International University Admissions Blog: Spotlight on The University of Hawaii at Manoa

Snapshot of The University of Hawaii at Manoa

Located in the residential Manoa Valley in Honolulu, Oahu, the expansive University of Hawaii at Manoa boasts a stunning backdrop of a forested mountain ridge. The campus is an accredited arboretum, which extends more than 300 acres and has extensive gardens with lovely flowering trees and colorful tropical flowers. The student population is extremely diverse and many commute from home. Adventure-seeking students love the location for its accessibility to mountains for hiking and ocean for water sports. This flagship university is one of only four US schools that is a land-, sea-, space-, and sun-grant institution. These designations provide the university with funding, for example, for agriculture and engineering programs as well as for research in ocean conservation, space, and sustainable and environmentally friendly energy alternatives.

Campus Vibe:

  • True to the reputation of the state, students report a laid back social atmosphere
  • Given that the temperature hovers around a tropical 78 degrees make sure you don’t forget your flip-flops, shorts, and T-shirts!
  • Expect to see many students coasting around campus on longboards or skateboards
  • UH is also considered, in many school rankings, as a great environment for outdoors sports and adventure! Students appreciate the nearby mountainous state forest reserve with its trail network and fabulous view of Honolulu (as well as various other hidden gems within the tree’s…)

Food and Life on Campus:

  • The University has a diverse student population with a large number (over 50%) of Asian descent and Native Hawaiian students
  • With a mere 24% of students living on campus, UH is known to be a commuter school
  • About 50% of classes have fewer than 20 students
  • More than 60% if the student population is female
  • First years are guaranteed housing if you apply in May
  • The campus is reputed to be sleepy after dark and on weekends
  • The Greek community is a scant 1% of the population
  • There are over 200 recreational activities available, including sailing, surfing, kayaking, hiking, as well as snorkeling and are popular student activities
  • Along with dining halls, local vendors offer delicious Hawaiian specialities. Enjoy 16 flavors of shaved ice at the Just Ice Food Truck, and super fresh poke bowls at Ono Seafood
  • Sistah Truck, serving popular Korean-inspired local cuisine, rotates between different buildings during the week
  • Students also talk excitedly about Kanikapila, which is a popular festival of Hawaiian music, dance, and culture!

Noteworthy Programs & Tips on Academics:

  • Classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a top tier research institution (Research 1), UH at Manoa has excellent programs in such fields as oceanography, astronomy, Pacific Islands and Asian Area Studies, linguistics, cancer research, and genetics
  • The Hawai’inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge – the sole US college of indigenous knowledge in a Research 1 institution – offers undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Faculty and students at the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technologies conduct research on topics such as renewable energy, oceanography, coral reef ecology, volcanology, remote sensing, tropical meteorology, and climate modeling. Undergraduates can major in atmospheric studies, earth science, and environmental sciences. Students receive training on SOEST’s specialized facilities, an impressive fleet of research vessels, deep-ocean observatories, and field and research stations.
  • The Shidler College of Business emphasizes international business with a specific Asia-Pacific focus.
  • In the tropical agriculture program at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, among other studies, students conduct research on the interaction between agriculture and the environment with a focus on the tropics. 
  • Students gravitate to UH for Asian studies as well as Pacific Island studies. The School of Pacific and Asian Studies helps coordinate more than 300 faculty who teach roughly 600 courses related to Asia and the Pacific across the campus.
  • Faculty and students at the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technologies conduct research on topics such as renewable energy, oceanography, coral reef ecology, volcanology, remote sensing, tropical meteorology, and climate modeling. Undergraduates can major in atmospheric studies, earth science, and environmental sciences. Students receive training on SOEST’s specialized facilities, an impressive fleet of research vessels, deep-ocean observatories, and field and research stations.
  • The Shidler College of Business emphasizes international business with a specific Asia-Pacific focus.
  • In the tropical agriculture program at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, among other studies, students conduct research on the interaction between agriculture and the environment with a focus on the tropics. 
  • Students gravitate to UH for Asian studies as well as Pacific Island studies. The School of Pacific and Asian Studies helps coordinate more than 300 faculty who teach roughly 600 courses related to Asia and the Pacific across the campus.

University Lore:

  • An Echochamber on campus? Go to the top level of the main parking structure adjacent to the law school, find the circle of bricks, stand in the middle, and speak, shout, or sing! You’ll be treated to your own voice echoed back.
  • A castle in Korea inspired the design, by Korean architects, of the Center for Korean Studies. The building was constructed in Korea, shipped in pieces to Oahu, and reassembled on campus.

Getting around Campus and Beyond:

  • Commuters arrive at school by bus, car, rideshare and bike.
  • For a nice off-campus treat, Morning Glass Coffee & Cafe is a step up from Starbucks
  • Housed in a tiny hole in the wall walking distance from campus, Ahi Assassins Fish serves the freshest and best poke bowl around. Get there early, there is usually a line out the door!

Applying from another country? Here’s what you need to know!

  • Students at UH at Manoa represent 115 countries and regions.
  • The International Student Services office gives orientations and guides those coming from abroad through visa clearance and other requirements.
  • The International Student Association provides a support system for students coming from abroad, offering academic assistance, leadership development, social opportunities, and a chance to explore issues and places in Hawaii.
  • The Hawaiʻi English Language Program (HELP) provides extra English language instruction for students whose first language is not English. Some  students attend this program if they are admitted to UH at Manoa conditionally if they have not demonstrated sufficient English proficiency.

Quick Facts:

  • Total enrollment: 17,490; undergraduate enrollment: 12,.631
  • The acceptance rate is 83%.
  • Division 1 sports college in the Mountain West Conference.
  • Member of the Western Undergraduate Exchange, allowing students in Western states to request reduced tuition costs
  • The university has two official languages: Hawaiian and English. Students graduate with a bilinguar diploma.
  • The University of Hawaii has its own marine research island called Coconut Island, which is less than a mile off the coast of Oahu.
  • The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources was founded in 1907 as the first college of UH at Manoa.

Published by BestFitEdu

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