Interested in a PhD in Planning and Public Policy? Please read the following before applying.
The doctoral program in Planning and Public Policy is designed to prepare graduates for a career in academia, research, and other professions. These careers require broad-based knowledge of research methods and design combined with a desire to make the world a better place. Our program is multi-disciplinary and covers multiple elements of planning and public policy, including transportation, education, community development, social policy, workforce development and labor economics, gender and inequality, regional planning and development, public health and environmental planning, urban informatics, geographic information science, among many different topical areas.
Our program is highly selective and we use a broad range of criteria in making admission and funding decisions. Our goal is for all students to successfully complete all requirements (course credits and comprehensive examinations) and write a distinctive, high-quality dissertation. When evaluating applications, we consider whether potential students have a sufficient knowledge of basic quantitative methods, the ability to write, and some familiarity with their desired topic of study. We admit students across the range of disciplines within the School and with a diversity of backgrounds. Incoming students should have completed a master’s degree (or its equivalent) before starting the program. In rare instances, exceptional students are considered after receiving only a bachelor’s degree or, for students enrolled in Bloustein School master’s programs, after completion of twelve credits of graduate coursework. The course of study—which includes required and elective classes, a comprehensive examination and writing and defending a dissertation— takes a minimum of four years, but often five or more.
Before applying, it is strongly recommended that applicants identify a proposed faculty supervisor for a fit with their research interests. We do not admit students unless a faculty member is willing to mentor them through their early years. Some students do change their focus and, hence, also their mentor as they progress through the program; however, a key criteria for admission is a good fit with a potential supervisor. Students will need to organize a committee of doctoral faculty in addition to their supervisor as they progress through the program.
Other criteria include adequate GRE scores. While we consider other metrics, in general, our experience is that students with Quantitative GRE scores below about 145 will have difficulties with the quantitative requirements of the program. Verbal GRE scores should be above 153. Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL and scores must be above 105 for full consideration. If submitting IELTS, this should be above 7.5.
Decisions related to admission and funding are considered separately. While we make every effort to finalize admission decisions by mid-February, ultimate funding decisions are often not made until early to mid-April. Our admissions committee ranks and considers admitted students for funding. Applications should be submitted by Dec 15th for full consideration.
We also welcome those students who wish to enroll part-time. Please be aware there is no program funding for part-time students (Full-time Rutgers employees are eligible for tuition remission and should consult the Human Resources website). Prospective students are advised to schedule a meeting (in-person or via Zoom) with the Program Director for further information. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.
Core Doctoral Courses