PhD: Visiting Bren
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Visiting Bren

Prospective PhD students are strongly encouraged to visit the Bren School in person. Because the School offers a mentorship-based PhD program program, each student spends a great deal of time working with his or her faculty advisor over the course of several years of doctoral study. It is therefore particularly valuable for students to meet their advisor to ensure a good fit for both parties.

Individual Visits to the Bren School
On-Campus Recruitment Events
Off-Campus Recruitment Events
Driving Directions to UCSB
Parking Information for Visitors to UCSB

Individual Visits to the Bren School

As a Bren PhD student, you’ll spend most of your time at Bren Hall. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the physical environment and facilities of both the Bren School and UCSB.

View of Bren Hall through a corridorThe best time to visit is usually during the academic year (Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters). The Bren School does not hold a summer session, so many faculty are away from campus from mid-June until late September. The PhD application closes on December 15, 2016, so it may be in an applicant's best interest to connect with a prospective faculty advisor in advance of this date.

If you know which faculty member you're most interested in potentially working with, you can contact that person directly to arrange a phone call, Skype conversation, or on-campus visit. Some faculty will refer you to admissions staff to make these arrangements, while other faculty prefer to manage these meetings themselves. We recommend contacting the faculty member first, and they will involve the admissions staff if they see fit.

If you reviewed the Bren School Faculty list but still aren't sure which faculty member would be the best person for you to connect with, please send an inquiry to admissions@bren.ucsb.edu so we may provide guidance.

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On-Campus Recruitment Events

The Bren School hosts a number of on-campus recruitment events, which serve as a great opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the graduate programs offered at Bren, as well as the research being conducted by our faculty and students. We hope you can make one of the following events:

  • Bren School Open House | Friday, November 4, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Prospective students get a first-hand look at our annual Bren School Open House, held at Bren Hall on the UC Santa Barbara campus. Bren faculty, students, and staff will host a series of information sessions, and will be available to answer your questions about admissions, academics, student life, financial support, and housing. The annual Bren School Open House is the perfect opportunity to have a first-hand experience with the Bren community, UCSB, and the beautiful Santa Barbara area. Sign up to attend the Bren School's Open House by clicking here.


  • PhD Student Symposium | Friday, February 24, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    The Bren PhD Student Symposium at Bren Hall is held annually to highlight the diverse and cutting-edge research being conducted by PhD students at the Bren School. PhD students will present posters, short talks, and long talks on their work. The event is open to everyone in our UCSB and Santa Barbara community. Admitted PhD students will also be strongly advised to attend this event.
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Off-Campus Recruitment Events: Bren School on the Road!

The Bren School is hitting the road this Fall, and we hope to see you at one of our off-campus recruitment events (listed in chronological order):

  • CSU Long Beach Graduate School Fair | Speakers Platform, CSULB Campus
    Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Every year representatives from various graduate and professional schools participate in the fair sponsored by The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Students are able to meet with representatives from private and public institutions nationwide. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about post-graduate opportunities, admissions procedures and financing graduate education. The event is free for all current CSULB students on-campus. Visit the CSULB EOP website for more information.

  • DC Idealist Grad Fair | Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW
    Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    The Idealist Grad Fairs connect individuals with graduate schools in fields such as public administration, international affairs, education, public policy, public interest law, social work, nonprofit management, global and public health, theology, environmental science, and socially responsible business. The fairs are free and open to anyone interested in learning about grad school. Visit the Idealist website at http://www.idealist.org/info/GradFairs for more information.

  • UC San Diego Graduate School Fair | Library Walk, UCSD Campus
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

    Hosted by the UCSD Career Services Center, the Graduate & Professional School Fair hosts dozens of schools looking to recruit top Tritons for its advanced degree programs. Visit the UCSD Career Services page for more details. This event is open to current UCSD students.

  • San Francisco Idealist Grad Fair | Golden Gate Park, SF County Fair Building, 1199 9th Ave
    Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    The Idealist Grad Fairs connect individuals with graduate schools in fields such as public administration, international affairs, education, public policy, public interest law, social work, nonprofit management, global and public health, theology, environmental science, and socially responsible business. The fairs are free and open to anyone interested in learning about grad school. Visit the Idealist website at http://www.idealist.org/info/GradFairs for more information.

