University of Southern California
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Graduate Degrees

Master of Public Policy and Management

The International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM) Program offers a Master of Public Policy and Management (M.P.P.M.). The degree is designed for managers, planners and analysts involved in social sector programs who want to strengthen their management skills and further develop their policy analysis capabilities. For professionals working in the social sectors, IPPAM offers an opportunity to deepen their conceptual understanding of the forces driving change in their sectors and to develop an analytical approach for accessing and reshaping social policy. The program is well-suited for mid-career professionals working in the social sectors, such as physicians, nurses and pharmacists in the health professions; educators and administrators in the teaching professions; government regulators, managers and staff; community organizers, aid workers and others working in the NGO sector; and reporters and others in the news professions interested in covering social issues.

This program is specifically designed for international students and U.S. students who wish to work in international settings, including the Pacific Rim, Latin America and countries in other regions with evolving social systems.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 32 units. All students must fulfill core requirements (18 units) in fundamental policy analysis and management disciplines and an additional 14 units in an area of concentration chosen by the student. The core requirements include: PPD 501a Economics for Policy Planning and Development; PPD 542 Policy and Program Evaluation; PPD 569 Applied International Policy Analysis and Management Project; PPD 570 Applied Statistics for Planning, Policy and Management; and PPD 571 International Public Policy and Management Seminar.

Students select an area of concentration in which they complete a set of recommended elective courses. Each concentration allows students to pursue in depth one or more areas of particular relevance to their career goals. The concentration areas enable students in the interdisciplinary IPPAM program to establish a second “home” in one of the school’s programs, such as health administration or urban planning. Students are required to consult with IPPAM faculty advisors to choose elective courses from a recommended list of courses relevant to the M.P.P.M. degree.

Through the integrated curriculum, participants gain practical skills which are developed within an appropriate conceptual context. Many of the courses and applied projects integrate examples and data from the student’s home countries. Program graduates will have achieved advanced competency in disciplines that include public sector economics, applied methods for public policy analysis, evaluation and management.

Core faculty are drawn from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and include senior, experienced faculty along with leading practitioners and experts in applied fields such as community development, international trade policy, health care policy, and so forth. In addition to the participation of distinguished visiting scholars as guest lecturers in class sessions, the program features an international seminar on public policy and management with guest lectures by policy makers. The opportunity to interact with leading scholars, policy makers, and practitioners from the U.S. and abroad is an essential component of the program.

The program begins in mid-June with intensive English language workshops and the course in applied statistics. The language workshop can be waived for students with 250+ computer-based TOEFL scores or 600+ paper-based TOEFL scores. In the fall semester, international students transition into the regular program consisting of required courses and electives in their chosen concentration area. Some international students may be required to enroll in additional English language workshops depending on how they score on required English exams. Most students can expect to complete the program in 13 months. The intensive nature of the program is designed for full-time students who take a leave from work while enrolled in the program. This approach minimizes the amount of time that professionals must be away from their full-time careers to pursue an advanced degree.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and three to seven years of significant professional experience. The IPPAM Program office is located in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Von KleinSmid Center, Room 253, phone (213) 740-0547, fax (213) 821-1331, email: