What will I learn?

The Bren PhD program instills broad knowledge, analytical abilities, technical skills, and creative thinking necessary for leaders in environmental science and management. This research-oriented degree is designed to accommodate a wide range of interests, from those highly focused in a particular discipline to those that are strongly interdisciplinary. The cornerstone of the doctoral degree is an original work of dissertation research that focuses on the diagnosis, assessment, mitigation, remediation, and/or prevention of environmental problems. PhD students complete three required core courses to explore innovation in environmental science and learn conduct and professional skills for interdisciplinary research and publication. PhD students can supplement their training with courses from the Bren School and any other department at UCSB.

PhD students also may choose to supplement their program by establishing an emphasis in Economics and Environmental Science (EES). The EES emphasis is a joint undertaking of the UCSB Department of Economics and the Bren School. EES students receive training in economics and a companion area of natural science.

Graduates of the Bren School are employed in the field of environmental science and management with government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, environmental consulting firms, research and educational organizations, among others.

Which department am I in?

Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

Study options

Full Time (Time-to-degree: 3 years to advance; 5 years to complete the Ph.D)

Tuition fees
US$15,102.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected December 2021

Start date

Expected September, October 2022


Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

2400 Bren Hall,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have a paper-based TEOFL score of 550.

For international students

To be considered for admission to UCSB, applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better) from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought.

TOEFL scores 550 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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