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 pursuing the Master of Planning degree. The examination will emphasize analysis and solution of a real-world planning problem. Students are expected to synthesize knowledge and skills drawn from the core courses and electives in their concentration. Students must declare a concentration in advance of their candidacy for the exam.

The comprehensive exam is given in the spring semester of each academic year. Students usually take the examination in their second year. 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 attempt.

Comprehensive Exam Prize Winners for Outstanding Achievement


  • Economic Development – Logan Phillippo
  • Preservation and Design of the Built Environment – Jasmin Williams
  • Social and Community Planning – Andrea Howard
  • Sustainable Land Use Planning – Cassandra Gogreve
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Planning – Emily Finkel and Rachel Junken


  • 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


  • 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


  • Economic Development – Paige Battcher and Jacqueline M. Illum
  • Preservation and Design of the Built Environment – Ryan 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