City + Regional Planning

Admission Prerequisites

Ph.D. City and Regional Planning


The application cycle for the Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning opens in September. Admission is for the fall semester of the following year. We do not accept spring-semester admissions. Please see Graduate Admissions for application deadlines and procedures.

Admission Criteria and Prerequisites

The principal admission requirements to the Doctoral Program in City and Regional Planning are overall excellence in past academic work and research, demonstrated creativity and intellectual leadership in professional activity, and the strong promise of sustained intellectual achievement, originality, and scholarship. The emphasis in the doctoral program is upon scholarship and research. At the same time, because the doctorate is offered in the context of a professional school, doctoral students are challenged to undertake applied research relevant to city and regional planning and policy problems. If you do not want to teach in planning or a related field, or to do advanced research, please reconsider applying to this program. Most doctoral students enter the program with a master's degree in planning or a related field. The Master of City Planning is regarded as a terminal professional degree, and is not comparable to mid-study Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees offered in anticipation of the doctorate.

Admission to the doctoral program is very competitive. Only six to eight students are admitted each year, sometimes from a pool of as many as 80 applicants. All applicants to the doctoral program (even those required to take an English-language competency exam (TOEFL, TOEFL CBT, iBT TOEFL, or IELTS)) must take the Graduate Record Examination; tests should be taken before December to ensure timely receipt of scores. Applicants must also secure at least three letters of recommendation that can explicitly evaluate their intellectual capability and past research and academic work.

Please note that admission decisions are not made by individual faculty, but rather an admissions committee. DCRP's PhD admissions process begins with three initial reviews of your application: the two faculty members you list as preferred advisors and one member of the PhD admission committee. The admission committee then meets to review all applications as a cohort and make admission/denial decisions.

Financial Aid

DCRP and UC Berkeley offer multiple types of financial support to its graduate students. Details are available here.