Associate Professor Moussa Diop and two USC Price students take advantage of Southern California’s abundant sunshine to exchange ideas outdoors on USC’s glorious campus.
Photo by USC Price / Kim Fox.
The USC Price School of Public Policy provides a dynamic learning environment where interdisciplinary education abounds. At USC Price, students choose a program of study from the independent yet related fields of public administration and leadership, public policy, nonprofits and philanthropy, health management and policy, urban planning, real estate development and executive leadership. Students are supported by a committed faculty who contribute to the strong sense of community present in the school.
The school’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities. Faculty engage in solving some of society’s most pressing issues — and challenge students to do the same. USC Price is renowned for its expertise in areas such as: sustainability and the environment, health care policy, nonprofit management, housing and real estate, transportation, infrastructure, urban development and land use, social policy, governance, civic engagement, community development, immigration and risk analysis, among others.
Defining characteristics of USC Price are the depth of its academic classroom experience and connecting classroom theory to professional practice through practicums, internships and laboratory work locally, nationally and around the globe. Students can also participate in international exchange programs and acquire knowledge and skills necessary to become successful leaders in a global market. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experiences to lead in their chosen field of practice.
Today’s complex challenges call for leaders who are able to work across disciplines and across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to find solutions. It is for this multidisciplinary reality that USC Price prepares its students.
USC Price students go on to hold high-ranking appointments in our nation’s capital, analyze and determine public policy, design new transportation systems, and redesign city, county, state and federal governance structures — in the United States and abroad.
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 312
FAX: (213) 740-5379
Dana Goldman, PhD, Dean
Alice Chen, PhD, Vice Dean for Research
Jim Ferris, PhD, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs
Juliet Musso, PhD, Vice Dean for Graduate Programs
Grace Bahng, PhD, Vice Dean for Undergraduate Programs
LaVonna Lewis, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Christine Klein, Chief of Staff
Carol A. Rush, Chief Operating Officer
Lance Ignon, Senior Associate Dean of Communication
Kattie Johnson, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Carole King, Associate Dean for Advancement
Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair of the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics; Distinguished Professor: Dana Goldman, PhD*
Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication and Journalism: Manuel Castells, PhD (Communication)
Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance: Glenn A. Melnick, PhD
Borstein Family Endowed Professor of Real Estate: Christian L. Redfearn, PhD
C.C. Crawford Professorship in Public Management and Performance: William Resh, PhD
Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Distinguished Professor: Genevieve Giuliano, PhD*
Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law: Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, PhD
James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning: Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, PhD
Lusk Chair in Real Estate: Richard K. Green, PhD (Business)
Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business and the Economy: Elizabeth Graddy, PhD*
John Milner Professor of Child Welfare: Jacquelyn McCroskey, PhD (Social Work)
Emery Evans Olson Chair in Nonprofit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy: James M. Ferris, PhD
Price Family Chair in Social Innovation: Christine Beckman, PhD
Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical and Regulatory Innovation: Darius Lakdawalla, PhD (Pharmacy)
The Norman Topping National Medical Enterprise Chair in Medicine and Public Policy: Jason Doctor, PhD
Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society & Social Change: Manuel Pastor, PhD (Sociology, and American Studies and Ethnicity)
Maria B. Crutcher Professor in Citizenship and Democratic Values; Provost Professor: Jeffery A. Jenkins, PhD
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration: Shui Yan Tang, PhD*
Houston I. Flournoy Professor in State Government: Lois Takahashi, PhD
William M. Keck Professor of Energy Resources: Donald Paul, PhD (Engineering and Earth Sciences)
Mary Pickford Foundation Professor: Kathleen Wilber, PhD (Gerontology)
Provost Professor of Public Policy, Psychology, and Behavioral Science: Wändi Bruine de Bruin, PhD
Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy: Arnold Schwarzenegger
UPS Foundation Professor: Jon Pynoos, PhD (Gerontology)
Judge Widney Professor: Leonard D. Schaeffer
Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture: Dana Gioia, MA, MBA
Professors: Antonio Bento, PhD; Marlon Boarnet, PhD; Howard Greenwald, PhD; Eric Heikkila, PhD; Julie Marsh, PhD; Dowell Myers, PhD; Ann Owens, PhD (Sociology); Jane Pisano, PhD; Alison D. Renteln, PhD* (Political Science); Lisa Schweitzer, PhD; David Sloane, PhD; Neeraj Sood, PhD; Robert Suro (Journalism); Detlof von Winterfeldt, PhD (Engineering); Julie M. Zissimopoulos, PhD
Associate Professors: Emma Aguila, PhD; Alice Chen, PhD; Jorge De la Roca, PhD; Moussa Diop, PhD; Nicolas Duquette, PhD; Nicole Esparza, PhD; Alexandra Graddy-Reed, PhD; Christian Grose, PhD (Political Science); Geoffrey Joyce, PhD (Pharmacy); Genevieve Kanter, PhD; Annette Kim, PhD; Pamela McCann, PhD; Juliet Musso, PhD*; Christian Redfearn, PhD; Peter Robertson, PhD*; John Romley, PhD; Jeffrey Sellers, PhD (Political Science); Abby Wood (Law)
Assistant Professors: Geoffrey Boeing, PhD; Santina Contreras, PhD; Spencer Couts, PhD; Danyao Li, PhD
Professors (Teaching): Grace Bahng, PhD; Elizabeth Falletta, MRED, MArch; William Leach, PhD; LaVonna B. Lewis, PhD; Deborah J. Natoli, PhD; Lois M. Takahashi, PhD; Dora Vertenten, DPA
Associate Professors (Teaching): Tara Blanc, PhD; Mary Lynne Boorn, PhD; Norris Gunby, PhD; Rym Kaki, PhD; John Loper, MRED; T.J. McCarthy, PhD; Mark D. Phillips, PhD; Kelly Rawlings, PhD; Michael Thom, PhD
Assistant Professor (Teaching): Lisa Ozaeta, DrPH
Research Professor: Adam Rose, PhD
Research Assistant Professors: Karen Mulligan, PhD; Mindy Romero, PhD; Bryan Tysinger, PhD
Professors of Practice: Phil Dalton, MS (Health Policy and Management), MPH; Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD (Health Policy and Management); Michael E. Harris (Health Services Administration and Policy); Geraldine Knatz, PhD (Public Policy and Engineering); Erroll Southers (National and Homeland Security); Frank Zerunyan, JD (Governance)
Adjunct Professors: Keith Allen-Niesen, JD; Rick Culley, PhD; Terri Dickerhoff, MRED; Stanley Iezman, JD; Robert Ingenito, MA; William R. Kelly, MPA, MBA, MA; Allan Kotin, MA; Jeffrey Kreshek, MBA, MRED; Carl Meyer, MArch; Ehud Mouchly, MA; Bret Nielsen, MRED; Claire Peeps, MA; Bonnie Shrewsbury, MA; Mott Smith, MRED; Donald Spivack, MCP; Barry Waite, MPA; Michael Woo, MCP; Diane Yoder, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professors: Deepak Bahl, MBA, MPl; William Barcellona, MHA, JD; Grace Cheng, MSPH; Todd Gish, PhD; Shawn Godkin, MArch; Dion Jackson, MBA, MPl, MRED; Daniel Jordan, PhD; Steven Kellenberg, MAUD; Michael Kodama, MA; Alon Kraft, MPl; Donald Morgan, PhD; Ralph Oyaga, MBA, JD; Katherine Perez, MURP; Shlomi Ronen, MBA; Susan Sinclair, MBA; Elwood Tescher, MArch; Jeffrey Wasserman, PhD; Dennis A. Watsabaugh; Ke Ye, PhD
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor Emeritus in Public Administration: Chester A. Newland, PhD
Emeritus Professors: William C. Baer, PhD, AICP; Tridib Banerjee, PhD; Gerald Caiden, PhD; Robert M. Carter, DCrim.; T. Ross Clayton, PhD; Terry Cooper, PhD; Lois Friss, Dr.PH; Peter Gordon, PhD; Martin H. Krieger, PhD; David Lopez-Lee, PhD; Daniel A. Mazmanian, PhD; James Elliott Moore, II, PhD; Robert C. Myrtle, DPA; E.K. Nelson, DPA; Michael B. Nichol, PhD; William Petak, DPA; Francine Rabvinovtiz, PhD, AICP; Robert Stallings, PhD; Richard A. Sundeen, PhD*; Joseph S. Wholey, PhD; William J. Williams, DPA
Emeritus Associate Professor: Catherine Burke, PhD
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
The Price School of Public Policy offers the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Public Policy
- Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development
- Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning
- Master of Health Administration
- Executive Master of Health Administration
- Master of International Public Policy and Management
- Master of Urban Planning
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Public Policy
- Master of Public Policy Data Science
- Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management
- Master of Real Estate Development
- Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Management
- Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Development
- Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development
The Bachelor of Science and the school’s master’s degrees are also offered jointly as a progressive five-year program and the school participates in the following interdisciplinary minors:
- Construction Planning and Management
- Education Policy
- Health Policy
- International Policy and Management
- Law and Public Policy
- Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism
- Real Estate Development
- Urban Sustainable Planning
The Master of Urban Planning is offered as a dual master’s degree with programs in architecture, curatorial practices and the public sphere, heritage conservation, landscape architecture, business administration, public administration, public health, public policy, real estate development and social work.
The Master of Public Administration is offered as a dual master’s degree with programs in urban planning, gerontology, Jewish nonprofit management, law and social work.
The Master of Real Estate Development is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor and Master of Urban Planning.
The Master of Health Administration is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Science in Gerontology.
The Master of Public Policy is offered as a dual degree with programs in law and urban planning.
National Honor Societies
Pi Alpha Alpha
Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society for public affairs and administration. Graduate students in the Price School of Public Policy who have completed at least 18 semester units and have earned a 3.7 grade point average are eligible for membership.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for students in public administration, political science and international relations. Students who have completed at least three courses from among these fields and have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average are eligible to apply.
The Price School of Public Policy offers a suite of degrees that allow undergraduate students to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to understand complex health, environmental and urban issues, as well as to potentially enter the professional fields of health and nonprofit management, public policy, real estate development, and urban planning. Students may enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning or the Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development. In addition, students can select from a challenging set of minors or possibly the very competitive progressive degrees associated with the Master of Health Administration, Master of Urban Planning and Master of Public Administration.
Freshman and transfer students may indicate their desire to declare a Price School major on their university application. Students enrolled at USC wishing to declare either a Price major or to be admitted into the minors must be in good academic standing. Interested current USC students should contact the Admissions and Recruitment Office in RGL 111 for more information.
Students must discuss courses of study with the appropriate undergraduate advisers throughout their college enrollment and need to develop their own individual programs with faculty and staff advisers at the time of first enrollment and throughout their college careers.
Progressive Degrees in the Price School of Public Policy
The Price School of Public Policy offers students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success the opportunity to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a progressive degree program. This program allows students to earn both the Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in five years. Further details about progressive degrees can be found on the Requirements for Graduation page.
Admission is available after the completion of 64 units of course work toward the undergraduate degree. Students must apply for admission to the progressive degree program after completing 64 units of applicable course work to their undergraduate programs, but prior to the completion of 96 units of course work (not including AP, IB or courses taken prior to high school graduation). The application for admission to the progressive degree plan must be accompanied by a course proposal plan and two letters of recommendation with one at least from a Price School faculty member.
