University of Southern California
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Please note: Due to late revisions, some text on this page differs from what appears in the printed version of the USC Catalogue. The changes appear below as highlighted text, with corresponding explanations appearing in the right margin.

USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD), ranked seventh among graduate programs in public administration, public policy and public affairs by the 2008 U.S. News & World Report, prides itself on uniting theory with practice. Students taking classes at the USC Capital Center in Sacramento build professional networks while enjoying all the resources of a major research university.

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD) provides a dynamic learning environment where interdisciplinary education abounds. At SPPD, students choose a program of study from the independent yet related fields of public administration, public policy, health management and policy, urban planning, real estate development and executive leadership. Students are supported by a committed faculty who contribute to the strong sense of community present in the school.

SPPD’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad. Faculty across all its academic programs engage in solving some of society’s most pressing issues — and challenge students to do the same. SPPD is renowned for its expertise in areas such as: sustainability and the environment, health care policy, nonprofit management, housing and real estate, transportation, infrastructure, urban development and land use, social policy, governance, civic engagement, community development, immigration and risk analysis, among others.

Defining characteristics of SPPD are the depth of its academic classroom experience and connecting classroom theory to professional practice through practicums, internships and laboratory work locally, nationally and around the globe. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experiences to lead in their chosen field of practice.

Today’s complex challenges call for leaders who are able to work across disciplines and across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to find solutions. It is for this multidisciplinary reality that SPPD prepares its students.

SPPD students go on to hold high-ranking appointments in our nation’s capital, analyze and determine public policy, design new transportation systems, and redesign city, county, state and federal governance structures — in the United States and abroad. They lead health care reform efforts and manage the delivery of our health care services. They oversee operational aspects of our airports, railroad systems and harbors. They build healthy, sustainable communities, lead major nonprofit organizations, and shape our world for the better.

Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 312
(213) 740-0350
FAX: (213) 740-5379


Jack H. Knott, Ph.D., Dean

Elizabeth Graddy, Ph.D.*, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs

Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D.*, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Technology

Regina T. Nordahl, J.D., M.B.A., SPHR, Associate Dean, Administration

Carol A. Rush, M.P.A., Associate Dean, Student Affairs

Richard F. Callahan, D.P.A.*, Associate Dean, Clinical Professor and Director of State Capital and Leadership Programs, USC State Capital Center


C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean’s Chair: Jack H. Knott, Ph.D.

University Professor: Kevin Starr, Ph.D. (History)

Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society: Manuel Castells, Ph.D. (Communication)

Judith & John Bedrosian Chair in Governance & Public Enterprise: Dan Mazmanian, Ph.D.

Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance: Glenn A. Melnick, Ph.D.

C.C. Crawford Professor of Management and Performance: Anthony Bertelli, Ph.D.

Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government: Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D.*

James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning: Tridib Banerjee, Ph.D., FAICP*

James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning: Harry W. Richardson, M.A.

Lusk Chair in Real Estate: Richard K. Green, Ph.D. (Business)

Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business and the Economy: Elizabeth Graddy, Ph.D.*

Emery Evans Olson Chair in Nonprofit Entrepreneurship & Public Policy: James M. Ferris, Ph.D

Norman Topping/National Medical Enterprises Chair in Medicine and Public Policy: Dana Goldman, Ph.D.

Judge Widney Professor and Chair: Leonard D. Schaeffer

Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Citizenship and Democratic Values: Terry L. Cooper, Ph.D.

Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration: Chester A. Newland, Ph.D.*

William M. Keck Professor of Energy Resources: Donald Paul, Ph.D. (Engineering and Earth Sciences)

Professors: Raphael Bostic, Ph.D.; Gerald Caiden, Ph.D.*; Manuel Castells, Ph.D. (Communications); Ann Crigler, Ph.D. (Political Science); Elizabeth Garrett, J.D. (Law); Peter Gordon, Ph.D. (Economics); Howard Greenwald, Ph.D.; Eric Heikkila, Ph.D.; Alan Kreditor, M.C.P., AICP; Martin Krieger, Ph.D.; Jacquelyn McCroskey, Ph.D. (Social Work); James Moore II, Ph.D. (Engineering); Dowell Myers, Ph.D.; Robert C. Myrtle, D.P.A.*; Michael Nichol, Ph.D. (Pharmacy); Harry Pachon, Ph.D.; Manuel Pastor, Ph.D. (Geography and American Studies and Ethnicity); Jane Pisano, Ph.D.; Jon Pynoos, Ph.D. (Gerontology); David Sloane, Ph.D.; Richard A. Sundeen, Ph.D.*; Robert Suro (Journalism); Shui Yan Tang, Ph.D.*; Detlof von Winterfeldt, Ph.D. (Engineering); Priscilla Wohlstetter, Ph.D. (Education)

Associate Professors: Darius Lakdawalla, Ph.D.; Juliet Musso, Ph.D.*; Gary Painter, Ph.D.; Christian Redfearn, Ph.D.; Peter Robertson Ph.D.*; Lisa Schweitzer, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Sellers, Ph.D., (Political Science); Kathleen Wilber, Ph.D. (Gerontology)

Assistant Professors: Elizabeth Currid, Ph.D.; Nicole Esparza, Ph.D.; Jenny Schuetz, Ph.D.; David Suarez, Ph.D.; Vivian Wu, Ph.D.

Distinguished Fellow: Stan Ross, Honorary J.D.

