USC Price School of Public Policy

DPPD Admission


Applicants for the DPPD must make a formal application for doctoral admission to USC. Admission to the DPPD program is highly selective.

Applicants are expected to hold a Master’s degree in a field closely related to the core master’s degree programs offered in the Price School. Applicants without master’s degrees will be expected to complete foundation courses prior to entering the degree core courses. The foundation courses will be determined in consultation with the appropriate degree advisor.

Application Materials

The following items are required in order to complete the applications process:

  • a USC Graduate Application:
  • $85 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (To expedite the processing of your application, please send all transcripts directly to our office. If possible, print and complete the Transcript Cover Page for each college/university you have attended. Complete the entire form, sign it, and ask the registrar of each institution to attach it to your official transcript.) USC has begun to accept some forms of e-transcripts. Please check with the institution you attended to see if they provide e-transcripts.
  • a completed USC Price Supplemental Form (complete through the Graduate On-line Application)
  • at least 5 years of professional experience.
  • Submit a current resume.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference. Please note: Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. We will not accept letters of recommendation through postal mail.
  • if appropriate, a portfolio; and a study prospectus detailing a proposed field of study.
  • Submit a statement of purpose of approximately 750-1,500 words.
    • NOTE: This program does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

      International students must also submit the following documents:

      • official TOEFL/IELTS scores – must have taken within the last two years (Institution code: 4852)
      • official transcripts indicating the award of all degrees with the title and date conferred in the applicant’s native language and an exact translation into English of each document
      • a financial guarantee statement showing proof of the ability to pay all tuition and living expenses

      Application Deadlines

      February 1

      Campus Interview

      Based on a review of the online application, a group of finalists for the program will be invited to the campus for an interview and other exercises including a required writing sample and a small group conversation. Final selections will be made from among this group based on their applications, interviews, and essays.