City and Regional Planning Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

City and Regional Planning

Program Description

City and regional planning (M.R.P., Ph.D.). Students learn to design, evaluate, and implement policies and programs that affect the social, economic, and physical development of urban and regional areas, including those in the Developing World.

The educational program fosters theoretical and conceptual knowledge relevant to urban and regional studies, and the acquisition of professional skills, including those in critical thinking, oral presentation, writing, statistical analysis and Geographical Information Systems.

The M.R.P. program normally requires four residence units, sixty credits, a set of core courses, and the completion of a satisfactory thesis, professional report, or research paper. At the discretion of the faculty, up to one residence unit and 15 credits may be granted, by petition after matriculation, for graduate work done elsewhere, including Cornell-supervised professional field experience. Doctoral degree candidates often begin in Cornell's Master of Regional Planning program; applications are also welcomed from outside the university.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-4376

235 Sibley Dome
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • city and regional planning
  • designing the city
  • economic development planning: communities and regions
  • international studies in planning
  • land use and environmental planning



Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Jan. 10; no spring admission

Requirements Summary:

All applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a master's degree. Applicants admitted to the Ph.D. program who do not hold an M.R.P. degree from a recognized program will be expected to exhibit (or gain) basic competence in the Masters’s core areas (history, theory, methods) as needed to serve ably as a teaching assistant.

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • two recommendations
  • TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency test

Please note: the GRE is neither required nor accepted for application to the Ph.D. in CRP.


Learning Outcomes

Graduate students are expected to achieve learning goals in each of the areas below. Additionally, PhD students must demonstrate the ability to produce original research that makes a significant contribution to the discipline. 
General Planning Knowledge
  • Purpose and Meaning of Planning
  • Planning Theory
  • Planning Law
  • Human Settlements and History of Planning
  • The Future
  • Global Dimensions of Planning
Planning Skills
  • Research
  • Written, Oral and Graphic Communication
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
  • Plan Creation and Implementation
  • Planning Process Methods
  • Leadership
Values and Ethics
  • Professional Ethics and Responsibility
  • Equity, Diversity and Social Justice
  • Governance and Participation
  • Sustainability and Environmental Quality
  • Growth and Development
  • Health and Built Environment