USC Price School of Public Policy

MPP Students

There are lots of smart people in the world, and there are lots of smart students out there, but I think our students are extremely creative in the way they employ their intelligence.

MussoDr. Juliet Musso
Houston Flournoy Professor of State Government

MPP Students at the GPAC Nonprofit Case Challenge

Students from a wide range of backgrounds and interests are drawn to the USC MPP program. Many enter the program directly following completion of their undergraduate degree, while others have accumulated significant experience in professional practice. While most public policy students hold bachelor’s degrees in the social sciences, students with an undergraduate degree in any field are eligible for admission and encouraged to apply. Faculty, employers and program advisors often remark on the characteristics of the typical USC MPP candidate:

  • strong analytical, quantitative and verbal skills
  • an active curiosity and probing mind
  • a deep commitment to understanding and solving the problems facing our society

MPP students enjoy a rigorous immersion in the economic, political and cultural context in which policy decisions are made and implemented, and are excited about being part of the process. They benefit enormously from being grounded in the heart of Los Angeles. This exciting city is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in the world. Its diversity, geological make up and technological expertise provide MPP students a rich laboratory in which to research, analyze, propose and implement solutions to some of today’s most pressing public policy issues

MPP Student Characteristics

MPP Program Characteristics 2015-2016
Total Enrollment 117
% Enrolled Full Time 97%
% Enrolled Minority ^ 43%
% International 20%
% Outside Southern California ^ 53%
Average Age 26
Average Class Size (Core Courses) 37
# of New Students * 60
Undergraduate GPA (median) * 3.38
GRE Verbal Score (median) * 158
GRE Quantitative Score (median) * 154
GRE Composite Score (median) * 313

^ Domestic Students
* Entering Students – Fall 2015