Biology is the study of life and of all living organisms. We are fortunate to live in a time when unique insights from brilliant minds of the past have combined with modern research techniques to spark an explosion of fascinating new biological information. From exploring DNA and cellular structure to discovering the origins of a species or pairing a modern understanding of physiological processes with the historical study of anatomy, the field of biology allows us to connect to and understand the world around us. A strong foundation in the basic principles of biology is essential to those who wish to work in the life and health sciences, as well as those who wish to sustain and protect the natural environment.

The College of Natural and Computational Sciences offers two pathways leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. The General Biology track provides a broad yet integrated curriculum across a range of biological science topics including ecology and animal, plant, and cellular biology. The Human and Health Sciences track focuses on molecular and human biology, with coursework including advanced aspects of human health and social sciences - from microbiology to psychology and anthropology to health management. In both 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 continued studies for future biologists, science educators, health professionals, researchers, and many other paths.

  • 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
  • SAT I or ACT Scores (freshman only)
  • 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 restoration ecology. In addition, a background in general biology provides a scientific platform for careers in:  

  • Biotechnology 
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Biomedicine

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