The Price School of Public Policy and the USC Gould School of Law offer a dual degree that enables qualified students to earn both a Juris Doctor and a Master of Public Policy in approximately four years of study.
The dual degree allows students to acquire a blend of the analytic skills of public policy and an understanding of legal institutions and processes. This combination of knowledge is well suited for law students who want to affect the policy-making process and craft legislation to aid in the achievement of public policy goals. It is equally appropriate for prospective policy analysts who are interested in law and public policy.
Students must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools. They may be accepted to the dual degree at the time of their acceptance to the law school or at the beginning of their second year of law school. Dual degree students spend the first year of the program completing the required first year of law school. The remaining units of law school courses and the required 36 units of core MPP courses are taken by students in the second through fourth years.
Students are required to complete 114 units of course work, 78 units in the law school and 36 units in the Price School of Public Policy. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 37 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. In addition, the MPP program has a statistics prerequisite. Please see the MPP degree in the Price School of Public Policy section of the catalogue for the requirements.
All entering students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and are required to demonstrate proficiency in foundational statistical methods. The statistics prerequisite can be satisfied in one of two ways:
Statistics or Econometrics Course Taken Prior to Enrollment in the MPP
Completion of a college-level statistics or econometrics course with a grade of “B” or better within three years of matriculation. At minimum, prior course work must have included essential topics in descriptive and inferential statistics such as measures of central tendency and dispersion, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. If relevant statistical course work was completed more than three years prior, a waiver may be granted based on the level of statistical training completed and the degree to which currency with this material was maintained through subsequent professional use.
PPD 504 Essential Statistics for Public Management
If a student has not completed a college-level statistics course with a grade of “B” or better within three years of matriculation, they will need to complete a summer course prior to starting the MPP program. USC offers PPD 504 Essential Statistics for Public Management each summer; a grade of “C” or better in PPD 504 is sufficient to satisfy the statistics prerequisite. Students may instead choose to satisfy the requirement by completing a qualifying statistics course at another institution prior to enrolling at USC. If the course is completed outside of USC, it must be taken for a grade and the student must earn a grade of “B” or better. Regardless of which course is used to meet the prerequisite requirement, the units associated with the course will not be used toward the 114 required degree units.
Pre-semester MPP Labs
The Professional Fundamentals and Statistics/STATA Labs provide an introduction to the program, acclimate students to skills that will be further developed in their first-semester courses and help to create a genuine camaraderie within the first-year student cohort. Entering MPP students are required to participate in the Statistics/STATA Lab as well as the Professional Fundamentals Lab. The labs meet the week prior to the start of the fall semester. The Professional Fundamentals Lab will lead directly into PPD 554 Foundations of Policy Analysis , while the Statistics/STATA Lab will provide initial exposure to the statistical software that will be utilized extensively in PPD 558 Multivariate Statistical Analysis .