Ocean & Resource Engi­neer­ing and Ocean Law & Pol­icy Edu­ca­tion at The School Of Ocean and Earth Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy & Richard­son School of Law


The Uni­ver­sity of Hawai‘i (UH) is a pub­lic, post­sec­ondary edu­ca­tion sys­tem com­posed of 10 cam­puses through­out the 50th state. The flag­ship cam­pus at Mânoa. Uni­ver­sity of Hawai‘i at Mânoa (UH Mânoa) is a research uni­ver­sity of inter­na­tional stand­ing. It cre­ates, refines, dis­sem­i­nates, and per­pet­u­ates human knowl­edge; offers a com­pre­hen­sive array of under­grad­u­ate, grad­u­ate, and pro­fes­sional degrees through the doc­toral level, includ­ing law and med­i­cine; car­ries out advanced research; and extends ser­vices to the com­mu­nity. Stu­dents have spe­cial oppor­tu­ni­ties for Asian, Pacific, and Hawai­ian edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ences and involve­ment in research activ­i­ties, ser­vice learn­ing, and co-​curricular activities.

20,000-plus stu­dents are enrolled in UH Mânoa courses, on cam­pus or via dis­tance deliv­ery, study­ing toward bachelor’s degrees in 90 fields of study, master’s degrees in 84, doc­tor­ates in 51, first pro­fes­sional degrees in archi­tec­ture, law, and med­i­cine, and a total of 58 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cates. In addi­tion, 68.4 per­cent of UH Mânoa stu­dents are under­grad­u­ates, 55.7 per­cent are women, and 71.8 per­cent attend school full-​time. The mean age of stu­dents is 25.

The School of Ocean and Earth Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (SOEST) was estab­lished in 1988. It com­bines and inte­grates the Depart­ments of Geol­ogy and Geo­physics, Mete­o­rol­ogy, Ocean and Resources Engi­neer­ing, and Oceanography.

The Richard­son School of Law offers a three-​year, post-​baccalaureate pro­gram cul­mi­nat­ing in the Juris Doc­tor (JD) degree, also known as the first pro­fes­sional degree in law. A JD degree pre­pares stu­dents for the bar exam­i­na­tion, admis­sion to the bar, and a sat­is­fy­ing career in legal and related fields. The school also offers an LLM for inter­na­tional students.

Academic Programs

Grad­u­ate Programs

  • MS in Ocean and Resources Engi­neer­ing: The MS pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents for a pro­fes­sional career in advanced ocean sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. Coastal engi­neer­ing deals with coastal and har­bor prob­lems, sed­i­ment trans­port, nearshore envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing, and coastal flood haz­ards. Ocean resources engi­neer­ing is con­cerned with the engi­neer­ing sys­tems to develop the energy, min­eral, and liv­ing resources of the oceans, the use of the ocean for waste dis­posal, and the envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic aspects of these activities.
  • LLM Pro­gram for Inter­na­tional Stu­dents with Spe­cial­iza­tion in Ocean Law and Pol­icy: The LLM pro­gram is a one-​year course of study open to for­eign legal pro­fes­sion­als and law grad­u­ates who wish to gain a broader under­stand­ing of US and inter­na­tional legal issues. To grad­u­ate, stu­dents must com­plete at least 24 credit hours. Stu­dents are free to design their own course of study and may select a range of courses and sem­i­nars in areas such as busi­ness and com­mer­cial law, Ocean & Costal Law etc.

PhD Pro­gram

  • PhD in Ocean and Resources Engi­neer­ing: Edu­ca­tional and research empha­sis is placed on coastal engi­neer­ing, off­shore engi­neer­ing, and ocean resources engi­neer­ing. Coastal engi­neer­ing deals with coastal and har­bor prob­lems, sed­i­ment trans­port, nearshore envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing, and coastal flood haz­ards due to storm surge tsunamis. Off­shore engi­neer­ing is con­cerned with struc­tures and sys­tems used in the deeper parts of the ocean, includ­ing the con­ti­nen­tal shelf. The PhD pro­gram requires com­ple­tion of course work require­ments for the MS in ORE, qual­i­fy­ing exam, com­pre­hen­sive exam, dis­ser­ta­tion, and final oral exam /​defense of dissertation.

