The world needs agents of social change whose passion to improve people’s lives is matched by the knowledge and skills to deliver results. UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs will help cultivate this next generation of civic-minded leaders with a new undergraduate degree, launching in the fall of 2018.
The B.A. in Public Affairs offers an in-depth and engaged educational experience with a clear public service ethos. Drawing from UCLA Luskin’s expansive resources in Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning, the major combines critical thinking, social science methodology, and experiential learning, connecting the dots between theory and action.
Our world is changing rapidly, creating opportunity but also inequity. Poverty, affordable housing, climate change, criminal justice reform, health, education, migration – these are among society’s most pressing issues. At UCLA, students are stepping up to meet these challenges head-on, and the Public Affairs B.A. gives them the skills to succeed. Public Affairs majors learn to analyze information, use evidence for decision making, and make compelling arguments for collective action. Then they go out into the community to apply their scholarship in nonprofit organizations, private ventures, government agencies, advocacy groups, and other settings. The Public Affairs B.A. prepares our future leaders to immediately and effectively bring about social change.
The B.A. in Public Affairs provides a multidisciplinary foundation in social science theories, data collection and analysis, critical thinking, and written and oral communication. Majors delve into topics such as social movements and their policy underpinnings, microeconomics and human development, and the use of statistics to inform and persuade. This undergraduate experience prepares students for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and for graduate study in fields such as law, public policy, social welfare, urban planning, education, or any of the social sciences. Public Affairs is also a logical second major for science or engineering students who wish to concentrate on policy issues.
Public Affairs majors step into the real world to put their scholarship and skills to work. A three-quarter-length capstone project provides an immersive learning experience in a wide variety of settings. Students connect with community-based organizations, regional governments, and private companies, or pursue projects through UC’s international, Washington, D.C., or Sacramento programs. This exceptional opportunity provides first-hand experience at the intersection of governance, corporate citizenship, civil society, and grassroots activism.
At the end of the event, Dean Gary Segura joined Jorge Ramos in urging students to take out their phones and share a get-out-the-vote message via social media. Photo by Les Dunseith