Prospective Students

Are you interested in all things water? Do you think about waves and run-up in your spare time? Have you wondered how coastal communities may be impacted by sea level rise and flooding? Do you like getting your feet wet or wearing a wetsuit? Can you spend hours on the computer modeling complex datasets?

As members of the Coastal Flood Lab at UCLA, we do too. We use fieldwork and modeling to probe some of the fundamentals of why and how our coast floods. Our fieldwork involves observation of real time events and often we are up to our boots in the sand or mud collecting data sets on beaches, estuaries and embayments before, during and after flooding events. We believe in solid, thorough analysis of this data using the latest modeling perimeters. We pride ourselves in asking the hard questions and rigorously challenging assumptions. We know what we do matters to the scientific community of which we are part, but also to policy makers in government, coastal communities, and most of all the shoreline we all care so much about.

Whether you’re a UCLA undergraduate looking to join a research lab or a prospective graduate student, please contact We especially encourage coastal and engineering loving underrepresented STEM folks including (but not limited to) women, Asian-pacific Islander, Indigenous Americans, African Americans, LatinX, LGBTQI, and alternatively abled individuals. If you are interested in joining CFL as a PhD student there are two potential pathways: CEE and IoES. CEE PhD students typically have engineering, physics or mathematics oriented backgrounds. Other backgrounds may be considered assuming critical prerequisites (i.e., calculus, linear algebra, analytic geometry, differential equations, physics, fluids and programming) are fulfilled. IoES, the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, offers a second path where a student is mentored by Dr. Gallien and a second professor, allowing for a larger range of interdisciplinary research topics. Preparatory course requirements for IoES depends on the proposed research.

Current Students – Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

If you’d like to request a letter of recommendation, please send the following documents in a single email as attached files (i.e., no Google Drive documents):

  • Resume or CV
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Statement of purpose
  • Personal statement
  • Spreadsheet/list of all of your schools with school name/program/letter due date/anything special Dr. Gallien needs to know about that application 

Useful Coastal Engineering links