USC Price School of Public Policy

Certificate in Public Policy

This program provides students with a foundation in public policy analysis. It is designed to provide expertise in public policy to individuals who do not want to pursue the Master of Public Policy degree. Potential students include graduate students who are pursing another degree and want to complement that work with a specialization in public policy, and qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree who have not matriculated at USC, but want to acquire these skills. The certificate develops policy analytic skills, and exposure to a policy issue area of interest to the student. These skills allow the student to integrate the analytic methods with the institutional context of a specific policy arena.

The program consists of 16 units of graduate course work.

Core Courses (8 units)

  • PPD 500 – Intersectoral Leadership
  • PPD 554 – Introduction to Policy Analysis
  • PPD 555 – Public Policy Formulation and Implementation

Choose 4 units from:

  • PPD 501ab – Economics for Policy, Planning and Development
  • PPD 557 – Modeling and Operations Research
  • PPD 558 – Statistical Analysis
  • PPD 560 – Methods for Policy Analysis

Choose 1 course from a policy issue area (4 units).

There are many policy issues courses from which to choose (e.g., Nonprofits, Health, Transportation, Environment, Housing).

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Current USC Graduate Students — Applicants for the Certificate in Public Policy who are currently enrolled in a graduate program at USC and are in good standing with a 3.0 GPA only need to submit the appropriate paperwork for adding the certificate program, which may be obtained from the student services advisor in RGL 102.

Prospective Applicants — Applicants for the Certificate in Public Policy who have not matriculated at USC must make a formal application at the USC Graduate Admissions website:

Applicants must submit the following items:

  1. official transcripts from ALL institutions attended directly to our office listed below:

    Office of Recruitment and Admissions
    650 Child’s Way – RGL 111
    Los Angeles, CA 90089

  2. Resume (upload via online application)
  3. A Letter of Recommendation (uploaded via online application)

November 1 – Spring Semester
April 1 – Summer Semester
July 1 – Fall Semester

Please contact the USC Price Office of Admissions at for more information.

For certificate programs that meet federal Title IV eligibility, USC is required by the U.S. Department of Education to disclose certain Gainful Employment (GE) information. The following Gainful Employment Disclosure Template link provides information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt and completion rate for the program: