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Ph.D. Admissions


If you have any questions regarding the admissions process, contact or by phone at (503) 725-4068.

If you are interested in learning more about the PhD program, please contact Dr. Karen Gibson, PhD Coordinator at, or by phone 503.725.8265.  


Apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies or Doctor of Philosophy in Regional Science at Portland State University. Application to the PhD program will open October 15th.

The deadline for applications to the PhD program is January 15th. Applications received after the January 15th postmark will not be considered for admission. Applications will not be considered unless they are complete. 


International applicants, it is strongly recommended that you have your materials to us by December 1st


Applicants to the doctoral programs must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate courses or must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all graduate credits earned at accredited institutions. If admitted, you may be able to transfer a maximum of 24 of the 72 credits (quarter system).


Application Process

*As soon as your application materials have been processed, you will receive an email updating you on the status of your materials.

Please note that Portland State University requires 2 separate application processes as detailed below. You will need to submit 2 applications: 1 to PSU and 1 to the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. 

PSU Admissions: Process 1 Requirements 


TSUSP Departmental Admissions: Process 2 Requirements 

  • Portland State University's Application for Graduate Admission (may also be submitted online here)
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee (may be paid online with application submission or mailed to University Admissions Office; do not send cash);
  • One official transcript, in a sealed envelope, from each post-secondary education institution you've attended;
  •  International applicants must also submit the following:
  • A TOEFL score of 550, 213 or 80* (taken within two years) if native language is not English. *See PSU English Requirements Requirements below.
  • 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.



  • PhD Application Check List
  • Apply: PhD Department Application for Admissions
  • Transcript(s): copies of transcripts from each post-secondary education institution you've attended (this includes any study abroad)
  • Statement  of Purpose: This is an important part of the evaluation process and should include a detailed discussion of the following in no more than 1000 words:
    a.  What are your research interests and career aspirations and how will a Ph.D. help achieve them?
    b. How will this program (Ph.D. in Urban Studies at Portland State University) help you achieve those aspirations?
    c. Describe how your academic and professional experience has prepared you to complete the doctorol program.
    d. Assess your personal strengths and explain how they relate to success in the program.
    e. Discuss the field areas you intend to emphasize during your studies and how they relate to your research and career aspirations.
  • 3 letters of recommendation and recommendation form: Recommendations should be from individuals familiar with your academic or professional background. It is recommended that the individuals chose have supervised you in some capacity. These sealed letters along with the Recommendation Form should be included with your application packet. NOTE: Recommendation letters need to be sealed by your references and intialed on the back. You, the applicant, are providing the letters with your packet, not photocopies of a letter.  Click Here for the form. * Student Waiver of Access Form.
  • Resume/CV: A current resume or CV listing work and educational background.
  • GRE Scores: GRE scores are required. Please report your scores on the application. When submitting GRE scores to be sent to TSUSP, use codes: 4610 PSU, 2205 Urban Studies. Please note that you should make arrangements to take the GRE well in advance of the application deadline. You may ask to have the scores sent directly to us.
  • International applicants: TOEFL/IELTS Score: a TOEFL score of 550 or better, taken within the past two years.*
Note: You should study faculty research projects and their published research to identify at least two or three faculty members whose research interests match yours. It is adviseable to communicate with Toulan School faculty members with research interests similar to yours before you apply to the program, either via telephone or email. 

Sending transcripts by USPS, use 
mailing address:

Office of Admissions
Portland State University
PO Box 751-ADM
Portland, OR 97207-0751


Sending application materials by USPS. Use mailing address: 

Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning

ATTN: Bryony Mangan
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751-USP
Portland, OR 97207-0751


Sending by UPS or FedEx, please use physical address:

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



Sending application materials by UPS or FedEx, please use physical address:

College of Urban and Public Affairs
Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning 
ATTN: Bryony Mangan
506 SW Mill Street, Suite 350
Portland, OR 97201



International Applicants











minimum overall score of 80*: minimum subscore of 18* in reading & writing

6.5* overall;

minimum 6.5* on reading & writing




Deferral Policy


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


Graduate Assistantships

PhD students may submit an application for graduate assistantships as either a new or continuing student. New students, the application should be printed and mailed with your application materials. Continuing students, you can print and mail the form or email it to:



Funding Information