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Ph.D. Program

Urban and Regional Planning
Doctoral Studies (Ph.D.)

Students earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Florida can choose to major in Design, Construction and Planning with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning.

Basic Requirements for the URP Ph.D. Concentration within the DCP Doctoral Program

Upon enrollment to the DCP doctoral program, students identifying a desire to obtain a URP Ph.D. Concentration shall be assigned a temporary supervisory faculty member by the department graduate coordinator. Each student must develop with his or her temporary supervisor (during the first semester in the Ph.D. program) a proposed plan of study.

Total Credits: A minimum of 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for the DCP doctoral degree. The urban and regional planning department faculty prefers that entering doctoral students have completed a master degree in urban planning or an affiliated discipline. Students who have not completed a planning degree will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in the core coursework demanded of those enrolled in UF’s master’s degree program in urban and regional planning, as more fully described below.

Transfer of Credit: No more than 30 semester credits of a master’s degree from another institution and 45 credits from a UF master degree will be transferred to a DCP doctoral program, and therefore to the URP Ph.D. concentration. The student’s supervisory committee chairperson, Director of the DCP doctoral programs, and the Dean of the Graduate School must approve the transfer of graduate credits.

All credits transferred must be graduate level credit, with a letter grade of B or better. All such transfer requests must be made by petition of the supervisory committee.

General DCP Doctoral Requirements

A 10 credit hour core and a minimum of 15 credit hours for the dissertation are required.

DCP Doctoral Core Courses:
– DCP7790, Doctoral Core I (3 credits): Philosophy, theory, and history of inquiry into the processes of design, urban development, and building systems.
DCP7911, Advanced Design, Construction and Planning Research I (3 credits): prerequisite DCP7790. This survey course covers critical analysis of research in the disciplines of design, construction and planning with an emphasis on theory and methods.
DCP7794, Doctoral Seminar (1 credit; maximum: 4 credits): prerequisite: DCP7911, for entering Ph. D. students. Successfully negotiating graduate school and writing a dissertation.
– A three credit graduate course in DCP but external to URP: This requirement is to present and interdisciplinary opportunity for DCP doctoral students within the college.

The process provides for only three opportunities to fulfill the DCP7911 requirement. If a student elects to substitute a course for the DCP7911 the course substitution must be approved by the doctoral student’s supervisory chair/mentor. A letter explaining why the substitution is appropriate must be provided to the Director of the Doctoral Program. The letter must be accompanied by the course syllabus for the substitution. The director of the Doctoral Program must approve the substitution by written notification to the student and a copy of the approval letter must be placed in the student’s record.

All doctoral students are encouraged to attend the DCP7911 course unless their individual research would be better supported by a course substitution. The following three course areas may be substituted for DCP7911 Advanced Design, Construction and Planning Research 1:
– Spatial Statistics: A doctoral student may choose to substitute a UF graduate level spatial statistics course from the courses offered on campus.
– Quantitative (Traditional) Statistics: A doctoral student may choose to substitute another UF graduate level statistics course in the Statistics Department.
– Qualitative Methods: A doctoral student may choose to substitute another UF graduate level qualitative methods course from the Social Science Department available on campus.

If a doctoral student wishes to substitute a course not offered in one of the three previously defined areas s/he must get additional permissions from the department/school graduate/PhD coordinator and the department chair or school director.

The following core courses are required for all Ph.D. students with a URP concentration in Urban and Regional Planning that have not completed a master degree from urban and/or regional planning program:
– URP 6061, Planning Administration and Ethics (3 credits)
– URP 6100, Planning Theory and History (3 credits)
– URP 6131, Growth Management Powers 1 (3 credits)
– URP 6042, Urban Economy (3 credits)

Students who have graduated with a master degree from urban and/or regional planning program are not required to complete the four planning core courses.

All DCP doctoral students are required to take one-credit of DCP7794 (Doctoral Seminar) and may take up to 4 credits of DCP7794. The URP concentration doctoral students are required to take at least three (3) additional graduate credits of DCP7794 in a section for URP doctoral students only. The additional three credits of doctoral seminar for URP are designed as a mechanism for sharing research notes and doctoral work with doctoral students in the URP concentration.

At least one graduate level pedagogy course (3 credits) from the UF College of Education (EDG6931 “Teaching Adult Learners” or similar) is required of all doctoral students in the URP concentration. The additional three credits for URP doctoral students may be taken as individual directed study (DCP 7979 focused on pedagogy or DCP7940 with any URP doctoral faculty).

To broaden the URP doctoral student’s knowledge base, at least two courses that are closely associated with the student’s main research interests are required from departments or schools external to DCP. This requirement is in addition to the pedagogy requirement and the DCP doctoral core course requirements.

Each student is required to successfully complete, a written doctoral dissertation proposal which must be orally presented to and accepted by the student’s doctoral committee.

Before taking the written and oral qualifying examinations, the student is required to successfully complete a written “dissertation proposal” which must be orally presented to and accepted by the student’s doctoral committee.

The written qualifying examination for the URP Ph.D. concentration may cover core planning knowledge, research methods, and question regarding the student’s doctoral dissertation proposal.
The oral qualifying examination may also cover core planning knowledge and research methods.

However the oral examination is primarily used to determine the qualifications of the student to proceed with completion of a written dissertation. Therefore the oral qualification examination may concentrate on the student’s dissertation topic.

A DCP doctoral student is required to successfully complete a written dissertation and to successfully complete an oral defense of his/her written dissertation before his/her dissertation committee. The dissertation must strictly follow Graduate School policy, in substance and procedure. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Graduate School Editorial Office, the Graduate School Catalog, and the DCP prior to beginning their dissertation.

All URP concentration doctoral students are strongly encouraged to publish in peer reviewed journals as they advance within the URP doctoral concentration. The URP sections of DCP7940 may be employed by URP doctoral faculty to assist in review and editorial assistance of journal publications by URP doctoral students.


If you have any questions about our doctoral (Ph.D.) program, please contact:

Dr. Yan Wang

Dr. Yan Wang

Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor, URP

(352) 294-1443

Kodi Van Antwerp

Kodi Van Antwerp

Academic Assistant

(352) 392-7321

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