PhD in City and Regional Planning Application Process

PhD in City and Regional Planning Application Process


Deadline: December 1

The program only admits students to start in autumn semester of the following year. The autumn application opens September 1. Every applicant should be aware that some extra time may be needed for the university’s system to convert GPAs from foreign university and to upload recommendation letters, so we highly recommend to submit all application materials by November 27, 2023.

City and Regional Planning makes four Knowlton PhD Awards to incoming doctoral students every year. The Knowlton PhD Awards include a four-year commitment of financial support (a stipend and a tuition waiver) through a combination of fellowships and graduate research and teaching assistantships.

Additionally, the PhD Admissions Committee will consider nominating applications for Ohio State graduate fellowships.

Learn more about funding for the PhD program

We provide two information sessions: TBA

Admissions Process

The Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions administers the application, and a complete set of instructions can be found on their website.

  1. Begin an application through Graduate and Professional Admissions
  2. Prepare Materials
  3. Complete and submit your application
  4. Monitor Your Application Status Online

Cost of Attendance

For information about the cost of attendance, see the Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

For information about funding, see Funding & Scholarships and funding for the PhD program.

Statement of Research Interest

The statement of research interest is a 1–3 page narrative that answers why an applicant wants to pursue a doctorate in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and what the applicant wants to do once they earn that degree. It is important to relate not only how your personal and educational experiences thus far have led you to your decision to pursue this degree but also details about the research direction you wish to pursue. A clear research direction is critical to determine fit with the program and potential faculty advisors.

Writing or Research Sample

Writing and research examples could include literature reviews, empirical studies, term papers, or a thesis.


The GRE is not required for admission to the PhD program in City and Regional Planning for applications received during the 2023–24 academic year.

  • The program does not have required minimum GRE scores.
  • Scores must be from within the last five years.

See ETS for more Information about the GRE.

Curriculum vitae

The curriculum vitae should include academic and relevant professional history. Research projects, papers, and conference presentations are especially good to include if applicable.


Official transcripts are required from each institution from which college credit was awarded. Ohio State transcripts are not required. A scan of an official transcript (front and back) may be uploaded to the online application to fulfill this requirement. If admitted, a final official transcript must be submitted. Mailed transcripts should be sent to Ohio State's Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

In order to be considered for admission, applicants should generally have at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale, or a B average on another scale. If an applicant has taken undergraduate coursework at multiple institutions, the GPA will be combined into one overall undergraduate GPA. Graduate credit is calculated into a separate graduate GPA.

Letters of Recommendation

Enter information for three recommenders in the online application including a professional or academic email address for each. Once you have submitted the application, each recommender will receive an email request with a link to submit their letter online.

Your letters of recommendation are important for the admissions committee to assess preparedness for graduate work. It is strongly recommended that at least one letter, and preferably 2, should be written by faculty from undergraduate or graduate study. Other letter writers should be from supervisors or similar professional contacts who have monitored your work. Recommenders should be able to speak to your skills in some detail. Personal associates (friends, family members, or peer work colleagues) are not appropriate references for admissions consideration.

English Proficiency Scores

Official TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB scores are required for any applicant whose native language is not English, and who has been educated primarily outside of the U.S. Exclusions and details can be found on the Graduate Admissions website. Target scores are as follows: 100 TOEFL IBT, 86 MELAB, or 7.5 IELTS. Valid test scores must be from within the last two years.

Financial Review

All admitted international applicants are required to show evidence that they have sufficient funding to pay for all tuition and living expenses while at the university. Instructions would be sent if/when the applicant accepts the offer of admission. Please do not send these documents until requested. For more information, see Graduate and Professional Admissions.

Contact Graduate

Need more information? Please contact:

Jon Bullock
Graduate Programs Coordinator