PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design Admissions

The PhD program is highly selective and individualized. While some students have been admitted as part-time students, full-time study is encouraged and given priority in the admissions process.

Our official application review starts with the submission of a full application through the university system.  We recommend that before you apply to the program, you visit the faculty page to familiarize yourself with various faculty members and their expertise and research. We encourage you to reach out to potential dissertation advisors, based on shared research interests, and ask about make an inquiry of potential advising. Please do not send an inquiry about admission to individual faculty members; all admissions and funding decisions are made by a committee and not individual faculty members.

To be considered for the Urban and Regional Planning and Design PhD Program, applicants must have a fully completed application submitted through the online platform by the deadline. We do not accept late applications.

We look forward to introducing you to the University of Maryland and its PhD Program in Urban and Regional Planning. 

Visit the graduate school website for General Requirements, Program-Specific Requirements, and Application Deadlines. 

Learn more about the PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the PhD program will be expected to have completed a master's degree in a related field including (but not exclusively) urban planning, architecture, historic preservation, or landscape architecture. Students are expected to enter the PhD program with two semesters of graduate level quantitative research methods. These courses can be taken after entrance to the program and prior to their advanced methods course.

Application Requirements

Apply via the graduate application website


Read the latest instructions. When prompted, put in the four letter code that identifies the program for which you are applying.

The online code for the PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design degree is URPD.



A non-refundable $75 fee is required for each program application. Payment of your application fee must be made online in order for your application to be submitted. Your application will not be processed until you pay your application fee and it is authorized. 

To find out if you are eligible for an application fee waiver, please click on the following link:



Unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution, including the University of Maryland, must be attached to your application. Admitted applicants must arrange for official transcripts to be forwarded to the Graduate Admissions Office from each institution where undergraduate or prior graduate work was undertaken. Sealed envelopes of transcripts that meet the requirements below must be submitted. 

Transcripts must bear the signature of the registrar and the seal of the granting institution and should include the years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, class standing, and any degree, certificate, or diploma received.


Letters of Recommendation

Three recommendations are required from professors or other unrelated individuals who can assess the applicant’s potential to succeed in this program. The online application provides an electronic recommendation form, which in most cases facilitates submission and receipt.


Statement of Purpose

(1000-2000 words)

Applicants must submit a statement of their goals and objectives in pursuing graduate study using the online application. The statement should address the following two questions:

  • What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland, College Park? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field or allied fields, your plans for a professional career, or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject.

  • What life experiences have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large and diverse institution such as the University of Maryland? Items you might care to include could be your financial, community, and family background, whether you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education, or any other factors that you believe would contribute to the diversity of our academic community. You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to pursue your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and/or your capacity for working through problems independently.



Applicants must attach an up-to-date resume via the online application.


The Fall 2024 deadline for application to the PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design is January 9, 2024.

If students would like to apply for the Flagship Fellowship or the President's Fellowship, a complete application must be submitted by December 8, 2023. 

Tuition and Fees

For current tuition, fees and other expenses for degrees, please visit the Student Financial Services and Cashiering website. 

Students who have not yet passed their comprehensive exams and advanced to candidacy pay the standard rate for graduate tuition and fees. PhD students who have advanced to candidacy pay flat rates for 899 level candidacy courses and fees

Contact Delaney West, HISP and PhD Program Coordinator