The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs offers undergraduate minor programs in Public Affairs, Gerontology, and in Urban and Regional Studies. Each program offers an excellent interdisciplinary focus on problem-solving, analysis, and serves as an entry point to further graduate studies in law, policy, planning, and social welfare. Undergraduate students in the minor programs gain insight into current issues such as crime and drugs, the environment, labor policies, national security, and policy issues related to the State of California.

Minor in Public Affairs

Applied public policy is an increasingly important element of any modern education. The Minor in Public Affairs complements a liberal arts or science major through a systematic examination of a broad range of public policy issues, mainly through the analysis of specific social, political and economic problems addressed by each of the three departments in the School of Public Affairs: Social Welfare, Urban Planning, and Public Policy. The underlying questions examined in our classes range from how to design cities to reduce traffic problems, to the complexities of the legislative process, to the prob- lems and challenges of eldercare, among many others.

The Public Affairs Minor requires the completion of seven (4 unit) classes. As shown in more detail below, the requirements for the minor have four parts meant to be taken in more or less this order:

  1. An introductory course in public policy (Public Policy 10A)
  2. an applied course focused on a specific policy issue,
  3. 4 upper division electives, and
  4. a final “capstone” seminar.

While the minor draws on all three departments, students are encouraged to use the 4 electives to “specialize” in one of these departments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I take one of the upper division courses for the minor before I take Public Policy 10A?

Yes, you may take upper division courses be- fore taking Public Policy 10A. You are not re- quired to take the courses for the minor in any particular order, although it is recommended to take Public Policy 10A first, since it is an introductory course, and to take the Capstone at the end, because it ties together the skills that you have learned throughout the course of the minor. Also note that Public Policy 10A must be completed with a B or better before students may petition to add the minor.

How do I petition to add the minor?

After you have completed Public Policy 10A with a B or better, stop by the Public Affairs Minor Office in 3357H Public Policy to fill out a petition. After the petition is approved, the minor requirements will appear on your Degree Progress Report.

Public Policy 10A is filled and I cannot enroll.

I am a sophomore and am concerned about finishing the minor before I graduate. While it is recommended to take Public Policy 10A as the first course in the minor, it is not required. If scheduling is an issue or you cannot get into the course, you may take other Public Policy, Social Welfare, or Urban Planning courses prior to taking Public Policy 10A so that you are making progress toward the requirements. Public Policy 10A is offered each year, typically in Fall and Summer Session A. See the UCLA Schedule of Classes for the current and tentatively proposed course offerings.

I am going to participate in the CAPPP program in Washington DC. Does this count toward the minor?

Yes, your CAPPP internship will fulfill the Cap- stone Seminar requirement for the minor.

I am a transfer student. Why won’t my courses transfer to the minor?

A significant aspect of the minor is the oppor- tunity to take courses in a professional school, the School of Public Affairs. We encourage you take advantage of this opportunity!

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Lower Division Courses

10A. Introduction to Public Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Overview of principal topics of con- temporary policy analysis, developing their applications with examples from instructor’s own research, visitors, small student projects, or field trips.

10B. California Policy Issues. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Enforced requisite: course 10A. Application of policy analysis to California issues. Guest lectures from practitioners and academics along with readings and videos.

Student written reports and oral presentations required. Letter grading.

Upper Division Courses

C101. Drug Abuse Control Policy. (4) (Formerly numbered 101.) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Introduction to drug abuse as social problem and to drug abuse control as policy issue, with examina- tion of both necessity and difficulty of making and executing wise policies around psychoac- tive substances. Concurrently scheduled with course C235. Letter grading.

102. Imperfect Rationality. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Idea that individuals are capable of acting rationally, in their own interest, is central to economic theory and to custom, law, and common sense thinking. Economics offers thorough account of ways in which such people should deal with choice, risk, and time. Casual observation and experimentation agree that actual behavior deviates in systematic ways from prescriptive model of rationality. Groups of rationally seeking individuals might fail to act as rationally self-seeking groups. Consideration of deviations between rational choices and actual behavior in public policies. Letter grading.

103. Ethics, Morality, and Public Life: Con- temporary Controversies. (4) Lecture, four hours; outside study, eight hours. Study of ethical and moral questions that arise in public life. Goal is not to imbue students with a given body of factual knowl- edge or to develop new quantitative or social science methodologies to analyze such ques- tions, but to enhance their critical thinking skills. Letter grading.

