Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

“One of the best things about CAPPP for me was that it made me so much less apprehensive about life after college: I learned so much about what I can do with my life and about how to get where I want to be.”

Kritika Kailash

General Questions

Q: Does CAPPP have a summer program?

A: No, CAPPP offers its Quarter in Washington program only during the fall, winter and spring quarters. The UCLA Career Center offers a “DC Summer Fellows ” program, in cooperation with UCLA Summer Sessions and the UC Washington Center.

Q: How long does a CAPPP Quarter in Washington program last?

A: Programs vary in length from 10 to 12 weeks. See Important Dates for start and end dates of upcoming quarters.

Q: If I go to Washington for spring quarter, will I be back in time to participate in commencement ceremonies?

A: Yes. CAPPP’s spring program ends on the Saturday before UCLA’s finals week.

Application Questions

Q: Does the letter of recommendation need to be from a UCLA professor?

A: We prefer the letter of recommendation to be from a professor at UCLA. If you are unable to get a letter of recommendation from a UCLA professor by the application due date, we will accept a letter from a professor from another school, an employer, etc.

Q: Can freshmen and sophomores apply for CAPPP?

A: Students of every class level can apply for the program provided they meet the minimum criteria. Typically, juniors and seniors have greater focus and therefore have higher acceptance rate into the CAPPP program.

Q: I just transferred here from another college and I don’t know any UCLA professors to ask for a letter of recommendation. Can I get a letter of recommendation from a professor at my other college?

A: Yes. We would like a letter of recommendation from a professor who knows you and your writing. If you feel that a UCLA professor does not know you well enough to write a letter on your work, we will accept a letter from another professor, an employer, a volunteer or internship supervisor, etc.

Q: How competitive is admittance to the program?

A: Typically, approximately 40-50 students apply to the program each quarter; of those who apply, thirty students are accepted and six to eight students are wait-listed. The program is selective: The minimum GPA required to apply is 3.0 and the average GPA for accepted students hovers around 3.5.

Q: Do I have to be a political science major to apply for the program?

A: Students from all majors are encouraged to apply to the CAPPP program.Our participants major in everything from World Arts and Cultures to Business Economics.

Q: Do I need to have research experience to apply to the CAPPP program?

A:  No. CAPPP is meant to be an entry-level research experience.

Academic Questions

Q: How many units can I earn?

A: Students earn from 12 to 16 upper division units for the CAPPP program.

Q: What departments give credit for CAPPP?

A: You can choose to enroll in CAPPP’s core 8-unit course, the Research Development Seminar (M191DC), through UCLA’s departments of Political Science, History, Sociology or Communication Studies.

Q: Do other departments give credit for the CAPPP program?

A: Yes, upon petition, some UCLA departments and programs will grant credit for the research paper you write for CAPPP, as well as for electives. Check with your undergraduate major’s counselor. In addition, CAPPP fulfills key requirements of the Civic Engagement Minor and the Public Affairs Minor.

Q: When do we find out which electives will be offered for the quarter I am applying for?

A: Elective courses are not announced until the quarter before your quarter in Washington. When elective courses are announced, you will receive instructions for pre-enrolling in a course of your choice. Elective enrollment is finalized by UCLA’s normal study list deadline.

Q: How many political science upper division units can I get on the CAPPP Program?

A: The Research Development Seminar is worth eight units and counts for two Political Science courses in the American Politics field. If you take a political science elective while in DC, you can earn more upper division political science units.

Financial Questions

Q: Does financial aid help with a quarter in Washington?

A : If you are on financial aid, your aid will disburse as it always does. CAPPP works closely with the UCLA Financial Aid Office to make sure any differences in your cost of education for the quarter are taken into account.  See “The Cost of a Quarter in Washington.”

Q: Is there time aside from my internship and classes to hold a part-time job while in Washington, DC?

A: No. UCLA CAPPP insists that students focus on their internships and research projects as these commitments will consume much of your time. Past students have tried, and failed to balance an internship as well as a part-time job. As such, this is highly discouraged.