Students pursuing a B.A. in Public Affairs are required to complete a three-quarter experiential learning opportunity. This includes enrollment in the PUB AFF 187 A/B/C sequence, completion of at least 220 hours at an internship at an approved site, and culminates with a capstone project.

Internships can range from internships in community-based organizations, social enterprise businesses, or regional governments to UCLA Global Internship Program, UCLA Quarter in Washington, or UC in Sacramento (UCCS) programs.

Through the combination of a community-focused internship and the process of executing a capstone project, students will develop and practice skills essential in the modern workplace, including professional communications, time management, project management, and negotiations. PUB AFF 187 assignments are designed to help students align their internships with the course work to create a foundation for students to plan, create, and implement their capstone project. Assignments may include reflection journals, draft capstone proposals, providing peer feedback, developing presentations for community and academic audiences, and more.

Prerequisites & Requirements
Internship Sites
Capstone Pathways
Internship Matching Process
Additional Opportiunities
Roles & Responsibilities
Community Partners
Timeline
Contact Us

Prerequisites & Requirements

Public Affairs Experiential Learning Capstone Preparation Requirements

To be eligible to enroll in the Public Affairs experiential learning capstone seminar series (PUB AFF 187A/B/C), students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a declared Public Affairs major
  • Have completed the Public Affairs major preparation courses
  • Recommended completion of the Public Affairs upper division methods courses (PUB AFF 115 and PUB AFF 116)
  • Be in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 term and cumulative GPA
  • Have senior standing (completion of 135+ units)
  • Complete the Capstone Interest Form
  • Attend 1 Capstone Information Session
  • Attend 1 Community Impact Training
  • Attend 2 Career Skills Workshops

The list of approved capstone workshops is available here.

Students are required to complete all capstone prerequisites prior to enrollment in the capstone Public Affairs 187 series. Students are expected to meet all program deadlines to ensure they are prepared for their experiential learning capstone requirement.  Failure to do so may impact their eligibility for the major.

Public Affairs Experiential Learning Capstone Requirements

The following are requirements of the B.A. in Public Affairs experiential learning capstone:

  • Students will be at their approved capstone internship a minimum of 220 internship hours during their senior year.
  • Simultaneously, students must enroll in and actively participate in the 3-quarter capstone series Public Affairs 187A/B/C, which will use readings, writing assignments, and other coursework to introduce students to concepts and methods relevant to their internship projects. This seminar will enable students to reflect on and share their engagement experience with classmates, apply what they have learned in their coursework to their community or public engagement, and analyze what they have learned in the field.
  • Students will complete a capstone project that integrates the internship experience. Students will present their capstone project in their final quarter of the capstone.

Capstone Workshop Requirement

To be eligible to enroll in the Public Affairs experiential learning capstone seminar series (PUB AFF 187A/B/C) and start the capstone internship placement, students must complete the following capstone workshops prior to enrolling in Public Affairs 187A:

  • Capstone Information Session; and
  • 1 Community Impact Training; and
  • 2 Career Skills Workshops.

Failure to complete the workshops will result in the student being ineligible for the capstone series, and therefore the major.

The list of approved capstone workshops is available here.

Students are expected to arrive on time and remain for the duration of the workshop. There is a 15-minute grace period at the beginning and the end of the workshop. If a student arrives after or leaves before the 15-minute grace period, their attendance for that workshop will not count towards the prerequisites for the experiential learning capstone, nor towards the ‘Life After Luskin: Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion.’

Luskin Career Paths Speakers Series: These workshops highlight professionals from the field of public affairs to discuss their career journey, provide insight into their field of expertise, and offer guidance and best practices.  Topics and communities will vary to represent the diverse field of public affairs.

Luskin Career Skills Workshops: These workshops are meant to provide students with the necessary skills to prepare them for their internship placements and post-Luskin careers. Topics range from managing your digital brand to managing up; from understanding and critiquing professionalism to developing your story and interviewing with confidence.

