Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Graduate Program

TPSS Academic Graduate Program

The University of Hawai‘i was founded in 1907 as the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and agriculture has been central ever since to its land-grant mission of research, extension (outreach), and instruction. The academic curriculum of UH Mānoa’s Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences (TPSS) encourages a broad understanding of how plants interact with the physical, chemical, and biological environment at the molecular, tissue, whole-plant, and population levels. Customized graduate coursework provide opportunities to explore tropical plants and soils in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field settings. Coursework in enterprise management with an emphasis on analytical decision-making provides valuable skills for students seeking a career in business.

Despite today’s challenging economy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts promising employment prospects for TPSS students. The United States currently generates an estimated 54,400 annual job openings in the agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources sectors for individuals holding baccalaureate or advanced degrees, while at the same time fewer plant scientists, soil scientists, and horticulturalists are entering the job market. On average, 29,300 graduates in agriculture and natural resources enter the work force each year, as do about 24,200 degree holders in allied fields. In the next several years, demand for skilled agriculture, forestry, and environmental science graduates is expected to outstrip supply.

Graduate Program Information



Graduate Program Information for
Prospective Students

Graduate Program Information for
Current Students



Current TPSS Course Listing




TPSS Student Organic Farming Training (SOFT) is a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students who share common interests in growing food sustainably and having fun. SOFT was initiated in 2007 and the SOFT Student Farm began in the spring of 2008 with a handful of students and faculty dedicated to creating a place for student exploration and leadership in agriculture. Since then, the farm has flourished, producing wonderful things to eat and a great community of lively students.



Every year, graduate students are elected for the TPSS Graduate Student Oganization (GSO). For the 2015 - 2016 school year, the TPSS GSO officers are:

  • Kauahi Perez - President
  • Tia Silvasy - Vice President
  • Greg Hoover ​- Secretary​
  • Aimee Uyehara - Treasurer​

The TPSS GSO strives to enrich the graduate student experience in our department by orchestrating social events and activities. The goal of these events is not only to provide camaraderie among students outside of the classroom and laboratory, but also to bring the entire department together, including faculty and staff, for informal events.

Annual Waffle Party

Before the start of the Fall semester, Dr. Ania Wieczorek, the TPSS Graduate Program Chairman, hosts a waffle breakfast for the TPSS graduate department to introduce incoming new graduate students and faculty members. It's a time to sit, eat and get to know new and old faces. And enjoy delicious waffles made by the graduate program chairman!