USC Price School of Public Policy

Degree Requirements

The 28-unit curriculum (seven classes) is comprised of four core courses and three electives. The core courses are completed over a 14-month period in an intensive format. The three electives may be taken during the same 14-month period or after completing the core classes, thereby making it a two-year program.

The core classes are offered in an intensive format, which is highly interactive and is designed to accommodate the scheduling demands of working professionals. Each four-unit course meets for eight full days that are scheduled around weekends, typically in two or three blocks per semester, that meet approximately four weeks apart.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES (16 UNITS)

PPD 640 – Leadership Foundations: Competencies and Core Values (Summer)

An intensive introduction to leading through core values, which is focused on developing leadership skills at the personal level to build a foundation for leadership at all levels:

  • Acquire skills reflective of practice that bring clarity to situations of profound uncertainty.
  • Participate in self-assessment instruments and leadership case studies.
  • Examine leadership practices, identify effective influence techniques and motivational methods, and develop reliable communication strategies.
  • Increase negotiation competencies, move away from zero-sum approaches, and improve conflict management capabilities.

PPD 641 – Leading Individuals, Groups, and Teams (Fall)

Designed to improve the executive’s effectiveness in managing people:

  • Develop the skills needed to create and lead high-performing teams, departments, organizations, and networks.
  • Learn to build and maintain lasting partnerships, coalitions, and networks.
  • Utilize hands-on learning devices including role-plays, self-assessment inventories,in-class exercises, case studies, and discussions.

PPD 642 – Strategic Leadership of Organizations (Spring)

Structured around the idea that leading strategically involves the establishment of an organizational vision and the use of leadership processes to develop a strategic direction in order to mobilize stakeholder support for changes and to achieve organizational purposes:

  • Gain a better understanding of strategic analysis and performance measurement.
  • Become familiar with the principles and techniques of organizational learning.
  • Assess and evaluate organizational structures and networks.
  • Discover mechanisms to connect organizations to their environments.

PPD 643 – Leading Transformations Across Sectors (Summer)

Examines the mechanisms, structures, and processes necessary for leading transformations across organizational sectors and institutional boundaries:

  • Obtain insight and perspective on ethical and legal responsibility, advocacy, and authentic community and stakeholder engagement.
  • Develop competencies in negotiation, planning, communication, and management.
  • Attain skills for leading in non-hierarchical environments.
  • Examine methods and approaches that political, business, civic, and organizational leaders use to transform their communities, cities and/or regions.
  • Draw on case studies, negotiation exercises, and simulations to grow the skill sets needed for leading the design, management and evaluation of networks, partnerships, collaborations, public-private scenarios, and other multi-sectoral arrangements

Electives

Elective courses enrich your learning experience. EML students have access to numerous electives that are offered on a weekly and/or intensive basis. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial management, budgeting, or accounting
  • Policy formulation, communication, and implementation
  • Human resources
  • Strategic planning and management
  • International development
  • Transportation and urban planning
  • Participatory methods in planning and policy
  • Community and economic development
  • Contract management
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Homeland security and public policy
  • Geographic information systems
  • Information technology
  • Health management and policy
  • Organizational behavior
  • Political leadership and public administration advocacy