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School of Urban and Public Affairs

School of Urban and Public Affairs

Ph.D. Program Admission Requirements

Doctoral programs admit students to begin in Fall semester only. The application deadline for the doctoral programs is February 1st for the following Fall. All application documents must be received by February 1st to be considered for the next fall semester.

In considering applications and making admission decisions for the Ph.D. programs, the School of Urban and Public Affairs is guided by the following sets of factors and decisional criteria.

Section A: Sets of Factors considered for admission to Ph.D. programs:

1. Basic Factors:
a. Grade point average (GPA): GPA based on master’s degree coursework
b. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE): verbal and quantitative scores

2. Determinative Factors:
a. Letters of Recommendation
b. Essay on Research Interests
c. The Master’s Degree field of study

3. Enhancing Factors:
a. Community Service, especially volunteer service in disadvantaged areas and for disadvantaged people.
b. Multilingual proficiency.
c. First Generation graduate student from family.
d. Work experience, publications, and/or level of responsibility.
e. Geographic diversity.

Section B: Decisional Criteria for admission to Ph.D. programs:

Level 1: Applicants will be unconditionally admitted with a GPA of 3.6 or above in their master’s degree program, a Verbal GRE of at least 153 and a Quantitative GRE of at least 144, strong letters of recommendation, and a strong essay on research interests, except for international applicants who are also required to have a score of 550 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 or higher on the computer-based TOEFL, or 79 or higher on the TOEFL iBT. More information about Test Score Minimums for TOEFL,TSE, TOEFL iBT and IELTS is available here.

Level 2. Applicants will be unconditionally admitted with a GPA of 3.6 or above in their master’s degree program, only one of the Verbal or Quantitative GRE scores at or above those in Level 1, a combined GRE of at least 297, strong letters of recommendation, and a strong essay on research interests.

Level 3: The doctoral admissions committee may admit on probation applicants with a GPA of less than 3.6 in their master’s degree program and/or a Verbal GRE score of less than 153 and/or a Quantitative GRE score of less than 144, based on a majority of enhancing and determinative factors. The doctoral admissions committee will set the probationary standards.

Section C: Other Types of Admission:

1. Denial: An applicant who does not meet the above admission requirements, will be denied admission.

2. Provisional: An applicant unable to supply minor portions of the required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

3. Deferred: A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or received after the deadline, or when a denied decision is not appropriate.