Community Partners
Roles and Responsibilities
Contact Us

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 in 2024-2025, please fill out this form.

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
  • 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
  • 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


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 2024-2025 Holidays:

November 11, 2024: Veteran’s Day
November 28-29, 2024: Thanksgiving
January 20, 2025: Martin Luther King Jr
February 17, 2025: President’s Day
March 28, 2025: Cesar Chavez Day
May 26, 2025: Memorial Day

  • Fall Quarter 2024

    September 26 - December 6

  • Winter Quarter 2025

    January 6 - March 14

  • Spring Quarter 2025

    March 31 - June 6

Contact Us

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

Frank Lin
Capstone Advisor and Coordinator