Hawaii Pacific University | Biology


Biology, the study of life, is currently in its most exciting era. Unique insights of new scientific pioneers fueled by modern research techniques are sparking an explosion of biological information. From these fragments emerge a picture of life revealing fascinating connections between molecules, cells, organisms, ecological systems, and evolution. Biologists explore these fundamental components and their connections to build a unified understanding of life.

The College of Natural and Computational Sciences offers three pathways, or concentrations, for a major program of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. The first program of study is Conservation, Ecology and Evolution which gives a strong background in natural systems, quantitative methods and evolutionary and ecological principles to prepare students for careers or graduate work in wildlife biology, conservation, ecosystem restoration and management.  The General Biology concentration provides a broad, yet integrated background across the breadth of fields within the biological sciences. The General Biology curriculum is scientifically rigorous but flexible, offering students choices and opportunities for pursuing their own areas of interest, and providing the preparation for a variety of biological careers or further studies, including molecular biology, physiology, veterinary science, microbiology, zoology, and botany. The third concentration is the Human and Health Sciences program of study. This curriculum focuses on molecular and human biology, with options to study advanced aspects of human health and social sciences, from microbiology to psychology, anthropology and health management. The Human and Health sciences option prepares students for entry into medical school, dental school, pharmacy and health care training programs, and graduate studies in health-related fields. In addition, it provides the scientific background for careers in biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, and biomedicine.  In all curriculum options, the Biology degree program at HPU integrates modern laboratory methods and field experiences with traditional classroom instruction, providing excellent preparation for employment or graduate studies for future researchers, science educators, health professionals, managers, and for many other pursuits.

  • As a volcanic island isolated in the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i is a great place to study biology. Our program is able to utilize the unique terrestrial and marine ecosystems, cultural diversity, and Pacific connections only found in Hawai'i. The rich indigenous history and current human impacts on the environment provide additional exciting opportunities and insights.

  • The academic atmosphere at HPU promotes excellence in scientific scholarship by allowing students to enjoy small class sizes and extensive laboratory and field exercises using modern instrumentation and techniques proven to develop the skills and practical experiences needed to be a functional biologist.

  • Students have opportunities to participate in high-quality research projects with faculty members as well as internships in the wider community.

  • All interested students are welcome to be part of the "Pre-Health Professions Program", a formal mentoring and guidance program that helps students prepare for graduate and doctoral degrees in the health professions. This program offers one-on-one guidance and support to students along with peer and community activities to develop leadership and cultural competence skills.

Students who major in Biology will:

  • Apply the fundamental knowledge, principles, processes, and systems in the natural sciences to solve biological problems.

  • Integrate advanced concepts across the breadth of biology subject areas, including cellular, molecular, and organismal biology, ecology, evolution, and the diversity of life.

  • Conduct, observational and experimental studies in biology, with appropriate experimental design and application of mathematical, statistical and computational techniques.

  • Find, read, and evaluate published biological research from a variety of sources.

  • Communicate scientific ideas effectively in written and oral formats with effective presentation techniques.

  • Exhibit professionalism and a commitment to uphold scientific ethics.

  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • $45 Application Fee
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume

What Can I Do With a Biology Degree?

General Biology Track

The General Biology track prepares students for a range of future directions including opportunities to work or to continue to study in fields as widely varied as fish physiology, microbiology, genetics or ecology. In addition, a background in general biology provides a scientific platform for careers in:  

  • Biotechnology 
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Biomedicine

CEE Concentration

The Conservation, Ecology and Evolution concentration provides a clear path to a career or graduate study in these fields.   A strong background in marine and terrestrial natural systems, quantitative methods and evolutionary and ecological principles will prepare them to help solve problems of habitat degradation, over-harvesting, alien invasive species and pollution.  Career or graduate study paths include

  • Wildlife Biology
  • Evolution
  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecosystem Restoration and Management

Human and Health Sciences Track

The Human and Health Sciences curriculum will prepare students to pursue and succeed in graduate health professional schools such as including:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Veterinary
  • Chiropractic
  • and others