USC
University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degree

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development offers the Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning. The school also offers 12 minors: children and families in urban America, construction planning and management, environmental planning and development, health policy and management, international policy and management, international urban development, law and public policy, public management, public policy, planning and development, urban neighborhood studies, and urban policy and planning.

Admission

Transfer students may indicate their desire to declare public policy, management and planning as a major on their university application. Students enrolled at USC wishing to declare public policy, management and planning must be in good academic standing.

Advisement

Students must discuss courses of study with the appropriate undergraduate advisors throughout their college enrollment and need to develop their own individual programs with faculty and staff advisors at the time of first enrollment and throughout their college careers.

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning

The Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning provides a broad interdisciplinary and preprofessional education for students interested in the analysis of and solutions to society's contemporary political, social and economic problems. It includes a set of core courses designed to introduce students to:

  • The fields of public policy, public management, and urban planning and development.
  • Analytic and research tools, including economics for public policy and planning, public policy and planning analysis, statistics, urban design and applied field research.
  • Key foundational themes cutting across the fields including: the role of citizenship; issues in public ethics; the relationship between government, business and the nonprofit sector; the role of urban place; and strategies of urban problem solving.
  • Professional careers and roles through an internship.

Students have the opportunity to pursue greater specialization and depth by completing five courses in one of four tracks that represent the academic strengths of the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, including:

  • public policy processes, issues and areas
  • managing public organizations
  • health policy and management
  • urban planning and development

Students are able to complete their study of policy, management and planning while having sufficient opportunity through electives to pursue other interests, including a minor, a second bachelor's degree or further specialization in their major.

Students with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a major GPA of 3.5 by the end of the junior year are eligible to enroll in a senior honors seminar.

Careers in Public Policy, Management and Planning

Graduates receive preparation for a variety of entry level professional positions in the public sector, in not-for-profit agencies and for-profit companies involved with public policy concerns or urban planning and development. Graduates are also prepared for law school and related careers in law, as well as for graduate work in such fields as policy analysis, business and public administration, urban planning, real estate development, health services administration, gerontology and social work.

General Education Requirements

The university's general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. Click here and here for more information.

Pre-major Requirements (12 units)

Math/Computer Languages
MATH 108 or MATH 116 or higher (4)

Economics
ECON 203 Microeconomics (4) and ECON 205 Macroeconomics (4)

General Electives (30 units)

Public Policy, Management and Planning Core Courses

core Courses (30 units)Units
PPD 225Public Policy and Management (gateway course)4
PPD 227Urban Planning and Development (gateway course)4
PPD 240Citizenship and Public Ethics4
PPD 245The Urban Context for Policy and Planning4
PPD 357Government and Business4
PPD 401Public Policy, Management and Planning Practices: Internship Seminar2
PPD 404xStatistics for Policy, Planning and Development4
PPD 473Public Policy and Planning Analysis4

Tracks

Students select one track for degree emphasis; they take 20 units (five courses) from the track selected.

Public Policy Areas and IssuesUnits
PPD 313Finance of the Public Sector4
PPD 342Crime and Public Policy4
PPD 343Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Public Policy4
PPD 350Urban Institutions and Policies4
PPD 352Los Angeles Mini Semester4
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 371The Nonprofit Sector and the Public Interest 4
PPD 372Public Service in an Urban Setting4
PPD 382International Development4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4
PPD 476Politics and Administration4
PPD 485U.S. Immigration Policy4

Public ManagementUnits
PPD 313Finance of the Public Sector4
PPD 316Human Resource Management for Public Organizations4
PPD 318Financial Accounting in Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 320Organizational Behavior in Public Administration4
PPD 343Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Public Policy4
PPD 382International Development4
PPD 402Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 403Management Analysis4
PPD 407Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 409Training and the Applied Behavioral Science4
PPD 476Politics and Administration4

Health POlicy and ManagementUnits
PPD 230Introduction to Health Policy and Management4
PPD 318Financial Accounting in Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 330Introduction to Health Care Systems 4
PPD 407Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 413Administration of Health Care Organizations4

Urban Planning and DevelopmentUnits

Required courses:
PPD 306Visual Methods in Policy, Management, Planning, and Development4
PPD 358Urban and Regional Economics4
PPD 417History of Planning and Development4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

Electives (select one):
PPD 343Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Public Policy4
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy 4
PPD 362Real Estate Fundamentals for Planning and Development4
PPD 382International Development4
PPD 425Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 435Analyzing Real Estate Markets for Planning and Development4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4

The faculty director of the undergraduate program may approve students' petitions to substitute or mix track classes if based on an appropriate academic/career rationale.

