USC Price School of Public Policy

IPPAM Curriculum

The International Public Policy and Management Program (IPPAM) curriculum provides analytical and managerial expertise, and addresses the most pressing social policy issues in international settings:

  • globalization and trade
  • decentralization
  • privatization
  • community participation
  • economic development and job creation
  • building civil society

Students complete a minimum of 32 units for the MPPM degree. There are five core courses (18 units) taken by all students in the IPPAM program and 14 units in an area of concentration chosen by the student. IPPAM is designed to provide a solid foundation for policy, planning and management applied to a wide range of social sectors. The areas of specialization are developed through the selection of a master’s project, three elective courses and in the design of relevant projects in the core courses.

» Core Courses
» Specialization Courses
» Master’s Project
» Relationship between Courses, Knowledge and Skills

Core Courses

The core courses build a solid foundation in analysis, policy development, planning and management. These courses emphasize analytical and problem solving skills for diagnosing policy problems, formulating policy reform and implementing programs. The five core courses consist of:

  • applied statistics for planning, policy and management
  • economics for policy, planning and development
  • international public policy and management seminar
  • policy and program evaluation
  • applied international policy analysis and management project

Specialization Courses

Specialization courses allow students to develop substantive expertise in a specific policy arena, such as health or education, or to strengthen leadership, communication, advocacy or other skills that enhance their effectiveness once they return home.

Public Policy and Public Sector Management
Prepares students to address local, national and international problems. Courses develop students’ skills in formulating and implementing public policy, program design, management decision making, budgeting, and leadership. The courses focus on strategic management, market-based planning methodologies, marketing, and leading organizational change.

Health Policy and Hospital Management
Allows students to explore:

  • advanced concepts related to the organization and management of hospitals and clinics, insurance plans and managed care plans
  • economic concepts applied to the health sector
  • hospital and health services financing
  • strategic and operational planning for health services
  • communicable disease control
  • quality assurance
  • patient satisfaction

Educational Planning, Policy and Management
Accommodates the needs of students interested in:

  • education policy and program evaluation
  • organization, administration, and management of public sector education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels
  • development, planning, and evaluation of curricular and instructional materials;
  • advanced educational methodologies

Urban Planning and Infrastructure Management
Prepares students for working in the rapidly urbanizing areas of Asia and the Pacific. Students can specialize in:

  • local economic development
  • urban infrastructure management
  • transportation planning
  • housing and community development
  • decentralization and devolution to local governments

Nonprofit Management and Entrepreneurship
Prepares professionals for positions in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private non–profit organizations that specialize in social sector programs and projects. Courses explore the important role that nonprofits play in helping to solve social problems. Students learn how to adapt business and entrepreneurial skills to the nonprofit sector to:

  • create innovative programs
  • form partnerships with public and private agencies
  • enhance financial viability
  • improve client services

Communicating Public Policy
Prepares professionals to be effective media specialists and public relations experts for positions in government agencies or organizations that disseminate information to the general public. In–class and extra–curricular activities are designed to prepare students to address current issues relevant to public awareness campaigns and media regulation.

Master’s Project

An applied master’s project is a cornerstone of the program. Under the guidance of their faculty advisor, students develop a project relevant to their concentration area. The project allows each student to develop in–depth expertise about a chosen topic. The topic should be such that they can integrate and apply many of the concepts learned in their core and elective courses. Some participants may travel to their home offices during the winter 3–week recess to collect data and work on their projects. Others may make site visits to U.S. organizations for comparative purposes or to collect practical data.

Relationship between Courses, Knowledge and Skills

The diagram below illustrates how the various skill areas emphasized by the program (data analysis, policy design and implementation, management expertise, program evaluation) are integrated into the various courses.

Relationship between IPPAM Courses, Knowledge, and Skills(PDF)