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PhD in Urban Studies Admissions


If you have any questions regarding the admissions process, contact or by phone at (503) 725-4045.

If you are interested in learning more about the PhD program, please contact Dr. Connie Ozawa, Director at, or by phone 503.725.5126.  

Applying to the PhD Program for Fall 2016 

The deadline for applications to the Urban Studies PhD program is January 15th

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 Requirements

  • 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 doctoral 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.

  • 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. 


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