Visit the School of Social Ecology's Admissions pages for prospective student information, including application requirements, deadlines, tuition, and funding.
Today's complex urban, social and environmental issues can best be understood by researchers who can work across disciplinary boundaries, and who understand the relationship of research to action. The Planning, Policy, and Design doctoral program at the University of California, Irvine trains scholars for national and international prominence in the analysis of social problems related to the built, natural and institutional environments. Our faculty members and students combine perspectives from urban planning, public policy, and design behavior. The Planning, Policy, and Design Ph.D. is based on the department's internationally prominent research and teaching strengths, including design-behavior research, environmental policy, health promotion and policy, and urban and community development.
Students in the Ph.D. program take a common core of classes, then specialize in study related to their research interests. Students may design their own specialization or may follow the guidelines provided to specialize in Policy and/or Urban and Regional Planning. In either case, the elective courses need to be approved by the student’s faculty advisory committee.
A typical pattern for completion of requirements is the following:
Years 1 and 2: Take required departmental courses
September after Year 2: Take comprehensive exams
Years 4 - 6: Dissertation research and writing (students are expected to complete and defend their dissertations within nine quarters of advancing to candidacy)
In addition to completing these requirements, students may specialize in one (or more) of the following areas. The courses required in these specializations may be used as electives in fulfilling the course requirement: