University of Hawaii at Manoa Reviews

  • 75 Reviews
  • Honolulu (HI)
  • Annual Tuition: $34,218
79% of 75 students said this degree improved their career prospects
87% of 75 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 6/16/2022
  • Degree: Chemistry
"Since I do not know much about the other departments at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa), this review below is specifically for the UH Manoa's CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT & especially the CHEMISTRY PHD OR MASTERS PROGRAM. I enrolled at the UH Manoa CHEMISTRY PHD PROGRAM on August 2013 & graduated on December 2020. My overall experience at that UH Manoa Chemistry PhD Program was UNSATISFACTORY. Here are my reasons: 1) Chemistry Department is UNDERFUNDED for the Undergraduate Teaching Labs. The Teaching Laboratories are RUN DOWN & several glassware & chemicals use for teaching undergraduate students a chemistry laboratory course are worn out & expired, thus, difficulty to really run a teaching lab to properly teach undergraduate students a chemistry laboratory course. In addition, TAs do NOT get their own laboratory classroom key & instead have to rely on the Chemistry Stockroom Manager or a Professor to open up the laboratory classroom. Undergraduate Students have to SHARE equipment with OTHER TA's Lab Course instead of having their own locker of chemical equipment to run a Chemistry Lab Class. I heard many Mainland US Universities are much more ORGANIZED in terms of the Undergraduate Chemistry Lab Courses than this University of Hawaii at Manoa Chemistry Department. 2) Most of the UH Manoa Chemistry Department Faculty Research Lab are also UNDERFUNDED. If you are planning to get a PhD in Chemistry or a Masters in Chemistry from this UH Manoa Chemistry Department, keep in mind that most of the faculty at this department do NOT have sufficient funds available to run a proper Research Lab. Because of the lack of funding, you may end up doing TA-ship, especially during your "All But Dissertation" or "All But Thesis" status INSTEAD of RA-ship. FYI: TA-ship is a DISTRACTION, which will resulted in PROLONGED STAY at the UH Manoa Chemistry Department 3) Average to complete a PhD in Chemistry Degree at UH Manoa Chemistry Department would be 7+ Years (compare this to other universities in the Mainland U.S.; most Mainland U.S. Chemistry PhD Programs only take 4-5 years to complete the Chemistry PhD Degree). Meanwhile, for Masters, average to complete a Masters in Chemistry Degree at UH Manoa Chemistry Department would be 4+ Years (in the Mainland U.S., average to get a Masters in Chemistry Degree at most Mainland U.S. universities are 2-3 Years). Some at UH Manoa Chemistry Department even ended up DROPPED OUT or EXPELLED... Why take so long for most Masters & PhD Students at the UH Manoa Chemistry Department to complete their degrees, Answer: See my Reason # 1 & 2 above, for they linked with this # 3. With my case, I started the program on August 2013 & completed on December 2020 (that's 7.5 years). 4) Inevitable to encounter a TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT at this UH Manoa Chemistry Department. Many UH Manoa Chemistry Masters & PhD Students struggled with Depression & other forms of mental health struggles. In addition, very COMPETITIVE environment. These 2 things are a formula for TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT, where conflict & harassment between graduate students (& even between grad students & professors) may arise. Most common Toxic Work Environment Behavioral Problems: Gossiping, Rumor Spreading, & Social Isolation of Peers. LACK OF TRUST in this department. In addition, most of the faculty of the UH Manoa Chemistry Department LACKS CARE & proper training in how to prevent an escalation of a Toxic Work Environment. Most common problem most of the UH Manoa Chemistry Department Faculty have is NEGLIGENCE to their Master & PhD Students working for them. There are others I could share, but I feel it's very sensitive to share. But the most common problems are the ones I listed in this # 4. What cause a Toxic Work Environment to form at this UH Manoa Chemistry Department? My answer: Has to do with Problems # 1-3 above. 5) The UH Manoa Chemistry Department Faculty do NOT really support their students well. With my case, I ended up seeking Career Advisement from the UH Manoa Career Center INSTEAD from my own PhD Dissertation Advisor (FYI: Technically, it is the sole responsibility for the PhD Dissertation Advisor to give Career Advice to their PhD Students & they MUST support their PhD Student's Decision. If the PhD Student decides to use his/her PhD Degree for Post-Doc, then their advisor must support that. If the student uses his/her PhD Degree for Industry after graduation, again the Advisor must support that & give good advice as well as being a good TRUSTWORTHY reference for their student). To summarize, if you are planning to enrolled at UH Manoa, especially if you are planning to do a Masters or a PhD Degree at UH Manoa, I STRONGLY SUGGEST to AVOID THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT to get your Masters or PhD Degree. Get your Masters or PhD Degree at OTHER DEPARTMENTS at UH Manoa is acceptable (though do research carefully about the faculty & the Department's Work Environment, especially research carefully if there's a guarantee that you can get your PhD degree in 4-5 years or a Masters Degree in 2-3 years). But, if you are selecting the UH Manoa Chemistry Department to pursue a Masters or PhD Degree, I'm sorry to say, that's a bad choice & it is best that you SHOULD AVOID UH MANOA CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT TO DO YOUR MASTERS OR PHD DEGREE."
  • Reviewed: 4/13/2022
  • Degree: Physics
"I am currently a graduate student in physics, and I did my bachelor's in astrophysics at UH too. I am extremely frustrated with the physics department nearly all the time. The TA pay is horrendously low, and the faculty doesn't seem to care if you actually get your degree or not. Even the "adviosrs" cannot answer simple questions about what is required to get degrees they offer, and other professors will tell you completely false information. They just use us as cheap labor to teach the intro labs and then kick us out if we can't pass* an extremely difficulty written exam. We cosntaly ask the department to update it's policies, and get nothing in return. I would not recommend the graduate program to anyone."
  • Reviewed: 12/11/2020
  • Degree: Business
"Trash school. Don’t go there. The academics are trash and I’ve met the rudest people. Save yourself time and don’t go here. Might even get a better academic experience teaching yourself hahah. Food is trash, the people are rude and it’s the worst time i ever had."
Angela Stein
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2019
  • Degree: Fashion
"I truly loved my experience at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I had the opportunity to meet with advisers, professors, and other students before attending, which helped me secure my major and interest in the school. I do have a learning disability and was helped by the Kokua Program all throughout my undergrad to get all the necessary help I need for test taking and advising. Professors were kind and helpful and always made themselves available for office hours. I took part in being a college ambassador, honors society, and other clubs which help me meet many people on campus. There was no "party" atmosphere which I appreciated, because I wanted to on my studies. I did meet a lot of other students who were interested in being successful in courses like myself. I was mostly an on-campus student, but the online courses I took were also enjoyable and the professors for online courses had office hours in person on campus. My required courses (not for my major but for the university) were the hardest courses for me. Math, Writing Intensive, etc. The only negative drawback for the University was having to do required group assignments with students who were really checked out. I had a hard time being forcibly assigned to work with students, who I did specifically choose not work with (mostly at random or drawn from a hat) because they would disappear, and become absent from the entire course, leaving myself and few other students to cover a majority of the work for them. This happened several times throughout my time at the University of Hawaii. Because Hawaii is an exquisite, relaxed place, many students not from the state itself can disregard school and ended up going missing from the course, which is not appreciated when 25% of your grade can rely on a project with them. Other then that drawback, I enjoyed the school and the professors, and many other students I met there. My major (Fashion Design and Merchandising) had so many engaging courses and professors. I recommend this college to anyone interested!"
  • Reviewed: 5/14/2019
  • Degree: History
"I have heard complaints of key major courses not being offered frequently enough (mostly with friends in engineering/physics). In my experience with the history program, I felt there was enough variation of courses and the professors were mostly good. There is more push to assist students to graduate within the 4-5 years because when I was attending, a lot of students were graduating after 6+ years. Food has gotten better. Some buildings are a bit old and decrepit. The campus is medium/large, spanning over 300 acres apparently, so there's a lot of skateboarding, biking, and scootering to get around (watch out)."
