University of California, Riverside

School of Public Policy



 Undergraduate Program



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:

How will this change affect me if I am a current CHASS public policy major who will continue studies past July 1st?

  • 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.

How will this change affect me if I am a current CHASS public policy major who will graduate in June 2018?

  • 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.

How will this change affect me if I am entering UCR as a public policy major in Fall 2018 or after as a freshman or a transfer student?

  • 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.

How will this change affect me if I have recently changed or am changing my major to public policy?

  • 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.

Will the course requirements for the public policy major change as a result of the transition?

  • 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.

What is the main difference between a college and a school?

  • 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.

Where are the SPP offices located?

  • 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.

I am currently advised by the Multidisciplinary Unit; will I get a new academic advisor? If so, who is my new advisor?

  • 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.

Do I need to take any specific action related to the transition?

  • 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.

Where can I get more information about the School of Public Policy and its various offerings?

I have a question that isn’t answered in any of the above FAQs. Who do I contact?

For any other questions, please contact spp@ucr.edu. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions.

About the Undergraduate Program

UCR is currently the only UC campus to offer a public policy major. Housed in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS), UCR's undergraduate public policy program provides you with the research, analytical, and management skills needed for careers in public service as well as not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.

As an undergraduate public policy major you can 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

You may use courses from 12 departments to satisfy program requirements: anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, ethnic studies, film and visual culture, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and women's studies.

For more information, visit the undergraduate public policy program website.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

School of Public Policy
Anil B. Deolalikar
Founding Dean
Professor of Economics

Student Affairs
Tel: (951) 827-2334
E-mail: jolene.sedita@ucr.edu

Dean’s Office
4133 CHASS Interdisciplinary South
Tel: (951) 827-5564
E-mail: spp-dean@ucr.edu

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