Los Angeles and UCLA are enormously rich intellectual environments, and the Department of Public Policy encourages faculty and students from other universities to take advantage of these resources with a visiting appointment at UCLA.

In encouraging visitors to our program we seek to foster a diverse intellectual environment of interaction among students and scholars of cities and planning from a wide variety of disciplinary and geographic backgrounds.

As UCLA operates on the academic quarter system, visitors may be in residence in the Department of Public Policy for a minimum of one, but no more than four quarters. Most teaching and student activity occurs during the fall, winter, and spring quarters; the summers are quieter and devoted mostly to research.

There are four types of visitors to the Department of Public Policy:

Visiting Scholars

Visiting scholars are senior scholars and distinguished visitors who (1) hold a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent and (2) an appointment comparable to that of a UCLA faculty member, and (3) are in most cases on temporary leave from their universities or research centers.

Visiting scholars are in residence for relatively short periods of time, usually no longer than a year. Visiting scholars usually conduct research conceived and funded prior to coming to UCLA. While in some cases they collaborate on research projects and publications with UCLA faculty members, these collaborations are in all cases established prior to their arrival at UCLA. Ordinarily, visiting scholars are self-supported, or have adequate support funds from sources outside the University and are considered peers of the faculty, unlike postdoctoral scholars who enroll with the Graduate Division for an approved postdoctoral research and training objective under faculty supervision. Visiting Scholars are largely independent and autonomous. They interact with faculty sponsors, students, and other faculty, but they receive no formal mentoring or guidance.

Fees: The Department of Public Policy charges a Visiting Scholar fee of $3,000 per quarter or $9,000 per year. This fee covers costs currently charged by the university to process visa applications and Bruin Card applications as well as faculty and staff time in facilitating and advising visiting scholars with their research/study program while at UCLA, administration of the departmental Visiting Scholar program and overhead charges on facilities and equipment.

Applying & Privileges (PDF)

Visiting Affiliates

A scholar who is currently enrolled in a degree program at his/her home institution and wishes to visit UCLA to pursue independent research, usually in preparation of the doctoral dissertation, may request Departmental sponsorship as a Visiting Affiliate. While this title grants visiting privileges at UCLA, it does not grant academic credit. Visiting Affiliates interact with faculty sponsors, students and other faculty, but they receive no formal mentoring or guidance. Visiting affiliates may enroll in Public Policy courses through UCLA Extension with permission of the instructor for an additional fee.

Fees: The Department of Public Policy charges a Visiting Affiliate fee of $3,000 per quarter or $9,000 per year. This fee covers costs currently charged by the university to process visa applications and Bruin Card applications as well as faculty and staff time in facilitating and advising visiting scholars with their research/study program while at UCLA, administration of the departmental Visiting Scholar program and overhead charges on facilities and equipment. This is not tuition.

Applying & Privileges (PDF)

Non Degree Objective (NDO) Students

The Dean of the Graduate Division or his or her designated representative may grant admission on rare occasions to applicants who meet the entrance requirements imposed by the Graduate Council, and who seek to undertake coursework acceptable in graduate standing without a graduate degree objective (e.g., students making up subject deficiencies for entrance into medical school; teachers with master’s degrees or higher needing a term or two of refresher study for sabbatical leave; and foreign students on a year’s exchange). Visiting students who are interested obtaining academic credit for UCLA coursework should apply for NDO status through the UCLA Graduate Admissions Office.

Fees: Those admitted to NDO status are expected to pay the same fees and tuition as regular students.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Postdoctoral scholars hold a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent. Unlike Visiting Scholars, Postdoctoral Scholars enroll with the UCLA Graduate Division for an approved research and training program under faculty supervision. Postdoctoral scholars normally apply in response to a formal position announcement, though in some cases the postdoctoral position may be established independently with an individual faculty member.

Postdoctoral scholars in the Department of Public Policy are relatively rare, as they usually require funding from a research project housed at UCLA, and the funding from these projects is most often reserved for UCLA graduate students. Most postdoctoral positions at UCLA Luskin are sponsored by research centers, not by academic departments.