UCLA launches master of social science program

 

Applications are now open for a new Master of Social Science (MaSS) Program, a nine-month degree program that will be the first of its kind on the West Coast. Launching in Fall 2017, the UCLA MaSS program is expected to attract high-potential students who will benefit from training in social science research and perspectives to become strong candidates for top Ph.D. programs or for career positions requiring sharp analytical, quantitative and qualitative skills.

A view of Royce Hall from the southwest, across the Shapiro Fountain.Twenty-first century social science research increasingly cuts across disciplines, but most undergraduate-level training in the social sciences continues to be organized along disciplinary boundaries. The UCLA MaSS program will address the need for new approaches to social science education by offering interdisciplinary training in problem-based social science research.

Working closely with faculty mentors, students will learn the nuts and bolts of social science research, including how to: identify and frame complex social problems; conduct, interpret and evaluate relevant research; analyze research data generated from different theoretical, methodological and disciplinary approaches; and present findings in clear and compelling ways.

“This is an ideal way for students to ‘activate’ their undergraduate degree and be highly competitive for desirable professional opportunities or top doctoral programs,” said MaSS chair Juliet Williams.

The MaSS program plans to enroll twenty-five students each year, and merit and need-based aid is available. Along with core courses and electives, each student will design and submit a major research paper, gaining hands-on research experience outside the classroom. Also on offer will be practical workshops on how to apply to Ph.D. programs, conduct scholarly research online, use data management and analysis programs, and ace job interviews.

For more information please go to http://mass.ss.ucla.edu/

Key dates:

November 30, 2016 4-6 p.m.: MaSS Open House (registration required)
January 6, 2017: early admission application deadline
April 30, 2017: final application deadline

Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion named

Muriel McClendon has been named Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UCLA College’s Division of Social Sciences. She succeeds Eric Avila, who is now the chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department.

McClendon teaches and writes about the social history of the English Reformation.  She serves as Vice Chair for Graduate Affairs in the History Department, was formerly the Chair of the European Studies IDP, and has served on a number of campus committees.

She will serve as the Division’s liaison to Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang.  She will interact with others in similar roles in each division and school across UCLA.  As Associate Dean, McClendon will assist Interim Dean Laura Gómez in developing strategic plans and evaluating policies and practices aimed at promoting a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment for faculty, staff and students in Social Sciences.

UCLA receives $1.65 million from Mellon Foundation to continue urban humanities program

By Margaret MacDonald

 

A $1.65 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will strengthen UCLA’s Urban Humanities Initiative. The program, initially launched by a $2 million award from the Mellon Foundation in 2013, is dedicated to studying contemporary issues in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and Mexico City.

The new funding will help UCLA provide graduate and undergraduate students with vital scholarly skills, support curricula and new faculty research on historical as well as contemporary urban issues, and pay for scholars to travel to cities around the Pacific Rim.

Together, the two Mellon grants are the largest received by UCLA for curricula that span the School of Arts and Architecture, the Division of Humanities, and the Luskin School of Public Affairs. The grant continues UCLA’s participation in the Mellon Foundation’s Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities initiative, which since 2012 has provided funding to a total of 16 institutions in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

At UCLA, urban humanities scholars use innovative means to study cities, merging approaches from architecture and urbanism with historical-critical approaches from the humanities and, in particular, cutting-edge film and mapping techniques from digital humanities.

“The study of urban life in the Pacific Rim embraces global issues that are particularly situated and made visible through the overlapping lenses of design, history, ethnography, visual and literary studies, and spatial analysis,” said Dana Cuff, a UCLA professor of architecture and urban design.

Cuff is the project’s lead principal investigator, along with Todd Presner, a professor of digital humanities; Maite Zubiaurre, a professor of Spanish and Portuguese; and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a professor of urban planning.

In its first three years, the Urban Humanities Initiative engaged 75 graduate students from across campus in a certificate program, supported more than 30 faculty members, held symposia and produced numerous publications. The program will be extended to undergraduate students in the next three years. After the Mellon funding concludes, it will be administered jointly by the deans of the schools of arts and architecture and public affairs, and the humanities division in the UCLA College.

“We are immensely gratified that the Mellon Foundation is continuing to support our efforts, ensuring that this excellent program will continue to serve our students for many years to come,” said David Schaberg, dean of the humanities division.

Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.