The world is changing at breakneck speed; standing still is not an option for any institution, especially for top public universities like UCLA.  Here, we are building on our strengths, embracing what’s new, and getting ahead of the curve: by developing innovative models for teaching and learning, and fortifying our connections beyond campus walls.

Through mutually beneficial partnerships—with our alumni and friends in the professional world, government agencies, and community organizations—the Division of Social Sciences has long paved the way for continued leadership, impact and excellence. We have successfully consolidated and strengthened these partnerships, through Partnership UCLA.

Engaged Social Sciences

The academic “ivory tower” of old is giving way to a more collaborative model of engaged liberal arts, with partnerships forming a bridge between universities and the world outside academia. Through an active two-way flow of knowledge, experience, support, and talent, everyone benefits.

Imagine innovative programs in which professionals and community leaders share their experiences with groups of students in small seminars, or take part in panel interviews of top students for coveted summer internships at local and national organizations. Imagine students helping non-profit or other community organizations to enhance their effectiveness and impact. Through Partnership UCLA, we have been piloting programs that do all of this, and more.

Not only have these programs given students a competitive edge for success upon graduation, they have also strengthened our engagement with valued partners and the world beyond campus walls. Building on the success of these pilot programs, we are expanding this partnership model to support the entire Division of Social Sciences through Partnership UCLA.

Professional Development for Students:
  • College Fellows Internship Program/Mentorship
  • Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series
  • Bruin Development Academy
Collaborative Instruction:
  • Engaging friends and alumni professionals in the classroom
  • Engaging friends and alumni as judges and panelists for policy and case competitions
Community Engagement:
  • Targeted community outreach to increase job and internship opportunities for students
  • Supoorting local not-for-profit organizations through the UCLA Social Enterprise Academy

Benefits for:


  • Optimal preparation for life after graduation
  • Networking and professional opportunities
  • Access to top internship opportunities
  • Enhanced education experience
  • Gratification from service to the community

Alumni, Friends and Community Members:

  • Opportunities to help shape and mentor future leaders
  • Enrichment of students’ education through guest speaker/instructor opportunities
  • Access to top students for internship and post-graduation recruitment
  • Opportunities to help shape and mentor future leaders
  • Access to expertise and research of UCLA faculty and students
  • Networking/renewed connections with alumni and friends

UCLA College of Letters & Science: Uniquely Positioned to Make A Difference

The UCLA College of Letters and Science is the heart of UCLA and home to more than 85 percent of the university’s 28,000 undergraduate students. Together, its four academic divisions—Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences—encompass 34 departments, 109 undergraduate majors, more than 50 graduate degree programs and over 40 PhD programs that span research and teaching across both traditional and emerging disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences. As part of a world-renowned university with a public mission, the College of Letters & Science is committed to preparing students for successful lives as informed global citizens; we are equally committed to using knowledge as a force for positive societal change. Moreover, UCLA faculty and students benefit from myriad connections with vibrant communities of professionals, engaged citizens, and leaders in the culturally diverse area of Southern California, and the rest of the world.

Going forward, Partnership UCLA will be a key catalyst for strengthening these crucial connections to ensure the leadership, impact and excellence of UCLA in the 21st century.

Programs for the Division of Social Sciences

College Fellows Internship Program

The College Fellows internship program was created in 2008 to engage UCLA friends and alumni in supporting the career development needs of undergraduate students at UCLA.  The program has been successful in bringing together top employers with our brightest students. Since its inception the program has doubled in size, from the involvement of six alumni to a network of more than 50.  The College Fellows have accepted internships at organizations like Proctor & Gamble, Saatchi & Saatchi, Walt Disney, Intel, GE, California State Assembly, and Deloitte Consulting. And, most impressive of all, 100% of College Fellows have had offers of full-time employment at graduation.

Lab Courses

Using a case study-based teaching method, instructors lead one-unit lab courses in which they introduce large, complex, unstructured problems that students must analyze, interpret and present to their peers. Lab courses focus on strengthening students’ analytical thinking, communication skills, and writing techniques, and link theory with the real world to provide them with a more comprehensive academic and applied skillset. Guest instructors from an accomplished pool of alumni and friends are brought in to share their experiences and professional advice.

Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series

Distinguished alumni are invited to campus on a regular basis to present a topic of interest related to their industry, or to career paths in general. These sessions, which are followed by Q&A and/or a reception, are always interactive and informative for students and any faculty who might attend. Topics have included career and professional opportunities, life after the degree, and other subjects of special interest.

Bruin Development Academy

A Professional Skills Training Institute specially designed for UCLA students

Helping students prepare for the world of work requires the support of our talented alumni network.  Through intensive, hands-on training sessions, students participating in the Bruin Development Academy have an opportunity to learn valuable skills from today’s industry leaders.  These training sessions focus on strengthening students’ analytical thinking, communication skills, writing techniques and other industry-specific skills to provide them with a more comprehensive academic and applied skillset. Guest instructors from an accomplished pool of alumni and friends are brought in to share their experiences and professional advice.

UCLA Social Enterprise Academy

The UCLA Social Enterprise Academy is a six-month social entrepreneurship program in which groups of UCLA students partner with participating social ventures to develop earned income opportunities and to present their ventures to potential investors. The program is designed to link students with established not-for-profits that are looking to enhance the effectiveness of their mission. In January 2012, the Academy launched its first course, Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, in which students are introduced to the basics of business planning and then work in teams to develop a new revenue-generating business plan for the social enterprise to which they are assigned.  Accomplished professionals serve as guest instructors to help participants learn about the basics of market research, operations, financial and business planning, marketing, SWOT analysis and pitching.  The program also hosts UCLA friends and alumni as team coaches, judges and not-for-profit mentors.

For more information or to get involved, please contact:

Gloria Ko

Director, Academic & Experiential Engagement

(310) 206-0523 or

Partnership UCLA is supported by the College of Letters and Science
and by generous UCLA alumni and friends.