About Bren

Bren School Mission
The mission of the Bren School is to solve environmental problems. The Bren School develops interdisciplinary solutions to environmental problems, trains environmental leaders, and works for a sustainable future.

Academic Programs (~160 MESM and 50 PhD)

The Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) is a 2-year professional program focused on interdisciplinary collaborative solutions to environmental problems. Each MESM cohort is approximately 80 students; the total number of MESM students is 160. MESM students come from across the U.S. and around the world. MESM students develop breadth through courses in natural and social sciences, build depth through courses in a specialization, and participate in a year-long collaborative capstone project, either working as part of a Master's Group Project or Eco-Entrepreneurship (Eco-E) Project. For Master's Group Projects, students work together in groups of 4 or 5 with a faculty advisor to solve an environmental problem for a real client, such as a business, government agency, or non-governmental organization. For Eco-E Projects, students work together in groups of 2-5 to develop a business model for a new venture that addresses both a consumer and an environmental challenge. MESM graduates pursue practical, scalable, and scientifically-based environmental solutions that are relevant for careers in business, consulting, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and academic and research institutions.

The PhD in Environmental Science and Management is designed to develop broad knowledge, analytical powers, technical skills, and creative thinking demanded of environmental leaders. Each PhD cohort is approximately 10 students; the total number of PhD students is 50. Bren PhD students conduct innovative original research, typically over 5 years, with guidance from a faculty advisor and committee. Bren PhD training differs from a conventional discliplinary department by focusing on a wide variety of environmental issues, being multidiscilinary in nature, and individualized in implementation. Bren PhD alumni are leaders in academia, research, and business.

Bren Faculty

Bren Faculty are experts in their disciplines of environmental and natural resources research, spanning natural and social sciences. Faculty regularly collaborate across disciplines to pursue comprehensive solutions to complex environmental problems. Most Bren faculty members are affiliated with or have joint appointments in 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. Read more about Bren faculty.

Diversity Values

Sustainability challenges are diverse almost by definition, associated as they are with a wide range of environmental, economic, social, and cultural risks. Because those risks appear unevenly across society and geography, addressing them requires the varied perspectives of equally diverse people, whether in terms of their disciplinary expertise, tradition, heritage, race, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, disability status, or experience.

At the Bren School, we seek to attract students, faculty and staff who reflect that diversity, first because we believe in the inherent value of diversity, but equally because the more diverse we are as a school, the more capably and creatively we can pursue our mission of solving environmental problems and training tomorrow's environmental leaders.


Bren Faculty, staff, and students on the Diversity Committee specifically address diversity and integrate diversity considerations into all-decision making. For questions about Bren's diversity values, contact gradasst@bren.ucsb.edu.


UCSB is recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), meaning that at least 25% of its students are Hispanic. UCSB is the only HSI that is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), an elite group of 62 leading research universities in the U.S. and Canada.