While there is no minimum, successful applicants have generally earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
For 2021-22, the average GPA for admitted students was 3.47 and the interquartile range was between 3.26 – 3.71.
Please visit USC Price Student Facts to learn more about our student population.
No, there is no stats requirement for the MPA program.
USC’s tuition is based on a per-unit rate of $2,035 for the 2021-22 school year. The MPA is a 40-unit program for students with two years of work experience and 41 units for students with less than two years. The total cost of attendance varies by semester, the number of units taken, and the number of semesters enrolled. Detailed information concerning tuition and fees can be found in the USC Schedule of Classes.
The MPA program offered at our University Park and Sacramento campuses have course sequencing that most students find compatible with working full-time. Courses are primarily offered in the evening or in the intensive format.
As of 2011, the rigorous USC Price MPA program can be pursued online. For more information, visit the Price MPA Online website.
The entire program or parts of the program may be completed at the USC University Park campus adjacent to downtown Los Angeles, at the USC Capital Center in Sacramento, or online.
Online students may not enroll in courses at either physical campus and students enrolled on campus may not take courses online.
The limit for transferable coursework is eight units. All transferred coursework must be approved by USC Price.
Transfer work must have been completed within seven years of admission or readmission to a USC master’s degree program. Students wishing to transfer coursework that is more than seven years old may request to do so, but they will need to demonstrate that the content remains current.
Yes. Non-degree students may enroll in some classes, however there are restrictions. Students may enroll in classes as a “limited status” student with permission from the degree program director. To apply for this designation, the student must complete a limited student status application and provide official or unofficial copies of your transcripts showing a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The maximum number of units a student may complete under the limited status designation is 12 units (the limit for most Price programs is 8 units). Requirements for limited status can be found here.
There is no thesis required, however MPA students must complete a capstone course. The capstone provides students with an experience that integrates core knowledge, skills, and values acquired throughout their MPA coursework. The primary part of this course will divide students into teams to conduct a semester-long project with nonprofits and public government agencies, after which students will offer a summary of their analyses and recommendations to the partnering agencies.
Once a student begins the MPA program, applicable coursework (such as a statistics course) may not be taken at another university. A student does, however, have the opportunity to take coursework in different schools at the University of Southern California if a request is approved by both the Price School and the partnering school.
December 15 (scholarship deadline)
May 1 (international applicant final deadline)
July 1 (domestic applicant final deadline)
The USC Office of Graduate Admissions offers opportunities to receive an application fee waiver. Please look here for qualifiers and how to request an application fee waiver.
If you encounter problems with technical aspects of the application, you can seek help by clicking the tech support button located at the top or bottom of the application. That button should read “contact us”.
E-transcripts: USC now accepts official electronic transcripts, provided they meet the following guidelines:
• The transcript originates from a secure site formally linked to the sending institution.
• The school is located in the United States. If located outside the United States, we accept electronic transcripts only from India sent via TrueCopy Credentials. We do not accept electronic transcripts from any other overseas institutions or vendors.
Please instruct the vendor to email the transcript to [email protected]. Do not send any other materials or correspondence to this email address yourself. Electronic transcripts e-mailed to any other address will not be downloaded, resulting in a delay of your file review and an extra expense to you because the transcript will need to be re-sent.
If you transcripts need to be mailed If sending your transcripts via regular mail,
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
If sending your transcripts via courier service, such as DHL or FedEx,
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
When evaluating an applicant for admission we are interested in both the academic and professional potential of an applicant. A letter of recommendation from a former professor aids the admission committee in determining the academic potential of a student. Letters of recommendation must be done through the online application, and letters through the online system can be submitted before an application is submitted. USC Price WILL NOT accept hard copy letters of recommendation nor will we accept other supplemental materials through postal mail.
We recommend students submit transcripts from any and all colleges or universities where a student took coursework that they either plan to list in their application or that appears on transcripts from institutions from which they received a degree.
Study abroad transcripts usually do not need to be sent. Please follow up with the USC Graduate Admission office about their requirements for transcripts using this email portal.
Our staff works to process the materials in a timely fashion as soon as an application is submitted. You will be contacted within a couple weeks of submission to inform you of any materials that are missing. Once all materials are received, you will get an email notification.
For letters of recommendation, the online application system allows you to track when those letters have been submitted and also allows you to send reminders to your recommenders. Please be aware that supporting documents and scores are not matched to applications until the application is submitted and a 10-digit USC ID number is created.
Yes. USC Price offers scholarship and graduate assistantships for domestic and international students. Please visit the Financial Aid section of our Web site for more details and an application.
