Join the Program

Who May Apply

To be accepted into the emphasis, applicants must demonstrate that

  1. They are a UCSB PhD student currently enrolled in a participating department or program (for a list of participating departments or programs, please see below). Students at any stage of their doctoral programs may join the emphasis, though we anticipate that most applicants will probably be students going into their second or third years of study toward the PhD degree.
  2. They have a strong interest in and commitment to interdisciplinary environmental studies and sciences.
  3. Their participation in the emphasis will advance their intellectual development, research agendas, and career goals.
  4. They are well-situated to assume the additional workload and responsibilities of the emphasis.
  5. They have the full support of their dissertation chair or appropriate graduate advisor.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Priority will be given to applications submitted by June 1 for the following fall cohort. To apply, submit the following materials, as a single PDF, to Martin Rodriguez at

  1. A cover sheet listing the following information: your full name, department, the number of years you have completed in your current program, and your status in that program (how much coursework remains, whether you have advanced to candidacy, etc.)

  2. A letter of application describing: your proposed program of doctoral study and research at UCSB, including your dissertation topic; your commitment to interdisciplinary environmental studies and sciences; and your assessment of how participating in the Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Environment and Society will advance your intellectual development, research agendas, and career goals.

  3. A curriculum vitae

  4. A letter of recommendation from your dissertation committee chair, or appropriate substitute if you do not yet have a chair, endorsing your application and indicating that the recommender understands the requirements of the emphasis

We will be in contact upon receipt of your application. Prospective applicants may direct their questions to Martin Rodriguez, Program Coordinator, at

Registering PhD Emphasis with Graduate Division

After acceptance in the emphasis and completion of the Core Seminar (ENV S 200), students must submit a Change of Degree Status Petition (available here) to the Graduate Division. By registering the PhD emphasis with the Graduate Division it becomes part of the student's permanent record.

Completion of PhD Emphasis Requirements

Before graduation students must submit the PhD Emphasis in Environment and Society Requirements Sheet (available here) to the Graduate Division to receive credit for completing the emphasis.