  • UCLA Graduate School Fair | Ackerman Ballroom
    Monday, October 24, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Current UCLA students are invited to participate in the university's annual Graduate & Professional Schools Fair, attended by over a thousand UCLA students interested in graduate and professional programs across the country and around the world.

  • UC Irvine Graduate School Fair | Career Center, UCI Campus
    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    The UCI sponsors three Graduate School Fairs every year to bring networking and education opportunities to the UCI campus. Open to current UCI students. Visit the UCI Career Center website for more details.

  • Southern California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education | Loyola Marymount University
    Saturday, November 5, 2016, all-day event with recruiter fair from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    The Bren School will be hosting a table at this year's Southern California Diversity Forum, taking place at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. If you're planning to attend the Diversity Forum, be sure to stop by the Bren School's table for additional information about our graduate programs! Information about the Diversity Forum is available online at https://caldiversityforum.org/.

If you're a faculty member who would like a Bren School representative to speak with your students about its MESM and PhD programs, contact the Admissions team at admissions@bren.ucsb.edu to arrange a talk.

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Driving Directions

Additional directions to the UCSB campus, as well as an interactive campus parking map, can be found on the UCSB website's Directions to Campus page.

  • Coming from south of UCSB/Goleta
    Visitors traveling north on the U.S. 101 will exit the 101 freeway at the Airport/UCSB (Route 217) off-ramp, approximately 8 miles north of Santa Barbara, and proceed through the Henley Gate at the east campus entrance. Veer right onto Mesa Road and continue to the traffic signal at University Plaza. Turn left into University Plaza and continue to the Information Kiosk (in the center of the plaza) for special event parking instructions, or simply park in a visitor lot and purchase a permit to be displayed in your vehicle. A permit must be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle while on-campus.

  • Coming from north of UCSB/Goleta
    Visitors traveling south on the U.S. 101 will exit the 101 freeway at the Storke Road/Glen Annie Road (Exit 108) off-ramp (approximately 12 miles north of Santa Barbara). Turn right onto Storke Road and continue to El Colegio Road. Turn left onto El Colegio Road and proceed to Ocean Road. Turn left onto Ocean Road and continue to Mesa Road. Turn right onto Mesa Road and proceed to the traffic signal at University Plaza. Turn right into University Plaza and continue to the Information Kiosk (in the center of the plaza) for special event parking instructions, or simply park in a visitor lot and purchase a permit to be displayed in your vehicle. A permit must be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle while on-campus.

For important updates, please visit the Transportation & Parking Service website at: www.tps.ucsb.edu and tune into AM 1610 within two miles of campus for traffic information.

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Parking Information & Rates

cars in UCSB parking lotCertain parking lots on campus allow visitor parking at all times (see Visitor and Student Parking on the UCSB interactive campus parking guide), while others allow for visitor parking only after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends (see Faculty and Staff Parking on the interactive campus parking guide). Several lots are reserved for specific permit types and allow no visitor parking at any time. Please refer to the lot entrance sign to be assured that visitor parking in allowed within the lot before parking. Additional Visitor and Student Parking Lots are highlighted in Yellow on the UCSB Interactive Campus Parking Guide.

Visitor permits are valid for parking in time-restricted parking spaces for the time designated. Other restrictions may apply to specific spaces or areas within a lot or parking structure. Parking can cost up to $12 a day, depending on the amount of time spent on campus. Parking permit dispensers take most major credit cards, or cash in the form of $1 or $5 bills. For more information about parking rates, visit http://www.tps.ucsb.edu/parking-permits/short-term-parking-rates.

  • Parking for less than 4 hours at a time
    People visiting the Bren School for 4 hours or less will find the UCSB Coastal Access parking to be the closest option, specifically in Parking Lot 10 and Parking Lot 6. Parking Lot 10 is accessed off of Mesa Road, and Parking Lot 6 is off of Lagoon Road.

  • Parking for 4 hours or more
    Visitors who plan to remain on the UCSB campus for 4 hours or more are advised to park in the Mesa Parking Lot, or any other Visitor and Student Parking Lot. Visit the UCSB Interactive Campus Map and scroll to the "Where can I park?" top menu option to view Visitor and Student parking lots.

Parking information is provided from the UCSB Transportation & Parking Services department. Please consult their website for the most up-to-date information about parking restrictions and rates, as these are subject to change without the Bren School's knowledge: http://www.tps.ucsb.edu/.

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