Awarding of Degrees
The Bachelor of Science and master’s degree may be awarded separately upon completion of all degree requirements, but the master’s degree will not be awarded before the bachelor’s degree. Students who elect not to complete the master’s, must complete 128 units to earn the bachelor’s degree, including 32 units of upper-division Price course work (including any graduate Price classes).
All requirements for the progressive degree must be completed within 12 semesters. If not completed within that time, students will no longer be eligible for the master’s degree but may still earn the bachelor’s.
Transfer of Credits
Graduate courses will not be accepted for transfer credit. Undergraduate classes may be transferred in accordance with university guidelines.
Minor in Construction Planning and Management
This program covers the most current theories and practice of construction planning and management. The program provides a valuable adjunct credential to professional school students pursuing careers in business administration, public administration, environmental studies, and other areas; and a unique opportunity for professional focus to students in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Construction activities are complex. In contemporary society, effective planning and management of these activities requires specialized knowledge of the technical, economic and political environment. This program couples the knowledge of how construction activities are organized with a broader understanding of the urban system in which construction projects are embedded. With the exception of statistics, all of the required courses are within the Department of Civil Engineering and the Price School of Public Policy.
Any USC undergraduate who has completed the equivalent of two full-time semesters in good standing is eligible to pursue the minor program. This minor program is rigorous enough to serve as an introductory credential for students subsequently electing to pursue advanced studies in development, urban planning, construction management or allied fields.
See the Department of Civil Engineering for course requirements.
Minor in International Policy and Management
The minor in international policy and management brings together courses from the Depatment of Political Science and International Relations, dealing with the new global challenges, specific regions of the world, and international organizations and policies, and the Price School of Public Policy, dealing with core management skills and public policy processes. Students will examine the changes and challenges that are transforming the world, and the policy and management skills used to deal with them. To increase their understanding of the context and application of these concepts, students must complete a semester-long internship either in Washington, D.C. (through participation in the Washington, D.C. semester program) or in Los Angeles with an organization that has an international focus.
Students minoring in international policy and management take three courses in international relations, including the gateway course, IR 305w Managing New Global Problems ; three courses in public policy and management; and an approved internship through the Department of Political Science and International Relations (IR 491x Field Study ). For additional course information, see International Relations .
Applicants for admission to the Master of Health Administration; Executive Master of Health Administration; Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership; Master of Urban Planning; Master of Planning and Development Studies; Master of Public Administration; Master of Public Policy; Master of International Public Policy and Management; Master of Real Estate Development; Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development; Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Management; and Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Development must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited educational institution. In recognition of the increasing diversity of capabilities required as the theories and practices of policy, planning, and development evolve, students from a variety of undergraduate and graduate backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Applicants for admission will be expected to have completed a broad range of undergraduate courses in addition to their academic major or professional concentration. Generally, this will be reflected in completion of courses from the following fields: English; economics (basic theory); political science, history or sociology; physical or natural science; art or philosophy. In addition, mathematics (algebra, calculus, probability theory) and a course in statistics are strongly recommended.
Application for Admission
Admission to graduate programs in the Price School of Public Policy is highly selective and competitive. Preference is given to those with a record of high educational achievement and personal qualities favoring success in the fields of planning or development. Applicants must have achieved superior grades during undergraduate and any graduate education. A grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) is normally expected as well as satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). The GRE and GMAT are neither accepted nor required for the DPPD or executive MHA programs. Students applying for admission to the Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Planning and Development Studies or the Master of Real Estate Development program may submit results from the Graduate Management Administration Test (GMAT). MRED applicants may also submit results from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). In exceptional cases, an applicant who has not met these scholarship requirements may be admitted with conditions of admission.
For specific information on admission requirements and application procedures, contact the Price School of Public Policy, Office of Recruitment and Admissions, at (213) 740-0550. Certificate in Transportation Systems applicants should apply to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. For additional information, contact the school at (213) 740-0587.
The Degree Progress Department determines whether work done elsewhere is available for consideration for credit toward the USC degree. That office requires official transcripts of all course work done before entering USC. A Graduate Transfer Credit Statement of these official transcripts, done after a student has been admitted to regular status at USC, will indicate which units are available for transfer. These courses do not apply toward the degree unless, and until, the student’s major department approves and submits transfer credit to the Degree Progress Department in the Office of Academic Records and Registrar.
Application of any available transfer credits toward a graduate degree will be determined by the director of the particular degree program, based on the semester units available for transfer as shown on the Transfer Credit Statement.
These general guidelines are followed by the admissions evaluator and by faculty members: (1) the work must be completed at an accredited graduate school; (2) the grade must be B or better; (3) the work must be a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level which fits into the logical program for the degree; (4) the units are not more than seven years old at the time of admission to their master’s program (or 10 years old for a doctoral program); (5) the units must reflect current knowledge in the field; and (6) the work must be completed prior to admission to the USC program.
USC does not give transfer credit for life experience, credit by examination, noncredit extension courses or thesis course supervision.
Please consult with your degree director before enrolling in courses outside of USC. In many of the Price School’s master’s degree programs, only courses taken outside of USC prior to admission may be applied to your degree.
Waiver of Course Content
The school recognizes that some applicants may have covered the material contained in core courses or courses required for a particular specialization. Under these circumstances, one particular course requirement may be waived, allowing the student to complete a more advanced course in the same area. Students who have a background in a particular area of study may be allowed to substitute other courses. In these situations students do not receive unit credit but are permitted to take course work, which does not repeat earlier academic experiences.
Waiver of content is usually given only in the case of previous academic study of the subject, not in the case of experiential background in the area.
Students who believe they are eligible for content waiver decisions must petition the faculty of the school, providing evidence of the previous work through transcripts, syllabi and other pertinent material. Contact the school’s Student Affairs Office for information.
Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering
This program is jointly sponsored by the Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering Department and the Price School of Public Policy, and administered by the Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. For more information, see Health Systems Management Engineering (MS) .
Graduate Professional Labs
USC’s Price School of Public Policy offers professional consulting-like experience for graduate students in its core master’s degree programs. Participants are presented with a challenging professional assignment and a well-defined client and terms of reference. Students typically work in teams to produce a professional report and related materials that are presented to the client at the close of the assignment. The terms of reference for the lab vary each year depending upon the client, the instructor and the setting, among other considerations.
In principle, these professional labs may be held anywhere, either in Los Angeles, elsewhere in the United States or abroad.
The Price School professional laboratory teaches students to integrate scholarly knowledge with professional practice. Likewise, it helps participants make the transition from the classroom back to a “real world” setting. In the case of international labs, participants also gain a deeper and more direct understanding of how the culture of professional practice can vary from one setting to the next. Through the Price School professional laboratory students build their credentials and experience while also extending their network of professional contacts.
These professional labs are intended primarily for graduate students in public administration, urban planning, real estate development, public policy and health administration. A distinctive feature of the professional laboratory is that it is intended as an integrative professional experience across the school, so that students from any of these programs may participate fully.
Each summer the Price School offers one or more international labs/workshops. Recent international labs have been held in China, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Italy and Vietnam. All students are encouraged to take at least one international lab course.
The Price School International Exchange Programs are one-semester exchange programs with a host institution in Germany or South Korea during either the fall or spring semester. These programs provide opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to become successful leaders in a global market. Students complete a maximum of 12 units at the host institution. All instruction is in English; proficiency in a foreign language is not required. Courses completed are graded credit/no credit on the student’s USC transcript. The courses are selected from a list approved by the Price School of Public Policy. Students must work with their program administrator to understand how the courses will return to their degree.
