USC Price School of Public Policy

Civil Infrastructure Systems Specialization

The Price School of Public Policy offers a concentration in Civil Infrastructure Systems that is open to candidates for the Master of Planning, Master of Public Policy, and Master of Public Administration degrees.

Civil infrastructure systems such as transportation, water, waste disposal, power, and communications are the enablers of modern society. The management and administration of these complex, interdependent systems requires a broad, diverse knowledge base that draws from many disciplines. To take one pressing example, developing sustainable revenue streams for infrastructure operations, maintenance, repair, replacement, and expansion will challenge even affluent communities in years to come. Infrastructure professionals will need to address such questions as whether the traditional public works model, oftentimes older than the systems it supports, is adequate for the future? What are the best practices for infrastructure finance from around the nation and around the world? Can privatization work, and if so, how is it to be implemented? How can the enormous amounts of private capital that are looking for an equity share in public systems be harnessed to deliver dependable services while protecting the public interest? Will we be able to educate and train the large numbers of infrastructure managers and technicians who will be needed to replace the huge cohort of soon-to-retire workers?

Within their chosen Master’s program, students choosing a focus on civil infrastructure may elect courses to prepare them for several areas of specialization depending on their undergraduate preparation, professional interests, and career goals. Course work will be supplemented with an internship with local infrastructure service providers, major investment banks, or USC industrial partners along the Pacific Rim.

The following are examples of possible areas of concentration and courses that support them:

  • Infrastructure Finance
    CE 552 – Managing and Financing Public Engineering Works (3)
    ISE 561 – Economic Analysis of Engineering Projects (3)
    PPD 626 – Public/Private and Mixed Enterprises Planning (2, 4)
    PPD 647 – Finance of the Public Sector (4)
    PPD 652 – Financial Administration in Local Government (4)
  • Project Permitting and Approval
    ENST 520 – Environmental Law and Policy (4)
    RED 551 – The Approval Process (4)
    PPD 671 – Decision-Making in Regulatory Agencies (4)
    PPD 690 – Alternative Dispute Resolution (4)
    PPD 691 – Methods for Assessment and Protection of Environmental Quality (3)
    PPD 692 – Transportation and the Environment (4)
    PPD 693 – Communicating Public Policy (4)
  • Infrastructure Management
    CE 589 – Port Engineering: Planning and Operations (3)
    SAE 541 – Systems Engineering Theory and Practice (3)
    PPD 587 – Risk Analysis (4).
    PPD 633 – Urban Transportation Planning and Management (4)
    PPD 636 – Infrastructure and Modern Society (2)
    PPD 673 – Strategic Planning in the Public Sector (4)
  • Transportation Policy and Planning
    PPD 634 – Institutional and Policy Issues in Transportation (4)
    PPD 692 – Transportation and the Environment (4)
    PPD 635 – Principles of Transportation Systems Analysis (4)
    PPD 633 – Urban Transportation Planning and Management (4)
    PPD 694 – Coastal Policy & Planning (4)