Graduate Studies in Geography at UH-Manoa

The Geography Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa was founded in 1931 and began offering Ph.D. degrees in 1967. Since then, more than 280 students have earned graduate degrees here in preparation for successful careers in the private sector, government service, in universities and with NGOs. Currently, there are approximately 65 graduate students in residence.

The department offers exceptional advantages for graduate studies. We have an excellent, active and enthusiastic faculty with research interests across the breadth of the discipline. We maintain an emphasis on field-based research in the Asia-Pacific region and our graduate students have conducted research in more than fifty countries. Our location within the Asia-Pacific region facilitates contact with and access to its environments and cultures. The department has been highly ranked by both the Gourman Report and the National Research Council and our students have consistently won national awards and research grants.


The department offers research-based M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Programs of study are individually arranged and ordinarily include courses from Geography and related disciplines. Our twenty six regular and affiliated graduate faculty members offer graduate courses and research guidance across the breadths of both the discipline and the region. Courses from Asian Studies, Pacific Islands Studies, Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Biology, Graduate Ocean Policy Program, and the several area studies centers (Chinese studies, Japanese studies, Korean studies, Southeast Asian studies, and South Asian studies) often supplement Geography department offerings. The department has climate, soils, genetic, paleo-environment, cartography/GIS and remote sensing laboratories. Additional research facilities can be accessed through cooperation with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the School of Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), the Hawaii Institute for Geophysics, the Lyon Arboretum, and the East West Center.

University Setting

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is a research intensive institution oriented toward its Island Pacific setting. The Manoa campus provides modern university facilities for approximately 20,000 students. The University's Hamilton and Sinclair Libraries hold more than 2.7 million monographs, 25,000 current journals, and specialized holdings in the Map, Asia, Pacific, and Hawaii collections. Other notable resources include the holdings of the Bishop Museum and the Hawaii State Archives.

The University is located in the Manoa Valley of Honolulu, about two miles from the resort beach of Waikiki. Metropolitan Honolulu has an ethnically diverse population of 900,000 and its urban core offers the amenities of a large contemporary city. Its unique role as the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the state capital of Hawaii, and a regional center for the commerce and culture of the Pacific give Honolulu its distinctive sense of place. The climate is tropical, with temperatures moderated by the trade winds and abundant rainfall induced by the orographic effects of the striking backdrop of volcanic and erosional topography.

In short, UH-Manoa's Geography Department is an excellent place to pursue a graduate degree. We encourage you to apply.