Community Impact Trainings: These trainings go deeper into supporting specific identity-based communities and working with diverse populations. Trainings range from LGBTQ Allyship trainings to Suicide Prevention; from UndocuAlly Training to sexual harassment prevention training.

Field Trips: These field trips are meant to expose students to a community based experience beyond their internship as well as to encourage volunteerism and civic engagement. This can be completed by participating in UCLA Volunteer Day. For more information visit: volunteerday.ucla.edu. Students can also volunteer at an organization of their choice for a minimum of 4 hours. These hours can be completed in one day or spread across multiple days. Students must submit documentation from the volunteer site supervisor confirming the amount of hours completed. Documentation can be submitted via MyUCLA Message Center.

Frequency of workshops:
Luskin Career Paths Workshops:  2 per quarter
Luskin Career Skills Workshops: 6 per year
Community Impact Trainings: 1 per quarter
Field trips: 1 per year

You can find examples of our workshops here!

This workshop list features approved Public Affairs capstone workshops for Spring 2022. Click the workshop titles to register for the events. Additional workshops may be added to this list. Make sure to check our weekly newsletter for additional events and resources!

Information about the Public Affairs capstone workshop requirement can be found here.

Information about the workshop requirement for students interested in completing the “Luskin Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion” can be found here.


CAPSTONE WORKSHOP ASSIGNMENT FOR SPRING 2022
In order to earn credit toward the Capstone Workshop Requirement or Luskin Leadership Development Certificate of Completion, you are required to submit a brief summary of the event/workshop and reflect on how the workshop applies to your professional development as a Public Affairs major. Please submit this through MyUCLA Message Center no later than one week after the event/workshop. Reflections submitted after one week of the event will not be accepted to be used toward the workshop requirements. Use the “Experiential Learning” queue when submitting your reflection.

If you wish to attend a workshop not on this list, please send a link of your intended workshop to the Public Affairs Capstone Advisor via MyUCLA Message Center so they can confirm if your proposed workshop can be used toward the capstone workshop requirement. Use the “Experiential Learning” queue when submitting this.


COMMUNITY IMPACT TRAININGS

  • UC Regents’ / Perloff Lecture: Elizabeth Yeampierre
    Tuesday, 5/3/22 at 6:00pm
    Zoom
    For more information, visit: https://community.ucla.edu/event/f251e991-6ad5-4321-a699-65e57f6e7611
    Note: This workshop can be used for either one Career Paths workshop or one Community Impact Training. You cannot use this one workshop to satisfy two different workshop requirements. Be sure to indicate which workshop you wish to satisfy in your MyUCLA Message Center Message.
  • Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation: Incarcerations, Displacements, and Transformations
    Friday, 5/6/22; 12:00pm – 1:00pm
    Zoom Webinar
    Registration Required, Register here: https://www.aasc.ucla.edu/events/activismseries/
  • Crossings, Conversations, and Convictions: A Look at Generational Grassroots Movements
    Saturday, 5/7/22: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
    Directors Guild of America (7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA)
    (Part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival; sponsored by UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and UCLA Asian American Studies Department)
    For more information and event registration, click here.
  • Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation: Internationalism and Local Struggles
    Friday, 5/13/22; 12:00pm – 1:00pm
    Zoom Webinar
    Registration Required, Register here: https://www.aasc.ucla.edu/events/activismseries/
  • Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation: Political Education and Radical Pedagogy
    Friday, 5/20/22; 12:00pm – 1:00pm
    Zoom Webinar
    Registration Required, Register here: https://www.aasc.ucla.edu/events/activismseries/
  • Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation: On Movement Building: Shaped by the Past, Creating New Futures
    Friday, 5/27/22; 12:00pm – 1:00pm
    Zoom Webinar
    Registration Required, Register here: https://www.aasc.ucla.edu/events/activismseries/

