University of Southern California

Master of Urban Planning

University of Southern California Campus

MUP Badge 2023The USC Price Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program prepares future leaders to improve the quality of life for urban residents and their communities worldwide by focusing on bridging social justice and innovations in data with the field’s core roles 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 social justice, spatial and visual analysis, big data, and media.

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. We train leaders and change agents, with a curriculum that focuses on emerging areas in urban planning and urban issues more broadly.

USC Price is ranked 3rd among the top five public affairs schools and 2nd in urban policy in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report.

Areas of Concentration

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

Sat Lab MUP Image

Gain Real-World Experience

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
  • Planning for bicycle sharing, downtown Los Angeles
  • The new landscape of supply chain 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) and transit-oriented development, 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

Quick Links

Contact Us

Sarah Esquivel
Associate Director of Recruitment and Admission
(213) 740-0399
[email protected]

Department Chairs

Marlon Boarnet
Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis
(213) 740-3696
[email protected]

Liz Falletta
Vice Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis
(213) 740-3267
[email protected]