City and Regional Planning

All applicants must have a B.A. or B.S. degree, a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning or a related field and an excellent prior academic record. Work experience in the field of city planning is desirable, but not required. The Graduate Group accepts students for matriculation only in the fall term; there are no mid-year admissions. The most up to date admissions requirements can be found here

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. Through 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, three of whom are given financial assistance (full tuition, fees, and a stipend) for four years. 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.

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