104. Culture and Political Structure of Los Angeles. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Exploration of two pieces of the puzzle in modern urban life: the different communities that live here (and in most other major cities) and political structure that binds us all together. Who are the communities living here? How do they organize themselves and develop leaders? How does integration into mainstream take place? What is “mainstream” today? How does political structure help or impede the notion of a united city? Letter grading.

105. Leadership in Public Interest. (4) Lecture, three hours. Examination of prevail- ing models, theories, and practices of leader- ship in public settings and application of them through case studies, films, and situational articles. Participation in group projects and discussions designed to improve understand- ing of role of leadership in mobilizing people groups to do difficult work. Introduction to literature and theory on leadership, examina- tion of leadership and group dynamics, and challenge of leadership in times of stress and change. Letter grading.

C112. Controversies in Education Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Focus on several controversial topics in contemporary education. Topics vary each year and include multiculturalism, affirmative action, “test score gap,” bilingual education, and school choice. Introduction to major arguments for and against several important education policies and to encourage students to critically evaluate logic and evidence behind these policies. Concurrently scheduled with course C225. Letter grading.

C115. Environmental and Resource Eco- nomics and Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours. Requisites: Economics 11, 143. Survey of ways economics is used to define, analyze, and resolve problems of environmental management. Overview of analytical questions addressed by environmental economists which bear on public policies. Concurrently scheduled with course CM250. Letter grading.

M116. Nuclear Weapons: Critical Decisions. (4) (Same as Environment M165, Honors Colle- gium M119, and Political Science M139B.) Lecture, three hours. Examination of critical decisions regarding nuclear weapons, starting with President Roosevelt’s decision to build atomic bomb and ending with current policies on containing nuclear proliferation and on avoiding nuclear catastrophe. Letter grading.

C117. Crisis Decision Making in U.S. Foreign Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Recommended requisites: Political Science 120, 137A, 137B. In-depth look at theory and practice of U.S. foreign policy-making. Assessment of competing theories of international relations and application to specific case studies. Weekly role plays of foreign policymakers and final crisis simulation exercise. Concurrently scheduled with course C272. Letter grading.

C119. Crime Control Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Design, implementation, and evalua- tion of policies to control crime. Operations of major institutions within criminal justice system. Theories of crime causation and prevention and their relationship to impacts of alternative policies. Concurrently scheduled with course C219. Letter grading.

M120. Race, Inequality, and Public Policy. (4) (Same as Afro-American Studies M120.) Lec- ture, three hours. Background in economics, sociology, or urban studies preferred but not required. Survey course to examine major debates and current controversies concerning public policy responses to social problems in urban America. Letter grading.

C124. Budget Politics, Social Policy, and Entitlement Reform. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Examination of politics of public budgeting in the U.S., with emphasis on financing of social safety net. Exploitation of budgetary process as setting both for gaining substantive knowledge about how govern- ment really works and for developing political skills required to influence resource allocation decisions. Concurrently scheduled with course C239. Letter grading.

125. Rights and Wrongs of Affirmative Action. (4) (Formerly numbered C125.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Exploration of race-based affirmative action from moral, political, and social philosophy standpoint. Topics include defining discrimination, individual and group equality; different meanings of “diversity”; meritocracy and its critics; historical and future-based arguments; sociology of values; possibilities for moral compromise.Letter grading.

141. Employment and Labor Policy: Survey. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Introduction to current public policy issues in employment, labor relations, and labor markets. Historical context for current employment and labor policies in the U.S. Pro and con philosophical analysis of reasons for government regulation. Analysis of current data on labor unions, the workplace, and labor-market trends. Work- force diversity, education and training, social welfare policy, and global issues (immigration, trade, and global economy as it affects the workforce). Future trends and issues on policy horizon. Letter grading.

C142. Labor Markets and Public Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Highly recommended preparation: prior microeconomics course. Survey of major topics in economic analysis of labor markets and public policies toward labor

market. Topics include labor force trends and measurement, compensation determination, productivity, internal labor markets, human capital, union wage effects, unemployment, and minority and female labor-market expe- rience. Concurrently scheduled with course CM230. Letter grading.