CAREER SKILLS WORKSHOPS

  • Mental Health Leadership Workshop: Promoting Well-Being at UCLA: Introduction to Psychological Resilence: From Languishing to Thriving
    Thursday, 5/5/22; 5:00pm – 6:30pm
    The Rise Center, Training Room – LuValle Commons, Basement Level, Room 01
    For more information, visit: https://community.ucla.edu/event/68f978c4-465f-440d-8fdf-bb9e311ad4ee
  • Mental Health Leadership Workshop: Promoting Well-Being at UCLA: Supporting Students in Distress: What to do when Peers Aren’t Well
    Thursday, 5/12/22; 5:00pm – 6:30pm
    The Rise Center, Training Room – LuValle Commons, Basement Level, Room 01
    For more information, visit: https://community.ucla.edu/event/0854c292-ed9f-48bf-8a6b-c739200cfc36

CAREER PATHS WORKSHOPS

  • UC Regents’ / Perloff Lecture: Elizabeth Yeampierre
    Tuesday, 5/3/22 at 6:00pm
    Zoom
    For more information, visit: https://community.ucla.edu/event/f251e991-6ad5-4321-a699-65e57f6e7611
    Note: This workshop can be used for either one Career Paths workshop or one Community Impact Training. You cannot use this one workshop to satisfy two different workshop requirements. Be sure to indicate which workshop you wish to satisfy in your MyUCLA Message Center Message.

WORKSHOP GUIDELINES

As part of the effort to keep our community healthy, our workshops will be held remotely until further notice. This will not be the only disruption we experience as a consequence COVID-19 and associated response efforts: we may all need to care for sick family members and/or care for younger relatives as schools and daycares pivot services to remote or hybrid modalities. As a team, we will work to accommodate your needs. We ask two things of you:
1. Return the favor: We are also adjusting to changes in remote, hybrid, and in-person models with very little lead time. You should expect some issues and the need for improvisation.
2. Don’t abuse our trust: Our flexibility is not license to skirt workshop expectations or the UCLA Student Code of Conduct.

This workshop may be photographed or recorded. Please review our notice of photography here.

Students are expected to arrive on time and remain for the duration of the workshop. There is a 15-minute grace period at the beginning and the end of the workshop. If a student arrives after or leaves before the 15-minute grace period, their attendance for that workshop will not count toward the prerequisites for the experiential learning capstone, nor toward the ‘Life After Luskin: Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion.’

Internship Sites

A key component of the experiential learning capstone includes students completing a public affairs internship at a Los Angeles-based internship site.

The Public Affairs Undergraduate Program will provide a list of approved internship sites that are interested in hosting Public Affairs students. Internship interviews and matching will happen during Winter and Spring quarter of the student’s junior year. Internships include a wide range of organizations, from community-based organizations and non-profits to social enterprise businesses to regional or local governments. Students will be at their internships a minimum of 8 hours per week during Fall quarter, 8 hours per week during Winter quarter, and 6 hours per week during Spring quarter. Altogether, students will complete a minimum of 220 internship hours during their senior year.

Students may petition to use approved course work completed through UC Center Sacramento, Quarter in Washington, or Global Internship Program to count towards the first quarter of the PUB AFF 187 series (PUB AFF 187A) and one upper division elective for the Public Affairs major.

Students who find their own internship site and who do not want to participate in the matching process must petition to propose their own internship site. The petition is due no later than Winter quarter of the year prior to beginning your capstone series – this is usually Winter quarter of their junior year. Students interested in this option must work closely with the Capstone Advisor and Coordinator to review the process and petition deadlines for proposing their own internship site.

Capstone Pathways

Students have many options and pathways for them to complete the Experiential Learning Capstone requirement. While most students will pursue the traditional capstone pathway, alternatively, some students may opt to use UC Center Sacramento, Quarter in Washington, or the Global Internship Program to count towards the first quarter of the PUB AFF 187 series. These students will begin their Los Angeles-based internship in Winter quarter of their senior year and will need to complete 140+ internship hours. See below for details for each of the pathways.

Note: if students choose to pursue any of the alternative capstone pathways, they must submit a petition by Friday of Week 2 of Winter quarter of their junior year to the Capstone Advisor and Coordinator regarding which program they plan on pursuing.

