Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning


With increasing urgency, organizations and governments require leaders to design and implement sustainability-focused policy and planning practices that help communities improve in the present without compromising the future. The USC Price graduate Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning develops analytic and methodological skills and provides students an interdisciplinary curriculum centered on key environmental and sustainability issues in policy and planning.


The Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning consists of 12-14* units of graduate course work.

Required Courses (6 units) Units
PPD 568 Environmental Governance and Sustainability 2
PPDE 660 Environmental Policy Design and Analysis 2
PPDE 634 Methodology, Methods and Tools for Urban Sustainability 2*

*Students in the certificate program will take the 2-unit version of PPDE 634.

Elective Courses (6-8 units) Units
PPD 587 Risk Analysis 4
PPD 619 Smart Growth and Urban Sprawl: Policy Debates and Planning Solutions 4
PPD 621 Environmental Impacts 4
PPD 690 Alternative Dispute Resolution 4
PPD 692 Transportation and the Environment 4
PPD 694 Coastal Policy and Planning 4
PPDE 632 Sustainable Cities 4
MOR 566 Environmental Sustainability and Competitive Advantage 3*
ARCH 519 Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructures, Urban Landscapes and Buildings 3*

*If students select MOR 566 or ARCH 519, they will take 6-7 units of electives. Others will take 8.

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Current USC Graduate Students — Applicants for the Certificate in Sustainable Cities who are currently enrolled in a graduate program at USC (and are in good standing with a 3.0 GPA) need only submit the appropriate paperwork for adding the certificate program, which may be obtained from the student services advisor in RGL 102.

Prospective Applicants — Applicants for the Certificate in Sustainable Cities who have not matriculated at USC must make a formal application at the USC Graduate Admission website.

Applicants must submit the following items:

  1. Official transcripts from ALL institutions attended must be sent directly to our office:

    Office of Recruitment and Admissions
    650 Child’s Way – RGL 111
    Los Angeles, CA 90089

  2. Resume (upload via online application)
  3. A Letter of Recommendation (uploaded via online application)

July 1 – Fall Semester

Please contact the USC Price Office of Admissions at [email protected] for more information.