Cris G
  • Reviewed: 9/23/2018
  • Degree: Secondary Education
"I absolutely loved the University of Hawaii at Manoa and this program! The campus was beautiful, with healthy, amazing food available. The area was also a dream to live - with beautiful beaches and other natural surroundings. The program I was enrolled in had great teachers, and prepared me wonderfully to work in an educational setting.I would recommend this program to anyone seeking to be a Home Economics Teacher."
Lesley Iaukea
  • Reviewed: 3/20/2018
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"I strongly recommend the Master's program at UH Manoa in the Department of Pacific Islands Studies. The professors are experienced and well versed in the history from all over the world and mainly focus on the countries in Oceania and South East Asia. The professors are impressive and offers another lens to the critical issues of the world for native peoples. The course work is interesting and motivates you to apply for a Ph.D. program."
Kelsey Karsin
  • Reviewed: 1/13/2018
  • Degree: Art & Design
"The Art Department is AMAZING and the Instructors are talented teachers and artists. I am a better artist because of my time at UH and when you study art, you learn to view the world in a different and unique way. Due to the lack of funding the academics suffer. I had some excellent teachers and some not so excellent teachers along the way. I was able to take really amazing classes including Freaks & Monsters, Performance Art, Sci-fi Literature, and Japanese Film to name a few. It is difficult (but not impossible) to graduate in 4 years, I graduated in 5 1/1 years with my BFA. It is a beautiful open campus and I met some of my best life long friends at UH."
Brittany Moye
  • Reviewed: 12/19/2017
  • Degree: Communications
"Studying at the University of Hawaii became the highlight of my twenties. This tropical island made going to class enjoyable! Studying at UH Manoa gave me the foundation I needed in my focused Communicology degree, but it also gave me hands-on experience and interaction with the Hawaiian Culture and their people! As a student, you learn about the Hawaiian islands and the history behind Hawaii! The professors are laid back and were easy to communicate with. I could wear comfortable clothing because of the Hawaiian weather and I was fortunate to live on campus, walking distance to my classes! The Aloha spirit made coming to class enjoyable and leaving Hawaii I knew that I could always have a place to call home and Ohana (family)!"
Joe Mama
  • Reviewed: 9/13/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"The library is extremely dated, and the most updated facility is the Gym. Also at the library, they have a lot of older people wandering around looking at what you are doing on the computer, and it's bothersome when I am trying to study. I would study in my dorm; however, it's too freaking hot, because the only dorm with air conditioning is Frear and that fills up first. Students will make fun of you or laugh if you are smart, because they are so stupid, and they are not even the cool kids either. The stupid nerds will laugh at you for paying attention in class or studying hard in the library, and believe me I was popular in High School. The library is a public library and is small. Plus most students living on campus don't have air conditioning in their rooms, so they try to go there. Students here are the laziest students I've ever seen in my life. I transferred from Orange Coast College (community) I saw 100 times more dedication from the students. The food is terrible and gives me diarrhea every time I eat there. The professors suck they go too fast through slides. The laid back culture on this campus leads to students officially not getting anything done, and just slacking off. The staff is not catering at all to the students. The campus is broken down everywhere, and old. Everything closes early on campus, and there is barely any clubs or frats. The students on this campus act like its highs school still and immature like kids. I personally don't think they are going anywhere in life. LOL. I'm about to transfer out to maybe Univerisity of Alabama or Georgia for a better college environment. Some students act rich, but they are just here because of the WUE. LOL. This is like a crappy community college, with fake/plastic/artificial classmates, that pretend to be cool and lie to fit in. There is one Starbucks on campus, and the line wraps around outside in the morning catering to all the campus and takes 20 minutes plus to get a drink; therefore I switched to drinking monster. The campus is dead on the weekends, and all the shops/restaurants are closed. Everything around town/to get things ordered is super expensive.LOL. The frats are a joke. I'm transferring ASAP!!! Nobody here takes their education seriously. Loser people. Anyways good luck!"
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Public Health
"Diverse student body and ample opportunity to gain practical experience"
Female Graduate, Age 32
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Communications
"The faculty and classes are amazing! I love the small cohort size."
