University of Southern California
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USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development offers an interdisciplinary approach that educates students to serve as innovators. The 2008 U.S. News & World Report ranked SPPD seventh among graduate programs in public administration, public policy and public affairs. "Public administration is about public service," said Shui Yan Tang (right), director of the Master of Public Administration program. "It's running our cities, government agencies and nonprofits. Our goal is to prepare students to be leaders who will solve today's critical social problems."

The mission of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD) is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad. The school achieves this mission through education and research that promote innovative solutions to the most critical issues facing society.

SPPD offers a distinctive combination of public affairs and urban development disciplines: public management/administration, public policy and health administration; and urban planning and real estate development. Through its interdisciplinary education, impactful research, international initiatives and active engagement with policymakers, practitioners and communities, SPPD trains leaders to meet the unique challenges of today's increasingly global, interconnected world. The school also works at the intersection of the public, private and nonprofit sectors, where practical solutions to current and future problems can be found.

SPPD alumni include mayors and city council members; city managers and planners; leaders in nonprofit organizations; industrial real estate developers and home builders; policy analysts at the federal, state and local levels; healthcare managers who run some of the nation's most complex healthcare organizations; and a wide range of positions in the federal government. The school's international alumni are equally accomplished, with many of them serving as high-ranking officials in their home countries, particularly in the Pacific Rim. Finally, graduates of SPPD's doctoral programs become faculty members at premier universities in the United States and around the world.

The school's diverse programs allow students to delve into a wide range of traditional and emerging fields of knowledge, develop first-rate professional skills, engage their personal values and ethical choices, and recognize the core principles from several scholarly disciplines and how they are best applied in professional and scholarly pursuits. SPPD is strongly committed to preparing ­students to become innovators in their fields and leaders who can make a vital impact on communities and groups, locally and globally.

Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 312
(213) 740-0350
FAX: (213) 740-5379


Jack H. Knott, Ph.D., Dean

Elizabeth Graddy, Ph.D.*, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs

Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D.*, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Technology

Regina T. Nordahl, J.D., M.B.A., SPHR, Associate Dean, Administration

Carol A. Rush, M.P.A., Associate Dean, Student Affairs

Richard F. Callahan, D.P.A.*, Associate Dean for State Capital and Leadership Programs, USC State Capital Center


C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean's Chair: Jack H. Knott, Ph.D.

University Professor: Kevin Starr, Ph.D. (History)

Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society: Manuel Castells, Ph.D. (Communication)

Judith & John Bedrosian Chair in Governance & Public Enterprise: Dan Mazmanian, Ph.D.

Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance: Glenn A. Melnick, Ph.D.

Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government: Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D.*

James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning: Tridib Banerjee, Ph.D., FAICP*

James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning: Harry W. Richardson, M.A. (Economics)

Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business and the Economy: Elizabeth Graddy, Ph.D.*

Lusk Chair in Real Estate: Richard K. Green, Ph.D. (Business)

Emery Evans Olson Chair in Nonprofit Entrepreneurship & Public Policy: James M. Ferris, Ph.D.

Judge Widney Professor and Chair: Leonard D. Schaeffer

Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Citizenship and Democratic Values: Terry L. Cooper, Ph.D.

Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration: Chester A. Newland, Ph.D.*

Professors: Raphael Bostic, Ph.D.; Gerald Caiden, Ph.D.*; Manuel Castells, Ph.D. (Communications); Ann Crigler, Ph.D. (Political Science); Elizabeth Garret, J.D. (Law); Peter Gordon, Ph.D. (Economics); Howard Greenwald, Ph.D.; Eric Heikkila, Ph.D.; Alan Kreditor, M.C.P., AICP; Martin Krieger, Ph.D.; Jacquelyn McCroskey, Ph.D. (Social Work); James Moore II, Ph.D. (Engineering); Dowell Myers, Ph.D.; Robert C. Myrtle, D.P.A.*; Michael Nichol, Ph.D. (Pharmacy); Harry Pachon, Ph.D.; Manuel Pastor, Ph.D. (Geography and American Studies and Ethnicity); Jane Pisano, Ph.D.; Jon Pynoos, Ph.D. (Gerontology); David Sloane, Ph.D.; Richard A. Sundeen, Ph.D.*; Robert Suro (Journalism); Shui Yan Tang, Ph.D.*; Detlof von Winterfeldt, Ph.D. (Engineering); Priscilla Wohlstetter, Ph.D. (Education)

Associate Professors: Catherine G. Burke, Ph.D.; Juliet Musso, Ph.D.*; Gary Painter, Ph.D.; Christian Redfearn, Ph.D.; Peter Robertson Ph.D.*; Jeffrey Sellers, Ph.D., (Political Science); Kathleen Wilber, Ph.D. (Gerontology)

Assistant Professors: Elizabeth Currid, Ph.D.; Nicole Esparza, Ph.D.; Jenny Schuetz, Ph.D.; Lisa Schweitzer, Ph.D.; David Suarez, Ph.D.; Vivian Wu, Ph.D.

Distinguished Fellow: Stan Ross, Honorary J.D.

