Our students come to USC Price with so many inherent skills and talents. During their time here, they really develop into a community of leaders.
Dr. Juliet Musso
Houston Flournoy Professor of State Government
The Master of Public Administration degree requires students to complete 40-41 units comprised of three management competencies courses and four electives. In addition, students who enter the program with less than two years of full-time work experience must complete an internship.
Graduate students in Public Administration are required to take the following courses:
- Public Administration and Society (PPD 540)
- Economics for Policy, Planning, and Development (PPD 501ab)
- Intersectoral Leadership (PPD 500)
- Capstone in Public Administration (PPD 546)
Students select one four-unit course from each of the following three areas:
- Human Behavior in Public Organizations (PPD 545)
- Public Financial Management and Budgeting (PPD 541) or
- Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations (PPDE 645)
- Program and Policy Evaluation (PPD 542) or
- Modeling and Operations Research (PPD 557) or
- Administrative Research and Analysis (PPD 666)
The MPA program offers students the opportunity to specialize by completing elective units within a substantive subject area, including:
- Local Government
- Nonprofit Management
- Public Finance
- Arts Leadership
Professional Experience Requirement
Most MPA students are classified as “pre-service” or “in-service” at the time of admission. Pre-service students are those who enter the program with less than two years full-time work experience. In-service students are those with at least two years full-time work experience. Students pursuing one of the dual-degree programs are not classified as either. Appeals for reclassification of a designation must be submitted during the first semester of enrollment.
Pre-Service Internship Requirement
Pre-service students are required to complete an internship and a one-unit Internship Seminar course (PPD 543). MPA students enroll in the Internship Seminar during their first semester. Internships are complete in conjunction with the course.
Pre-Service Students: 41 units
In-Service Students: 40 units