Students at City Hall

Master of Public Administration

Educating Future Public Service Leaders

Why Earn a Master of Public Administration from USC Price?

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Fill out this form to hear from a Price admissions counselor, get invited to webinars for prospective students, and learn more about admissions and financial aid.

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Request Information

Fill out this form to hear from a Price admissions counselor, get invited to webinars for prospective students, and learn more about admissions and financial aid.

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from USC Price. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.

Our multifaceted, NASPAA-accredited MPA program is ranked #4 in the nation for public affairs schools. The MPA program not only prepares you for a career in public administration, but it also provides opportunities to work with outstanding research centers, allows you to specialize in one of six areas, and offers the chance to earn additional certificates.

Earn your Masters of Public Administration (MPA) at USC Price and become a part of a collaborative program that will enable you to manage complex organizations and serve the public good, at home and abroad.

Learn about the application process →

Application Deadlines

Juliet Ann Musso headshot

Program Director, Juliet Musso
Associate Professor
Vice Dean for Graduate Programs

[email protected]

Apply Now! Community Impact Scholarship

The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy is pleased to announce the Price Community Impact Scholarships.

Incoming master students who plan to enroll in one of the following on-campus programs at the University Park Campus in Los Angeles, CA for the 2024-2025 academic year are encouraged to apply:

  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management (MNLN)
  • Master of Science in Public Policy Data Science (MS PPDS)
  • Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development (MRED)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Master of International Public Policy (IPPAM)
  • Master of Urban Planning (MUP)

To learn more about our Price Community Impact Scholarship including eligibility requirements, visit this page.

Master of Public Administration Curriculum: Price MPA Advantage

Today the world needs inspired leaders in governance and management more than ever. Let the USC Price Master of Public Administration program get you ready for the challenges and opportunities of a career in public administration and management, or in a related public, private or non-profit organization. 

Prepare for the Future

  • Choose from multiple specialized fields of study that are in high-demand.
  • Focus on leading-edge courses in management, analytics and policymaking.
  • Hone your leadership skills, activate your community engagement and have fun in USC Price’s student associations.
  • Gain cross-cultural experience by participating in international labs and addressing a particular policy project identified by a client in your host country. Past locations have included China, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Ireland, and more.
  • Options to earn additional certificates and dual degrees in specialized fields.

MPA Students Choose Their Classroom

Downtown Los Angeles

The Master of Public Administration program is intertwined with Los Angeles, a living laboratory and the largest government center in America outside of Washington D.C.

Hands typing on a keyboard

Online MPA: No matter where you are, finish the Master of Public Administration program remotely. Our face-to-face video classes foster flexible learning, and certificate and residency options enhance your experience. The MPA online degree offers the same curriculum and instruction as the in-person MPA, while offering on-campus experiences unique from other online programs.

Learn from Expert Teachers, Mentors and Peers

Students, mentors, and faculty in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program talking at a professional event
  • Take courses with exceptional and diverse full-time faculty as well as astute adjunct faculty of noted professionals – all of whom are invested in your success.
  • Build professional connections through USC Price’s extensive alumni network.
  • Connect with the USC Price advisory board, comprised of leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Get Direct Experience

  • In our MPA labs, develop key professional skills and knowledge about a broad range of social issues.
  • Complete a capstone project with a small group, identifying solutions for local and state government, nonprofit organizations and key public sector service providers.
  • Apply what you learn through paid internship opportunities.
Master of Public Administration (MPA) lab students abroad

A Customizable Public Administration Program

Master of Public Administration students at graduation holding up an MPA program sign
  • Choose between a two year full-time program and a three year part-time program.
  • Self-designed focus areas or specializations: local government management, nonprofit management, health management, public financial management and international management.
  • Gain certificates in city/county management, public financial management, nonprofit management and policy, homeland security and public policy, social innovation, international policy and planning, social justice, and arts leadership.

A Degree with a Storied History

A black and white photo of Los Angeles City Hall in the 1920s

The Price MPA program has continued for more than 90 years and is one of the oldest in the nation. The long-standing history of the program goes back to 1929 when USC launched the nation’s second program of its kind: the USC School of Citizenship and Public Administration.

Today our degree program has built upon its foundation of excellence, growing not only in student numbers, expert faculty and opportunities, but in its mission to make an impact.

Employment After Graduation

Our recent graduates are succeeding in multiple fields and sectors. 

Degree Time to Completion and Completion Rates

Students who enter the MPA program have extremely high completion and retention rates, with most students completing the degree in two years*. See below chart for details.

*An Academic Year is defined as the fall term of the given year through the following summer term.

Sacramento capitol building

Bedrosian Center on Governance

The Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise, an applied research center at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, is dedicated to understanding and fostering effective democratic governance as an essential component in ensuring the betterment of communities. The Bedrosian Center fosters effective governance by building the capacity of public and nonprofit institutions; shaping public dialogue across public, private and nonprofit sectors; and promoting and supporting innovative scholarship.

Buttons with the American flag and the word "Vote" on them

Center for Inclusive Democracy

Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID), is a nonpartisan research center serving the U.S. Founded and directed by Dr. Mindy S. Romero, CID moved to the USC Price School, Sacramento in 2018. CID conducts a range of national and multi-state research initiatives exploring voting behavior, civic engagement, electoral and economic research, the intersection of social justice and democracy, and more.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy is committed to advancing post-partisanship, where leaders put people over political parties and work together to find the best ideas and solutions to benefit the people. The Institute seeks to influence public policy and public debate in finding solutions, and engages in the following policy areas: education, energy and the environment, health and wellness, and political reform.

A plant in a lightbulb

Sol Price Center for Social Innovation

The Sol Price Center for Social Innovation was established with the recent gift to name the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. This new center aims to advance ideas, strategies, and practices that enhance the quality of life for people in urban communities. The center will provide opportunities for direct student engagement across all of the Price School’s primary disciplines.

A globe being held in a pair of hands

Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Established in 2000, the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy promotes more effective philanthropy and strengthens the nonprofit sector to advance public problem solving. Its research focuses on trends and patterns in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, philanthropic strategies for social impact, and challenges in philanthropic stewardship and leadership.

Students running on a playground

Safe Communities Institute

The Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the USC Price School of Public Policy engages in research, interdisciplinary education, and collaboration to advance sustainable “whole-of-community” public safety and violence prevention strategies, policies, and programs.

CREATE Homeland Security Center

As the Department of Homeland Security’s first University Center of Excellence, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies (CREATE) serves our nation through creation of advanced models and tools for the evaluation of the risks, costs and consequences of threats to human livelihood and through assessment of strategies to mitigate risks and respond to emergencies.

Wind turbines

USC Center for Sustainability Solutions

The Center for Sustainability Solutions develops policy, technological, and behavioral solutions to the most pressing sustainability problems of the Southern California region and the world.  It brings together scholars and stakeholders from sustainability organizations around the world to collaborate on basic and applied research aimed at making a real-world impact.