City and Regional Planning

All applicants must have a B.A. or B.S. degree and an excellent prior academic record. Work experience in the field of city planning is desirable, but not required. All applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, so it is essential that you take the GREs in the fall of the year before matriculation. All applicants for whom English is a second language must also submit TOEFL scores, which must be higher than the minimum threshold of 615 for paper-based (or 254 for computerized TOEFL scores).

General admissions information is given in the catalog of the School of Design, and all inquiries about the application process should be directed to the School's Director of Admissions. The Graduate Group accepts students for matriculation only in the fall term; there are no mid-year admissions.

The objective of our Ph.D. Program is to train successful educators and academic researchers. To meet this goal, the faculty of the CPLN Graduate Group focuses on developing strong research and communication skills and endeavors to cultivate strong mentoring relationships with Ph.D. students. Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but preference will be given to those whose research interests match those of the Graduate Group faculty. Though individual mentoring, we seek to maximize learning and personal maturation as students move toward the completion of their course work and dissertation.

The Program is structured in a flexible manner to accommodate the diverse skill levels and research-training needs of students who are admitted to the Program. We expect students to complete their degree requirements within four to five years, maximum.

ADMISSIONS ARE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE. We accept about 5% of all applicants, two of whom are given financial assistance (tuition and a stipend). The Department is committed to reviewing applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Current students are listed in the "community" section of the site. Those with emails listed are interested in being contacted by potential doctoral candidates.

Please follow these links for application deadlines and other information on admissions and financial aid.

If you are considering pursuing a doctorate in city and regional planning at Penn, please contact:

Dr. Eugenie L. Birch
Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education
Chair, Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning
elbirch@design.upenn.edu