Ranked No. 4 in Urban Policy
U.S. News & World Report, 2022

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed.

Where will I take classes?

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

Fall: January 15

Spring: Does not admit

Summer: Does not admit

Urban Studies, Ph.D.

Looking to further your interest in urban topics? Ready for that next level? The Urban Studies Institute’s PhD in Urban Studies prepares students for academic and research careers at the forefront of urban analysis.Our doctoral students work alongside top faculty in their fields and join future leaders passionate about solving urban community issues.

The doctoral curriculum provides a rigorous grounding in urban theory and praxis and methodological training to analyze complex challenges emerging within urban environments and processes. Our program draws from the interdisciplinary expertise of core and affiliate faculty to enable students to build core analytical competencies and translational research skills needed to interpret, evaluate, and communicate across diverse urban domains. Students work with the support of faculty advisors to build a program of study tailored to their individual interests, objectives, and future goals.

The PhD in Urban Studies emphasizes the development of fundamental research competence, flexibility in the design of special area of study, and encouragement of joint student/faculty research and teaching.

Program Details

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. Online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A non-refundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Personal statement: The goal statement is your means of presenting yourself to the Graduate Admissions Committee. You should submit a short typed statement of personal and professional goals as they relate to the certificate or degree program you are seeking. Most applicants write two typed pages, summarizing their work experience, the reasons they have chosen the program, why they want to attend Georgia State and how the degree fits in with their career goals.
  4. A resume or CV.
  5. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Academic scores (International applicants only): International applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Two letters of recommendation: Letters should be submitted through the online application.
  7. Upload Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Upload each transcript to the Academic History section of the online application before submitting your application or upload to your application status page under the Upload Materials section if your application has been submitted.
    • Review requirements for submitting transcripts here.

    Failure to follow these requirements will delay your application processing.

The doctoral program is composed of the following:

  • 12 credit hours of master’s courses
  • 12 credit hours of foundational core
  • 9 credit hours in electives
  • 15 credit hours in research/dissertation

View Curriculum Details

Students admitted to the program are typically offered a graduate assistantship with a minimum $22,000 yearly stipend and full tuition waiver.

  1. Examination of urbanization processes, historical and contemporary, in the U.S. and globally.
  2. Recognition of advanced urban theory in its various formulations and demonstration of the interdisciplinary nature of the field in relation to geography, sociology, economics and other disciplines.
  3. Advanced analytical skills based in a range of social science methods (qualitative and quantitative, data visualization and GIS).
  4. Translational research skills (for example, the formulation of policy implications of urban research or analyses of urban policy impacts).



Urban Studies graduates go on to careers in fields including: academia, business, government, planning, law, public policy, market research, and consultancy.

Doctoral and advanced research programs.

The Public Sector
Local authority departments (such as regeneration services, planning, economic and development) and state and federal government agencies.

The Private Sector
Real estate, environmental consultancies, start-ups and social enterprises, large retail businesses, private developers, finance, architects and design studios, smart-city engineering firms, utilities companies.

NGOs and Philanthropy
Philanthropic organizations, advocacy groups, foundations, and think tanks focusing on urban development, governance, and environmental issues.


Urban Studies Institute

Email: [email protected]

Office Location
55 Park Place
8th Floor – 810

Academic Assistance
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 404-413-0021

Office Location:
AYSPS Office of Academic Assistance
55 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

Andrew Young School Logo55 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.