The USC Price School welcomes applications for the International Public Policy and Management Program from international professionals and U.S. professionals interested in working in an international setting.


Application Deadline
Application Materials
How to Apply



Successful applicants to IPPAM have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, diverse in terms of both prior academic fields of study (public administration, humanities and social sciences, international relations, business/economics, education, health care, communication, engineering, and natural sciences) and in terms of their occupational field (civil servant, city manager, legislative aide, urban planner, medical professional, teacher or educational administrator, broadcast or print journalist, international development worker, business entrepreneur or managerial assistant, law enforcement and public safety, military, and so forth).

To be considered for admission, candidates must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university and three or more years of relevant professional experience. Admission decisions are based on whether an applicant’s academic and professional interests align with the IPPAM program, the quality and duration of work experience, the applicant’s educational background and performance, interviews, application essay, letters of recommendation, and level of English proficiency.

Application Deadline

IPPAM Priority Deadline: March 15
International Student Final Deadline: May 1
Domestic Student Final Deadline: July 1

Applicants are encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible. There is no need to wait for TOEFL or IELTS results or letters of recommendation before submitting your application. It is strongly recommended that international applicants apply early and submit official transcripts immediately after applying.

Application Materials

The following items are required to complete the application process.

A USC Graduate Application — For step-by-step admission guidelines, visit the USC Office of Graduate Admission Web Site. Select Term “Summer” or “Fall.” Please note that summer admission is preferred. Fall admission may be selected if there are extenuating circumstances preventing a summer start. Then select “International Public Policy and Management – IPPAM (M.I.P.M.)” for Intended Program of Study.

Application fee of $90

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not a degree was earned. To be considered “official,” the transcript must be received by USC in an unopened envelope from your university. Transcripts should be mailed to the Price School Admissions Office. Print and complete the Transcript Cover Page for each college/university you have attended. Complete the form, sign it, and ask the registrar of each institution to attach it to your official transcript.

USC accepts some forms of e-transcripts. Please check with the institution you attended to see if they provide e-transcripts.

Please note that we accept only e-transcripts submitted via the following methods:

1. eSCRIP SAFE (Grad)
2. eTranscriptCA (CCC)
3. Texas Server (Grad)
4. University to University

If your school does not provide e-transcripts through one of these methods, you must submit a paper copy of your transcripts.  You may upload a copy of your transcript to the application portal to expedite the review process, but an official copy must also be mailed or transmitted electronically by your university.

A minimum of three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference from a professor who taught a course in which you were enrolled and at least one professional reference from a work supervisor or employer. Letters from family friends or from ESL schools generally do not count toward the requirement. Please note: Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. The Price School does not accept letters of recommendation through postal mail or an applicant’s email.

Current resume (submitted via online application – Employment Information upload).

Statement of Purpose (submitted via online application – Supporting Documents upload).  Aim for a length of  approximately 1,000-1,500 words. Describe:

  • Your reasons for applying to the International Public Policy and Management Program and how you see the program contributing to your professional goals or personal growth.
  • Your academic interests and the skills or knowledge you hope to gain.

The following items are required to complete the application process.

International applicants must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS Test Score.  The score report must be sent electronically from ETS for the TOEFL or from the IELTS test center.  The test must be dated no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC. For TOEFL scores, the institution code for USC is 4852 (no department code is required).To submit an IELTS score, please select the “University of Southern California” from the list of available institutions when you register to take the IELTS test. Do not enter the name, contact information or mailing address of the specific USC department to which you are applying on your IELTS registration. If you have already taken the IELTS, you may request that your test results be sent to USC by contacting the test center at which you took the test and requesting that your results be sent to the University of Southern California electronically, not by postal mail. You can search for contact details for all IELTS test centers. USC will only accept IELTS scores sent electronically from the IELTS test center where you took the test. Paper test report forms received by postal mail or email are not accepted. USC Graduate Admissions does not accept Duolinggo Test Scores as proof of English proficiency.

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, indicating the award of all degrees with the title and date conferred, in the applicant’s language of instruction and an exact translation into English of each document. The English translation may be provided in a separate document or as part of a dual-language transcript.  (Note: Transcripts from English as a Second Language (ESL) schools do not need to be submitted but the name of the ESL program and the dates of attendance should be noted as part of your educational history in the “Academic Background” section of the application).

