USC Price School of Public Policy

Certificate in Sustainable Cities

The Sustainable Cities Graduate Certificate program is a multidisciplinary certificate pro¬gram open to USC students pursuing graduate degrees in many disciplines including anthropology, architecture, biology, chemistry, communication, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, geography, inter¬national relations, political science, public policy, sociology, urban planning and others.

Creating sustainable cities for the 21st century is a major challenge for society. The growth of cities, caused by natural population increase and massive rural-to-urban population flows, poses critical environmental problems that reach far beyond municipal boundaries and transcend national borders. Resolving such problems requires contributions from natural scientists, engineers, behavioral scientists and policy experts. To solve problems of national concern, such scientists must work productively with public administrators, political decision-makers and diverse interest groups.

This program seeks to equip graduate students with both the requisite knowledge of other fields and the political, interpersonal and communication skills necessary to succeed in research and practical contexts.

Required Courses (14-15* Units)

PPDE 632 — Sustainable Cities (4)
ARCH 519 — Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructure, Urban Landscapes, and Buildings (3)
CE 564 — Methods for Assessment and Protection of Environmental Quality (3), or
ENE 502 — Environmental and Regulatory Compliance (3), or
PPD 587 — Risk Analysis (4)

Students who select CE 564 or ENE 502 will complete 14 units for the certificate.

Four units from:
PPD 619 — Smart Growth in Urban Sprawl: Policy Debates and Planning Solutions (4)
PPD 621 — Environmental Impacts (4)
PPD 692 — Transportation and the Environment (4)
PPD 568 — Environmental Governance and Sustainability (2)
PPD 660 — Environmental Policy Design and Analysis (2)

Each academic unit, department or program will determine the number of units completed that may be applied to the student’s master’s or doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Current USC Graduate Students — Applicants for the Certificate in Sustainable Cities 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 — We are no longer accepting applications for admission to this certificate program. Effective spring 2014, we are offering a new certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning.

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