Welcome to the Luskin School of Public Affairs. In Fall 2018, the Luskin School introduced the new B.A. in Public Affairs, a one of a kind, in-depth, and engaged educational experience. This Fall, as the program embarks on the next academic year, the School proudly prepares for our incoming transfer student cohort who will join the B.A. in Public Affairs majors. As incoming students, you will spend the next two years laying the groundwork for what promises to be an amazing and unique opportunity to analyze information, use evidence for decision-making, and make compelling arguments for collective action. Through your participation in this program you are preparing to be the future leaders of our world. Leaders who will immediately, and effectively, bring about social change.

First Steps

Before you arrive on campus

Statistical Package R “Boot Camp”

If you did not use the statistical package R Studio during Community College, or in your professional experiences, you should make time to review the free online resources before starting  classes at UCLA, especially before taking PA 115 and before beginning the capstone requirement.

Experiential Learning Capstone Interest Survey

As you know, the B.A. in Public Affairs requires a three-quarter experiential learning capstone, or internship, in the senior year. In order for us to prepare an exciting and relevant internship for you we need to learn a little more about what interests you and what professional experiences you want to have while at UCLA. The survey will be released soon. Contact the Capstone Advisor and Coordinator, Kevin Medina, at MyUCLA Message Center for any questions.

2-year Plan of Study

The Public Affairs program offers a lot of flexibility with upper division course selection, and it pairs well with many of the campus minors. We encourage you to embrace this academic freedom by customizing a 2-year plan of study. This plan should be a “living” document, adapting and growing throughout your time on campus.

Your first month

The Quarter System

Don’t forget, UCLA is on the quarter system. This means you get to choose new classes three times a year; Fall, Winter, and Spring (Summer is optional). Each quarter, your classes will run for 11-weeks (10 weeks of class sessions, 1 week of finals).

While it may feel like you are sprinting from the first day of class, to midterms, and then straight to finals, there are many benefits to the quarter system. Namely, you have more opportunities to take fun, interesting courses and to participate in other academic or non-academic programs. Plus, if you’re not enjoying a class, have no fear, it will be done in 10 short weeks!

You can view your quarterly enrollment appointment times on the Registrar’s Office website.

Requirements and Courses

Take some time to familiarize yourself with your major requirements and your double major or minor options. The B.A. in Public Affairs Checklist for Transfer Students can help you prepare your two-year plan of study, while the Public Affairs course offerings list can help ensure you get the classes that are the most relevant to your interests and goals.

UCLA currently offers NINETY-FIVE minors! That kind of variety allows students to customize their learning experience as they see fit. Currently, Public Affairs majors are exploring minors such as:

  1. Chicana and Chicano Studies
  2. Civic Engagement
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Food Studies
  5. Global Studies
  6. International Migration Studies
  7. Labor and Workplace Studies
  8. Spanish

If you’re interested in a double-major, make sure to reach out to the advisor for your secondary major as soon as possible so you can coordinate requirements and plan your schedule. Not sure whom to meet with or how to get started? Schedule an appointment with a Public Affairs advisor.

Your first quarter

Meet with an Undergraduate Advisor

We highly recommend you schedule an introductory meeting with one of the members of our Undergraduate Team during the Fall Quarter. Not only do we want to meet you and say hi but also, we can help you organize your goals and map out your plan of action for your time at UCLA. You can schedule an appointment with us via MyUCLA Message Center. Click the link and log into MyUCLA. You can reach us either by Topic or Academic Counseling Unit. Just select the option you want and search for Public Affairs.

Attend events!

We are never short on events in the Luskin School of Public Affairs. Specific events for you and other Public Affairs Undergrads will be announced soon, but keep an eye on our weekly Luskin Undergraduate Newsletter for additional opportunities.

The Newsletter will be emailed to you weekly and is designed to be a one-stop shop of opportunities that may be of interest to you. We include on and off campus events, internship, funding, and job opportunities, as well as anything else we feel is relevant to Public Affairs.

Your first year

Resources, Resources, Resources

Take advantage of the many resources campus has to offer. These offices, plus many more, can support your academic, professional, mental, emotional, and physical well-being and happiness.

  • Academic Advancement Program (AAP) – a counseling unit and resource center for first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students. AAP strives to provide access, equity, opportunity, and excellence.
  • Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center – a center devoted to providing quality, accessible, state-of-the-art healthcare and education to support the unique development of UCLA students.
  • Bruin Commuter Club – provides complimentary access to benefits and incentives to UCLA students who use alternative transportation
  • Bruin Resource Center – supports student development, well-being, and academic success and fosters an inclusive and socially just campus community. Programs include:
      1. Bruin Guardian Scholars
      2. Students with Dependents Program
      3. Transfer Student Center
      4. Veterans Resource Center
      5. Undocumented Student Program
  • CARE Program – committed to the eradication of sexual and gender-based violence through creating and sustaining a safe, healthy, and equitable community for all people.
  • Center for Accessible Education – facilitates academic accommodations for regularly enrolled, matriculating students with disabilities.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) – a free service which support our students mental health needs as they pursue their academic goals.
  • Career Center – a center dedicated to offering UCLA students and alumni opportunities to make thoughtful and deliberate career choices.
  • First to Go – promotes campus involvement and visibility with a focus on the retention and success of all first-generation college students at UCLA.
  • Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Program (GUM) – “sticking students together for success” by offering a six-week long workshop series for undergraduate students who wish to learn more about graduate school.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center – provides a comprehensive range of education and advocacy services supporting intersectional identity development as well as fostering unity, wellness, and an open, safe, and inclusive environment for UCLA’s LGBTQ community.
  • Student Legal Services – provides confidential legal counseling and assistance regarding a wide range of legal issues to all currently registered and enrolled UCLA students.
  • Title IX Office – takes and handles reports of gender discrimination, including allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Opportunities Galore!