If you are a international student planning to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must submit proof of adequate financial support and a copy of your passport. You must also submit passport copies for your dependents if they will be traveling with you to USC during your study period. 

While it is not necessary to submit your financial documents and a copy of your passport for your application to be reviewed, we highly recommend doing so early during the application process. This will help prevent possible delays in certifying your intent to enroll and receiving your I-20/DS-2019 in the event that you are admitted. To learn more about our costs, financial document submission guidelines and immigration procedures, please click here. Select Price School of Public Policy from the drop down menu.  See the costs for General Master’s Degrees.

It is possible that you do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa to attend USC. Please click here to determine if you are exempt from these visa categories.

How to Apply

Candidates must apply through USC’s Graduate Online Application System. The online system allows you to electronically submit the entire application — except for official transcripts, which should be sent directly to USC Price at the mailing address below, and TOEFL or IELTS test scores, which must be submitted by ETS or the IELTS Test Center.

If you have questions regarding the online application, please call (213) 740-6842 or e-mail [email protected]

USC Price Office of Admission
650 Childs Way, RGL 111
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
Tel: +1 (213) 740-6842
Fax: +1 (213) 740-7573
E-mail: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions







What is the desired length of work experience for admission?

We prefer candidates with at least 3 years of work experience. However, if you have significant internship or volunteer experiences, or an advanced degree, we can consider your application on a case-by-case basis.

What is the average GPA required for the admission?

GPA no lower than 3.0.

How many people are in each incoming class?

40 students. To learn more about our student population, please refer to Price School Student Facts.

How much does the program cost?

The IPPAM Program tuition for Academic Year 2019-2020 is approximately $65,000, which covers 32 units and includes all academic courses, seminars, academic enrichment workshops, distinguished guest lectures, site visits, various student activities, and on/off campus organization events. Tuition is subject to adjustment depending on official USC tuition, which is determined by the USC Board of Trustees each year.


Can I take classes in other programs?

Yes, students can take one or two classes in Price School with limited status.

Is a master’s thesis required for graduation?

A master’s project is required to obtain the degree, which is equivalent to a master thesis. IPPAM faculties and TAs will provide sufficient supports by working closely to ensure the completion.

How long is the program?

Students typically complete the program in 18 months or two full academic years. However, it can be accelerated for those who wish to finish earlier.


When are the application deadlines?

IPPAM Priority Deadline: March 15
International Student Final Deadline: May 1
Domestic Student Final Deadline: July 1
*IPPAM program may continue to accept applications until the class is filled.

Who should I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the online application?

If you encounter problems with technical aspects of the application, you can seek help by clicking the tech support button located at the top or bottom of the application.

Where do I mail my supplemental materials (transcripts and hard copy letters of recommendations)?

Application materials can be submitted to the following address: USC Price Admissions

650 Childs Way, RGL 111

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626

Can I send transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other materials before I submit my application online?

Yes. Please make sure that your name on all the documents that you submit are consistent and are exactly the same as the name appear on your application.

I have been out of school for a few years or more. Do I still have to submit an academic letter of recommendation?

When evaluating an applicant for admission, we are interested in both the academic and professional potential of an applicant. A letter of recommendation from a former professor aids the admission committee in determining the academic potential of a student.

Do I need to submit transcripts from all institutions where I attended classes but did not pursue a degree?

We recommend students submit transcripts from any and all colleges or universities where a student took course work that they either plan to list in their application or that appears on the transcripts from an institution where they did receive a degree.

How do I know that my application or application materials have been received?

Our staff works to process the materials in a timely fashion as soon as an application is submitted. You will be contacted within a couple weeks of application submission to inform you if any material is still missing. Once all materials are received, you will also receive an email notification that everything has been received. Please do not contact our office with inquiries until you first hear from us.


Is the GRE or the GMAT required for admission?

You do not need to have the GRE or GMAT result before applying but you must take the exam before the application deadline. This requirement can be waived if you have more than three years of professional working experience.

Who must provide English test scores and how recent must the scores be?

All international applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within two years of the intended first semester at USC (eg, no earlier than June 1 two years prior if applying for the summer semester or no earlier than August 1 two years prior if applying for the fall term).

Can I take the IELTS instead of TOEFL?


