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 (Doctoral applications and all supporting materials are due by this date)

Review of applications for Fall admissions begins on January 15.

Financial Support

Research positions, teaching assistantships, tuition scholarships and other financial support are available through the School, Department, research centers and faculty research projects. These sources of support vary from year-to-year. Applicants to the PhD program should check the department’s website periodically for announcements about new opportunities for financial support. Applicants should express their interest in being considered for financial support during the application process. Decisions about financial support are made after admission is offered to the PhD program.