USC Price School of Public Policy

Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development

IMPACT:  The USC Price School of Public Policy
POTENTIAL UNBOUNDED: 2015 DPPD graduates with Professor Deborah Natoli
BEYOND PARTISAN POLITICS: Dean Jack Knott expands policy conversations with key public figures John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Crist and Tom Daschle
MENTORING FROM EXPERTS: General Petreaus offers dissertation advice to DPPD students
POLICY AND GOVERNANCE: Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Professor Raphael Bostic discuss critical issues
COHORT COLLABORATIONS: DPPD students stay connected as lifelong learners


Doctor of Policy, Planning and Development (DPPD)

The USC Price Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development offers established professionals in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors a high level academic experience to enhance their leadership capabilities, to extend their knowledge of policy, administration, planning and development, and to empower them in designing frameworks and strategies for sophisticated problem solving. Through their interaction with Price faculty and advanced practitioners, including members of their cohort, participants in the program will become more adaptive agents of change as they address the most complex and challenging governance problems of our times.

The DPPD program fosters a unique educational environment that will forge advanced professionals into a cadre for effective social, political, and economic change, develop professionals who can apply new policy, planning and administrative tools to design and implement new and integrative public policies, establish and impart a new set of problem-solving paradigms for examining and altering decision making, and equip professionals with sophisticated analytical tools and a sharper global and cultural awareness.

Applicants are expected to hold a Master’s degree in planning, public policy, public administration, leadership, real estate development, or a closely related field. Applicants without master’s degrees in an appropriate field will be expected to complete foundation courses prior to entering the degree core courses in consultation with the appropriate degree director. Those admitted without advanced standing complete a total of 60 units.

DPPD Program Learning Objectives

  • Establish a repertoire of new problem-solving skills and analytic strategies to support decision-making for innovations to practice in public, private, and non-profit sectors;
  • Enhance capacities as consumers and evaluators of academic research;
  • Conduct applied research and translate to practice;
  • Understand the nature of complex problem-solving and planning systems;
  • Build lasting and supportive relationships through a cohort model;
  • Gain deeper understanding into one’s own professional practice;
  • Further develop sensitivity and cultural awareness as leaders.