Can I waive the TOEFL/IELTS?

International applicants are exempt from submitting English-proficiency scores under the following circumstances:

You hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another Anglophone country. The bachelor’s degree should be earned at a regionally accredited university located in the United States, or at an officially recognized university in another country where English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country. Please note that the entire program needs to have been completed in the qualifying country.

Note: Dual-degree holders who completed part of their degree in the U.S. do not qualify for this waiver.

Your native language is English. This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec), where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction. USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration such as work experience, ESL enrollment, etc. It also cannot be waived for undergraduate programs taught in English in non-Anglophone countries, or for graduate degrees earned in the U.S. or other qualifying countries. To determine if USC requires TOEFL/IELTS/ PTE scores for the country of study, please check here.

What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score required?

USC does not set minimum scores for admission purposes. The scores listed below are used for placement purposes to determine if an admitted student will need to take an English placement test upon arrival at USC and/or English courses prior to or concurrent with enrollment in the IPPAM Program. English course work can be completed at USC International Academy. See its web page for application instructions and tuition fees.

For TOEFL: The minimum score* to be deemed English proficient is iBT 100 (Internet-Based Test) with no less than 20 in each subsection. IPPAM will consider applicants with TOEFL scores of 71 and above on a case-by-case basis.

For IELTS : The minimum score* is 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in each subsection. IPPAM will consider applicants with an IELTS of 6.0 and above on a case-by-case basis. If an applicant is admitted with an IELTS score that is less than the minimum, the applicant will be required to take English courses at the International Academy.

*Please note that the Price School standard for English proficiency for master’s programs is somewhat higher than that set by the university in its general guidelines.

What if my TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum English proficiency level?

If an applicant is admitted with a TOEFL or an IELTS score that is less than the minimum deemed to be English proficient, the applicant will be referred to the International Academy for coursework to strengthen English skills.

What is the institution code for the TOEFL?

Please use the institution code 4852 when registering for the TOEFL/IELTS.

In which languages do you need my transcripts?

Transcripts must be submitted in the native language used for instruction at the university AND in English.

Can I send my financial statement after I have been accepted?

The U.S. government requires all international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) before a formal letter of admission and an I-20 or DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate can be issued. A missing financial statement will delay the processing of the I-20 or DS-2019.

Do you have a special office to assist international students?

USC’s Office of International Services (OIS) offers a wide range of services, including help with official documents, immigration questions, employment, financial aid, and other practical matters. For questions about your I-20, please refer to the Ask USC page. More information for international student support can be found here.

How do I secure an I-20 for my family members?

There are two ways to do this:

You may obtain your own I-20, enter the United States and then apply for your family members’ I-20 forms through the USC Office of International Services (OIS). For more information, e-mail [email protected]. Alternatively, you may obtain I-20 forms for your family members before you arrive in the United States. You must provide the following information for each of your dependents:

Last (family), first (given) and middle name – exactly as each name appears on the passport. Please write the last name in all capital letters.

Date of birth (month/day/year)

Country of birth

Country of citizenship

Relationship to you (husband, wife, son or daughter)


What jobs do Price School graduates accept after graduating?

Graduates of the Sol Price School of Public Policy compete well in the job market. USC is well known for its strong alumni support network. The Sol Price School of Public Policy offers many opportunities for students to make the most of those contacts through professional support and guidance. The academic environment at the Price School is one that prepares applicants to become leaders in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Do Price School students live on or off campus?

Limited spaces are available in on-campus housing for graduate students. Most students choose to live off-campus in the nearby area or in other popular neighborhoods around Los Angeles. Information about on-campus housing can be found here.

Is the campus safe?

Student safety is a priority at USC. The university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is one of the largest campus public safety departments in the country, employing over 300 full-time personnel. DPS patrols not only on campus, but also the surrounding area 24/7 (see DPS patrol boundaries map). The Department offers a variety of services and innovative technology, such as the Campus Cruiser, TrojansAlert, and LiveSafe (a mobile safety app) to ensure the safety of our students. More information could be found on the DPS website.

More questions?

Please contact the IPPAM Office:

Joanna C. Yu, Ph.D.
Academic Director
International Public Policy and Management Program
3518 Trousdale Parkway, CPA 253
Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089–0041 USA

E–mail: [email protected]
Tel: +1.213.740.0547