Additional program information is available in the ORE Guide to Graduate Studies and Research, available here.

The procedure is the same for both programs. The list of steps is summarized:

  1. You must apply through the Graduate Division by filling out the online application.
  2. Your official academic transcript(s) from all relevant institutions must be received by the Graduate Division.
  3. If you are a foreign applicant whose first language is not English, then official test scores must be sent to the Graduate Division.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Upload ORE-specific application materials to the ‘Supplemental Uploads’ portion of the Graduate Division application website:
    • ORE application
    • Request letters of recommendation through the website and your referees  can upload their letters confidentially to the website.
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Unofficial transcripts

It typically takes 3-4 weeks for us to review your application. Here is a summary of our procedures:

  1. Your official transcript, foreign language test scores (if applicable), and application fee must be received by the Graduate Division.
  2. Your official transcript is verified for its authenticity by the Graduate Division.
  3. The Graduate Division notifies our department that your application is ready to be reviewed.
  4. The ORE admissions committee reviews your application materials from the Supplemental Uploads website.
  5. The ORE admissions committee makes a recommendation for your application to the Graduate Division.
  6. The Graduate Division makes an official decision on your application and sends you an official decision.
  • If you are an international student, proof of adequate financial support is required. The financial information must be sent to the Graduate Division. If personal or family funds are sufficient to cover the expenses of tuition, acceptance can be granted. If the international student is offered an assistantship that will provide a tuition waiver, then personal financial information is not required.

The procedure is the same as for MS applicants (above). An appropriate advisor, an ORE faculty member or cooperating ORE faculty member, must agree to be your advisor. The ORE department will internally search for you once you apply.  We strongly recommend that Ph.D. applicants reach out to the appropriate faculty before or while applying.

ABET stands for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. ABET is a non-governmental agency that evaluates and accredits college education programs in applied and natural sciences, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accredits more than 4,000 programs including more than 800 institutions across 41 countries. ABET-accredited degrees enable holders to sit for examinations that lead to professional licensure after completing experience requirements. The majority of ABET-accredited programs offer baccalaureate degrees.

Since the MS degree is ABET-accredited, the ORE department upholds the requirements of ABET, and each MS student is required to complete 45 credits of undergraduate engineering and 30 credits of math and science courses. These courses are collectively referred to as the “pre-program” requirements.

ABET only accredits the first degree offered by a program, which is the MS program in ORE. This means that the PhD program is not ABET accredited (and also that the 45 credits of undergraduate engineering and 30 credits of math and science courses are not required for the PhD program).

No, completing all requirements is not required for admission to the MS program. A few courses are “essential” because they are prerequisites for ORE graduate-level courses.  They are

  1. Statics
  2. Dynamics
  3. Fluid Mechanics

These courses are usually taken in succession because they build on each other. In addition to these, solid mechanics, statistics and probability, and CAD are required. Pre-program courses can be taken at your home institution or when you enroll in ORE.

We typically accept students with undergraduate degrees in science and engineering disciplines. However, the ORE admissions committee places emphasis on your performance in ORE-related courses such as physics, mathematics, and engineering. Success in these courses typically correlates to success in our program.

The courses listed on your admission letter are required to complete before graduation from the ORE MS program. These courses are required to meet the ABET standards and do not have to be completed before you enroll in the ORE program. Before you enroll in courses in your first semester, we will evaluate your transcripts, with additional information you might provide, to evaluate which pre-program courses you require.

The ORE general examination is required for all MS students. This exam covers mathematics, statistics, statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics. It is typically taken in the first semester in ORE. The exam is multiple choice and is modeled after the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE). The exam can be waived if you have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) within years prior to enrolling in the ORE MS program. Note that passing the Professional Engineering Exam (PE) within 3 years of enrollment is not a substitute, only the FE exam is accepted. The ORE general exam should be taken in the first semester of enrollment (or in the first semester after completing all pre-program requirements).

Students with degrees in mechanical engineering and civil engineering are the most common. These students typically have none or very few pre-program courses.

You will receive official notice from the Graduate Division of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Typically you have one month to respond to your admission letter.

If pre-program classes are listed on your admission letter, you need to contact the ORE program before enrollment. Otherwise, the typical first semester in ORE is:

  • ORE411 Buoyancy and Stability
  • ORE603 Oceanography for Engineers
  • ORE607 Wave Mechanics

These courses are offered in the Fall semester. It is possible to start in the Spring semester but there are fewer options because ORE411, ORE603, and ORE607 are prerequisites for other ORE courses.

In the month preceding your first semester, you will be paired with an ORE faculty who will act as your academic advisor to help you choose your courses. You will also be paired with a current ORE student who will be your resource person as you transition to your graduate study in Hawaiʻi.

The MS program is 30 credits. This consists of:

  • (3) ORE411 Buoyancy and Stability – required
  • (3) ORE603 Oceanography for Ocean Engineers – required
  • (3) ORE607 Wave Mechanics – required
  • (3) ORE601 Laboratory – required
  • (3) ORE783 Capstone – required
  • (8) Electives based on your specialization or track –
  • (1) Seminar
  • (6) Thesis Plan A or (3) Project (Plan B) and (3) elective

The 4 tracks in ORE MS program are:

  • Coastal – design of coastal structures, erosion, or beach stabilization,…
  • Offshore – design of offshore structures…
  • Resources – renewable energy and other resources in the ocean…
  • Oceanographic – building sensors, underwater robotics, developing algorithms,…

Typically, you should decide what track to take before the end of your first semester. Second-semester courses will be specialized in one of the tracks. Note that there is flexibility in these tracks; we recommend speaking with your potential advisor.

All PhD students are required to take an advanced mathematics course at the graduate level and ORE792 – Seminar. Each PhD student must also pass the ORE qualifying exam by demonstrating their knowledge in undergraduate mathematics and engineering fundamentals and in the 4 MS core classes:

  • (3) ORE411 Buoyancy and Stability
  • (3) ORE603 Oceanography for Ocean Engineers
  • (3) ORE607 Wave Mechanics
  • (3) ORE601 Laboratory

Most PhD students take these 4 classes in preparation for the qualifying exam.

When you apply to the MS or PhD program, fill out the form that signifies that you are interested in applying for financial support. Here are key points about financial support:

  • There are 3 different types of financial support: 1) research assistantship, 2) teaching assistantship, and 3) internship with a local engineering company.
  • In all cases, the student will receive a monthly salary of 0.5 full-time (equivalent to 20 hours per week), health benefits, retirement benefits, and a tuition waiver.
  • Current salary rates are given here:
  • The ORE admissions committee will pair you with appropriate faculty, cooperating faculty, or local engineering companies that may financially support you. Your statement of interest, CV, and skill sets will be considered for each opportunity. We will request access to share your application materials outside of  UH if you are interested in an internship (e.g. with a local engineering company).
  • Financial support is awarded on a competitive basis.
  • It is difficult to predict how many opportunities will be available each semester.
  • Financial opportunities are considered on a rolling basis so we strongly recommend that your application is complete by the application deadline of August 15 or January 15.

If you elect to join the department and your tuition will be paid using personal funds, you will be considered for a scholarship offered by SOEST. This scholarship will provide $1,500 towards your tuition as long as you are paying tuition out of pocket and are in good academic standing. This scholarship is renewable for 2 years and no other financial support like a graduate assistantship is in use. See also the “Financial Support” page of the ORE website for a list of other sources of external funding.

The ORE buddy program is meant to aid your transition to Hawaiʻi or ORE. We will connect you with an existing ORE student that can be used as a resource for living in Hawaiʻi, student life at the University of Hawaiʻi and ORE, or other related social questions.