Ph.D. in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design (UPPD)

The general aim of the program is for students to develop the research and teaching skills of urban planners and policymakers to enable them to assume leadership positions at universities, in governmental agencies, and in non-governmental organisations.

The formal statement of objectives of the Ph.D. program reads as follows:

The Ph.D. programme in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design (UPPD) in the School of Urban Planning (SUP) aims to prepare students to conduct high-quality inter-disciplinary research and teaching in several fields including urban planning, urban design, the management of urban areas, and in broader issues of urban policy, in North America and international contexts.

Program overview

The nominal duration of the program is four years: two years for coursework, comprehensive examinations, and thesis proposal, followed by two years for research and writing. In some cases, research and writing start during the first phase as students begin working on discrete elements of their thesis as part of their coursework or as part of research assistantships. In other cases, students spend the first years of the program thinking through the issue they want to study and coming up with a cutting-edge research question, which they then explore.

In their first year of study, students take required courses in theory, methods, and substantive areas of interest. In exceptional cases, a student may take one or two extra courses in the second year of study to specialise further. Students who are in the first two years of their studies will meet in doctoral seminars to discuss questions of research design and methodology and to exchange with professors and fellow students about their ongoing research. Students are expected to have passed their Comprehensive Examination and to have defended their Doctoral Research Proposal by the end of the second year.

Ph.D. in UPPD Handbook

Learn more about the details of the Ph.D. program

How to apply

Find out about the admissions process for the Ph.D. in UPPD program

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