PhD in Urban Planning and Policy

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Prior Degrees Applicants must typically have a master’s degree in Urban Planning or related program.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE General. Applicants may substitute the GMAT or LSAT.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (New Paper-Based—after August 2018); 550 (Institutional Testing Paper-Based—prior to August 2018), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required. A research statement, including the applicant's educational and professional goals, and detailing relevant academic and employment experience.
  • Other Requirements Applicants must submit a recent paper, essay, or project of which they are the sole author or designer. This material may be of an academic, professional, or personal nature, and must be at least 1000 words in length. Applicants for research assistantship positions are encouraged to submit a resume.
  • Deadlines The application deadline for this program is earlier than the Graduate College deadline; application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate, up to 64 from the master’s.
  • Course Work Students must demonstrate competency in urban theory, policy evaluation, statistics, and economic analysis through previous master’s degree or course work.
Course Title
Required Courses
Data Analysis for Planning and Management I (or alternate)
Workshop for Doctoral Students
Advanced Planning Theory
Research Design and Evaluation
Data Analysis for Planning and Management II
Qualitative Research Methods in Public Administration
  • Plan of Study Each student must have a written plan of study approved by an advisory committee.
  • Concentration Courses At least 28 hours must be taken in the area of concentration, selected in consultation with a faculty committee. At least 8 hours in advanced research design and methods are required in the area of concentration. Concentrations include:
  1. Spatial Planning
  2. Urban Transportation
  3. Community Development
  4. Economic Development
  5. Globalization and International Planning
  6. Or another faculty-approved concentration
  • Preliminary Examination Required; written. An oral examination may also be required at the discretion of the committee.
  • Dissertation Required.
  • Other Requirements
    • Career Training: Students must complete a collaborative faculty/student research project or classroom teaching under faculty supervision. No more than 12 hours of credit for career training can be applied to the degree.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: