Ph.D Program Requirements

The Ph.D. program consists of four primary components: course work, comprehensive exams, advancing to candidacy and dissertation research, writing, and defense. A typical pattern for completion of requirements is the following:

  • First and Second Years: Take required departmental courses supplemented by electives.
  • September after Second Year: Take comprehensive exams.
  • Third Year: Finish required course work, write and defend dissertation prospectus, advance to candidacy.
  • Fourth through Sixth Years: Dissertation research and writing (students are expected to complete and defend their dissertations within nine quarters of advancing to candidacy).

The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy is six years, and the maximum time permitted is seven years.

The following courses are required of all students and must be completed before advancement to candidacy:

  • Social Ecology 264A (Data Analysis) or equivalent
  • UPPP 209 (Qualitative Research Methods) or equivalent
  • UPPP 297 (Research Design)
  • UPPP 275 (temporary number) PhD Proseminar
  • UPPP 275 (temporary number) Theoretical Approaches in Planning and Policy 
  • Two quarters of UPPP 298 or 299 (Independent or Directed Study)
  • Six electives

Students must serve as a Teaching Assistant for at least one quarter.

Specializations are offered in Policy and in Urban and Regional Planning.

Questions about program requirements, policies, or resources? Contact the department's Ph.D. program Graduate Coordinator, who is trained to guide students in the program and direct you to appropriate faculty or staff as required.


School and Campus Resources

All students in the Ph.D. program should become familiar with the Social Ecology Graduate Student Handbook for the year you were admitted, containing policies, procedures, and requirements for degree completion.

Review formal degree requirements and course descriptions in the UCI General Catalogue.

The School of Social Ecology's Graduate Services website includes a list of campus resources, and information about academic services. The Social Ecology Graduate Student Association (SEGSA) (formerly the Climate Committee) is involved with advocating for and planning community-building events for our school's students. The Director of Graduate Student Services also posts graduate student events, updates, and funding opportunities on the GSS Student Services Updates page.

UCI's Graduate Division website contains a variety of helpful checklists and information for graduate students. Two pages to start: Admitted Student Checklists and Student Resources.


Ph.D. Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Program Learning Outcomes can be found here.


Other UEPP Ph.D. Program Pages
Ph.D. Program Home Advising and Placement Costs and Funding Admissions Process