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    Ph.D. Admissions FAQ

    General Information

    Does DCRP accept admission in the Spring?
    What are the minimum GRE scores?
    What are the minimum TOEFL scores?
    What major is needed to be accepted into the DCRP program?
    Can applicants visit the Department during the year?

    Applicant Information

    When is the deadline for submitting an application for admission?
    When will students receive a decision concerning admission?
    When is the deadline to accept or decline an offer of admission with financial aid?
    When is the deadline to accept or decline an offer of admission without financial aid?
    What application information is sent directly to the Department?

    Incoming Student Information

    When will incoming students register for classes?
    When is Fall Orientation?
    How do students find housing?

    Student Funding Information

    When will students receive a decision concerning financial aid?
    What type of financial aid does the Department offer?

    General Information

    Does DCRP accept admission in the Spring?
    Due to the sequence of courses needed to fulfill the program’s requirements, the Department of City and Regional Planning normally accepts Fall admission only. Under exceptional circumstances, Spring admission will be considered with permission from the chair of the Department.

     

    What are the minimum GRE scores?
    The Graduate School minimum GRE requirement for the GRE test is 50% on both quantitative and verbal sections. Only GRE scores that are within 5 years of admittance will be considered.


    What are the minimum TOEFL scores?

    Paper-based = minimum total score on the TOEFL exam is 550 with a minimum of 50 in each section.
    Internet-based = 79

    Which undergraduate majors are accepted into the DCRP program?
    The educational backgrounds of applicants cover a wide variety of academic fields, work experiences, ethnic backgrounds, and geographic locations. Among them are architecture, biology, business, economics, engineering, biology, geography, geology, history, landscape architecture, philosophy, planning, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology and urban studies.  However, future career goals in the field are considered, regardless of your educational background.

     

    Can applicants visit the Department during the year?
    We recommend applicants attend our fall visitation, which provides an opportunity to learn about the Department and discuss professional interests with faculty, enrolled students and other applicants.

    For applicants who are unable to attend the fall visitation, we can also accommodate visits at other times during the semester. To ensure a productive visit, please allow two weeks advance notice so we can coordinate faculty, student and staff schedules. Send your visit request to: dcrp-admissions@unc.edu



    Applicant Information

    When is the deadline for submitting an application for admission to the Doctoral program?
    Application and Financial Aid deadline to begin studies in Fall 2016: December 15, 2015

    When will we receive a decision concerning admission?
    Applicants are notified of admission on a continuous basis between late January and early April.

    When is the deadline to accept or decline an offer of admission with financial aid?
    Applicants must accept or decline admission with financial aid by April 15.

    When is the deadline to accept or decline an offer of admission without financial aid?
    Applicants must accept or decline admission without financial aid by April 30.

    Should the applicant send any material directly to the Department?
    All materials should be sent to the Graduate School. Submit your Graduate School Application via the online application for admission.



    Incoming Student Information

    When do incoming students register for classes?
    Incoming students will be provided a program overview by mid June and are encouraged to register for classes as they arrive on campus. However, all incoming students will meet with their assigned advisors during orientation in August, and changes to the schedule can be made at that time.

     

    When is Fall Orientation?
    Orientation is always the Friday and Monday prior to the start of classes.  All incoming students will receive notification of specific orientation dates and times during the summer months.

     

    How do students find housing?

    Many students live in Chapel Hill or Carrboro, NC - a town that neighbors Chapel Hill to the west, while some live in Durham and commute in (via bus to car; 20 minutes).  Many students use the following resources to find housing.  Significant additional information will be given to admitted students on finding housing.
    http://housing.unc.edu/future-residents/graduate-students

    http://www.dailytarheel.com/classifieds/ (UNC's student paper)
    http://www.apartmentguide.com

    http://raleigh.craigslist.com

    http://www.padmapper.com/



    Student Funding Information

    When will students receive a decision concerning financial aid?
    Students will receive notification of financial aid awards in March.

     

    What type of financial aid does the Department offer?
    The Department offers fellowships, assistantships, and part-time employment opportunities to PhD applicants. These awards are granted on the basis of merit and financial need. Especially competitive applicants will also be automatically considered for funding from the graduate school.

     

     

     

    Applying for financial aid

    Applicants to the Department of City and Regional Planning are eligible for several types of fellowships and assistantships: (1) awards made by the Department; (2) university awards for which applicants to the Department are considered; and (3) awards made by outside agencies for which applicants to the Department are considered.

    Applications for departmental financial aid and Graduate School fellowships are made on the same form as your application for admissions (i.e. no extra applications necessary). All applications for aid will automatically be considered for all sources of aid for which they qualify; the student does not have to apply separately for each. However, applicants' qualifications for awards requiring specific program interests or skills must be adequately documented in their applications in order to be considered for these sources of aid.

    Applying for university aid

    In addition to fellowships and assistantships awarded through the Department of City and Regional Planning and the Graduate School, significant levels of support are provided to graduate students by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. A separate application for assistance is required. It is extremely important for graduate students to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that it will be on file prior to the time when a loan or work study employment is needed. The priority filing date is March 1. Forms and additional information can be obtained from the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, Campus Box 2300, Vance Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-2300, or call 919/962-8396. The FAFSA is also available from most college and university financial aid offices.

     

    Awards made through the Department

    Doctoral Assistantships and Fellowships provide up to $18,500 in financial support for each PhD student admitted to the Department. The Department's policy is to provide this support to doctoral students for the first three years of study, after which virtually every student retains financial support by working with a faculty adviser on a sponsored research project or by teaching.


    Students who are awarded departmental teaching/research assistantships may be recommended for a special tuition rate as part of the award package. The special tuition rate enables out-of-state students who will be performing specified assistantship duties to pay similar tuition to that of resident students. In-state tuition and health insurance awards are also available.

    Awards made through the Graduate School

    The Graduate School provides funding for especially competitive applicants (see here) Graduate School Fellowships pay up to $24,000 for the academic year plus tuition benefits and health insurance. Graduate School Merit Assistantships pay up to $18,000 for the academic year plus tuition benefits.

    Awards made by outside agencies
    A number of governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations provide funding for PhD students in the academic year and summer, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For examples, please see here. The students and administrative staff of the Department are currently collaborating to develop and maintain an inventory of external funding opportunities specific to planning.


    Fees and expenses

    Tuition and fees (which are set by the UNC Graduate School and can be viewed here) are due upon registration. Failure to pay at the proper time will result in a late payment fee and the student's possible dis-enrollment.


    An applicant who has been offered admission reserves his or her place in the incoming cohort by paying a $250 enrollment deposit, which is credited toward the first semester's tuition. If he or she fails to withdraw the application prior to May 1, the deposit is forfeited.


    The University reserves the right to make, with the approval of the proper authorities, changes in tuition and other fees at any time.


    Students in the Department should be prepared to meet expenses that may occur in connection with various courses and research.


    Student loan funds

    General loan funds, including the federal loan program, are available to graduate students. University loan funds are announced in the University catalog. Students interested in applying for loans should contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid Office, Campus Box 2300, Vance Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-2300 or call 919/962-8396.

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