The Public Policy Undergraduate Program at UCR


Public Policy Major Transition

On July 1st, 2018, the public policy major is transitioning from the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) to the School of Public Policy (SPP). Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions:

Effective July 1st, you will become an SPP student, and your degree will be conferred by the SPP. Once you become an SPP student, all future student business (i.e. student advising, petitions, etc.) will be conducted through the SPP, as opposed to the CHASS Multidisciplinary Unit.

You will not be affected by the transition. You will be graduating from UCR as a CHASS student. You will be graduating in the CHASS 2 commencement ceremony. The same applies if you are graduating in the summer but walking in spring 2018.

You will be an SPP student effective July 1st. This means you will be an SPP student when you attend Student Orientation in Summer 2018 and once you start classes in September 2018. All student business (i.e. student advising, petitions, etc.) will be conducted through the SPP. Your degree will be conferred by the SPP.

If you recently changed majors into CHASS and are walking in Spring 2018, you will be graduating as a CHASS student. If you recently changed majors into CHASS and will continue your studies in 2018 2019, you will become an SPP student effective July 1st. If you change your major after the transition, you will enter as an SPP student. As an SPP student, your degree will be conferred by the SPP, and all future student business (i.e. student advising, petitions, etc.) will be conducted through the SPP.

You will continue to have the same course requirements outlined in the UCR catalog the year that you entered the public policy program. Any changes to the course requirements in future UCR catalogs will not affect you.

Within a university, a college is an academic unit that houses a variety of majors. A school is an academic unit that has only one discipline as its focus (for example, business, education, or medicine). CHASS houses a range of departments, such as art, creative writing, economics, history, and political science, while the SPP is focused exclusively on public policy programs. Moving the public policy major from CHASS (a college) to the SPP (a school) will not have an effect on the education you receive.

The SPP Student Advising Suite is located in room 4120 on the fourth floor of the Interdisciplinary South Building, or INTS.

Please note the Interdisciplinary Building has separate north and south wings, so make sure to go to the south wing. If you have difficulty finding us once you reach the fourth floor of INTS, there are several SPP directories posted around the fourth floor INTS hallways that can help guide you to 4120.

Effective July 1st, you will be meeting with your new public policy academic advisor, Deisy Vaca, who will be housed in Interdisciplinary South 4120 (one floor up from the Multidisciplinary Unit offices). We will post appointment scheduling information in the near future.

If you are a new or continuing public policy student, your record will reflect you are an SPP student after July 1st without any action on your part. You do not need to sign any paperwork. You can continue any unfinished conversations with CHASS Multidisciplinary Unit advisors with your new SPP advisor after July 1st.

We encourage you to learn more about your new School via:

The SPP website, which offers information on our:

The SPP social media

contacting a student ambassador. View a list of ambassadors you can meet during their office hours.

For any other questions, please contact Wed be more than happy to answer your questions.

Despite the popularity of public policy master's programs at U.S. universities, undergraduate public policy majors and minors are not commonly found at most colleges. Only a handful of universities around the country – Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, USC, and Brown – offer such programs. Indeed, UCR is the only UC campus to offer a public policy major. (UCLA offers a minor – but not major – in public policy).

The UCR public policy major/minor allows you to specialize in two of six tracks:

  • health/population policy
  • social/cultural/family policy
  • economic policy
  • urban/environmental policy
  • policy institutions and processes
  • international/foreign policy

Courses from 12 departments can be used to satisfy the program requirements: anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, ethnic studies, film and visual culture, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and women’s studies.

The public policy major/minor will provide you with a set of research, analytical, and management skills that are transferable across sectors and across issue areas. Thus, it will prepare you for a career not only in public service (federal, state and local government agencies) but also at not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.

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