USC Price School of Public Policy

Master of Planning

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— What role will you play? How will you shape our communities for the better? —

The Master of Planning (MPL) Program

The Master of Planning (MPL) program at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy is one of the most distinguished of its kind in the United States. USC Price is ranked 6th overall among Public Affairs schools in the U.S. News & World Report and Planetizen considers the MPL program one of Top 10 Graduate Urban Planning Programs. Accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board of the American Planning Association, the MPL program is strategically positioned in the Price School among disciplines such as public policy and real estate.

Our Mission. The mission of the Master of Planning program is to educate students to become leaders in the planning issues and comprehensive urban development processes of the 21st Century. We achieve that mission through a master of planning education that links theory and practice, emphasizing analytical and communication skills, critical thinking, creative design, community engagement, collaborative decision-making, and democratic governance in a globalizing world.

Explore the many professional and research opportunities available through our areas of expertise


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What makes the USC Price School MPL program so unique?

Our students study in the living laboratory of Los Angeles and are in the hub of progressive and advanced thinking on urban planning. They have the opportunity to interact with planning leaders and innovators, access to prominent faculty, opportunities to be involved in impactful research, and take classes that immerse them in forward thinking, and much more.

Preparing for Practice. We are committed to preparing students for practice. Through internships, domestic and international planning studios, community-based research and projects, our students have numerous opportunities to put to practice theories and ideas learned in the classroom.

Faculty. Price School faculty members are distinguished scholars who share a deep and abiding commitment and teaching. Our adjunct faculty members are drawn from the vast pool of professional urban planning talent available in the region and beyond.

Multi-Sector Perspective. A hallmark of the MPL program is its multi-sector perspective on and approach to planning. USC Price graduates recognize that planning must not only emphasize the public sector, but also be aware of the role of the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and the needs of citizens in urban planning and community development

Curriculum. Our program links theory and practice by requiring theoretical core classes and practice related studio experiences. The students shape their educational experience by choosing one of the five concentrations:

With elective units students can pursue certificate programs, specializations, and international experiences. We offer 12 distinctive dual degree programs for students interested in mastering two disciplines.

Los Angeles. Our location in Los Angeles and southern California provides MPL graduates access to the largest planning job market in the world and opportunities for internships.