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 for public policy 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
  • Establish eligibility for admission to graduate standing in the University of California
  • Obtain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all upper division courses
  • Submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).


Because of the “Safer at Home” mandate due to COVID-19 , many students completed a term of remote courses that were graded on a Credit/No Credit, Pass/No Pass, or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.  Courses with final grades of Credit, Pass, or Satisfactory will be accepted as meeting academic requirements for consideration in the admissions review process.

Additionally, the Department of Public Policy is exploring the option of waiving the GRE for our upcoming admissions cycle. We will have an answer by September, which is when our application opens. Please visit our website in September for our most updated admission requirements. 

Application CodesCode Numbers
UC Major Code for Public Policy790
UCLA Institution Code004837
GRE Institution Code for UCLA4837
TOEFL Institution Code4837

Application Process Timeline

September: Application Opens

January 10, 2020: Application Deadline for Funding Consideration

June 30, 2020: Rolling Admission Deadline (no funding consideration)

February-March: Admitted Student Events

Early March: Decision Notification

Early April: MPP Welcome Day

April 15: National Enrollment Deadline

Application Checklist

Application Materials

Funding Your MPP Degree

View or download a funding overview (PDF).

Peer Application Advising Program

Program Mission

PPDE 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. PPDE 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.  We believe that as a master’s program at a public institution, cohorts of students should reflect the diversity of the city, state, and nation that UCLA was created to serve. To achieve this goal, PPDE recruits current UCLA Luskin MPP students to guide prospective applicants through the graduate application process.

Peer Advisors share advice on the application process, provide feedback on Statement of Purpose and UCLA Diversity Fellowship essays, 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 PPDE Peer Advising 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. We are not trained by, nor do we 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 Structure and Process

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

  1. Complete the PPDE Peer Application Advising Survey Form
  2. If you would like assistance with your admission essays, send Statement of Purpose (SOP) and UCLA Fellowship essays (if applying) to ppde.peer.advising@gmail.com as a Word document. If you have not started the essays, please attached a document with brainstormed ideas (i.e. outline). Please save the documents in the following format: “FullName_SOP.doc” and “FullName_UCLAFellowship.doc”
    1. Examples: “JoeBruin_SOP.doc” and “JoeBruin_UCLAFellowship.doc”
  3. Include in the subject line of your email, “PPDE Peer Advising: 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 Program Form is accepted on a rolling basis.

Events & Services

MPP Recruitment & Admissions Events

Are you thinking about applying to the MPP program? Join us at any of our online events below!

Funding Your UCLA Graduate Experience July 30th 6-7:30pm (PST): For more information & RSVP click HERE

UCLA MPP Admissions Webinar (International Students Only), August 4th 6-7:30pm (PST): For more information & RSVP click HERE

Careers in Public Policy Panel, August 11th, 6-7:30pm (PST): For more information & RSVP click HERE

Brainstorm with UCLA: Statement of Purpose, August 18th 6-7:30pm (PST): For more information & RSVP click HERE

MPP Application Services

In order to assist prospective students with our application process, UCLA’s Master of Public Policy department is providing the following services to applicants:

  • Statement of Purpose Review
  • Personal Statement Review
  • Resume Review
  • Transcript Evaluation (includes Jr./Sr. GPA worksheet)

To submit a request for any of these services, please fill out the UCLA MPP Application Services form.

*Please make sure that you already have a draft for all of the documents you would like to receive feedback when you fill out the application services form.*

Luskin Diversity Recruitment Fair

Last year’s fair was held on November 23, 2019. Come back in July for the 2020 date. 

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is hosting its annual Diversity Recruitment Fair! Aimed at ensuring equitable recruitment practices across the school’s three departments, the fair will host speakers and workshops focusing on the intersections of Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning with social justice missions. Participants will spend the day hearing from department chairs, guest speakers, alumni, current students, and staff as they speak about diversity at Luskin and how our graduate programs lead to careers in public service and social justice. The event is free and will also include application and fellowship workshops, a campus tour, and general program information.

Register here!

Connect With Us

Talk to an Admissions Officer

Contact a Current Student

Have additional questions about being a student in the MPP program? Feel free to contact the department’s Outreach Coordinator and a current MPP student at luskinmppoutreach@gmail.com.

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