Course Requirements

The program is administered by the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and offered in collaboration with twelve academic departments in the College of Letters and Science and the Schools of Engineering, Management, Public Health, Public Policy and Law.

ESE students take  courses designed to provide chosen from the wide variety of environmental courses offered by UCLA departments such as Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics, Environmental Health Sciences, Geography, Policy Studies, Law and Urban Planning. Students typically devote full time to coursework during their first year, taking 10-12 courses, and finish their coursework the second year.

All students take courses in air pollution, water quality, applied ecology, environmental toxicology, water quality control systems, environmental economics, and environmental law. In addition, students take elective courses chosen from the wide variety of environmental courses offered at UCLA.

Course requirements consist of core courses, elective courses, environmental science and engineering seminars, written and oral communications courses and Solutions Course enrollment.


ESE Core Courses

Graduate Core (2 Courses)

  • ENV 200A and 200B Issues and Methods in Environment and Sustainability

Environmental Science (3 courses)

  • EHS 225 Atmospheric Transport and Transformations of Airborne Chemicals OR EHS 264 Transport and Fate of Organic Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment OR
    other transport and fate elective
  • EHS 240 Environmental Toxicology
  • 1 environmental science elective

Environmental Engineering (3 courses)

  • CEE 153 Introduction to Environmental Engineering Science
  • 2 approved environmental engineering electives

Environmental Management, Law, and Policy (3 courses)

  • ENV M134 Environmental Economics
  • ENV 140 Foundations of Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • 1 environmental management elective

Analytical Tools and Methods (2 courses)

Two approved electives that introduce students to the tools and methods required for interdisciplinary research such as probability and statistics, decision analysis, geographical information systems (GIS), numerical analysis and experiment and survey design.

  • 1 statistics elective
  • 1 analytical tool or method elective

In the past, ESE students have commonly chosen these example courses: Biostats 100A/B, 110A, CEE 103, 110, EEB C219, ENV 297A, Geog 299A/B/C/D/E/F, Management 217A, Public Policy 203, Stats 100A/B, 101A, Urban Planning M206A/B

Elective Courses (3 courses)

Courses selected to provide depth in one area for students whose previous degrees emphasized disciplinary breadth or to provide additional courses in an area related to a student’s goals within environmental science and engineering. Elective courses will be selected in consultation with the student’s academic adviser

Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar.

  • First and second year students attend the equivalent of two quarters of weekly seminars in the general area of environmental science and engineering, either by enrolling in a seminar course or attending 16 separate departmental seminars each year.

Seminar in Environment and Sustainability (2 courses)

During their first and second year, students take ENV 290.

Solutions Course Enrollment

  • During their second year students enroll in three quarters of ENV 400.

Credit for Prior Work

Entering Environmental Science and Engineering students may already have completed some of the required courses in their undergraduate and graduate work. Three of the 11 core courses can be waived based on prior coursework. Any other course requirement satisfied by previous work must be replaced with an elective in any field of environmental science and engineering that is pertinent to the goals of the student. Thus, a minimum of 12 core and elective courses must be completed after admission to the program. A minimum of 10 core and elective courses must be taken at UCLA or another University of California campus.