USC Price School of Public Policy

Master of International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM)

IPPAM Program

The International Public Policy and Management Program (IPPAM) offers a Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) degree designed for international students and U.S. students working in international settings. This executive program targets mid-career professionals with experience in government, nonprofit agencies or business firms engaged in the design, planning and management of social programs and services.

IPPAM courses identify pressing public policy problems in the social sectors and provide the analytical and managerial expertise to foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed in designing creative policy solutions and managing programs.

IPPAM is a full-time program that is completed in 13 to 18 months. The 32-unit curriculum includes a 14-unit core focused on economics, data analysis, policy analysis, planning and management, and program evaluation. Due to the intensive nature of the curriculum, students are expected to take a leave from their employment. The program begins in the summer semester and continues year-round.

» Curriculum Overview
» Core Courses
» Electives
» Program Features

Curriculum Overview
The curriculum focuses on social sector services, such as:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Environmental protection
  • Community development
  • Urban planning
  • Nonprofit management

Special emphasis is placed on the role of nonprofits and NGOs as a model for service delivery in developing countries.

Core Courses
Core courses cover theories, methods and technical skills important to both policy and management sciences and are transferable across sectors — empirical data analysis, applied statistics, microeconomics, survey research, policy formulation, program evaluation, the design and management of social programs, institution building, and organizational change. Presentation skills and active participation are integral to all courses.

Elective courses allow students to develop expertise in a selected specialization area which may focus on deepening one’s understanding of the issues and institutions in a particular policy sector (e.g., health, education, environment, transportation, trade) or on enhancing a particular set of skills (communication and advocacy, market–based planning, budgeting and financial management, entrepreneurship in the nonprofit sector, or quantitative analysis).

Program Features
Some of the features of the IPPAM Program include:

  • International orientation
    Rather than focus primarily on U.S. issues as many U.S. universities do, the IPPAM curriculum includes issues of relevance in international settings with an emphasis on the Asia Pacific region. Courses identify critical public policy problems in this region, such as decentralization, community participation, privatization and economic development.
  • Multiple majors
    IPPAM serves as an umbrella program for students interested in a wide range of policy issue areas and sectors.
  • Practical skills
    The curriculum emphasizes skills in leadership and management, planning, policy analysis, program design, critical thinking, data analysis, communication and outreach and program evaluation.
  • Rich environment strong in NGOs
    Southern California is an urban area rich in educational opportunities. Nonprofits and NGOs are a vibrant part of the social landscape and contribute much to improving social services. IPPAM draws on such organizations to serve as sites for practicums (site visits, internships and classroom-based projects).
  • Supportive of international and mid-career students
    IPPAM provides living, social and academic support for international students to ease their move to Los Angeles and facilitate their transition to a different culture and a different, more interactive style of learning typical of U.S. graduate programs. Services include:

    • arrival assistance, temporary & long-term housing assistance and getting settled
    • integration of students into campus organizations and activities
    • social and professional networking activities to assist participants in cultivating long-lasting professional relationships
    • study skill training such as computer skills, cultural workshops and study skill workshops during the first summer semester
    • TA prep sessions that review technical vocabulary and discuss readings prior to a professor’s lecture using an interactive format where students present and discuss readings to build student presentation skills
    • TA discussion labs that are organized in conjunction with the core courses to give students an opportunity to discuss concepts learned in the classroom using cases and exercises; students discuss the implications and relevance of various policies to their home countries and draw comparisons across the various countries represented