PhD in Regional Planning

The internationally recognized PhD program in Regional Planning prepares scholars for leadership positions at universities and research institutions in the US and around the world as faculty and policy makers. It builds a strong foundation of planning and social science theories and hones skills in advanced research methods for students to develop expertise in a chosen specialization.

Steve Sherman, Shurti Syal, and Efadul Huq, Max Eisenburger, ,

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PhD students in Regional Planning at DURP strive for and achieve excellence. Recent awards and achievements include:

  • Steve Sherman (2020): ACSP Barclay Gibbs Jones Award for Best Dissertation in Planning
  • Shurti Syal (2019): ACSP GPEIG Gill-Chin Lim Award for the Best Dissertation on International Planning
  • Max Eisenburger (current Ph.D. candidate): ACSP-Ewing Marion Kauffman 2019 Best Paper Award
  • Efadul Huq (2021): co-author of the most read/downloaded articles in 2018-19 issues of City & Community a leading journal in urban and regional planning.

Independent of our specialization DURP faculty have a strong social justice commitment, whereby two consecutive competitive cycles 2015 and 2017 our faculty Marc Doussard and Faranak Miraftab won the ACSP’s Davidoff book award recognizing planning books on social justice and place-based inequities.


To see a list of recent PhD in Regional Planning Doctorates Granted

Professor Andrew Greenlee

From the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Andrew Greenlee

Thank you for your interest in the Regional Planning Ph.D. program!

Doctoral studies in planning draws from a diverse array of interests and perspectives – one of the hallmarks of our program is an emphasis on this intellectual diversity. As a community of scholars, we bring many interests and life experiences to our work all connected through a common goal – supporting and sustaining diverse, vibrant, healthy, and just places for all people.

As a community of scholars, we employ many different perspectives and approaches to achieve this overarching goal – our Regional Planning Ph.D. program has a long history as a leader in regional science, but also in centering social equity and justice in our understanding of urban governance. Our faculty are known worldwide for bringing multidisciplinary perspectives and thought leadership to their research, teaching, and engagement. From diverse perspectives and approaches, we seek to use our scholarship as a positive force for societal change, and through the Regional Planning Ph.D. program, we seek to train the next generation of scholars and leaders.

We seek those individuals who aspire to advanced leadership in academia and research, and who bring to their work a track record of excellence in their studies and professional practice. We seek those individuals who, regardless of their prior academic or professional background, have deep and urgent questions to engage that intersect at some level with cities and urban environments. Taking a look at the work of Regional Planning Ph.D. program graduates may help you see the diversity of paths we prepare doctoral students for.

No Ph.D. program is an easy path. But the job placement of our graduates speaks for itself. Our program typically takes 4 years. It entails 2 years of coursework, followed by exams. Students dedicate the 3rd and 4th years to their dissertation research. Most students receive funding through the department, frequently through teaching or research assistantships.

You can find more information about the Department of Urban and Regional PlanningWhat to ExpectHow to Apply, and Financial Support on our website. You can also learn about our faculty, students, and community. We hope you will choose to visit us and learn more about our commitment to leadership, research, and expertise.

For answers about program policies and procedures, please reach out to me:

Professor Andrew Greenlee
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
111 Temple Buell Hall
611 E Lorado Taft Dr, Champaign, IL 61820
Voice: 217-333-9069

Professor Andrew Greenlee
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