USC Price School of Public Policy


Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development


As quickly as possible, the student will form a Professional Advisory Committee consisting of the student’s advisor, two other school’s and USC faculty, and up to five professionals whose activities are related to the students. This committee shall oversee the student’s program to its conclusion.

At the completion of no more than 16 units beyond the foundation courses and/or Planning and Development Paradigms (PLUS 603), and Politics of Planning and the Urban Environment (PLUS 623), students will complete a program statement which will consist of responding to a short list of specific planning and development problems using appropriate professional paradigms. The student will then meet with the Professional Advisory Committee to formally review the student’s progress towards the degree.

Field of Study
In consultation with their faculty advisors and Professional Advisory Committee, students will craft a field of study related to the professional arena of practice. The field may or may not reflect standard academic boundaries, such as transportation and land use planning. Students should take advantage of USC’s resources in developing the field, especially taking into consideration the relationship of practice to theory and context. Twenty units of coursework are required for the field of study, eight of which may be taken outside the Price School of Public Policy.