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Sol Price School of Public Policy: Empowering people through research and action

As the 21st century continues to unfold, strands and textures of society intersect in unexpected ways. Much of this occurs across booming urban populations — in the United States and around the world — giving rise to new challenges or further complicating those that have not been adequately solved.

Sustainability, healthcare, immigration, infrastructure, urban development, social policy, affordable housing, and governance – these are just a few of the modern issues that require leaders to look beyond their area of expertise to find the most effective solutions. They are challenges that call on a new generation of creative thinkers to reach beyond the status quo.

Solving societal issues of such complexity requires not only great minds but also great action, which is why both students and faculty of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy are undoubtedly leading the way.

Located in Los Angeles, California, the Price School attracts students from a range of disciplines who utilize the university’s unique location to lead from the West. The school offers graduate degrees in Health Administration, Urban Planning, Public Policy, and Public Administration. They also offer a Masters in International Public Policy and Management.

Research that informs worldwide

The Price School not only provides students with the education needed to make an impact upon completion of their studies, it is also home to a number of world-class research centers that allow students to influence their fields while attending university.

With more than $35 million put toward research in the form of contracts and grants, the Price School is an ideal place for any student seeking to discover innovative solutions to planning, policy, and management challenges. Here are just a few examples of the work being done at the Price School’s 13 research centers and institutes:

The Sol Price Center for Social Innovation aims to advance ideas, strategies, and practices that enhance the quality of life for people in urban communities. Currently, the Center serves as academic partner for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s South Los Angeles Promise Zone.

Over the next 10 years, researchers will evaluate data to measure outcomes and assess impacts of work done by the Promise Zone collaborative, providing many opportunities for faculty and students to engage in this vital area of study.

Researchers at the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics impact the fields of healthcare and economics through evidence-based policy solutions, engaging major players in both the private and public sectors.

One example of work being done at the Center is the Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy. In partnership with the Center for Health Policy at the Brooking Institution in Washington, DC, the Schaeffer Initiative offers solutions on reforming the Affordable Care Act and the individual health insurance market, improving competition among providers and insurers, making drug pricing more rational, modernizing the Medicare program, and addressing pressing public health challenges.

The METRANS Transportation Center is a US Department of Transportation-funded University Center that focuses on increasing the economic competitiveness of large metropolitan areas through improved transportation system performance.

One project underway is an efficiency study that involves freight experts from academia, industry and government.

Professor Genevieve Giuliano and her team are researching ways to increase the environmental efficiency of the freight system by 25 percent by the year 2030 while improving its ability to move cargo more efficiently and at a lower cost; research that promises to have a lasting and significant impact on both climate change and the urban environment.

The USC Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise is dedicated to understanding and fostering effective democratic governance. USC researchers, in collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners, recently completed an impactful study on housing affordability, finding that small and medium multifamily houses are overlooked in the US as part of the solution to housing affordability challenges.

In addition to its influential research, the Bedrosian Center also provides students with numerous opportunities to discuss issues with practitioners in the field through programs such as Lunch with a Leader and the Holt Lecture series.

As it strives to facilitate Southern California’s sustainable economic development, the USC Center for Economic Development leads an important project known as the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California (AMP SoCal).

AMP SoCal collaborates with organizations in both public and private sectors, across government, academia and industry to strengthen the region’s aerospace and defense manufacturing economy.  In the first 18-months of AMP SoCal, the partnership has brought more than $135 million in federal funding and has created more than 4,350 jobs and retained 1,950 roles within the Southern California aerospace and defense sector.

In 2012, former California Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger established the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. The Institute regularly convenes high level government officials at USC to address serious challenges of education, energy and the environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform.

Recently, the Institute, in partnership with Pure Earth, hosted a roundtable briefing at USC featuring the latest work of the Global Commission on Pollution and Health. Their work examined the economic costs of pollution – estimated at over $4 trillion annually – and provided a list of solutions and best practices from a number of pilot programs currently being used to clean up some of the most toxic sites in under-developed regions throughout the world.

For nearly 90 years, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has earned the public trust by creating trailblazing research and scholarship that improves the quality of life for people and their communities, worldwide.

The School is leading the way in the most necessary aspects of global change, and its students are a key ingredient in this. Studying here won’t just mean learning the rules of the game – at the USC Price School you rewrite them.

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