Monday, July 22

Luskin School of Public Affairs to create its first undergraduate major


The Luskin School of Public Affairs announced the creation of the public affairs major Monday. The major offers a multidisciplinary social science curriculum and requires students to participate in a capstone experience. (Daily Bruin file photo)

The Luskin School of Public Affairs announced the creation of the public affairs major Monday. The major offers a multidisciplinary social science curriculum and requires students to participate in a capstone experience. (Daily Bruin file photo)


Students will be able to take a new major that teaches students how to approach societal issues starting in fall.

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs announced the creation of the public affairs major Monday. The school previously had no undergraduate majors but three minors, including one in public affairs.

The new major has a multidisciplinary social science curriculum that aims to teach students how to use different methods and communication to approach public problems and societal injustices, according to a university press release. It includes courses across departments such as sociology, economics, political science and psychology.

The major also requires students to participate in a year-long capstone experience, such as an internship in the public or private sector, or a study abroad program.

Not all required courses will be offered in fall 2018, but all course requirements are expected to be available by the 2020 to 2021 school year. Rising second-years may apply for the premajor if they have taken enough relevant coursework, but the major will not be offered for students who will be third- or fourth-years in the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, admission to the major is not guaranteed, according to the press release.

The major was created in part to accommodate an expected rise in the student population due to increased enrollment. This major is also expected to increase undergraduate exposure to the services and resources available at the Luskin School, such as research opportunities and experiential learning, according to the major’s website.

 

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  • Publius

    Kickass. Overall I like the idea of a new public affairs major, including its interdisciplinary focus. This does come with a downside, which is that a public affairs major that requires interdisciplinary coursework to such an extent underscores that the public affairs department is seriously lacking. Depending on how extensive the coursework is, it might just be a glorified associates degree in liberal arts. Graduates of a major need a focus, not just general coursework.

    The capstone requirement, however, is redeeming…but only if the requirement fulfills an experiential learning outcome that is not available to other departments.

    Though I like it, it is dangerously close to be redundant if the major doesn’t grow to be a true showcase of public affairs curriculum.