University of Southern California

Price School of Public Policy

Graduate Degrees

Graduate Professional Labs

USC’s Price School of Public Policy offers professional consulting-like experience for graduate students in its core master’s degree programs. Participants are presented with a challenging professional assignment and a well-defined client and terms of reference. Students typically work in teams to produce a professional report and related materials that are presented to the client at the close of the assignment. The terms of reference for the lab vary each year depending upon the client, the instructor and the setting, among other considerations.

In principle, these professional labs may be held anywhere, either in Los Angeles, elsewhere in the United States or abroad.

The Price School professional laboratory teaches students to integrate scholarly knowledge with professional practice. Likewise, it helps participants make the transition from the classroom back to a “real world” setting. In the case of international labs, participants also gain a deeper and more direct understanding of how the culture of professional practice can vary from one setting to the next. Through the Price School professional laboratory students build their credentials and experience while also extending their network of professional contacts.

These professional labs are intended primarily for graduate students in public administration, planning, real estate development, public policy and health administration. A distinctive feature of the professional laboratory is that it is intended as an integrative professional experience across the school, so that students from any of these programs may participate fully.

Each summer the Price School offers one or more international labs/workshops. Recent international labs have been held in China, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Italy and Vietnam. All students are encouraged to take at least one international lab course.

Exchange Program

The Hertie School of Governance exchange program is a one-semester exchange program offered during the fall semester. The program will provide opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to become global leaders and succeed in a global market. All instruction is in English; proficiency in a foreign language is not required. Courses completed at the Hertie School of Governance are graded credit/no credit on the student’s USC transcript. The courses are selected from a list approved by the Price School of Public Policy. Students must work with their program administrator to understand how the courses will return to their degree.