Graduate Certificate Programs
Certificate in Health Systems Operations
This 17-unit graduate certificate is jointly sponsored by the Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering Department and the Price School of Public Policy (Master of Health Administration program), and administered by the Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. See the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department for course requirements.
Non-Credit Programs Offered by the Center for International Training and Development
Management Effectiveness Program
This is a four-week intensive training program in the art and science of management. The program is designed to enhance leadership effectiveness and the development of a management generalist perspective.
International Executive Development Laboratory
This five-week laboratory focuses on issues in executive leadership, strategic management, environmental analysis, international finance and economics, computer-based project planning, and implementation of planned change strategies.
Dual Degree Programs
A dual degree program is an academic option that allows a student to enroll in two graduate programs simultaneously. Application must be made to both schools, and if accepted to both, the student pursues a specially designed program that combines selected courses from the two academic units. Students are required to seek advisement from both schools. The student will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills from two fields of study.
The dual degree program enables the student to integrate a closely related field with planning or development. The purpose of the dual program is to provide an enriched educational experience; accordingly, concurrent course work in the two fields is required.
Since the unit requirements of dual degrees depend upon the mutual transfer of units between the two academic units, no other transfer of credits will be allowed.
Students who decide, at any point, to earn only one of the two degrees must meet all the regular requirements for earning that degree alone.
Students in Master of Urban Planning dual degree programs must fulfill the comprehensive examination and appropriate internship requirements except where noted otherwise.
Master of Heritage Conservation/Master of Urban Planning
See the Master of Heritage Conservation/Master of Urban Planning (MHC/MUP) for degree requirements.
Master of Advanced Architectural Studies/Master of Urban Planning
The Master of Advanced Architectural Studies/Master of Urban Planning (MAAS/MUP) dual degree program facilitates highly related cross-disciplinary studies in architecture and in urban planning at the master’s level. This program offers students interested in developing a career in urban design an opportunity to make more substantial commitments in both disciplines and to achieve a more coherent and extensive knowledge in the design of built environments and public policy. This dual degree program normally requires five semesters in residence.
Qualified students who are admitted to the graduate programs in both the School of Architecture and the USC Price School of Public Policy may complete both degrees in a highly integrated five-semester program. Such students must already possess a five-year professional degree in architecture.
Requirements for completion of the dual degree program are 72 units, including 36 units in architecture and 36 units in planning. See the USC School of Architecture for course requirements.
Master of Urban Planning/Master of Business Administration
See the Master of Business Administration/Master of Urban Planning (MBA/MUP) for degree requirements.
Master of Urban Planning/Master of Arts, Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere
See the Master of Urban Planning/Master of Arts, Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere (MUP/MA) for degree requirements.
Master of Urban Planning/Master of Landscape Architecture
The dual degree option in urban planning and landscape architecture (in the USC School of Architecture ) trains professionals in policy and design, and to be competent with design problems at different scales, but with a distinctly urban focus. Candidates must be independently admitted to the Master of Urban Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. The dual degree program normally requires between five and seven semesters in residence.
Completion of the dual degree requires 24 units of courses in urban planning, 10 units of thesis option I or II and either 32 units of landscape architecture (for those students admitted with advanced standing); 48 units of landscape architecture (for those students admitted with advanced placement); or 74 units of landscape architecture (for those students admitted to the three-year curriculum). See USC School of Architecture
for course requirements.
Master of Real Estate Development/Master of Business Administration
See the Master of Business Administration/Master of Real Estate Development (MBA/MRED) for degree requirements.
Juris Doctor/Master of Real Estate Development
See the USC Gould School of Law for degree requirements.
PhD in Education/Master of Public Policy
See the Education/Public Policy (PhD/MPP) or degree requirements.
Regulations Concerning a Second Master’s Degree
For rules governing a second master’s degree, see the Requirements for Graduation page. In accordance with these policies, transfer credits will be granted only on the basis of a written petition to the MPA program coordinator and on the basis of credits recognized by USC in a Transfer Credit Statement.
