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PhD in Urban and Regional Planning


We invite applications from highly qualified and motivated candidates interested in pursuing a career in research and teaching. Candidates should ideally hold a master’s degree in planning or a related field, and must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in graduate coursework. International candidates must demonstrate proficiency in English as per standards set by the University at Buffalo. 

1. Apply online

You can apply online to the PhD in Urban and Regional Planning. Your application will be forwarded to the department when you have completed the online application. Once you submit your application online for formal review, you will be provided with a link to our online payment system, where you can pay the application fee.

2. Submit your official credentials

Complete applications must include the following, uploaded to your online application:

  • Academic transcripts reflecting any and all undergraduate and graduate-level work from all institutions attended whether or not a degree was awarded.
  • GRE scores (GRE department code: 4402; Institution code: 2925)
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic sources
  • Research statement or essay explaining the applicant’s research interests and career goals. Applicants are encouraged to identify faculty members in the School of Architecture and Planning whose research interests may best match their own.
  • Writing sample from prior academic work. Writing sample should reflect individual work. The writing sample could be a term paper or research paper you wrote, your part of a professional report, part of your thesis, or a published article. Please submit no more than the length of a standard journal article, the equivalent of about 20 printed pages. If you send a part of your thesis, please also send a table of contents and abstract, so we understand how the part fits into the larger work.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants)


  • Fall Semester admissions - January 15

Students are strongly encouraged to apply early as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Review of applications for Fall admissions begins on January 15.


Financial Support

Multi-year funded research positions are available through a HUD Sustainable Communities-sponsored project on regional planning. Candidates with research interests in regional governance, climate change, food systems, land use and transportation are encouraged to apply. Candidates must have strong analytical and writing skills. Selected candidates will receive tuition remission and a competitive stipend.

The school's Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab (Food Lab) also welcomes interested candidates to apply for the Kaufman Fellowship, the first doctoral fellowship in food systems planning in the U.S. The program honors the intellectual legacy of Professor Jerome L. Kaufman, FAICP, who laid the foundation of food systems planning research, pedagogy and practice within the discipline of urban and regional planning. Building on Professor Kaufman’s legacy, Kaufman Fellows will engage in and advance the research and scholarship on the role of planning in building healthy and equitable food systems. The Kaufman Fellowship offers three years of financial support including full tuition, a competitive stipend, and financial support for Fellows to attend and present their research at conferences. Kaufman Fellows will be affiliated with the Food Lab and work directly with its director, Associate Professor Samina Raja.

Candidates must be admitted into the PhD program to be considered for research positions.