Our Commitment to Diversity & Equity

The Luskin Public Policy Department recognizes that many of the policy problems we address are rooted in discrimination, inequality, and historic patterns of social exclusion. In our teaching, research, and engagement in the public sphere we aim to advance social justice and help shape policy in ways that benefit all people. The Luskin Public Policy Department is committed to creating and nurturing a scholarly community that:

  • Reflects the diversity of our local and global societies by recruiting faculty, staff, and students from traditionally marginalized underrepresented groups.
  • Treats all its members with openness, equality, fairness, and respect regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identification, gender expression, sexuality, religion, age, economic status, immigration status, and disability status.
  • Aspires to practice culturally competent mentoring.
  • Recognizes the historical and contemporary injustices experienced by all marginalized groups and pledges not to reproduce them.
  • Embraces, supports, and celebrates the different experiences, perspectives, and cultures of our diverse members.
  • Continually strives to reduce inequities in our own department, in the public policy profession, and in the broader society.

Student Recruitment

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Partnership

Driven by our social justice values and our desire to increase diversity in our program and in the public service field, UCLA Luskin Public Policy has established a partnership with CHCI. The partnership will provide a minimum fellowship of $7,500 to CHCI alumni who are admitted to our Master of Public Policy program. To receive the fellowship, applicants must upload a verification letter from CHCI confirming their alumni status as part of their MPP application in the “Supporting Documents” section.

Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Partnership

UCLA Luskin Public Policy partners with PPIA on a variety of recruitment and retention efforts to increase the diversity of our applicant pool. In addition to partnering on information sessions and workshops, UCLA Luskin Public Policy and PPIA host an annual Public Service Weekend at UCLA for undergraduate students. Over the weekend participants, meet trailblazing leaders from a variety of public service careers that share their experiences and learn how to harness their passion for tackling social problems into a career in public affairs while developing key skills to fight real-world problems.

Alumni of PPIA’s Junior Summer Institute who are admitted to our Master of Public Policy program are guaranteed a minimum, one-time financial award of $10,000.

Policy Professionals for Diversity & Equity (PPDE)

PPDE is a student-run organization 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, student cohorts 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.

For more information about PPDE’s Peer Application Program and to register, please go to our admissions page. Please note that PPDE will start accepting program registrations beginning in October 2020.

Diversities, Disparities, & Difference (D3)

The Diversity, Disparities, and Difference (D3) Initiative at UCLA Luskin launched in 2014 by former Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. as part of UCLA’s effort to build a more equitable environment on campus. The D3 Initiative aims to create a cohesive strategy to bridge differences, understand our diverse society, and confront disparities in the field of public affairs.

The D3 Initiative aims to:

  • Enhance student admissions and faculty searches by championing more diverse applicant pools;
  • Institutionalize programming that offers a critical understanding of social inequity while establishing connections with the greater community;
  • Strengthen student collaboration and cohort interaction for a more inclusive school climate.

View D3’s programs, fellowships, and opportunities here.

Diversity Statistics

The Fall 2021 MPP entering class (Class of 2023) includes students from eight countries. Seventeen percent of entering students are international. Of the domestic students, 57% are under-represented minorities and multi-racial, including 42% who identify as Latinx, 11% as African American, and 9% as American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Of the domestic students, 72% are from California. About six of 10 entering students identify as female and four of 10 as male. Over 50% of entering students are first generation college students.

Please find a more detailed breakdown of our diversity statistics here.

Demographic Composition of Students Accepting Offers of Admissions Into the Luskin MPP Program | Class of 2023

Race & Ethnicity of Domestic Students
African American/Black
American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander
Gender Demographics
Geographic Demographics
California Resident
Domestic, Not California Resident
First-Generation Status