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Ph.D. Admissions


If you have any questions regarding the admissions process, contact or by phone at (503) 725-4061.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ph.D program, please contact the Tracy Braden, the Student Services Coordinator,  at or by phone (503) 725-5477.

Doctor of Philosophy: Urban Studies (Ph.D.)


Doctor of Philosophy: Urban Studies: Regional Science (Ph.D.)

**Application for Fall 2015 Opens This Fall**

Complete application processes are due January 15.

Important Note Regarding Financial Opportunities:
One of the best financial options available to students in the western states is the Western Regional Graduate Program. Part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), the WRGP offers in-state tuition to PSU students currently living in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, ND, SD, UT, WA, WY. Students must be full-time, in good academic standing, and approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. Application forms are due August 1and are available here or through the Office of Graduate Studies.

For more information, visit the WICHE website.


Application Process

Portland State University admissions policy requires you complete two separate applications processes, one to University's Admissions Office and the other to the School of Urban Studies & Planning.

Process 1: Application process for PSU Admissions:

  • Application for Admission to Graduate Degree Programs
  • $50 application fee (do not send cash). Credit cards can be used if submitting application online.
  • One official copy of your complete transcript from every college/university attended, graduate and undergraduate.

International applicants must also submit the following:

  • A TOEFL score of 550 or better (taken within two year) if native language is not English.
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Declaration of Finances
  • Please visit International Student Admissions at PSU for application deadlines, forms and further instructions about applying to the University.

Send transcripts to PSU Admissions to:

To send via USPS, please use this address:

Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751


If sending by UPS or FedEx, please use physical address:

Office of Admissions
105 Neuberger Hall
724 SW Harrison St.
Portland, OR 97201

Process 2: Application process for the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning (TSUSP):

  1. Ph.D. in Urban Studies Application Checklist
  2. TSUSP Application for Admission to Urban Studies PhD Program. *Please Note: Once you begin the application process, you must be able to finish the process as there is no save option.
  3. A personal essay of 800-1,000 words (can be submitted as part of the online application). The following topics should be addressed in your essay:
    1. What are your career aspirations and how will a Ph.D. help achieve them?
    2. How will this program (Ph.D. in Urban Studies at Portland State University) help you achieve those aspirations?
    3. Describe how your academic and professional experience has prepared you for the Ph.D.
    4. Assess your personal strengths and explain how they relate to success in the program.
    5. Discuss the field areas you intend to emphasize during your studies and how they relate to your career aspirations.
  4. A resume/C.V. (can be submitted as part of the online application).
  5. A copy of your complete transcripts.
  6. If you are applying for a graduate assistantship, include the assistantship application.
  7. Three evaluation forms/letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic and/or professional background (These will be automatically requested as part of the online application - the recommendation cover sheet that they will be directed to can be viewed here).
  8. Official scores of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores can be entered on the online application. Please note that you should make arrangements to take the GRE well in advance of the application deadline. You can contact GRE services for information about the test. When submitting GRE scores, these are the codes to use: 4610 PSU, 2205 Urban Studies.
  9. International applicants must submit a copy of your TOEFL score (taken within two year).

Send transcripts to:

Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning (USP)
Portland State University
College of Urban and Public Affairs
P.O. Box 751
Portland, Oregon 97207-0751

If you are sending transcripts via Fed EX, DHL, or UPS, send to:

Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning (USP)
Portland State University
College of Urban and Public Affairs
506 SW Mill Street, Suite 350
Portland, OR 97201

Deferral Policy

In certain cases, PhD students may be able to defer their admission. Financial awards, however cannot be deferred.