Senior Fellows: William B. Fulton, Ph.D.; Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Ph.D.; Richard G. Little, AICP; Mark Pisano

Research Professors: Don Kleinmuntz, Ph.D.; Donald L. Paul, Ph.D. (Engineering and Earth Sciences); Adam Rose, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor: Christopher Weare, Ph.D.

Clinical Professors: Richard Callahan, D.P.A.; Leonard Mitchell, M.A., M.B.A., J.D.

Clinical Associate Professor: LaVonna B. Lewis, Ph.D.

Teaching Assistant Professor: Elizabeth Falletta, M.R.E.D.

Adjunct Professors: Jonathan Brown, D.P.A.; Garrett Capune, Ph.D.; Robert Champion, M.R.E.D.; Charles Cicchetti, Ph.D.; Thomas Collins, Ed.D.; Patrick G. Hays, M.H.A.; Stanley Iezman, J.D.; Patrick Kapsner, M.P.A., FACMPE; Catherine Kay, J.D.; Elisabeth Kersten; Michael Keston, M.B.A.; Dora Kingsley, D.P.A.; Allan Kotin, M.A.; Ehud Mouchly, M.A.; Ira Norris, M.B.A.; Tomson Ong, J.D., Ph.D., L.L.M.; Erroll Southers, M.P.A.; Frank Wein, D.P.D.S., AICP; David Wilcox, M.C.P.; Michael Woo, M.C.P.; Henry Zaretsky, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professors: Austin Anderson, M.B.A.; Bruce Baltin; William Barcellona, M.H.A., J.D.; Janis Breidenbach, M.A.; Ali Farahani, Ph.D.; James Fawcett, Ph.D.; Richard Garcia, D.P.A.; Guillermo Gil, M.B.A.; Lori Howard, Ph.D.; Bryan Jackson, J.D.; Daniel Jordan, Ph.D.; Steven Kellenberg, M.A.U.D.; Michael Kodama, M.A.; Thomas Lando, D.P.A.; Carl Meyer, M.Arch.; James Osterling, M.B.A.; Maurice Rahimi, Ph.D.; Ellen Riley, M.B.A.; Susan Sinclair, M.B.A.; Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D.; Helene Smookler, Ph.D.; Robert Smythe, B.S.; Deborah Torres, M.Arch.; Clyde Wesp, M.D.; Jack Wong, M.A.

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Michael Carter, M.P.H.; Terri Dickerhoff, M.R.E.D.; Jeffrey Green, M.H.A.; Earl Greenia, Ph.D.; Richard A. Hagy, Ph.D.; Robert Ingenito, M.A.; Donald Morgan, Ph.D.; Mark E. Oliver, M.R.E.D.; Donna Staal, D.P.A.; Chris Van Gorder, M.P.A.; Chris Wilson, M.B.A.

Emeritus Professors: William C. Baer, Ph.D., AICP; Robert Biller, Ph.D.; Robert M. Carter, D.Crim.; T. Ross Clayton, Ph.D.; Lois Friss, Dr.P.H.; John Gerletti, Ed.D.; David Mars, Ph.D.; Alexander McEachern, M.A.; E.K. Nelson, D.P.A.; William Petak, D.P.A.; Francine Rabvinovtiz, Ph.D., AICP; Warren Schmidt, Ph.D.; Gilbert Siegel, Ph.D.; Robert Stallings, Ph.D.; Robert E. Tranquada, M.D.; Joseph S. Wholey, Ph.D.; William J. Williams, D.P.A.

Emeritus Associate Professor: Wesley E. Bjur, Ph.D.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degrees Offered

The School of Policy, Planning, and Development offers the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Executive Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering (with Industrial and Systems Engineering)
  • Executive Master of Leadership
  • Master of Public Policy and Management
  • Master of Planning
  • Master of Planning and Development Studies
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Real Estate Development
  • Master of Construction Management (with Architecture, Business and Engineering)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Policy, Planning, and Development
  • Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development

The Bachelor of Science and the school's master's degrees are also offered jointly as a progressive five-year program and the school participates in the following interdisciplinary minors:

  • Children and Families in Urban America
  • Construction Planning and Management
  • Environmental Planning and Development
  • Health Policy and Management
  • International Policy and Management
  • International Urban Development
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Public Management
  • Public Policy
  • Planning and Development
  • Real Estate Development
  • Urban Neighborhood Studies
  • Urban Policy and Planning

The Master of Planning is offered as a dual master's degree with programs in architecture, landscape architecture, business administration, economics, gerontology, international relations, public administration, public art studies, public policy, real estate development and social work.

The Master of Public Administration is offered as a dual master's degree with programs in planning, gerontology, international relations, Jewish communal service, law and social work.

The Master of Real Estate Development is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor and Master of Planning.

The Master of Health Administration is offered as a dual degree with the Master of Science in Gerontology.

The Master of Public Policy is offered as a dual degree with programs in law and planning.

National Honor Societies

Pi Alpha Alpha
Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society for public affairs and administration. Graduate students in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development who have completed at least 18 semester units and have earned a 3.7 grade point average are eligible for membership.

Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for students in public administration, political science, and international relations. Students who have completed at least three courses from among these fields and have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average are eligible to apply.