USC Price School of Public Policy

Undergraduate Capstone Experience

Undergraduate Capstone Experience

Bringing your studies all together

Imagine walking into a job interview holding your senior thesis or UPPD Laboratory Report. The capstone experiences allow students to use their track skills and knowledge to complete an analysis of a specific real-world project. Learning from our experiences in the graduate planning studios, practicums, and overseas laboratories, students in the UPPD Laboratories will work with organizations and agencies around planning, policy, health, and development projects.

For instance, one could imagine a group of students considering how we might diminish health disparities and increase quality of life in South Los Angeles — a site of economic disinvestment and poor food resources — by bringing a new grocery store to an underserved area.

  • Public policy students could analyze existing legislative barriers and opportunities,
  • Planning students could outline the necessary permits and land assemble issues,
  • Health students could assess the health outcome impacts,
  • Real estate developers could calculate the financial barriers, and
  • Nonprofit management students could search for a nonprofit organization that would advocate for the new store’s financial subsidies.

UPPD laboratories could be projects anywhere in Los Angeles and Southern California, and we will also be sending undergraduates to cities outside the region to look at proposed projects and issues. USC and the Price School have a long tradition of work in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., and around the world. Using existing relations we can hope eventually to have students analyzing projects in China, Europe, and South America.

Throughout the capstone experience, students will live the school’s aspiration to prepare students for a global leadership.