Online MPA

Greetings from the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development!

I wanted to pass along some exciting news about a new program at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD). As you know, SPPD provides signature graduate degrees in the fields of public administration, public policy, urban planning, health administration, and real estate development. And above all, we are committed to educating the next generation of leaders, like you, across all of our fields.

I am pleased to inform you that we’re taking the next big step in higher education by offering our Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree online, beginning Fall 2011. We have been working hard on the design of this program over the past two years to ensure that it retains our highest academic quality, and we’ll be admitting only those students who meet the same criteria as our outstanding traditional students.

Indeed, it is in SPPD’s nature to stay ahead of the curve — to further our legacy of innovation by employing new, cutting-edge technologies and in the process, expand your network of fellow distinguished professionals. By taking charge of the direction in which advanced education is headed, we can ensure that an online degree is done the right way: the SPPD way and the Trojan way. I want to wholeheartedly assure all of you that our online MPA degree offers the same exceptional education that is found on campus.

It will bring to each student our faculty, our curriculum, and our high standards.

We will maintain our rigorous course requirements, our public service values, and our strong attention to administrative ethics. The classes will be highly interactive, and students will work in teams to foster a strong sense of community which, as you know, is one of the hallmarks of a USC SPPD education. And, we will integrate on-the-ground interactions on campus, provide opportunities to meet with all of you in your local communities, and develop a virtual community that you can join as well.

Many mid-level public, private, and nonprofit professionals across the U.S. are looking to advance their education, but are unable to find a program locally of SPPD’s caliber. The online program will serve those highly qualified individuals interested in earning a USC degree while remaining in their own communities. In this way, more powerful alumni networks can build in areas outside of L.A. and Sacramento.

I invite you to take a minute to hear what our faculty and staff have to say about the online MPA degree, by clicking here:  camera icon

I welcome your input and comments. You can write me directly at this e-mail address. Our new online format may also provide an excellent opportunity to members of your staff, or colleagues and friends, who would benefit from an MPA degree from SPPD. Please feel free to refer them to for more information.

With our warmest regards and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2011,


Jack H. Knott, Dean
USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development