UH Mânoa Features

In addi­tion to the flag­ship cam­pus at Mânoa, the UH sys­tem includes UH Hilo, a four-​year cam­pus located on the island of Hawai‘i, and UH West O‘ahu, a four-​year cam­pus located on the lee­ward side of O‘ahu. There are four UH Com­mu­nity Col­lege cam­puses on O‘ahu and one on each of three neigh­bor islands, mak­ing col­lege classes acces­si­ble and afford­able in eas­ing the tran­si­tion from high school to col­lege for many students.

  • Cam­pus: The main UH cam­pus located in Mânoa val­ley on the island of O‘ahu. The beauty of Mânoa val­ley serves as a back­drop for a unique yet invit­ing cam­pus. A pop­u­lar cam­pus sym­bol is the rain­bow, a fre­quent sight in Mânoa valley.
  • Accred­i­ta­tion: UH Mânoa is accred­ited by the Accred­it­ing Com­mis­sion for Senior Col­leges and Uni­ver­si­ties of the West­ern Asso­ci­a­tion of Schools and Col­leges. Pro­fes­sional pro­grams are indi­vid­u­ally accred­ited by appro­pri­ate agencies.
  • Career Devel­op­ment and Stu­dent Employ­ment: : The Cen­ter for Career Devel­op­ment and Stu­dent Employ­ment (CDSE) empow­ers stu­dents to engage in career life plan­ning through aware­ness, explo­ration, expe­ri­ence, and reflec­tion. As a student-​centered orga­ni­za­tion, CDSE con­tributes to the engage­ment and reten­tion of stu­dents in career life plan­ning through coun­sel­ing; expe­ri­en­tial, work-​based learn­ing pro­grams; out­reach activ­i­ties, and work­shops that pro­mote pro­fes­sional and per­sonal development.
  • Sea Grant Col­lege Pro­gram: The Uni­ver­sity of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Col­lege Pro­gram (UH Sea Grant) sup­ports an inno­v­a­tive pro­gram of research, edu­ca­tion, and out­reach ser­vices directed to the improved under­stand­ing and stew­ard­ship of marine and coastal resources of the state, region, and nation. UH Sea Grant is a part­ner­ship of UH Mânoa, the National Oceanic and Atmos­pheric Admin­is­tra­tion, and the State of Hawai‘i that is facil­i­tated by strong link­ages with 32 Sea Grant pro­grams across the nation and affil­i­a­tions through­out the Pacific.
  • Law School Ulu Lehua Schol­ars Pro­gram: The pro­gram selects stu­dents from legally under­served com­mu­ni­ties who have over­come adver­sity and demon­strated aca­d­e­mic poten­tial, lead­er­ship abil­ity, and com­mit­ment to social jus­tice and pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity for them to obtain a legal edu­ca­tion. Ulu Lehua Schol­ars are fully matric­u­lated into the JD Pro­gram, but they also ben­e­fit from par­tic­i­pa­tion in a small, sup­port­ive learn­ing com­mu­nity within the law school, and from course load flex­i­bil­ity dur­ing their first year.
  • Pro Bono Pro­gram: The Pro Bono Pro­gram at the William S. Richard­son School of Law was one of the first law school pro bono pro­grams and is thought to be the first student-​initiated manda­tory pro­gram in the nation. Stu­dents are required to locate and to pro­vide law-​related pro bono work under the super­vi­sion of an attor­ney, law school fac­ulty or dean, or other supervisor.
  • Hous­ing: Stu­dent Hous­ing Ser­vices offers a lim­ited num­ber of apart­ments in a Hale Wainani low-​rise for Grad­u­ate and Fam­ily Hous­ing. Grad­u­ate and Fam­ily Hous­ing will be avail­able in one and two bed­room units located in the low-​rise apart­ment buildings.

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