Why Public Policy at UCLA?

MPP students can pursue interdisciplinary Global Public Affairs and Leaders in Sustainability certificate programs. Joint degrees with Law, Management, Public Health, Medicine, and Social Welfare offer an even broader range of skill and expertise development. We take people who are passionate about making a difference in the world and give them the tools they need to do so.

Our master’s program combines the best of rigorous policy education with flexibility and responsiveness that enables us to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. A career in public service is no longer limited to working in government. By giving students a diversified tool kit of quantitative and analytical skills and the flexibility to design their own program of study— while drawing on all the resources of one of the world’s top research universities — we produce graduates who are equipped to become real leaders in policy making, wherever that process takes place. Study Public Policy at Luskin. Training and experience that prepares one to transform the world to come.

Admission Requirements

The department seeks a diverse pool of applicants who have been trained in a wide range of disciplines and preferably have had previous work experience in policy making or implementation. No specific background or undergraduate major is required. There are no citizenship requirements to be considered for admission. Admission is selective. Decisions will be based on a multifaceted evaluation of the applicant’s overall academic record, applicable test scores, and potential success in the public policy field, as evidenced by work experience and community, extracurricular, or other relevant experience. An applicant’s written statement of purpose, goals, and letters of recommendation also weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • International applicants may be required to submit diplomas and certificate of completion as proof of eligibility to graduate standing in the University of California
  • Obtain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all upper-division courses
  • Recommended but not required for domestic applicants: submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (strongly recommended for applicants without a quantitative background)
  • Required for international applicants: submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Application CodesCode Numbers
UC Major Code for Public Policy790
UCLA Institution Code004837
GRE Institution Code for UCLA4837
TOEFL Institution Code4837

Application Process Timeline

September 2024: Application Opens

January 6, 2025: Application Deadline for Funding Consideration

April 15, 2025: Rolling Admission Deadline*

*rolling admission deadline may close early if program has reached capacity

Early March: Decision Notification

Mid-Late March: Admitted Student Events

Early April: MPP Welcome Day

April 15: National Enrollment Deadline

Application Materials
  • UCLA Graduate Division Online Application
  • Application Fee (To apply for a fee waiver, please see UCLA’s Graduate Division’s criteria here)
  • Transcripts (unofficial transcripts requested showing student name, university and most recent information)
  • Statement of Purpose – Between 800-1000 words.
  • Resume or CV
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE Scores (recommended but not required for domestic degree applicants; required for international degree applicants)
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores (International Students)
  • Personal History Statement – This should be limited to 500 words
  • GPA Worksheet
  • Academic Preparation Form

View or download a funding overview (PDF).

Events & Services

To register for any event below, click on the link in the title. Note that Zoom information is shared the week of the virtual event. 


UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program Overview, Friday, July 7th, 2023 12:00pm (PST).

UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Applying Part 1: Domestic & First-Generation Applicants Only, Friday, July 14, 2023 12:00pm (PST).

UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Applying Part 2: International Applicants Only, Friday, July 21, 2023 12:00pm (PST).

Am I Ready for Graduate School: Realities to Consider, Friday, July 28, 2023, 12:00pm (PST).


UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program Overview, Friday, August 4, 2023 4:00pm (PST).

UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Applying Part 1: Domestic & First-Generation Applicants Only, Friday, August 11, 2023 4:00pm (PST).

UCLA Master of Public Policy (MPP) Applying Part 2: International Applicants Only, Friday, August 18, 2023 4:00pm (PST).

Brainstorm with UCLA MPP: Statement of Purpose, Friday, August 25, 2023, 4:00pm (PST).

Am I Ready for Graduate School: Realities to Consider, Thursday, August 31, 2023, 6:00pm (PST).


Fellowships & Funding Your UCLA MPP Graduate Degree, Friday, September 1, 2023, 12:00pm (PST).

Fellowships & Funding Your UCLA MPP Graduate Degree, Friday, September 8, 2023, 4:00pm (PST).

