Jun 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Urban and Regional Planning PhD

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: A-Z Program List

The Urban and Regional Planning PhD program, designed to nurture distinguished scholars and researchers, offers research and learning opportunities encompassing the field of urban and regional planning. Examples of some research areas where the program offers special capability, international distinction and emphasis, include: declining cities and distressed urban communities; health, food systems, human abilities and environment; built environments and environmental change; disasters and extreme events; and advanced technology, information systems and methods in planning.


At all stages of the program, students will work closely with a faculty advisor to tailor their course of study to their particular research interests. Students will be advised and encouraged to prepare manuscripts for publication while in the program as well as present their work in the doctoral research seminar and at national and international conferences. An endowment in the School of Architecture and Planning provides doctoral candidates a chance to network with and receive mentoring from the Clarkson Chair, a distinguished visiting planning scholar in the school.

Other UB departments where doctoral students may take courses include but are not limited to Anthropology, Architecture, Biostatistics, Education, Economics, Geography, Public Health, and Sociology. A list of potential courses available for each stream within the department and university is available from the Doctoral Program Director. All courses must be approved by the Doctoral Program Director.

Doctoral students must satisfy a teaching requirement which entails completion of a teaching internship such as a teaching assistantship for a course. Under certain circumstances, students may show equivalent pedagogical work such as prior teaching experience, or, completed prior training or a degree in education.

Basic Courses (24 credits)

Core and elective courses include those that would typically count toward a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning program (18 core and 6 electives). Students with a prior urban planning degree may be permitted to transfer basic credits from another program or another university toward the basic course credits in the doctoral program.

Theory Stream (6 credits)

Students are required to take a minimum of two theory courses:

  • PD 616 Advanced Planning Theory
  • One additional theory course (not including PD 510, PD 538, or any courses taken as part of the basic courses.)

Content Stream (15 Credits)

Students will take at least five courses in the student’s selected content area (not including course work completed as part of basic coursework).

Minor Stream (6 credits)

Students will take at least two courses in a related minor field of study.

Doctoral Seminar

Students will participate in a doctoral seminar to present their own research as well as learn about latest research from faculty and scholars from within and outside of UB. In addition, students complete nine credits of directed research related to their dissertation. Prior to beginning work on their dissertation, students are expected to complete three qualifying exams - in theory, methods, and a content area - and defend their dissertation proposal. Students must complete the theory and methods qualifying exams within two years of enrollment in the program.

Total Credit Hours: 72

Instruction Method

  • In Person (100 percent of courses offered in person)

Full/Part Time Options

  • Full Time

Credits Required

  • 72 Hours


  • 4 to 5+ Years

Application Fee

  • N/A

Admissions Tests**

  • GRE

Program Contact

Kevin Donovan
129 Hayes Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214
Email: kpd2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-5224

SED Statement

This program is officially registered with the New York State Education Department (SED).

Online programs/courses may require students to come to campus on occasion. Time-to-degree and number of credit hours may vary based on full/part time status, degree, track and/or certification option chosen. Time-to-degree is based on calendar year(s). Contact the department for details.

** At least one of the admissions tests are required for admission. Test and score requirements/exceptions vary by program. Contact the department for details.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: A-Z Program List