Undergraduate students pursuing the B.A. in Public Affairs and Luskin minors (Gerontology, Public Affairs, and Urban and Regional Studies) are encouraged to engage in undergraduate research. Getting involved in research projects is a great way to gain practical skills and prepare for graduate school and your future career. Read the information below to learn more about the research opportunities available to undergraduate students at Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA.

To discuss how to incorporate research into your degree plan, schedule an appointment with a Luskin undergraduate counselor via MyUCLA Message Center.

Research Opportunities for Public Affairs Majors
UCLA Undergraduate Research Center Overview
Additional Research Resources
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Research Opportunities for Public Affairs Majors

  • Luskin Faculty

    Learn more about the Public Affairs faculty and consider contacting them to explore the availability of undergraduate research opportunities, through a paid or volunteer position, or a course such as PUB AFF 99, 196, or 199.

  • Student Research Program (SRP)

    The Student Research Program (SRP) PUB AFF 99 (1 to 2 units) course is a lower division contract course designed for students who are completing entry-level research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. PUB AFF 99 is offered every quarter and must be arranged by the student via an individual contract. Students create the contract course via MyUCLA in consultation with their faculty mentor. PUB AFF 99 may be repeated and must be taken P/NP.

    To enroll in PUB AFF 99, students must be in good academic standing (i.e., minimum 2.0 term and cumulative GPA) and enrolled in a minimum of 12 units (excluding this course). A student can only submit one SRP contract per quarter. Units earned through PUB AFF 99 satisfy lower division units toward the 180-units requirement for graduation.

    PUB AFF 99 does not satisfy requirements for the Public Affairs major or Luskin minors. Units earned through PUB AFF 99 satisfy lower division units toward the 180-units requirement for graduation.

    Visit the Undergraduate Research Center here to learn more about the SRP 99 courses and how to create SRP 99 contract courses. Visit the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program website here for information on when to begin planning your enrollment in Public Affairs contract courses.

  • Research Apprenticeship in Public Affairs

    PUB AFF 196 (2 to 4 units) is an upper division tutorial contract course designed for students completing supervised research or investigation under the guidance of a faculty mentor, on a project that is usually defined by the faculty mentor.

    PUB AFF 196 is offered every quarter and must be arranged by the student via an individual contract. Students create the contract course via MyUCLA in consultation with their faculty mentor. PUB AFF 196 is limited to juniors and seniors and is offered P/NP only.

    To enroll in PUB AFF 196, students:

    • must have advanced junior standing and at least a 3.0 GPA in the major, or must have senior standing; and
    • cannot have outstanding Incomplete grades in an upper-division tutorial (course numbered 195-199).

    A student may take only 8 units of upper division tutorials (courses numbered 195-199) per quarter and can have no more than 32 total units of 195-199 credit taken on a letter grade basis. After completing 32 units of 195-199 credit on a letter grade basis, students must take any additional 195-199 courses on a P/NP basis only.

    Students may petition to satisfy one upper division elective for the Public Affairs major or a Luskin minor, with an upper division Public Affairs research tutorial (PUB AFF 196-199); approval is not guaranteed. Units earned through PUB AFF 196 satisfy upper division units toward the 60 units of upper division requirement, and units toward the 180-units requirement for graduation.

    Visit the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program website here for information on when to begin planning your enrollment in Public Affairs contract courses.

  • Honors Research in Public Affairs

    PUB AFF 198A/B/C (4 units) are upper division tutorial contract courses designed for students who wish to complete an original research thesis, driven by student-defined interests and independent work. The PUB AFF 198A/B/C series is required for students who are completing the Public Affairs Departmental Honors Program. To participate in the Public Affairs Departmental Honors Program, students must meet the eligibility requirements and apply to the program in spring of the junior year.

    PUB AFF 198 is offered in the fall, PUB AFF 198B in the winter, and PUB AFF 198C in the spring. The PUB AFF 198 courses must be arranged by the student via an individual contract. Students create the contract course via MyUCLA in consultation with their faculty mentor. PUB AFF 198A/B/C are limited to senior Public Affairs majors and are offered on a letter grading basis only.