What are your academic and professional goals?

There is something for everyone at UCLA so make sure you explore early and often!

Are you interested in…

California Policy

UC Center Sacramento

The University of California Center Sacramento advances the University’s mission of teaching, research and public service with an integrated program to train future state leaders, to address challenging public-policy issues confronted by the nation and state, and to carry out the University’s mandate to assist state government.

UCCS is located one block from the State Capitol Building. Operated by UC Davis, UCCS offers a distinctive academic program in public policy to students from throughout the university’s 10-campus system. The program provides students with an opportunity to study through seminars and internships in and around the state Capitol.

Program Quarter you want to attend Application Deadline (estimate) *
UC Center Sacramento Spring 2020 October 2019
Summer 2020 November 2019
Fall 2020 April 2020

*visit the Program Dates & Deadlines page for the most up-to-date information

National Policy

Center for American Politics and Public Policy

Quarter in Washington Program

Since fall 1990, the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) has offered students the only UCLA opportunity to intern in Washington, DC while remaining a full-time UCLA student.

CAPPP sends 30 UCLA undergraduates to study in Washington each fall, winter, and spring quarter. Each quarter offers the same one-on-one faculty interaction and meaningful internship placements.

The program offers a structured and supportive introduction to independent research, intensive attention to students’ intellectual development and writing skills, exciting internships, and the chance to make life-long career connections at the national level.

Program Quarter you want to attend Application Deadline (estimate) *
Center for American Politics and Public Policy Spring 2020 October 2019
Fall 2020 March 2020

*visit the Important Dates page for the most up-to-date information

International Study

UC Education Abroad Program

The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is the official, system-wide study abroad program for the University of California. UCEAP is partnered with 115 universities worldwide and offers programs in 42 countries. These UC-approved programs combine immersive learning with engaging activities. UCEAP students enroll in courses abroad while earning UC units and maintaining UCLA student status. Many programs offer internships, research, and volunteer opportunities.

Program Quarter you want to attend Application Deadline (estimate) *
UC Education Abroad Program Spring 2020 Some opportunities are open until September 2019
Summer 2020 Primarily December 2019 – February 2020
Fall 2020 Primarily October 2019

*visit the UCEAP Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information



Conducting research as an undergraduate is an excellent way to gain experiences and skills that will benefit you both academically and professionally, preparing you for graduate school and a wide variety of careers.

Participating in undergraduate research lets you:

  • Work one-on-one with faculty,
  • Participate in cutting-edge research projects with far-reaching impacts,
  • Make significant contributions to a field you care about, and
  • Enhance your competitiveness for high-level employment and admission to graduate and professional schools.

UCLA Undergraduate Research Center for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

The Undergraduate Research Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences serves all students in humanities, arts, social science, and behavioral science disciplines. We invite you to explore our website or drop by our office (A334 Murphy Hall) to find out more about our programs and services. We look forward to meeting you!

You can also visit the Luskin Undergraduate Research page to explore the many opportunities to participate in research projects on campus and within the Luskin School.

Community Engagement

Center for Community Learning

The Center connects students and faculty to civic engagement opportunities in Los Angeles County, the state of California, Washington D.C., and abroad.  

We believe that by engaging faculty and students through the integration of teaching, research and service learning, that we are fulfilling the Chancellor’s priority for Civic Engagement and making our campus and our community are stronger. 

At the Center, we actively seek campus and community partnerships and look to expand how faculty and students from all disciplines can participate in and benefit from community-based learning experiences. 

Volunteer Center

The UCLA Volunteer Center coordinates service activities on campus and throughout Greater Los Angeles to inspire members of the extended UCLA family to give of their time and talent. As part of the Alumni Affairs division, the Center strives to make a positive impact upon UCLA and the Greater Los Angeles community.

At UCLA, there are many ways to give back to the community. Through the Volunteer Center, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members can participate in ongoing and annual service opportunities, suggest volunteer site locations, and lead service projects. The Volunteer Center also maintains an online listing of campus-wide service groups, and a volunteer database of community service opportunities.

Transfer Community Spotlight

The 2019-2020 Transfer Community Spotlight features…

Kevin Medina
Capstone Advisor & Coordinator
Luskin Undergraduate Program

Master of Public Policy & Master of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs
B.A. in Psychology & Social Behavior with a minor in Education, UC Irvine
A.A. in Social & Behavioral Sciences with IGETC Certification, Irvine Valley College

After graduating high school, I enrolled at Irvine Valley College. I was unsure what I wanted to do in college and beyond, so I used community college as a playground to experiment with potential majors and explore different career paths. After having a positive experience, I applied and transferred to UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology. At UCI I was delighted, but also highly overwhelmed, by the high number of resources and opportunities, rigor of course content, and overall speed of the quarter system. Eventually I adapted, and I can confidently say that at the end of my undergraduate career, I accomplished everything I sought after: internships, research, student organizations, departmental honors, and most importantly finding a network of life-long friends. While I can look back and fondly recall my journey and accomplishments from the comfort of my office, I must acknowledge that there were numerous failures and bumps in the road to get there, and that it would not have been possible without a robust support system.

I have this advice for transfer students: your two years at a university goes by fast! Quickly familiarize yourself with everything that is available and create both an intellectually and personally enriching experience! There will be an adjustment period, but you are well prepared and equipped to handle the experience! When you inevitably face obstacles, don’t forget that you were offered admission for a reason, don’t forget to practice compassionate self-care, and don’t forget why you started this journey in the first place.

Learn more about all members of the Luskin Community throughout the website.