PPD 498 Senior Honors Seminar (4 units) may substitute for a track course.

Students taking the Washington semester may fulfill their internship requirements in lieu of PPD 401 and 8 units of their track requirement.

Internships

Public Policy, Management and Planning majors are required to complete at least one internship by enrolling in PPD 401 Public Policy, Management and Planning Practices: Internship Seminar or the Washington, D.C., Semester internship. Internships are matched as closely as possible to the student's interests and skills.

PPD 401 and the internship in a position provide numerous opportunities to develop and formulate future career goals, as well as to gain personal and professional experience while completing the undergraduate degree.

Semester Programs

The 8-unit and 16-unit semester programs allow the student to benefit from both traditional and experiential learning modes and to become involved in a particular area of professional activity.

Los Angeles Mini Semester
The Los Angeles Mini Semester program provides opportunities to study and experience metropolitan Los Angeles, its many diverse communities, and its centers of power, influence and tradition.

The Los Angeles Mini Semester is offered as an 8-unit program and consists of the urban foundation and the seminar.

The urban foundation provides an orientation to the study of urban affairs and serves as a conceptual framework for all other Los Angeles Mini Semester activities. Students may fulfill the university diversity requirement by completing the urban foundation.

The seminar offers an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at a specific urban issue. Typical seminar topics are housing, transportation, health care, education, or a particular neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Washington, D.C., Semester
The Washington, D.C., Semester program provides an intensive semester of confrontation with the political center of the nation and its complex components. The program offers opportunities for behind-the-scenes work in national government agencies and related organizations, combined with an academic environment and the chance to explore, share and learn with a group of fellow students. This program is administered by American University. Information may be obtained regarding the program in RGL 111.

Sacramento Semester
The Sacramento Semester is offered occasionally as a 16-unit program and, in the summer only, as an 8-unit program. The 16-unit program has four components seminar, field experiences, independent study and an internship; the 8-unit program consists of the seminar and the internship.

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning and Master of Planning

Students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success have the opportunity to earn both bachelor's and master's degrees in an accelerated degree program. This program allows students to earn both degrees in five years.

Admission

Admission is available at the freshman or transfer level. Students currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management, and Planning program must apply for admission to the combined degree program no later than their junior year.

General Education Requirements

The university's general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. Click here and here for more information.

Pre-major Requirements (12 units)

Math/Computer Languages
MATH 108 or MATH 116 or higher (4)

Economics
ECON 203 Microeconomics (4) and ECON 205 Macroeconomics (4)

General Electives (24 units)
Public Policy, Management and Planning Core Courses

core Courses (24 units)Units
PPD 225Public Policy and Management (gateway course)4
PPD 227Urban Planning and Development (gateway course)4
PPD 240Citizenship and Public Ethics4
PPD 245The Urban Context for Policy and Planning4
PPD 357Government and Business4
PPD 473Public Policy and Planning Analysis4

Urban Planning and Development track (20 units)Units

Required courses:
PPD 306Visual Methods in Policy, Management, Planning, and Development4
PPD 358Urban and Regional Economics4
PPD 417History of Planning and Development4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

Electives (select one):
PPD 343Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Public Policy4
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy 4
PPD 362Real Estate Fundamentals for Planning and Development4
PPD 382International Development4
PPD 425Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 435Analyzing Real Estate Markets for Planning and Development4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4

PPD 498 Senior Honors Seminar (4 units) may substitute for one elective in a track course.

Graduate Course Requirements

Core (16 units)Units
PPD 500Cross-Sectoral Governance4
PPD 524Planning Theory2
PPD 525Statistics and Arguing from Data2
PPD 526Comparative International Development2
PPD 527The Social Context of Planning2
PPD 528The Urban Economy2
PPD 529Legal Environment of Planning2

Specialization Methodology
Students select a 4-unit methodology specialization from the list in the Master of Planning description.4

Laboratory
PPD 531LCore Laboratory Workshop, or
PPD 532LInternational Planning and Development Laboratory Workshop8

Electives
Elective courses to total 16 units of which at least 8 must come from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development.

