D. Env in Environmental Science and Engineering

The Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering is the only environmental professional doctorate in the nation.

Unlike the traditional Ph.D, the D. Env degree trains students to work in non-traditional laboratory research. The program focuses on practical training while students conduct an off-campus doctoral residency with government, public and nonprofit agencies, private consulting agencies and NGOs.

The D. Env. will prepare you to meet current and future environmental challenges head-on. Here’s how:

Practical education in a research-driven setting
As a world-renowned research institution, UCLA is poised to solve environmental problems, and research is only one piece in the puzzle to solve environmental challenges. The D. Env. puts research into practice. Courses lay a strong foundation in engineering, science, and research methods with enough flexibility to focus on students’ areas of interest. Then, students put their learning into action.

Research lays the foundation for for D. Env. students to tackle environmental challenges head-on. Each student completes a Solutions Course with a faculty member to get the hands-on research experience they need to advance to candidacy, begin their residency, and complete their dissertation research.

Extensive real world experience
Hands-on experience is ubiquitous in the programs at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. To solve real-world challenges, one must have real-world experience and that’s why every D. Env. student completes a 2-3 year residency while conducting research to complete their dissertation.

A connected, interdisciplinary community
Our faculty have strong connections across departments at UCLA and within the environmental community in Los Angeles. These relationships often lead to residency placements, research projects, and last well beyond graduation and into our graduates’ professional lives.

Diversity and Accessibility
UCLA maintains a deep commitment to diversity and accessibility. We embrace the principles of diversity and inclusion to understand, appreciate and respect differences in cultures and customs, religious beliefs, gender identity, sexual preferences and political points of view. In May 2017, UCLA was ranked as having the most diverse hiring among tenure-track faculty out of the 60 Association of American Universities member schools.

The perfect setting
When school is in session, UCLA effectively becomes a city of 80,000 people, nested in one of the world’s most diverse megacities. And yet there is a wealth of nature all around. From the Santa Monica Mountains to the beaches of Malibu, Los Angeles is a case study in how an urban humanity interacts with nature. Water, food supply, energy, pollution and environmental justice are all part of the picture.

Which program should I apply for?

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.