Welcome to the Luskin School of Public Affairs! The B.A. in Public Affairs is a one of a kind, in-depth, and engaged educational experience. This program is honored to be joined by transfer students from various locations across the country. As a transfer student, you will spend 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

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 is released every summer, after the SIR deadline. 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.

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 classes, 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.

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.

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 throughout the year, but keep an eye on our weekly Luskin Undergraduate Newsletter for all 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.

Resources, Resources, Resources

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

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…

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 2021 November 2020
Summer 2021 December 2020
Fall 2021 May 2021

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

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 2021 October 2020
Fall 2021 March 2021

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

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 2021 Some opportunities are open until September 2020
Summer 2021 Primarily December 2020 – February 2021
Fall 2021 Primarily October 2020 – April 2021

*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.

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 2020-2021 Transfer Community Spotlight features…

Silvia R. Gonzalez

PhD, Urban Planning, 2020, UCLA
MURP, Community Economic Development Concentration, 2013, UCLA
BA, Geography/Environmental Studies, minor in Urban & Regional Studies, 2009, UCLA
AA, Child Development, 2006, Los Angeles Valley College

My undergraduate degree in geography/environmental studies exposed me to frameworks, ideas, and thought leaders on the challenges our cities and the environment are facing. But it left me wondering what these impacts meant for people of color. It was this lack of discussion on people that led me to pursue a degree in urban planning. I was inspired to pursue a PhD because my experience at UCLA exposed me to faculty, staff and other students who were passionate about using research as a tool to improve the lives of low-income communities of color, like the one I grew up in. I am a non-traditional student. I was raising two young children when I transferred to UCLA and was 26 years old. As a parenting student, I decided to pursue opportunities that would help me build skills that would prepare me get a job after graduation. This included working at different labs/research centers on campus. I also volunteered at a community garden with other students interested in promoting sustainable agriculture. I used my experience at the garden to write a thesis through my department’s honors program. I actively looked for opportunities to get involved with special interest student groups that aligned with my interests, and this made a huge difference in my experience. Through these experiences I met some of my closest friends that continue to be a part of my life more than a decade later after graduation.

My first piece of advice is to look for opportunities to engage other students. My first few weeks at UCLA were lonely. I often asked myself how I could feel so alone in such a busy space, a space full of people. I changed this experience by getting out of my comfort zone and actively looking for opportunities to meet others. Second, get to know your professors and teaching assistants. In community college, professors rarely have office hours and we don’t have teaching assistants so to me going to office hours was awkward! By going to office hours, you get to build a relationship with your instructors, which may lead to job opportunities in the future. Think about your professors and teaching assistants as part of your professional network, which you can tap to kickoff your career.

Learn More

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