C144. Comparative Industrial Relations. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. At national and international levels, historical and contempo- rary analytical comparison of political, social, and economic contexts influencing human resource systems of selected developed coun- tries. In addition to discussing possible frame- works for analyzing human resource systems, examination of institutions and ideologies of labor, management, and government, and interaction of their power relationships; sub- stance and manner of determination of “web of rules” governing rights and obligations of the parties; and resolution of conflicts. Concurrently scheduled with course CM231. Letter grading.

145. Labor Policies in the U.S.: Historical Perspective. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Insight into evolution of labor policies in the U.S. from 19th century to the present. Exploration of important policy areas such as child labor, labor standards, protective legislation for women workers, industrial relations, civil rights, occupational safety and health, and international labor standards in (1) historical context (economic, political, and social factors that shaped the debate), (2) motivation and action of major players (business, labor, government), and (3) changing patterns of government involvement in public policy. Letter grading.

146. Democracy, Disobedience, and Dissent. (4) (Formerly numbered C146.) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Theories of political and legal obligation and their critics; justified disobedience in response to inequal- ity, injustice, and social exclusion; moral and religious pluralism as argument for both obedience and dissent. Letter grading.

C147. Critical Policy Issues and Problems in Globalizing World. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. To enable students to (1) think of world in dynamic terms, (2) be able to map, divide, and assemble world in many different ways, and (3) be able to articulate patterns of flux, change, and movement in world space and history. Concurrently scheduled with course C245. Letter grading.

148. Business and Public Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Introduction to key issues arising at interface between business and government policy. Discussion of why government focuses so intensively on regulating economic outcomes, nature of business/government relationship, business political activity, and major government policies. Topics include economic regulation (industrial policy, antitrust, technology policy); social regulation of business (energy, environ- ment, risk, liability, corporate governance); and corporate social responsibility, business ethics, and green business. Discussion of top- ics in their historical and political context, with comparison between economic regulation in the U.S. and other countries. Letter grading.

187. Research Seminar: Public Policy. (4) (Formerly numbered 197.) Seminar, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Limited to and required of seniors in Public Affairs minor. Production of research project that examines in depth a particular policy issue in its social context, including political pressures involved and problems of implementation. Emphasis on skills of data acquisition and analysis, conceptualization, and written analysis and presentation. Letter grading.

191A. Variable Topics in Public Policy. (4) (Formerly numbered 190.) Seminar, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Examina- tion of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191B. Variable Topics in Public Policy. (3) Seminar, three hours. Examination of particu- lar subfields of policy studies (e.g., interna- tional policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and develop- ment of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191C. Variable Topics in Public Policy. (2) Seminar, two hours. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instruc- tor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191D. Variable Topics in Public Policy. (1) Seminar, one hour. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instruc- tor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

193A. Marschak Colloquium: Social Scienc- es. (2) Seminar, two hours. Limited to undergraduate students. Attendance at biweekly Marschak Colloquium presentations, highly regarded and long-standing interdisciplinary lecture series given by leading social science experts, required. Discussion of lecture topics and research models in behavioral sciences. Letter grading.

197. Individual Studies in Public Policy. (2 or 4) (Formerly numbered 199.) Tutorial, four hours. Preparation: 3.0 grade-point average. Limited to juniors/seniors. Individual intensive study, with scheduled meetings to be ar- ranged between faculty member and student. Assigned reading and tangible evidence of mastery of subject matter required. Individual contract required. P/NP or letter grading.

Minor in Gerontology

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Department of Social Welfare, in collaboration with the School of Medicine Division of Geriatrics and the School of Public Health, announces the addition of the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor (GIM).

As of Winter quarter 2012, undergraduate students may enroll to the interdisciplinary GIM, which utilizes UCLA’s professional schools and College resourc- es to create an enhanced academic experience in aging.

The restructured GIM will provide UCLA students the following:

  • A foundation understanding of the current state of the science related to the biopsychosocial aspects of human aging;
  • an ability to assess longevity’s potential contribution and challenge to contemporary society;
  • an appreciation of the diversity of aging over the life course and its impact on late life outcomes; and the opportunity to relate knowledge of gerontology to life-long personal and professional contributions to a diverse aging society.

For more information on the Gerontology minor read the Gerontology Announcement (PDF).

Minor in Urban and Regional Studies

The scale, diversity, balkanized governance, and natural environment of Southern California all contribute to making it an extraordinary natural laboratory for learning about urban and regional issues, whether the focus is on immigration, employment, the built environment, transportation, poverty, natural resources or a host of other challenges. The Minor of Urban and Regional Studies will offer undergraduates a means of addressing some of these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, offering a balanced mixture of theory, practice, and service learning courses.

