D. Env in Environmental Science and Engineering

How to Apply

Environmental Science and Engineering D. Env Admission

All applicants are required to have completed a master’s degree in a field of science or engineering. Generalist master’s degrees in areas such as environmental sciences or public health or medical degrees may be accepted for admission if the applicant presents a record with appropriate courses in the sciences and engineering and other special qualifications such as research experience.

Applicants for the D.Env. degree must have an excellent scholastic record and must be acceptable to the admissions committee. Students must meet general requirements for admission to UCLA and have a 3.0 GPA on junior-senior work and a 3.5 GPA on graduate work leading to a Masters Degree. The overall academic record, including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination scores (for students whose native language is not English), must reflect exceptional verbal and quantitative skills and drive toward academic achievement.

Admission to the Program has always been highly competitive. About 4-5 students are accepted each year. At any given time, there are about 10 students in residence at UCLA and about 20 conducting their dissertation residencies at appropriate host institutions.

We encourage applicants to identify and communicate with at least one potential faculty advisor before completing an application.

Application requirements:

Applications to the D.Env in Environmental Science and Engineering must be submitted online via the general application form for admission to graduate study at UCLA.

In addition to the general application requirements specified on that form, applicants are requested to submit the following. The general application form provides instructions how to submit letters of recommendation, as well as instructions how to upload additional materials as files.

  • Transcripts: Please scroll to the bottom of this page for more information regarding transcripts
  • GRE: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from a test completed within the past five years
  • TOEFL: For applicants whose native language is not English, scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examinations.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation, with letters from faculty members preferred
  • Personal Statement and Statement of Purpose: In your responses to the “Statement of Purpose” and “Personal Statement” on the general graduate application, please make sure to address the following points of particular interest to the ESE program, in addition to whatever else you wish to include:
    • Please follow the instructions for the “Statement of Purpose” and “Personal Statement” sections on the general graduate admissions form. As part of these statement, please include, as appropriate for you, a narrative statement indicating how your professional goals can be met through the ESE Program. The program is also interested in special qualities, awards, and achievements not reflected in the academic record section of the application.

Before being accepted unconditionally into the program, all students must have taken the following courses:

  1. Biology — one year of introductory biology with laboratory;
  2. Chemistry — one year of general chemistry with laboratory, including analytical methods, and one quarter of organic chemistry, no laboratory required;
  3. Mathematics — one year of calculus plus one course in elementary statistics;
  4. Physics — one year of introductory physics with laboratory.

Any of these courses may be taken after an admitted student has arrived at UCLA. One or more of these prerequisite requirements may be waived based on consideration of the applicant’s total record of science and engineering courses taken.

Submitting transcripts:

You do not need to send official transcripts during the application process. The general application form provides space to upload unofficial transcripts from your prior university study. 

*UCLA graduates: you do not need to submit official copies of UCLA transcripts.

If admitted to UCLA, applicants must submit official, final academic records to this address:

Attention: Harrison Levy
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

These are defined as original documents issued by the institution—not photocopies—which bear the actual signature of the Registrar and the seal of the issuing institution. Instructions and deadlines for submission are included with official offers of admission. New graduate students should submit official records in the original language with a complete, authorized English translation.

If you have attended more than one institution, separate official records should be submitted by each institution.

If your academic record cannot be replaced, obtain a properly certified copy. Keep the original for yourself! Never send a document to UCLA that cannot be replaced; submitted records become the property of the University, and we cannot return them to you.

Please see https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records for more information. 

The deadline for submitting an application for admission is December 15.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Harrison Levy at hlevy@ioes.ucla.edu.


Which program should I apply for, the Environmental Science and Engineering D. Env. or the Environment and Sustainability Ph.D.?

The UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IoES) has two doctoral programs, the professional doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env.) and the Ph.D. in Environment and Sustainability. Both programs are interdisciplinary, both equip students with diverse perspectives to tackle pressing environmental issues, and both provide opportunities to interact with students and faculty across all the programs and projects of IoES, and more broadly across UCLA.

Environmental Science and Engineering, D.Env.

  • A professionally oriented program – the only professional environmental doctorate in the nation.
  • Emphasizes interactions between science, engineering, public policy, economics, and law in the protection of the environment and public health.
  • Students spend two years in residence completing courses, including a major applied “Problems Course” completed in the second year.
  • The dissertation is completed off campus, typically in two years, while the student is in professional residence at an environmentally focused organization – a business, public agency, consulting firm, environmental group, or non-profit organization.
  • Of the program’s 250 alumni, about 90 percent are in non-academic careers in the public, private, or non-profit sectors.  

Environment and Sustainability, Ph.D.

  • A research oriented program
  • Newly established, with the inaugural class starting in Fall 2018
  • Emphasizes interdisciplinarity and innovation in research to understand paramount environment and sustainability challenges
  • Students have two advisors, from distinct disciplinary backgrounds
  • Students develop an individualized program of courses in consultation with their advisors, including a small number of core courses plus additional courses that develop the foundation of knowledge and skills to support the student’s research aims, in their dissertation and their subsequent career.
  • Students are typically in residence through the entire program. 
  • The program will prepare students for a wide range of academic and research careers, as well as careers in environment and sustainability in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

If you are unsure which program is right for you, we are happy to discuss it with you – or to help you transfer your application to the other program.

Find out more about the D. Env. Program: email our Graduate Program Administrator.

Apply now