Students may want to prepare for teaching as well as for public service. By careful planning in the upper division of the undergraduate degree and during the graduate years, requirements for a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and the university recommendation for a community college instructorship may be met without unnecessary duplication of effort and waste of time. Those interested in teaching should consult advisers in both the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC Rossier School of Education before beginning upper-division and graduate work.
Public Administration Professional Sequence with the Viterbi School of Engineering
Regulations governing the Master of Science in Civil Engineering permit some candidates for this degree to take 12 units outside the School of Engineering. Those who wish to do so may take 12 units in public administration. Two courses in this sequence must be selected from among PPD 500 , PPD 501a , PPD 501b , PPD 540 , PPD 541 , PPD 545 , PPD 546 . One course in this sequence must be selected from among PPD 542 , PPD 557 , PPD 666 . PPD 541 requires PPD 502x and statistics as prerequisites. PPD 546 should be taken last if elected.
Joint Degree Program
Master of Arts in Long Term Care Administration
This program is designed to prepare competent individuals to administer the long term care needs of America’s elderly population. It is jointly offered by the Davis School of Gerontology, the USC Marshall School of Business and the Price School of Public Policy. For information see the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology .
The USC Price School of Public Policy offers the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Management (PhD), the Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Development (PhD) and the Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development (DPPD). The PhD degrees are designed to prepare individuals for university-level teaching and research. The DPPD degree is intended to develop a high level of conceptual and research competence for professional leadership in planning and development. The DPPD is administered by the Price School of Public Policy; the PhD programs are administered by the Graduate School and the faculty of the Price School of Public Policy. PhD students must consult The Graduate School section of this catalogue for regulations and requirements pertaining to its degrees. Students should also consult the Academic Policies section of this catalogue.
Completion of the requirements for all these degrees is assumed to take a minimum of three years of approved graduate study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree. For the PhD student, a minimum of 24 graduate units completed in residence on the University Park Campus in Los Angeles is required. DPPD students are required to complete a minimum of 24 units at the University Park Campus. Full-time study is represented by enrollment in 6 units during the semester. Usually the school and the student’s qualifying exam committee insist on a clear and mutually understood commitment of time and energy by the student to ensure significant involvement in the doctoral learning experience. For university policies regarding continuous enrollment, leave of absence and readmission, see the Requirements for Graduation page.
Application and Admission
Admission to graduate standing for the PhD or DPPD is recommended by the school’s admissions committee acting under guidelines established by the Graduate School as outlined in the Graduate School section and the Graduate Admission section. In addition to those guidelines, DPPD students are expected to have a minimum of five years of substantial relevant experience. Students intending to apply should direct questions about the program and all materials for the admission application to Doctoral Programs, Office of Student Affairs, RGL 111, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626.
The deadline for applications for admission to the PhD and DPPD programs is December 1. Applications for admission are made once each year for fall semester admission.
The admission decision for PhD students is made using criteria that include verification that the applicant has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, has maintained a high grade point average in the last 60 units of undergraduate work, and has earned a competitive score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Other elements of the applicant’s educational and experiential background are also evaluated, including performance in other advanced degrees. DPPD applicants must also provide evidence of at least five years of practical administrative or other relevant experience. The GRE and GMAT scores are neither accepted nor required for the DPPD program.
Each applicant should submit the following: (1) one copy of official transcripts of all previous college and university work (these official transcripts should show an awarded degree where appropriate); (2) copies of GRE scores; (3) a 1,000-word essay discussing the applicant’s background and reasons for wanting to pursue a PhD degree and identifying the student’s personal, educational and professional goals; (4) an up-to-date résumé, including academic and professional accomplishments; (5) three letters of recommendation, two from previous instructors, the other from an instructor or from a professional supervisor or colleague. The letters should indicate the applicant’s academic and professional accomplishments and potential; (6) a completed USC Graduate Admission Application, along with the nonrefundable application fee; (7) a writing sample of approximately 1,000 words (in addition to the applicant essay); and (8) a completed Price School of Public Policy Supplemental Graduate Application. International applicants are asked to submit additional information. Applicants should carefully choose, and clearly state, the degree objective (PhD or DPPD) for which they are applying, since different sets of admissions criteria exist for each of them.
