Dual Degree: Master of Planning / Master of Public Health


The USC Master of Planning/ Master of Public Health dual degree is designed for those who envision a career related to urban planning in the context of healthy communities. It provides professional training in planning, evaluating and guiding public wellness services in urban environments. Student pursuing the dual degree desire to serve as agents of change within their professions and improve quality of life for people the world over.

A total of 79 units are required for the dual degree.


Core Requirements

  • Intersectoral Leadership (PPD 500) – 2 units
  • Economics for Policy, Planning, and Development (PPD 501a) – 2 units
  • Planning Theory (PPD 524) – 2 units
  • The Social Context of Planning (PPD 527) – 2 units
  • Legal Environment of Planning (PPD 529) – 2 units
  • Planning History and Urban Form (PPD 533) – 2 units


Students must select 16 units in a concentration from one of the five concentrations in the MPL program. Students are also required to complete the gateway course and methodology course related to their concentration as part of their preparation for the comprehensive examination.

Planning Studios

Students will complete a total of 8 units of domestic or international planning studios under PPD 531L (4) to satisfy this requirement. Dual degree students, like all other MPL students, must take a comprehensive examination and fulfill an internship requirement. Students will take 200 hours of planning internship placement in addition to 4 units of PM 593. See below for further internship details for this dual degree.


Core Requirements

  • Foundations in Health Education and Promotion (PM 501) – 4 units
  • Health Service Delivery in the US (PM 508) – 4 units
  • Principles of Biostatistics (PMD 510L) – 4 units
  • Principles of Epidemiology (PM 512) – 4 units
  • Environmental Health: An Epidemiological Approach (PM 529) – 4 units
  • Public Health Practicum* (PM 593) – 4 or 8 units

*PM 593 is a variable unit course, 4 or 8 units. Students are required to take 4 units for this dual degree.

Health Promotion Track Requirements

  • Program Design and Evaluation (PM 528) – 4 units
  • Intervention Approaches for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (PM 562) – 4 units
  • Organizing and Mobilizing Communities for Global Health (PM 563) – 4 units
  • Health Promotion Track Electives – 4 units
  • Other Electives – 4 units

The skeleton curriculum is described by these requirements. However, students tend to take additional courses specific to their planning concentration and will enroll in additional units.

Students admitted to the dual degree program must complete all requirements for each program.

Students in the dual degree may substitute two M.Pl. core courses with PM courses. PPD 525 may be substituted with PM 510 and PPD 526 may be substituted with PM 563. Students enrolled in the dual degree are not required to take PPD 525 (as opposed to the stand alone M.Pl. degree students), as they develop proficiency in statistics in PM 510L (this course builds competencies in biostatistics, health statistics and the application of statistics). Dual degree students are not required to take PPD 526 and may take PM 563, as this course covers global health and international issues and will provide students with the information needed for success in their career.

For PM 593, a variable-unit course depending on experience (4 or 8 units), students complete an internship approved for the health promotion track. Dual degree students would enroll in 4 units, completing a 200-hour placement. The other 4 units are waived because students will spend 200 hours during their planning internship, acquiring additional practical experience.