M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science

Apply to TCBES!

First, determine in which track of study are you interested?. View details about each of the TCBES tracks below:

Please note: Applying for the funding opportunities is a separate application process. At the moment, the applications for funding opportunities are not yet available for Fall 2023 cohort, but will be posted here when available. Please check the Funding Opportunities page.

Please review the TCBES Admission Guide for more information on how to apply for the program.

SPECIAL NOTE: UH Hilo is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are residents of WICHE member states to enroll in 900+ graduate programs at 60 public institutions outside of their home state and pay up to 150 percent of resident tuition. If you are from one of those states, your cost to enroll at UH Hilo would be significantly reduced compared to out-of-state tuition. Learn more about it at WRGP Program for UH Hilo.

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. have stated interest in the Thesis or Professional Internship track as part of the personal statement. 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. Professional Internship track students are not required to get sponsorship from an advisor.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

MS TCBES Application Checklist

Note: see The Graduate Division for more specifics on application details

  1. UH Hilo Graduate application form
  2. Application fee, $50
  3. CV/Resume
  4. Personal statement of objectives*
  5. Three professional or academic letters of recommendation
  6. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities
  7. Baccalaureate degree transcripts from international institutions must be submitted to a transcript evaluation service
  8. Have received confirmation of TCBES faculty sponsorship if Thesis Track

*Note on personal statements: Your personal statement, written as a coherent narrative that tells your story, should address the following:

  • What experiences have led you to want to pursue a Master's degree in tropical conservation and environmental science fields and how did they prepare you for graduate study?

  • What personal attributes make you well-suited and committed to studying and stewarding the environment?

  • What are your short and long-term career goals?

  • How will graduate study specifically in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate program at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo (UH Hilo) and being based on Hawai'i Island help you accomplish your academic and career goals?

For International applicants:

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

Additional information on the program can be found in the course catalog.

Funding Opportunities

Please visit the Funding Opportunities page for a comprehensive list of funding options to support your graduate studies at UH Hil and instructions on how to apply. Funding opportunities change yearly and so check this page often.