USC Price School MPA Program

The MPA offered by the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy is a professional degree designed to prepare students for challenging careers in public administration. Established in 1929, the Price School MPA program is one of the oldest and most renowned programs of its kind and is consistently ranked in the top 10 among U.S. schools of public affairs by U.S. News & World Report. The USC Price School MPA program offers a variety of unique features, including its MPA in Sacramento option. Students can complete some or part of their MPA degree at the USC State Capital Center while gaining first-hand knowledge about the complex relationships between state, local and federal government. Students can also integrate their coursework with professional practice in the International Labs program, which allows students to provide consulting services in settings outside the United States. Another unique offering of the USC Price School is the public administration Progressive Degree program. Undergraduate students with a record of proven academic performance can earn both a BA or BS and an MPA in five years.


Top-Ranked MPA Designed to Prepare Tomorrow’s Public Service Leaders.
Multidisciplinary Curriculum with Real-World Experience; GRE Waivers Available.

Delivered by Syracuse University’s #1-Ranked Maxwell School.
Action-Oriented Curriculum Completed in as Little as 15 Months; No GRE.

MPA Online from USC Price
Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
The program can be completed in as few as 24 months. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.


USC Price School MPA Curriculum

The USC Price School MPA program requires students to complete four core courses, three management competencies courses and 14 units of specialization electives. The management competencies include topics in organizational behavior, finance and analytical methods. Students who have less than two years experience as full-time public-service professionals are also required to complete an internship in order to complete the degree. All students must complete a Capstone course, but no master’s thesis is required for graduation. Most full-time students complete the USC Price MPA Program within two to three years. Students can also attend on a part-time basis and complete the program in three to five years. USC places a five-year time limit upon completion of a master’s degree.

USC Price School MPA Specializations

The following specialization cluster areas are offered by the USC Price School; students can focus on one specialization area or select classes from among different areas:

  • Public Policy
  • Local Government
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Urban Planning
  • Civil Infrastructure
  • Political Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Financial Management
  • Environmental Management and Land-Use Policy
  • Intergovernmental Management
  • Public Policy

International Policy and Management In addition to these specialization areas, MPA students are free to design their own specializations and include courses from any discipline in the USC system. Courses taken outside the USC Price School MPA program must be approved by the program director.

USC Price School MPA Tuition

The total estimated tuition and fees for the USC Price School MPA program can be found on the school website.

USC Price School MPA Admissions

USC Price School places a premium on distinguished professional and academic achievement, and uses it as the primary criterion for admission to the MPA program. Information about program perquisites for the USC Price School MPA is available on the MPA Admission web page. Applications for the USC Price School MPA can be completed on the USC Graduate Admission web page.