Awarding of Degrees

The Bachelor of Science and Master of Planning will be awarded simultaneously upon completion of all degree requirements. Students who elect not to complete the master's, must complete 128 units to earn the bachelor's degree, including 48 units of upper division PPD course work (including any graduate PPD classes).

Time Limits

All requirements for the Bachelor of Science and Master of Planning must be completed within seven years from the semester of admission. If not completed within that time, students will no longer be eligible for the master's degree but may still earn the bachelor's.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive written and oral examination is required if the candidate is also seeking a master's degree in planning. For specific policies, refer to the Master of Planning description.

Internship

All students must complete 400 hours of an internship. For specific policies, refer to the Master of Planning description.

Transfer of Credits

Graduate courses will not be accepted for transfer credit. Undergraduate classes may be transferred in accordance with university guidelines.

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies: Public Policy and Management

A wide range of USC undergraduates will enter professional and business positions in which issues related to environmental public policy and management will play an important role. This degree offers students the opportunity to study the growing professional field of environmental studies. The major combines a strong scientific foundation with professional courses in public policy and management and with electives from a variety of academic programs at USC. See Environmental Studies for course requirements.

Minor Programs

Minor in Children and Families in Urban America

What's happening to children and families in urban America? Students will examine changing demographics, economics, and cultures and the challenges of building communities that support families. They will assess innovative ways to improve access to and utilization of human services, including inter-professional practice, integrated services and community-based initiatives. Analysis of current social policies and policy reform initiatives will provide a framework for students who want to help improve student outcomes for children and families.

This minor includes courses from social work, planning, psychology, communication, education and other academic areas. It requires 22 units. See the USC School of Social Work section for course requirements.

Minor in Construction Planning and Management

This program covers the most current theories and practice of construction planning and management. The program provides a valuable adjunct credential to professional school students pursuing careers in business administration, public administration, environmental studies, and other areas; and a unique opportunity for professional focus to students in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Construction activities are complex. In contemporary society, effective planning and management of these activities requires specialized knowledge of the technical, economic and political environment. This program couples the knowledge of how construction activities are organized with a broader understanding of the urban system in which construction projects are embedded. With the exception of statistics, all of the required courses are within the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development.

Any USC undergraduate who has completed the equivalent of two full-time semesters in good standing is eligible to pursue the minor program. This minor program is rigorous enough to serve as an introductory credential for students subsequently electing to pursue advanced studies in development, urban planning, construction management or allied fields.

See the Department of Civil Engineering for course requirements.

Minor in Environmental Planning and Development

A wide range of USC undergraduates will enter professional and business positions in which issues related to environmental planning will play an important role. This minor offers students the opportunity to study the growing professional field of environmental planning. The minor combines a strong scientific foundation with professional courses in planning and development and with electives from a variety of academic programs at USC. It requires 32 units. See Environmental Studies for course requirements.

Minor in Health Policy and Management

This 24-unit minor in health policy and management provides students with a background in the institutions, policy and management issues in the field of health care and the skills necessary to pursue a range of health-related management and/or policy opportunities in the for-profit, nonprofit and governmental sectors. This minor is appropriate for students interested in pursuing careers in the health care field, especially students majoring in pre-health services fields, business, gerontology or the social sciences.

