Coastal Science and Policy Designated Emphasis


The goal of the Coastal Science and Policy (CSP) program is to train future leaders in the science and policy of coastal sustainability in order to propel sustainable use of coastal resources and conservation of coastal biodiversity, ecosystems, socio-economic integrity, and ecological services. A CSP designated emphasis (DE) will serve Ph.D. students who desire to strengthen their ability to directly connect their science to actionable solutions, doing so in collaboration with practitioner organizations. 

Preparation for Designated Emphasis in Coastal Science and Policy

To receive a designated emphasis in Coastal Science and Policy, graduate students must complete the following requirements in addition to the degree requirements for the doctorate in their home department:


Committee Composition and Departmental Approvals

The student must have a designated emphasis adviser from the CSP core or affiliated faculty. The designated emphasis adviser commits to serving on the Ph.D. qualifying exam committee (typically as the outside member), and the dissertation reading committee.

Once a designated faculty adviser has been identified, students should file the Application for Designated Emphasis in CSP with the CSP graduate program administrator and adviser. The student must meet with this DE adviser to develop a coherent plan for meeting the requirements for the designated emphasis, preferably before the end of the student’s first year. This plan must be approved by the CSP program director.

Course Requirements

Students are required to complete at least three CSP courses including two required courses (CSP 244 and CSP 245 [BIOE 262]). Courses taken to fulfill program requirements within the home department will not count toward the designated emphasis program's required coursework.

CSP244Adaptation and Planning


/CSP 245
Facilitating Change in Coastal Science Policy


Additional Courses

Take at least one additional CSP course (minimum of five additional units) from the list below: 

CSP200Natural Sciences for Coastal Sustainability


CSP210Social Sciences for Coastal Sustainability


CSP220Economics for Coastal Sustainability


/CSP 241
Experimental Design and Data Analysis


/CSP 241L
Experimental Design and Data Analysis Lab


/CSP 242
Public Policy and Conservation


/CSP 243
Coastal Governance


Writing, Research and/or Teaching Requirements

As part of the CSP designated emphasis, students must work closely with a non-academic practitioner (from a government, private industry, or non-profit entity) on one interdisciplinary dissertation chapter in order to gain direct training in linking their research to a practical, scalable solution on a coastal sustainability issue.

Students should involve the partner in the conceptual design and execution of the project.

The CSP program, via core courses, workshops, and mentoring by CSP faculty, provides substantial guidance on how to collaborate with partners in a manner that fits well with the dissertation research process. This requirement ensures that the student’s work will bring their knowledge to action that addresses real-world challenges and implements new, cutting-edge solutions.