  • Reviewed: 4/28/2017
  • Degree: History
"The University of Hawaii at Manoa is a melting pot of cultures, people, and food. People from all over the world choose to study at Manoa because of the diversity, the beautiful campus, and the uniqueness of Hawaii. Everyone on the campus is friendly and is willing to help out anyone in needs. On the first day of school, you see students helping each other out find places to eat, where to go, or making new friends."
  • Reviewed: 3/29/2017
  • Degree: Performing Arts
"UH's Theatre Department is full of passionate professors who open the doors to a world of arts beyond expectation. The diversity of opportunities is unmatched. The MFA in Asian Performance is unique in the world, and its value is unquestionable. Lots of funding and teaching options available for incoming students, and a surprisingly large alumni network beyond the reach of the islands!"
  • Reviewed: 3/27/2017
  • Degree: Education
"The University of Hawaii Masters in Education Program in Teaching prepared me well to teach science in a public school setting. Though nothing will fully prepare you for everything that comes your way in teaching, the concepts taught in the program are useful in that many of the techniques are used (often unknowingly) in the classroom, such as management of student behavior, developing curriculum and assessments, and preparing lessons."
Shoshanna Douglas
  • Reviewed: 3/19/2017
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering
"University of Hawaii's engineering program gave me a good insight to the different opportunities within engineering itself. The junior and senior levels courses definitely have me the bigger drive and motivation to complete the program. The courses were kept consistent on what was being taught, however the diverser technical electives could've been a nicer thing to have. At the time we were limited on instructors to the ratio of engineering students."
  • Reviewed: 3/14/2017
  • Degree: Political Science
"The University of Hawaii at Manoa is a strong Research I institution located in arguably the best place to attend university in the United States. UH Manoa appeals to many from the mainland United States and is the top university for in-state residents to attend. As an in-state resident, my experience with UH Manoa is skewed more differently than a student arriving from the mainland to paradise. Nonetheless, my experience at university were positive and I was able to take advantage of a out-of-state internship and study abroad program in my 4 years. My college had several internship opportunities available but they were a little hard to find out about. Our study abroad office is extremely helpful and encouraging. All of my classes were satisfactory or above my expectations. It is crucial to focus on the schoolwork because it is so easy to get distracted by all of the activities you can do in Hawaii. There are several courses that try to incorporate our unique climate into the curriculum- ranging from Agriculture courses, Botany, Geography, Marine Sciences, and may more. UH Manoa also has a lively sports culture which adds to the overall spirit of the school. Overall, UH Manoa is an excellent choice in university if you are looking to attend an academically driven institution and create a (school)work-life balance that leads to success."
  • Reviewed: 3/14/2017
  • Degree: Higher Education
"It was nice experience . So much supportive environments . Lot of diversity and inclusiveness It was a heavenly place since it is in island .Diverse people from USA & ASIA and islanders , So much of fun and experiencing the cultural diversity and values"
Niea Gardner
  • Reviewed: 3/2/2017
  • Degree: Public Administration
"Learning of the MPA program and The Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at UH-Manoa, I became excited about the preparation and skills gained to/for work in the public sector. Since entering the programs, I have enjoyed the invaluable expertise I am obtaining around design, implementation, and evaluation of public policy, social policy, and programs. Such learning has been gained both in coursework and in discussions with the unique demographic of my cohort - Active Duty and Retired Military, current UH employees, and lifelong learners. I believe that such work has an impact on demographic and societal changes in communities & cities, as well as on infrastructure, innovation, and human capital within countries. Coursework in pursuit of this degree and a certificate has also been invaluable in providing an additional layer to working with diverse communities and to strengthen my ability to analyze, understand, and effectively communicate the complexity in applying human rights based approaches to development across an international arena of varying language, cultural, and social values, and therefore, different end goals."
Cris Goldman
  • Reviewed: 2/13/2017
"I loved the Education program at the University of Hawaii. I loved my teachers, and my classes, and met wonderful people as my class-mates. I learned so much, and also got to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Oahu. I would highly recommend the University of Hawaii for those pursuing a degree in education."