Required coursesUnits
PPD 230Introduction to Health Policy and Management (gateway course)4
PPD 330Introduction to Health Care Systems4
PPD 413Administration of Health Care Organizations4

ElectivesUnits

Choose three courses from one of the two tracks:

Health Issues Track
ECON 472*Economics of Medical Care4
GERO 416Health Issues in Aging4
GERO 421Managed Care for an Aging Society4
HP 412Health Promotion and Prevention Policy4
HP 420Gender and Minority Health Issues4
HP 422AIDS in Society4
SOCI 475Medical Sociology4

Health Management Track
ECON 472*Economics of Medical Care4
PPD 316Human Resource Management for Public Organizations4
PPD 318Financial Accounting in Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 320Organizational Behavior in Public Administration4
PPD 407**Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4

*Prerequisite: ECON 303
**Prerequisite: PPD 318

Minor in International Policy and Management

The minor in international policy and management brings together courses from the School of International Relations, dealing with the new global challenges, specific regions of the world, and international organizations and policies, and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, dealing with core management skills and public policy processes. Students will examine the changes and challenges which are transforming the world, and the policy and management skills used to deal with them. To increase their understanding of the context and application of these concepts, students must complete a semester-long internship either in Washington, D.C. (through participation in the Washington, D.C. semester program) or in Los Angeles with an organization that has an international focus.

Students minoring in international policy and management take three courses in international relations, including the gateway course, IR 305 Managing New Global Challenges; three courses in public policy and management; and an approved internship from either the School of International Relations (IR 491 Field Study) or from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development (PPD 401 Public Policy, Management, and Planning Practices: Internship Seminar). For additional course information, see International Relations.

Minor in International Urban Development

As the world shrinks, students are increasingly working in a global environment. Even those who are employed in the United States find the world a competitor, employees from around the world and customers of all nationalities. This minor addresses the needs of these students by introducing them to relevant urban, economic and social policy issues as they are framed in international settings.

The minor is open to all students except majors in international relations and urban planning and development. The minor is designed for students who wish to either work in the international arena or who expect that their professional careers will be affected by activities in that arena. Students should sign up for the minor in the International Relations student affairs office.

See International Relations for course requirements.

Minor in Law and Public Policy

The minor in law and public policy draws upon four fields of study: public policy and management, law, economics and political science. It provides students with an understanding of the political and economic contexts in which laws are made as well as how legal institutions shape policy formulation. Students learn to analyze the consequences of policy and alternatives; the roles played by government, business and nonprofit organizations in public decision making; and the legal bases for various areas of public policy.

Students minoring in law and public policy take six required courses, including the gateway class, PPD 225 Public Policy and Management, and one elective. The latter enables the student to focus on a specific area of law.

Required coursesUnits
ECON 203Principles of Microeconomics4
LAW 200xLaw and Society4
POSC 340Constitutional Law4
PPD 225Public Policy and Management4
PPD 404xStatistics for Policy, Planning, and Development4
PPD 473*Public Policy and Planning Analysis4

And one of the following:
BUAD 403Legal Environment of Business4
ECON 434Economic Analysis of Law4
POSC 345International Law4
POSC 347Environmental Law4
POSC 432The Politics of Local Criminal Justice4
POSC 440Comparative Law and the Judicial Process4
POSC 441Cultural Diversity and the Law4
POSC 444Civil and Political Rights and Liberties4
POSC 452Critical Issues in Law and Public Policy4

*Prerequisite: ECON 203, PPD 225, PPD 404x

Minor in Public Management

The 24-unit minor in public management provides the student with a basic introduction to management in the context of a public or nonprofit organization, an understanding of central managerial skills in accounting, financial management and human behavior, and the opportunity to choose between a general or human resource management elective track. This minor is appropriate for College of Letters, Arts and Sciences or professional school students planning to enter management level positions.

Required coursesUnits
PPD 318Financial Accounting in Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 320Organizational Behavior in Public Administration4
PPD 402Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4
PPD 407*Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4

*Prerequisite: PPD 318

Public Management ElectivesUnits

Choose two courses from one of the following tracks:

Management
PPD 403Management Analysis I4
PPD 476Politics and Administration4
PPD 482Comparative Public Administration4

Human Resources
PPD 316Human Resource Management for Public Organizations4
PPD 409Training and the Applied Behavioral Science4

Minor in Public Policy

This minor prepares students to understand the context, theory, formulation, analysis and implementation of public policy and allow them to choose two policy areas to apply their knowledge. The minor complements majors in fields such as sociology, economics, political science, history and gerontology.

