Ph.D. Program Admissions

All prospective graduate students apply through the UCI Graduate Division Online Application for Graduate Admissions. Use the detailed directions within the online application and on the Graduate Division admissions website to submit.

The Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy (UEPP), is one of four doctoral degree programs offered within UCI's School of Social Ecology. After you submit your online application through Graduate Division, the Social Ecology Graduate Services office prepares application files for review by the programs' admissions committees. Review the school's Application Instructions to learn more about the general requirements for all Ph.D. applications. 

Faculty enthusiasm is a critical component in our admissions decisions. We admit students who meet UCI’s general criteria for admission* and have one or more faculty members who would be willing to serve as advisor, and other faculty members who also want to work with the student. Most admitted students have three or four faculty members who have an expressed interest in working with the student.

We suggest that prospective applicants read the department’s faculty profiles and contact those with research that aligns with yours. Please contact faculty directly via email. Most of the time our faculty respond quickly. If you don’t hear back from them within a couple of weeks, please try again - people do get busy. When you make contact, let the faculty member know that you are considering applying to the Ph.D. program, that you’d be interested in working with him/her, and provide reasons, including details about how your research interests overlap or intersect with theirs.

* Among general criteria for admission, the statement of purpose indicating your interest in and preparation for Ph.D. research is a particularly important element in the UEPP Ph.D. admission committee’s selection process. While we take grade point averages from previous university or college experience and test scores into consideration, these are weighed in relation to relevant work experience and your expression of research interest.

International applicants: In addition to completing the minimum UCI graduate student English proficiency requirements for admission, our program looks for evidence of substantial English language skills, such as having completed a degree program in English, clarity in the application’s written statements, and TOEFL or IELTS scores above the minimum requirements for admission.

Additionally, in order to be appointed as a teaching assistant, the Graduate Division requires, without exception, that international students demonstrate oral English proficiency indicated by score on the speaking portion of either the TOEFL, IELTS, or other UCI-designated speaking test measure. Details and specific minimum scores for each test type are available in the UCI Graduate Division Policies and Procedures Manual.

For other information or questions regarding Ph.D. program admissions, please contact:

Maria G. Rendon
Faculty Director, Ph.D. Program
(949) 824-5880
TBD, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
(949) 824-9849
Irice Castro
Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services
School of Social Ecology

If you have technical difficulties or receive an error message while trying to complete the online application, email or call (949) 824-6363.

For other questions about the online graduate application, contact UCI Grad Division admissions.

The School of Social Ecology Graduate Services unit offers a variety options for prospective students to visit campus, participate in an information session, or speak with an admissions representative. Click the button below to find out more.  

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