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Master of Public Policy

Turn Knowledge into Action

Student presenting data

In our dynamic global society, talented professionals who contextualize, analyze and shape policy with an eye for the public good are vitally important. The USC Price Master of Public Policy (MPP) program will prepare you to become one of these essential leaders.

A Comprehensive Master of Public Policy Program

Our nationally recognized MPP program emphasizes three areas: policy process and analysis, economics, and quantitative analysis. With an emphasis on social justice and innovation, your comprehensive studies will be immersive, spanning a variety of disciplines, subjects and scholarship, and culminating in a unique year-long practicum.

With valuable access to networking and research opportunities as well as a deep connection to all that Los Angeles offers, the Price MPP is no ordinary program – and our students are no ordinary scholars. Find out how you can join our next cohort and turn your knowledge into action.

Application Deadlines
Scholarship Deadline: 12/15/2022
Domestic Final Deadline: 7/1/2023
International Final Deadline: 5/1/2023

Learn about the application process →

“What sets USC Price apart is that Price is a place where the students are motivated to change the world, and the faculty encourages them to act. Price education offers a great combination of quantitative analysis, policy analysis, and management science to empower students to become future leaders. You don’t get that anywhere else. My education at Price helped me land multiple internships and full-time job offers. I was able to apply what I have learnt in the classroom directly to my job, which is to use data to inform strategic decision making and solve intractable social problems.”
Jue Song, MPP '18
Mark Phillips, Vice Chair, Department of Public Policy

Program Director, Mark Phillips

Associate Professor (Teaching)
Department of Public Policy and Management

(213) 740-0210
[email protected]

What to Expect in the MPP Program

The Price Master of Public Policy equips you with the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to be an agent of change. As a student, you can expect the following from your education at USC Price:

Master of Public Policy students on the steps of City Hall

The Master of Public Policy program utilizes a cohort model in which students typically enroll full-time and complete the degree in two years. Students pursuing dual degrees are expected to complete the MPP portion of their coursework in two years, with overall time to degree completion depending on the additional degree obtained

An Unparalleled Practicum Experience

Engage with clients directly through our Policy Analysis Practicum to address a real-world public policy challenge, giving you the chance to enter the professional world while still learning as a USC Price student. Past MPP student groups have worked for the United Nations, Los Angeles Mayor’s Sustainability Office, the National Park Service, and more.

With a program distinctly different from other Master of Public Policy degrees, the USC Price practicum functions like a pro-bono consulting firm. An expansive network of top-quality clients is created and your selected boss becomes both a client and professional touchstone. With support from your practicum instructors and classmates, you will complete a unique project and graduate prepared to take on your next professional endeavor with confidence and expertise.

“As an associate program and policy analyst for the Independent Analysis Unit at the Los Angeles Unified School District, I conduct quantitative and qualitative research projects for the Board of Education to help inform decision-making. In addition to providing me with statistical analysis skills to complete the quantitative aspects of my research projects, the MPP program enhanced my ability to think critically about the relationship between policy interventions and educational outcomes. Both sets of skills have been vital to my success in this current position.”

Britney Wise, MPP '17

How Will You Maximize Your Impact?

USC Price Master of Public Policy alumni work in private and nonprofit sectors including social and urban policy, environmental sustainability, economic development, international affairs and more. Here are just a few things our faculty work on and incorporate into courses – and ultimately, examples of what MPP students may contribute to as practitioners.

  • Catalyze evidence-based solutions in public policy
  • Create strategies to dismantle systemic racism
  • Cultivate healthy communities
  • Combat climate change and mitigate its impacts
  • Reduce education inequities that exist in the U.S. and throughout the world

Employment

Our recent graduates are succeeding in multiple fields and sectors. 

Master of Public Policy 209 Employment Data. 98% secured employment or are pursuing further graduate education within 1 year of graduation. Sector breakdown: 40% private sector; 24% nonprofit sector; 26% public sector.

Public Policy News

Plant in a lightblub

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 pair of hands holding a globe

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.

A button with the American flag and the word Vote

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.