Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Graduate Program

Prospective Students

The TPSS graduate program offers study leading to MS (Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C) and PhD degrees. The TPSS graduate program offers a degree in TPSS and option in TPSS (horticulture). The degrees emphasize the development of problem-solving skills that integrate molecular, biochemical, physiological, chemical, genetic, and ecological approaches to collaborative research in plant and soil sciences.

The TPSS degree aims to provide the student with a thorough hands-on understanding of the principles and techniques in the adaptation and application of biotechnology to tropical crop plant production, and the role of soils in supporting the whole system of crop production systems. The option requires understanding of fundamental biological processes, molecular and organism biology, genetics, plant physiology, chemistry, physics, and microbiology. Soil is studied both for intrinsic properties. as well as its role in supporting crop growth and as an environmental resource.

The horticulture option explores the many facets of tropical food and ornamental crop production and requires the understanding of agricultural systems, plant production, soil fertility, and protection of the environment, as well as supporting disciplines such as crop ecology, plant physiology, and molecular biology.

TPSS Graduate Program Requirements

Entrance Requirements
 

The TPSS graduate program uses a holistic approach in evaluating application materials. The holistic approah allows us to get a sense of not only the applicant's academic qualifications, but also of what the applicant is like as a person, and what they will contribute to the TPSS graduate community. Upon completion of all application materials, the TPSS graduate faculty reviews the materials and makes a recommendation to the graduate program chairman. For admission to the TPSS graduate programs, applicants must present a bachelors degree with a GPA of 3.0 (4.0 equals A scale) or the equivalent in the last four semesters or approximately 60 semester credits of the applicant’s undergraduate record. The GRE (TAKEN WITHIN THE LAST THREE YEARS) is required for all applicants. A minimum CBT TOEFL score of 173 is required of all foreign students. All applicants must submit 2 letters of recommendation and a Statement of Objectives form at the time of application.

Entrance to Program Course Requirements
 

There are no specific course requirements for entry into the TPSS graduate program; however, it is strongly recommend that students have completed one year of courses in general biology, chemistry, and physics during their undergraduate study.

Transfer of Credits
 

The transfer of credits to meet the requirements of the MS or PhD is not automatic. The student must petition the graduate program chairman, certifying that the transfers make programmatic sense and that the courses to be transferred are equivalent in rigor and scholastic content to graduate-level (600 level) courses offered at UH Manoa. The graduate program chairman may consult with the graduate faculty as to the certification. The maximum number of credits that can be transferred is 12.

Only those credits that have not been applied towards the fulfillment of a previous degree may be transferred. An exception may be made if the subject matter area could not be met by course offering at UH Manoa, provided the courses transferred meet the rigor and programmatic appropriateness criteria described above.

Advising
 

Admitted students must select an academic advisor during their first semester of their graduate studies.

Funding Availability
 

The TPSS graduate program takes great pride in supporting a majority of its graduate students – whether through fellowships, graduate or research assistantships or grant. The terms of the award may vary according to field of study. There is no official list for funding availability; however, for further information, contact individual graduate faculty members in your field of study to learn about what type of funding is available.

Teaching Assistantships: a limited number of teaching assistantships are available each semester. However, these teaching assistantships are only made available to admitted students. Admitted students will need to apply for teaching assistantships directly through the TPSS graduate program.

TPSS Graduate Program Degrees

Master of Science Degrees (Plan A, B, C)
Doctor of Philosophy Degree

 

TPSS SOFT

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.

 

TPSS GSO

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!