Regional Development Planning


Why study Regional Development Planning?

The Ph.D. program in Regional Development Planning at the University of Cincinnati provides rigorous academic training in planning theory, urban and regional theories, advanced research, and planning practice. The purpose of the doctoral program is to educate and train the next generation of high-level practitioners, policymakers, and scholars, who will bring new research ideas and knowledge to the teaching and practice of urban and regional planning. The Ph.D. program is served by the School of Planning’s faculty members with expertise in urban design and physical planning, community and economic development, transportation planning, international development, environmental planning, and sustainable development. The University of Cincinnati School of Planning program stresses the interdisciplinary analysis and solution to the regional development problems from inner cities to rural areas. The spatial emphasis of the program, from rural and urban neighborhoods to national levels, recognizes that planning problems increasingly transcend geographic boundaries and require spatially-based systems thinking.

All of our current Ph.D. students have completed a Master’s degree in planning or a related discipline. As part of the application process, potential students need to identify a research topic of interest (part of the essay). Full-time students take approximately four courses per semester during their first two years in the program. The School of Planning requires all doctoral students to take nine required courses, including courses in planning and spatial theory, quantitative and qualitative research methods, research design, and dissertation-research related courses. After passing their comprehensive exam, students typically spend two to four more years completing their individual doctoral research. The School of Planning provides all admitted students with a financial package consisting of tuition scholarships during their two years of coursework. The School of Planning also provides a four-year paid graduate assistantship at the school or assistantships at academic or external research centers. As part of their training, Ph.D. students are also required to teach a course under the supervision of a SOP faculty member.

Admission Requirements

  • Official online application and application fee.
  • Unofficial college or university transcripts are used for admissions review. Official college or university transcripts required which state the date the degree was conferred when offered admission.
  • Official scores for the aptitude portion of the GRE.
  • Three letters of reference, at least two of which is an academic recommendation.
  • For international students, a TOEFL score.

Most graduates of the School of Planning (SOP) Regional Development Planning (RDP) Ph.D. program find work in academia as an assistant professor in either research or teaching colleges and universities. Graduates of the SOP RDP Ph.D. program teach in China, the United States, Sweden, and South Africa. Outside of academia, our graduates work in think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, and government institutions.

Application Deadlines

Deadline is February 1 for those who wish to be considered for financial support.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Rainer vom Hofe
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-3835

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Program Code: 23DOC-RDP-PHD