The Price School of Public Policy and the Gould School of Law offer a dual degree program enabling qualified students to earn both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Public Policy degrees within four years.
The dual degree program connects analytic skills and theories of public policy with the processes of legal institutions. This combination of knowledge is well-suited for law students who want to affect the policy- making process and craft legislation, and is also valuable for prospective analysts who wish to better understand the legal practices that can advance or obstruct policy.
Students must apply to and be accepted by both schools. Students may be admitted to the dual degree at the time of their acceptance to the Gould School of Law or at the beginning of their second year.
Dual degree students spend the first year of the program taking law courses exclusively. The remaining law school units and the required 36 units of MPP courses are taken in the subsequent years.
The MPP program requires a foundational background in statistics for all students. Incoming MPP students must complete three prerequisites: a college-level statistics course and two pre-semester program labs.
All entering MPP students are required to demonstrate proficiency in foundational statistical methods. The statistics prerequisite can be satisfied in one of two ways:
Completion of a college-level statistics or econometrics course with a grade of “B” or better within three years of matriculation. At minimum, prior coursework must have included essential topics in descriptive and inferential statistics such as measures of central tendency and precision, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. If relevant statistical coursework was completed more than three years prior, a waiver may be granted based on the level of statistical training completed and the degree to which currency with this material was maintained through subsequent professional use.
If a student has not completed a college-level statistics course with a grade of “B” or better within three years of matriculation, they will need to complete a summer course prior to starting the MPP program. USC offers PPD 504 Essential Statistics for Public Management each summer; a grade of “C” or better in PPD 504 is sufficient to satisfy the statistics prerequisite. Students may also choose to satisfy the requirement by taking a summer course at another institution. The course must be for a grade and earn a grade of “B” or better.
The Professional Fundamentals and Statistics/STATA Labs provide an introduction to the program, acclimate students to skills that will be further developed in their first-semester courses, and help to create a genuine camaraderie within the first year student cohort. Entering MPP students are required to participate in the Statistics/STATA Lab as well as the Professional Fundamentals Lab. The labs meet the Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to the start of the fall semester and on the first Friday of the semester. The Professional Fundamentals lab will lead directly into PPD 554 Foundations for Policy Analysis, while the Statistics/STATA lab will provide initial exposure to the statistical software that will be utilized extensively in PPD 558 Multivariate Statistical Analysis.
Statistics/STATA Lab topics include:
Professional Fundamentals Lab topics include:
Throughout the program, MPP, MPA and MPPDS students are invited to attend labs which are designed to introduce various professional skills and topics considered fundamental to public policy analysis. Labs are available to attend in-person and also recorded enabling online viewing.
Prior lab series topics include:
Introduction to Tableau
Effective Team Management
R for Statistical Computing
Introduction to GIS
Intermediate and Advanced Excel
Using Census Data for Social Science Research Survey Design and Analysis
Effective Policy Communication
Visual Representation of Data
Overview of Political Institutions
Leadership as Improvisation
Strategic Thinking and Decision Making
Public Speaking Fundamentals
Legal Issues in City Management
NGO Design and Management
Students are required to complete 114 units of course work, including 78 units in the Gould School of Law and 36 units in the Price School of Public Policy.