Ph.D. Program in Planning, Policy, and Design

Today's complex environmental, social and urban issues are best understood by researchers who can work across disciplinary boundaries, and who understand the relationship of research to action. The Planning, Policy, and Design (PPD) doctoral program at UCI trains scholars in the analysis of social problems related to the built, natural, and institutional environments. The PPD Ph.D. is based on the department's internationally prominent research and teaching strengths in environmental policy, urban and community development and design.  

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Interdisciplinary scholarship, with faculty degrees in architecture, business, economics, geography, law, planning, policy, political science, sociology
  • Mission and vision to conduct high quality research and make the world a better place
  • Faculty who recognize the benefits of and provide advisement for both qualitative and quantitative research
  • Commitment to career-appropriate guidance and support for students
  • Excellent morale and sense of community among students
  • Good financial support, equitably distributed
  • Strong placements in R1 universities, government positions and nonprofits
Program Requirements Advising and Placement Costs and Funding Admissions Process

The Ph.D. Program in Planning, Policy, and Design is a part of the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP). We invite you to dive deeper in to learn more about UPPP. Take a look at the message from our Chair, Professor Virginia Parks, and explore our News section and Events listing, where you'll find highlights of the many accomplishments and activities being undertaken by our faculty, students, and alumni. Our Research page showcases centers and initiatives UPPP faculty and students engage in to address significant issues throughout the world. 

Note: The offical name of our department changed in 2017, from "Planning, Policy, and Design" to "Urban Planning and Public Policy." However, the name of the doctoral degree conferred is still "Ph.D. in Planning, Policy, and Design."