USC Price School of Public Policy

MPL Comprehensive Exam

MPL Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive written and oral project-oriented examination is required of all students seeking the Master of Planning degree. The examination is project-oriented and emphasizes the analysis and solution of a real-world planning problem. Students are expected to synthesize knowledge and skills drawn from both the core courses and electives in their concentration. The exam is designed to serve students in each of the program’s concentrations, and students must declare their concentration in advance of their candidacy for the exam.

The comprehensive examination is normally given in the spring semester of each year. Students usually take the examination in the last semester of their second year. A faculty committee appointed by the dean administers the examination. Examinations are graded on an honors/pass/fail basis. Students who are not successful on the comprehensive examination may retake it once, within one year of the first exam.

2015 Comprehensive Exam Prize Winners for Outstanding Achievement

  • Economic Development – Alvaro Gomez, Haijing Lin and Shane David Phillips
  • Preservation and Design of the Built Environment – Philip Alexander Burns and Tara Ansley Worden
  • Social and Community Planning – Rosaline Tio and Jessica Wuyek
  • Sustainable Land Use Planning – Clare Eberle and Lavanya Raghuraman
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Planning – Karl Fielding, Sharma Shrota and Peter Soderberg

2014 Comprehensive Exam Prize Winners for Outstanding Achievement

  • Economic Development – Stephen Robert Job, Adrienne Claudia Lindgren, Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez and Steven Blaze Welliver
  • Preservation and Design of the Built Environment – Gabriel Antonio Barreras
  • Social and Community Planning – Katherine Robinson Bray and Lyndi Michelle Vaughan
  • Sustainable Land Use Planning – Andrew Nathan Douglass and Claudia Celene Preciado
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Planning – Jesus Herrera and Renata Elizabeth Ooms

2013 Comprehensive Exam Prize Winners for Outstanding Achievement

  • Economic Development – Paige Battcher and Jacqueline M. Illum
  • Preservation and Design of the Built Environment – Ryan Edward Kucinski, Zahratu Shabrina and Xin Xin
  • Sustainable Land Use Planning – Bianca Shulaker and Muriel Skaf
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Planning – Jenny Chan and Carley Sinclair Markovitz