USC Price School of Public Policy

Research at USC Price


Academic research is a hallmark of the Price School of Public Policy. USC Price not only takes a traditional scholarly approach to research by developing new theories and analytical methods, it also goes beyond the laboratory to engage in real-world problem solving. In addition, USC Price reaches across its disciplines – in public policy, urban planning, public administration, health policy and administration, and real estate development – to find meaningful solutions to the most critical issues facing our communities and our society.

Collectively, the USC Price faculty rank third at USC in terms of per capita research grants — a reflection of both their productivity and the quality of their research. USC Price faculty research is supported from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, federal and state government agencies, and many foundations. In 2014-15, the Price School’s external funding totaled $49.9 million.

Research Opportunities for Students

Research at USC Price

Students have many opportunities to engage in USC Price research. They may work as graduate and undergraduate research assistants, participate in student research conferences, and attend the many research seminar series offered within the school. USC Price research is frequently collaborative and often interdisciplinary, involving not only USC Price faculty and students, but also faculty and students from engineering, the social sciences, education, health sciences, or business. Many of the school’s research activities take place under the auspices of its nationally and internationally known research centers and groups.

Research Activities

USC Price research may be described in three broad, cross-disciplinary categories: governance, policy solutions, and sustainable urban development:

Governance: USC Price’s governance research focuses on the institutions and policy-making processes by which societies make their major collective decisions. It is concerned with how best to legislate, regulate, manage and provide public goods and services — particularly as the roles of federal, state, and local governments change; and private and nonprofit sectors take on more traditionally “public” activities. USC Price governance research deals with topics such as leadership, decision making, and management of public, private, and nonprofit institutions; democratic processes; the design of effective institutional structures for the delivery of services; the role of the private sector in public services; and citizen participation.

Policy Solutions: USC Price policy research addresses specific solutions to the major issues facing society. It deals with environmental regulation, monetary policy, education reform, affordable housing, healthcare, economic development, immigration, and population and demographic changes. It focuses on infrastructure and transportation policy issues as well as access to – and the financing of – healthcare. USC Price’s strength in policy analysis is a distinguishing quality of the school’s policy research.

Sustainable Urban Development: Communities that are healthy for people and the environment depend on both physical infrastructure, urban design, and social services. The availability and configuration of roads, public transportation, schools, neighborhoods, shopping centers, parks and water systems all contribute to community well-being and a sense of place. Similarly, effective health and safety systems are essential. USC Price research seeks to design healthy and sustainable communities both in the short run and for decades to come.

USC Price Research Centers and Initiatives: