Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning

Long view of the interior of the Battle Hall Library reading room
How to Apply

The Ph.D. program in Community and Regional Planning is a young and dynamic program, granting our first doctoral degree in the spring of 2000. Graduates of the program teach at universities such as the University of Virginia, Cornell University, the University of California at Irvine, the University of British Columbia (Canada), the University of Manchester (UK), Peking University Graduate School (Shenzhen, China), and Yonsei University (Korea). Graduates also hold advanced research positions in institutions such as the World Bank, Texas Transportation Institute, and Seoul Development Institute.

The core objective of the Ph.D. program in planning is to prepare highly qualified graduate students for research and teaching at the university level and for leadership positions in public and private institutions. The program provides rigorous, but flexibly tailored, scholastic and practical training for advanced students to prepare them to make substantive contributions to planning and related policy fields. The specific goals for students of the program include:

  • Obtaining a detailed understanding of planning theory and its relation to broader social problems, processes, and policies.
  • Developing substantive knowledge and mastery in 2 field areas - one within planning and the other in an outside area of concentration.
  • Gaining mastery of quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to conduct advanced independent research in planning.
  • Engaging in planning-related research and theory construction that leads to original and relevant findings of significant value to citizens, communities, and other scholars.

Advanced research in planning requires a strong theoretical and methodological background, a deep understanding of planning institutions and processes, and a substantial knowledge of specific disciplines related to planning. Doctoral students can specialize in a range of planning fields within the program including international planning, economic and community development, environmental and natural resource planning, housing, land use and land development, transportation planning, and historic preservation.

More information about our faculty, research interests, mentoring approach, and program requirements is available in our Ph.D. Program Handbook.


In addition to satisfying the requirements outlined in the University's Graduate Catalog, doctoral students must accumulate a minimum of 48 hours of graduate credit as part of the doctoral degree program in planning.


Two to four students are typically admitted to the Community and Regional Planning Ph.D. program each year. With a limited enrollment and a large pool of qualified candidates, satisfying the formal entrance requirements of The Graduate School and of the CRP Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) will ensure placement in the formal applicant pool from which successful candidates will be chosen. However, meeting the formal entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.


Throughout their degree program, doctoral students work closely with their dissertation advisor and other faculty within the Community and Regional Planning program, as well as with an extended committee of mentors from other schools, departments, and research institutes of the University of Texas at Austin. The program strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary scholarship and research collaborations to address the complex problems of urban and regional growth and development.

Faculty members who support the CRP program have diverse research and teaching interests in a broad range of topics and geographic areas and scales. We conduct sponsored research projects, engage in community-based research and practice, and contribute scholarly publications in several areas, including International Planning and Development, Social Justice and Diversity in Planning, Environmental Justice and Sustainable Urban Infrastructures, and Urban Design and Land Development.