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Urban Planning, PhD

Application Instructions

Complete the official Graduate Admissions application online. As part of that process, you must also submit:

  • Personal Statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from all degree-awarding institutions. ASU accepts both electronic and physical transcripts.  Electronic transcripts are only accepted from E-Scrip, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse. Hard copy transcripts should be sent to Graduate Admissions.
  • English Proficiency for non-native English speakers (Submit TOEFL to university code 4007; department code 99)
  • Letters of recommendation (3). The application will prompt you to provide email addresses for three letters of recommendation. The recommenders should be academic professionals or professional colleagues capable of evaluating your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential. ASU will contact your recommenders at the email address provided.

All application materials must be received on or before December 15 to be considered for fall admission. Incomplete and late applications are not guaranteed to be reviewed. Please allow sufficient time for submission and processing of relevant test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Personal statement must address the following questions:

  1. What specialty in planning do you wish to pursue, and why?
  2. Describe the aspects of your education that will enable you to pursue this specialty.
  3. What additional training do you feel you can obtain at Arizona State University to realize your education and career goals?
  4. Please provide other information (for example: research experience or information which might be drawn from your resume) that you feel we should consider in your application for admission.

Personal statement should be no longer than 600 words.

A generic statement, often sent to multiple universities, does not substitute for responses to these questions that address your reasons for applying to the ASU PhD program in urban planning.


Selected applicants may be offered up to four (4) years of funding, which will be in the form of research or teaching assistantships, fellowships, or any combination of these. Funding packages are officially offered to selected students in writing upon admission to the program.

Half-time assistantships (20 hours per week or .50 FTE) receive a full tuition remission and student health insurance at no cost; however, enrollment in the insurance plan is required each semester. Spring semester insurance coverage includes the summer months.

In addition, assistantships pay a small stipend. Stipends are prorated for .25 FTE appointments and for one-semester appointments.

PhD students are eligible to receive up to $500 in research support funding annually, while they are within their funded period. Research support funds may be used for travel, equipment, data purchase, and other resources.

Fellowship Opportunities

ASU Graduate College fellowships: 

Need-based: If you are a US citizen, please consider submitting a FAFSA to be eligible for the need-based Graduate College Fellowship.

Merit-based: If you are an underrepresented student (visit link for definition), consider incorporating this information into your personal statement in order to be considered for nomination for the Interdisciplinary Enrichment Fellowship.

SGSUP fellowships for PhD students: 

Gilbert F. White Environment and Society Fellowship: Support of outstanding students for their pursuit of a PhD degree with research interests consistent with human-environmental sciences (e.g., sustainability, land system science, and resilience-vulnerability, and remote sensing & GIS applied to these subfields).

More information about financial aid is available at and

Information about School, local, and national awards is available at

The SGSUP admissions committee will forward nominations to the appropriate selection committees who will make the ultimate decision. Awardees will be notified via email.