    To enroll in PUB AFF 198A/B/C, students:

    • must have completed PUB AFF 115 and PUB AFF 116; and
    • must have advanced junior standing and at least a 3.0 GPA in the major, or must have senior standing; and
    • cannot have outstanding Incomplete grades in an upper-division tutorial (course numbered 195-199).

    Additionally, PUB AFF 198A is requisite to PUB AFF 198B, which is requisite to PUB AFF 198C.

    A student may take only 8 units of upper division tutorials (courses numbered 195-199) per quarter and can have no more than 32 total units of 195-199 credit taken on a letter grade basis. After completing 32 units of 195-199 credit on a letter grade basis, students must take any additional 195-199 courses on a P/NP basis only.

    Students may petition to satisfy one upper division elective for the Public Affairs major or a Luskin minor, with an upper division Public Affairs research tutorial (PUB AFF 196-199); approval is not guaranteed. Units earned through PUB AFF 198A, 198B, and 198C satisfy upper division units toward the 60 units of upper division requirement, and units toward the 180-units requirement for graduation.

    Visit the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program website here for information on when to begin planning your enrollment in Public Affairs contract courses.

  • Directed Research or Senior Project in Public Affairs

    PUB AFF 199 (2 to 6 units) is an upper division tutorial contract course designed for students completing supervised individual research or investigation under the guidance of faculty mentor. A culminating paper or project is required.

    PUB AFF 199 is offered every quarter and must be arranged by the student via an individual contract. Students create the contract course via MyUCLA in consultation with their faculty mentor. PUB AFF 199 is limited to juniors and seniors and can be taken on a P/NP or letter grade basis.

    To enroll in PUB AFF 199, students:

    • must have advanced junior standing and at least a 3.0 GPA in the major, or must have senior standing; and
    • cannot have outstanding Incomplete grades in an upper-division tutorial (course numbered 195-199).

    A student may take only 8 units of upper division tutorials (courses numbered 195-199) per quarter and can have no more than 32 total units of 195-199 credit taken on a letter grade basis. After completing 32 units of 195-199 credit on a letter grade basis, students must take any additional 195-199 courses on a P/NP basis only.

    Students may petition to satisfy one upper division elective for the Public Affairs major or a Luskin minor, with an upper division Public Affairs research tutorial (PUB AFF 196-199); approval is not guaranteed. Units earned through PUB AFF 199 satisfy upper division units toward the 60 units of upper division requirement, and units toward the 180-units requirement for graduation.

    Visit the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program website here for information on when to begin planning your enrollment in Public Affairs contract courses.

  • Luskin Research Centers

    Learn more about the Luskin Research Centers here.

            

         

UCLA Undergraduate Research Center Overview

UCLA has two Undergraduate Research Centers (URC) that support and prepare undergraduate students who are interested in participating in research opportunities. Click the links below to learn more about the URC:

The primary mission of the Undergraduate Research Center is to promote, develop, and celebrate undergraduate student research, with the overall goal of enhancing undergraduate education and preparing students for careers in all areas.

Visit the Undergraduate Research Center website to learn about:

  • getting started in research
  • research courses, scholarships, and travel grants for undergraduate students
  • Undergraduate Research Week
  • the Aleph Research Journal for undergraduate research

Students can search for research opportunities in all disciplines through the Undergraduate Research Portal.

Public Affairs majors who are interested in participating in the Public Affairs Departmental Honors Program are highly encouraged to attend the Undergraduate Research Center’s Cornerstone Research Workshop Series.

The 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. Search for research opportunities in all disciplines through the Undergraduate Research Portal:

  • Search for research opportunities both on and off campus
  • Create a profile that faculty can find when looking for student researchers

Undergraduate Research Week!

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PORTAL
Find research opportunities here

STUDENT RESEARCH PROGRAM
SRP 99 is a quarterly research course

MELLON MAYS UG FELLOWSHIP
2-year program for those interested in a PhD

MCNAIR RESEARCH SCHOLARS PROGRAM
2-year program for those interested in a PhD

UG RESEARCH SCHOLARS PROGRAM
URSP supports upper division, individual research

UG RESEARCH FELLOWS PROGRAM
URFP supports entry-level research

ALEPH: UG RESEARCH JOURNAL
UCLA’s only official journal publishing UG research

TRAVEL GRANTS
for students who are accepted to present a poster or paper