B.S. in Urban Studies and Planning Curriculum


USC Price Core Curriculum (30 units)

Includes 2 units of internship and 4 units of capstone

  • PPD 225, Public Policy and Management
  • PPD 240, Citizenship and Public Ethics (GE class)
  • PPD 245, Urban Context for Policy and Planning (GE class)
  • PPD 303, Statistics for Policy, Planning and Development (pre-requisite, Math 117)
  • PPD 373 Public Policy and Planning Analysis (pre-requisite, PPD 225, PPD 303, and ECON 203)
  • PPD 300 Social Justice Issues in Public Policy and Planning

USC Price B.S. Urban Studies and Planning Tracks

20 units of required track courses, 8 units of track electives

Select one of the following tracks:

Cross-cutting topics courses (required)

Students will be required to take 4 units of cross-cutting topics coursework (PPD 400), preferably in junior year after having completed the core curriculum.


PPD 301 PPD Practices Internship Seminar
2-unit internship course


Students must have 90 units to pursue the capstone options.

1. PPD 431 Undergraduate Policy, Planning and Development Studio (4 units) — Studio class, four-units, designed to be project based, experiential or service learning, and integrative across multiple tracks.

2. PPD 497 Senior Thesis (2 units) — Students engage in a track-spanning research project, with a professional or academic paper as the final deliverable.

Pre-Major Requirements (8 units)

  • Math 117 (Introduction to Mathematics for Business and Economics)
  • Econ 203 (Principles of Microeconomics)

Writing Courses (8 units)

General Education


Combining Academic Rigor with Practical Experience

Our philosophy of teaching and learning balances the study of theory from many disciplines with skills to help graduates address real-world problems.

  • Faculty: Classes are taught by full-time Price faculty as well as distinguished practitioners. Instructors often invite leaders in urban issues for class discussions.
  • Internship: A semester-long internship project will give you practical experience with an organization that addresses urban problems.
  • Capstone Project: For a semester you will work with a client on a real-world urban issue in a city such as Los Angeles, Detroit, or Shanghai. You will explore the problem from several points of view and produce a final project that includes recommendations for solving it.
  • Expanding Communication Skills: Strengthen your writing, public speaking, and communication skills to converse more effectively with diverse urban communities. Use geographic information systems, social media analysis, and visualization tools to address issues facing cities.
  • The Living Laboratory of Los Angeles: USC, located in the heart of Los Angeles, provides a vibrant, world-class location for you to explore the dynamics of a large city and to experience, identify, and analyze urban problems. Through participation in community group meetings; interviews with nonprofit, government, and private sector leaders; and in-class discussions, you will gain expertise in the history, economics, and politics of urban issues in a national and international context.