Required coursesUnits
ECON 203Principles of Microeconomics 4
PPD 225Public Policy and Management4
PPD 404xStatistics for Policy, Planning, and Development4
PPD 473*Public Policy and Planning Analysis4

Public Policy Electives
Choose two courses from the following:Units
GERO 451Policy and Program Development in Aging4
POSC 347Environmental Law4
PPD 313**Finance of the Public Sector4
PPD 330Introduction to Health Care Systems4
PPD 342Crime and Public Policy4
PPD 350Urban Institutions and Policies4
PPD 357**Government and Business
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 371Nonprofit Sector and the Public Interest4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4
PPD 476Politics and Administration4

*Prerequisite: ECON 203, PPD 225, PPD 404x
**Prerequisite: ECON 203

Minor in Planning and Development

The minor in planning and development is an excellent complement to undergraduate study in a variety of fields. Insight into the planning and development process can broaden career choices and deepen understanding of allied major programs. Students majoring in American studies and ethnicity, economics, business administration, architecture, geography, gerontology, international relations, journalism and social work, to name a few, would gain from the cross-disciplinary perspective this minor provides.

Admission Requirements
A GPA of at least 2.0 and a grade of B or better in PPD 100 or PPD 250.

Curriculum Requirements
To earn the minor, students must complete a total of 24 units.

Course RequirementsUnits
PPD 100Los Angeles: The Enduring Pueblo, or
PPD 250Third World Cities4
PPD 227Urban Planning and Development4
PPD 306Visual Methods in Policy, Management, Planning and Development4
PPD 358Urban and Regional Economics4
PPD 417History of Planning and Development4

Choose one course from the following list of specialized courses:
PPD 360Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 362Real Estate Fundamentals for Planning and Development4
PPD 382International Development4
PPD 425Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

Minor in Urban Neighborhood Studies

The focus of this minor is on the quality of urban life at the scale of the neighborhood or district. This is the location of the places of residence and work, of education and religion, of everyday life. Neighborhoods are the fundamental building blocks of cities.

The minor is supported by the four "urban schools" of USC: Architecture, Education, Social Work, and Policy, Planning, and Development. The core studies are "hands-on" as a practicum in learning about neighborhoods and learning how the disciplines of the four schools provide the means for understanding and treating urban issues. The core courses are team taught by faculty from the collaborating schools.

See Interdisciplinary Programs for course requirements.

Minor in Urban Policy and Planning

The minor in Urban Policy and Planning focuses on the application of public policy, urban planning and public management to the analysis and solution of urban problems. It draws upon the interdisciplinary faculty and programs of the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and includes foundational courses that introduce students to the nature of urban phenomena and the analysis and solution of urban problems. The minor also introduces students to the professional and academic fields of either urban planning and development or public policy and public management. Additionally, based on their specific interests, students have the opportunity to explore in greater depth three areas and approaches of urban problem-solving. This minor is appropriate for students interested in expanding their understanding of the fields of urban planning and public policy and management as potential professional careers as well as increasing their comprehension of the analysis and solution of urban problems.

Required courses (12 units)Units

Foundational Courses (8 units)
PPD 225Public Policy and Management, or
PPD 227Urban Planning and Development4
PPD 245The Urban Context for Policy and Planning4

Organizations in the Urban Context (4 units)
PPD 402Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations4

Elective courses (12 units)Units

Students select three courses from this list. They are encouraged through advisement to consider course clusters that reflect special interests. (See examples.)
PPD 342Crime and Public Policy4
PPD 350Urban Institutions and Policies4
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 362Real Estate Fundamentals for Planning and Development4
PPD 371The Nonprofit Sector and the Public Interest4
PPD 372Public Service in an Urban Setting4
PPD 425*Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

*Prerequisite: PPD 306

examples of three-course clustersUnits

Real Estate/Housing
PPD 362Real Estate Fundamentals for Planning and Development4
PPD 425Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 435Analyzing Real Estate Markets for Planning and Development, or
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4

Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector Approaches to Problem Solving
PPD 371The Nonprofit Sector and the Public Interest4
PPD 372Public Service in an Urban Setting4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development, or
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

Sustainable Communities
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 425Designing Livable Communities4
PPD 461Sustainability Planning4

Critical Urban Policy Issues (any three)
PPD 342Crime and Public Policy4
PPD 350Urban Institutions and Policies4
PPD 360Urban Transportation Planning and Policy4
PPD 439Housing and Community Development4