Feb 05, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2015-2016 
USC Catalogue 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Policy, Planning, and Development (BS)

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The Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for graduate study and/or professional careers by engaging them in the analysis of society’s political, social and economic issues in such areas as environment, health care and urban life. The major introduces students to theoretical foundations and practical applications through a set of cross-cutting introductory courses and specialized courses in one of five tracks: health policy and management, public policy and law, nonprofits and social innovation, real estate development, or sustainable planning. Students will be introduced to analytical and research tools, including economics, Geographic Information Systems, statistics, urban design, and applied field research. Throughout, the students’ education will be connected to professional practice, as exemplified by the mandatory internship. Finally, the major is structured to provide students with sufficient elective credits to explore minors or other programs at USC so they can broaden their education to better prepare themselves for the next stage of their lives.

General Education Requirements

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See The USC Core and the Requirements for Graduation page for more information.

Major Requirements

A minimum grade of C-, 1.7 (A = 4.0) must be earned in each PPD course specifically listed as a degree requirement. In addition, a minimum grade point average of C (2.0) or higher must be achieved to earn all Price degrees. The GPA for all upper division PPD courses applied toward the major must also be a C (2.0) or higher. No more than 16 units of PPD course work may be taken prior to the successful completion of pre-major requirements.

Pre-major Requirements

A minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A = 4.0), must be earned in each of the pre-major courses.

All pre-major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

General Electives (26 units)


Students select one track for degree emphasis; they take 28 units (seven courses) from the track selected. Each track includes four required courses and three elective courses. During advisement, students will be given a list of recommended elective courses particularly appropriate for the chosen track, but students have the flexibility to craft the electives out of Price School courses to meet their academic needs. The four requirement courses for each track are listed below.

Health Policy and Management

Required courses:


*Students in the real estate track who select CE 460  as an elective will earn 27 units rather than 28 in the track and will require 27 units of general electives rather than 26 to reach 128 units total.


The faculty director of the undergraduate program may approve students’ petitions to substitute or mix track classes if based on an appropriate academic/career rationale.

Additional Requirements


All students will take four 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 497a , PPD 497b  must have a 3.7 GPA in PPD courses and an overall 3.5 GPA.


Policy, Planning and Development 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 497a , PPD 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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