Senior Fellows: William B. Fulton, Ph.D.; Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Ph.D.; Richard G. Little, AICP; Mark Pisano

Research Professors: Hilda Blanco, Ph.D.; Stephen Hora, D.B.A.; Donald L. Paul, Ph.D. (Engineering and Earth Sciences); Adam Rose, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor: Christopher Weare, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professors: Joshua Newell, Ph.D.; John Romley, Ph.D.

Clinical Professors: Richard Callahan, D.P.A.; Elisabeth Kersten, M.P.A.; Leonard Mitchell, M.A., M.B.A., J.D.

Teaching Associate Professor: LaVonna B. Lewis, Ph.D.

Teaching Assistant Professors: Elizabeth Falletta, M.R.E.D.; WilliamTroost, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professors: Jonathan Brown, D.P.A.; Garrett Capune, Ph.D.; Robert Champion, M.R.E.D.; Charles Cicchetti, Ph.D.; Thomas Collins, Ed.D.; Tim Gage, M.P.P.; Patrick G. Hays, M.H.A.; Stanley Iezman, J.D.; Patrick Kapsner, M.P.A., FACMPE; Catherine Kay, J.D.; Michael Keston, M.B.A.; Dora Kingsley, D.P.A.; Allan Kotin, M.A.; Ehud Mouchly, M.A.; Ira Norris, M.B.A.; Tomson Ong, J.D., Ph.D., L.L.M.; Erroll Southers, M.P.A.; Frank Wein, D.P.D.S., AICP; David Wilcox, M.C.P.; Henry Zaretsky, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professors: Austin Anderson, M.B.A.; Bruce Baltin; William Barcellona, M.H.A., J.D.; Janis Breidenbach, M.A.; Ali Farahani, Ph.D.; James Fawcett, Ph.D.; Richard Garcia, D.P.A.; Guillermo Gil, M.B.A.; Daniel Haverty, D.P.A.; Lori Howard, Ph.D.; Robert Ingenito, M.A.; Bryan Jackson, J.D.; Daniel Jordan, Ph.D.; Steven Kellenberg, M.A.U.D.; Michael Kodama, M.A.; Thomas Lando, D.P.A.; Carl Meyer, M.Arch.; James Osterling, M.B.A.; Maurice Rahimi, Ph.D.; Ellen Riley, M.B.A.; Desmond Saunders Newton, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Schaffer, M.P.A.; Susan Sinclair, M.B.A.; Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D.; Helene Smookler, Ph.D.; Robert Smythe, B.S.; Donna Staal, D.P.A.; Halil Toros, Ph.D.; Deborah Torres, M.Arch.; Clyde Wesp, M.D.; Jack Wong, M.A.; Frank Zerunyan, J.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Michael Carter, M.P.H.; Terri Dickerhoff, M.R.E.D.; Jeffrey Green, M.H.A.; Earl Greenia, Ph.D.; Richard A. Hagy, Ph.D.; Donald Morgan, Ph.D.; Mark E. Oliver, M.R.E.D.; Chris Van Gorder, M.P.A.; Chris Wilson, M.B.A.

Emeritus Professors: William C. Baer, Ph.D., AICP; Robert Biller, Ph.D.; Robert M. Carter, D.Crim.; T. Ross Clayton, Ph.D.; Lois Friss, Dr.P.H.; John Gerletti, Ed.D.; David Mars, Ph.D.; Alexander McEachern, M.A.; E.K. Nelson, D.P.A.; William Petak, D.P.A.; Francine Rabvinovtiz, Ph.D., AICP; Warren Schmidt, Ph.D.; Gilbert Siegel, Ph.D.; Robert Stallings, Ph.D.; Robert E. Tranquada, M.D.; Joseph S. Wholey, Ph.D.; William J. Williams, D.P.A.

Emeritus Associate Professor: Wesley E. Bjur, Ph.D.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degrees Offered

The School of Policy, Planning, and Development offers the following degrees:
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Executive Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering (with Industrial and Systems Engineering)
  • Executive Master of Leadership
  • Master of Public Policy and Management
  • Master of Planning
  • Master of Planning and Development Studies
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Real Estate Development
  • Master of Construction Management (with Architecture, Business and Engineering)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Development
  • Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development

The Bachelor of Science and the school’s master’s degrees are also offered jointly as a progressive five-year program and the school participates in the following interdisciplinary 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
  • Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Public Management
  • Public Policy
  • Planning and Development
  • Real Estate Development
  • Urban Neighborhood Studies
  • Urban Policy and Planning
This new program is available beginning fall 2010.

The Master of Planning is offered as a dual master’s degree with programs in architecture, landscape architecture, business administration, economics, gerontology, international relations, public administration, public health, public art studies, public policy, real estate development and social work.

The name for this program will change to "art and curatorial practices in the public sphere" beginning fall 2011.

The Master of Public Administration is offered as a dual master’s degree with programs in planning, gerontology, international relations, Jewish communal service, law and social work.

The Master of Real Estate Development is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor and Master of Planning.

The Master of Health Administration is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Science in Gerontology.

The Master of Public Policy is offered as a dual degree with programs in law and planning.

National Honor Societies

Pi Alpha Alpha
Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society for public affairs and administration. Graduate students in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development who have completed at least 18 semester units and have earned a 3.7 grade point average are eligible for membership.
Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for students in public administration, political science, and international relations. Students who have completed at least three courses from among these fields and have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average are eligible to apply.