Jul 22, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Master of Public Policy/Master of Urban Planning (MPP/MUP)

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The Master of Public Policy/Master of Urban Planning dual degree program gives students the opportunity to develop a depth of analytic and design skills with which to effectively address the problems of urban communities. The dual degree program normally requires six semesters in residence.


Completion of the dual degree requires 72 units.


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 coursework 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 72 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 .

Dual Degree Requirements

The Master of Public Policy/Master of Urban Planning dual degree requires 72 units of graduate work, with 40 public policy units and 32 urban planning units. The public policy units include 20 units of core courses, the 4-unit Policy Analysis Practicum, and 16 additional elective units divided between analytic and policy elective areas. 

Policy Analysis Practicum (4 units)

During a student’s second year of the program, the Policy Analysis Practicum is required as a component of the program’s 40 units of policy course work. The practicum is an opportunity for students to apply their skills to a current problem for an actual client. Enrollment in the practicum requires successful completion of all core course work.

Analytic Electives (8 units)

Students choose two electives from the courses that are part of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) “Analytic Elective” options.  Refer to the MPP catalogue listing for the list of courses Analytic Elective List.

Public Policy Electives (8 units)

Students choose two policy-related electives from among those courses managed by the MPP Program.  The MPP program administrator can provide guidance on these courses.  Note that a given course cannot count as both an Analytic Elective and a Public Policy Elective.

Urban Planning Courses

Students in this dual degree will take 32 units of urban planning coursework. Students must select one of the six available concentrations and select a gateway and methodology course associated with the concentration. Please see the Master of Urban Planning section of the catalogue for the concentration options.

Concentration Courses (8 units)

Students choose one of the six available concentrations in the MUP program: Arts and Culture, Design of the Built Environment, Planning for Climate Change and Sustainability , Housing and Real Estate Development, Economic Development, and Mobility and Transportation Planning. Students are required to complete the concentration gateway and methodology requirements (8 units) specific to their selected concentration of study. Please see the Master of Urban Planning section of the catalogue for the concentration options.

Students in the dual MUP/MPP program do not need to take an additional 8 units of concentration electives as in the standalone MUP program due to the required electives in the MPP. Through advisement, students are encouraged to select elective courses that meet their interests and educational goals.

Additional Requirements


Dual degree students, like all other MUP students, must fulfill the internship requirement.

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