Academic Programs in Urban Planning and Related Fields
University of Southern California
Ph.D. Urban Planning and Development
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Email Website 213-740-0550

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The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy’s Master of Planning (MPL) degree program prepares future leaders to improve the quality of life for urban residents and their communities locally, nationally and globally. USC Price School is ranked 2nd overall among public affairs schools – and No. 1 in the Urban Policy category – according to U.S. News & World Report.

The Price MPL offers five areas of concentration:  

Students may pursue dual degrees in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Public Health, Public Administration, Public Policy, and Real Estate Development, among others. They also may earn one of several graduate certificates in conjunction with the MPL. The program offers courses allowing students to specialize in social justice or international themes that complement their concentration studies.

The Price MPL program connects students to planning professionals at local, state, national and international levels, giving them the connections and experience needed to succeed in professional leadership roles.

Price MPL students can take advantage of nearly a dozen community-based labs or studios each year. Students work with clients and produce planning reports on real-world problems. Examples include:

Planning Studios

  • Proposing new uses for land occupied by a health center in City Heights, San Diego
  • Enhancing economic opportunity in Los Angeles’ garment district
  • Community elementary school relocation in City Heights, San Diego
  • Reducing homelessness in Skid Row, Los Angeles
  • Reducing truck congestion, Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  • Bicycle planning, downtown Los Angeles
  • Resilience, Los Angeles

International Labs

  • Housing plan for State of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Historic preservation in Varanasi, India
  • Eco-tourism in Costa Rica
  • Master-planned senior living in China
  • Urban redevelopment in Tokyo
  • World Cup/Olympic mega-events and neighborhood impacts in Rio de Janeiro
  • Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Hong Kong

USC Price School students find careers with many influential public and private companies and organizations.  Recent positions and employers hiring MPL graduates include:


  • Chief, Department of General Services, State of California
  • Director, Countywide Planning and Development, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Deputy Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Deputy Director, California Strategic Growth Council
  • Operations Manager, Port of Los Angeles
  • Special Assistant to the City Manager, City of Santa Ana
  • Sustainability Coordinator, County of San Mateo


  • Transportation Planner, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates
  • Senior Analyst, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Government Affairs Manager, Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles
  • Project Manager, Mesa Lane Partners Real Estate Development
  • Planner, MVE+Partners
  • Director of Government Affairs, Palomar Health
  • Director, Hilton Worldwide
  • Senior Consultant, Steer


  • Policy Director, Los Angeles Business Council Institute
  • Program Manager, The California Endowment
  • Project Manager, Homeland Security Advisory Council
  • Department Program Manager, Northeast Valley Health Corporation
  • Assistant Project Manager, Skid Row Housing Trust

Admissions Contact:
Sarah Esquivel
Associate Director of Recruitment and Admission

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