Department of Public Policy

California State Capitol building

The world continues to face complex problems ranging from housing insecurity to climate change to structural racism. Students in the Department of Public Policy at USC Price will gain the tools and learn the processes they need to effect positive change on these and other critical issues facing society, here and abroad. In both the classroom and the community, our students engage in research, education and public service that have an impact.

As a student, you will also learn how to co-produce ideas with a broad set of stakeholders and diffuse these solutions into public policy and civil society. Our public policy curriculum contains a strong analytic core in political analysis, economics and data analytics. This core is complemented by the opportunities you will have to hone your leadership skills, specialize in substantive policy areas, and obtain a broad set of analytic expertise. Our alumni serve as leaders and change-makers in social impact organizations that span philanthropic, public and private sectors. The influence of public policy is all around us – explore how you can become a part of this dynamic discipline.

Gary Dean Painter
Professor & Chair
Department of Public Policy

Department Chairs

Gary Painter

Gary Dean Painter

Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute

Mark Phillips Headshot

Mark Phillips

Vice Chair of the Department of Public Policy

Academic Programs

Women speaking on a panel

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy

The USC Price School’s Bachelor of Science in Public Policy offers an education combining rigorous academic coursework in economics, political science, quantitative methods, and leadership with the practical experience needed to effectively engage communities and address solutions to large-scale local, regional, national, and international problems.

Capitol building

Master of Public Policy

The USC Price Master of Public Policy program offers a comprehensive degree that integrates public policy leadership, analysis, evaluation, and management. Through coursework, interaction with faculty, and practical experience, the Price MPP equips students with in-depth knowledge of the policy issues they care about most and the skills to be impactful agents of change.

Man looking at data on large monitors

Master of Science in Public Policy Data Science

Informatics and big data are increasingly essential to policy development throughout the public and private sectors. Knowledge of both can lead to ever-expanding career opportunities. Bolster your decision-making role in government agencies and the corporate realm with the USC Price School of Public Policy and USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Master of Science in Public Policy Data Science.

International Flags

Master of International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM)

The International Public Policy and Management Program (IPPAM) offers a Master of International Public Policy and Management (MIPM) degree designed for international students and U.S. students working in international settings. 

Department Faculty

Ali E. AbbasProfessor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Public PolicyDecision analysis, risk analysis, multi-attribute utility theory, information theory, Bayesian analysis, and data-based decision making
Emma AguilaAssociate ProfessorEconomics of aging, health economics, and applied econometrics
Grace BahngProfessor (Teaching)Policy analysis, experiential learning, community development, international development
Christine Beckman headshotChristine M. BeckmanThe Price Family Chair in Social Innovation and Professor of Public PolicySocial innovation and inequality, organizational learning and interorganizational networks, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, technology and work, organizational control
Antonio M. BentoProfessorEnvironmental and energy economics, urban economics, public economics, transportation policy, climate policy, environmental regulation
Wändi Bruine de BruinProvost Professor of Public Policy, Psychology, and Behavioral Science
Hear my name
  • Psychology of risk perception and communication
  • Health behavior and patient decision making
  • Public perceptions of climate change and sustainability
  • Economic expectations and financial decision making
  • Behavior change interventions
  • Social science of science communication
  • Age differences in decision making and well-being

Additional affiliations across USC

James M. FerrisProfessor
Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs
Emery Evans Olson Chair in Non-Profit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
Director, Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy
Philanthropy, nonprofit economics, public finance, public policy, institutional analysis
Elizabeth GraddyProfessor
Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business, and the Economy
Executive Vice Provost
Institutional economics, governance, nonprofit organizations,industry structure
Alexandra Graddy-ReedAssistant Professor of Public PolicyPublic economics, philanthropy and nonprofits, social innovation, science and innovation policy, research and development
Jeffery A. JenkinsProvost Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law
Judith & John Bedrosian Chair of Governance and the Public Enterprise
Director, Bedrosian Center
Director, PIPE Collaborative
American political institutions and development, Congress, political parties, lawmaking, separation-of-powers, political economy
Pamela McCannAssociate ProfessorAmerican political institutions, bureaucratic delegation, intergovernmental politics, legislative behavior, public policy, and policy diffusion
T.J. McCarthyT.J. McCarthyAssociate Professor (Teaching)Labor economics, health economics, economics of education, public economics, program evaluation
James Moore III headshotJames Elliott Moore, IIProfessorEconomic impact analysis, engineering economics, transportation engineering, urban transportation, infrastructure performance
Juliet Ann Musso headshotJuliet Ann MussoAssociate Professor
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
State and local governance; federalism, urban political economy, fiscal policy, community governance, government performance.
Gary Dean PainterGary Dean PainterProfessor
Chair, Department of Public Policy
Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation
Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
Social Innovation, Housing economics, Urban economics, education policy, program evaluation
Mark Phillips HeadshotMark PhillipsAssociate Professor (Teaching) of Public Policy
Vice Chair of the Department of Public Policy
Public finance, tax compliance, policy salience, applied microeconomics
Adam Rose new headshotAdam RoseResearch Professor
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies (CREATE)
Energy and environmental economics, public policy, natural hazards and terrorism, regional science, applied general equilibrium modeling
Roberto SuroProfessor
Associate Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation
Immigration, Hispanic immigration, immigration policy
Detlof von WinterfeldtProfessor of Public Policy
Executive Director, USC Center for Sustainability Solutions
Decision analysis, risk analysis, environmental policy, behavioral decision research, homeland security
Dan Wei headshotDan WeiResearch Associate ProfessorEnergy and Climate Policy, Energy and Environmental Economics, Economics of Natural and Man-made Disasters