As the world's environmental challenges grow in number, complexity, and magnitude, the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara serves as an important center of teaching and leading-edge research. The school is known for its highly integrated, comprehensive approach to environmental management and solving environmental problems. The interdisciplinary curriculum grounds students not only in the natural sciences, but also in the economic, legal, management, and policy perspectives that are critical to understanding and addressing those challenges.
Approximately 175 master's students and 50 PhD students attend the school, which supports the teaching and research of 22 of the most outstanding permanent faculty to be found in the area of environmental and natural resources research. All are experts in their disciplines but regularly collaborate across disciplines in pursuing comprehensive solutions to complex environmental problems.
Rooftop panels atop Bren Hall
The Bren School values diversity in all its many forms,because, particularly in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting, the diverse perspectives arising from varied academic, cultural, and personal backgrounds are highly valuable. (See our complete Diversity Values Statement at the bottom of this page.)
In terms of intellectual diversity, most Bren faculty members are affiliated with or have joint appointments linking them to other UCSB departments. Adjunct professors and visiting lecturers complement the full-time faculty and extend the school's academic reach while enhancing the real-world relevance of the curriculum. Students benefit further from the school’s affiliations and collaborations with UCSB research institutes and interdepartmental programs and initiatives. The school connects with the local community through various affiliate groups, including the Dean's Advisory Council and the Corporate and Foundation Partners program.
Students attend classes, manage and work with research data, and perform lab work in Bren Hall. The first laboratory building to receive a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, Bren Hall has since inspired a wave of sustainability activities across the UCSB campus and far beyond.
For all the rigorous work that occurs here, the Bren School is equally defined by a strong sense of community. Through collaborative work and shared recreation in Santa Barbara and throughout California, Bren students form lifelong bonds and, as graduates, become part of an ever-expanding, tightly knit alumni community.
Students and alumni receive crucial personalized assistance from the school's highly regarded Career Development Program. Career-development staff offer a full range of individualized support for prospective students, from instruction in the crucial skills of resume writing, interviewing, and salary negotiation to support in finding and landing internships and jobs.
Few schools can match the Bren School's location, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean a few miles west of the beautiful small city of Santa Barbara, with a view across the water to Channel Islands National Park. A wintering ground for monarch butterflies is nearby, resident dolphins and seals and migrating whales regularly cruise the near-shore waters, and an array of bird species inhabit the shores and wetlands on and around the university. The area's ecological diversity provides an inspiring context for students and faculty who embrace the challenge off managing the environment to benefit humanity and the natural world.