Friday, April 20, 2018
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaii System
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Make a Gift: UH Foundation
student group
PEPS210 2010 students collected over a ton of invasive algae from Kaneohe Bay.
student promoting the studies of Entomology
PEPS graduate and undergraduate students at LCC science fair promoting the studies of Entomology and Plant Pathology. (Photo: K-H Wang)
Dr. Brent Sipes and PEPS 210 students
Dr. Brent Sipes instructs PEPS 210 students on how to measure the sugar content of a solution using a handhelp brix meter. (Photo: C. Kadooka)

BS Degree 

The Departments of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences jointly offer a BS degree in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment (TAE).  Students in this program complete a common core of courses taught by faculty in both Departments and then specialize in one or more of the following areas:

(1) environmental soil science,

(2) invasive species management,

(3) landscape horticulture,

(4) plant physiology and genetics,

(5) plant production and management.

Students who undertake this program of study will:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the science of agriculture and its interaction with the environment from molecules to ecosystems.

2. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific evidence, knowledge and issues associated with agriculture in a dynamic world.  

3. Demonstrate the ability to identify problems associated with agroecosystems and apply the scientific method to develop solutions.

4. Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication for both professional and lay audiences.

A student is required to complete 120 credits to graduate with a BS in TPSS.

Note: The Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences formerly offered a BS degree.  However, there is no admittance to the BS in Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences degree effective Fall 2016. Students interested in study of invasive species management should enroll in the BS in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment and specialize in Invasive Species Management. 


Undergraduate students in the TPSS program are mentored by the program mentors: Dr. Ken Leonhardt ( in the TPSS Department or Dr. Mike Melzer ( in the PEPS Department for the program and specializations. Each student may also identify a faculty member in TPSS or PEPS to act as a mentor in the student's area of interest and specialization.

Undergraduates are required to consult with a CTAHR advisor prior to registration each semester. Go to for more information. Academic advisors are available by appointment only, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (except holidays). Appointment website: Gilmore Hall, first floor, email:


(120 credit hours)

The undergraduate degree program allows students to select among several different options to fulfill university core requirements. In accord with their own particular interests and in consultation with their advisor, students also choose from a variety of departmental courses and general electives. PEPS 499 (Directed Research) is a unique requirement that provides students with the opportunity to work individually with faculty members throughout their program.

Required coursework:

  • BIOL 171, 171L, and 172, 172L
  • CHEM 161, 161L, and 162, 162L
  • TPSS 200
  • BIOL 265
  • TPSS 304
  • TPSS 470/470L
  • PEPS 421
  • TPSS/PEPS 499 (3 credits)
  • NREM 310 or FAMR 380, FAMR 380L
  • Capstone or Internship (TPSS 492/492L or PEPS 495)
  • Math requirement for each Specialization

The students should complete the required and elective coursework for one of the five specializations. 

Environmental Soil Science
Invasive Species Management
Landscape Horticulture
Plant Physiology and Genetics
Plant Production and Management

  • Additional credit hours as necessary to meet UH Manoa General Education Requirements [Foundation and Diversification requirements]
  • Focus requirements for H (Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Issues; 1 course, any level), O (Oral Communication; 1 course at the 300 or 400 level), E (Ethical Issues; 1 course at the 300 or 400 level), and W (Writing Intensive, 5 courses with at least two at the 300 or 400 level).  Focus courses may overlap with the Language, Diversification, and Major requirements, but not the Foundation requirements.
  • Hawaiian / Second Language Requirement: Undergraduate students, in consultation with their undergraduate advisor, will be asked to select one of the following three options:
    • Option 1: Show proficiency in a Hawaiian / Second Language at the 202 level.
    • Option 2: Show proficiency in a Hawaiian / Second Language at the 102 level, and take one additional 3-credit semester course in the Social Sciences and one additional 3 or 4-credit semester course in Natural Sciences.
    • Option 3: Take two additional 3-credit semester courses in Social Sciences and two additional 3 or 4-credit semester courses in Natural Sciences. One of the courses in the Natural Sciences must include a laboratory.

      The Social Science and Natural Science courses chosen can be any 100 or 200 level course offered at Manoa in those areas. The courses taken to complete the foundation, diversification, and major requirements cannot be used to complete the language requirement. 

Quick Links

Undergraduate Chair

Dr. Kenneth Leonhardt

Office: St. Johnl, Room 19

Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 956-8909

Fax: (808) 956-3894

If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us at:

E komo mai | Welcome   |   Directory   |   Research   |   Extension & Outreach   |   Academics
The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.