Potential for distinguished academic and professional achievement is the principal criterion for admission to the Master of Public Policy program. In assessing an application, the admission committee evaluates:
- past performance as evidenced by grades, work experience and community service
- future promise as indicated by performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and letters of recommendation
- commitment to educational and career goals, as demonstrated particularly in the writing sample
In general, successful applicants will have at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and an above average score on the GRE.
Students are admitted to the fall semester. Students applying are encouraged to submit applications prior to December 15 in order to be considered for the best scholarships. Since the admission review process does not include an interview, submitted materials should present student qualifications clearly and completely.
The following items are required in order to complete the applications process:
(NOTE: For your convenience, please save and use the Application Checklist)
- a USC Graduate Application — For step-by-step admission guidelines, visit: gradadm.usc.edu/apply
- $90 application fee
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (To expedite the processing of your application, please send all transcripts directly to our office.) **
- USC has begun to accept some forms of e-transcripts. Please check with the institution you attended to see if they provide e-transcripts.
Please note that we accept only e-transcripts provided that they are submitted via the following methods:
- eSCRIP SAFE (Grad)
- eTranscriptCA (CCC)
- Texas Server (Grad)
- University to University
If your school does not provide e-transcripts through one of these methods, you must submit a hard copy of your transcripts. **
- Official copy of test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).(Note: When registering for the GRE, applicants should use the following institution code: GRE 4852)
- Current resume
- Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference. Please note: Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. We will not accept letters of recommendation through postal mail.
- Statement of purpose of approximately 750-1,500 words addressing the following questions:
- Why do you wish to pursue the Master of Public Policy degree?
- How will the Master of Public Policy degree affect or enhance your career aspirations and goals?
- What policy area do you care most about and why?
- USC Price Scholarship Application Essays (If you wish to be considered for USC Price sponsored scholarships, complete Scholarship Application Essays through USC Graduate Application on-line)
- official TOEFL/IELTS scores – Official scores must be received directly from the testing service and date no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC. (Institution code: 4852)
- official transcripts indicating the award of all degrees with the title and date conferred in the applicant’s native language and an exact translation into English of each document
- a financial guarantee statement showing proof of the ability to pay all tuition and living expenses
- To verify application requirements by country, please visit: http://gradadm.usc.edu/faqs/international-students-faqs/preparing-to-apply/
December 15 (scholarship deadline)
May 1 (international applicant final deadline)
July 1 (domestic applicant final deadline)
USC Price offers many scholarship and graduate assistantships to domestic and international students. The USC Financial Aid Office also provides financial aid packages to U.S. citizens and eligible non-U.S. citizens for loans and work-study. Additional information is available in the Supplemental Admission and Financial Aid materials.
Scholarship awards are made at the time of admission. Applicants wishing to be considered for USC Price scholarships must complete their admission file by December 15 and turn in the USC Price Scholarship Application Form. Awards to new students are generally renewable for a second year, assuming satisfactory academic progress in accord with university-set standards for graduate students. Awards must be used toward a degree program in USC Price.
USC also participates in several federal loan programs. Graduate students demonstrating high financial need are considered for the Carl Perkins Loans and Stafford Student Loans—two low-interest loan programs—as well as for College Work Study grants. Students who do not qualify for these programs or continue to have unmet needs are encouraged to apply for Supplemental Loans for Students.
How to Apply
Online: Candidates may apply through USC’s graduate online application system at https://usc.liaisoncas.com. The online system allows you to electronically submit the entire application including USC Price supporting documents — except for official transcripts and a copy of test scores, which should be sent directly to USC Price at the mailing address below.
USC Price Recruitment and Admissions
650 Childs Way, RGL 111
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
Tel: (213) 740-0550
Fax: (213) 740-7573