Students pursuing a traditional capstone pathway will complete the following:

  • 220+ hours (80-100 hours Fall, 80-100 hours Winter, 60-80 hours Spring) at a Los Angeles-based internship
  • Enrollment in PUB AFF 187 A/B/C in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, respectively

For more information regarding UC Center Sacramento, visit their website.

Students who apply and are accepted into UC Center Sacramento will complete the following:

  • One quarter in Sacramento + two quarters at a Los Angeles—based internship
    • 80-100 hours in Winter quarter, 60-80 hours in Spring at a Los Angeles-based internship
    • Enrollment in PUB AFF 187B and 187C in Winter and Spring quarters of senior year, respectively
  • UCCS Courses: Visit the UCCS website for information about the required program courses
  • Satisfy PUB AFF 187A with UCCS courses:
    • POL SCI 192A (5 units) + POL SCI 193 (2 units), or
    • POL SCI 192A (5 units) + POL SCI 196E (4 units)
  • Students may petition other courses (including POL SCI 195) to satisfy Public Affairs upper division major electives

For more information regarding the UCLA Quarter in Washington Program, visit their website.

Students who apply and are accepted into UCLA Quarter in Washington Program must complete the following:

  • One quarter in D.C. + two quarters at a Los Angeles—based internship (PUB AFF 187B and PUB AFF 187C)
    • 80-100 hours in Winter quarter, 60-80 hours in Spring at a Los Angeles-based internship
    • Enrollment in PUB AFF 187B and 187C in Winter and Spring quarters of senior year, respectively
  • QIW Courses: Visit the Quarter in Washington website for information about the required program courses
  • Satisfy PUB AFF 187A with QIW course POL SCI 195CE or CESC 195CE
  • Students may petition POL SCI M194DC to satisfy one Public Affairs upper division major elective

For more information regarding the D.C. Fellows Summer in Washington Program, visit their website.

Students who apply and are accepted into the D.C. Fellows Summer in Washington Program must complete the following:

  • One quarter in D.C. + two quarters at a Los Angeles-based internship (PUB AFF 187B and PUB AFF 187C)
    • 80-100 hours in Winter quarter, 60-80 hours in Spring at a Los Angeles-based internship
    • Enrollment in PUB AFF 187B and 187C in Winter and Spring quarters of senior year, respectively
  • Satisfy PUB AFF 187A with UCDC course POL SCI M195DC or PUB AFF 195CE* (4 or 8 units). Please contact the Capstone Advisor to determine which is a better fit.
    • *PUB AFF 195CE is subject to change. Please consult the Capstone Advisor for updated information.
  • Students may petition to have other program courses satisfy Public Affairs upper division major electives.

For more information regarding the Global Internship Program, visit their website.

Students who apply and are accepted into the Global Internship Program must complete the following:

  • One quarter abroad + two quarters at a Los Angeles—based internship (PUB AFF 187B and PUB AFF 187C)
    • 80-100 hours in Winter quarter, 60-80 hours in Spring at a Los Angeles-based internship
    • Enrollment in PUB AFF 187B and 187C in Winter and Spring quarters of senior year
  • Satisfy PUB AFF 187A with the course PUB AFF 195CE
  • Students may petition CESC 130 to satisfy one Public Affairs major upper division elective.

Internship Matching Process

To facilitate the Public Affairs Capstone internship matching process, the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program will provide students a list of approved internship sites that are interested in hosting Public Affair students.

Upon receipt of the list of approved internship sites, students must complete and submit the Interview Choice Form to select two internship sites with which they are interested in interviewing. Students are responsible for coordinating the interviews with the sites. 

Upon completion of the interview process, both the student and internship sites will be required to submit the Matching Sheet. By the end of the Spring quarter, the Public Affairs Capstone Advisor and Coordinator will notify students of the internship sites with which they have been matched. If students are selected by multiple sites, the student will need to select one site for their capstone internship. Students and internship sites will be asked to sign a learning agreement outlining the expectations for a meaningful experience for all parties.

