Coastal Science & Policy (M.S.)

The Costal Science & Policy program offers a Master of Science degree. 

Important: Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation are required of all applicants. Read the Application Instructions page for full details.

Below are specific requirements also needed for this program:

  • General test GRE scores are not required

  • Application materials needed include:

    • ​Résumé

    • Please submit no more than three writing samples or excerpts between 1-5 pages in length.

  • A Statement of Purpose is required:

    • Limited to two pages. Please describe: 

      • Page 1: 

        • *Why are you particularly interested in the UCSC Coastal Science and Policy program? 

        • *How will this program prepare you for a leadership role in developing solutions in coastal science and policy fields?

        • *Why do you feel you are an excellent candidate for one of 10 individuals accepted to the program each year?

      • Page 2: 

        • *What topic(s) of coastal science and policy particularly interests you (e.g., fisheries, freshwater or marine biodiversity conservation, innovative financing, blue carbon or other climate actions, coastal adaptation, sustainable management of coastal forests or agriculture, land use planning, stakeholder engagement, etc.?

        • *Why is this topic important?

        • *How might you explore this topic in your capstone project? If you have a specific project idea for your capstone, please describe the idea and potential practitioner partners you could collaborate with to execute the project?. Note: students use the summer placement at the start of year 2 to begin their capstone project or enhance specific skills that they will apply in the capstone project.

      • Note: This Statement of Purpose is limited to two pages and should not duplicate the Personal History Statement.

  • A Personal History Statement is also required:

    • The Coastal Science and Policy program values diversity and including diverse perspectives in each of our cohorts. In your Personal History Statement please:

      • Summarize your current academic and non-academic experience as it pertains to coastal science and policy.

      • Discuss how your personal background informed your decision to pursue a graduate degree in coastal science and policy and has inspired you to become a leader in this focal area.

      • Describe the career you hope to pursue with a degree in coastal science and policy.

      • In responding, please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within the field of coastal science and policy (from watersheds to the open ocean); and/or how you might serve underrepresented segments of society with your degree.

      • This Personal History Statement is limited to two pages and should not duplicate points made in the Statement of Purpose.

  • Statement of Financial Need Instructions:

    • This optional Statement of Financial Need will help the Coastal Science and Policy Program determine your eligibility for fellowship support and allocation, if any, that can be provided to you for your graduate education at UC Santa Cruz.

    • The Statement of Financial Need should not exceed one page and should fully explain, in your own words, your need for financial assistance.

    • Please also address personal resources and other fellowships or grant opportunities that you will pursue to help cover your graduate education expenses.

    • The CSP program works with each of its students to seek outside support; and, if accepted into the program, will work with you to identify potential opportunities for you to apply for additional support.

  • See the application deadline

  • Contact the program

  • For detailed information about the Costal Science & Policy program, see

Over 60 degree tracks in over 40 graduate programs, located 40 minutes away from Silicon Valley and next door to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Contact Admissions~


Phone: 831-459-5905




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