For applications submitted by the scholarship deadline of Dec. 15, the committee typically starts releasing decisions in late Feb.
The committee continuously reviews applications and releases decisions from March through our final deadline of July 1st.
No. In order to protect privacy, we only share information about the status of an application with the applicant.
Price has discontinued the GRE/GMAT requirement for admissions review. Applications will be reviewed holistically.
Applicants applying for the dual degree with the law school may substitute the LSAT for the GRE or GMAT. Otherwise, the GRE and the GMAT are the only acceptable tests.
IMPORTANT: USC does not set minimum scores for admission purposes. The scores listed below are used for placement purposes only to determine if an admitted student will need to take the International Student English (ISE) Examination upon arrival at USC.
TOEFL: No lower than a total score of 100 on the Internet-based test, with no less than 20 on each of the four test components.
IELTS: Score of 7, with no less than 6.5 on each band score.
TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old from your intended start date. For example, if you wish to start in fall 2022, scores cannot be older than August 2020. USC Price only accepts the Internet- based version of the exam. USC Price doesn’t accept paper-based exam.
We do not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on either a graduate degree from a university in the U.S. or other qualifying country or an undergraduate program taught in English in a non-Anglophone country. We are unable to make any exceptions to this policy. Official scores must be received directly from the testing service and date no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC. Information on this policy and how you can qualify for a wavier can be found here.
All transcripts and degree certificates/diplomas must be written in the original language. All original-language documents must be accompanied by a separate, word-for-word English translation.
The U.S. government requires all international applicants provide proof-of-ability to pay tuition and living expenses for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) before a formal letter of admission and an I-20 or DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate can be issued. A missing financial statement will delay the processing of the I-20 or DS-2019.
The Office of International Services (OIS) at USC offers a wide range of services, including help with official documents, immigration questions, employment, financial aid and practical matters. For questions about your I-20, please refer to the Ask USC page.
There are two ways to do this:
1.You may obtain your own I-20, enter the United States, and then apply for your family members’ I-20 forms through the USC Office of International Services (OIS).
2. Alternatively, you may obtain I-20 forms for your family members before you arrive in the United States. You must provide the following information for each of your dependents:
• Last (family), first (given) and middle name, exactly as each name appears on the passport. Please write the last name in all capital letters.
• Date of birth (month/day/year)
• Country of birth
• Country of citizenship
• Relationship to you (husband, wife, son or daughter)
Contact [email protected] for more information.
Yes, while international students are not eligible for need-based loans, they are able to compete for scholarships.
Yes. When applying to a dual degree program, a student is applying to two separate programs which have separate admission committees. Thus, an applicant could gain admission to both programs, one program, or neither program. For a listing of dual degrees with the MPA, please click here.
Applicants only need to pay the application fee for one application. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions posted here.
The supportive academic environment at USC Price prepares applicants to become leaders in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. Graduates typically compete well in the job market. In addition, the Price School offers many opportunities for students to make invaluable alumni, mentor, and professional contacts through our programs and student services. Lifelong job resources are available to all Price alumni who graduate from one of our programs.
The MPA program is designed to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of a career in public management. Most MPA courses are scheduled in the evening or in an intensive format, making it easier for working professionals to pursue the degree. The MPP program is designed to enhance the skills and knowledge required of a professional policy analyst. While the MPA tends to focus more on management-based courses and the MPP has a heavier emphasis on analytical coursework, both degree programs may contain electives that expand knowledge of management or analysis.
Yes. Graduate students may take relevant graduate-level courses in other departments at USC. Students must receive approval from both the Price School and the department/school under which the course is listed. In most cases, students may take some of their electives in another graduate program. Students should seek approval from a degree director prior to taking coursework in another department.
Limited space is available for on-campus graduate housing. Most students choose to live off-campus in the nearby area or in other popular neighborhoods around Los Angeles. It is easier than ever now to get around the city, with a metro rail and metro bus stops directly adjacent to the University Park campus. Information about on campus housing can be found here.
Appointments are encouraged and Price School staff are happy to schedule an admission visit. Prospective students have several options when visiting our program. Choose to visit a class, speak to a current student, and/or speak with an admissions representative – we are committed to answering all of your questions. Please allow at least one week to accommodate a formal visit request.
To speak with a current student, visit the Student Ambassadors section of our website.
Schedule a visit with an admissions counselor or visit a class
Yes. Please visit our Recruitment Schedule page to find out if a representative from USC Price will be visiting your area. If we are not visiting an area close to you, please call or email with any questions.