Whether your goal is to pursue professional scientific work or join a community of scholars in higher education, as a student in the mentored Bren PhD program, you'll benefit from the school’s superb facilities, smaller size, academic excellence, broad disciplinary reach, and outstanding faculty.
Bren faculty are accessible and engaged, and they form close working relationships with the students they advise. They represent a broad range of interests and expertise, and many conduct both theoretical and applied
research. Because the university values interdepartmental collaboration, students whose research spans disciplines can easily work with advisors from other UCSB departments, too.
The Bren PhD track requires all the depth and rigor of a traditional doctoral program while presenting students with abundant opportunities to expand their perspectives. Research may be highly focused within an individual discipline, but students may also develop knowledge in one or more related fields, adding a valuable extra dimension to their disciplinary expertise. Other students pursue doctoral work that is inherently interdisciplinary and can only be completed by creating a collaborative team to integrate methodologies and knowledge from several fields.
PhD students in the Bren School or the UCSB Economics Department may choose to supplement their PhD program by establishing an emphasis in Economics and Environmental Science (EES). Students who pursue this option acquire a deep and expert knowledge of economics, as well as an understanding and appreciation of the research questions and methods of a natural science that complements their economics research.
The faculty, the flexibility, and the School’s strong interdisciplinary perspective are what make the Bren School PhD program unique.
As you peruse the pages in this section, please consult the Bren PhD Program Guide for answers to questions you might have. You may also want to peruse the research focus of current doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy.