Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about GPA
What is Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin?
Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin is a program at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs that addresses issues of global concern through teaching, training, and talks. “Global public affairs” refers to problems and processes that cross borders, involve international interdependence, and where international forces affect domestic policies. Global public affairs involves a special concern for using effective public policies to encourage greater global peace, solidarity, and economic and human development.
The core of GPA @ UCLA Luskin is a teaching program, whereby Luskin students can who complete any of our four clusters of global public affairs courses will receive a certificate, in addition to their departmental degree. The program also offers fieldwork opportunities abroad and stimulating events with prominent speakers throughout the year. GPA is a public square on the UCLA campus, convening an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students, with frequent academic and policy events.
What is the GPA @ UCLA Luskin Teaching Program?
The Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin teaching program consists of four clusters of courses, organized by subject area. Through the teaching program students have the ability to earn graduate level certificates recognizing their specialization in a particular cluster. (See question 4 below).
The four clusters currently offered are:
- Global Environment and Resources
- Global Health and Social Services
- Global Processes and Institutions
- Global Urbanization and Regional Development
Additional clusters may be offered as Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin expands in the coming years. Each cluster has one or two Faculty Cluster Leaders, who are responsible for the academic guidance and content of the cluster.
Who is eligible?
Luskin students enrolled in the MPP, MURP, MSW, or PhD program in UP or SW are eligible to obtain a GPA Certificate.
How do I sign up for the GPA @ UCLA Luskin certificate program?
Students must complete a short registration form on the GPA @ UCLA Luskin website to indicate their intent to pursue a certificate in a specific cluster. The “Register Now” button can be found on each cluster’s individual site. A student may complete a registration form before enrolling in any courses at any point, assuming that (s)he can realistically complete the three cluster courses required to obtain the certificate. Once registered, students are expected to participate in GPA @ UCLA Luskin events (discussions, workshops, etc.) held from time to time throughout the year. Please see the calendar for announcements (link).
How do I obtain a certificate?
A student obtains a Global Public Affairs Certificate by receiving a grade of B or better in at least three courses offered within a particular cluster that the student had registered for. A list of course offerings for each cluster by quarter can be found on the GPA @ UCLA Luskin website. Please see a full list of guidelines under GPA Policies.
What is a “cluster”?
A cluster is a group courses from around the UCLA campus in a specific area of global public affairs. Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin-associated faculty offer a variety of courses, from basic theory and methods, to applied policy and workshop-style experiences. The cluster is a menu from which students select three courses, which is the minimum required to obtain a certificate.
Can I take classes in more than one cluster?
Yes. Students are free to arrange their schedules as they see fit, as long as they complete departmental degree and concentration requirements. A student could realistically earn one to two Global Public Affairs @ UCLA Luskin certificates during a two-year masters program. It is important for students to consider the workload implications of seeking one or more GPA @ UCLA Luskin certificates. If you have any questions about these issues, you should consider them carefully with your departmental Graduate Advisor and/or faculty advisor.
How does GPA @ UCLA Luskin relate to the International Practice Pathway?
The IPP is the part of GPA@Luskin that organizes career focused speakers and panels during the academic year, and supervises (usually summer) fieldwork in international placements for Luskin students. During the academic year, the speakers and panels feature individuals who have careers in international agencies (government, multilateral, foundation, NGO), and the presentations focus on career path issues and challenges. The IPP summer fieldwork provides hands-on experience in research and practice in a wide range of international fieldwork settings, including governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations and agencies. IPP assists students in identifying such opportunities, in organizing their fieldwork project, offers some limited financing for them, and provides training for how to succeed in the fieldwork.
IPP students do not need to be enrolled in the GPA certificate program. There are two different tracks, though both are a part of Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin.
For complete information about the summer fellowships, please visit the IPP page.
Can I do research here?
Currently, GPA does not have its own research center. But participating faculty (who come from across UCLA) are involved in extensive world-class research on global public affairs issues. Students are encouraged to work with them, by contacting such faculty directly, and to observe & discuss the faculty research that we feature on our website. In addition, GPA@Luskin offers quarterly salons where we discuss faculty research, and the UCLA campus has many seminars and invited speakers in areas of interest, that are featured on our website.
Who should I contact if I have any questions?
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