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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

PhD Program Admission Requirements


Along with the Office of Graduate Studies application requirements, a complete application includes:

  1. Official transcripts from colleges and universities attended. Information about submitting transcripts is available in the Graduate Catalog

  2. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and, for international applicants, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) official test scores. Information about submitting official test scores is available from the Graduate Catalog. The ETS code for UTA is 6013. 

  3. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to do doctoral-level work and complete the dissertation. Letters from references who hold a Ph.D. degree are preferred.

  4. Essay by applicant (minimum 500 words, maximum 1000 words). The essay is considered both for its content and writing quality. The essay should discuss: (1) tentative research topic, (2) how your undergraduate studies have prepared you for doctoral study in Urban Planning and Public Policy; (3) identify your desired field area (see field areas, below) and a potential Planning faculty whose area relates to your research interests; and (4) the reasons for wanting to earn the doctoral degree.

  5. (Optional) applicant's sample of written work in English (e.g., thesis, publication, professional report).

Official transcripts and test scores must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the institution and ETS respectively. Letters of recommendation and personal essay should be sent directly to the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs at via email or postal service, at: CAPPA Program - Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy (UPPP), Box 19108, Arlington TX 76019. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all application materials are received by the application deadline. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline could be deferred.

The UPPP program admits doctoral students for Fall semester. The application deadline for the UPPP program is February 1st.

For more information please consult the UTA Catalog.


The Doctoral Admission Committee determines admission based on the applicant's academic record, commitment to scholarly research, and overall fit with the program.Applicants are typically admitted unconditionally with a graduate GPA of 3.6, a Verbal GRE score of at least 153 and a Quantitative GRE score of at least 144. GRE requirements are applied flexibly as different areas of study vary in the relative importance of quantitative and verbal analysis. GRE scores must be from a test taken in the past 5 years. In no case will standardized test performance be the sole or primary determinant of admissibility. Strength of letters of recommendation, quality of personal statement and master’s degree field of study are also considered carefully.

International applicants are required to have a score of 213 or higher on the TOEFL (550 or higher on the written TOEFL; 79 or higher on TOEFL iBT). Foreign applicants with low Verbal and Writing GRE and TOEFL scores may be accepted conditionally or provisionally on taking Graduate English Speaking Program (GESP) exams and courses  at UTA prior or during their Ph.D. education).


For more information please consult the UTA Catalog