Earth Sciences students on a lava field, Big Island, Hawaii

Why Choose SOEST?

For over 30 years, SOEST has been a global leader in research, education, and discovery in marine, earth, and planetary sciences. SOEST builds on over 100 years of oceanographic and geosciences research in Hawai‘i.

Top Reasons to ‘Make Mānoa Yours’ (on YouTube)

Come and study earth and environmental sciences (on YouTube)

World-class research

SOEST faculty and staff bring in more than $100 million in extramural funding each year.  Our students and staff have unrivaled access to a diverse collection of world-class research facilities, including satellite fabrication and launch facilities, a fleet of open ocean research ships, and a private reef-fringed island dedicated to marine biology research.  Our students work in each of Earth’s oceans, on every continent on the planet, and in some of the most isolated and beautiful natural ecosystems ever discovered.

SOEST is recognized internationally for academic and research excellence by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, considered one of the most comprehensive and objective rankings of world universities by subjects. We are No. 15 in the world in atmospheric sciences, No. 12 in oceanography, and 51-75 in earth sciences. Read more about it in the SOEST News item.

Strong academics

Learning at SOEST is as much about real-world experience as it is classroom and laboratory work.  Our students learn, in the lab and the field, from the scientific pioneers responsible for our collective understanding of major world phenomena, and global problems—preparing students to be tomorrow’s leaders and change-makers. SOEST departments offer generous research fellowship and scholarship opportunities to all students. 

 Small class sizes and connected community

SOEST has approximately 275 undergraduate and graduate students. Small cohorts and class sizes foster a connected and friendly community among students. Undergraduate student lounges for each major offer gathering places well as peer support. Student experiences are greatly enhanced by interactions with SOEST’s approachable faculty who prioritize teaching and mentoring.

Career opportunities

Our students graduate with in-demand technical and analytical skills and join a network of thousands around the world, all working to change the way we live on planet Earth. Alumni from SOEST are employed throughout Hawai‘i, the US, and internationally in public and private sectors, education, and research endeavors—making meaningful contributions to science, environment health, and community resilience.


 Whether students are from Hawai‘i or elsewhere, the location of UH Mānoa has something to offer everyone. With SOEST, Hawai‘i students have an affordable, world-class institution in their own backyard; and students from the mainland and around the world have an opportunity to explore and learn on a beautiful tropical island with a rich and thriving culture.

A role model who revels in research (on YouTube)

“I choose my major because it allows me to be outdoors and also to travel and experience what I have learned in class.”

— SOEST undergraduate