The application of any available transfer credits toward a graduate degree at USC will be determined by the faculty and the dean of the Price School of Public Policy, based on the semester units available for transfer as shown in the Transfer Credit Statement (determined by the USC Office of Academic Records and Registrar). Refer to Admission with Advanced Standing for more information.
Deferral of Enrollment
Admission to the university is granted for a specified semester, and it is expected that students will begin their programs during that semester. The school will normally allow students to defer their enrollment up to one year from the admission semester. Students who wish to defer enrollment should notify the school in writing no more than 30 days after the beginning of the semester of admission. Students who do not inform the school in a timely manner of their intent to defer enrollment may be required to reapply for admission.
Please note that more stringent regulations apply to international students. See the Admission and Orientation section of this catalogue.
Admission to Candidacy
Acceptance to graduate standing does not in itself imply that the student is admitted or will be admitted to candidacy for an advanced degree. Application for admission as a candidate for an advanced degree is a separate and subsequent step. See the The Graduate School section of this catalogue.
Admission of International Students
All international applicants for admission to doctoral programs should submit materials to Doctoral Programs, Recruitment and Admissions Office, RGL 111, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626. See the Admission of International Students section of this catalogue.
PhD students are required to have a 3.3 overall GPA in first-year courses to continue in the program. DPPD students are required to pass a screening procedure after 16 units of course work. The procedure is designed to ensure that only those students who have demonstrated intellectual and scholarly potential continue in the program.
There are differences between the screening process for PhD and DPPD students. Students should consult the relevant faculty director of the doctoral program in which they are enrolled.
Qualifying Exam Committee (for the PhD programs)
A qualifying exam committee assists the student in outlining an academic program leading toward the degree. Students will form an initial qualifying exam committee by the end of the first fall semester. The committee might not yet include the Graduate School representative from outside the Price School, but must include at least three tenure track the Price School faculty members, one of whom is identified as the chair. This committee bears responsibility for counseling the doctoral student, for approving a course schedule and preliminary and qualifying examinations, and for recommending the student for admission to candidacy. After approval of the student’s program and proposed time schedule, the program is submitted in writing to the relevant director. This should be accomplished by the beginning of the second year, following successful screening.
The complete qualifying exam committee must be in place no later than the third semester. The chair should have recognized expertise in the qualifying area and should be a regular participant in the qualifying examination committee for that area. The majority of the members of the qualifying exam committee (typically at least three out of five) should be experts in the area in which the student is qualifying and should be regular participants in the qualifying examination committee. The remaining members should have a clear interest in this area with the exception of the outside member whose primary responsibility is to serve as the representative of the Graduate School, ensuring the university’s commitment to the equitable treatment of all students and that the highest quality education standards are upheld.
Students will formalize their relationship with their committees through the development of a work plan that specifies all courses, degree progress, seminar attendance and what was learned from these sessions as well as a research plan that articulates major research questions being explored. At the end of the first year of study, the qualifying exam committee chair reviews and approves the work plan. At the end of the second year, the full qualifying exam committee reviews the work plan and the second year paper.
The Price School offers programs in various modalities ranging from traditional in-residence to hybrid to fully online course delivery. When designing curriculum, the Price School utilizes innovative learning tools to deliver courses in a variety of formats depending on the individual programmatic goals and learning objectives. This may include formats such a flipped classrooms and intensives that utilize a blend of in-person and online lectures and course activities.
Global Policy, Planning and Development
Health Care Management
Urban and Regional Planning