USC Price School of Public Policy

Master of Planning/Master of Public Health

The Master of Planning/ Master of Public Health (M.Pl./M.P.H.) dual degree is designed for individuals who envision a career that combines urban planning and public health disciplines. This dual degree combines the knowledge of urban planning with an understanding of health from a population perspective. It will provide training for planning, evaluating and guiding healthy community and urban development, and will enable graduates who seek to be agents of change within the profession to assume leadership roles in planning and in public health at the local, state and national levels.

A total of 79 units are required for the dual degree.


Core Requirements

  • Intersectoral Leadership (PPD 500) – 2 units
  • Economics for Policy, Planning, and Development (PPD 501a) – 2 units
  • Planning Theory (PPD 524) – 2 units
  • The Social Context of Planning (PPD 527) – 2 units
  • Legal Environment of Planning (PPD 529) – 2 units
  • Planning History and Urban Form (PPD 533) – 2 units


Students must select 16 units in a concentration from one of the five concentrations in the planning program. Students are required to complete the gateway course and methodology course related to their concentration as part of their preparation for their comprehensive examination. The student’s concentration must contain a 4-unit methodology course, a 4-unit gateway course and 8 other units. See further details on the concentrations in the Master of Planning section of the catalogue.

Planning Studios

Students will complete a total of 8 units of domestic or international planning studios under PPD 531L (4) to satisfy this requirement. Dual degree students, like all other M.Pl. students, must take a comprehensive examination and fulfill an internship requirement. Students will take 200 hours of planning internship placement in addition to 4 units of PM 593. See below for further internship details for this dual degree.


Core Requirements

  • Foundations in Health Education and Promotion (PM 501) – 4 units
  • Health Service Delivery in the US (PM 508) – 4 units
  • Principles of Biostatistics (PMD 510L) – 4 units
  • Principles of Epidemiology (PM 512) – 4 units
  • Environmental Health: An Epidemiological Approach (PM 529) – 4 units
  • Public Health Practicum* (PM 593) – 4 or 8 units

*PM 593 is a variable unit course, 4 or 8 units. Students are required to take 4 units for this dual degree.

Health Promotion Track Requirements

  • Program Design and Evaluation (PM 528) – 4 units
  • Intervention Approaches for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (PM 562) – 4 units
  • Organizing and Mobilizing Communities for Global Health (PM 563) – 4 units
  • Health Promotion Track Electives – 4 units
  • Other Electives – 4 units

All students admitted into the dual degree program must complete all requirements for each program.

Students in the dual degree may substitute two M.Pl. core courses with PM courses. PPD 525 may be substituted with PM 510 and PPD 526 may be substituted with PM 563. Students enrolled in the dual degree are not required to take PPD 525 (as opposed to the stand alone M.Pl. degree students) because they develop the necessary proficiencies in statistics in PM 510L, which provides them the opportunity to learn biostatistics, health statistics and the application of statistics necessary for success in this dual degree and for their future career. Dual degree students are not required to take PPD 526 and may take PM 563 as this course covers global health and international issues and will provide students with the information needed for success in their career.

In addition, for PM 593, a variable unit course depending on experience (4 or 8 units), students complete an internship specific to meet the competencies of the health promotion track. Dual degree students would enroll in 4 units, completing a 200-hour placement.

The other 4 units would be waived because students will spend 200 hours during their planning internship, acquiring additional relevant practical experience. (Note: This is consistent with the established dual degree programs with medicine, pharmacy and clinical psychology). The skeleton curriculum is described by these requirements. In fact, students will tend to take additional courses specific to their planning concentration and will enroll in additional units.