Brainstorm with UCLA MPP: Statement of Purpose,  Friday, September 15, 2023, 12:00pm (PST)

Virtual Open House: Thursday November 2nd

At the convergence of the fields of social work, urban planning and policymaking, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs identifies and develops emerging areas of research and teaching, cultivating leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Founded in 1994, UCLA Luskin incorporates the best practices in scholarship, research and teaching in the fields of social work, urban and regional planning, and policymaking. Graduates of the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs are well prepared to take leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors.

The UCLA Luskin Department of Public Policy invites you to learn more about our Master of Public Policy (MPP) master degree program during our annual Open House.  Join us for mini mock lectures on some of our most popular program concentrations. You will also have the opportunity to participate in interactive panels with members of our core faculty.

To register for this event, please follow the link above. We look forward to connecting with all of you!

Event Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

Event Time: 11am (PST) – 2:00pm (PST)
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) virtual Diversity Research & Resource Fair will be a day of connection and exposure to one of the many research centers at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. This year, we will host a presentation by our distinguished faculty, Dr. Tierra Bills  on the Institute of Transportation Studies and its work within policy. We will also feature a student representative of the D3 Initiative at UCLA Luskin and finish with a panel of current MPP students. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with faculty and ask students questions to learn more about their lived experiences.
Note that while we encourage participants to attend all three components, there is no requirement to do so. Breaks are also built into the event in between presentations. Registrants will receive a link to the Virtual Diversity Research & Resource Fair  website one week prior to the event. This event will not be recorded.

To register please follow this link: Diversity Research and Resource Fair 

For additional questions about this event please reach out to: cristy@luskin.ucla.edu.

We look forward to having you join us!

Program Mission

The Peer Application Review program is committed to ensuring that the student community of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Luskin School of Public Affairs reflects the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of Los Angeles and the State of California. Our program is dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion within the student community, especially focusing on increasing the representation of underrepresented communities across a spectrum of markers of difference: race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, citizenship status,  and religious belief.  To achieve this goal, The Luskin Department of Public Policy recruits current UCLA Luskin MPP students to guide prospective applicants through the graduate application process.

Peer Application Review Advisors share advice on the application process, provide feedback on Resume and CV, Statement of Purpose, Personal History Statement, and answer general questions about Luskin and the public policy field. We gladly provide our services to ALL who are interested and highly encourage individuals from underrepresented backgrounds (students of color, LGBTQ-identifying, low-income, different abilities, etc.) to reach out to our team.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the Peer Application Review Program does not, in any way, guarantee admission to the UCLA Luskin MPP program. Current Luskin MPP students provide advice and feedback on the admission essays and answer general questions about Luskin to the best of their knowledge. They are not trained by, nor do they represent, in any way, the admissions committee or the Luskin MPP Administration. Comments and advice are purely to help prospective applicants better communicate their skills and strengths in the admission essays and to make a more informed decision about the public policy graduate program.

Program Timeline

Friday, September 15th-Monday, October 16th- Program Enrollment

Tuesday, October 17th- Friday, October 20th: Program Acceptance Notification and Pairing of Peer Advisor

Friday, October 20th-Friday, December 8th: Length of Program  OR coordinate with peer

Program Structure and Process

For prospective applicants who want to participate, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Complete the Peer Application Review Application Form
  2. When submitting your admission essays to your advisor for review, please remember to send them as a Word documents in order to receive edits. If you have not started your essays, please send brainstormed ideas or an outline. It is advised that you save the documents in the following format: “FullName_SOP.doc” and “FullName_PHS.doc”, etc. 
    1. Examples: “JoeBruin_SOP.doc” and “JoeBruin_PHS.doc”
  3. Include in the subject line of your email, “Peer Application Review Advisee: Last Name, First Name”
  4. If you have additional questions or concerns about the curriculum, the public policy degree, or student life at Luskin (or if you just want to introduce yourself!), include it in the body of the email along with your SOP and Fellowship statements.
  5.  Peer Application Advising past December 8th is optional for all parties involved. 

Connect With Us

Have additional questions about being a student in the MPP program? Reach out to our Assistant Director of Admissions at: cristy@luskin.ucla.edu to be put in touch with a current student of the Master of Public Policy program.

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