Major Preparation in the Luskin School of Public Affairs

The B.A. in public affairs offers an in-depth and engaged educational experience with a clear public service ethos. The undergraduate major is centered around a multidisciplinary foundation in the social sciences, with an applied emphasis on knowledge and methods for improving society.

Students in the major study a range of substantive topics related to public policy, urban planning and social welfare. During the senior year, students connect the dots between theory and action by completing a three-quarter experiential learning program that combines a year-long internship in a community or government organization with a seminar series in which students develop a capstone project.

To be considered for admission, applicants to public affairs pre-major must have a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA in all transferable coursework at the end of the fall term prior to transfer. Students must attain junior-level standing (at least 60 semester or 90 quarter transferable units) by the end of the spring term prior to transfer. California Community College students are strongly encouraged to complete IGETC; all other transfer students are encouraged to make progress toward completion of the Luskin School’s general education requirements. For more information, visit the Luskin School’s admissions page.

NOTE: You must be admitted as a public affairs pre-major. You will NOT be able to change into this major after admission to UCLA. This major is listed under the College of Letters and Science in the UC Application and the Luskin School has the same general education requirements as the UCLA College.

Key Points

  • Minimum GPA: 3.2
  • IGETC required: No, but strongly encouraged
  • Double-major possible: Yes
  • Supplemental application required: No

Preparation for the Major

To be competitive, applicants should complete the major preparation courses outlined below with a minimum B grade in each course.  AP Exams will NOT be acceptable to satisfy major preparation. 

All additional major preparatory coursework, with the exception of PA 10 and PA 70, should be completed by the end of the spring prior to transfer.

If admitted, students must complete all remaining preparatory courses with a B grade or better in their first year at UCLA.

Course Requirements

Required courses by end of fall before transfer:

  • Microeconomics
  • Introduction to statistical reasoning

At least two additional courses from the following, by end of spring before transfer:

  • Introduction to American politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Introduction to political theory

Additional recommended course:

  • One course focused on lifespan human development (preferred) or child and adolescent development


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