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PhD in Urban Studies Admissions


If you have any questions regarding the admissions process, contact or by phone at (503) 725-4016.

If you are interested in learning more about the PhD program, please contact Dr. Connie Ozawa, Ph.D. Coordinator, at, or by phone (503) 725-5126

Applying to the Ph.D. Program for Fall 2018

The deadline for applications to the Urban Studies PhD program is December 15th, 2017.

International Admissions

It takes longer to evaluate and process international materials. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you submit 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): scanned copy of your official transcript (front and back) from each post-secondary education institution you've attended (this includes any study abroad), must be included in your application. If admitted, you will then be required to submit a sealed official transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies before you can register for your first term at PSU. Official transcripts should reach us by the beginning of May.  Registration for fall quarter typically opens towards the end of May. Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies for complete instructions on submitting transcripts.
  • 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:
    • What are your research interests and career aspirations and how will a Ph.D. help achieve them?
    • How will this program (Ph.D. in Urban Studies at Portland State University) help you achieve those aspirations?
    • Describe how your academic and professional experience has prepared you to complete the doctoral program.
    • Assess your personal strengths and explain how they relate to success in the program.
    • 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 & Recommendation Form: Recommendations should be from individuals familiar with your academic or professional background. It is recommended that the individuals chosen have supervised you in some capacity. Recommendations are submitted electronically through the online application system.  An e-mail request automatically will be sent to your letter writer once you have entered their details.
  • 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. GRE scores should be sent to PSU using code 4610. 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.
  • TOEFL/IELTS Score (international applicants only): 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

Portland State University English Language Requirements
Paper-based Computer-based Internet-based -
550 213 Minimum overall score of 80; Minimum subscore of 18 in reading & writing Minimum overall score of 6.5; Minimum subscore of 6.5 in reading & writing

Funding Information

Deferral Policy

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