Home / Academics / Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning / Ph.D. Program Requirements


Each Ph.D. degree student is required to complete at least fifteen credits in advanced courses (in addition to any remedial courses designated at the time of admission):

PLAN 602: Advanced Planning Theory
PLAN 655: Advanced Planning Methods and Models

In addition to these two courses, Ph.D. candidates are required to take six credits in an allied field (to be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor). Students are also required to take one three-credit course in research design/proposal writing.

Steps toward completing the doctoral degree program:

First year — Completing basic requirements
Choose an advisor
Take 2 core courses (PLAN 602 & PLAN 655)
Take 6 credits in allied fields
Take research design/proposal course
Prepare Study Plan with your advisor outlining proposed courses and schedule
Second year — MOU, Prepare for comprehensive examination
Identify three DURP committee members
Write a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) consisting of (a) a brief statement on the proposed dissertation topic, (b) names and descriptions of major and minor fields and proposed bibliography for the comprehensive exam, and (c) calendar of study, research and writing to completion of the dissertation. Signed agreement on the MOU by all committee members is required by the end of the second year.
Second-third year – Completing courses and comprehensive exam
Complete all course requirements
Prepare exam reading list for major and minor fields of study and successfully take comprehensive examination in consultation with Ph.D. committee members. The practice at DURP is that only three committee members will be responsible for setting and assessing the comprehensive exam. Students are free to have more than three committee members on the comprehensive examination.
Identify five dissertation committee members, with at least one member from another department or program at UH (or, if approved, off campus)
Draft complete dissertation research proposal in consultation with committee members.
Third year and after — Advancing to candidacy, field research and completing the Ph.D.
Present dissertation proposal at a department colloquium. Having already completed all course requirements and successfully passing the comprehensive exam, upon acceptance of the proposal by the committee the student is advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D., also known as ABD (all but dissertation).
Field research, writing of Ph.D. dissertation, and final defense.
Students are subject to all relevant requirements of the department and the graduate division. Students must demonstrate sufficient progress in order to advance to candidacy.

For additional Ph.D. details, please refer here