ESE Admissions

The Environmental Science and Engineering Program is a professional degree program that builds on a solid foundation in science and engineering.


Applicants are required to have completed a master's degree in some field of the sciences 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. All applicants must provide a narrative statement indicating how their professional goals can be met through the ESE Program and submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members. The program is also interested in special qualities, awards, and achievements not reflected in the student's academic record.

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.

Admission to the Program has always been highly competitive. About 4-6 students are accepted each year. At any given time, there are about 10 students in residence at UCLA and about 20 conducting their dissertation internships at appropriate host institutions.

The deadline for submitting an application for admission is December 31.

Apply Now on the UCLA Graduate Admissions website

Financial Support

Most students who are enrolled in the Program on a full-time basis receive financial aid of some kind. Additional aid is also available on a competitive basis through a range of campus programs.

First year students may receive fellowships (based on exceptional need or achievement) or a stipend toward educational and living expenses. Second year students may receive research assistantships in conjunction with research performed in the Problems Courses.

Limited support is available for students who are not California residents. Since this support is very limited, we encourage foreign students to apply for financial aid and extramural support. Internships are usually well-paid positions, competitive with the current job market for entering environmental professionals. A very high percentage of internships involve permanent positions for the ESE intern.

Part-time Enrollment

Students may elect to take a 50% course load their first two years while employed on or off-campus. Full-time status is required for students who receive financial aid from the ESE Program.

UCLA Financial Aid website

ESE News

ESE: Getting the Job Done

An IoES Graduate Program Puts Minorities & Women on the Front Lines of Environmental Problem Solving. Read more »

IoES Researchers Fight a Salamander Apocalypse

North America’s salamanders could soon face an apocalypse — from a deadly pathogen making its way here through the pet trade.

But who’s leading the charge to protect them through quick action? ESE doctoral student Tiffany Yap, who credits the program with helping her interdisciplinary approach to the problem — and the frame for her new article in Science that’s getting lots of press. Read more »

For more info contact

Myrna Gordon
ESE Program Administrator

2015-2016 Fellowship Awardees

Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship

Jeniffer Aleman-Zometa

Dr. Ursula Mandel Fellowship

Michelle Angela Thompson

Malcolm R. Stacey Fellowship

Aanchal Kohli

Jordan Rosencranz

National Water Research Institute

Khadeeja Abdullah

UCLA Competitive Edge

Jeniffer Aleman-Zometa