Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.

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School of Public Policy


Solve Real-World Issues

Study the development of a new law as a policy analyst. Communicate key messaging as a public relations officer for a private-sector firm. Serve as a liaison between elected officials and community members as a city manager. The Undergraduate Public Policy Program — taught by world-renowned faculty — will help you solve real-world issues in the Inland Empire and around the world! 



Undergraduate Research


UCR offers research opportunities to all undergraduate students! This advantage catapults you to the “top of the list” for jobs and/or graduate school. Current SPP faculty research includes:

  • Bridging the gap between abstract political theory and “nitty gritty” policy work
  • Discovering how residential conservation during droughts affect wastewater reuse
  • Exploring immigration’s impact on voting patterns
Lizzette Capul

“I came to UCR’s School of Public Policy because students actively engage in hands-on experiences on and off campus.”

Lizzette Capul ’18 (Public Policy)
Transferred from Riverside City College
Former SPP Dean’s Student Ambassador



  SPP Internship and Fellowship Programs

(For third- and fourth-year students)

Students are required to participate in paid or voluntary policy-related internships. Develop professional skills and boost your resume by applying to the SPP Internship Program or Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) Fellowship Program.

Sofia Perez

“The internship [at the Western Municipal Water District] was quality-based and gave me hands-on experience and an insight into policy that I had not known before. I most definitely recommend the program to students in search of a meaningful internship.”

Sofia Perez '15 (Public Policy)
Former SPP Dean’s Student Ambassador

High-Profile Companies Hire SPP Graduates

SPP graduates go on to work as analysts, attorneys, campaign managers, health educators, grant writers, politicians, marketing/communications specialists, and more!

The logo for A-Check Global
The logo for PAE
The logo for S.E.I.U
The logo for Well Fargo bank
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The logo for CPC


A UC Degree Is More Affordable Than You Might Think




of UCR undergraduate students who applied for aid were awarded aid.




of undergraduate students who were awarded aid received need-based scholarships and/or grants.




of need was met with need-based aid.

(Financial Aid Office, 2022–23)

Let us show you how:

SPP Scholarships

SPP offers the Public Policy Scholarship (for Public Policy majors) and the Western Municipal Water District Scholarship (for third- or fourth-year students from western Riverside County).

Prestigious Scholarships and Awards

First-year and transfer UCR students can fund their education with prestigious scholarships, such as the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship and the Undergraduate Fulbright Scholars (Research and English Teaching Award). Support is offered throughout the application process. Also available are campus scholarships, and Financial Aid's Outside Agency Scholarship Search for regional and national scholarships.

Majors & Minors

UCR is the only UC campus to offer an Undergraduate Public Policy Major. You can major or minor in two of six specialized tracks:


  • Economic Policy
  • Health/Population Policy
  • International/Foreign Policy
  • Policy Institutions and Processes
  • Social/Cultural/Family Policy
  • Urban/Environmental Policy


Undecided? We Can Help!

SPP helps students successfully transition into a major field of study that is consistent with their aptitudes, values, and goals.

Learn More


Take a Tour

Explore UCR’s park-like campus, the perfect setting for learning and thriving as a student in public policy.

Notable Facts


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Combined BA/MPP Program

Get your bachelor's and master's degrees with a five-year plan. SPP is the only UC Public Policy School with this program.

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Public Policy Degree

UCR is the only University of California campus to offer an undergraduate degree in public policy.

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SPP is #1 for Best Value Bachelor's Degree Colleges for Public Policy in California. (College Factual, 2022)

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SPP is ranked #45 in IDEAS' Top 25% Public Policy Schools. (2021)

Award-Winning Faculty


Cecilia Ayón, professor of public policy

Associate Professor of Public Policy

  • Studies the well-being of Latino immigrant families
  • Focuses on state differences in immigration policies and impacts on health outcomes
Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor of public policy and political science

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

  • Focuses on the ways in which immigrants are involved in American democracy
  • Serves as the director of UCR’s Center for Social Innovation, Immigration Research Group, and the National Asian American Survey

Success Programs

Every program is designed to help you succeed from the moment you first step on campus, to the day you graduate.

FR First-Year Students    TR Transfer Students


Interdisciplinary Coursework



Public policy coursework is interdisciplinary. Select courses from 12 departments: anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, ethnic studies, film and visual culture, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and women’s studies.

Public Policy Seminar Series



Attend public lectures by policy practitioners and researchers from affiliates such as the Center for Social Innovation, Blum Initiative on Global & Regional Poverty, Robert Presley Center of Crime and Justice Studies, and Inland Center for Sustainable Development.

SPP Dean’s Student Ambassador Program



Become a role model and represent SPP at various events. Take part in self-development and networking opportunities. Applications accepted during winter quarter.

Domestic or International Policy Practicum 


(For third- and fourth-year students)

Participate in paid or voluntary internships with a government agency, nonprofit/for-profit organization, trade association, labor/trade union, or public affairs firm.


Student Spotlight


Student Maya Prasad, public policy major
MAYA PRASAD, Class of ’21
  • SPP Dean’s Chief Student Ambassador
  • Former Intern, Congresswoman Katie Porter
Student Eric Calderon, public policy major
ERIC CALDERON, Class of ’20
  • SPP Dean’s Student Ambassador
  • Student Assistant, UCR Center for Social Innovation
  • Transfer & Non-Traditional Students Director, Associated Students of UCR

Public Policy Alumni


Cassie Nguyen
CASSIE NGUYEN ’15 and ’17

(B.A. and Master of Public Policy)

  • Executive Director, Spotlight On Hope Film Camp (SOH) at Think Ten Media Group
  • Former SPP Dean’s Student Ambassador
  • Fellow, Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellowship
  • Ambassador, the American Cancer Society and the National Brain Tumor Society
  • Recipient, the Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship ($10,000)
A photo of Daniel Peeden and a photo of  Darrell Peeden in the same image

(B.A. and Master of Public Policy)

  • Co-Founders, Sigma Beta Xi, Inc., a developmental organization for young men
  • Former SPP Dean’s Student Ambassadors
  • Recipients, Abraham Rice Scholarships, Social Innovation Change Makers, and Nonprofit Excellence Awards
  • Co-Founders, Trigeia, Inc. and Chips N’ Dip

Career Center


UCR’s Career Center — and Virtual Career Center — offers full-service counseling and resources, regardless of major or class level.


  • Career and graduate/professional school planning
  • Job/internship search strategies and database
  • Skill-building workshops, employer information sessions, and panel discussions
  • 15 fairs and special events, including the Internship and Nonprofit Job Fair, and the Spring Job Fair: Career Night
An announcement for UCR's Internship and Non-Profit Job Fair
An announcement for UCR's Spring Job Fair: Career Night