Ph.D. Program Overview

We welcome your interest in the Ph.D. Program of the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech’s doctoral education in City and Regional Planning began in 1985, under an umbrella College of Architecture PhD Program.  Many of the graduates from the original system now hold faculty positions in planning schools across the country, ranging from assistant professors to directors. Others are engaged in significant research careers.

In 2009, the City and Regional Planning Program became the School of City and Regional Planning with an independent Ph.D. Program.  This independent program currently has 25 students, of which approximately 40% are international students.

Each year, the Ph.D. program seeks exceptional applicants with research interests that correspond closely to those of our faculty.  Our faculty engage in research and teaching across the diverse spectrum of planning, including economic and community development, housing, land use, environment, transportation, planning theory and urban design. Some of the cutting edge issues they focus on include: climate change, land conservation, sustainable development, the megaregion, disaster planning, and healthy cities. The three to four new Ph.D. students that we admit annually work closely with their faculty advisor to develop a course of study.

Besides their major area of focus in planning, students enrolled in our program identify a minor area outside of planning to augment their intellectual foundation.  Students are able to take courses in other degree programs at Georgia Tech, as well as at the other two major research universities in Atlanta, Emory University and Georgia State University, at no additional expense.

If you decide to apply to our program, we want to know what motivates you to make the significant commitment to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of planning.  We also want to know why you are specifically choosing Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning to fulfill that commitment.  After giving this consideration, as well as exploring our program information, potential Phd Program applicants should contact interim program coordinator Bruce Stiftel.