The Urban and Regional Studies Minor requires the completion of seven (4 unit) classes. As shown in more detail below, the requirements for the minor consist of three parts meant to be taken in the order listed.

  1. An introductory course in urban planning (Urbn Pl 120 or 121)
  2. Five upper division electives
  3. A final “capstone” course

Course Descriptions

120. Introduction to Cities and Planning. (4) (Formerly numbered 191.) Lecture, three hours. Survey of urban history and evolution in the U.S., urban social theory, current growth trends, system of cities, urban economy and economic restructuring, traditional and alternative location theories, urban transportation, and residential location and segregation. P/NP or letter grading.

121. Urban Policy and Planning. (4) (Formerly numbered 192.) Lecture, three hours. Examination of current urban planning and policy issues and debates, such as normative theories of good urban form, metropolitan organization and governance, economic development and growth management, edge cities, spatial mismatch hypothesis, urban poverty, racial/ethnic inequality, gender and urban structure, sustainability, and future of cities. P/NP or letter grading.

M122. Policy, Planning, and Community. (4) (Formerly numbered M195.) (Same as Asian American Studies M108.)Lecture, three hours; field laboratory. Project-oriented methods course on conducting needs assessment in Asian American communities. Geographic information systems to be used to define problems and needs. Letter grading.

129. Special Topics in Urban Policy and Re- search. (4) (Formerly numbered 193.) Lecture, three hours. Examination of particular planning/ policy subfield (e.g., economic development, environmental planning, housing and commu- nity development, international planning and development, land use, or urban design) in some depth. Specific topic area rotates depending on instructor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

130. Fundamentals of Urban and Regional Economics. (4) Lecture, three hours. Preparation: one introduction to microeconomics course. Most U.S. population lives and works in urbanized areas, and world’s population is becoming more urbanized with each passing decade. National, state, and local governments are engaged in managing, planning, policy-making, and governance in urban context. Ultimate efficacy of those public activities can be enhanced by understanding of economic forces acting on urban areas. Basic concepts related to location choice, agglomera- tion effects, economies of scale, and specialization by cities and transportation. P/NP or letter grading.

C133. Political Economy of Urbanization. (4) Lecture, three hours. Introduction to new approaches to urban studies, basic concepts and analytical approaches of urban political economy, with major emphasis on American urban problems and restructuring of modern metropolis. Topics include historical geography of urbanization, development and transforma- tion of urban spatial structure, suburbanization and metropolitan political fragmentation, urban fiscal crisis, and role of urban social movements. Concurrently scheduled with course C233. P/NP or letter grading.

CM137. Southern California Regional Econ- omy. (4) (Formerly numbered CM196.) (Same as Labor and Workplace Studies M180.) Lecture, three hours. Introduction to regional economy, with emphasis on Los Angeles. Key economic sectors, labor market composition, and review of con- flicting portrayals depicting dynamics of region. Two all-day bus tours of key economic regions and guest lectures by regional experts included. Concurrently scheduled with course C237C. Letter grading.

M140. Issues in Latina/Latino Poverty. (4) (Formerly numbered M121.) (Same as Chicana and Chicano Studies M121.) Lecture, three hours. Examination of nature and extent of urban and rural poverty confronting Latina/ Latino population in the U.S. Special emphasis on antipoverty policies of government and nonprofit organizations and social planning and economic development strategies. Attention also to literature on the underclass. Letter grading.

141. Planning with Minority Communities. (4) (Formerly numbered 187.) Lecture, three hours. Overview of planning history, theory, and contemporary issues that affect low-in- come communities, communities of color, and underserved neighborhoods, particularly in Los Angeles area. Field of planning offers distinct perspectives and opportunities for improving vulnerable communities. Topics range from discussion of intersection between race and income, critical race theory, community develop- ment, residential segregation, spatial mismatch, and environmental justice to social justice. P/NP or letter grading.

M150. Transportation Geography. (4) (Formerly numbered M149.) (Same as Geogra- phy M149.) Lecture, three hours. Designed for juniors/seniors. Study of geographical aspects of transportation, with focus on characteristics and functions of various modes and on complexities of intra-urban transport. P/NP or letter grading.

