Certificate in Public Policy


The USC Price Certificate in Public Policy exposes students to policy issues of interest, while fostering analytic skills built around the most forward-looking methodologies. Designed as an alternative for those who will not pursue the Master of Public Policy degree, students completing the certificate gain foundational knowledge and expertise to advance their career in public policy or related fields. In addition, the certificate complements other graduate course work by offering invaluable new perspective on the student’s primary area of study.

The program consists of 16 units of graduate course work.

Core Courses (8 units)

  • PPD 554 – Introduction to Policy Analysis
  • PPD 555 – Public Policy Formulation and Implementation

Choose 4 units from:

  • PPD 503 — Economics for Public Policy
  • PPD 557 – Modeling and Operations Research
  • PPD 558 – Statistical Analysis
  • PPD 560 – Methods for Policy Analysis

Choose 1 policy elective course (e.g., Nonprofits, Health, Transportation, Environment, Housing). (4 units)

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Current USC Graduate Students — Applicants for the Certificate in Public Policy who are currently enrolled in a graduate program at USC (and are in good standing with a 3.0 GPA ) need only to submit the appropriate paperwork for adding the certificate program, which may be obtained from Suzanne Alexander, Program Administrator, Graduate Programs in Public Policy, in RGL 238.

Prospective Applicants — Applicants 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 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. Letter of Recommendation (uploaded via online application)

November 1 – Spring Semester
April 1 – Summer Semester
July 1 – Fall Semester

Please contact the USC Price Office of Admissions at uscprice@usc.edu for more information.

For certificate programs that meet federal Title IV eligibility, USC is required by the U.S. Department of Education to disclose certain Gainful Employment (GE) information. The following Gainful Employment Disclosure Template link provides information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt and completion rate for the program: