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Master of Environmental Science and Management
Bren’s Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) degree is a two-year professional degree program focused on developing solutions to critical environmental problems while preparing students for careers in environmental science and management.
What you gain from the Bren MESM program goes beyond the knowledge and skills to be an environmental leader. You’ll gain the training and confidence to impress employers and make real change in sustainability, conservation, environmental policy, and much more.
MESM Year One: The first year of the MESM program is focused on completing eight core courses in natural and social sciences. By the end of Winter Quarter of the first year, students choose their academic specialization. In Spring Quarter, students are assigned to their master’s project. No classes are held during the summer between year one and year two. During the summer, most students complete internships to cultivate their professional network.
MESM Year Two: During year two, students will take courses in an area of specialization and work on their master’s project. Students who choose to pursue an optional focus area are required to complete additional focus courses. Master’s projects culminate in a public presentation during Spring Quarter.
The Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) program provides a solid foundation in environmental-human systems, data analysis, biology, ecology, earth sciences, environmental economics and business, environmental law, and environmental policy. The core curriculum is multidisciplinary and emphasizes quantitative and analytical skills, problem solving, and adaptability. Eight core courses (30 units total) are required for all MESM students.
Eco-Entrepreneurship Focus Area
Develop agile thinking skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, as you learn how to develop a business model that addresses a significant environmental challenge and market opportunity. Eco-E graduates have successfully launched their new ventures from ideas developed through Eco-E courses.
Eco-E Project teams of 2-5 students collaborate over the course of a year to develop a business model intended to bring a new environmentally oriented, commercially viable product or service to market. Many students have successfully launched a business venture as a result of their Eco-E project.
At Bren, prioritizing your career development is a way of life steeped into our ethos as a professional program. From day one of orientation to graduation and beyond, Bren's Career Development team prepares you to navigate any professional situation and thrive in a competitive, ever-changing job market. We’re here to guide you every step of the way with personalized advising, workshops, online resources, job/internship opportunities, alumni connections, and more.
Alumni Network Access and 24/7 Career Resources
From your first day at Bren, you’ll have access to BrenConnect, Bren’s unique career resources and alumni networking platform, where you can peruse fresh job listings, find and connect with Bren alumni, and access Bren-specific career guidance articles. Want to talk to a Bren grad who works at your dream company? More than75% of alumni are BrenConnect users, and over 70% of Bren grads land their initial jobs through a Bren School contact.
Career Programming and 1-on-1 Guidance for Your Unique Journey
MESM students will take part in a structured summer internship and job search process that includes workshops and one-on-one career advising sessions from the Bren School’s dedicated staff of career support professionals. This career training builds the specific professional skills needed to thrive in a competitive and changing marketplace. Over 95% of Bren master’s students rate the Career Development team’s services as “Excellent/Good” (with 88% of those students picking “Excellent”)—which means we walk our talk! Through personalized advising and 40+ career development workshops, speakers, and networking events each year, our goal is to leave you feeling confident and comfortable navigating any professional setting.
With the support of Bren’s Career Development team, nearly 100% of students in the Master of Environmental Science and Management program complete a summer internship—what we like to call a “Brenternship”—between their first and second years. Internships take Bren students all over the world to tackle critical environmental problems and gain valuable career experience.
This is a graduate school experience like no other where you'll have access to faculty mentors, potential employers, internship opportunities, and a professional network of alumni from day one. The Bren Life experience has been designed to open doors for students to make a difference in the world. From having a voice in Bren governance, to fun, student-driven social events, life at Bren is full of opportunities to get involved while emphasizing a work-life balance to keep you inspired. Our students often say they make friends and colleagues for life during their time at Bren.
Affording Your Bren Education
Tuition and fees for Bren’s master’s programs are equal to other public institutions in California. Bren aims to offer the highest possible return on your investment of money and time. The Bren School supports students with recruitment fellowships and gifts when possible, with the exception of a few area specific fellowships, all applicants are considered for these funds when they submit their application to the Bren School.. Many Bren students help fund their education through on-campus employment opportunities, including teaching assistantships, graduate student researcher positions, tutor positions, and other student positions.
The UCSB Financial Aid office and the UCSB Graduate Division support graduate students in applying for Federal Student Aid, Federal Work-Study, and pursuing other funding opportunities, including benefits for veterans.