CM160. Environmental Politics and Gover- nance. (4) (Same as Environment M164.) Lecture, three hours. Environmental planning is more than simply finding problems and fixing them. Each policy must be negotiated and implemented within multiple, complex systems of governance. Institutions and politics matter deeply. Overview of how environmental governance works in prac- tice and how it might be improved. Concurrently scheduled with course C260. Letter grading.

M161. Environmental Policies and Politics. (4) (Same as Environment M168.) Lecture, four hours. Exploration of origins of major environ- mental laws, how they have evolved over past two decades, and how they have been imple- mented, with particular focus on California. Rise of environmental movement and its importance in shaping climate for passage of these laws in response to growing understanding of effects of industrial pollution and urbanization, and subse- quent rise of environmental justice movement and its influence on legislation. Letter grading.

M162. Land Use and Development. (4) (Same as Environment M162.) Lecture, four hours. Examination of institutional and historical evolution of land use in the U.S. Comparison and contrasting of how cities have evolved in differ- ent parts of the U.S. and some recent trends in urbanization. Relationship of state-level land use policies and politics and ways in which localities plan. Environmental, social, and equity aspects of different patterns of urbanization and likely trends into future. Letter grading.

CM165. Environmentalism: Past, Present, and Future. (4 to 6) (Formerly numbered CM189.) (Same as Environment M132 and Geography M115.) Lecture, three hours; optional field study, five to 10 hours. Exploration of history, politics, and theo- ries of environmental movements, dynamics of race, class, and gender in relation to environ- mental agendas, and potential role of environ- mentalism in reshaping our society. Concurrently scheduled with course C265. Letter grading.

CM166. Global Environment and Develop- ment: Problems and Issues. (4) (Formerly numbered CM128.) (Same as Geog- raphy M128.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisite: Geography 5. Designed for juniors/seniors. Questions of population, resource use, Third World poverty, and environ- ment. Analysis of global economic restructuring and its connections to changing organization of production and resulting environmental impacts. Examination of emergent local and regional coalitions for self-reliance and sustainable devel- opment. Case studies from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the U.S. Concurrently scheduled with course C266. P/NP or letter grading.

M170. Human Environment: Introduction to Architecture and Urban Planning. (4) (Formerly numbered M190.) (Same as Archi- tecture and Urban Design M170.) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Kinds of problems that arise in creating and maintaining environment for urban activities, and approach- es and methods of architecture and urban planning in helping to cope with such problems. Complexities involved in giving expression to human needs and desires in provision of shelters and movement systems, to possibilities and limitations of technology and building forms, and to issues involved in relating human-made to natural environment. Students encouraged to comprehend major urban issues both as citizens and as potential technical experts. P/NP or letter grading.

M171. Planning Issues in Latina/Latino Com- munities. (4) (Formerly numbered M122.) (Same as Chicana and Chicano Studies M122.) Lecture, three hours. Exploration of socioeconomic, demo- graphic, and political forces that shape low-in- come communities and analyses of planning intervention strategies. Emphasis on community and economic development and environmental equity. Letter grading.

M175. Women and the City. (4) (Formerly numbered M194.) (Same as Women’s Studies M175.) Lecture, three hours. Limited to juniors/seniors. Examination of relationship between women and cities: (1) how cities have affected women’s opportunities for economic and social equality, (2) women’s contributions to development of U.S. cities, and (3) contemporary strategies and efforts to create urban environments that reflect women’s needs and interests. P/NP or letter grading.

C184. Looking at Los Angeles. (4) Lecture, three hours. Introduction to history and physical form of Los Angeles, with emphasis on understanding social, economic, and political issues in development of Los Angeles. Concurrently scheduled with course C284. Letter grading.

199. Directed Research in Urban Planning. (2 to 8) Tutorial, three hours. Limited to juniors/seniors. Supervised individual research or investigation under guidance of faculty mentor. Culminating paper or project required. May be repeated for credit. Individual contract required. P/NP or letter grading.

Undergraduate Capstone Projects

Students may fulfill the capstone requirement by one of the following two options:

Option 1: Service Learning: Urban Planning 185-SL OR Urban Planning 195

Option 2: Research: Urban Planning 199 (Taken for 4 units; Must have junior or senior standing to enroll).

Contact Us

Stan Paul
Counselor for undergraduate minor
(310) 206-8966
paul@publicaffairs.ucla.edu.