Students will begin their approved capstone internship at the start of the Fall quarter of their final year or Winter quarter if they participated in an alternative capstone pathway. 

Students who successfully petition to use their proposed internship site for the capstone internship will not participate in the Interview and Matching steps of the internship matching process. 

General Internship Matching Timeline

Week 10 of Winter quarter Approved site list sent to students
Mid-March Interview Choice Form Due:

Undergraduate Public Affairs Majors select which 2 organizations they wish to interview with.

Late-March – Late-April Interviews:

Students go on interviews with the two organizations they selected

*Students who successfully petition to use their proposed internship site for the Capstone internship do not participate in this step

Late April Matching Sheet sent to both students and organizations

*Students who successfully petition to use their proposed internship site for the Capstone internship do not participate in this step

Early May Matching Sheet Due;

Students and organizations indicate who they want to work with

Early-May – Early-June Second Round of Interviews, if applicable
Week 10 of Spring Quarter Matching is Confirmed!

*Dates are subject to change at the discretion of the Undergraduate Program. Please check the website for the most up to date information.

Additional Opportunities

Students who plan to graduate early must request approval from the Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Program. To be eligible to graduate early, the student’s proposed degree plan for early graduation must account for all degree requirements and accommodate the Public Affairs three-quarter capstone preparation process and the three-quarter sequential capstone requirement. Be advised that requests to graduate early may be denied if a student’s proposed early graduation plan does not accommodate B.A. in Public Affairs experiential learning capstone requirement.

Students who plan to graduate early must contact the Public Affairs Capstone Advisor via MyUCLA Message Center as early as possible to discuss their eligibility to graduate early and outline a plan for early graduation. For more information about graduating early as a Public Affairs major, click here.

Students interested in going above and beyond the minimum Public Affairs capstone preparation workshop requirement may choose to pursue the Luskin Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion. In order to obtain the certificate of completion, students must complete the following:

  • 3 Career Paths Workshops
  • 3 Career Skills Workshops
  • 1 Community Impact Training
  • 1 Field Trip

In order to obtain the certificate, all workshop requirements must be completed before Friday of Week 8 of the student’s graduating quarter.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Prepare student for internship experience through coursework, professional development series, and capstone seminar
  • Advise students on their internship placements
  • Establish and maintain channels of communication between the department and the agency
  • Co-plan the internship and capstone requirement with the Supervisor
  • Share with Supervisor the expectations of the internship and capstone requirement
  • Arrange meetings with Supervisors for site visits to confirm an Internship Placement site and to check-in with the Supervisor on the student’s progress
  • Plan and hold events for the Department, Student, and Supervisor to meet one another, understand the requirements of the internship placement, and present the capstone projects
  • Reconsider placement assignment of any student if problems relevant to that student cannot be resolved in the agency
  • Complete the minimum number of hours (220+for the academic year)
  • Provide appropriate notice to Supervisor if the student will miss a shift (minimum one business day in advance) and immediately reschedule those hours
  • Adhere to all agency regulations, policies, and procedures
  • Conduct the business of the agency in an appropriate way
  • Be engaged, inquisitive, and ready to learn and contribute
  • Approach this learning in an open manner which includes dialoging across difference
  • Share with the Supervisor and/or UCLA Department any issues or impediments to experiential learning
  • Structure the internship to provide an intentional and meaningful learning opportunity
  • Develop and assign responsibilities to the student
  • Clearly communicate expectations and responsibilities to students
  • Schedule hours during the academic quarter so that student can complete the hours required
  • Adhere to program requirements and deadlines
  • Provide the space and equipment needed by students
  • Provide training, supervision and feedback to each student (recommended .5-1 hour per week)
  • Provide a verbal and written evaluation to the student and certify the number of hours the student completed
  • Contact UCLA staff if there are any problems or issues that cannot be resolved with the student
  • Assume responsibility for liability incurred in connection with agency assignment

Learn more about what it means to be an internship site in our Community Partners section.

