship Track
requires course work (36 credits), an internship, and research papers.

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)
  • Elective Courses

Two Plans of Study

The thesis track requires that you have a faculty advisor identified to be your research mentor. It's your responsibility to contact faculty and follow up. It's very important to find someone whose research interests align with your own to ensure your success. Some ways to find potential advisors:

  • scrutinize the professors' descriptions on the TCBES website,
  • use a search engine or literature database (Google Scholar, SCOPUS, etc.) to look at the faculty member's publications in the last 10 years
  • look at UHH website to see what courses the prof has taught in the last 5 years
  • email or call faculty and be specific about your research interests.

M.S. TCBES Application Check List

(Reminder: Priority application deadline is December 1st. Rolling applications accepted on a space-available basis until May 1st)

Send all required documents to

  • Completed UH Hilo Graduate application form
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement of objectives (describe which track you are interested in; if Thesis Track include which faculty you have corresponded with that might agree to serve as potential advisor)
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities (must be received directly from the institution, or in a sealed envelope if submitted with your application)
  • General Test, Graduate Record Exam
  • Three Academic/Professional Letters of Recommendation received at UH Hilo by December 1
  • Official TOEFL score report, if required
  • Verification of financial status and Evaluation of Transcripts (for international applicants): see UH Hilo International Graduate Students section

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