Leadership Pathway

The future of California depends on its leaders. The next generation of California leaders must know how to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the state.

The UCR campus reflects the population of the new California; one-third of its students come from historically under-represented minority groups. Now is the time for the campus to put the pieces in place to prepare leaders for the new California. To do so will require moving beyond the campus’s recognized achievements in providing access to focus on the transformative potential of education for leadership.

The Leadership Pathway includes three inter-linked seminar-style courses that offer qualified students the opportunity to learn the literature on leadership and to hone and apply their leadership skills. Three of the four program courses are offered annually depending on scheduling:

  • HASS 100: Studies in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (Dr. Brint)
  • PSYC 148: Topics is Social Psychology: Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (Dr. Sy)
  • BUS 156: Leadership Development (Dr. Wong)
  • POSC 198i: Individual Internship in Political Science: Leadership Laboratory (Dr. Loveridge)

UCR faculty members Dr. Steven G. Brint (Sociology and Public Policy), Dr. Ronald O. Loveridge (Political Science), Dr. Thomas Sy (Psychology), and Dr. Elaine Wong (Business) are the core program faculty. Dr. Thomas Dickson, Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, serves as an adviser to the program.

First started in 2013, the program was designed as a two-year cohort model. Starting in Fall 2017, the program was re-envisioned to allow all three courses to be offered in a single year. Students who are admitted to the program are encouraged to take all three courses, however only two courses are required for program completion. All courses are planned as seminar-style discussion with capped enrollments. We understand that some students admitted to the program may not be able to take all three courses, but they must commit to taking at least two of the courses for program completion.

Admission to the program is competitive and limited to less than 30 students. Selections are made by the faculty committee. Applications will be collected each Spring term.

The program is intended for sophomores and juniors who have the potential to become leaders in their communities, in business, politics, non-profits, or professional fields. In the past leadership programs on campus have recruited students primarily from Athletics, Fraternities and Sororities, Student Government, and University Honors. However, the Pathway program is not limited to students who have been involved in these organizations and programs. Students who have a 3.2 GPA are eligible for consideration (Exceptions to the GPA minimum may be made in special cases). Applications are collected each spring quarter for the following year.

The program is based on strategies for drawing on the “Three E’s” of leadership development: Education, Exemplars, and Experience. The Education component is focused on developing foundational concepts in leadership and will include seminar discussions, workshops, key readings, self-discovery inventories, and reflective writing. The Exemplars component involves vicarious learning from role models, mentors, and coaches, and will include leadership shadowing, identifying and securing personal mentors and coaches, gaining insights from case studies, and interacting with California leaders. The Experience component is focused on acquiring leadership skills via experiential learning. This involves the application of previously learned leadership concepts via internships, laboratory exercises that have real world applications (e.g., ropes courses, team building activities, etc.), and leadership development plans.

Program Faculty


Ronald O. Loveridge

Associate Professor


Thomas Sy

Assisant Professor


Elaine Wong

Assistant Professor


Steven Brint

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy

Applications for Program Admission

Applications will be announced early spring quarter for the following academic year.

Course Descriptions

HASS 100: Studies in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (Brint)

  • HASS 100 Studies in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (5) Lecture, 3 hours; consultation, 3 hours per quarter; practicum, 3 hours; written work, 21 hours per quarter. Prerequisite(s): consent of the instructor. Introduces social science literature on leadership studies. Includes planning and producing a campus event or research project and interaction with several California leaders. Fulfills the Social Sciences requirement for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Previously listed as: HASS 002.
  • BUS 156 Leadership Development (Wong)

  • BUS 156 Leadership Development (4) Lecture, 3 hours; extra reading, 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): BUS 107; upper-division standing. Analyzes leadership theory and practice through lectures, self-analysis instruments, and discussions of independent field experiences. Surveys areas pertaining to leadership, such as leadership theory, leadership style, oral and written communication, ethical leadership, interpersonal conflict management, and the dynamics of culture, and gender in organization leadership.
  • POSC 198i Leadership Laboratory (Loveridge)

  • POSC 198-I Individual Internship in Political Science (1-12) Internship, 2-24 hours; reading and writing, 1-12 hours. Prerequisite(s): a GPA of 2.70 or better; upper-division standing; consent of instructor. Intern assignments in major political offices. Students participate in and observe substantive theoretical analyses of political behavior and policy processes. Course is repeatable to a maximum of 16 units.
  • PSYC 148 Topics in Social Psychology: Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (Sy)