Community Partners

During their senior year, students pursuing a BA degree in Public Affairs participate in an experiential learning internship that lasts for three quarters (roughly the end of September through the beginning of June, and approximately 30 weeks total). The Public Affairs Undergraduate Department encourages internships in a wide range of fields, including education, immigration, climate change, transportation, mental health, and criminal justice, to name a few.

Internships can take place in nonprofit organizations, private firms, schools/school districts, or government agencies. The internship is accompanied by a UCLA-based seminar that enables students to reflect on and share their engagement experience with classmates, apply what they have learned in their coursework to their community or public engagement, and analyze what they have learned in the community. This experiential learning opportunity culminates at the end of the spring quarter with a capstone project for the organization or agency that integrates students’ field experience with theory and methods learned in their coursework.

  • What is the major in Public Affairs?

    The Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs is a new undergraduate major that 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 interdisciplinary major combines critical thinking, social science theories, data collection and analysis, written and oral communication, and experiential learning. The B.A. in Public Affairs gives students the skills to analyze information, use evidence for decision making, and make compelling arguments for collective action. Ultimately, the Public Affairs major prepares our future leaders to immediately and effectively bring about social change.

  • What is experiential learning?

    Experiential learning connects the dots between theory and action. Our faculty developed the experiential learning requirement for the new undergraduate degree program to engage students in a relevant, rigorous, and rewarding educational experience through meaningful community-based learning. Experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to apply and/or critique theoretical concepts they learned in the classroom and to learn directly from leaders doing the work in the community.

    Agencies such as yours provide a learning environment where students actively engage in the day-to-day operations of the site and are expected to produce a capstone project that is useful to the agency. Supervisors provide 1:1 supervision, feedback, and mentoring. The role of the student at most placement sites is that of a participant observer but they are expected to be professional, engaged, inquisitive, and ready to learn and contribute. The ultimate goal is for the student and agency relationship to be mutually beneficial.

  • What is required of an internship site/supervisor?

    Ideal placement sites provide students with a pre-professional experience and structure activities that allow the student to:

    • Contribute to the day-to-day activities of the organization by working on duties and tasks related to Public Affairs.
    • Develop an understanding of the organization’s vision, mission, inputs, activities, and outcomes.
    • Develop interpersonal and technical competencies required in the workplace.
    • Receive supervision, mentorship, and feedback from a professional in the field.
    • Apply the conceptual, analytical, and/or methodological skills students have learned in their courses.
    • Produce a professional-quality capstone product (e.g., a presentation, report, etc.) that will be useful to the organization.

    Site supervisors should review the Roles & Responsibilities section of this page to learn more about what is expected of the UCLA Public Affairs Department, Students, and Internship Sites.

  • Interested in becoming an internship site?

    If you are interested in becoming an approved internship site with the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program, please fill out this form. Additionally, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss whether your organization might be an appropriate internship site, please contact:

    Jocelyn Guihama
    Director of Administration and Experiential Learning
    guihama@luskin.ucla.edu

    Frank Lin
    Capstone Advisor and Coordinator
    flin@luskin.ucla.edu

Timeline

UCLA operates on an academic quarter system from late September- early June. Students will be at their internships a minimum of 8 hours per week during Fall Quarter, 8 hours per week during Winter Quarter, and 6 hours per week during Spring Quarter, for a minimum of 220 internship hours during their senior year, exact hours can be discussed between the organization and the student. Students are not expected to come in or make up hours if their usual shift falls on a university or agency holiday.

UCLA Observed 2022-2023 Holidays:

November 11, 2022: Veteran’s Day
November 24-25, 2022: Thanksgiving
January 16, 2023: Martin Luther King Jr
February 20, 2023: President’s Day
March 31, 2023: Cesar Chavez Day
May 29, 2023: Memorial Day

  • Fall Quarter 2022

    September 22-December 2

  • Winter Quarter 2023

    January 9- March 17

  • Spring Quarter 2023

    April 3- June 9