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Academic Programs in Urban Planning and Related Fields
University of Southern California
Master of Urban Planning
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Email Website 213-740-0550

Urban planning is being reshaped by an explosion of data. The Price Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program is committed to bridging from innovations in data, visualization, and spatial analysis to the field’s core functions at the nexus of human behavior, policy, and the built environment. USC and the Price MUP program have a unique set of strengths at the intersection of spatial and visual analysis, big data, and media.

Yet simply focusing on data and technology will not bring more just cities. Big data and smart cities are too often applied in ways that are blind to questions of distribution, and that reinforce patterns of inequities. At USC Price, we are committed to linking from data to questions of equity and social justice. We have built a core curriculum that focuses on questions of justice and inclusion, and we are committed to leadership on those questions.

USC Price is ranked second overall among public affairs schools and first in urban policy in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report.

The Price MUP offers six areas of concentration: 

  • Arts and Culture
  • Design of the Built Environment
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental Planning and Analysis
  • Housing and Real Estate Development
  • Mobility and Transportation Planning

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 MUP. The program offers courses allowing students to specialize in social justice or international themes that complement their concentration studies.

Price MUP 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 MUP 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
[email protected]

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