Jul 24, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Urban Studies and Planning (BS)

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The Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for graduate study and careers as change agents in the urban world. The major introduces students to theoretical foundations and practical applications through a set of introductory courses and develop expertise through electives. Students will learn analytical techniques for urban sustainability, methods for stakeholder engagement, approaches for poverty alleviation, and the role of the built environment and geographic data in city problem solving. Environmental analysis and sustainability, Geographic Information Systems, statistics, urban design, applied field research, and the mandatory internship are a sample of the courses and tools used to educate our students and to better prepare them for their professional careers or graduate studies.

The program requires a minimum of 128 units.

Pre-major Requirements

Students must complete the pre-major requirements. A minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A=4.0), must be earned in each of the pre-major couress. All pre-major requirements must be taken for a letter grade. 

Additional Requirements

Cross-cutting Topics Courses

Students will be required to take 4 units of cross-cutting topics courses (PPD 400 ), preferably in junior year after they have completed the core curriculum.


All students will take 4 units of a capstone experience during their senior year. This may be fulfilled by taking PPD 431 Undergraduate Policy, Planning, and Development Studio (4) or PPD 497a Senior Thesis, PPD 497b Senior Thesis (2-2). Students wishing to enroll in PPD 497aPPD 497b must have a 3.7 GPA in PPD courses and an overall 3.5 GPA.


Urban Studies and Planning majors are required to complete 140 hours of internship by enrolling in PPD 301 PPD Practices: Internship Seminar or the Washington, D.C., Semester internship. Internships are matched as closely as possible to the student’s interests and skills.

PPD 301 and the internship in a position provide numerous opportunities to develop and formulate future career goals, as well as to gain personal and professional experience while completing the undergraduate degree.


Price School honors are available at graduation to qualified PPD majors and result in a special designation of departmental honors on a student’s transcript. Achievement of PPD honors requires a 3.7 GPA in PPD major courses and a 3.5 overall GPA as well as nomination by the professor in the capstone experience. In addition, students must earn an A in their capstone course (PPD 497aPPD 497b or PPD 431).

Washington, D.C., Semester

The Washington, D.C., Semester program provides an intensive semester of confrontation with the political center of the nation and its complex components. The program offers opportunities for behind-the-scenes work in national government agencies and related organizations, combined with an academic environment and the chance to explore, share and learn with a group of fellow students.

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