Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in City and Regional Planning

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Georgia Tech has been awarding doctoral degrees in the field of City and Regional Planning since 1985, producing distinguished academics and scholars who work in universities and other research settings.

PhD students pursue advanced studies and research on issues most critical to the field of City and Regional Planning. The PhD program engages extensively with other programs, research centers, and colleges as it delivers its major and minor fields of study. Program graduates are expected to be well qualified to serve in a range of settings such as universities, planning consultancies, research and development firms, government agencies, and advanced practice.

Successful applicants have exceptional potential as scholars and fit with the School's research capabilities. Most applicants have completed an accredited master's degree in City and Regional Planning or a related field and have backgrounds in their proposed area of specialization. The program does admit capable applicants lacking this preparation, but these applicants may be required to undertake remedial work. Students are generally admitted for first enrollment for the fall semester only.

The program requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores taken within the last five years. Scores are expected to be well above the average. Non-native speakers of English are expected to have a minimum IB TOEFL score of at least 620/261/102 (paper, computer, and internet tests, respectively). Prior study in the United States does not waive this requirement.

For more information about the PhD program, contact:

Academic Advisor
Graduate Student Admissions, Advising, and Graduation Clearance
School of City and Regional Planning
College of Design
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0155

Core Courses
CP 8200Advanced Planning Theory3
CP 8300Advanced Urban and Regional Development Theory3
CP 8400Research Design and Qualitative Methods3
CP 8500Spec Prob-City Planning1-21
CP 8012PhD Foundations Seminar1
CP 8022PhD Seminar in Research and Pedagogy1
Major Field of Study15
Minor Field of Study9
Comprehensive Exams 1
Dissertation 2

The Core exams consist of three 8-hour exams, designed to test for core competency in planning. The exams cover the three core areas of planning theory, urban and regional theory, and research methods and design. Each section of the exam will be based on a bibliography or specified set of concepts, as provided to the student in the corresponding core course. Major and Minor Exam will consist of both written and oral components. The written test will consist of a 2-day major exam (48 hours) and a 1-day minor exam (24 hours).


Students are required to complete a dissertation reporting the results of independent research that advances theory or applied knowledge in City and Regional Planning. The dissertation must be successfully defended to the student's dissertation examination committee.