Apply / Doctoral Studies
Application and Portfolio Deadline: January 15th annually
Please take the GRE test 6-8 weeks prior in order for test scores to be received by the deadline.
The Urban and Regional Planning Program is part of the Rackham Graduate School, which is the overall administrative unit for Graduate programs. Rackham works in conjunction with 19 schools and colleges to recruit applicants, administer the admissions process, and serve students through the final stages of degree attainment.
Admission to the Urban Regional Planning Ph.D. is normally limited to the fall term. (In exceptional situations, the doctoral admissions committee may also consider applications for admission to start the program in the winter term.) Normally, only four to five new students can be admitted each year. This number represents a small percentage of those applying for admission.
Applicants will normally possess a Master's degree in Planning or a related field (such as Public Policy, Environmental Studies, Geography, Social Work, Architecture, etc.). Applicants with other Master's degrees will be considered, as will exceptionally well-prepared applicants with a Bachelor's degree. There is no foreign language requirement for Doctoral students in Planning. However, work in some areas of specialization and on certain research/dissertation topics may require knowledge of one or more foreign languages (obtained either before or during Doctoral studies).
Non-refundable Application Fee
The fee for United States Citizens and those with permanent resident visa status is $65 (U.S. funds) . The fee for non-U.S. citizens is $75 (U.S. funds). The application fee is paid online, via credit card, before the application is submitted.The application is submitted electronically to the program of study and the Rackham Graduate School.There is no need to follow-up with a paper copy of the application or an additional application fee. Applications received without fees will not be processed.
Submit all of the following materials via the Rackham online application.
- Non-refundable application fee
- Statement of Purpose ∨
- Personal Statement ∨
- Official Transcripts (submit hard copy to Grad School) ∨
- Three Letters of Recommendation ∨
- Examples of Work ∨
- GRE Scores (required) ∨
- TOEFL (required) ∨
Statement of Purpose
This is a vital component of your application. Explain how you arrived at the decision to pursue doctoral studies in urban and regional planning, what you plan to do during the course of your studies, and how you hope to use your doctoral education in planning. In particular, discuss the intellectual and policy challenges that you hope to address in your doctoral studies, outline the methodological skills you plan to pursue, and briefly note any tentative dissertation research topics. (The typical length is 2–4 pages.)
The personal statement should be a concise, well-written statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an academic statement of purpose, but a brief (500 word limit) discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
Submit official academic records/transcripts from the institution from which you received or will receive a Bachelor's, Master's, Professional, or Doctoral degree to the Rackham Graduate School.
- Are you applying to more than one Rackham program? Submit only one official academic record/transcript from each institution.
- Are you a current or previous University of Michigan–Ann Arbor student? Do not submit a paper U-M transcript.
- Did you take classes as a Community or Junior College, a non-degree, or a study abroad student? Do not send an official transcript.
- For specific transcript requirements by country click here
Do you have a U-M ID#? If not, before sending your academic record/transcript:
- Create your ApplyWeb account
- Complete pages 1-5 of the application
- On page 5 of the application click the "Request a U-M ID#" link
- You will receive confirmation by e-mail that your request is being processed
- You will receive your U-M ID# in approximately 7-10 business days
When, how and where are transcripts sent?
Academic records/transcripts are submitted through:
1) The online application
- To expedite the processing of your online application, you are encouraged to include a scanned image of your academic record/transcript(s) with the online application. This enables the admissions committee to make a preliminary decision based upon your submission of a scanned transcript.
- Scanned images of official transcripts that are uploaded into the online application will be considered unofficial.
- A scanned copy of an official student copy, provided to you by the Registrar's Office, is acceptable. Unofficial transcripts printed from your institution's student portal (a screen print of a transcript) are not acceptable.
2) The mail
Following these instructions enables Rackham to process your academic record/transcript as quickly as possible. If you do not have a U-M ID#, submit your official academic record/transcript to Rackham with your date of birth.
Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Electronic Option: E-transcripts may be sent to Rackham at Rackemail@example.com. A transcript received from a personal e-mail address will not be accepted. If your school also requires a mailing address, use the one indicated above.
Letters of Recommendation
Three (3) letters of recommendation are required and should testify mainly to your academic and professional capacity and promise. Letters should be substantive statements from academics and professionals familiar with your abilities and accomplishments. Electronic submission of recommendations is preferred. You will be prompted to register recommenders using the Rackham online admissions application, enabling recommenders to submit letters of recommendation electronically to Urban Regional Planning.
One or several examples of relevant work by the applicant. Submissions should support the statement of purpose and clearly demonstrate research and writing abilities. These may consist of academic papers (from previous coursework), published articles, and/or a portfolio that are representative of the applicant's work and potential for doctoral studies.
Resume or C.V.
Please submit an up to date résumé or curriculum vitae with your application.
Graduate Record Examination Scores (required)
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score Report is required of all students. Information about the GRE including test dates and locations can be found at http://www.gre.org. Please have an official score report sent to the University of Michigan at least 6–8 weeks prior to the January 15th deadline. GRE scores must be no older than five years old; recent scores are preferable. There is no minimum GRE score required to apply.
*Institution code GRE: 1839
*Department code GRE: 4402 (City and Regional Planning)
TOEFL Examination (International Students Only)
Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to submit one official score report. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are sent electronically from ETS directly to the University of Michigan (institution code: 1839, dept code: 97). Official ECPE, IELTS and MELAB scores must be sent directly to the Rackham Graduate School from the testing agency.
Rackham Graduate School
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Information about the TOEFL including test dates and locations can be found at ets.org/toefl. Please contact ETS (ets.org) and have an official score report sent to the University of Michigan at least 4–6 weeks prior to the January 15th deadline. Test scores are valid two years from the test date. Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.
The minimum requirement for the TOEFL test is 100 IBT, 250 computer based or 600 paper based. If you have taken the TOEFL exam and not achieved the minimum score you must continue to take the test until you achieve the minimum score to be considered for admission. Taubman College does not admit students that have not met the minimum score.
The Rackham Graduate School's English Proficiency Exemptions
Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from submitting an Official English Proficiency Score if:
- The degree was earned from an institution where the language of instruction is English, exclusively. Verification from the school may be required.
- The degree was earned from a country where the official language is English (United States of America, Australia, and England).