Ph.D. Admissions Process
Admission to the Graduate School of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is selective and the process is highly competitive. The Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) considers all credentials submitted as part of the application. No single factor is regarded as qualifying or disqualifying. Factors considered in the review of all applications include grades and academic transcripts, GRE scores, letters of reference, strength of previous coursework and undergraduate institution, professional work experience, and statement of purpose.
The applicant’s overall academic record should be strong with a grade-point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale) or better. The prospective student must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A master’s degree is not required for admission to the PhD program, but extra coursework is typically required for students without a master’s degree prior to taking comprehensive exams.
Applicants should devote careful attention to the Statement of Purpose, which is a very important part of the application. It should reflect the applicant’s best thinking about an area of specialization within city planning. The statement should outline a proposed area of specialization, including an appropriate theoretical foundation, suitable scholarly research skills, and potential topics for dissertation research.
We also use the Statement of Purpose to determine whether there is a constructive fit between the student’s interests and the faculty and other resources of the Department. The Doctoral program gives special consideration to applicants whose research and career goals are well matched to those of current DCRP faculty. Please review the faculty’s areas of interest and consider contacting faculty members with whom you might be interested in working.
The Department has a strong commitment to increasing diversity and providing opportunities for persons from underrepresented communities to engage in planning scholarship. We admit students from a variety of academic fields, work experiences, ethnic backgrounds, and geographic locations. Most successful applicants have planning-related work experience.
Admissions decisions are made by the Graduate School on the basis of recommendations from the Department.